By his own admission, Daniel Chong planned to spend April 20 like so many other college students: smoking marijuana with friends to celebrate an unofficial holiday devoted to the drug.
But for Mr. Chong, the celebration ended in a Kafkaesque nightmare inside a San Diego Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell, where he said he was forgotten for four days, without food or water.
To survive, Mr. Chong said he drank his own urine, hallucinated and, at one point, considered how to take his own life. By the time agents found him on the fifth day and called paramedics, he said he thought he could be dead within five minutes. […]
A spokeswoman for the D.E.A. said the case was under investigation, but confirmed that Mr. Chong had been “accidentally left in one of the cells” from April 21 until April 25, and that he had not been charged with a crime.
New York Times: California Man’s ‘Drug Holiday’ Becomes Four-Day Nightmare in Holding Cell
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May 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm
The NYT’s use of the word “Kafkaesque” to describe this poor fucker’s experience seems inappropriate to me. A young man was locked in a 5-by-10 room and left there, cuffed, without food or water or toilet, for four days. By day five he was 15 pounds lighter, his kidneys had failed, he was hallucinating and suicidal and covered in his own shit (a detail tastefully left out by the NYT but mentioned in the AP report), he’d swallowed a shard of glass, puncturing his oesophagus, and had begun to carve the words “Sorry Mom” into his arm as a goodbye message. Is this really “Kafkaesque”? Wouldn’t something like the “Saw” franchise be the more apt cultural reference?
(I wonder — if this had happened in Moscow, say, would the NYT be calling the incident “Kafkaesque”?)