A Brief Public Service Announcement

Scene: A TV screen or television stage, with a sharply dressed businessman against a mostly white background.

Today's public service announcement is of a very serious nature, so I please ask that children and adults acting like children be escorted out of the room now…Good. Today's topic deserves a great deal of thought and is normally overlooked. Have you ever thought about the undead? No, not the face-painted extras in B-Movies, but the honest-to-goodness scourge-of-the-earth kind. Of course you haven't. We here at the Holistic Otherworldly Locating Institute think this change. People just don't believe they exist, and that is society's weakness against. In the olden times, many a valiant knight sought to destroy the undead; there existed whole clans of men and women solely bound to eliminating vampires and other demonics. Even the peasantry, if so provoked, would gladly storm a lair for the cause of righteousness. This is no longer the cause. Folk lore, wives' tales, social pressure relief, they call it. You so much as ask your local priest, minister, parson, preacher, or rabbi for a vial of holy water and they cock their head at you and inquire into your mental health. We here at the Institute think this should not be the case. Just because you no longer hear about him doesn't your local necromancer or heretic summoner has disappeared. No, it's much more likely our fiend has just traded in his armor of flesh and bone for a nice Armani suit and silk tie.

What's a citizen like you supposed to do about this? The police, you say? The don't think they existed, and both law enforcement and the benighted legal system consider the undead still human, and may attempt to interfere with such actions as one ought to do against them. Special societies you say? The Hellsing Organization only services the greater London area. And the Vatican's Section 13 Paladins? Let's just say they go a bit over the top, even for our standards. That unfortunately and fortunately leaves you the first, last, and only line of defense. But don't panic! We here at the Institute have compiled this announcement to help you.

You say that you have the mental capacity of one of those travelers who easily leaves their purse or wallet in some snotty bistro in a filth-ridden foreign slagheap? Don't worry. You may not do it often, but you can think. Undead cannot, and thus you're two steps ahead. Here are some tips for identifying and eliminating the undead:

•The Undead, lacking any brain function to speak of, and thus tend to have blank, unintelligible stares.

•Along with the stares, a large amount of visible drool may be apparent.

•The stare and droll aren't complete without a horrible smell and unintelligible grunting.

•The undead, unless especially smart like vampires, (the only ones best left to the professionals) are too apathetic, being already dead and all, and thus do not have fashion sense. It is typical to see common undead in dirty, jagged and unkempt clothing.

•The undead typically seek the brains and flesh of living humans, but recently, there have been reports of them temporarily switching to various packaged and boxed carbohydrates of somewhat dubious origin. Look for excessive amounts of Twinkie® and Cheez-It® wrappers in the suspected lair, as they could be a clue.

•Most undead do not use written language, but those who do use a sort of runic script of symbols and alphanumeric jumble that is for the most part, unintelligible.

•Lately, the lairs of the undead and their infernal masters have changed. Now, they are artificial caves filled with orgy, smoke, and hypnotic "trance" music that allow them to be controlled. Do not, I repeat do not enter such a lair without a good pair of earplugs, as the sonic distress otherwise would be enough to turn any normal person to a warm pile of goo. These lairs are now nicknamed so as not to draw attention to their ulterior motives and called "raves". Do not be fooled.

Now that you know how to find them, here's how to destroy them.

•Unless you have martial arts or other training, do not attempt to destroy the undead barehanded, as although stupid as they are, they can be quite dangerous if threatened.

•Use a weapon. We here at the institute recommend pistols, rifles, shotguns, crossbows, and holy water, but if unavailable, improvised weapons can be used. Also, an excellent substitute for holy water is highly concentrated chlorine bleach. It's not technically quite the same, but it still has that wonderful fizzling sound that tells you that it's working.

•If you can flush out the undead out of a lair, such as through the liberal application of fire, it makes it all the easier.

•Remember, the authorities frown upon undead slaying, ignorant as they may be, so be sure to operate at night in secluded areas, if possible, because otherwise, aforementioned authorities are sure to deter you or at least slow you down.

•Don't wait. The more you wait, the stronger their ranks become. Slay early, slay often.

That's all there is to it, Mr. Taxpayer—a bit of smarts, a bit of technique, and the knowledge. And as they say in my line of work, "knowing is half the battle".

Disclaimer: the Holistic Otherworldly Locating Institute is a not-for-profit organization that assists men and women in knowledge and tactics against demons and the undead. The views expressed above are correct, and if you disagree, we don't honestly care. For more information on slaying or for a copy of the undead slaying book, "Boomsticks and Me", please write to the HOLI at:

HOLI, Department 3

ATTN: Literature Section

Burning Slagheap, NJ 55555-0505

Or visit our website at Thanks for your interest.