So the story came out this week that a school teacher in Pennsylvania lied about having brain cancer so she could get some time off work. We're not saying we condone that behavior, but we certainly understand it.
Damn it, if you're going to ditch something, you need to think big. Like these people.
Ah, work. The crushing monotony. The obnoxious customers. Your incompetent coworkers. But the off-brand Ramen and Trial Memberships to Porn sites aren't going to pay for themselves. You have to do it. Even if everything inside is screaming for you to run, you have to go... right?
So What Do You Do?
Well, you could call in sick, but what if somebody drops by and sees you out in the yard playing on your trampoline? No, it's got to be convincing. You'd better just stab yourself.
A guy from Denver named Aaron Siebers called into work and claimed he was just attacked and repeatedly stabbed by three mysterious assailants who were either skinheads or Hispanics. That seems a little odd, but hey: Maybe they were tan skinheads, or bald Hispanics, or perhaps even the Klan has had to bend to Affirmative Action and diversify. But let's not lose track of the important thing here: He didn't just "claim it"--he actually stabbed himself.
And not with glancing blows, either. His wounds were serious enough to require stitches. And police, for some reason not catching onto the old "call into work stabbed by ethnic contradictions" excuse, believed him and began a manhunt for the suspects. They brought in K-9 units and five other agencies on the case. But then, after reviewing the security footage from the alleged crime scene (Siebers said the attack occurred in the parking lot of a local Target, because apparently Wal-Mart is just a little too low rent for His Freaking Majesty here), they found no evidence of the crime. After confronting him with this discovery in the hospital, the truth soon came out.
Aaron Siebers inflicted deep, potentially lethal stab wounds on himself, committed fraud and instigated a vast, cross-agency manhunt because he didn't want to go to his job... at the local Blockbuster.
You're eating out at your favorite restaurant, hedonistically devouring everything that passes in front of your table. But come on, you deserve it: It's been a hard week, and you have so very few indulgences. You have even fewer dollars in your wallet. Coming down off the glutton high, stark reality begins to set in. There's no way you can pay this bill.
So What Do You Do?
You can poke remorsefully through your empty wallet, trying to remember which credit card isn't over the limit. Or you can cop to it, apologize and offer to work off the debt in the kitchen.
But shit, you know what's way easier than all of that? Faking a heart attack.
A Wisconsin man did that, not once, but twice, in the same day. He first took a cab to a shopping mall, but when he arrived, somehow got out of paying the fare by clutching his chest and playing the heart attack card. The cab driver, apparently not wanting to get involved with a bunch of "taking a dying man to a hospital" nonsense, just drove away.
The man, apparently amazed that this worked, decided he had stumbled upon a lifelong "get everything for free" coupon. He went to a restaurant in the mall and had a nice steak dinner. When they brought the bill--oh, no! Heart attack!
Concerned for his safety, the staff promptly called an ambulance and had him taken to the hospital. There the doctors soon realized he was faking it and called the police, who charged him with fraud. If convicted, he could serve up to nine months in jail, and be forced to pay a $10,000 dollar fine.
The bill he was trying to get out of paying? It was $23.
Sirens blare in the distance. The telltale red and blue lights flash in your rear view mirror. You fumble for the gum, unfortunately knocking over the tallboy of Steel Reserve you belted into the passenger seat (in order to use the carpool lane). The officer motions for you to roll down your window. This is it.
So What Do You Do?
Face up to the law, learn from your mistakes and promise to never drive drunk again? That'll take like, literally hours of work. Fuck that! Just do like this lady.
In hopes of avoiding the dreaded ticket, she started out by reversing into a cop car at a gas station. Panicking, the woman fled the scene--which proved easier than expected since she'd just disabled the nearest police car. Quick, what's the next logical step?
A) Stop and take a moment to recall if the cop had enough time to spot your license plates;
B) Report your car stolen;
C) Flee the state;
D) Burn everything.
"Welp. This should take care of everything. Wait. What was I taking care of again?"
If you answered D, congratulations! You're mentally imbalanced! But you're also right: She drove her car into a ditch, removed the license plates and lit the whole thing on fire. At this point it becomes a little difficult to figure out exactly what her plan was, mainly because her next step was to remain on the scene, standing next to the burning car she just rammed a cop with, still with a BAC of .155.
"DAMN IT, IT WAS THE PERFECT CRIME."
Another Sunday, another boring, uncomfortable day at church. You put on your hideous secondhand church clothes, and mentally prepare yourself to spend the next two hours listening to the complicated genealogy of long-dead Arabic men.
So What Do You Do?
Try to sneak in an iPod? Play games on your phone while trying to look deep in solemn concentration about the moral relevance of prehistoric sex-charts? Just suck it up and try to improve yourself spiritually?
That was the plan for an unnamed seven year-old boy in Utah, who was so eager to avoid church services he hopped in his dad's car and took off.
Shortly thereafter police received reports of a vehicle driving recklessly, then reports of a child driving a vehicle, then reports of a child driving recklessly. Two deputies caught up with the boy just north of Salt Lake City, where he led them on a, well... moderate speed chase (topping out at 40mph but hey, he's just a kid; he'll get those numbers up with practice).
The kid, who had to have struggled just to see out of the windshield, managed to not kill even one pedestrian before pulling into a random driveway and running inside the house. Police filed charges against, well, nobody, since he's just a little kid. So if you're reading this and you're seven years old, you can totally steal your parents' car! Seriously, nobody cares.
Report Card day: Well into adulthood, the phrase still holds some ancient, primeval terror. The syllables themselves summoning dread and insecurity from the depths of the human psyche. As distracting and intolerable as you try to make their lives, parents just never seem to forget about report card day.
So What Do You Do?
You can run home every afternoon, hoping to God that your mom hasn't checked the mail yet, and then dispose of it if you're desperate, or alter it if you're skillful enough. Or else, God forbid we even mention it, you could take the punishment and buckle down, apply yourself and take your education seriously.
Or you can fake a kidnapping!
A young boy from Alabama claimed that, after leaving school on report card day, he was abducted by a man with a pistol and forced into his car. But with a cool head, quick thinking, cat-like reflexes and probably a really hot girlfriend across town (she goes to a different school; you wouldn't know her), the boy managed to escape and leapt from the vehicle to safety. Sadly, however, his book bag--along with his report card--had to be left in the car. He barely had time enough to grab his band instrument before fleeing.
"Get in the car, kid. And bring that classy instrument with you."
The police and the boy's parents, presumably too jaded to believe in the invisibility-granting powers of the boy's magical trumpet, became suspicious at this detail, and he later confessed to making the whole thing up.
Not the girlfriend though. She's totally real. And hot. And she can do the splits... both ways.
Time makes fools of us all: One day you wake up, realize your marriage has fallen apart, your job sucks and you can't even pay the child support to the kid who won't even talk to you anymore. It's crushing and sad and futile. You're just not sure if you can face another day in this place...
So What Do You Do?
Maybe you can just try to take some night classes at the community college, or check out this online dating scene or see if your kid wants to get some ice cream this weekend. And then, if he says no, you can just frame yourself for a crime and go to prison.
Like Peter Laurence Axelrod, who robbed a bank despite having no interest in the money. He strode into the bank, gave the teller a threatening note, complete with his fingerprints and--oh yeah, his full name and address written on it--looked square into the security camera, presumably offering a resigned shrug before heading home to wait for the cops. See, Axelrod figured that federal prison (the uh, "better" prison?) was better than his crappy life, and they can't send bills there, so he'd just hop in for a few years while he figured his life out.
"Any minute now..."
The only problem being that the bank robbery didn't fall under federal jurisdiction, it came under state. Meaning state prison--the "worse" prison he was hoping to avoid. And he's not hopping in for a summer vacation, either; he's looking at a cool 25 years there. On the plus side, that's a lot of time to get your life together. On the downside: forced sodomy.
Oh, and that child support he didn't want to pay? It totaled less than $700. At the time of arrest, Axelrod was working as a personnel director, a job for which he was paid approximately $60,000 a year.
Life on the run is harrowing, stressful and dangerous. Every car is a cop's, every glance is accusatory, every friend a potential informant. Your nerves are shattered, your luck is running out and you simply cannot face the kind of hard time that's waiting for you on the other end of that justice system.
And by "hard time" we obviously mean "heaping bags of rape."
So What Do You Do?
One last mad dash to a country that doesn't extradite? Try to cop a plea deal? Face the music and throw yourself on the mercy of the court? Fake your own death?
Actually, that last one sounds pretty reasonable. If you can pull it off. In this day and age of constant connectivity and science fiction caliber monitoring technology, that's got to be damn near impossible. But, like Bennie Winnt, you've got nothing to lose. Believing the police were after him for drug charges, he faked his own death and went into hiding, living a secret life for the better part of 20 years. That all came crashing down, however, when he was pulled over in South Carolina by the state police. He tried to give a false name, but wouldn't you know it? They actually check that shit now!
After he confessed, police contacted his fiance, ex-wife and daughter (four years-old at the time of his "death") and told them their family member was alive after all these years. Furthermore, they informed him that, despite his confession, they were not going to arrest him, they were not currently patrolling the streets for him, that in fact at no time did they ever have a warrant out for his arrest and the only reason they pulled him over was because his license plate was expired.
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