At long last, the zombie apocalypse is upon us. We’ve all known for some time that it was coming, which is why Hollywood has been helpfully delivering zombie movies that are increasingly plausible and practical. The zombie movie has been one of my favorite genres of movie since I was a teenager and was scarred for life by Night of the Living Dead. My husband and I went to see Dawn of the Dead for our first date. Shaun of the Dead is, in my opinion, the best movie ever made, flawlessly combining horror, drama, comedy, romance, satire, and Bill Nighy. And I’ve watched Zombieland at least six times in order to memorize and internalize Columbus’s handy set of rules for surviving the zombie apocalypse.
For years, though, my greatest fear about the inevitable zombie apocalypse has been that it will occur when my children are young. Young children, especially more than one of them, are notoriously difficult to protect. They can’t run very fast, they tend to panic easily, they have a bad habit of succumbing to zombie bites and morphing into creepy little zombies, and they don’t always make the best decisions for the future of mankind (I’m talking to you, small children from 28 Weeks Later. Thanks for destroying Europe.). I’ve spent countless nights laying awake and mapping out strategies to protect my little ones and ensure them the best chance of survival against the coming zombies, but I’ve never felt very optimistic about my chances.
Yesterday, I finally read the news story that I’ve been waiting for since that first, fateful viewing of Night of the Living Dead. Here’s the link, in case you don’t believe me and need proof that zombies are among us, but be warned that it is a gruesome story. In a twist of bitter misfortune, the incident happened only three hours from where we currently live, meaning that we’ll be fairly near ground zero of the zombie outbreak. I immediately began mentally cataloging the feasibility of defending our home (minimal-our back wall is basically glass, and we live in a neighborhood with lots of tasty children), the feasibility of our car making it to a remote spot in the northern mountains (slightly better than minimal-it’s thirteen years old with over 200,000 miles on it, but it’s still running well and should at least get us past Colorado) and the feasibility of my ability to be of any help whatsoever in defending our children, seeing that I’m about six months pregnant.
And that’s when it hit me. Small children, as it turns out, are in fact not a liability when it comes to facing the zombie apocalypse. They’re actually an invaluable asset. I’ll break down the reasons why, using Columbus’s rules for survival.
Rule #1: Cardio
Obviously, if you’re going to survive the zombie apocalypse, you have to be in shape to do it. Now, one would think that being six months pregnant would be the kiss of death for me, but that isn’t the case. I’m actually in pretty good shape cardio-wise, because my 2 year old has been running away from me as fast as his legs will carry him since the day he learned to walk. And he’s actually pretty fast. Many is the afternoon my neighbors will spot me sprinting down the street after my son, only to scoop him up and have to sprint back down the street to rescue my 3 year old from whatever catastrophe she’s managed to create for herself. Ditto my husband, only he’s used to carrying two kids at a time. The kids have actually improved our chances of survival by being perpetually naughty.
Rule #2: The Double-Tap
Everyone knows that you have to shoot a zombie twice unless you want him to roar back to life just when you think you’re safe and eat you. This will be no problem, since our 6 year old (who will obviously be handling her own shotgun) will be so excited to help that each zombie will likely get a quadruple-tap, at the least. And nobody gets up from a quadruple-tap.
Rule #3: Beware of Bathrooms
One of the places you are most vulnerable to attack is in a bathroom with stalls. Luckily for us, our 3 year old is utterly terrified of bathrooms with stalls. If we need to use the bathroom while we’re not at home, we have to find a bathroom that is a private room with only one toilet. This has led us to identify and frequent places that have these types of bathrooms (Starbucks, Trader Joe’s) and avoid places that have stalls (Target, movie theaters). Problem solved.
Rule #4: Wear Seat Belts
This rule is pretty self-evident. If you’ve got a zombie hanging onto the top of your car or, God forbid, laying in wait in your backseat, you better be belted in, cause the best way to get rid of that sucker is to crash your car into something and let the force of impact fling him out the front windshield. When it comes to seat belts, car seats have it covered, and then some. Your average car seat contains well over fifty different buckles and snaps, all performing some function related to even distribution of impact or something. Normally, these seat belts function primarily as a tool to induce parental insanity, but in zombie land, they are our children’s best defense against the ever-present threat of car-stalking zombies.
That covers the four primary threats of the zombie apocalypse: being chased and caught by a zombie, being caught off-guard by an undead undead, being caught with your pants down, and being eaten in the safety of your own car. If small children are that effective at increasing survival odds for the four major zombie threats, imagine how extensive the positive benefits of having small children will be when applied to the various smaller threats and subtle nuances we’ll face in zombie land. If we make it through the current crisis, I’m petitioning to have this information included in NFP resources worldwide.
Can’t you just see it? “NFP…safe, healthy, effective, and guaranteed to help you survive the zombie apocalypse!”