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In light of Season 5 beginning today, I figured I should let you know that some interesting things happen when you let your toddler watch “The Walking Dead”. And thank you for that, mom with the title song ringtone.

It was holiday time in the retail world where I worked. Only brave people bring their kids to stores during this time because there are toys strategically mixed around within the clothes, and all over the floor waiting to trip people because they don’t stay on the walls long. A little boy between two and three wanders over to a Fisher-Price toy barn, while I’m just doing my job, picking up after lazy or homicidal people, not really minding the little boy who is enamored by the barn on the wall and looking inside of it. He starts looking for “lombies”, in sentences he can scarcely string together. His mom comes over and explains to me that he had just heard her ringtone, which is the Walking Dead theme song. He can’t say “zombies” yet so “lombies” have to do. She swears she does not let him watch the show. It’s 8 o’clock in the morning.

In Psychology, we call this stimulus generalization, and it allows the boy who can barely speak, with a vocabulary just waiting to grow, to look inside a bright-colored barn for some flesh-eating “lombies”. To him, those plastic animals aren’t what belong, and it’s the natural habitat of the zombies.

So maybe he did just see previews and that’s how he knew what was living in the barn when the theme song he has never heard sounded on his mom’s phone. MAYBE. He’s just around five now, so maybe he’s catching Season 5 tonight.

Hands down, my best experience working in retail ever…besides the knife set I found in the toy aisle once.