*FLASHBACK* In the early 90’s with bands the likes of Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam on the rise, a trend rapidly rose along with them. They called it the “grunge look” a style that was comfortable, dirty, and heavily saturated in flannel. For a short time it was a cornerstone of pop culture society. Personally, I’ve never been one to follow fads. Viewing them as purely superficial and aware that they would go just as quickly as they had come…others I knew lacked said awareness.

When the trend broke onto the scene a close friend became fully engrossed in this temporary subculture. He grew his hair out and stopped washing it. He went out to the trendy chic stores, where you could buy the latest in momentary fashion, and purchased several Kurt Cobain-ish shirts; which he also did not wash. Shredded some jeans and dug some long forgotten flannels from the back of his closet. Then topped it off (or would it be bottomed it off?) with a brand new pair of Chuck Taylor Converse All Star high-tops- which he cut the tops off of to make rough looking low tops.

As for myself…flannel has always been a staple part of my attire. My jeans were already ripped and worn from actual use and time. My Chucks had likewise seen better days. Thus unintentionally and involuntarily I was in style.

One day, several months into this fad, found him and me “grunged out,” bored (constantly looking bored with life was part of “the look”) and people watching. Sitting there I was awestruck by the superficial irony of a comment he made when some “fellow grungsters” slouched by (a constant discerning slouch was also part of “the look”). “Look at them,” he said with a scoff, “When this is all over we’ll see who’s real!” He was right, when it was, we did. His “costume” found its way into a Goodwill donation bag and as for myself…I just kept wearing my clothes.

There comes a warped sense of pride with not submitting to the lure of “what’s in.” For remaining consistently true to yourself and not succumbing to passing fads to appease and blend into the masses. It gives one a closer sense of reality and a wider knowledge of what is not.

All that said, let’s look at another trend that is currently on a steady decline and bordering on the brink of extinction. Since its debut Have Chainsaw Will Travel has always been synonymous with zombies. The first HCSAWWT zombie related article titled, “Be Prepared…They’re Coming” was published February 8th, 2006. Since then this article has carried tips for how to survive an undead apocalypse and what to wear when facing an undead hoard (stay stylish). Or how to deal with different varieties of the walking dead in different situations has been a mainstay for this column.

Somewhere along the way, in the years since that first article, zombies have become a thing (no this writer is not taking credit for inspiring this trend, I’ve never considered it trendy). Rising up through the ranks of pop culture and becoming a full-blown phenomenon. This trend has inspired a plethora of video games, books, movies as well as a critically acclaimed television series. Retailers have cashed in on the undead fad with t-shirts, toys and even zombie themed real weaponry and firearms. Making sure there was something “zombie related” they could cash-in on made available for the entire family (there are zombie response team onesies for infants for gawd’s sake) . Yes the zombie fad has gained an undeniable place in the general public’s eye. Too bad those eyes are slowly being diverting to seek out the next big thing.

Yes, it’s been a fun ride but all good things must come to an end and all dead things must eventually rot away. The public’s interest in the undead is rapidly waning. By this time next year people will be yard selling those crossbows they thought they were actually interested in learning how to use (“Look-it me! I’m Darryl and sexy with my arrow gun!”). Yes my friends sadly the excitement of potentially surviving a Class 4 zombie outbreak is almost over and when it is all over—we’ll see who’s real. Lucky for you some of us already are and forever more will be. So you needn’t worry about getting important information like this…


Lesson 1: Don’t get in or go near water. That’s where the sharks are.

Lesson 2: You don’t! Survive that is. Actually if you’re attacked by a shark, zombie or not, it’s probably going to eat you…or part of you.

Bonus lesson: In the event of a Zombie Sharknado…we are all going to die!

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected] or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!