Three years ago Madison Nguyen was like any other 16 year old girl. She hated her mother’s totalitarian ways. She drew flaming Hello Kitty logos on every notebook. She had given up cutting because she thought it made her look like a wannabe. Her world changed forever when she went to prom. Zombie prom.
Her date? A dreamy senior named Chet Ferguson, transformed by liberal doses of fake blood into his nightmare zombie persona “Zurg The Ferg”. Her dress? An off the rack number with pink ruffles from the Deb, with tread marks from being run over by her friend’s ATV.
Her mother, Tiffany Nguyen, was unaware that the dress would be soiled and used for a zombie prom. “She begged me for it. Begged. I’m still paying the credit card’s balance off.”
The true nightmare was not Zurg the Ferg, nor her mother’s remaining credit card balance, but of the nagging pain Madison will suffer for the rest of her life.
It seems that a combination of poor posture, cute shoes, and ambling around the prom, and a local Subway sandwich shop afterwards, aggravated pains in her feet which resulted in what may be permanent nerve damage. Nguyen’s Sketchers are now more remarkable for their custom orthodontics than the Sharpie-inked skull and crossbones.
Doctor Elsbeth Venuti, a licensed podiatrist, warns that incidences of damage caused by imitating zombie movements will likely increase as popular television shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead or TBS’s Conan glorify zombies.
Zombie-related foot injuries, also referred to as “Zombie Foot” or “Corpse Leg”, are often caused or exacerbated by imitating various traits such as dragging one foot behind the other, or prolonged walking with one’s arms outstretched, causing a distension of the shoulders and spinal cord.
“These zombie enthusiasts are basically ignoring every tenet of the Alexander Technique. One should aspire to walk as if a balloon keeps one’s head aloft, not as if one’s feet are weighed by bloodlust,” states Thomas Neddlemen, self-taught and Internet-licensed posture enthusiast. One should be reminded of these credentials when talking in the fourth person.
Experts agree that responsive, open communication is the best way to confront and address friends and family members that are at risk for Zombie Foot and related complications.
Dr. Venuti recommends constant surveillance, through key-loggers, “nanny” software, browsing cell phone logs, and inventing fake Facebook profiles to help identify if your loved one is at risk and offers these tips:
- At risk youth are more likely to visit websites discussing pop culture, “geek” references, and zombie porn.
- Tell your children that you too were cool once and know what they’re going through. As their parent, this will earn their respect.
- Abuse this respect by keeping a journal, either privately or online, where you detail your suspicions. Because the Internet allows for greater anonymous discussion, individuals will be more likely to point out potential issues they see in your children.
- If discovered, be prepared for resistance and accusations that you are “invading their privacy”. Most addicts have difficulty realizing they have a problem, but individuals truly concerned with “privacy” would know not to use the Internet.
- Do not back down. As a friend, relative or significant other, you have complete authority to, as they would say, “stalk” them. If they did not want you to have this information, they should have thought about this before entering into a relationship with you. Many children recognize that while living under your roof, they must do things your way.