I woke up this morning and found a chicken foot in my purse.

Perhaps I should explain myself. Last night, being Friday the 13th and all, we decided it would be a good idea to dress up like zombies. I mean, why not?

First, remember that I am in Columbia, South Carolina. I have found some cool kats here to hang with, but this is a fairly small, conservative southern city. The longer I’m here, the more interesting individuals I find, but for the most part, this is a very traditional place where the general public doesn’t understand the burning need to act goofy.

The plan: get dressed up like zombies, go to a rock show at The Whig – the local hipster-ish bar, which is located underneath the ABC newsroom across from the Capitol building – get drunk, get drunker, get rowdy . . . and eat some brains.

And of course, one cannot just be a zombie. Zombie-ness of it’s own accord is so blasé. Everyone had to be a different kind of zombie. Our party of five included fairy tale zombie, hippie mama zombie voodoo madame zombie, Yankee’s fan zombie (a sure way to be the world’s most hated zombie), military private-zombie first class, and then there was me – the zombie hooker.

zombie-009-2.jpgI left the hotel dressed in completely inappropriate clothing, including a very short dress with a clear vinyl window in the chest, snagged garter belt stockings and platform boots. Perfect! The funniest part about the whole outfit is that I didn’t even have to go shopping for any portion of it. Remember, I flew into SC one month ago with only one rolling duffle bag – with a tent and sleeping bag crammed inside, leaving room for very few items of clothing – and one box of work stuff. I’d packed the dress and hose because of Flipside, so I figured I should maximize the usage of all the items I’d lugged out here with me – thus, the zombie hooker was born.

There was an email floating around from the band that encouraged costumes, but I had no idea what to expect. I’d gotten off work a bit late, so by the time I got to Michelle’s place to apply the zombie make-up, it was late. I didn’t have time to apply any rotting flesh to my face, but by the time I was done smearing on the acrylic paint, adding some black lipstick and some blood, I was satisfied with the look.

I’ve noticed every time I go to The Whig, I get the stranger stare-down. I think this is because everybody there knows everybody else. By the time we arrived to The Whig, the band was already playing. I was the first to walk in the door. I flung it open and tromped right on in with gusto. My South Carolina Zombie Posse poured in behind me with a flurry of flashbulbs, feathers, hollow eyes . . . and a thirst for brains.

No one else in the entire place was dressed up – except for us and the band. I mean one guitar player was wearing a dress and the trumpet player wore a sparkly cape, so really, does that even count? We proceeded to execute our plan anyway. The band was awesome, performing completely improvised music and songs for several hours and they sounded great. This is not easy to do and I’m impressed with the quality of these musicians.

hole_zombie.jpgWe indeed got drunk and drunker, danced and created much merriment and generated lots of gawks from Friday night revelers. After awhile I pseudo-forgot I was in zombie hooker attire and became comfortable stepping into the role of watching people watch me. This proved to be an interesting people study. I find that you can be in a dark bar in a conservative small town, show up dressed in a manner that some may find offensive, act with complete confidence anyway and people kind of accept it after the first 20 minutes when the shock wears off.

Some people asked “Why are ya’ll dressed like that?”

We answered, “Br-r-rai-i-ins!” and just kept dancing.