Brian Lucas Is Alive—Not
—and Well in Legal

(originally published at

From: Brian M. Lucas [LEGAL]
Subject: Alive and Well!

Dear, concerned colleagues,

Brian from Legal here, just hoping to clear the air and set the record straight: Notwithstanding what you might have heard—and I know the rumor mill has been running in overdrive recently—I am not undead. I have not “jumped on the zombie bandwagon.” (Is there even such a thing, really? Do zombies march in parades?) I’m alive and well (and hard at work preparing required 3Q SEC filings).

Of course I can explain the brown paper bag in the refrigerator that was labeled “BRAINS” and appeared to be leaking blood. It’s a funny story, actually: My daughter, who’s four, helped me pack my lunch that morning. While I put leftover sweet and sour chicken (with plenty of the sauce) in a container—which it turns out I didn’t close properly—my sweet kid tried to be helpful by writing “BRIAN’S” on the bag! But she misspelled my name—she’s four!—and forgot the apostrophe. (Even adults do that sometimes. Jennie F., I’m looking at you.)

That said, I wound up not even eating lunch that day because, as it happens—not inexplicably, I’m sure—in the past couple of weeks I haven’t needed to do certain things that I used to have to do regularly. And eating is one of those things. But maybe I’m just not hungry, right? And you can’t argue that I’m not looking trimmer than usual. And of course I intend to speak to a doctor about the fact that I no longer need to eat, drink, or expel waste from my body, in either solid or liquid form. Let’s just not jump to crazy conclusions in the meantime, though.

Since I’m admitting to things of this nature—and please forgive me if I’m “oversharing,” but I didn’t start this silliness... I’m just trying to end it—it’s possible that I have also stopped breathing, in the technical sense of the term. That is, I no longer inhale air to extract oxygen, expelling carbon dioxide in turn. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Maybe he’s inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen...” and to that I must respond, “Come on! I’m not a plant any more than I am a zombie, and I’m definitely not a zombie.”

And what is a zombie, anyway? According to Wikipedia, which I consulted on my own time, at home, “zombie” is “a term used to denote an animated corpse brought back to life by mystical means such as witchcraft.” There was a lot more, but I confess that I found it difficult to follow, inasmuch as my ability to concentrate has been somewhat... something... for the past several... free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Guys, is it really bright in the office lately? Or is that just the future of the company? But also, it’s really bright in the office, which is why I’ve been keeping my light off. The sickly glow you might see when you poke your head in is coming from my computer screen, merely reflecting off my skin, which is the same color it’s always been, if a little drier and looser.

What’s that, Human Resources Department? Maybe a vacation is in order? You think I should take a well-deserved break from the rat race, and spend some time with my feet in the sand and a drink in my hand? Well, funny story: I recently was on vacation, in Haiti, where, believe it or not, literal rat races are a thing. I attended one, and not only did I lose my bets, but I also managed to get bitten by one of the more endearingly ragged entrants as I fed him a consolation piece of cheese after his disappointing performance—and before he himself was fed to somebody’s pet snake. That evening, I wasn’t feeling so hot, so I asked the concierge at my hotel to direct me to a doctor. The concierge asked, “Which doctor?” and, in my febrile confusion, I just answered in the affirmative—but that’s neither here nor there, because in the morning I felt like a new man.

In fact, come to think of it, since returning to work I’m finding it easier than ever to wrap my head around the Internal Revenue Code. It’s as if I now think like the very people who draft our nation’s tax laws! Wow, it’s bright.

So, I hope this settles that, and for good. I trust that I’ve allayed any doubts and/or fears you might have had about my well-being and my generally still being alive. Don’t think for a minute that I don’t appreciate the concern. It warms my heart, which stopped beating on Tuesday afternoon, to know that you care.

Oh, one last thing: I seem to have misplaced my wedding ring, which, as far as I can remember, was on my left ring finger, which I have also misplaced. Please let me know if you happen to see either. Thanks so much.


Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.