There was a sketch on the TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus that featured Eric Idle in drag playing a cooking show host telling his/her audience what to do if there was a communist uprising while they were having a dinner party. I've taken that concern a little farther and often wondered what would happen if a zombie apocalypse broke out in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner? Everything's going fine, but just as I'm passing the cranberry sauce to Aunt Zelda -- wishing all the while that she'd worn her teeth that day -- the house is overrun with the walking dead. Before I can even say "George Romero was right!" I'm reduced to Purina Zombie Chow. Even worse, if there's enough left of me to join the ranks of the undead, I won't be finishing the meal with pumpkin pie and coffee, but rather with the brains of that schmuck Johnson from across the street who had the gall to password protect his wifi network.

That's why if I could invite any movie character I wanted to Thanksgiving dinner it would be Ed (as played by Nick Frost) from Shaun of the Dead. Specifically I'd want the version of Ed about three quarters of the way through the film, by which time he has become a seasoned zombie slayer but has not yet joined them himself. Ed cuts a prosperous figure, so obviously he's a man who appreciates a good meal, and his passion for beer is well documented. Certain concessions would have to be made for Ed to attend. He'll want to know where all the exits are, he'll need a place where he can smoke, and if he feels the need for public urination (and I suspect he will) I'll just point him to Johnson's lawn. When planning hors d'œuvres I would keep in mind that Ed enjoys "pig snacks" so I would find out what the hell "pig snacks" are exactly and keep plenty on hand.

I would also keep him from driving. I'm not so much concerned with him learning to drive on the right hand side of the road (he's a Brit after all) but he's shown an uncanny ability to total a car even while it's parked, so I'd probably fly him in and have someone pick him up at the airport. No doubt Ed's inability to censor himself would cause friction with some of my relatives, particularly my cousin D'Artagnan. He's quite sensitive about his facial birthmark in the shape of The Republic of Zimbabwe, but Ed would find it the source of great amusement. It will all be worth the effort, though, once the zombies start hankerin' for a hunk o' human, and Ed gets to demonstrate his skill at blunt force trauma. I have to imagine the pilgrims would be proud.

James Rocchi would invite ...

categories Cinematical