A few days ago I met my BFF, Laura, outside my work to swap Christmas gifts, including the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kits I made for her children . . .
Because it takes a village.
It's been a few months since she left our mutual work place after securing a higher paying, future-friendly man job (which I am immensely fucking proud of her for) and the withdrawal I've experienced from not seeing her everyday in a semi-controlled environment has been emotionally jarring, especially considering the Gary Busey style of dysfunction that has not only filled the void of her absence, but has leaked into other avenues of my life like toxic decomp, and for those who aren't familiar with bio hazard clean up, that means "liquid body rot."
When we approached each other under the fluorescent halo of the asphalt parking lot, she shone like an angel, or possibly an original My Little Pony circa 1988, like Baby Apple:
Or maybe more like Princess Sparkle:
Wow, so pretty.
Oh, sorry, guys. Vagina, here. I get easily distracted by sparkly things.
The kiddies were waiting in the car as her and I attempted to jam two months worth of random, story recaps into a five minute conversation. Meanwhile, Gavin, her middle child, the one with the tendency to defy rules, and who I admit to having a soft spot for (go figure, as my mother said), bounced around the interior of her Mini Vans Can Go Fuck Themselves sports car, his chipmunk-inated child voice nattering away at the speed of light as he projected it out the window towards us.
"LOJO!!!! LOJO!!!! LOOWW-JOOOO!!"
I waved enthusiastically.
"R THER PRESENTS CHRISTMAS GIFTS SERPRIZE SANTA DO U HAVE SOME OMG AWESUM STUFF CHRISTMAS . . . . YAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!"
I assured him that I did, indeed have some loot for him and his siblings, who at this point, were sitting in the back seat sharing eye rolls.
BOING! BOING! BOING! BOING!, his miniature body continued to ricochet off the car's interior as Laura and I resumed our conversation, and as we discussed the art of ball-breaking douche bag idiots, suddenly a familiar sound resonated from the background.
"VVVRRRooom. vvvrrrOOOM. VVVRRRooom. vvvrrrOOOM . . .
. . . VVVRRRooom."
"GAVIN!," Laura turned towards him with the dexterity of a Soviet sniper. "The automatic windows work. We got it. Thanks, buddy. NOW CHILL OUT!"
He flashed her a mischievous, albeit accomplished smile, the same smile I make when I break the will of a boyfriend from dedicating hours to perfecting my James Hetfield growl, or I sing the Don's Tire and Auto radio'mericial in a munchkin voice for the 20th time in a row.
When it was time to go, Gavin escaped from the car, his Little Person legs moving at an astronomical speed, and when he gave me a hug, all I could think was, "shit, I really hope he likes the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit."
According to Laura, the kits were well received.
How to Make Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kits (for Kids):
1. Similar to an emergency road kit, the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit needs to be contained in some sort of sealable unit. A small tackle box would work. I made mine out of Crayola craft kits with the art materials removed.
2. Stickers. Cool stickers are a must, and while it was easy to find stickers that were appropriate for three year old Lili Bug, finding the right adornments for the boys was a more difficult feat. Some of the best stickers I used, such as the bullet hole stickers, were actually car decals that were purchased at Canadian Tire. A superior, more economical idea is to buy printable sticker sheets and create your own custom stickers (could be stickers of real-life zombies, ninjas, bio hazard symbols, favorite band logos, AK-47s, etc.), and I would have done this if my printer hadn't finally succeeded at committing suicide the week before Christmas, but unfortunately, I bought it at Staples, so it had been depressed for a while.
3. The zombie kits should include a well balanced combination of zombie resistance tools and non-zombie related goodies that reflect the child's interests, especially if the zombie kit is for a younger child, as my zombie kits were. You don't have to be a mommy blogger to know that children have the attention span of gold fish, and they do not yet possess the intellectual or emotional maturity to fully comprehend the value of preparing for the zombie apocalypse. So, throw in a few shiny objects and items that scream, "whooaa, BAD ASS!" and you should still come away as the crazy, albeit half-ass cool, surrogate Aunt.
Zombie Resistance identification badges were included in all the kids' kits, as were Nerf guns, although slightly larger models for the boys, and according to Laura, the I.D. badge was a big hit with Gavin. If I were to do it again, I would make more official looking badges on my computer if it had still had a pulse, but the most I could muster for this was printing off photos of the kids at my parents house and creating the rest of the badges by hand. For those who are crafty with graphic design, you could have a lot of fun with these.
Asshole Hazard - Before giving a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit as a gift to a child whom is not your own, make sure to warn/ touch base with the parent(s) to make sure that they are okay with its contents, both on a moral level, and also on a mental health level, because the last thing you want to do is instigate a familial break down that causes Mom to lock herself in the bathroom with a bottle of prescription pain killers as the kids wage war on each other by shooting each other in the face with Nerf guns.
That about covers the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit tutorial. A timeless and practical gift that can be tweeked to adhere to children of any age, and teaches the important value of zombie survival preparedness.