Sorry for the slight delay in posting this week’s Zombie Zoo, but yours truly had to spend an overnight in the slammer. It would have been nice if it had been one of your more comfortable human jail cells, but no, this was an undead prison. Actually, prison is probably a little too nice a thing to call these places, they’re little more than holes dug in the ground that a zombie gets thrown into when they’re picked up by zombie cops. Those bastards must have already been nearby too because they nabbed me quick after the fight broke out. What fight you ask. The fight that happened when I ripped a zombie’s arm off and began to beat him and his friend with it. Yes, the undead will fight amongst themselves too. I’m not sure why, but the living are always surprised to learn that fact, like they never fight with one another. I’ve got a least a thousand wars and millions of barroom brawls that say otherwise. Anyway, yeah, I got in a fight with a couple of undead assholes who decided to say a few unkind words about my girlfriend, my dating a still living woman not being immensely popular with a few less than open minded zombies. For being such an accepting group you wouldn’t think that there were any prejudices that still lingered among my kind, but there is sadly still one, a prejudice toward living. Most don’t really care who someone chooses to date, but much like any kind of prejudiced asshats with a small mind and a large chip on their shoulder, there are those who believe in keeping the zombie race pure blooded because they don’t seem to understand our blood is about as far away from pure as one could get. Two of those dickheads decided to voice their opinion of my dating choices and wound up beaten to a rotted pulp and missing a few limbs. Discounting my murderous, hunger induced rampages, I’m not really a violent sort of fellow, but no one talks shit about my lady, that’s just not something you do. Long story short, the zombie cops came, I got arrested, and I had to spend a night in the ground while the other two idiots will have to spend a few weeks at a repair center. I know I should feel bad, but I don’t. If anything I feel like I taught a valuable lesson, namely, don’t trash talk someone’s girlfriend if you don’t want your own arm used against you as a weapon.
After spending a night in the hole I figured that it might be a good idea to focus this week’s Zombie Zoo on the undead legal system. As I’ve mentioned once or twice before, every creature of the night prefers to police their own, so you won’t catch a vampire cop arresting a werewolf or a werewolf cop arresting a leprechaun, actually, you won’t see anyone arresting a leprechaun because they don’t have a police force and no one else feels like dealing with the drunk bastards so we all just kind of leave them alone. Even Bigfeet have their own police force, sort of, a Bigfoot police officer is mainly relegated to stopping other Bigfeet from slinging too much poo at each other. I’m over simplifying their jobs of course, they also break up domestic squabbles after someone breaks into the fermented berries, but the point is every creature likes to take care of their own. I could go on and on about what each type police force is like, but frankly I don’t really care about the vampires getting blood drunk and exposing themselves, they apparently find it funny to undress and run around in nothing but their capes. Nor do I care about werewolf cops having to constantly be on the lookout for werewolves marking their territory. I especially don’t care about ghost cops doing whatever the hell ghost cops do, they always go invisible when problems arise so I honestly haven’t the slightest clue what goes on with them. The only cops I care about are the cops of the zombie variety. Lord knows they’re enough of a pain in the ass to deal with, most of them having long ago become cynical and burnt out after years of dealing with the type of shenanigans the undead are likely to get up to.
Zombie cops function much the same way that living cops do, the zombie does something he shouldn’t be doing, something illegal among the undead, and they have to go and pick them up. Our laws are similar to yours, don’t steal, don’t murder, well other zombies anyways, and don’t go around needlessly beating the hell out of people, though we tend to be a little more lax on the last one. People fight, it’s in our nature living or otherwise, so they usually just throw us in the hole for a little while until we’ve cooled off. That’s probably a good third of a zombie cop’s duty, breaking up fights. Another third is devoted to petty things like destruction of property, mischievous troublemaking, and drunken hooliganism. Most of the rest is the stuff you might expect a cop to dedicate their time too, drunk driving, we really don’t care how much you drink or what drugs you do, just don’t get behind the wheel when intoxicated, theft of property or cash, and mixture of several other crimes, murder being only a small portion of what a zombie cop will have to investigate during his or her career. Zombies tend to frown on killing one another, humans sure, zombies gotta eat, fish gotta swim and all that, but killing another zombie, you just don’t do that. I wish I could say it never happens, but that’s just not the truth. It’s usually accidental, or done by the zombified psychopaths we discussed once before, but there are times when zombies kill each other out of jealousy or even spite. In that case we don’t mess around, if it’s accidental then punishment is meted out in the form of the hole, but if it’s done purposefully on the other hand, well that’s another story. I’m not at liberty to disclose what happens then, there are some things that you really shouldn’t know, but it isn’t pretty. Trust me, you’re better off not knowing.
As far as other crimes go, punishment depends on the crime but is usually a set amount of time spent in the hole. The hole is our slang for jail, but it’s not what you living people are used to when someone mentions the hole, it’s just what it sound like, a hole. Zombie cops dig a very deep hole in the ground and then they throw you inside of it. If what you did happens to be something rather heinous, they might actually bury you as well, digging you up every now and again to feed you before covering you up with dirt again. It’s a rare punishment though, for most crimes you can expect to just sit or stand in whatever hole was dug for you with only the worms to keep you company. Sure, there’s also a guard to make sure you don’t crawl your way out, but they aren’t very talkative. They keep the holes in rows behind the union halls, away from the prying eyes of the living. So who decides how long you have to stay in the hole? That depends on the crime. As long as it’s something minor, that decision is left up to the zombie cops themselves, and nine times out of ten it’s an overnight and then you’re free to go. If it’s a more major crime then the cops will take you in front of the union heads to decide your fate, basically twelve guys will sit in front of you, shake their heads a lot, then pronounce your sentence. It’s not quite as fair as your system is, but it’s worked for hundreds of years and we aim to keep it our own. Zombie cops have been around for millennia, and they’ve always managed to keep the peace among zombie kind, no reason to change that now. If that means that a few power hungry assholes get to decide what happens to some of the bigger offenders then so be it. It’s not perfect, but it is what it is. Luckily we’ve never been short of those willing to take up the unlife of being a zombie cop, so there’s always been enough of them that not many zombies make their way before the union heads. The cops happen to be more down to earth than the union heads and they know this, so despite being burnt out by zombies constantly making a pain out of themselves, they try and take care of as much of the sentencing as they can.
There’s a very good reason we have so many zombie cops, because many cops end up as zombies. That’s been the case since the force was started millennia ago. The first people called to deal with a problem involving the undead is most likely going to be an authority figure. Whether that is a policeman, a Roman Legionnaire, or a Persian Immortal, they get called in when things get too tough for the civilian forces to deal with. Once they become a zombie they are immediately offered the job of a zombie cop, an offer they are more than happy to accept. Though it does lead to that aforementioned cynicism, having to know that they’re stuck doing the same job in death that they did in life. You’d think they’d want to try something else out, but I guess since that’s what they know the best, they stick with it.
That’s about it for this week. I’ve got a fine or two I need to pay so I better start looking for my next meal and hope they have a couple hundred bucks in their wallet. Hey, it isn’t theft if they’re already dead, as long as they haven’t reanimated yet. Gives you a small window to take advantage of. Until next time this is your unfriendly neighborhood zombie signing out.
The Undead Review