Happy Deathday, Son

My youngest had his deathday party last week. For you breathers out there, a deathday is just like a birthday, only instead of celebrating the anniversary of one’s birth, we celebrate—well, you get the idea.

But a good deathday celebration takes preparation. First I had to decide on the treat. Cupcakes are best for my children, so that nobody fights over who got a bigger piece. And store-bought cupcakes, I reasoned, were loaded with preservatives and chemical additives—not to mention almost entirely free of human flesh or blood. It’s not a deathday treat without flesh. So I took to the Internet in search of tasty cupcake recipes.
No luck. Not only could I not find a single recipe that included both human flesh and chocolate chips, but the sheer variety of designs and decorations overwhelmed my poor rotted brain. Cartoon characters, pop singers—and does any child really need a cupcake decorated to look like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?

Store-bought cupcakes it was. I decorated them with severed fingers and toes for party favors, and the little guy was satisfied. Even more so when the breather guests very nicely let them have their favors as well. We have such considerate friends.

Then it was time for the presents. The grandparents had gone all-out, as they usually do. A mace, a rack, two broadswords, and an iron maiden were his total haul from the extended family. I did make the executive decision to put the swords away until he’s older. Several years ago my older son got a similar gift. My poor husband still has the scars around his neck where his head was re-attached.

But the little shambler didn’t even notice the disappearance of the swords. His favorite present wasn’t one of the fancy weapons or intricate torture devices. It was a rusty old hacksaw that his father found on the side of the road while staggering home from work. When I gently removed the saw and pointed out his other gifts, he dove head-first—into the bubble wrap that the rack had come in.

It just goes to show—kids are never going to be impressed with the biggest or most expensive gadgets. It’s almost a natural law: the fancier the toy, the more entranced your child will be with the package it came in.

Human or zombie, living or dead, who doesn’t enjoy bubble wrap?

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