More Dogs on Main | ParkRecord.com

More Dogs on Main

Tom Clyde, Park Record columnist

New details keep coming out about the face-eating man from Florida. If you have been out of contact with the world lately, you might have missed the story about a Florida (no surprise there) man who, while naked and jacked up on some kind of drug, attacked a sleeping homeless man and began to chew his face off. He was shot and killed by police. The cannibal, Rudy Eugene, is being remembered as a "kind and gentle" man, and one report from his high school football coach was that he was an "average" player.

The lesson here is clear stay away from kind and gentle men who were average football players in high school. They may be zombies.

Meanwhile, the victim remains hospitalized in critical condition following the unprovoked and bizarre attack.

While it’s quite reasonable to expect zombie cannibal attacks in Florida, there appears to have been a whole string of similarly inexplicable events around the world in recent weeks. A 21-year-old college student in Maryland is accused of killing his roommate and eating his heart and brain. In Sweden, a man was arrested after cutting off his wife’s lips and eating them after suspecting her of infidelity. A Texas woman killed her baby and ate miscellaneous parts. Nobody knows what to make of it.

Thank heaven we have experts. "Most cannibals are extreme loners," concluded Deborah Schurman-Kauflin in a 2011 article for Psychology Today magazine. Only a duly licensed psychologist with a hyphenated last name could have come up with that conclusion. "They do not have friends and they are bitter about it." Maybe they would have more friends if they didn’t, you know, eat them. Just a thought.

Another group of experts, quoted in an ABC news story I found online, were careful to point out that cannibalism is very rare, and it is "just not going to happen to you." Although that guy on the bus the other day is probably somebody to keep a close eye on. You know the one.

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Just offhand, I wonder how or why somebody becomes an expert in cannibalism. That’s a pretty narrow market. Are there special graduate programs at Harvard in cannibalism and zombie studies? And when the need arises, where does a reporter go to find a zombie/cannibal expert? Are there nonprofit zombie anti-defamation organizations, or cannibal non-discrimination groups?

But it’s important to have something to worry about. I mean something other a failed political system, unemployment, wars that have no purpose or end, runs on Spanish banks, Greece getting thrown off the Euro, climate change, dogs off leash it’s a very troubled world out there. There’s a lot of scary stuff, but it’s all complicated. Let’s face it, the return of the drachma is not even in the same league as a naked cannibal swinging from the street lights, then attacking you on the side of the freeway in Florida and chewing your face off.

The Mayan calendar has been debunked. The end of the world scheduled for December has been postponed for another 3,500 years or so, which pretty well takes it beyond my worry-horizon. Financial meltdowns and global market chaos have become so routine as to not matter. Collapse of the global financial structure pales against Los Angeles in the Stanley Cup finals. It’s getting harder to instill fear into the public these days.

But brain-eating cannibal zombies now there’s a market to work with. You can buy zombie attack insurance from ZAICO.com, the Zombie Apocalypse Insurance Company (look it up). They will protect you from a Class 3 Zombie attack, though their standards for proving your claim are pretty tough. You have to produce the actual dead/un-dead body of the zombie that bit you. But for $14.95 a year you get a lot of peace of mind in a troubled world. They will replenish your ammunition, rebuild your home, pay your medical bills, replace your car, and relocate your family to a zombie-free area. Somehow, I just know that ZAICO is financially solid, and that Goldman-Sachs is getting a piece of the action.

There have been no local reports of either zombie or cannibal activity. That doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, just biding their time until conditions are right. Neither the city nor county government has taken appropriate anti-zombie measures, which leaves us very vulnerable. All those regulations about dark-sky street lighting have created a zombie-friendly environment around here. So it’s just a matter of time. Come to think of it, they didn’t conclusively rule out zombie involvement in those dead fish over in Thaynes Canyon a while back.

So take reasonable precautions when you are out and about. You never know when the next zombie-cannibal attack will be.

Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column for 25 years.