* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where it's all zombies, all the time, courtesy of Daniel Falk.

How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse Apocalypse

By:
falk.dan@gmail.com

There are many theories as to how the Zombie Apocalypse Apocalypse started. Some blame scheming Hollywood executives for playing God with a pile of dead screenplays. Others blame comedy writers for a string of ironic Zombie Apocalypse novels and survival guides. Others still blame aliens from outer space for turning the general public into creatures with an insatiable hunger for popular media content about creatures with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Regardless of how it started, or who’s to blame, it cannot be denied that the Zombie Apocalypse Apocalypse is upon us… and the only thing we can do now is survive.

Many people you knew and loved have been infected. Convinced that they must be missing out on something following the incessant release of zombie movies, TV shows, and comics, they took inadequate preparations to protect themselves. You can tell by the way they walk around in a stupor, moaning about how you should give the second season of The Walking Dead another shot because it actually gets good somewhere after the tenth episode. Forget about them. They are dead to you. Anyone who is willing to sit through ten episodes of utter garbage waiting for a television program to stop sucking clearly has no functional brain matter left.

Cardio

As some zombie themed content has stated about the Zombie Apocalypse, cardio is the key to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Apocalypse as well. When a former roommate starts hammering on your door, groaning about you acting in his Zombie Apocalypse web-series, the only way to escape is to climb out your window and hope to God you can outrun him.

Hideout

You’re going to need to find some place secure and isolated to wait this nightmare out. You should definitely get out of the city. Dense urban areas are a ripe breeding ground for zombie-themed flash mobs organized to promote the latest Resident Evil sequel. Stay away from small towns as well. You might think they’d be protected by their conservative values, but places like that produce their own kind of zombies.

Weapons

You’re going to want to be able to keep your distance. If you get too close you may accidentally find yourself laughing at someone’s hilarious “I heart Zombies” t-shirt — and the next thing you know, you’re one of them. Your best bet is a full metal jacket of some of your most devastating insults fired from a safe distance. Pitiless ridicule aimed directly into the infected brain is the only way to free someone from this post-apocalyptic obsession. I know you’re worried about losing friends, but your “friends” died the moment they put on zombie makeup and participated in the “Run For Your Lives” zombie-themed 5k race in Boston.

Work Together

Though it has been painful to lose so many people already, you need other survivors to thrive long-term. You’ll need them to watch your back while you sleep to make sure your ex-girlfriend doesn’t show up asking for feedback on her master’s thesis which studies the African origins of the zombie concept and its impact on modern popular culture. The best thing about working as a team is that if, despite all your precautions, you are infected and begin to turn, you have someone to put you out of your misery before you buy and, more importantly, actually READ a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

God willing, you will have made it through all the Halloween parties and the midnight screenings of George Romero movies and the stupid conversations about what some idiot did on bath salts. You and your companions will be all that is left to rebuild our civilization after it awakens from its fatuous collective obsession that has turned into the Zombie Apocalypse Apocalypse.

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where this week we are celebrating the many things we have to be thankful for. Such as Melissa Nott, whose first piece for us is about a beloved orphan girl who teaches us once again that most important of lessons, the danger of homonyms.

“I Ain’t Your Daddy Warbucks,” Said Brad E. Horbux

By:
m.nottschmitz@gmail.com

Who’s that knockin’ at my door? I’m freakin’ shredded and I got nothin’ left to give tonight. Whoever’s out there, she sure as heck missed her chance. I’m spent. No siree, Brad E. Horbux got nothin’ for any babe within a fifty-mile radius tonight.

I’ll just lie here with Star Trek on low and wait for my little hoochie caller to get the idea and scram. Criminy, I’m whipped. Wouldn’t have the energy for Deanna Troi if she climbed outta my TV right now in a babydoll negligee.

Dang, woman! Whoever you are, you got a determined fist. Fine. I’ll set down my Boones, roll offa this scratchy-yet-comfortable davenport and answer the door. But don’t expect no fashion show from Brad E. Horbux tonight. Ain’t got the energy to kick my zippered track suit out from under the laundry pile. Whoever you are, Miss Midnight Thang, it’s the Brad E. patchwork robe and mismatched sock treatment for you.

Whoa, little girl! You’re a bit on the puny side. I take ’em young, but not this young. Name’s Annie, huh? Well, Annie, what brings you to Brad E. Horbux’s door at this late hour? Ain’t your mama callin’ you or somethin’?

Got no mama, you say? Lookin’ for your Daddy Warbucks, you say? Honey, this ain’t 5th Avenue. This is West 55th Street, otherwise known as Hell’s Kitchen. I ain’t your Daddy Warbucks. I’m Brad E. Horbux.

Doggone it, Annie, stop that blubberin’. Ya got the wrong address, that’s all. No, ya can’t come in. Whoa, where’d ya learn to karate chop like that? Fine, okay, come in for a sec. Take a look around; you’ll see this ain’t no billionaire’s mansion.

Where’s my swimming pool? Aint’ got one, ya dopey kid. That’s my bathtub. Don’t touch that thing on the floor; it ain’t no deflated balloon. Crap, ya better get outta this bathroom before ya catch the plague and they throw me in jail. Gotta pee? Hold it. That’s what orphans are supposed to do.

I don’t care if you’re tired, Annie. Ya can’t lie down on my bed. Yeah, it’s in the shape of a heart. No, I don’t like Hello Kitty. Get offa them sheets; they’re filthy. All right, you can stretch out for a few minutes, but then ya gotta go. Heck yeah, those are my teddy bears. Heck no, they don’t have names. They’re props. Someday, God forbid, you’ll understand about a bachelor man’s props.

You want what? A reuben sandwich? I freakin’ don’t even know what that is, Annie. OK, I’ll rustle up somethin’ in the kitchen. That scrawny hind end of yours needs some padding. No, I didn’t say paddling. I ain’t that big a scoundrel.

Here ya go, ya effin’ arm twister. Saltines with margarine and bacon bits. Don’t turn that freckled nose up at me, young lady. Don’t be droppin’ no crumbs in my bed, neither. Last thing I need’s bed bugs. Had to wash every last blanket and sheet with detergent last time I got them critters.

Yeah, that’s a mirror on the ceiling. Because I like watching myself sleep, all right? I don’t have to explain my boudoir decor to you, ya ragamuffin. Come on, skedaddle. Outta my bedroom before someone calls the cops.

I mean it, get up. Pretty please with a maraschino cherry or whatever the sam heck it is you yard monkeys like to eat. I’ll let ya watch Star Trek on the davenport. That’s a good orphan. There ya go.

Listen, I don’t care if Daddy Warbucks has a gosh-darned movie theater in his house. This here nineteen-inch Zenith tube TV is a peachy keen piece o’ machinery, thank you very much. Now sit here on the davenport. When Star Trek’s over, you’re history, understand? I can’t have a scrap-bit kid spendin’ the night with me. No way.

What’s that scratching noise? Cripes, don’t open the door, ya dumb ankle biter. What’s this? Your dog? Ya brought a flippin’ fleabag mutt into the bachelor pad of Brad E. Horbux? Get that mangy varmint off my davenport! Don’t want no fleas biting my lady friends on the backside. All right, sure, I admit he’s adorable. Yeah, I suppose he could nibble a few bacon bits. But after Star Trek, both your ragged hineys are so freakin’ outta here.

Stop that singin’, would ya? There ain’t no maybe about it; ya ain’t stayin’ tonight. Whaddya mean, tomorrow? Me and you don’t got no tomorrow. Fine, sure, I’ll give you a hug. Hey, huggin’s kinda different when I’m not tryin’ to…oh, never mind. Can I do just one thing, Annie? Can I boing this red springy curl right here? Aw, thanks, Annie. Thanks.

Crap, you and this damn Sandy mutt are cuter than a coupla happy birthday cupcakes. Shoot, I guess you guys can stay the night. But first thing tomorrow, I’m locatin’ this Daddy Warbucks numbskull and dumpin’ your sorry keesters off on him.

Annie, quit that grinnin’. Quit stickin’ out that adorable chin; ya can’t sway me. Early tomorrow, you and the mutt are hittin’ the road. I mean it, I do. The two of you gotta scram, vamoose. Soon as the sun comes out.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where "The Game of Thrones" is not the only game being played. This is Brian McDermott's first time with us and we hope you will be gentle. More gentle than the Starks and Lannisters in any case.

If The Starks And Lannisters Had Played The Game Of Monopoly Instead

By:
bmcdermott@earthlink.net

Ned Stark sat beneath the weirwood tree wondering if he had been right to treat his bastard son so harshly. As the moonlight danced off the leaves, Lady Catelyn Stark knelt beside him and said the words he had been dreading. “Game night is coming.”

“Lord Stark,” said Tyrion, the lovable genius, dwarf, asshole Lannister, as he brought forth the die, “would you be so kind as to ask my brother to stop doing that to my sister, and instead jiggle his playing piece.”

Samwell Tarly blushed, “I held a milk-maiden’s hand once, but never that part of a woman.”

The Starks and Lannisters were seated at the great table in the large hall at Castle Winterfell. There had been an uneasy peace between the two houses since the last game night. Lady Stark still bore the bruises and shame of the Twister incident.

Jaime Lannister leaned over the playing board, one hand upon his sword hilt, the other clutching a small metallic Scotty dog. “Left foot green” he whispered to Lady Catelyn, then cast the die and moved his piece three spaces, warily eyeing the house on his new square. “From whose house is this house?” he demanded.

“Marvin Gardens is Ironborn!” shouted Theon Greyjoy, son of Balon.

Cersei put her hand on her brother Jaime’s shoulder and smiled at Theon. “Lord Greyjoy, in lieu of monetary payment we offer this deed to the B&O Railroad and my niece.”

Lady Stark could not hold her tongue, “But the Lannisters have already pledged their niece’s hand to our bastard son in return for Water Works and The Electric Company!”

As someone pushed one of the smaller Stark children out a window, a buxom serving wench brought fried salted cornmeal shaped in small triangles with a ramekin of finely chopped spiced tomato and a six-pack of Keystone Light. Two gratuitously naked women passed without advancing the plot.

It was Ned Stark’s roll. Ned turned to King Robert Baratheon, his old friend. “Your grace…” he began. Robert stopped him.

“Dammit Ned, don’t be so formal. I was your friend before I was your king. Refer to me as you have since we were children.”

“Okay, Dragon Dick, I need your council,” Ned said heavily. “I am torn between two paths. Do I roll this die in hopes that the outcome will finally bring peace to our houses, or do I behead the Lannister imp just because it’s been like a half hour since I beheaded someone?”

“I don’t care anymore Ned.” King Robert stood up and swung his axe deep into the table. “Someone bring me a whore! At least we all got laid playing Twister — my apologies to Lady Stark, I pray you’ll be walking more stoutly soon.”

Suddenly, a horn blew in the distance, shaking the castle walls. Ned Stark jumped to his feet and drew the ancient sword ‘Ice’, thusly named by the first Lords of Winterfell because it sounded really awesome.

The horn sounded again.

“Twice means the rider comes bearing an item.”

The sound rang out a third time.

“Thrice means the item is…”

The massive hall doors flew open. In a gust of powdery white and bitter cold, John Snow, the bastard son of Lord Ned Stark, entered, cried out “Yahtzee!” and placed the box on the table. A minor female character bared one of her breasts. Jaime mounted Cersei. A whore fisted Tyrion. Robert was gored by a wild boar and began to choke on his own bile and vomit, then on Samwell Tarley’s bile and vomit.

And once again, for all of Westeros, the game had changed.

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where every reader is a potential target. And we mean that in a good way. Assuming that Google ads that are way too personal are good. This is Casey Rand's first piece for us.

Hyper-Targeted Google Ads

By:
casey.rand@gmail.com

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Listen up, Glenn. If you act fast, Jennifer will never find out you’re not actually a tenured classics professor who “took advantage of the volatile housing market,” but a small-time crook who’s been squatting in a model home and wearing ill-fitted suits lifted from the neighboring dry cleaner. Enroll today.

 

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Well, not everything, are we right, Lizzie? Realistically, we can’t give you reassurance that Roger will snap out of this delusional artistic phase and go back to his finance gig. But to be fair, that was already an issue when you accepted his proposal, so really, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. If you need centerpieces, you know who to call.

 

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