When I arrived at work this morning, zombies were lined up in front of the plate glass window outside. Each was sitting on a paint can or milk crate. To the degree that zombies have facial expressions, theirs weren’t conspicuously hostile. I was pretty confident that they hadn’t come up with the idea of sitting out in the hot sun on the narrow sidewalk in front of Chicken Soup Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
“Hey, guys.” I started to unlock the door.
As if on cue, they each reached behind them, and grabbed what appeared to be sticks and pieces of carboard. This action was accompanied by the soundtrack of their eerie, excited wheezing.
What they had with them were placards, I guess you’d call them, signs mounted on sticks. The zombies held them aloft and looked in my direction to see what I might do. Two were just a bunch of scribbles that I couldn’t read. But three of them had neatly stenciled letters. One read, “Ask me about Paulette.” Another said, “Chicken Soup Heals, but This Joint Steals.” And then there was this one. When carried by a zombie, believe me, it could definitely deter my customers: “Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture made me what I am today.”
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.