Hallowe’en; I was having dinner with my brother in a Malaysian restaurant on Cuba Street. As the evening went on, various people dressed in Halloween costumes walked along Cuba Street. But then I realised something: virtually all of them were dressed as zombies.
Some of the zombies banged on the front window of the restaurant, attempting to frighten the diners, but when you’ve already seen a dozen zombies walk past, the sight of another one isn’t going to distract you from your beef rendang.
I started wondering why being a zombie was such a popular choice of Halloween costume. Then I realised: it’s a really easy costume to pull together. If you’re going for the classic Dawn of the Dead zombie, you’re essentially just wearing street clothes with some ghoulish make-up. So you can still be quite a styley hipster or sexy mama while dressing in a Halloween theme.
But as I sat there nibbling at some roti, I got a creepy feeling. The mass of zombies started to take on a weird conformist tone. Like, everyone was out there dressed as a zombie because they wanted to fit in and not deviate from the norm. Muuuust…. confooooorm!
This probably fits in with some sort of cinematic subtext, but in real life it’s all far more creepy than a bit of fake blood ever could be.