I had the strangest experience on the weekend while parking my car. The supermarket where I was parking makes you get a ticket when you park there. The first 90 minutes are free but after that you have to pay. I knew I was going to be longer than 90 minutes so I proceeded to put some money in the machine.
My money wouldn’t go all the way in – it seemed obvious that someone had jammed a coin further in. My money was still theoretically recoverable as I could reach the edge of the coin but not easily so. Being a cheap bastard, I put some effort into getting the coin out.
I’d been trying for about thirty seconds when a guy comes up and informs me that the machine’s broken. He has a repair dude type of uniform on so I assume he’s been called to fix it. He tells me there’s another ticket machine around the corner, I say fine but I want to get my money back first. He gets his screwdriver to work trying to lever out my dollar coin.
While this is happening a couple more people show up wanting a ticket. I turn and tell them the machine is broken and they’ll have to use the one around the corner. They don’t move. They’re still standing behind me waiting. So I repeat:
“This ticket machine is broken. There’s another one just over there, you’ll have to use that one.”
They don’t respond at all. They don’t go to the other ticket machine. They continue to stand there, slack jawed, with a glazed expression on their faces. I thought about this for a second. This was neither a difficult nor remotely abstract concept I was explaining. My explanation was very clear. Yet they were unable to comprehend. There was only one possible conclusion.
They were brain dead zombies. I was in the parking lot of the living dead.
I was torn. I could always test my zombie thesis by screaming in their faces “The fucking ticket machine is broken, will you fuck off and use the other one? You’re creeping me out!” Or I could simply cut to chase and shoot them in the fucking head before the stupid zombie bastards starting trying to eat my fucking brain.
At this point the deadlock was broken when the technician got my dollar back. I had what I wanted – I figured he could take on the zombies without me. He had a pretty formidable looking tool belt.