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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 10.31.09
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Welcome to FaceBOO!: A gruesome Halloween parable

Allison slouched at her computer and decided to make the best of the evening. So what if her date to the Crimson Conga Cotillion had cancelled? Who wants to dance in a line all night anyway? And it's so uncomfortable wearing all that fruit.

No, she was better off at home with her mug of Placid Hospice Herbal Tea and her friends -- her Facebook friends. She had 342 of them, a good two-thirds of whom she actually knew, mostly from her high school, St. Scantily School for Girls.

Allison checked her updates:

"Jessica Smackmore is watching the Derision Channel and eating cookie dough."

At least I'm not the only one having a dull evening, Allison thought.

Annie Bart wrote, "Ever notice that Halloween is the only holiday where garbage bags pass as decorations?" Allison commented with an "LOL," even though she hadn't.

A new post appeared at the top of the page:

"Martha Chomsky is feeding on the flesh of the living."

Allison sat up. That didn't sound like Martha. But you never know with tuba players.

She added a comment: "Ha ha, Martha, very funny."

Within seconds, Martha replied, "Seriously, I'm gnawing on Jessica Smackmore's femur right now. GRAAARR!"

Allison checked Jessica's status. It now read, "Jessica Smackmore is in excruciating agony. AAAAAAHHH!"

Allison stared at her screen in confusion. She glanced at her friend count. It read 341 -- down by one...

A new status update appeared: "Andy Elliot is perturbed about the zombies invading his personal space. Not to mention his lower abdomen."

Allison's friend count dropped to 340.

Allison began to breathe heavily. Was this some kind of joke? And more importantly, how was she going to make up those lost friends?

Her Facebook "Chat" icon blinked. Allison clicked it nervously. It was Annie.

"Allison? Is that really you?" it read.

Allison typed back: "Who else could it be?"

"Just making sure you're not infected."

"What are you talking about?"

"There's a computer virus. It turns Facebook users into flesh-eating zombies. It's horrible. They feed on their own Facebook friends. Jean Blamphum just burst into Carrie Hoptupt's house and devoured her kidneys. Carrie posted a video of it on YouTube just before she lost consciousness."

Sure enough, Allison clicked on the link Annie provided and watched a cell-phone video of a snarling Jean preparing to disembowel Carrie. "You stole my boyfriend," Jean growled. "Now I'm going to steal your liver!" Carrie screamed in anguish as she filmed. "AARRGH! I'm going to be famous! BLGHAHH! Forward this video to your friends! I'm going viral! YEEEEE!"

The video went black. Allison quickly scanned the video comments. "Totally fake," wrote DimSum349. "MUST EAT BRAINS!" wrote UnDed86.

Allison checked her friend count: 287.

"OMG," she wrote back to Annie.

"I know," Annie replied. "The virus seems to especially affect those who spend too much time on Facebook."

That would explain Jean, Allison thought. She was always playing "Mafia Gemstone Farmville Wars" and taking quizzes like "Which George Romero Movie Character Are You?"

Allison typed back to Annie: "What can we do?"

"GNARR!" Annie replied.

Allison gasped and exited the chat window. She was filled with terror combined with a certain admiration for zombie typing skills.

Suddenly, there was a thump at her window. Allison jumped. Terrified, she peeked outside. There they were: Jamie Durge, Bonnie Rowsell, that guy from the mall she friended because she felt sorry for him... all undead, all trying to tear their way into her house. "We're your friends.." they moaned. "We tagged you in our photos... We think you're yummy..."

Allison had a flash. If the zombies attacked only Facebook users, she would delete her account. She turned to her computer. Hands shaking as the door splintered behind her, she clicked the "Settings" button. The roaring of the zombies grew louder as she hit "Deactivate."

"Take that, fiendish friends," Allison cried, turning. But the zombies didn't stop. They just kept coming.

As her flesh-eating Facebook friends grabbed her, Allison's final vision was the message on her screen: "Your account has been deactivated but not deleted. It along with all your private information belongs to us for eternity. You may leave Facebook, but Facebook will never leave you. Have a nice day."

Moral of the story: Never give out your home address over the Internet.

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