Zombie Alerts

Thanks to video games, movies, TV, and some books, I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time over the past few years convincing my grandson that zombies aren’t real. My words, although not always totally satisfying, seemed to at least put the issue at bay…until the next TV show or video game featuring the living dead. Finally, as he got older, zombie fear died away (no pun intended).

Well, my grandson’s zombie alert system sounded the alarm again on May 26, 2012. It came without warning, too. No advance notice. And no chance to prepare. Besides, the little fellow is too young to possess explosives and machetes (for head-lopping). He doesn’t drive (everyone knows that running over a zombie will “kill” it). His mother won’t allow him to play with matches. And, at 10, he’s not quite strong enough to bludgeon the walking dead to its second death.

So, desperate to implement the ultimate protection against the latest wave of zombie attacks, my grandson’s first choice was to call me. Sure, good ‘ol grandpa would know what to do. And to show you just how smooth and all-knowing I am, here’s how the call went.

“I thought you said zombies aren’t real.”

“They’re not.”

“Yes they are.”

“No they’re not.”

“Uh, huh.”

“No, they’re not.”

“Well, the man on the news just said there’s a naked man eating another man’s face.”

“He was probably kidding.”

“He wasn’t kidding. They showed it on the news. A man is eating the guy’s face. And he growled at the cop who tried to stop him, and the cop shot him, but he kept eating, and the cop shot him again, and he still kept eating, and the cop kept shooting.” The excited boy took a deep breath… “And you know why the guy kept eating after the cop shot him?”

Having not seen the daily news and expecting a punch line, I asked, “No, why?”

“CAUSE HE”S A ZOMBIE!”

So, it was time to start the “no-such-thing-as-zombies” speech all over again. This time, however, I had a few major hurdles to overcome. Yes, a totally nude man (Rudy Eugene) had indeed chowed-down on another man’s face. And he’d growled like a starving beast when the officer approached. Hmm…

You know, it did take six shots to stop the feeding frenzy. Suddenly, I was beginning to wonder…had my grandson been right all along? Were zombies real after all?

Then, more zombie-esque stories began to pop up.

– Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old Morgan State University student, killed his roommate and then ate his heart and part of his brains.

– A Swedish medical university employee became suspicious that his wife was having an affair so he cut off her lips and ate them.

– Luka Rocco Magnotta packaged dismembered body parts and then mailed them to various people.

And then, to top it all off, Mao Sugiyama, a self-described “asexual” chef from Tokyo, had surgery to remove his genitals, and then cooked and served them to five PAYING dinner guests (refined zombies who prefer a piping hot meal that includes button mushrooms?).

Oh, we mustn’t forget the New Jersey man who, just last week, stabbed himself 50 times and threw bits of his own intestines and flesh at police.

Well, until the internet and cellphone cameras, the general public rarely saw the side of society that’s now and always has been fairly commonplace—murder and real-life macabre. Police officers, though, see those things as part of their everyday, run-of-the-mill, work day. People kill. They dismember. They bite of ears, fingers, toes, and even penises. And cops see it all, including cannibalism. That’s right, cannibalism is nothing new to humans (have you forgotten about Dahmer and Albert Fish?).

But growling at police officers while consuming the face of a still-living human being? Or restaurant patrons settling down to a plate of fresh chef parts?

Me? Well, I’ll pass on the lip linguine and the genital stir-fry. But you can bet your last dollar that I’m stocking up on matches and machetes. And my car is full of gas in case I need to make speed bumps out of a couple of brain-hungry, mindless “gotta’ eat flesh” zombies.

I think my grandson may have been right after all. So I’m now on high “Zombie Alert.” I’m watching everyone closely for that “telltale look.” Who knows, they could be anywhere…the bank teller, the guy in the hardware store, or the grocery store clerk.

I think I’ll make a nice sturdy hat to protect my brain.

Now where did I put that aluminum foil?

 

  1. wraith808
    wraith808 says:

    I was doing some research on this very subject, and came up with the following timeline:

    5/16: McArthur High School HazMat Situation: Students, Teachers Decontaminated After Breaking Out In Rash
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/mcarthur-high-school-contamination_n_1521764.html

    5/19: No confirmation on chemical at Fort Lauderdale International Airport
    http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/terminal-2-evacuated-at-fort-lauderdale-airport-in-hazmat-scare

    5/21: Police: Man bites woman in Westchester
    http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westchester/newsnow/x639948018/Police-Man-bites-woman-in-Westchester

    5/23: I-285 reopens after hazmat incident
    http://www.wesh.com/r/31112110/detail.html

    5/23: Man Bites Cousin’s Nose Off
    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Man-Bites-Cousins-Nose-Off-153100125.html

    5/24: Second Broward school reports mystery rash
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/24/2815003/second-broward-school-reports.html

    5/25: Hazmat Called After Kids Exposed To Pesticide On Bus: Hazmat, EMS Respond To Lake County, FL School
    http://www.wesh.com/r/31112110/detail.html

    5/25: ‘Disoriented’ passenger subdued on flight in Miami
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/25/passenger-restrained-on-flight-to-miami-arrested/

    5/26: Naked Man Allegedly Eating Victim’s Face Shot And Killed By Miami Police
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/26/naked-man-eating-victims-face-killed-miami_n_1548359.html

    5/26: Florida Doctor Spits Blood at Highway Patrolmen After DUI Arrest
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/florida-doctor-spits-blood-troopers-face-dui-arrest/story?id=16436402#.T8UpZ8XNngQ

    Miami seems to be the epicenter 🙂

  2. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Gone are the days when we could hide things on the news from our kids. I can’t imagine what an 11 year old thought hearing that story. I am glad you are learning to listen to your Grandson and preparing for the zombie attack.

    Thanks for the updated info on the ‘bath salts’. I did wonder what you did with them to get ‘high’ when it was mentioned on the news. I’m still trying to decide if it is a good thing I’m so niave.

  3. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Di – Sorry the article wasn’t clear to you. I thought I’d made my point in these lines:

    “Bath salts, aka Uncle Charlie, Ivory Snow, White Lightening, Red Dove, Bliss, Vanilla Sky, and Ivory Wave, are really a synthetic stimulant containing mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), chemicals that are readily found in many plant foods. Since the main ingredient in the drug, cathinone, is derived from a plant, and the end product is not intended for human consumption, there is no government regulation.

    Users/abusers of bath salts (the drug, not the stuff used in bath water) either smoke, snort, or inject the powder, which affects neurotransmitters in the brain.”

    I guess this was a case of me knowing what I was talking about, but not expressing it well enough. Oh, well…

  4. Di Eats the Elephant
    Di Eats the Elephant says:

    Lee, I’m glad you wrote about bath salts, too. When I heard they were going to outlaw them, I was concerned that like the cold meds that became limited buys, I would be limited in the quantity of bath salts I could buy for myself and for relatives for gifts. I had a roommate who knew a bit more about this and he pointed out to me – which is not clearly explained in your article to the uneducated like myself – that the bath salts that are causing the problems are not the bath salts bought for the bath, but a powdery substance that is packaged and sold as “bath salts” in convenience stores which know quite well what they are used for (not the bath) as well as everyone else (buying from or selling to the stores). Since I have teenage sons who are in that experimental phase, I worry about them thinking my bath salts are the same thing and, you know….just getting stupid. I’m hopeful they’re smarter than that, but there are many stories of even smart young people doing stupid things. Your article gives the names, and I liked that, including the sold-as names and the long name (and its acronym). Thanks for keeping us all informed – both as writers and as the uneducated public, we need to know.

  5. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I wonder if there is more beauty to the belief in Zombies than in the certain knowledge of the infinite options of man’s inhumanity to man. Well of course there is. Though terrifying, a demon or monster is better than our brothers and sisters, right?

    Lee, you hit on the part of law enforcement that makes me weak with admiration and pity–to see those things and carry on and live a life. It’s stunning really. I suppose it also accounts for the unfortunately high incidence of suicide among law enforcement as well.

    Elizabeth

  6. Margaret Koch
    Margaret Koch says:

    There was some speculation that the face-eationg guy was hopped up on bath salts. What is this world coming to?

  7. Angie Arndt
    Angie Arndt says:

    Okay, here’s a weapon to kill off all those zombie questions. The CDC has issued a release definitively stating that there are no such things as zombies:

    “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)”, agency spokesman David Daigle told the Huffington Post on Friday.

    Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/blugD

    Anything to help another grandparent in need …