I wake up in pitch darkness. There's a huge hole in my skull and there's something in there that wobbles when I finger it. My body aches all over and my shirt is torn open around an enormous sword wound. And to cap it all, I'm going to have to claw my way through two inches of solid oak and six feet of soggy earth.

Sounds OK to me! What people don't realise is that undead people are the happiest people on Earth. That's why they're so keen on getting living people to join their ranks - because they're extremely ethical, marvellous humanitarians who want to share their incredible good fortune. So why does it kick arse to be undead?

1. Immortal

Yeah, obviously. Living forever may well get a bit dull eventually but at least you've got enough time to do all the things you want to do. Write a best-seller, visit Fiji, climb Everest, translate Nietzsche into Ancient Hebrew ... although admittedly you'll have to do all that with your arms out in front of you, moaning like a shilling whore and eating people's brains. But everyone whose brain you sucked down would also become immortal, so they'd get to climb Everest or whatever too. Just think how grateful they'd be. And there aren't many people who can honestly say that their children's children have died of old age. It's a neat conversation point.

2. Invulnerable

I love those scenes in films like The Crow or Terminator where some cocky smart-arse human being tries to pick a fight with our immortal hero, who then goes on to whip their posteriors from here to Judgement Day. Only invulnerable people can walk into a redneck bar, nekkid as the day they were born, and still have their dignity after leaving (as well as some additions to their finger collection). And it's also a very strong addition to a CV, especially when applying for dangerous jobs. "So, Mr. Yahtzee, this job involves prolonged exposure to radioactive materials and toxic waste. Will you be able to handle that?" "Well yeah, I'm invulnerable." Actually it'd go more like "So, Mr. Yahtzee, this job involves - what are you doing? Get off me! AARGH! GET YOUR TONGUE OUT OF MY EAR!" "GRRR! BRAINS!!! BRAINS!!!!!"

3. Easy removal of body parts

Charity is its own reward. The people down at the organ donor's office will probably become your best friends. Not only will you be able to easily remove a kidney, spleen, appendix or bone marrow for other people to use, you could just pluck 'em all out and hand them over right there in the waiting room, saving heaps of dosh on expensive surgery. Come to think of it, you could also hand over your heart, lungs, liver and probably brain, too, since you are technically dead. You could also snap off extremities for everyday use, like when you're hosting a fancy party and suddenly run out of chippolatas (Disgusted groans from the audience). Suddenly unarmed combat takes on an exciting new lease of life when you can yank off a leg and beat someone to death with it.

4. Acting career

Hollywood people are crying out for artists who can come up with decent zombie make-up. But here's you, who doesn't need any make-up at all! When word gets around that there's someone who can pull his face off willy-nilly, acting work will come pouring in. Whether it be Zombie no. 4 in whatever new Dawn of the Dead sequel they're coming up with, or as Freddy Kreuger's stunt double, or as the latest head villain on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, there's no-one who can create the genuine undead bearing like a genuine undead. Plus you could act as warm-up man for the audience, going through your famous practical rendition of 'Dem Bones Dem Bones'.


1. Decomposition

You're a walking corpse kept alive by some bizarre black magic, but you're not getting any younger and no-one's told Mother Nature that your body doesn't want to go back to dust right this minute. So even if you did get a great acting career, you'd have to rely on your lower jaw not dropping off during a tricky piece of dialogue, or your leg not suddenly snapping at the knee when a dog scampers past. Eventually you'd have to face up to this and either try and employ some person to follow you round with a wheelbarrow and a tube of superglue or just climb back into the coffin, pull the dirt back over your head and start counting sheep.

2. No sex life

Don't really need to expand on this one, do I? Though I am reminded of this rather unpleasant joke:

Q. What did the leper say to the prostitute?
A. You can keep the tip.

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