The Lesser of Two Evils

[Scene: 2 men in car driving down a dark country lane at night. Both are rugged country types. RAY is driving. DAVE is seated next to him, fiddling with the radio.]

RAY: Whoa, did you see that?

DAVE: No I wasn’t looking. Wait. I don’t know. What was it?

RAY: We just passed this big old creepy house that was surrounded on three sides by a cornfield. CREEPY.

DAVE: No I didn’t see that. That’s no good though.

RAY: I for one would not want to live right next door to a cornfield. [Pauses, thinking.] Would you rather live next to a graveyard or a cornfield?

DAVE [without hesitation]: Cornfield, definitely. Easy.

RAY [glances quickly at DAVE]: What? Are you insane? Why is that easy? Acre for acre you’re talking the same amount of zombies.

DAVE: The children of the corn aren’t zombies. They’re not dead.

RAY: Still, they’re mindless killers who will stop at nothing. You can hardly make a distinction.

DAVE [considering this for a moment]: Agreed. But. As the graveyard zombies are by definition already dead, they would be much harder to kill. Whereas the children of the corn you can kill just like you’d kill any normal human. [Pauses, thinking, then nods to himself.] Yeah, definitely. I’d live by the cornfield.

RAY: Ah ah ah! But you’re forgetting something. If you’re fighting graveyard zombies you’re dealing with a known quantity. As you’re the first prey they’ll come upon, there will only be as many zombies as there are graves. And, additionally, you will only have to kill them again the one time. They won’t KEEP coming back if you burn or behead them or whatever. So,

DAVE [interrupting]: Are you thinking of vampires?

RAY: No, I’m thinking of zombies. Similar rules apply. And to continue if I may, my point is that if you elect to live next door to the graveyard you will only have to face off against an army of zombies once. On the other hand, you’re going to be looking at a fresh crop of children of the corn each summer. And every time they’re going to be more genetically advanced, more resistant to whatever it was you used to vanquish them the previous year. An upward battle, my friend. A war of attrition before you even made your first mortgage payment. No I’d say the smart money’s on living next to a graveyard.

DAVE [getting agitated]: No, because that first year what I do is I hire someone to cropdust the cornfield with radioactive arsenic, thereby contaminating their main food source for upwards of 25 years, not to mention the attendant withering of their genitals, not to

[Suddenly a ZOMBIE springs up in the back seat. The ZOMBIE wears the usual trappings, i.e. tattered suit, mussed hair, green and rotting flesh.]

ZOMBIE: Raaaaarrrrgh!!!

RAY and DAVE: Arrgggggggh!!!

[The car is silent for a moment, as the men wait for the ZOMBIE to make its next move. They continue driving, keeping their heads straight ahead in terror.]

ZOMBIE: Which way are you guys headed?

RAY [confused, glances nervously at DAVE for help]: Um. St. Louis? I guess?

ZOMBIE: Oh man, could you guys give me a ride to like Effingham or something? It’s on the way.

[RAY and DAVE glance nervously at each other again, then face stiffly forward again.]

DAVE: So, you don’t want to kill or eat us or anything?

ZOMBIE: Oh heck no, man. I just needed to get out of town so I snuck into your car back at that gas station.

[RAY and DAVE both nod, understanding.]

RAY [after a pause]: If you don’t mind my asking, why did you need to leave town?

ZOMBIE: It’s kind of embarrassing, actually, but basically ever since the children of the corn came to town they been kicking our zombie butts. They are some tough little suckers.

[RAY gives DAVE a “See I told you so” smirk.]

DAVE [angrily]: What was that? What did you just do?

RAY [feigning innocence]: What? What are you talking about?

DAVE: You gave me a look.

RAY: Well, I was right, is all.

DAVE: Well you don’t have to be so pleased with yourself.

RAY [contrite, after a pause]: I’m sorry.

DAVE: Mister Zombie, will you please tell Ray that I’m not speaking to him?

[ZOMBIE nods while RAY releases an exaggerated sigh of exasperation.]

RAY [looking at ZOMBIE in the rear view mirror]: I’m sorry you have to witness this. We always fight on vacation.