New journalist and internet columnist David Burris finally gets his first big story after the end of the Zombie War. David was thrilled his old college buddy, Stuart Bloom, had agreed to an interview. David's earlier stories were depressing reports of the decimation of the art world, not to mention museums and priceless pieces insufficiently guarded. Getting back to Pasadena, and the LA area, was rough. He cringed, thinking about the old apartment. Worse, David worried about his family and his childhood home. The Burrises mostly lived down in Orange County, CA. Being "behind the Orange Curtain" was good, at first. After a while, the Burris family abandoned their longtime home for a distant safe zone, hoping nothing would happen to their residence. Even if Zombies didn't reach much into the OC, the house could have been looted or occupied by squatters or both. San Diego had always been contested, right up till the end. CNN and other news agencies did a top notch job of covering urban battles, but suburbs and rural areas were often ignored for various reasons. It had not been widely reported yet what happened in the areas least hit by Zombies. Pasadena was right by LA, and of course was facing the full force of Zombie offensives.
"Hello David. It's been some time! Wow you're a Journalist now huh?"
"I am. The starving artist thing never worked too well for me, plus the Zombie War killed the art scenes. The remaining artists forsake originality for all things Zombie. It seems I made the right choice to go into journalism."
"So what did you do before the war?"
"I ran the Comic Book shop, the only one in Pasadena. I ran it right up to the point where panic set in."
"Before it reached our shores?"
"No, right when it reached the US, well the West Coast really."
"What did you do? Did you fight?"
"It would take a long time to explain what happened during that time. Did I, myself, fight? Not really, no. I was consumed with grief, about what was happening. After a few urgent phone calls to family, telling them to call me at anytime; nobody called. I can go into detail about them later. Things started to get bad right away. Many peoples plans fell apart. Martial law didn't help much. Even if I was told there were only so many zombies out there, there always seemed to be more than before. Those were the worst days."
"What about your good friends, the regulars who frequently bought comics and other wares from you?"
"You mean Leonard, Sheldon, and all those guys?"
"The Caltech people, yes."
"It's quite the story. Good, yet tiring and sad. I didn't always feel it, but things were improving right up till the end. Many people fought zombies, but only a few tipped the balance. Some lived. Many died. I'm lucky because of the many that died I didn't know most of them."
"Can you tell me what happened?"
"Bazinga! Three matches in a row!" Sheldon was enthused at his success in Triviador, a multiplayer flash game he had been playing late into Thursday night. Apparently it was an 'Anything can Happen' Thursday. The Gang was separated, doing their own thing that day. Leonard finally comes back to the apartment and sees Sheldon using his laptop while he cheers himself, while Sheldon is enjoying everything in His Spot even more than usual.
"Hey Sheldon. Don't you look happy? Whatcha doin'?"
"Oh hello Leonard. I'm playing Triviador. Just a fun, zazzy flash quiz game. Like Risk but it makes me zazzy!" Leonard looks at him funny.
"It's quite easy, much simpler than a decent game of Jeopardy. You know Jeopardy, the game Howard can't play because he's not a doctor. I mean Howard is an oompa loompa of a simpleton! Oh yes! Yet I'm undefeated! My first three matches are a spectacular blowout! Bazinga Bazinga Bazinga! Hat Trick!"
Sheldon clicks out so he can engage Leonard in conversation about what was going on. Leonard laughs a little as the insult against Howard finally gets processed.
"Oh yeah, Howard... that dumbass. Oh, Howard!"
"What about you, Leonard?"
"Oh you know, the usuall.." Leonard grinned ear to ear. "Getting laid with a random girl! Also having a bit of wine, knocking back a few beers, and a breast or two."
Sheldon looked down, grimaced, and put his right hand on his brow. "Oh, Leonard.. Leonard, Leonard. That is not your usual. Even if it was, I don't want to hear about it. I never have. Not that, anyway."
Leonard smiled in a drunken way and made an unusual expression with his arms. "Oh, Sheldon! Come on! It's better than playing kids at some dumb game!"
"I doubt kids are playing this game. Even if they are, they have no business answering questions about Mt. Fuji, old movies, and Alexander the Great!"
"So do you have anything good to talk about? Or are you just going to go sleep off your drunkenness?"
"Oh..ah... the tv reported something about..... something. I dunno. Kinda bad I guess. I was drinking so I don't know what they said. I was staring at my glass, and cleavage, while talking to her."
"Hey, ah, can I play? Or watch you play?"
"Alas, there is a ranking system so it would be randomized if we would play against each other at all. We really can't play. Just watch me."
"Ok. Maybe I'll help."
Leonard did manage to help. Betty Buckley was born in the 1940's.
"Thank you, Leonard. Pop Culture is not one of my strong suits. Though I still think you guessed."
The Spanish Civil War started in 1936, not 1937.
"I made a boo boo! I misclicked on that number pad!"
"Yeah, sure sure.. at least they put 1902. Some moron put 1970!" Leonard laughed. "Your answer wins!"
Of course, Mount Kilimanjaro is not 500 meters tall!
"Leonard, I entered it wrong, but I know that mountain is way taller than you!"
Leonard leaned over, overjoyed. "First off, I'm about 5 feet 7 and a half inches tall, not 500 meters. Secondly, that mountain is way more than 5000 meters tall! You only put 500! You had the stupidest answer that time! Bah ha ha!"
"Mt. Kilimanjaro is 5,985 meters tall. Shut it Leonard."
Leonard was about to fall asleep and Sheldon was getting tired also.
"Ooh Bazinga! Fourth match won! Well, time for me to get some sleep."
"Ah me too. I'm feeling like crap despite all the fun I had."
"Well, I'm feeling exuberant, yet tired. Tell me more about you feeling like crap tomorrow, Leonard. I would like that."
"On your desk in the morning." Sheldon glowingly exuded his cheerful mood while sitting in his spot.
"Go sleep Leonard. Let me sit alone and enjoy the exciting, timeless, penultimate thrill of powning Noobs!!!!! Dumb, stupid, mere mortal newbies in a game of smarts! Bazinga! I'm so zazzy."
Suddenly Leonard's mobile phone rang. "Sheldon! Pick up my phone man and tell me who is calling me at this nighty howard!"
Sheldon got up and picked the phone up off the floor. "Certainly Leonard." Sheldon's new therapy on Saturdays takes the place of him doing his own laundry. Leonard was carefully trained on how to do Sheldon's laundry, and Sheldon reveled in the occasional yelling he gave to his short spectacled friend. Sheldon's OCD and slight Aspergers syndromes were hard to manage, but he was at least less arrogant, if not more agreeable and slightly more sociable. Things were so bad Amy threatened to permanently end their relationship and their friendship, while Leonard threatened to move out. Sheldon's insistence on routine reached terrible new heights. But what broke Sheldon was being called an old man, not to mention how well everyone in the group knew him, how they could manipulate him to go to therapy anyway. Ironically, in return for going to therapy Sheldon got everything he wanted. He picked a good, agreeable doctor and his mom and friends paid for the extra therapy for "non-crazy" people. The debate is still out, but people tend to like the new "Zazzy" Sheldon more than the old stick-in-the-mud Sheldon.
"Leonard, it's Raj."
"Tell him to go fuck himself off. I'm definitelee a goin to a bed!!"
"Hello Raj. Mr. Zazzy Sheldon here!"
"Sheldon!? What the F dude? Give the phone to Leonard! I have to talk to him!"
"Well not so fast friend. Leonard is drunk off his own ass. He said and I quote.."
"Sheldon, I have to talk to Leonard! It is super important. Right NOW!!!!!!!!"
Sheldon yells, "Leonard! It's Raj and he says it's Super Important and He Has To Talk!!!!!!"
Leonard groans. "Ugh...ohh..agh... Fiiiine!!!! Gimme that!"
Leonard speaks loudly into the phone half-cocked: "What is it?"
"Dude! Have you and Sheldon NOT been watching any of the news?"
"What is this about? Ahhhhhh.."
"Zombies! Zombies overrun and fight my native India! My parents, cousins, family and friends all probably dead! I never felt worse. My Periinnts!! Meh!!! Bahh haw awwawwwwww".
Raj cries over the phone.
"Look Raj I'm very tired and I had alot to drink but even I am not going to buy that shit right now."
Raj sniffs. "Listen: Turn on CNN you DOUCHEBAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
*knock knock knock* "Sheldon! Sheldon! WAKE UP Sheldon!"
"Wheeeeeaaaaaauuutttt! I'm feeling more tired and less zazzy!"
Leonard snapped his fingers. "Up. Tv. CNN. Turn it On, go, now." Leonard said firmly.
"We're going to turn on CNN, Raj."
LIVE BREAKING NEWS OUT OF INDIA. ZOMBIES ARE REAL. ZOMBIES INVADED INDIA AND ARE OVERRUNNING THE COUNTRY. APPARENTLY A STRANGE RABIES VIRUS HAS RAISED THE DEAD AND INDIA IS DOING ALL IT CAN TO CONTAIN THE ZOMBIE OUTBREAK. THIS IS NOT A PRANK. THESE ARE LIVE PICTURES OUT OF INDIA OF ARMY TROOPS GUNNING DOWN ZOMBIES, HOLDING THEM BACK FOR THE TIME BEING. WE WILL BRING YOU THE LATEST FROM THE NEWSROOM. ZOMBIES: THE FIGHT FOR INDIA
"We're sorry Raj. We'll talk to you later."
"Yeah, you do that Leonard."
Leonard turned off the tv.