We were discussing zombies, which is what we do in this house. Sure, there are more probable end-of-the-world scenarios that may happen. We could prepare for nuclear mutants or perhaps even aliens. But our zombie training could easily be adapted to all of those and besides, zombies are pure evil, the devil's hoard that rises to suck on the will of the living. We must battle the evil, it is in our very nature.
As I was painting, again, I quizzed the children on the important parts of zombie knowledge. "What do zombies eat?" I asked.
"Brains!" the minions responded.
"And what to do zombies sound like?"
"Braaaahahahahahaaaaa" they wailed while shuffling.
Excellent. We know what they sound like and what they eat. Our training has progressed well. Soon we will start the decapitating by chainsaw but we can't do that until Hossmom gets out of the house for a bit. She does not approve of chainsaw decapitation training. Fine, she can be the decoy bait then when the Apocalypse comes. Everyone team needs one and we just found ours. She is also slated to be the family medic to dispense band aids and kisses to all our skinned knees. She doesn't know this yet but she doesn't have to, it's her natural role. At the end of the world I'm sure that Hossmom will remind me once again that I'm getting older and will need the good old prostate checked out. During the zombie Apocalypse. That's just her style.
Little Hoss asks me a question. "Daddy?" she says. "Can we keep a zombie as a pet?"
This one has thrown me off a bit. I admit, I wasn't expecting this question. Who wants to keep a zombie as a pet? I tell her no, that perhaps this isn't the best idea.
But she starts demanding that we keep a zombie pet. And not just one zombie pet, but a lot of zombie pets.
Hmmm, I think. Perhaps she is thinking of Sun Zu, know your enemy as you know yourself. Have I trained her this well? It is possible, I am awesome.
"And we can feed them lettuce and carrots and dog food!" she tells me.
Somethings wrong here. I'm not sure what but something feels off. I look at my daughter.
She is smiling while describing how she would put zombies on leashes and make them do the afternoon cleanup, which she hates to do. Her eyes are in dreamland, glazed over as she describes her zombie utopia that she is creating. They will do chores for us and they will play games with us. Then they can play games with other people, like tag.
I'm about to remind her that zombie tag is not a game that you want to be a part of her. But I look at her and it hits me, the truth is there and I just never wanted to acknowledge it.
My daughter isn't here to resist the zombie Apocalypse. She is here to start it.
I can see my daughter thinking and thinking hard. She is planning on how to get the deadly retro T-4 virus and how she can unleash it. Then the world would do her bidding and those that didn't would find a very dangerous game of zombie tag arriving at their unprepared doorsteps. Perhaps she would take down her enemies quickly or perhaps she would torment them for weeks before crushing them with her own zombie hoard army.
I am concerned as she starts to laugh, a maniacal laughter that starts low and slow and precedes to get high and fast. She is talking through the laughter, describing what she would name her zombies. There would be Fred and Steve and Princess Candycane. They would play all day, everyday. They would live outside in the yard and play with Jeff the Squirrel. Poor Jeff the Squirrel, who we have protected for 4 years, will become nothing more than a zombie poptart, an afternoon snack that lives at the whim of my daughter.
I'm looking at her now, looking hard. I am no longer painting. I don't even know what to say. I trained her? I did this.
"I'm just kidding Daddy!" she says. But I know she is not. No, this is not kidding. This is planning.
Dear God, what have I done?