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There are a number of perfectly reasonable excuses to avoid doing something you don't want to, but sometimes reason just won't cut it. A simple "I don't feel well" didn't fool your elementary school nurse the 80th time you used it, so it likewise isn't going to fool your boss. That's when you need an ironclad excuse that no one would ever question.

But bullshit is a powerful weapon, one not to be used lightly. If you don't know what we mean, consider these cautionary tales of insanity.

7 Faking a Child's Death to Extend a Vacation

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What sucks about vacations is that they end. This is why most companies have rules against taking sick days right after your vacation is over -- the urge to extend the party for a couple of days is just too strong. So, most people just suck it up and drag themselves back to the office. New York school employee Joan Barnett is not most people. In order to get some additional time off during her school's spring break, she told her employers that her daughter had died in Costa Rica and she needed to go to the funeral. And, if you don't already see what's terrifying about that, wait until you hear how far she had to go to pull it off.

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"Hi, Cadaver Warehouse? What do you have in kids' sizes?"

Because in order to verify this claim, she was required to fax in a death certificate for her nonexistent daughter, Xinia Daley Herman, which is required documentation for school officials (which makes us think they've had employees pull the "fake dead relative" trick a few times before). So, she made one of those. Now all she had to do was make a heartfelt call to the school to explain her situation, and by "make a heartfelt call" we mean "force one of her real daughters to call."

Yep. One of Barnett's daughters, at the command of her own mother, called the school to let them know that her "sister" had tragically died of a heart attack in Costa Rica, which must have been preceded by one of the most awkward and morally bankrupt mother-daughter conversations ever. Barnett then made another daughter call the school later that day to report the death again, just to make sure.

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"Just like my sister said, she was devoured by scarabs. Yes, like in The Mummy."

Her ploy worked, and Barnett spent a relaxing two and a half weeks in Costa Rica with her employer none the wiser. That is, until one school official with the eye of Columbo noticed that the fonts on Barnett's death certificate were different from the ones that are normally used on such documents (presumably comic sans or wingdings). This led to more digging, which uncovered the fact that Barnett's trip to Costa Rica was three weeks before the day she claimed her daughter had died. Also, the Costa Rican government helpfully pointed out that the identification numbers on the certificate corresponded to a man who had died in 2005.

Caught in her lie, Barnett did what any of her students would have done -- she forged another death certificate, changing the date to fit her story. Her bosses found a long enough pause in their hysterical disbelieving laughter to fire her, and she was charged with a misdemeanor for the forgery.

The Frisky
Whereupon she tried to get charges dropped by forging a third death certificate.

6 Faking Death to Avoid Traffic Tickets

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In the real world, there are usually two reasons people fake their own deaths: either they're in trouble with the law, or they owe so much money that it's better to just fly away and start over under a new name. So maybe it makes sense that Kimberly Du thought about doing the same when she owed some fines to the government. Only in this case, it was just some traffic tickets amounting to about $500.

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Last year, half the Cracked staff fled to Mexico just to avoid $1.50 in library fines.

But, rather than take on a paper route to earn some extra cash, Du faked an obituary from the Des Moines Register's website to say that she had died in a car accident. She also mailed a written letter to the court alerting them of her demise and bearing her mother's forged signature (a tactic you may recognize as one children use to avoid letting their parents know they got a D on their shoebox diorama).

Her plan worked, at least initially. The day after the letter arrived at the court, the district judge threw out the arrest warrant for her outstanding charges, as well as her current tickets, because who the hell would lie about such a thing to get out of a few hundred bucks' worth of tickets? Truly, Du had outsmarted the system.

Rants Against Idiots
"I couldn't figure out their E-Pay system, so this seemed like the easiest option."

Well, right up until she got pulled over by the police and given another traffic ticket, about three weeks later. The police, rather than shooting her in the head and putting out an APB for a necromancer, realized that she probably had been lying about the death thing.

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"She has a pulse? No sir, something about this just doesn't add up at all."

Du, somehow lacking the foresight to consider her horrible driving as a complicating factor in her plans to avoid ever paying fines for her horrible driving, was busted for the unpaid fines, as well as some brand new forgery charges, totaling $500 and two years of probation.

Now brace yourself, because this next story will ruin your faith in humanity.

5 Faking Cancer for a Wedding

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It was one of those heartwarming stories where everybody joins in to make a dying person's dream come true. Jessica Vega wished for the perfect wedding, but unlike most women, she had a case of terminal leukemia, and who is going to want to marry that bullshit? But in true fairy tale fashion, she found a guy, at which point the entire community went to bat for her. They all believed, along with Vega's husband-to-be, Michael, that she had only a year to live.

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"Sure, I'll sign whatever pre-nup you want."

So, they all reached out to the media, asking for donations so Vega could have her dream wedding while she was still strong enough to walk down the aisle. The campaign was so successful that they wound up with enough donated cash to send Vega and her husband on a fully paid trip to Aruba for a dream wedding that cost thousands of dollars. And at this point, knowing the premise of this article, you're squinting at your monitor and muttering, "Oh, no. No, she didn't ..."

She did. After the wedding, time passed and Michael began to notice that Vega wasn't dying. Curious, he began calling numerous doctors in the area, but none of them listed Vega as a patient. She had never been treated for leukemia in her life, because she'd never had it.

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"If you really loved me, you'd let me biopsy your femur!"

Understandably upset at being tricked into marriage by the irresistible lure of terminal cancer, and being unwillingly placed in the center of a quite frankly horrifying scam, Michael divorced her and revealed her shenanigans to the media. Vega was charged with six felonies and put in jail to await her trial.

MSNBC
"Wait! I'm cured! I've been retroactively cured! It's a time-traveling miracle!"

4 Staging a Mugging to Explain Missing Oprah Winfrey Show Tickets

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We may not have a lot of Oprah Winfrey fans in our readership, but she does happen to be one of the most famous, and richest, entertainers on the planet. So when her four-hour final show was announced, people all over the world flocked together to wish her farewell, including other confusingly famous people, like Madonna, Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise.

Understandably, only so many people could be granted admission to see the airing in person, and the far more important celebrities got first dibs. The rest of the seats were given to 13,000 fans through a lottery on Oprah's website. But 44-year-old Robert Spearing wasn't aware of this lottery, and as such, did not win.

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"Come on, the average person is more likely to be butchered by an angry spouse than to win the lottery."

This was a problem, because Spearing had unwisely promised his wife that they would see the final screening, with no clear idea how or where he would get tickets. He was terrified to disappoint his wife, an Oprah fan with high expectations (it would be the equivalent of promising Ted Nugent tickets to the type of person who listens to Ted Nugent and failing to deliver, only with more bullet holes in your corpse).

When it became obvious to him that there was no conceivable way for him to get Oprah tickets unless Jesus Christ tap danced down a rainbow and handed them to him, he cut his head with a rock and told his wife he had been mugged.

NY Post
Presumably, the mugger was Jonah Hill trying to steal back his obesity.

Spearing claimed that two men in their 20s, one Hispanic and one black, beat him up and stole his Oprah tickets, because that totally sounds like something that really happened. Police searched for the perpetrators, probably curious to know what type of violent street criminals even knew about Oprah's final show in the first place, but when they went to question Spearing again, he confessed and told them it was all a lie.

Spearing was charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. He was released the next day on a $2,000 bond, which was posted by "a relative," a phrase here meaning "not his wife." Hilariously, he was due back in court at the exact time the Oprah episode would be airing on TV.

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"Everyone in the audience is getting a PRESIDENTIAL PAAAAAAARDON! You get a pardon! And you get a pardon!"

3 Faking a Kidnapping to Facilitate an Affair (Is Surprisingly Common)

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An unnamed woman took time off from living in Guatemala, the sanctuary of natural beauty and gorgeous people, to vacation in Spain, the other sanctuary of natural beauty and gorgeous people, because beautiful people need someplace to vacation to and the Island of Misfit Sex is not always available. This woman was unhappily married and had taken off for Spain to spend time with a lover she had met on the Internet, because situations like that never end in murder.

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Portugal, sure, but not in Spain.

She eventually decided that she wanted to remain in Spain with her lover indefinitely, so clearly the next step was to send her husband in Guatemala numerous text messages telling him that she had been kidnapped and was being sexually assaulted, presumably because she realized her initial plan of texting him "I'm dead" was too suspicious.

Her understandably panic-stricken husband informed the Guatemalan embassy, who communicated with the Spanish police, because that's what you do when people get kidnapped. The police found her immediately, in perfect condition and with no kidnappers anywhere in the vicinity. She originally tried to feed them a story about escaping her captors, but when a medical exam revealed that she had no signs of sexual assault, she broke down and confessed.

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"And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky cops and their common sense!"

This was not an isolated incident, by the way -- there must have been a Cosmopolitan article about filing false kidnapping reports at some point. For instance, a different 22-year-old woman told her family that she was kidnapped, only to be discovered at a border station trying to cross over into Mexico with her lover, a person of interest in a homicide case.

In yet another, equally idiotic incident, a woman had organized a blind date that she later regretted, possibly because she was already engaged to another man. Rather than cancel the date, however, she called the guy and told him she had been kidnapped. He immediately called the police, because that is what you do when someone has been kidnapped (see above), leading 60 officers from three different precincts on a desperate search for several hours.

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"Dude, if I rescue her? My OkCupid profile will be irresistible."

They eventually found her sitting in her living room, directing the madness from her own cellphone (she had been speaking with police the entire time, pretending she was stuffed in the trunk of a car). Furiously pissed, the cops tossed her in jail for two days, because jail is sort of like being kidnapped and it was only fair.

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"Can you blame me, though? Who wears jorts on a first date?"

2 Staging a Bus Shooting to Collect Worker's Compensation

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Nancy Parker, a 53-year-old bus driver, had a pretty freaking good reason to draw worker's compensation. Despite driving a public bus in the middle of the day on one of the busier routes in Boston, a strange man came aboard the empty bus and shot at her. She said that the first bullet passed so close to her that she felt the wind from it ruffle her jacket, and that the man had fired several more times. Parker tried to run to safety, but the man threw her down into the fare box and stole her wallet, wrenching her back in the process.

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Dodging bullets is hell on your spine.

She even had the bullet holes to prove it. Cops recovered one bullet that was lodged in the driver's seat, and Parker's jacket bore the grazes of narrowly missed gunfire. Her employers awarded her $7,700 in worker's compensation for both her trauma and her back injury, and were just thankful that she managed to completely evade the storm of lead that had been borne down on her by some random lunatic.

However, Parker, inexplicably displeased with her ironclad story that required no witnesses and minimal evidence and could go on unsolved for eternity without anyone ever doubting her, decided to spice it up a bit.

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"... so then I threw the grizzly bear out the window and was like, 'No ticket!'..."

While she originally stated that the shooter was a random maniac she had never seen before, she began telling people that the man was a former lover coming to collect a $5,000 debt (by robbing her in her work clothes on a public transit bus in the middle of the day in the middle of the city). It is unclear who she was trying to entertain with the new version of her story, which was so drastically different that police detectives were pretty much forced to charge her for filing a false report.

The whole story started breaking down from there. Further investigation showed that while there were bullet holes in her jacket, the jacket was far too tight to allow the bullet to hit it without harming Parker, unless she hadn't actually been wearing it when it was shot. Furthermore, they found that Parker had actually faked another attempt to get worker's comp in the past by claiming she had fallen off an elevator.

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Falling off an elevator? Wha ... HOW??

This leaves us with a whole lot of questions that we'll almost certainly never have the answer to. Remember how there actually was a bullet in the seat? Did she bring a gun to work and, during the day, shoot at her own seat? Did she hire a guy to do it? Come on, lady, tell us!

1 Man Severs Foot to Collect Unemployment

An Austrian man named Hans Url was unemployed, and he wanted to stay that way and continue to collect his unemployment check, which in his defense is sort of like a job. He had been claiming to have a bad back, but the local unemployment office (or job center, as it is known in Austria) told him he would have to start working again with whatever job they offered him.

Weird Planet
Hey, four euros per armpit ain't bad.

Hans decided he needed to up the stakes on his "disability" a bit, and he intended to tell the unemployment people that he had lost his foot in a terrible accident. Of course, he was savvy enough to know that they would ask for some kind of proof that this had happened. Sure, maybe he could try to find a doctor to fake the report, or maybe buy some pants with an extra-long leg to make it look like the foot was missing. But the lid would surely get blown off of that lie at some point during the time he intended to draw benefits (that is, the rest of his life).

So, he decided that in order to make his "my foot was severed" story convincing, he actually needed to sever his foot. He waited until his wife and son weren't home, went out into the garage and stuck his foot into a miter saw.

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Finally, a tool that combines the power of a chainsaw and the safety of a paper slicer.

He cut off the foot, then threw it into the oven so that nobody would be able to reattach it.

As it turns out, this would be the only part of his plan that could be called a success, as doctors were indeed unable to reattach his foot. When Url awoke from the coma he had put himself in, the job center helpfully informed him that removing his foot did not disqualify him from working, and they would just get him a job that didn't require walking.

Weird Planet

Dennis is trying to be a good friend, so check out his buddy's Web series.

For more people whose crackers are missing the cheese, check out The 6 Most Insane People to Ever Run for President and 7 "Eccentric" Geniuses Who Were Clearly Just Insane.

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