Life after death’s not what it was!

Well, I saw a first today – a zombie getting booked by a policeman. Which according to my lugubrious Irish friend, Mike, is “what happens when you let the zombies out before midnight!”

Actually, it was toss-up who was most embarrassed, the copper in his deep blue uniform with his hip-holstered pistol, or the nervous looking zombie, with his black and white  face and caked on make-up piss-take. The plod even asked for the z’s ID card. Now how does a zombie get an ID card? You need a photo for your ID card, and I thought zombies couldn’t be seen by the camera…or is that they can’t see themselves in a mirror?…or is that a vampire? And besides that, if the face on the ID card was plain ordinary and un-made-up, how would the polis be able to compare the photo with the scary (as if!) painted face in front of him? A lot of deep philosophical thoughts here, far more than a man needs on a bright sunny day without the aid of a pretty big beer.

You’ll have guessed by now that he wasn’t a real zombie, (and if you haven’t realised by now, please don’t ask me to be your friend on Facebook), but some poor bloke who got caught out in some tom-foolery. The tom-foolery was the monthly meeting of Desayuno con Viandantes , a group of people who meet on a Saturday morning in a public spot to share breakfast. Everyone brings something to eat or drink and puts it on a communal table, or in today’s case, a communal wall, and shares it. It was started by a group of architects and artists who decided to ‘open up the urban environment to the public by sharing breakfast’, or some such malarkey, and it went on from there. You don’t have to be a member or pay an entrance fee, you just have to show up and bring something with you. Strangers passing by are equally welcome, and in fact, that’s how a lot of people find out about it and come to the next one.

Usually it’s just a chat amongst friends (and a way to make new ones) but sometimes they arrange some sort of event. Today’s was partly to promote someone’s book about…you’ve guessed it…zombies. Actually, I think it’s not exactly about zombies, but the word’s in the title so it seemed like a good idea to get dressed up. And so it was, with loads of people wandering around in gory face paint and tattered clothes.

For more than a year there has never been any difficulty with the police – which always surprised me, given the Spanish police’s propensity for doing anything that will keep them occupied other than solving a crime – but today their luck ran out. They’ve held their breakfasts in all sorts of weird places, including a major roundabout and on one of Valencia’s pedestrian bridges with nary a word from the authorities, but today we were slap-bang in the middle of the city, in front of El Corte Ingles, on a busy Saturday morning.

I had a feeling there was something in the air when I saw a van load of anti-disturbance police giving us the glad-eye, not sure if we were the advanced guard of ‘Save Your Local Cemetery – It’s Where A Zombie Calls Home!’, or just a load of plonkers in silly make-up. It was obviously to hot for them to get out of the van and work up a sweat, so they drifted off. It’s pretty certain they’d called it in for some other Mr. Plods to deal with it, because ten minutes later a car-load of the boys in blue turn up. Three heavies in Ray-Bans and forage caps. A couple of minutes later another car arrives, and three more tumble out. Where were all these forces of law and order when I picked up a poor lady who’d had her bag nicked a while ago? Obviously too busy having a coffee somewhere in a nice cool café.

So, anyway, after much feet shuffling at being caught in a compromising situation, i.e. impersonating a zombie, names were taken, notes made, and the six guardians of justice hunched their shoulders and swaggered off. The zombie was later seen clean of face after a quick wash and brush-up, probably working on the premise ‘let someone else be made to feel like a complete dickhead if the polis decide to come back’.

You can’t blame him really; being a zombie, even a fake one, must be a real dead-end job.

If you would like to know more about Spain, visit my web site, www.derekworkman-journalist.com , and Spain Uncovered

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