Saturday, January 31, 2009

Zombies Invade Texas. Do You Have a Zombie Escape Plan?

Zombies are invading Austin, Texas, and not the cool musical kind that sang "She's Not There" in the 60s.

This past Thursday, January 29, as rush hour motorists made their way to work, the electronic roadside construction signs warned "Caution! Zombies Ahead!" and "Nazi Zombies! Run!!!" and urged people to "run for cold climates."

According to a story on KXAN News, Austin Public Works is up in arms (disembodied arms?) about this.

"Even though this may seem amusing to a lot of people, this is really serious, and it is a crime," said Austin Public Works spokesperson Sara Hartley. "And you can be indicted for it, and we want to make sure our traffic on the roadways stays safe."

Hartleys said this is a class C misdemeanor in Texas. She also said "and" a lot.

And while this incident was funny – although Hartley said it was dangerous, since these signs are for road safety – I think the local media was actually a little funnier than the incident itself.

WKMG 6's website had the headline "Texas Road Signs Warn Of Zombie Attack: Hackers Change Electronic Signs In Apparent Prank."

Apparent prank? Really, you think so? When the news uses words like "apparent," it means "it seems this way to us, but we're not going to commit completely, because we could be wrong."

Meanwhile, KXAN's site had – dear God, I hope it is – a joke call to action on their site:
Do you believe in zombies? Do you have a zombie escape plan? Let us know what you think about zombies by participating in our message board.

Some of the responses are hysterical. Those Texans are a funny bunch.

I spent nearly a year-and-a-half working for the State Department of Health in the Public Health Emergency and Preparedness Response. We were in charge of the public health response to any kind of bioterrorist attack including anthrax, pan flu, and even nuclear attack. Never in my time there did we discuss zombie attacks.

Of course, we don't have anything to worry about in Indiana, because zombies only attack warmer climates like Texas, and anywhere Michael Jackson is.

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