Sad analogy of invasive honeysuckle to the zombie apocalypse.
I don't watch much TV, but I have been addicted, as many of you are, to the Walking Dead series on Netflix.
In the show, humans are infected with an unknown pathogen that destroys higher brain function, leaving us biting, nearly indestructible soulless creatures that wander the Earth in hordes, guided only by our brain stems.
When defending yourself against a pack of these (who seek to dine and you alive) the only means to terminate them is to take out their brainstem. Of course, as you try to take them out, they try to take you out as you do.
Even as limbs, mandibles and other appendages are cleaved and cracked, lopped and falling away, they still keep at you with their grizzly dentition and grasping festering nails hoping for a shot to tear into your subclavian vessels or eyeballs as you hopelessly observe your certain demise or at least incredible maiming in horror.
When I'm in the forest, standing alone, armed only with a lopper, machete and chainsaw, I often gasp at the volume of invasive honeysuckle that surrounds me, envelops me, smothers me.
They seem to approach like an army of mindless zombies, hell-bent on my tortuous death. It's me or them to the end. The odds are with the zombies that they will endure, consuming my flesh and soul, assimilating me into their death cult.
They feel no pain, they require little care, they easily dominate and amass the precious Earth energy, sapping life from the natural world around them.
The challenging things about honeysuckle eradication, horrifyingly, even after you take some out there are many more, infected seedlings, waiting to grow up and replace the deceased. Is it possible to really ever eradicate them? What am I doing in this dark forest alone? Are these contusions and near death events wasted in my futile battle against the endless undead. My pathetic delusion that there is hope of eventual headway.
Moreover, the more you disturb them, snap, pull, push, and saw into them, the more their brains tells them to grow. Unless you kill it, these efforts actually makes the organism stronger.
I have to remember, you have to assault the brain.
My strategy is simple, attack each one individually. Commando up to it and rapidly fracture it's extremities. Rip it's mouth leaves from it before it can chew into me. Penetrate deeply into the skull, and crack out the brain (its relatively delicate root ball) like a soft-boiled egg, again the only means to kill it for good.
Of course it's not that easy. Countless times, after launching my combative efforts, they never go down easily. They try to enucleate my eyeball with their pointy limbs, choke my air in strangleholds, puncture my heart and lungs, as they go down in our desperate death matches.
Sometimes even after their seeming death, as I push them into grotesque piles, accidentally falling upon them, they attempt one last maneuver to have me join them, as I plummet into their infinite sharp edges.
Finally, with some degree of temporary relief, I watch boastfully as their fetid corpses burn.
But alas, the foolish reprieve is brief, for as I turn to prideful stroll back to camp, I walk straight into another rotten, chewing tangle of them.
My invasive zombie apocalypse.
Now, where are my loppers!?