Urban dads of young children are so screwed for the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s true – we’re easy prey. We live in places that will be teeming with zombies, we’re weighed down by too much baggage, and we’re soft and ill-equipped with zombie-fighting skills from years of working desk jobs (unless, that is, zombies are somehow entranced by Power Point in the same way business executives are).
If that weren’t bad enough, there’s the single biggest reason parent’s of young kids would make for shitty teammates: young kids. They slow you down too much (violates Zombieland Rules #1 and #7 – “Cardio” and “Travel Light”). Also, kids cry and are hard to control, which would attract zombies and discourage others from joining your survival team. Honestly, I’ve given serious thought to how completely fucked we’d be if zombies attacked before the kids were old enough to fend for themselves. I think you’d want the kid to at least be old enough to be quiet when needed and run when needed. Ability to wield a weapon would also be an asset. Maybe a 6-year-old?
On the plus side, if society survives the Zombie Apocalypse, your seed will be used repopulate the Earth. Your kids would be future super-leaders like John Connor. Of course they’d grow up to be a bit messed up by today’s standards, but they would thankfully also never know a society where the class of people with the highest standard of living sat in cubicles staring at screens for eight hours a day and Hit Me Baby One More Time was one of the top selling singles of all time.
Sam and I were inspired by this zombie post by Jowita, “The best leader for a zombie-survival team? You, the new parent,” and realized that Dude Meets Dad is embarrassingly light on zombie survival tips for young dads. Also, while I’m flattered that Jowita thinks I would make a good teammate in an apocalyptic scenario, I feel grossly unprepared. So, in this joint effort, Sam and I are putting together…
The Zombie Survival Guide for Urban Dads.
To be used in conjunction with all other existing best practices for zombie survival.
GET A BABY BJORN: There’s no way you’re strollering your way through the Zombie Apocalypse. If your kids aren’t mobile, you’ll have to carry them, but remember, you’ll also need your arms to fight. Best bet – strap ‘em to you.
MacGUYVER YOUR BABY GEAR: Despite all the challenges you’ll face keeping you baby alive during the End of Days, you do have one advantage – baby gear! You know how to pack a diaper bag in a matter of minutes and all the stuff you have in there is likely to come in pretty handy. Baby monitors become zombie monitors. Bottles become containers for potable water. Diapers are useful after you shit your pants watching everything you once held dear slowly torn apart and demolished. It is also inevitable that at some point during the zombie infestation you’ll be trapped in a confined space surrounded by grabbing clutching zombies. As food runs low, your baby’s formula will come in handy as a compact nutritious source of food. Once that is gone… your lactating wife will realize it’s not just the zombies who will feast on the living.
STOCK UP ON BABY WIPES: Baby wipes are essential in pretty much all travel situations, but in particular, you’re going to want them in a world of infectious zombies and on-the-move diaper changes. When all the world’s plumbing goes to shit, baby wipes will also replace showers so you’ll be able to use them to barter for food and cigarettes (which you can then use to barter for other goods and services).
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SINGLES: As the zombies bear down on you and your family, they should make valiant sacrifices to save your innocent children. See, My Shattered Pelvis vs. Your Baby’s Feelings.
ZOMBIE TRAINING FOR KIDS: You don’t want to be the parent with the kid that’s caught picking his nose when the zombies attack, or the parent that has to use their baby as a toss-able, edible diversion (like the cartoon-robber-tested strategy of tossing a fresh steak to angry guard dogs). Instead, teach your kid some survival skills. Develop a Survival Plan. Practice it. Send them to camp so they learn survival skills like archery, finding shelter, and how to light a fire. Teach them evasive maneuvers. Teach them what needs to be done in the event that you do something stupid (probably while trying to protect them) and turn zombie. The nice thing about kids is that they are quick learners, they’re resilient, and they have short memories, so once the initial shock has passed, they’ll likely cope better than you with a world full of zombies.
HARMLESS GUMS: If your baby does happen to turn zombie on you, at least you don’t have to brain it right away. Now, this would be sad, and you don’t want to go all Governor on your fellow survivors (see Walking Dead comics, issue #43), but if it came down to it, no teeth means the young one can’t really bite you and spread the infection. Plus, at a glance. your zombie baby could pass as a regular baby (see Zombie vs. Baby). In this worst case scenario, you don’t have to worry about keeping your zombie baby safe or alive. Basically you can just keep it in bag or a box until you die, or a cure comes along.
GET THE HELL OUT OF THE CITY (just avoid Hwy 400 – it’ll be a mess): The best way to survive as an urban dad is to stop being urban. I was just talking to Dude Meets Dad’s tech expert Stu about how if the Zombie Apocalypse came to Toronto, the safest place to be would be on a ferry to the Islands – the ferries are mobile, they’re sheltered, they have washrooms, and they’re even equipped with axes – multiple, big, solid, red axes!. Maybe we could even colonize Centre Island. But, more likely, we’d be able to take our kids on the antique carousel and give them one last hoorah to remember before stocking up on funnel cakes, stealing some boats from the marina, and heading up the St. Lawrence to somewhere with a better gun-to-zombie ratio, like New Brunswick (3rd in per-capita firearm ownership, after the Territories and Alberta – Ontario is dead last).