While I chased word count, Son One, The Zombie Slayer, whiled away his time decapitating The Undead.
“I killed another one,” he announced in the same tone of voice Howard Cosell would say, “another knockout for Mohammed Ali.”
He gestured smugly toward the TV. “I cut his head off and he can’t see me. Now he’s wandering around the swamp attacking cattails.”
I left a participle dangling while I paused. You can kill the undead? I realize we’ve made great strides in modern medicine, but this seemed a bit farfetched, even with insurance.
I paused in my frenzied attack on the keyboard and peered at the television screen. Zombies were meandering about their virtual world, fencing with random inanimate objects. “Why don’t you finish him off?”
Meanwhile the headless nonhuman took a futile swing at some nearby foliage. A battle ensued during which the zombie filled the air with random slashes from a deadly blade before tripping over a strand of swamp grass.
“I can’t do it. He’s just too cute.”
This from the kid who teased me unmercifully when I cried at the Budweiser Clydesdale commercials. He also remained unmoved when the uncles took out the barn—and themselves—in the movie Secondhand Lions. But let a herd of headless zombies thrash about in the tall grass and his heart turns to mush.
I shrugged and returned to my composition. Everybody has a purpose. Mine is writing essays about unsuspecting family members. His is cleansing the world of the undead.
About that time the dog entered the room, circumnavigated the video game area like Magellan on a world tour, heaved a sigh, and collapsed on the floor at my feet. If he were a teenager he would have rolled his eyes and sighed, “There’s nothing to do in this house.”
I cleared my throat. “Back in the real world, the dog wishes someone would take him on a walk.”
Son One paused in the midst of mayhem. “I’d do it Mom, but I’m at a critical point. I must turn people into chickens.”
I saved my document and retrieved the big Lab’s leash from a hook near the door. “C’mon fella,” I said as he pulled himself up like the Kraken rising from the ocean floor.
About that time I heard frantic barking and saw a virtual dog run up to greet my son’s character onscreen. He was cute enough, but didn't have near the tail action that comes with a real life Labrador.
“You can play with a fake dog, but you can’t take your lifelong companion on a romp?”
“There’s a big difference, Mom.” Son One paused as he decapitated another zombie. This one doesn’t chew up my shoes if I forget to take him outside.
“Maybe not. But this one can leave surprises you can’t get off with a power blaster.”
Son One pushed a button and the screen went blank. He met the dog at the door and they disappeared down the driveway together. If the boy were canine, his tail would be wagging, too.
It just goes to show that you can always improve yourself with a little Lab work.
Happy Birthday, Ry.