To Whom It May Concern:

There is nothing glamorous about the end of the zombie apocalypse. There is no moment when the sun shines and the birds start chirping again. There is no parade. There is no dramatic exit music playing as you start a new life with your smoking hot female co-star. No old man looks off into the distance with a tear in his eye. And there is no zombie rat lurking in the alley, offering a threat of a sequel.

There aren’t any of these things, because tragedy never really ends. Tragedy isn’t a story, with a beginning a middle and an end. Tragedy happens. It never un-happens. Just like any good thing we bring into the world, tragedy lives on as long as we do.

But people get over tragedy. People justify and blame and repent and pray and try to understand, all so that they can forget. And just like the tragedy itself, the forgetting has to start somewhere.

And that is where you come in.

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I sat there at my desk in my empty office at the District Department of Undead Management reading this letter attached to the contact list and instructions sent to me by the Mayor. Now that things are under control, it was apparently my job to start calling people and telling them it’s safe to come home. I need a raise.

“Hello, Mr./Ms. So and So? This is Robert Dingle from the Government. I am calling to let you know that it is now safe to return to the District. All of the remaining Undead have been contained and are being treated. We anticipate those that remain to make a full recovery. If you are missing a loved one, please file an affidavit with the District Department of Undead Management. Please take the time to pass this message along to fellow residents and co-workers. I know the past few months have been hard on you, just know that the Government is fully operational and has everything under control. Thank you, and have a blessed day.”

That was my script. Over the next seven hours I repeated that hundreds of times, from Mr. Aardvark to Ms. Xylophone. It became second nature.

“Yes, ma’am, the power is on. In fact, it never went out.”

“No, I do not know if anyone has been feeding your dog the past week.”

“No, I’m sorry, I haven’t heard from your daughter.”

“Yes, sir, that’s right. Zombies. I know, pretty wild right? They’ve been attacking humans in DC for the past few months. No? Well in that case, have a great day.”

“Yes, it’s completely safe, I promise.”

“No, this is not a prank call.”

It’s hard work telling people that the storm is over. No one really believes you, and explain all you want, but people are going to believe what they want. I guess it’s the immediacy of the announcement – after all, who was I to declare that the zombie threat has been contained?

So I changed the script. “It will be safe to return to the District next Tuesday, August 30th 2011.” I was no longer making an announcement, I was spreading good news. People like good news, they don’t like being told what’s what.

So there you have it folks.

There is nothing to worry about. The threat has been neutralized. All the zombies have been contained and they are being treated. They’ll be better soon. If you have any lingering zombie related issues, give us a call or stop by when you get back into town, we’ll take care of it for you. It’ll take some time for things to get back to normal, but if we just stick together, it’ll all work out just fine.

So take the weekend to get your things in order, and we’ll see you all next week…

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Stay tuned.

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