Assessing scientifically the parent zombie epidemic

Hey team Z - I've spent the last week in my lab experimenting with ways to assess scientifically the parent zombie epidemic. A few of you sent in suggestions on where I should start, thanks for that and as I promised I should publish my own results first, so here's where I'm up to...

Method:

Expose the suspect zombie parent to the HCI test. That's the Human Characteristic Index test. It's an actual thing. I developed this Index myself but it's a work in progress so add your own freak tweaks as you need. 

HCI is usually measured on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest connection to still having human connection. If you apply this test and your parent scores an average of 3 or less, it's time to take action (more on that in a later blog, I'm still working out what to do, hey i've got a lot of homework!)

Experiment:

In controlled conditions in the kitchen I exposed the first suspect (Mum) to repeated HCI criteria. I asked a series of questions about normal everyday things that Mums should know. 

Question #1: What's for breakfast? 
Subject answer: Subject chose to decline this question by staring blankly at me
Analysis: It's possible she didn't hear me, but I scored her only 1

Question #2: Is there TOMATO soup for breakfast? 
Subject answer: Zooooup!
Analysis: Suspect responded with a repeat of a word rather than actually answering the question, smart move, score 5

Question #3: Where's your hand? 
Subject's answer: Subject responded by putting a fake detached hand on the kitchen table and pointing to it, and grunting. 

D37_3562_Mum Hand copy.jpg

Analysis: This is highly suspect behaviour and either the subject is playing a pre-Halloween joke on me or she has just taken off her hand 🤔. Either way that's not normal because Halloween is still weeks away so score of 2. 

Question #4: The answer to the universe is 42. What is the question? 
Subject answer: Subject chose to remain silent and pointed to the cupboard where we keep the tomato soup. Classic parent-possible-zombie tactic to avoid difficult and near impossible questions from genius children. Score 3. 

Question #5: Can I have pizza and ice cream for dinner and stay up until 11pm to watch the X Factor? 
Subject's answer: Grrrrrrrr!
Analysis: A fairly normal answer to this question which I have regularly asked under non-controlled conditions so score of 8. 

The average score is 3.80 so my final analysis would be to put this parent under close watch and move to the HCI interrogation level 2 later in the week. 

Feel free to adapt this test- or use my specially researched questions- and report back with your scores. 

Until next time.... 

They're coming! And what can you do?

Team, we need to regroup and talk. 

It's looking like the Zombie apocalypse is coming. No way around that. I know some of you have talked to your parents, and yes, earned the typical blank stares. But the footage you're sending in has all the indicators of an undead plague. 

I've taken blood samples from my own parents in my science lab. I have advanced science skills - practically a medical degree - so I'm not suggesting you do that but I can pretty much tell that yup, they still bleed. But not much more than that. So no, don't try that at home. 

But I do have some good news.  There are a few ways I think we can delay the onset of the zombification process. A few hints that you guys have collated seems to show we can keep the life in those parents just that little bit longer: a secret poison concocted by the parents themselves. 

We've all noticed these creatures are at their weakest at sunrise. But when they make all of the noisy machine sounds, or there's a kettle boiling and they use this mysterious black powder originating from far shores and mix it with water these parents bear signs of life. For a moment. They call it coffee, but I think there might be more to it. How do we know it's ACTUALLY coffee? 

We all know that the rudiments of consciousness mean that the zombies just continue doing what they've always done. Without thinking. Like their 'jobs'. They don't know why they go, but there is evidence that there are whole office buildings full of them. Pushing papers from here, to there, and back again. 

As your zombies make their move down the driveway towards their car every morning, try to change their routine. Have them access parts of the brain that lie dormant. I suggest constructing an obstacle course between the front door and the car to see their reaction - I personally like to use Wheelie Bins.  Go for it, report back! 

Finally, nothing brings a zombie parent back to life quicker than changing the password on their smartphone. Or the home screen language (Icelandic is my favourite). You know it's true #crueltobekind. 

My final bit of advice after trying all of these is to find your best set of runners. Coz at that point.... You're probably going to need to run and hide awhile. 

Watch this space and let me know if anything weird is happening in your home. 

It's going Global

Thanks for coming back. I'm glad you see that we need to talk. We need to stay on top of this. 

Here's where I'm up to: I've started a secret investigation into the possible existence of 'exanimates' in the Country. That's another way of saying supernatural 'undead people' in case that helps. Test #1: My parents weren't responding to normal bait. Like I was not keeping my Mathletics updated and they didn't CARE. They used to completely be on my back about completing tasks. Now, I'm three months behind. But zip, nada, nothing. I said, "quantum mechanics needs me more" in my best teenage voice. Mum just groaned and tried to switch me off with the TV remote. What is that?? I abandoned Test #2 with Dad because he was in the bathroom for - well, hours - and I needed to get to school. 

Anyway, I've heard from a few of you, thanks to those who wrote back to me. And, yeah you're right. I think it might be happening all over the world. You might need to do your own tests. Some of you have sent in evidence of parents doing things only a zombie would be capable of. Keep that evidence coming. 

I've started collating a heat map of occurrences. I'll keep this updated. But honestly, Australia and Ireland, you're head of the class. 

Anyone out there with super sciency skills, come at me. We're a team now. 

Do you think your parents are undead as well? Is it a plague that's on the rise?

Great, got that working. Sorry for the spook. It’s what’s necessary just now. But we need to talk. I can’t give you my real name. Mainly because I’m not legally old enough to host a channel here, but also, I need to keep this all under wraps and I can’t identify anyone in my family.

Just call me…Hawksmoor. If you can work that one out then that’s pretty cool. If not..well let’s just get onto the important stuff.

I’m sending out this ‘message in a bottle’ because I think this is information you all need to know. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way but we have to keep it our little secret for now. Until I get all the facts in, theories proved – scientifically based - and all that. I think we’re on the verge of a major malfunction with our parents. Suddenly, all their actions make complete sense, why they go to the same jobs every morning. The same shops, pushing those dumb trolleys along and buying the same dumb food every week. Are you getting it yet?

That’s right. Zombies. Zom. Bies. You first heard it here. Something is turning our parents into zombies. I’m not wanting to spook anyone, but if there is a zombie apocalypse due anytime soon, we need to be prepared.

Watch this space. We need to talk.