When last I wrote about Jen Lancaster, I was reading her novel If You Were Here and loving it. I mentioned at the time that she had written Jeneration X, another memoir that sends her back to her roots of Bitter is the New Black and my all-time favorite, Such a Pretty Fat.
By the way, I now always say "Memoir" the way John Malkovich said it in Burn after Reading; "Mem-Wah" because that movie was mad hilarious and you need to go watch it now, for Brad Pitt playing a gay personal trainer who is faaaaaaaaaaaabulous if for nothing else.
Anyway, Jeneration X is a bit different than Lancaster's usual style (have I determined yet if I can call her Jen? I think I decided I could...) since every chapter is more of a bullet point than a cohesive story, but it works for her. Basically, Jen is finally growing up, and each chapter represents a life lesson that she has learned. She does sometimes contrast in the Millennial generation to prove her point, but she mostly pinpoints Generation X, which I am a part of, and you are too if you were born between 1960 and 1980. Basically, there are all sorts of issues that we Gen-Xers have to deal with that our parents didn't, and how it affects us and our interactions with the generations we are sandwiched between.
Every life lesson is of course peppered with Jen's humor and charm and stories about her dogs and husband and various others in her life (Thun-Thun-Thundercats! Hooooo!)
But every time I read a book by Jen, I always come to the same conclusion: I can never have her in my zombie fighting dream team. And I should, really. I mean, she wields a pretty mean shovel and her husband is practically a Navy Seal (in his dreams), so they should totally be on my list to help me vanquish the undead horde.
The issue really comes down to the fact that I think Jen and Fletch would naturally start trying to run the whole operation, and that's my job. I promise to be a benevolent overlord, but an overlord nonetheless, and I don't see any future with Jen and Fletch in my batch of freedom fighters that doesn't end with us all dead, leaving the rest of my crew leaderless and, quite frankly, a yummy feast for the zombies. You see, eventually, she would question my authority, and then I'd have to kill her in order to make an example of her, and then Fletch would have to kill me in retaliation, and then whatever hot boy toy I have slobbering after me would have to kill Fletch in retaliation, and it just wouldn't work. In the past, I have thought, "Well, I'm sure they'll be fine after the zombpocalypse happens."
I have, however, found a solution. After reading Jeneration X, it was clear that Jen needs to lead her own troops to safety. Naturally, both she and Fletch will have to work with their friends (hint: not all of your friends will take you seriously when you broach the subject with them. When the zombies attack, these friends will always be "bait" in your zombie attacks) and be responsible for their own cell. I'm not saying we can't work together in the future to trade for food, shelter, or DNA diversity. That's always going to be open between my faction and any other faction that wishes to negotiate peacefully. We will be like America and Canada, willing to live peacefully side-by-side.
The best part is that maybe Jen can start working on her Amish zombie YA novels. Rumspringa-ding-dinga is sure to be a best seller in the post-Z world. Max Brooks stresses that The Arts are going to be the frist thing that everyone will want to abandon once the zombies attack, but that we in our own groups can't let that happen. I'm just betting that Jen will be able to make us laugh so hard as to completely forget for a few minutes that outside of our safe sanctuary, there are hundreds of undead, just waiting to make a meal out of us.
So Jen, Fletch, start working on your plans. We're counting on you.