By. C. Michael Forsyth
ST. LOUIS — When Missouri farmer Hasgood Welch saw a raggedly dressed figure with mottled flesh shambling toward him across his soybean field, he didn’t hesitate to put a bullet in its forehead with his .30 caliber rifle. But this turned out to be a tragic error because the creature was actually an ordinary man wearing zombie makeup!
The 48-year-old victim assumed the bizarre disguise deliberately so his miserable life could be ended, in a widening trend that concerned officials have dubbed “suicide by zombie hunter.”
“The typical case is that of a white male 40 to 55 who feels he is living a life of quiet desperation,” explained Dr. Leona Sigley, a leading psychologist. “He may be languishing in a job he hates, have been married to the same woman for 30 years. He’s come to the conclusion, ‘Don’t wait until the zombie apocalypse. Just shoot me in the head now.’”
In years gone by, depressed people sometimes rushed police officers in what was known as “suicide by cop.” That method has become less effective in recent times, as lawmen become increasingly reluctant to shoot citizens, thanks to what’s been dubbed the Ferguson Effect.
The victim in the Missouri case became despondent after his wife dragged him to a social event billed as Grown Grown Folks Night, where the minimum age for entry was 30, the music ranged from 1960s to 1980s, and the club “hotties” were more likely to wear frumpy, flowery frocks than miniskirts.
“It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” revealed a family member. “He told me, ‘It’s like that song, ‘Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.’ One of his few pleasures in life was to watch The Walking Dead on TV. I guess that’s what gave him the idea.”
Welch, 64, who says he carries the weapon for protection against criminals, Syrian refugees and rabid coyotes, was devastated to learn that he’d shot a living human.
“If I’d known the feller wasn’t a zombie, I would never have pulled the trigger,” he said.
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
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