The sandwich generation. The peanut-butter between the white WonderBread Boomer bottom and the organic flax-seed brioche Millenial top.
Oh, we have our faults. I mean, the hairspray alone is likely responsible for a depleted chunk of ozone. Landfills are full of Jessica McLintock taffeta prom dresses, polyester blend, and lots of single rhinestone gloves. We’re at fault for some pretty hideous hairdon’ts, some questionable music (looking at you, Kenny G…), and more cheesy movies than you put Baby in a corner with.
We would, like, totally kick ass in a zombie apocalypse.
Think about it. Not only did most of us watch The Day After and take notes, but there are plenty of tubular things about growing up in the 80s that would serve us well should we ever have to sift through the rubble of an atomic fallout or fend off brain-slurping, undead ex boyfriends.
McGyver. How many times did you tune into McGyver or The A Team and watch them create explosives out of a shoe box, a bobby pin and some baking soda? Or open tins with a twig? Set a successful trap with a sock and a prayer? These are the very skills that would come in handy during even a generic apocalypse, never mind a zombie one.
John Hughes Films. Endless viewings of the entire John Hughes oeuvre would make delegation a snap. Setting up a hierarchy of jocks, princesses, athletes, basket cases, and brains would be—-well, a no-brainer. Need someone to build a radio out of tin foil and scrap metal? Where’s the brain! Need someone to use as bait to draw those zombie suckers in? Where’s the bad-boy James Spader character? The world has too many spoiled, rich white boys anyway. It’s time for them to give back.
CFCs. If you ever kept a can Stiff Stuff in your locker for between class touch ups, you know the power of hairspray. If you ever had a girlfriend who used so much Rave you could taste it over her Bonnie Bell when you kissed her, you know how potent that stuff is. A can of Aquanet and a lighter can go a long way, my friend.
Rotary telephones, typewriters and checkbooks. Gen. Xers lived a major part of their lives without technology, unless you count Pong and Walkmen. Think about what this means. While a group of young guns is struggling to find their way, not knowing how to navigate without their GPS or Google Map, we could, oh, I don’t know, read an actual map. Or stop and ask directions.
Optimistic Realism. Gen Xers had to get by with hard work and nepotism. There were no reality television shows or YouTube clicks for us. No, siree. No Mom and Dad arguing for a better grade on your behalf, no cell phones to get you out of a jam. We had to think on our feet on the playground, have face to face conversations and fist fights at three behind the gym. All key components to surviving the coming of the Walking Dead. After all, it’s hard to tell who’s undead and who’s not via text now, isn’t it?
Boredom. In between battles for survival, there are bound to be long stretches of nothing to do but sit around and watch the paint dry. If you’re in your 40s, you’re used to boredom. Remember, we only had 5 or 6 television channels. And no internet. Seriously, when we complained we were bored our parents sent us outside and told us not to come back until it was dark. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.
The Clapper. Think of the confusion this could cause. Lights on. Lights off. All as if by magic. The undead wouldn’t know if it was Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Living Dead or what.
Brain Power. If you could solve a Rubik’s cube, without Googling it, or hacking it, figuring out how to outrun a zombie herd is no biggie.
Longevity. If you grew up in the 80s, you’ve seen so many fads and trends come and go that you are wary of anything that promises instant results. Le Disc, Chia Pets, 3 card monty, Atari, neon, Ponzi schemes. So when someone comes up and offers you a device that can track zombie movement, or detect fallout radiation, you’re going to take them with a grain of McGyver-made salt.
Transportation. Before seatbelts, Gen X had not choice but to learn the right way to ride in the back of a pick-up truck. We can also easily utilize unorthodox methods of transportation to outrun zombies and/or ash clouds: roller skates, Big Wheels, Huffies and BMX racers. Hippity hops and pogo sticks.
Psychology. You’d be surprised what you learned and retained from all those Afterschool Specials. You never know when being able to spot which survivor was suffering from an eating disorder, who came from a divorced family, whose dad was a secret alcoholic might come in handy. Knowledge is Power, people. Knowledge is power.
Go out in Style. If you’re minutes away from being caught by a zombie mob and having your brain sucked out of your eye sockets, Gen X knows how to go out in style. Commandeer a parade float and sing Danke Schoen at full volume. Perform a previously impossible lift at the end of a dance routine. Cycle across the moon. Dance with them a la Thriller. As You Wish.
And if all else fails?
You can Just Say No.