Friday, October 15, 2010

In Case of Emergency

I may have done a very bad thing. On the other hand, I may very well have saved the human race. It's kind of a toss-up right now. One of those "wait and see" kind of things.

Let me back up.

Okay, about a year or so ago (can't remember if it was Christmas or birthday), I gave my best friend's little girl a book. I know, that's normally a pretty lame gift for a kid, but this one just sort of screamed Tempest. It was "The Girls' Book: How To Be the Best At Everything". Temp is a pretty darn cool little 9-year old (8 at the time), with looks, brains, and a real adventuresome streak. I mean, for her 8th birthday, she wanted a ninja party. Her 9th birthday had a roller-derby theme. She's big into Bratz and girly stuff, but can also throw a baseball better than most guys. I figured a book that could show her how to make a crystal, juggle one-handed, build a campsite, and put together a dance routine would be right up her alley.

I also liked that the book dealt with tougher subjects, like how to master math, or how to handle a bully--things she'd ultimately go to her mom for help with, but it never hurts to have a jumping off point for conversation--but wrapped them up in fluff like how to make lipgloss and how to whistle loudly. All in all, I had to get it for her, and she said that she loved it.

And that was the last I heard of it. Really, Genna (her mom) didn't think she'd even cracked the book.

So, fast forward up to a couple of months ago. Gen wanted to redecorate Temp's room to something a little more fitting a "big girl", and recruited Thomas and me to help out. We rearranged furniture and hung curtains, and generally just helped clean up a bit. For the most part, it just looked like a typical child's room: abandoned half-knotted friendship bracelets, candy wrappers, crumpled up drawings, random Barbie shoes, etc.; but we kept noticing oddities, like unopened water bottles, snack-cakes, and what looked like an entire bag of halloween candy, all dumped between her mattress and the foot of the bed. Um...Genna, that's a strange kid you got there. Is she storing up for Winter? We all had a good chuckle, picked up the stockpile, and moved on.

Fast forward a little more to earlier this week. Tempest had the book out (first time anyone's seen her with it, mind you), and was regaling Genna with the hilarity of how to annoy people in an elevator. You know, sidle up next to a random stranger, look up at them and simply say, "I have new socks." There's also the classic open your purse, look inside, and ask, "you okay in there?" Actually, the whole list consisted of things Genna and I used to do when we were little, so she got a real kick out of listening to her baby giggle over the list's brilliance. That's when she noticed it. This was a well-worn book.

It turns out, Tempest has read and re-read this book several times. She even had portions marked and dog-eared, specifically one particular section: how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Yes, that's in the book, too. Along with how to survive a horror movie (if your date has fangs, run), how to act like a celebrity, and how to explain why you were late for school. Stuff that's obviously silly and just for fun. Right?

Apparently, the book said to stockpile water and food. It also said to wear biking gear for protection when going out, and Temp did ask for knee pads and a helmet for her birthday. The poor baby had been readying to battle the undead for months.

I am so sorry.

So, Gen explained that there probably was never going to be a zombie apocalypse, and that the book was just for fun. Then they decided that if mommy was wrong, they'd hole up at the nearby Walgreen's and wait it out. That way, they'd have food, water, and vitamins. You need to keep up your Vitamin C, afterall. All I know, is in case of zombie warfare, I want that kid on my side.


  1. wow. that's amazing. make sure you stockpile twinkies, though, if "zombieland" taught me anything.

    interestingly, the 30 ways to annoy people in an elevator list was the first email forward i ever got. i remember printing it out (in comic sans, with all the colored ink we had) and studying it like holy text. 'course, you'd know better than most about the... charming... teenager i was, eh? :)

  2. Twinkies and McDonald's happy meals, since they last forever, apparently.

    And hon, they never check the wooden leg. :)


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