OLD CREAMERY – The Rutabaga Queens are taking steps to address Humboldt County's longstanding zombie problem.
"We all see it and we know it's been an issue for a long time," says 2008 Rutabaga Queen Lotta Paintbuckets. "Our little community is doing everything it can to keep these ghouls under control, but resources are limited and zombies are super gross. The Rutabaga Queens are here to help."
"[The zombies] are taking our jobs and eating our brains," says 2007 Rutabaga Queen Emma The EmChantress. "And they destroyed the Arcata Plaza this Halloween, causing $30,000 in damages that the taxpayers will have to cover. Our local government officials are doing everything they can, but they are mired in procedural red tape. Humboldt County is geographically remote, and if our zombie problems escalate to a full blown zombie apocalypse, outside aid will be a long time coming."
Last year was the Rutabaga Queens' first attempt at zombie containment, the so-called Zombie Throwdown, and it proved successful. "Fortunately, we only work three days a year running the Kinetic Grand Championship," explains EmChantress. "So we've had a lot of time to study zombie abatement and become experts."
Shortly after Halloween last year, the Rutabaga Queens captured several zombies for eradication. "Of course zombie abatement is expensive," says Paintbuckets. "And dangerous. A few of the Rutabaga Queens were bitten and even zombified in last year's effort. We learned a lot. We had to hold an exhibition and force the zombies to wrestle WWF style in a pool of guts for the public's entertainment, you know, to raise funds to cover the expense of their capture, containment and, er, disposal."
"We processed a messload of zombies last weekend," says EmChantress. "We're holding them at an undisclosed location for now. I think it's pretty safe. I mean, yeah, it should definitely hold them for a while. I mean it is safe. Definitely safe."
To cover the substantial cost of this service to the county and the nation while entertaining the public, zombie prisoners will once again be wrestling for your amusement in a pool of Thanksgiving leftovers, under the supervision of trained, armed guards, Saturday after Thanksgiving, at the Arcata Playhouse for the second annual Zombie Throwdown. "We really think this ought to fix it once and for all," says 2011 Reigning Rutabaga Queen G-Ma.
While they admit it is an unusual approach, the Rutabaga Queens are adamant. "This is what we do," says 2006 Rutabaga Queen Foxy Biloxi. "We help where we can. Even if it means pitting the undead against one another to raise money to kill them. Yes, we have had some calls from PETA and Amnesty International and the ACLU, but, well, it's gonna be a hoot."
Any funds left over after zombie processing will go directly to Kinetic Universe, the nonprofit that runs the Kinetic Grand Championship and Kinetic Museum.
"We love Humboldt County and we are here to keep it safe and fun," Paintbuckets says. "No need to thank us."
The Second Annual Zombie Throwdown is 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Arcata Playhouse. Tickets are $10 at the door and space is limited, be punctual!