Every so often, you will need a new identity. Maybe you’re from a race of immortals who must occasionally submit a death certificate to avoid arousing suspicion. Or perhaps you haven’t paid your bills in five years. And then there’s always doing it because you don’t want to kill yourself, but you’d like to make everyone pay for not going to your choice at the movies (“You’ll miss me and 3:10 to Yuma when I’m gone!”). Whatever: you have your reasons. But the only thing worse than a prat fall is a transparent prat fall that fools nobody. That’s why The Guys will now explain how to fake your own death.
A fake will/insurance policy (optional)
A safe house or travel plans
1) Don’t prepare anything for your “demise.”
If you don’t have a will, don’t suddenly write one. And, for the love of Gene Krupa, do not take out a new life insurance policy on yourself.* Don’t leave extra food for your pets, shut off the power to your home, cancel your subscription to Vogue or anything else that signals you’re going out for longer than an afternoon. The less you prepare for your “death,” the less likely people will think you had something planned.
*Exception: if the purpose is to frame someone for your murder, then draft an insurance policy/will that leaves everything to them.
2) Always use fire as your means of death.
Why fire? It’s the in-vogue fear right now. Thanks to the California fires being leaked to arson–or, according to Fox News, Al Qaeda–it’s the number three fear on people’s minds behind spiders and men’s room propositions. This means that they will have the proper sense of outrage/convincing that you intended. You can even leave your burnt-up body in the middle of your pristine living room, chalking up your death as another case of spontaneous human combustion.
Also, because fire will destroy all biological evidence of the surrogate body you’re leaving as evidence.
Wait, you mean you don’t have a body?
3) Get a body.
Apply comic book/soap opera rule #589: no body, no dead. Without the body, you’re missing, which is exactly what you don’t want. Missing people are all over the news and everyone will look for you.
The best place to look for bodies is in old apartment complexes. That’s where old people die and nobody notices for weeks until the smell builds up. The best part is that the cats will have already starting cleaning the meat off of the bones, so that gives you a head start on burning off biological identification. Finally, if someone finally notices they’re gone, they’ll think they’re missing, which means all attention will be on them, not you.
Referring back to step #2, this is probably why all spontaneous human combustion cases are old people.
4) Get out of Dodge.
Once you have set the body, you need to leave. Immediately.
If your plan was to disappear, great. You’re already on your way. Just don’t book any tickets under your real name.
If you’re waiting to see responses, check into the seediest motel possible under a fake name. Do not stay with a friend, no matter how much you trust them. He or she may not say anything now, but they will in a few years when torture becomes a standard practice again.
5) Back so soon?
Remember when you were 8 and you told your parents that you were running away? (Or remember when your favorite 80s sitcom kid said that?) How far did you (they) get before coming home? It’s very possible you won’t get across the street before giving up.
Do not admit to faking your own death. At best, you will alienate all of your friends and family, which means you’ll have to do the whole thing all over again, only more convincingly. At worst, we’re pretty sure fraud and tax evasion are illegal.
Instead, pretend you went on a spontaneous trip to somewhere without phones, lights or motor cars (we recommend Germany) and say, “You mean you didn’t find my note? It was sitting on my Lay-Z-Boy where you found that burnt body the vandals left.”
Whatever you tell them, let them know in advance that you’re returning. The last thing you want is to be mistaken for a zombie and shotgunned/chainsawed. How embarrassing.