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Afternoon of the living dead

October 23, 2009|Jessica Gelt

On Saturday afternoon in Newport Beach, if you're so inclined, you'll have the perfect excuse to get dead drunk. Go ahead, stagger from bar to bar , moaning and drooling on yourself. Tear at your clothes and scream "braiiiins" if you feel like it. No one will stop you.

That's because it will be Zombie Pub Crawl day, the one day of the year that you can act like a hopeless drunk without actually being one.

Organized by the website (which devotes itself to the noble pursuit of curating and highlighting happy-hour specials in Orange County), the inaugural Zombie Pub Crawl represents some definite Halloween event-planning synergy. Zombies are very much en vogue this season, and alcohol never goes out of style.

Better yet, though, the parallels between a zombie and a besotted human are uncanny: a lack of motor function; an insatiable appetite; a tendency to groan indecipherably; a sallow, jaundiced appearance; disheveled clothing marked by stains of an unknown provenance; bad breath; and a generally uncouth countenance are just the beginning.

"It will be interesting to see all these zombies walking around in Newport, especially during the day," says organizer Morgan Slauson of the event, which begins at the ungodly drinking hour of 11:30 a.m. "I bet there will be lots of girls in bikinis." Zombie bikini girls. Shiver.

The festivities span nearly eight hours and include stops at five bars, with a "Thriller" dance-off planned for the midafternoon time slot at the Blue Beet.

"I really hope they pace themselves," says Glenn Kay, author of "Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide." "I can imagine a bunch of smashed people attempting an elaborately choreographed routine. So I would caution those participating that the people watching are going to be laughing at them, not with them."

Besides being an expert on zombies, Kay has played a zombie in two movies, "Land of the Dead" and "Survival of the Dead," and he notes that zombie makeup is so uncomfortable that he can't imagine donning it "just for fun."

Still the Zombie Pub Crawl has precedent in a similar event that has been held for the past five years in Minneapolis, the city that is home to headquarters. Slauson says that there the event has grown from attracting fewer than a hundred people to 5,000 this year.

Unless you want to end up a zombie on Sunday too, take it easy, says Slauson. Each pit stop offers cheap drink specials to pub crawl participants bearing pre-paid wristbands, and certain stops (Sharkeez is one) are also offering food, which it would be wise to consume. And lest you be tempted to simply dab blood in the corner of your mouth and wear yesterday's rumpled dress shirt, keep in mind that a costume contest will be held at the end of the day. Prizes include restaurant gift certificates.

Recipes for fake blood, scabs and wounds can be found on the website, and if you need further guidance, folks from the Paul Mitchell school of cosmetology will be on hand in the morning at the Newport Beach Brewing Co. to help complete your look.

Finally, thanks to the cresting popularity of zombie movies, there's "less of a stigma to dressing up like a zombie and walking the streets," says Kay.




Pub Crawl

Where: Begins at Newport Beach Brewing Co., 2920 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach. Last stop is Malarky's Irish Pub, 3011 Newport Blvd.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Price: $10, $7 in advance


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