A terrifying outbreak of irritating, happy zombies has been traced back by scientists to a single Alpha archbishop. The young and the elderly are thought to be particularly at risk, as well as the lame, the optimistic and the easily led.
"This contagion is beyond belief, I've already lost a close colleague to it", said Doctor Ernest Gibbons of the Centre for Soft-Minded Pathology. "Malcolm was a great scientist, he was always so unhappy, maladjusted and socially awkward. Then one morning he came in smiling: I knew something wasn't right."
"He was hallucinating, he reckoned he could see 'the love of Jesus all around me'", sighed Gibbons, "it was too much for me to take, I did what any humanitarian would have done under the circumstances. I took the piss out of him, and tried to smother him with a pillow."
The zombie archbishop's hoards are pouring out from Alpha Courses right across the country, armed with free tea, tambourines and a pamphlet about keeping it in their pants. They move slowly and in packs: sometimes stooping to pray, often gazing upwards, faces contorted into a child-like grin, their palms involuntarily press together when they corner someone too polite to tell them to give it a rest. Dr. Gibbons thinks it’s a unique combination of neurological weakness and sexual frustration that causes them to move in these mysterious ways.
“We’re pretty sure clappy zombism reproduces asexually”, suggested Gibbons. “At least you’d assume so, considering how often they bang on about abstentionism.” Gibbons thinks that the disorder is at its most virulent in freshly infected hosts, during a noisy period when they hemorrhage all reason, and become completely deaf to logic. “There might be ways to protect yourself during this period, such as not carrying a crucifix”, suggested the doctor. “We’ve seen evidence of cross contamination.”
Gibbons hopes to find a cure before the illness reaches a critical mass. While breathless elation and sudden-onset singing can be upsetting to relatives, he suspects the cure is largely psychological.
“We’re working on a lab zombie that we’ve dressed up in a cassock, and we’ve managed to convince him he’s not important at all, in the great scheme of things”, enthused Gibbons. “If we can persuade him that we’re all just here by accident and not to serve some higher purpose, there’s a chance he could go on to live a perfectly normal, pointless, miserable life.”