The horrific story of a homeless man, who was found eating another man’s face while high on LSD, sent Twitter into a crazed discussion of zombie comparisons.
Rudy Eugene, 31, was shot dead by police on Saturday after he tore into his victim’s face at the side of a major Miami highway.
The fact officers were forced to shoot Eugene several times before he was finally halted led many to suggest (whether seriously or not) that he was a member of the walking dead.
News of the attack, as tracked by the search term zombie, had seriously penetrated Twitter by 1pm on Sunday – with the number of related messages nearly doubling from around 17,000, the same time the previous day, to more than 35,000. The following day there were more than 80,000 tweets.
The social network spewed out the usual cold-hearted responses that any tragedy seems to garner on social networks, but some of the more interesting responses included the ihopericksantorum blog – which plotted a timeline of (tenuously) related cases to support the theory of an impending zombie apocalypse.
The temptation to make pop-cultural references also got the better of people, with several users citing their favourite TV shows and films. Here is a selection of a few tweets:
“Breaking News: The hit AMC show, The Walking Dead, has decided to forgo it’s FX/makeup budget for season 4 and just film in Florida instead.”
“A man was eating another mans face in Miami!!!!!!! Wtf the walking dead is real we are going to die”
“http://t.co/HwYLr39t And the award goes to George Romero for really understanding how this would all go down.”
“‘Dawn of the Dead’, anyone? — Naked man shot, killed by police after chewing another man’s face: cops http://t.co/EmeFeIAC #zombies”
The story also led to a host of content being shared that offered tips to surviving an attack by the undead, including this post entitled ‘12 Houses That Will Get You Through A Zombie Apocalypse’.
Without wishing to sound holier-than-thou about the humour demonstrated, it was hard to find laughter in the incident after seeing the brutal reality and shocking gruesomeness of the victim’s wounds.
Thankfully the man, 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, is recovering from the vicious attack in hospital and the Twitter jokes have subsided. Activity under the term zombie is now returning to near normal figures.Tags:George Romero, miami, Ronald Poppo, Rudy Eugene, the walking dead, Twitter, zombies