The air conditioning was on the fritz as the conference room became very warm, making the older man forget why he had kept his jacket on all day. As he slid it off, the other men in the meeting noticed the ironing marks on his shirt and tried to comfort him as he broke into tears.
It had been three years since “Z Day,” when a Jane Doe was wheeled into a small Midwestern hospital snarling and foaming at the mouth. If only they had quarantined her, perhaps all could have been avoided. But the first doctor to examine her was a married man, and the fact that the woman had no pulse yet hyperactive brain activity simply didn’t alarm him.
Only after she had bitten several people did the seriousness become apparent, as every female in the hospital became a zombie within a few days. The Y chromosome was the only thing immune to this new virus, which spread like wildfire. Within 36 months, every female on the planet was a raving-mad zombie, or “Shombie” as they came to be known.
An emergency meeting of the president and Congress was called. “Nuke ‘em all,” the leading conservative senator yelled. But when it was pointed out that there were no women to replace these and that disposing of them would effectively be the end of the human race, the conservatives came up with other plans. “Put them all along the border. A human fence of meat-eating Shombies will deter illegal immigration.”
The liberals could offer no better ideas, only coming up with a plan to raise taxes to fund a program called Shombie Security. In the end, they did manage to draft Emergency Measure 814, which made it illegal to harm them. The NRA passionately protested, noting that even though a bite would not infect a man, several Shombies could overtake a guy and make a meal of him. But in the end, the law was passed and it was decided that men should simply try to avoid the mall, shoe stores, and beauty salons.
Certain industries were hit hard. Jewelry stores became a thing of the past; ESPN bought out the shopping networks and it was no secret that Victoria’s lingerie business went kaput. Oddly enough, companies making big screen TVs, motorcycles, four-wheelers, and boats, posted record sales. McDonalds even tried to capitalize, offering a Shombie Happy Meal, which included a toy for junior as well as a clean pair of underwear for dad.
The GBT (Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community, although they had lost their “L,” still seem to grow. Earth had been transformed into a world of frustrated men, as three years without sex even taught single men what it was like to be married. Only men who had opted for gender reassignment surgery retained a woman’s natural appearance and the all-male congress realized these people might be in danger and relocated them all to a secret base that only they had access to –- for their protection, of course.
Finally some scientists developed the first possible cure. They took a Shombie and began an IV drip of the new formula, which had been derived from the Y chromosome. As the days passed, the snarling subsided and the patient began to display a slow pulse. The body temperature and blood pressure also stabilized. It was all very promising.
After a week, they began to remove the bandages and were elated to see that the hand and arm were a perfect pinkish tone, although they appeared to be a little swollen. Finally they removed the bandages from the face and everyone in the room stood there in awe.
The patient did not know where they were or what was going on as they looked around the room at all the faces with expressions of shock and disappointment. Finally, in a rather deep voice, the patient said, “What the hell are you gawking at? Someone get me a beer!”