It seems like only yesterday that our tiny Tot (a.k.a. the grand-saw, a.k.a. Gabriel) was struggling to take his first steps with the aid of an old basketball. Amazing and delighting us to no end as words like “ball,” “bubbb-ble” and “Speed Limit 45” (yes one of the first things he learned to say, read and spell was a road sign) were uttered from his little smiling face.

Now, as a new school year dawns on the horizon, it’s hard to believe he will be taking his first steps all over again. Entering into the hallowed halls of learning, evolving from a playful preschooler into a charismatic kindergartener…they grow up so fast. One can rest assured emotions will run rampant that day, excitement and anticipation mixed with worry and concern. Will Grammie (a.k.a. Lil Red a.k.a. Mrs. Chainsaw) burst into tears at the sight of him in his little new school clothes, his little new backpack and his first little steps away from being her little boy? That’s a column for another day.

Some people believe that Kindergarten is an unnecessary rung on the educational ladder. Citing that it’s just an extended version of pre-schooling and there’s no required or needed knowledge to gain therein. I for one would have to disagree. Because there are things learned in the big K that could someday save your child’s life. What follows is a re-envisioning of the classic “Kindergarten” poem by Robert Fulghum, with a few liberties taken and added by me because…

“All I really need to know about how to live, what to do and how to survive a zombie apocalypse I learned in kindergarten” by Chainsaw. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the graveyard at Sunday school. These are the things I learned:

Share everything. Supplies will be limited so sharing them will be important. You share yours with others in hopes they’ll return the favor when you’re in need. Play fair. Don’t cheat your fellow survivors. Keep in mind there will no longer be law enforcement in place to prevent revenge.

Don’t hit people—save your hitting for zombies! Put things back where you found them. So you can find them when you need them later. Clean up your own mess. Just because it’s the end of the world is no excuse to be a slob. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Taking another survivor’s stuff could start that whole revenge process. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Even in the throngs of an undead horde, manners are still important. So apologize if you strike your friend when mistaking them for a zombie. Wash your hands before you eat. OK, there’s a deadly virus going around that can turn you into a flesh craving corpse so a little sanitary precaution isn’t going to kill you…though a lack thereof might. Flush. Unless it might alert nearby walking dead; but be sure to try and come back to dispose of that dookie later. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you, and will probably be considered a luxury, so eat up!

ChainsawLive a balanced life in the undead world.  Learn some, think some, draw, paint, sing, dance, play, work and slay every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. So you can be fresh for undead patrol duties that night. When you go out into the world, watch out for walkers, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. And always wonder how the hell you got into this mess.

Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Growing edible plants in cups is a key survival skill. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we. Just remember the goldfish, hamsters, white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup will not come back and try to eat your brains. And then remember the first word you learned – the biggest word of all — LOOK — Because you should always be on the lookout for zombies; it should always precede — RUN!

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere: The Golden Rule, love and basic sanitation; ecology, politics, equality and how to stay among the living. Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or an impending Stage 4 zombie apocalypse and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better end of the world it would be if all—the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies in a barricaded safe-house for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess; which would probably prevent said apocalypse in the first place.

And it is still true that, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. This leaves the other hand free to hold a weapon.

Hopefully the Tot’s first days of school will be far less than apocalyptic. Here’s wishing and hoping that all Kindergarteners (who are too young and probably shouldn’t read this) have an amazing, wondrous and learning adventure. And to parents, here are hopes you don’t get your hearts too broken or lose your minds when they wave goodbye to you through the window of a big yellow bus.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected] or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!