New York – They staggered up debris-strewn Sixth Avenue, eyes sunken and disheveled, dragging power cords and repeating a low guttural chant. “Juice…coffee.” The horde overran a Starbucks at 40th Street, quaffing cappuccinos until there was only coffee, and then licking the filters dry as employees fled in terror. Dozens of power strips daisy-chained from a single outlet, until the circuit blew, the horde howled in fury, and then moved on.
“I need to update my Facebook status!” George Romero moaned, a dead I-Pad in his filthy hands.
With power out below 39th Street for much of Manhattan, New Yorkers are confronting their worst fears: internet loss and introspection.
“Without reality tv and social media, all I can hear are my own thoughts,” Laurie Holden said, waiving her phone in the air for a signal. “I’m in a really dark place.”
Consolidated Edison assured residents they were working on the problem, but that union rules prohibited more than two hour shifts.
Earlier in the day, there was widespread looting at Radio Shack and Dunkin Donuts locations, and several Chinese food delivery men reportedly failed to return from bike trips downtown.
Bruce Campbell was holed up in his penthouse condo overlooking Madison Park, a sniper scope trained on the line waiting for Shake Shack to open. A portable generator purred beside him. “Death. Darkness. Just another day at the office. Hail to the king baby.”
At other luxury towers, doormen have been authorized to use deadly force to repel marauders. And some concerned citizens are calling for a wall at 40th Street and the creation of a “forbidden zone.”
Mayor Bloomberg officially suspended habeas corpus and declared karate law. At a mid-day press conference, he demonstrated a series of lightning fast moves. “I wish everyone would stay home and read a book, but let’s get real. A good chop to the neck will deter. A roundhouse kick will incapacitate.”
As night fell upon the city, Ms. Holden sent one last tweet before her phone died. “I didn’t even have time to hash-tag,” she complained. Then she rejoined the horde and slowly headed north.