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In the post-apocalyptic world, children are a death sentence. “Wait,” you say, shaking your head in confusion, “Won’t children become even more important after the Armageddon? Won’t we need them to propagate the species?” No. It’s a nice thought, but the truth is just the opposite. Look at how most children under the age of six behave, and it doesn’t take long to see: The kids are not okay. The children are not going to save us. In fact, they’re going to doom us. Still, don’t believe me? Here are the five things my kids do right now (and yours probably do too) that I’m certain will get me killed when the undead come for us.
1. They don’t listen
I don’t know about your kids, but every single request or demand I make of mine is met with negotiation, refusal, or an outright tantrum. And the last thing I need to be doing when a horde of walkers is parading up our driveway is desperately trying to get them to shut their mouths or hide by promising we’ll get ice cream after dinner. More likely, it means I’ll need to cause a major distraction to get the ravenous horde to follow me away from them. That’s dead daddy number one.
2. They’re pack rats
The key to survival is traveling fast and light. You shouldn’t be carrying anything that’s not food, a weapon, or a provision absolutely essential to survival. And no, that damn Paw Patrol collection isn’t essential. Nor are the five hundred different-colored leaves my eldest would pick up as we tried to survive outdoors. I can see it now: A ravenous horde is coming and my kids are too busy picking up Legos to make a run for it. Oh, and God save us all if I try to leave “Blankie” behind! Once again, I’ll have to be a distraction, one that will most likely get ingested quickly. I just hope the zombies lose a few toes when they step on the Legos I scatter in front of them. Dead daddy number two.
3. They eat all my food
I can’t come home for lunch without a round-bottomed-little 4-year-old coming up to me, sweet smile on his face, and asking, “can I sit with you?” Who can say no to that? Next thing I know, he’s on my lap gnawing away at the Jimmy Johns sandwich I had been salivating over all morning. The same will no doubt hold true once we’re on the run. What meager food we have will undoubtedly go to the children first, because I’m not a monster. Of course, being weak from hunger isn’t going to help me when I have to lead another horde away while my son finishes off my portion of stale Saltine Crackers. Dead daddy number three.
4. They’re loud as hell
The one thing every parent craves in life is quiet. Which is why a zombie apocalypse, which requires people be as silent as possible so as not to attract the walkers, should be a godsend. Unfortunately, the noise kids make without even realizing how loud they’re being is now deadly. And I’m not even talking about the loud toys, guitars, or drum sets your parents buy them just to torture you. The children themselves are sources of noise. They scream, they cry, they never stop talking. Not exactly helpful when you’re trying to hide from a mob of flesh eaters that respond to the slightest sound. Cue another distraction, cue another dead daddy ⏤ the fourth.
5. The wife likes them better
You’ve probably been asking yourself how exactly they’re supposed to survive on their own with me consistently running off as a distraction. Well, that’s where Mommy comes in. You see, it’s not that they won’t listen or be quiet, or share food. They just won’t do it until Mom yells at them to do so. By that point, it’s too late and I have to run off as the distraction ⏤ because she told me to. She ain’t going to risk the kids. She put a lot of effort into bringing them into the world. Nope, I’m the expendable one. Till death do we part, which won’t take long once my starving, Lego-hauling-self starts shouting for the flesh eaters to come after me so that she can run off with the kids and find a new dad who actually knows how to survive during the end times. He’ll probably be a Cynthiana Sheriff’s Deputy. Small consolation for dead daddy the fifth.
I know it sounds heartless, like I’d actually be willing to sacrifice my kids to save myself. Well, I wouldn’t, and that’s the biggest reason I’m going to get killed. I’ve grown awfully fond of the little tyros, so I’d do whatever it takes to ensure their survival. It will be the noblest sacrifice I can make, giving up my life for the children I love. Just so long as they don’t end up becoming little Carl Grimeses.
An overgrown man-child and connoisseur of geek culture, Jeremy Wilson is striving to raise his two sons to become more responsible, self-actualized men than himself. So far they are not cooperating. You can follow his hijinx at fatherhoodinthetrenches.com