I don’t know if the zombie apocalypse is nigh—as some reports claim, with varying degrees of seriousness—but things are certainly going to hell in a hand basket down in Florida, and beyond.
Most of you have already heard the terrible story of the naked man in Miami who was shot to death by police for eating another man’s face. What many are referring to as a real life zombie attack may, in reality, be a combination of mental illness—Rudy Eugene, the attacker, was reportedly often seen “looking confused” as he roamed the streets—and gnarly, gnarly drugs. Eugene may have been under the influence of Mephedrone, commonly referred to as “bath salts.” From accounts, bath salts are akin to PCP, but not as warm and cuddly. Think delirium, hallucinations, elevated body temperatures, paranoia, violent outbursts, and enhanced physical strength. That is absolutely terrifying. A man chomping down on another man’s face is not supposed to happen outside of the confines a movie theater.
The incident with Eugene, however tragic, is not the only instance of real life in the Sunshine State imitating a scary movie. Twice in the past few weeks Florida schools have reported a mysterious skin rash going around. Both instances required Haz-Mat teams and medical tests that yielded little in the way of answers. Haz-Mat crews were also called to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after an “unknown chemical” was released, causing the hospitalization of five people.
Unexplained illnesses and chemicals are harrowing enough, but here’s where things start to get even more cinematic, in bad way. The Florida Highway Patrol arrested a 41-year old doctor for spitting blood on an officer. Once cuffed in the back of the car, Dr. Zachary Bird repeatedly bashed his head against the Plexiglas divider until he bled. That sort of rage sounds like something out of 28 Days Later.
Apparently the rest of the country wants to get in on the act of giving me nightmares as well. The University of Illinois sent out the following Tweet to their students: “Hazardous materials released at Institute for Genomic Biology. Escape area if safe to do so. Otherwise seek shelter.” I don’t know what they do at the Institute for Genomic Biology, but if I heard that name in a horror movie I’d expect it to be the source of some unstoppable pandemic, or a virus that makes you want to consume another person’s face. Seems like they could have phrased that warning in a less ominous way.
In Hackensack, New Jersey, a man not only stabbed himself with a foot-long kitchen knife, but he then proceeded to throw his own skin and intestines at police officers. He threw his own intestines! The man, Wayne Carter, has a history of psychiatric problems and disorderly conduct.
And today in Seattle a pair of fatal shootings occurred in quick succession, shutting down large portions of the city. While not directly zombie or horror movie related, people certainly seem to be ramping up for some sort of apocalyptic event. It’s enough to make you never want to leave the house again. Watch yourselves out there; shit is getting crazier and crazier.