Zombies on the Grass, Alas
So on October 31, this past Halloween Sunday, Cape Town became infested with zombies. Well, cooler than that - people who had all pre-agreed and promised on the Internet to DRESS UP and PRETEND to be zombies and mingle in public. And stay in character.
Pictures by Danelle Malan
At twelve o’clock, an alleged 150+ zombies gathered in Company Gardens, and lurched wee-wee brains-brains all the way to the Waterfront, where they proceeded to creep out everyone in between mostly drinking beers and groaning. I was there. It was great. I was giddy for an entire day. Even my friends who, earlier, were extremely angry at me for showing up at their place before twelve where I insisted everyone shower and sit down so I could apply some makeshift zombie make-up on them.
I’m incredibly proud of the Cape Town geeks for going through with this! It even made news - it’s on Page Four of Monday’s Argus.
So I sent the Zombie King, Dieter Wambach, a Facebook message and asked if he wouldn’t mind parting with a few words on the subject of Zombies, and how one herds them into an obedient fun-run. And because we live in an amazing age, we did it over Skype!
Because I am kind of a jackass I had to reset my Skype password, as I’d forgotten it. I pretty much have to do this every single time I use Skype because I forget my idiotic mnemonics, all the time. And when I logged on I excitedly-accidentally called Dieter, instead of just typing at him like I’d meant to do the entire time. I wanted to type the conversation because I could just copy and paste the whole thing and put it on the internet and take creative credif for it and call it Journalism. Thanks, Dieter!
Here’s where our conversation first began making sense:
[9:54:38 PM] Dieter Wambach says:
lol, well you can ask now
[9:54:47 PM] Dieter Wambach says: I might take some time to respond though :P
[9:55:05 PM] Kirby Kruger says:
Sure! I’m just going to fire a couple of related and random questions at you then?
[9:55:13 PM] Kirby Kruger says: And you can take your sweet time.
[9:56:32 PM] Kirby Kruger says: So, what gave you the idea dn follow-through to organize a zombie walk? And how did it get as big as it did?
[10:06:53 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Well, it started off on the 16th if September with me wanting to use my left over gore make up from last Halloween. So I started an event for a zombie walk, as I love zombie movies and had always wanted to participate in a zombie walk. I invited my friends and said they could invite their friends. After a week I had a hundred people, by week 2 I had 200 people and at week 4 I was on about 600 people confirmed. I had only expected about 30 or so and at this point is was getting very close to Halloween. So I asked around and it turned out I had to get an events permit. Now never having done this kind of thing, I did some research and found the events permit people at city council and sent them an email.Within 5 minutes I got a reply from them and got the permit application emailed to me.
[10:07:55 PM] Dieter Wambach says: 27 pages later, meetings with the Table Bay Police, V&A Senior events coordinators and some help from my friends and family, zombie walk was born
[10:09:04 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Wow! So it was a totally formal event! Did you know there was this flash mob in New York once where like a hundred people showed up and worshipped this life-size T-Rex robot in a Toys R Us?
[10:11:44 PM] Dieter Wambach says: No, I never heard of that. But Zombie walk was going to be a flash mob, but I think police would not have appreciated it. I did however see a subway train disco and a mass freezing in time in Thibault Square.
[10:13:07 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Oh yeah? In Cape Town? I love that.
[10:13:19 PM] Kirby Kruger says: How many people actually showed up for the walk?
[10:14:18 PM] Kirby Kruger says: I confess we cheated and drove. Our rotten flesh was not immune to cancer, or to being out-of-shape little chubsters, it turned out.
[10:15:02 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Well, I stoped counting at 65. But I think it was close to 150- 200 people. I think the heat and the parties the night before kinda ruined everyone. Next year I’ll make it a bit later in the afternoon :P
[10:15:48 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Wow, that’s such a crazy turnout. It’s like the Undead Woodstock.
[10:16:51 PM] Dieter Wambach says: The best was after the walk, about 10 of us went into the mall... in full zombie character. Chased people around trying not to laugh as they screamed like 10 year old girls
[10:17:21 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Going back to the "Oh yeah in Cape Town" both were Youtube clips
[10:17:42 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Ah
[10:18:44 PM] Kirby Kruger says: But yeah, I loved that people stayed in character. One of my friends is a recluse who never leaves the house. But he spent the whole day outdoors! Smiling! And didn’t bitch about not being on the internet once! So, thanks for that. My friend is one step closer to being mentally healthy again.
[10:18:59 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Although he did quite seriously talk about brains almost the entire day. Still, baby steps.
[10:21:01 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Let me ask you a bit about you - what do you do? Or study? Or wish you did?
[10:23:12 PM] Dieter Wambach says: hahahahaha, well tell him I’m planning a flash mob with pirated fighting ninjas, maybe he’ll join us for that.
[10:23:28 PM] Dieter Wambach says: I never studied, started working right after highschool
[10:24:04 PM] Dieter Wambach says: I now work as a freelance cast coordinator in the film industry and when I’m not doing that I’m working at a casting agency.
[10:24:22 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Never really knew what i wanted to be, so I never studied.
[10:24:32 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Still don’t know what I want to be
[10:25:31 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Rad! So you know the right kind of people who look undead enough to not cramp the style of the undead, huh?
[10:27:15 PM] Kirby Kruger says: And my two cents about knowing what you want to be: that’s bullshit. Nobody escapes alive, so just concentrate on having an awesome time being you and you’re doing okay. But now I’m going to ask questions again. Were you a zombie all weekend?
[10:27:44 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Or did you have a secret Dracula identity at a Friday party maybe. It’d be okay if you were.
[10:28:36 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Hahhahaha, I guess you could say that.
[10:28:51 PM] Kirby Kruger says: You were a secret Dracula?
[10:30:25 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Well actually I felt like a real zombie on Sunday, I had been at Skazi (Israeli Trance act) until 8am, left the party went straight home, showered and did my make up and went straight to Zombie walk. Wasn’t a secret Dracula, sorry to dissapoint hahaha.
[10:31:48 PM] Kirby Kruger says: So you were in character! You ARE the King of Zombies.
[10:32:45 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Well, I chased a Jebus around on at a different costume’d event, and I guess pretty much he started the whole Undead trend, huh.
[10:33:34 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Which brings me to an important question I ask a lot, should zombies lurch or run?
[10:37:44 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Well someone called me a "Zombie Messiah" I like that term.
Ooooooh that’s a toughy, I’d definately have to say lurch. It’s sneakier, it also makes more sense... they are rotting after all.
But there’s something about a sprinting zombie that gives me shivers down my spine.
[10:40:22 PM] Kirby Kruger says: I know, the Hyoo-man race is fucked if the Undead can keep running. I saw this zombie movie where every piece of every zombie would stop at nothing to kill! This one guy was throttled by Undead Intestines. Can you imagine a disembodied colon creeping around your throat? Which brings me to my next question - if a zombie bites a werewolf, does the werewolf become a zombie or does the zombie become an Undead werewolf?
[10:43:16 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Science points towards undead wolfman hahahaha, but that’s after the werewolf rips the zombie to shreds.
[10:45:08 PM] Kirby Kruger says: So does that cancel out the silver bullet thing? Because I think that’s a frikkin’ stupid rule. It’s like gremlins not being allowed to eat after midnight. When does "after midnight" END? Okay, my questions are drawing to a close. I see on the Facebook fan page you made, you’re hoping to raise money for charity next year!
[10:46:00 PM] Kirby Kruger says: So, what kind of charities would you be looking at helping out?
[10:48:34 PM] Dieter Wambach says: I would think a siver bullet to the brain could do the trick.
I think it’s between midnight and sunrise, but you make a good point.
I’m hoping to donate the money equally between the Amy Biel foundation who help disadvantaged children through music and African tails, who help abused and abandoned dogs. I know someone from them and she really works hard.
[10:50:14 PM] Kirby Kruger says: That’s really, really awesome. Well, Dieter, you’ve done something awesome with the internet and your spare time and you made the news. Congratulations, you should be proud, for serious.
[10:51:14 PM] Dieter Wambach says: I’m just glad people had fun, it made it worth all the effort.
[10:51:37 PM] Kirby Kruger says: I really think they did. Well, WE did.
[10:51:43 PM] Kirby Kruger says: And with that, thank you for taking the time to answer my goofy questions, this has been a fun interview! I look forward to your ninja pirate mob! (Arrrrr you... going as a pirate or a ninja?)
[10:52:06 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Pirate :P
[10:52:25 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Pirates have more fun ;)
[10:52:34 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Pirates DO, don’t they?
[10:52:49 PM] Dieter Wambach says: They get rum and wenches :D
[10:53:13 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Right?? What do ninjas get? Bean curd and celibacy, yeah?
[10:53:17 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Fuck ninjas.
[10:54:01 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Anyway Dieter, you’re a rad dude, thanks. This’ll hopefully go up on www.AltEye.co.za before the end of the week!
[10:54:24 PM] Dieter Wambach says: Great, feel free to post the link on the fan page
[10:54:49 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Will do so!
[10:55:27 PM] Kirby Kruger says: Thank you, and good night! :)
Okay? So that happened. That totally friggin happened. And if you’ve read the article carefully you’ll know you should be excited about the secret pirate/ninja mob. Keep your ears pricked up and carry on dicking around on Facebook at work for clues.
Visit Dieter’s Zombie Walk Events page here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=144779168897529
And his noble Zombie Walk FAN page, here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Zombie-Walk-Cape-Town/173373109346471