I’m watching The Walking Dead on the television in the living room when my dad walks in. He stops at the doorway and watches from there. The characters are in a battle with another group and as the chaos ensues, he has a lot of questions.
“Zombies can climb?”
“Does that thing kill zombies?”
“No, you have to stab their brainstem.”
“Huh. Do zombies smell?”
“I don’t know.”
“They can hear? Does that attract zombies?”
“Who opened the gate and sent in the noisy car?”
“We don’t know yet.”
There is a close-up scene showing a zombie eating a man’s arm.
“Aw geez. That’s terrible.”
“Yeah. Zombies are terrible.”
“Is that why you watch them?”
“Well, it’s less terrible than watching the news,” I say. He knows I’m referring to my consistent commentary about how much tv news he watches.
“You’re right, there. The news… yep the news is scarier than zombies.”
“So let’s just watch zombies.”
“Let’s just watch zombies.”
“But you have to watch, no more questions.”
“What? No questions? Ok.”
He’s quick with his next line in the queue, though he pauses for effect.
“Well, what if I have a question about whether something is a question?”
I try hard not to entertain this and keep my eyes on the tv. He laughs, proud of his last poke. He sits in his favorite chair and we share a more-peaceful-than-the-news zombie-watching experience together.
Also published on Medium.