Spring is here at last, and the fear of limb loss due to freezing has finally passed. My little shamblers made it through the winter with only two fingers and six toes lost in total. This isn’t bad for them; at least we got most of the toes back. What we couldn’t find half-buried in the snow was later fished out of the mouth of the neighbor’s dog.
Unfortunately, with the thaw comes week after week of nonstop rain. This is less damaging than frost, but it’s equally depressing. Has your mother ever told you, “You’re not made of sugar; you’re not going to melt”? Well this holds true for the life-challenged as well. We don’t melt—exactly. But we do rot faster in the damp, and there’s nothing more dreary than watching bits of yourself wash away in a heavy downpour.
It also upsets our breather neighbors when they find hairy chunks of scalp in the gutters. They start freaking out about radiation, and then those guys in the plastic jumpsuits come out and tear everything up.
So I can’t let the kids out in the rain too much, even though they enjoy stomping in puddles and munching on dead worms. But I can’t keep them cooped up inside for too long, either. They fight over toys, beat each other up, and the only video games they like are those disturbing ones that feature zombies as helpless victims of rednecks with shotguns. Those games will rot their brains—more.
Fast food restaurants usually have indoor play spaces, but I worry about the quality of the food there. It doesn’t make much sense to take my shamblers somewhere so they can run around and exercise, and then let them fill up on meat that’s been fed a steady diet of greasy beef, processed cheese, and phosphorus-laden beverages. We go occasionally as a treat, but it’s not a permanent solution to our cabin fever.
Children’s museums are an adequate alternative to turning the kids loose on the neighborhood, but it can get expensive. Even the cheaper ones that only cost five bucks or so per kid can add up when you include transportation, snacks, souvenirs, and whatever I have to pay the parents of whichever kid that inevitably gets bitten. You’d think that in this helicopter generation parents would do a better job of teaching their kids not to grab toys away from the ravenous dead, but whatever. Somehow it’s always my fault.
Indoor gyms are the best choice all around. Most park districts have them; don’t go to one of those fancy workout places. Cost aside, everyone there is either ridiculously skinny or on one of those strange diets that makes them taste weird. There is no good eating to be had if you get the munchies. Go to your local park district instead. They usually offer a family pass, which makes it more affordable.
Also there’s lots of space to spread out, so there’s less chance of some breather child invading my kid’s personal space. Best of all is the running track. Whenever I go for a jog in my neighborhood, someone always panics and calls the CDC. But on the running track at my park district’s community center, I don’t even stand out. Everyone there is moaning, shambling, and stumbling every ten paces or so. It’s the ideal place to take the family when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.