The Nose: We'd give our right arm to see zombies return to Tacoma

TheNose@thenewstribune.comApril 4, 2014 

Guess we won’t be seeing signs like this in Tacoma this year.


Zombies and zombie hunters of the South Sound have been cast adrift, homeless. All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Here we are in America, at the peak of the zombie cultural zeitgeist. And here we are in Tacoma, a vital sector of the Greater Cascadia Quarantine Zone.

Our city’s status as a thriving necropolis was solidified over the last two years with a zombie “festerval” and preparedness expo held in the Dome District.

Never had Tacoma seen so many sallow-faced, vacant-eyed members of the walking undead. (Not counting the ones we run into every morning at Starbucks.)

Alas, the Zombpocalypse won’t return in 2014, The Nose has learned after chewing the fat with event organizers.

They spilled their guts in an interview this week and said they’re taking a year off. Seems they can’t get the sponsorship they’d like from the city of Tacoma, nor the cooperation they want from the Tacoma Dome.

Which is a shame, really. Zombie festivals teach citizens essential survival skills such as how to purify water, evacuate a hot zone and perform the “Thriller” dance in a flash mob.

We always considered Tacoma to be a welcoming place for slow-moving masses who lumber stiffly down the street in the same direction, as if drawn by an unseen force.

Doesn’t that essentially describe the Daffodil Parade?

Fleshing out the details: The zombie fest woes began last year, organizers told us, when they tried to book the Tacoma Dome exhibition hall for their 2013 event.

Cheryce Clayton Shaudis and her husband, Michael Shaudis, say they got the runaround from Dome staffers — no easy feat, since zombies can’t run.

They were given a long list of prohibitions that would make it difficult to attract the living dead, the paramilitary crowd that hunts them and the vendors who sell stuff to them.

No Nerf guns, no replica firearms, no knives, no cleavage. (Apparently a zombie festival without cleavage is as desolate as a comic book convention without nerds.)

They ended up at a smaller venue, and the event was a washout. Turns out reanimated corpses don’t hold up well in September downpours.

This year, the Dome and the Shaudises both report having good-faith discussions, but the dates the zombies wanted were already booked.

The Shaudises find it ironic that the T-Dome is hosting a gun show later this month. It will be the first one held there since the late ’80s. But that’s a story for another time.

And cleavage? If that’s a rule, we sure didn’t see anyone enforcing it at the Miley Cyrus concert in February.

Kim Bedier, the city’s Dome director, told us there’s no double standard and definitely no anti-zombie bias.

“We treat everyone equally,” she said. “Dead or alive.”

Bachelor party central: We noticed a remodel going on near the highway onramp in the 10700 block of Pacific Avenue South. There’s a new sports bar called Pole Position.

Don’t worry, though. DreamGirls at Fox’s is still tucked in next door, preserving the “strip” in strip mall and upholding a different kind of pole position.

Keep living the dream, girls.

And stay classy, Parkland.

Those weren’t magic wands: Must’ve really felt like April Fools on Tuesday afternoon in the security line at the County-City Building.

The young women of the Daffodil Festival court — all 25 of them — had to be individually wanded by security guards before they could make their ceremonial appearance in front of the Pierce County Council.

Because you never know if a princess might be smuggling a shiv under all that yellow tulle.

Let’s just say it held up the line for a while.

Wands, part II: That was a mild distraction compared with the older man who inadvertently put on a striptease show at the second-floor building entrance a little later.

First he took off his belt, per security regulations. Then he walked through the scanner and set off the beeper — probably the metal in his hip, he said. So he was given his own royal wand treatment.

Right on cue, the man’s pants dropped to his ankles. He pulled them up, turned and addressed his audience waiting in line.

“Stick around for the show at 5,” he said.

Clearly, the guard said, there was no need for a patdown at that point.

The answer: Light blue.

The color of his boxers, that is.

Admit it, you wanted to know.

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