The Smartphone Burglar: How I’m Saving My Neighbours From Tomorrow’s Zombie Apocalypse

By John C.A. Manley

I’ve taken to burgling. I’m hardly getting any sleep. All night long I break into my neighbours’ smart homes and steal their smartphones. It’s hard, since many people sleep with their smartphones right by their bed. Some, believe it or not, sleep with it on their pillow, one eye open.

I’ve never owned a smartphone of my own. And I don’t want one, no less the 328 I’ve “collected” so far. Rest assured, my motives are not criminal.

Before you call 911, let me explain…

You’ve probably seen this video circulating the internet, with Jason Shurka, who lives full-time in very deep rabbit holes (some, I suspect, he may have dug himself), predicting a smartphone apocalypse without presenting any evidence….

Tomorrow afternoon, he claims, FEMA will broadcast a signal from smartphones across the continent that will activate latent nanotechnology injected into the population as part of the “safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccine formula. Once triggered, these unsuspecting souls will either drop dead (if they’re lucky) or turn into zombies which like to bite people. The biting zombie is a particularly annoying breed. If you want to be a zombie, fine, it’s a free country, but biting people is crossing the line of apocalyptic decency.

Mr. Doomsday warns people that they need to turn off their phones tomorrow afternoon to avoid being assimilated. If nothing happens tomorrow, then don’t worry, you can still keep on worrying, because he says they’ll try again on the 11th. And if it doesn’t happen on the 11th, I guess that means Q or Donald Trump or the Bluetooth Fairy saved us from digital doomsday behind the scenes.

And even if you haven’t got the jab, he says the frequency your phone will emit on October 4 (or 11) can still affect you. He doesn’t explain why or how. You just need to believe him. He sounds like an expert. Trust the experts.

Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story

Boy, I must admit, I’ve really been wasting my time writing speculative fiction novels. I should be making speculative fiction videos. Because, that’s what I assume this is.

Of course, considering all the proven negative effects of smartphones, turning it off for a few hours will probably do everybody some good. I realize that some hardcore phone addicts may need to be put in a medically induced coma for the afternoon to survive the withdrawal. Indeed, many of my burglarized neighbours had to be rushed to the hospital when they woke up in the middle of the night and were unable to check their Twitter feed (I can’t bring myself to call it X).

But is what Shurka says possible? Of course! I saw it on Doctor Who. In the episode “The Age of Steel,” everybody in England has taken to wearing smartphone-like devices on their ears. One evening, their oversized earbuds send out a mind control signal, turning people into zombies, mindlessly walking to the nearest “conversion facility,” where their brain and spine is removed from their bodies and encased into robotic shells. If you thought transgender surgery was horrendous, take a look at this bloke…

I think the episode was directed by Klaus Schwab.

Now, if it happened on Doctor Who, you know it could happen to you. So, maybe, instead of turning off your smartphone for just one afternoon, you might consider turning it off permanently. If you want to take down the global control grid they are trying to erect, stop funding the wireless network that’ll make it possible. Get a dumb phone if your wife really needs to remind you to pick up some milk on the way home from work.

Consider the words of multimillionaire Dan Kennedy, who refers to the cellphone as “an evil invention if there ever was one” which “has amazing, mysterious powers over its owner.” In his book, No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs, he writes:

“Personally, I refuse to own or use [a cellphone] at all. I had one for two weeks once. Wound down the car window one day and threw it as far as I could. Never been tempted again.

“If you insist on carrying one of these miserable things, have the good sense to turn it off. A lot. Like to walk to lunch with coworkers or friends, eat, and actually digest what you eat. Or pee. Or, say, navigate your SUV down the side of a mountain, on an icy, curvy, road. And have the common decency to turn it off and shut up when you are seated next to me in a theatre, tight-quarters restaurant, or other public venue before I ram it down your throat. This should be like smoking. It’s at least as offensive. There should be little glass rooms here and there, like the ones smokers are stuck in at airports, where everybody who has to yap into their phone can go and be wedged in to annoy each other, leaving those of us with our lives under control and some sense of civility[,] in peace. The pay phone in a booth was a wonderfully civilized thing. (I also favour mandatory death penalty for texting while driving.)”

Instead of checking your smartphone all day long, why not carry around a book? They contain words and pictures just like a smartphone, but don’t need to be charged, are unlikely to give you a brain tumour, and have been proven to make you smarter. (If you’re looking for a good one, may I recommend Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story?)

Now, before you call the police on me for stealing all my neighbours’ smartphones: On October 12, if no zombie apocalypse happens, I intend on returning all 328 of them. While I don’t support the use of smartphones myself, I do stand for freedom of choice. If you want to risk cancer, ADHD, chronic depression and texting tendinitis, go right ahead. But before I return them, in the interest of “diversity,” I’ll be changing their language settings to Arabic, Mandarin or Korean. And in the interest of sanitation, I’ll also run them through the dishwasher.

John C. A. Manley is the author of the full-length novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. He is currently working on the sequel, Brave New Normal. John lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his son Jonah, and the ever-present spirit of his late wife, Nicole. You can subscribe to his email newsletter, read his full bio or find out more about his novel.

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