‘The Walking Dead’ Survival Guide

When I first encountered the now hit television program “The Walking Dead,” I thought it was a comedy about new parents. It wasn’t until about the fourth episode did I realize I was grossly mistaken — the tattered, brain-dead creatures on the screen looked WAY better than new parents, with significantly healthier complexions and drive.

With the popular AMC zombie show “The Walking Dead” still a month away from the midseason premiere, fans are getting restless to see their favorite characters so they can be incredibly upset when they eventually are killed off.

Below are tips for getting your zombie fix and surviving until then.

• Desperately yell, “CAAARRRLL?!!?” whenever you’re outside. Look frantically for Carl. Unfortunately, “Carl” is and has always been a metaphor for unrequited love.

• While carrying around a large samurai sword would be awesome, it would probably be threatening to children. Instead, walk around with a mariachi band, which is threatening to everybody.

• Name your favorite bat: “Lucille.” But don’t stop there. Name everything in your house Lucille: plates, garage door openers, appliances, etc. If your wife or girlfriend’s name is already “Lucille” you have to now call her “bat.” It’s due to the Transitive Property of Naming. I don’t make the rules.

• Before talking to anyone at work ask them three questions: 1) How many walkers have you killed? 2) How many people have you killed? 3) Will you be my best friend? The last one helps to break the tension of your first two weird questions. It has the added benefit of being able to create a new, fun nickname if one of your coworkers gave an actual number to the first question (“Murderin’ Greg”, for example).

• Begin unquestionably trusting long-haired, leather-vest-wearing bikers wielding crossbows. What could go wrong? You’ll probably get lots of sweet crossbow lessons.

• To avoid being detected by children who constantly ask for money, cover your body in vegetables, chore lists and stories about the difficulties of your childhood. You should be able to slip by them unnoticed.

• Start wearing an eyepatch. But here’s the twist: under your eyepatch is a tinier eyepatch on which you’ve drawn a really cool eye. Like a dragon or Lion-O from Thundercats.

• Surround your house with sharpened sticks. Effective at keeping out walkers, in-laws and your neighbor Tom from wandering over to your garage when he sees you in there. I’M JUST TAKING OUT THE GARBAGE, TOM. THAT IS NOT AN INVITATION TO CHAT ABOUT THE ANGELS.

• Take your family out for a camping trip. When they’re asleep pretend to be a zombie “attacking” them to test their readiness. Discuss the grades you gave them when they start talking to you again in a couple of weeks.

• Teach your children about the dangers of trusting Trash People. As much as you may want to befriend PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN A TRASH DUMP, this is not a smart idea. Explain that while Trash People may have some really cool things they found in the garbage — a vintage football phone, some rusty wire, a Sonic the Hedgehog Sega game, a 1994 National Geographic issue on cheetahs — they will betray you.

• To get out of work at the office, walk around with a giant tiger. Insist your giant tiger goes wherever you go. People will be hesitant to schedule appointments with you and you’ll find your calendar really begins to open up.

• To mimic the terror of about to be discovered by a zombie, simply live in a house with squeaky stairs and try to walk down after you just put your two-year-old to bed for the 12th time.

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Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via living in a dirty, lawless community (aka his home). Follow him on Twitter @pancake_bunny for zombie apocalypse survival tips.