excerpt from Ways To Die Roundup

Deep. Deep like the minds of Minolta...

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to beyond the thunderdome where most weeks we tackle such hard hitting issues as “does this bullshit even qualify as a hotdog?” and debate whether there’s a bigger asshole move on earth than attempting to scale Everest (there’s not), so this week, we thought we’d lighten it up a bit. It’s been depressing out there, whether you’re a persecuted teen whose only crime was murdering a few people, a staffer in the executive branch who’s had to deal with our president’s rage at the RNC’s low ratings, or even a pig who can’t even shoot people in the back multiple times without having to go through a mock trial before being able to get back to his true passion (violent intimidation), the past week or so has been absolutely brutal on the soul. 

As such, we’re doing a “worst ways to die” roundup, and it’s gonna be a ribald good time that should help you to escape from the hell on earth that is this bullshit end-of-all-things time that we’re slowly decaying through right now. So, in the spirit of getting out of this hell, let’s start with:

Burning

A conversation that a lot of people have is “what’s the worst way to die” and this is a very common answer. I want to be perfectly clear about this: this is not the worst way to die. I will, at the end of this article, get to the very worst way to die, but for now, we’re talking burning to death (which, it’s weird that they call it ‘burning alive’ because that’s what happens anytime you burn yourself and don’t die. Literally, this is the ONE time that it’s not ‘burning alive’ or cremation. But whatever. I get the idea, you’re alive for some serious burning. Still, come on now).

As a general rule, I feel like pretty much anything that ISIS does in their videos is probably not a good, easy leap off this mortal coil. Much in the same way that mafia guys popularized the pain that surrounds breaking one’s kneecaps (which I have endured [due to idiocy, not mafia], and yes, they’re correct, it’s pretty painful), ISIS seems to have vested interest in uh...picking out terrible, terrible ways to go, and this one is frightful as shit, to be sure. 

I mean, I’ve touched the stove. It sucks. I’ve sat in the sun for too long, and THAT sucks. Hell, it sucks being in a car and not being able to roll down the windows on a hot day. Being fully engulfed in flame, feeling my lips and tongue burn, screaming until the fire literally sucks the oxygen out of me and so forth seems like a real stone cold drag. This is a very, very bad sounding way to die, but as I said, it’s not the worst. Still, it’s worse than...

Getting shot 

I’ve never been shot. I hear it’s very painful and I also hear that it’s just warm and it’s not actually painful in the moment at all. That probably has everything to do with your adrenaline, if I had to guess. I am also extrapolating that these are descriptions of non fatal gun injuries, since there’s someone alive to describe how it felt. It seems that getting shot dead most likely CAN be pretty okay, since it’s probably all over pretty quick. I feel like...you know when you see a little tiny bug going across your table and you just kinda idly squish it with your thumb or something just because you’re reading and not really thinking about much and you want to be a wanton god and get back to reading This Is Herman Cain!? Is that a good way to die or bad? On one hand, it happens so fast. The bug is just walking and then poof! That bug is dead. But on the other hand, the bug was crushed by a giant, incomprehensibly powerful force. That’s probably also fine, actually, now that I think about it. Anyway, that’s what getting shot seems like it COULD be like. You’re just walking around and then you’re dead. The bad side of getting shot would be the Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs situation in which you get shot and you bleed out with a bullet in you. Sounds like a bad time. I don’t like this one, but still, give it to me over burning. 

The last thing I’ll say about being shot is that being “gunned down in a hail of bullets” seems like about as cool of a cause of death as there is. I don’t think it would be particularly fun to go through, but the idea that there are multiple people that have been laying in wait, just swiss cheesing you as you leave the theater on a crisp september evening or whatever, that’s at least something your grandkids will be like “whoa!” about and really, that’s kinda the best possible outcome with regards to what your cause of death is and what it can do for you. Blaze Foley is hailed as having gone down that way, and it’s my favorite thing about him, and I think his songs are great too.

Anyway, getting shot seems like it’s better than…

Stabbing

Nah, that’s gonna be a no from me, dawg. Getting stabbed would suck. I mean, paper cuts suck. Getting injected with needles sucks. Getting injected with a blade??? I’ll pass, thank you. Stabbing is one of those crimes that’s so brutal that just doing it makes your whole life retroactively suspect. Sure, people say shit like “I just carry a knife for self defense” and that’s fine, but those aren’t ever the people that stab someone to death. Stabbing someone to death is like building a bigass spaceship out of a random bag of legos. It’s gonna take a while and you’re gonna have to get pretty creative to actually make it work. Also, you’ve gotta be a weirdo to even consider undertaking such a project.

So, there you are, your weird ass just building this spaceship out of random legos, and you’re on a tight timeline. That’s hard enough, but then toss in the mix that there’s blood everywhere and very loud screaming. Nope. Don’t wanna stab nor be stabbed. No thank you. The only people who I can even think of that have stabbed people to death are that one Norwegian metal guy who stabbed the dude 32 times in the park and that weird cannibal on the bus in western Canada who ate the juggalo kid’s face. Either way, yipes! Remember about a minute ago when I said that stabbing someone to death is something that makes your whole life retroactively suspect? These two guys are my exhibit A. 

So stabbing seems no fun, but it definitely seems better than…

Cancer (or whatever)

This is a catchall for any sort of long, drawn out disease that involves weakness, frailness, lots of terrible scares, tears, hospital stays and eventually inevitable death. This is, I think, in a weird way, not only everyone’s greatest fear, but also one of those things that here in the modern age we all almost take for granted as what’s gonna get us, right? Like, you read the entry up there on stabbing and probably don’t think “aaah, yipes. Too close to home,” but this one is. It’s just so looming on the horizon for anyone. Shit’s unnerving, to say the least, and particularly so because any of it can come for anyone. You don’t need to smoke to get lung cancer, for example. Hell, you can be Bob Marley or Adam Yauch and have the best access to the best specialists and medicines and still die from some obscure cancer of a part of the body that doesn’t seem like it should even qualify as having cancer potential. Shit’s just sneaky and everywhere. How many of you now think you have colon cancer ever since the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman? Yes. Me too. He and I were the same age. I feel like there was some sort of filing error there. I don’t think anyone had me picked to outlive him, so the only thing I can really think is “well, I got that shit too.” Here, let’s google the symptoms.

Hold on.

Oh yeah. I got that shit for sure. 

Still, rather have colon cancer than…

That flesh eating disease this guy I know’s cousin had (I think he also had some cancer)

So this one is anecdotal, as you can maybe tell by the heading here, but this was a bad one. The guy had some sort of cancer or something so he was in bed just kind of waiting to die, but they had to bubble boy him up because he also had this flesh eating disease that was, itself, deadly.

ANYWAY, the upshot of this is that he couldn’t even hug his kids while he was dying and that shit makes me so sad I can’t even really dwell on it or even stop typing right now so let’s move on to something more happy and upbeat like…

Hit by a bus

Ah yeah. This is the good shit right here. People talk about this like it’s common as shit, but I don’t think it is. “Hey, why should I worry about (whatever thing I’m doing that’s dangerous)? I mean, I could step off the curb and get hit by a bus tomorrow,” is a pretty familiar turn of phrase. You’d think that there would be more “hit by a bus” incidents for how much this gets bandied about. In fact the ONLY person I know of who’s been hit by a bus is Ian Stuart from Skrewdriver, and I guess the bus was driven by a black dude, so that’s some poetic justice, at the very least.

But if you get hit by a bus and it kills you, it’s a complete karmic wildcard. The more personally responsible you are (you saved your money, quit drinking and doing drugs, stopped going to the strip club, buckled down and suffered through education and menial jobs you didn’t like for a chance at a brighter future etc), the more you’re just assfucked by getting hit by that bus. HOWEVER, if you were a total jackoff that just woke up every day, got high and drank whiskey til the titty bar opened and lived off your job of taking experimental drugs as some kind of human guinea pig in some weird lab run by a couple of Indian guys who dropped out of MIT, buddy, you hit the fucking jackpot when that bus hit you. Turns out you were RIGHT! Through no fault of your own, your future was written in such a way that the health of your liver, homelife, career objectives and whatever else was all completely irrelevant. You did it, yo. You lived your life perfectly. 

In closing, hit by a bus sounds pretty decent unless you’re a good person, in which case it would probably blow. 

Falling off some shit

I don’t know what your recurring nightmares are, but this is mine. I’m always balancing on something or clinging to some edge way up high and then the wind picks up, or I get tired or something surprises me and then I fall and do that thing we all do where we jerk awake and it totally sucks, but it’s also a big relief, just because you were just scared shitless that you were gonna die. SO, I don’t love this one for that reason.

However, in the big picture, it’s probably not that bad. I’ll say this for falling off some shit: probably the higher the shit the better. Falling and cracking my head on the side of the tub and dying slowly while blood fills up in my skull sounds way worse than just getting vaporized when my parachute doesn’t open (though, as we discussed last week, I’m not trying to go parachuting at all). I mean, I suppose that there’s the whole 9/11 jumpers who were looking at burning or jumping and quite a few picked jumping, so that’s um...a plus(?) in the falling off some shit column, I guess?

So yeah. Falling. Don’t wanna do it but if I AM gonna do it, the more seemingly horrific the situation, the better it probably is, oddly. 

Old age

This would fucking suck. You all think you want this, but you don’t. If you consider the infinite timeline that we’re on here, the difference between living to be like 55 and 102 is the same. There ARE cool reasons to live to be old, like seeing your grandchildren have children and giving the people in your family the opportunity to not really feel that bad when you die (and that’s some real shit, to be sure), but also, consider the exhaustion of watching this world change and evolve into something you barely understand, watching all your friends get sick and die, realizing that quite literally there is no one left that remembers the time that you consider to be your best time on earth, watching yourself get frailer and frailer and wondering if your wits are still about you, realizing the only truth you can count on in that regard is that you have no way of truly knowing. Things like sex and drugs and drinking, you stopped those long ago. Reading, that shit’s become impossible and the new way that people consume media is baffling and ridiculous to you.

And still you sit there.

No one visits you, because there’s no one left to visit you, and your children, they’ve got their own problems, and you, you seem to be doing just fine. “Hell, that spry old goat’s still kickin! I don’t know what it is but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, amirite?” they’ll say.

Sure, it’s a joy when you see anyone, but you’ve roped the poor guy at the corner store into best friend territory because Earl died 45 years ago and they kinda have the same sideburns. 

Your whole life, the thing you look forward to most, is going to the doctor. Consider that. That’s where you’re at here, miss “I’d like to die of old age.” Fuck outa here with that shit. 

Then some random neighbor finds your body and calls the cops and they end up with that money clip you got from your grandfather, back when the world was as strange to you for the first time as it has become again. Cool. Die of old age if you want to. Sounds shitty to me.

Okay, moving on. Next:

Alzheimers

I guess this doesn’t exactly kill you, but it seems like it’s no fun. It definitely wreaks havoc on your family. I know I posted about this one in the disease round up, but I guess I’m putting it here too since we’re talking about ways to die. Let me google if this kills you.

One moment. 

Ah, nice. Apparently it just makes your brain deteriorate until you can’t do anything, but the condition itself doesn’t kill you. This seems like it would be very scary, but I guess technically it’s not a way to die, so it doesn’t make the list. Never mind.

Animal attack

There was a story of a woman who got her face ripped off by a bear. During her Reddit AMA someone asked her what the worst part of the whole experience was and she said easily the worst part was dealing with Blue Cross. So, by that metric, maybe it’s not that badb (or maybe I got the wrong thing out of the AMA). However, I’ve been bitten by a dog, and even though it didn’t walk away with a mouthful of my flesh, it still hurt like the dickens, I tell you what. Felt like someone hit my hand with a hammer. I have to imagine that this would be horrific. 

It’s funny because this is one that really seems like an outlier on this list, but for the vast majority of human history, this would be like, the number 2 way to die after “in childbirth.” I honestly can’t think of anyone but Steve Irwin who has died from an animal attack in my lifetime, but jesus, how fucking gruesome? “Oh, remember Lisa?” “Yeah.” “Well, she was apparently out in Colorado hiking and a puma ripped her to shreds.” It’s gonna be hard to just going back to dipping your mozzarella sticks and watching the basketball game after that tidbit of conversation, ya know? Still, at least it’s kind of a cool story. In summation, terrible way to die, but things could be worse. 

Alzheimers

Not sure if this kills you or not. I’d look it up, but I don’t know how I’d wade through all the information out there and figure out what’s what. 

Anyway, this seems scary and I think a few days of getting dragged away from waiting at the bus station to go nowhere in particular would be quickly forgotten and the “I have no idea what the fuck shoelaces are” type of thing would be maddening and scary it sounds terrible and I don't wish this horrible malady on my worst enemy.

You die fucking

You never hear a woman say this is how she wants to go out, but every single dude on this earth seems to think this is the ultimate dunk on life. Lemme tell you BOYS something though, this is terrible. For one thing, you’re absolutely traumatizing the SHIT out of that person you’re fucking. Can you imagine? That’s gotta be up there in the worst things that could ever happen to you. One second someone is pounding away at you and the next, you’ve got a dead body with a boner that’s inside you that you have to deal with. THEN, presumably you have to call the pigs and they come over and just humiliate the shit out of you and high five and track mud all through the place and ask invasive questions and then the body is hauled off, naked, with boner, to the morgue. I would rather die in my sleep AFTER fucking. To die in the middle of this would be a terrible legacy. Sure, your grandson will someday high five someone and mistakenly think you were awesome because of this, but we know the truth. This is a terrible way to die. Unless you were fucking a goth, in which case, I guess evreryone wins. 

OD (on purpose)

I don’t know about this one. The only thing I DO know is that I have a friend who had to deal with their ex trying to take too many pills, and while the attempt ended up killing her, it didn’t immediately. Instead, it was a lot of horrific days in the hospital and failing organs and a death that’s nothing at all like the whole “I’ll just go to sleep and never wake up” that you kinda think of when you think of this. This ends up being like a quick run through the cancer write up above but you’re sitting there dying and watching your body kinda peace out on you with the knowledge that this was completely avoidable. I give this one a big thumbs down. It’s important to mention that taking your own life, while potentially, at times, appealing in the moment, is not something that people who survive suicide attempts usually try again. Please consider this:

If you’re temporarily as happy as you’ve ever been, it’s definitely right there in the front of your mind that it’s not gonna last forever. Someday soon you’ll have to go to work, or see Rachel or deal with your asshole family or whatever. You KNOW that joy is fleeting. What we forget is that pain is the same.

Things can seem very bleak, and it’s our nature to dwell on the bad, but the truth is that terrible darkness is just as fleeting as the impossible joy. I’m not saying you’ll be happy. Shit, life is hard and no one is ever happy, but if this is the kinda thing you’re even considering, I would beg you to reconsider, to talk to someone, even if it’s anonymously if you have no one you feel like you can trust.

I’m not a therapist or trained in any of this shit, so it’s wildly irresponsible for me to counsel anyone on how to deal with depression, but I can say don’t kill yourself. There’s help out there and there are people who love you. I, in fact, love you. For real. And for the record, I know this all comes off as self serving lip service shit just as much as when someone just posts the suicide hotline number on Twitter or whatever, but the fact is, more people care than you know, and it’s not always easy to figure out how to engage someone who has disengaged without feeling like maybe you’re making things worse. And hey, sometimes  you just don’t know what’s up. “I had no idea Rachel was having such a tough time” is something you hear at these types of funerals. 

All I’m saying is that even the clumsy acts (like this undoubtedly is) are at least sincere inasmuch as they’re genuine attempts to reach out or try to ease the pain of anyone suffering. Also, as I mentioned above, this is a painful and shitty way to die. You think talking to someone, or doing a little honest self assessment is bad (and I AGREE! Those things can be brutally, intimidatingly hard)? I promise this is worse. 

OD (Accidental)

No one wants this, and I bet a lot of times it ends up a lot like it is up there under OD (on purpose) but I bet a lot more of the time, you’re just fucked up and you keep doing drugs or drinking or whatever and you forget what you’ve already done and then you suddenly are blacked out or having a heart attack and then it’s over, so in a very real way, I would rank this as more preferable to OD (on purpose). That being said, this sucks and it’s one of those things that makes everyone just SO fucking sad. It also absolutely ruins the party you’re at in no uncertain terms. I would say do NOT do this. 

Now, I don’t know if this is the category that like heart disease from doing meth every day or liver failure from pounding gin every morning for years should go, because really that kind of long term addiction is a progressive disease and so it’s not really either an accident nor is it on purpose. It’s a semantic quandary. I suppose those situations probably fit best up there with Cancer (or whatever), in that it’s got more in common with laying in a hospital bed while something ravages your frail body. So I don’t know. That sounds terrible. I mean, we’re talking about the worst ways to die here so none of em are gonna be like ‘drowning in ice cream while judging a blowjob contest,” even though that probably would suck really bad too. It would be so very very cold and your judgment would be way off, which is unfair to the contestants, to put it mildly.

Also, you know when you eat too many edibles or whatever and you’re just panicking like a motherfucker because you feel your tether to reality coming unspooled and you can see you have no control (not dissimilar to this other recurring dream I have where I’m driving at night but I can’t see through the windshield nor can I stop driving)? That feeling probably takes hold at some point during OD (accidental), so I don’t know that this is gonna be a stone groove. 

Brain hemorrhage/stroke

I feel like this is up there with accidental OD in that if it does the whole job in one fell swoop, probably not that bad, but if you make it through, eh...less good. I don’t know about recovery from a brain hemorrhage (that word is hard to spell. Jesus, who invented it? The same guy that brought us the word diarrhea?) but strokes really can go either way. Some people have strokes and don’t even know, and other people end up wildly incapacitated and can’t walk or talk or wipe thier asses or anything else, for that matter. However, as we are talking about ways to DIE, I have to go ahead and assume these are the big ones, the fatal ones, so this seems like probably pretty decent options, as far as ways to die go. Quick, to the point. Just make sure you’ve got a trusted homie who can delete your search history and boom! You’re out.

Exposure

Nooooooo thanks. This is WAY down there. For those of you who only know this word as something that prospectors in old cowboy movies use when they talk about how their granddaughters died or whatever, lemme give you the skinny on exposure: it’s dying from being left outside. So you can die in the desert from thirst or heat exhaustion, you can die in the cold from uh...from the cold. You can die in your rickety shed of a house because your grandpa’s been gone at the mine and you done runtout of hardtack before he come home. Yes, friends. That’s correct. Starvation can be grouped in with exposure. This is obviously a many splendored flower of horrid deaths, but some are definitely worse than others. Well, no. I guess they all suck brutal amounts of bad penis but the freezing to death beats the shit out of any of the rest of them, in my opinion. Perhaps you feel differently. Please tell me all about it in the comments if you do. (big smile emoji)

thanks for reading. There’s a lot more on this topic, including the absolute worst way to die there is, but that’s for the VIPs. Subscribe if you’d like. Tell a friend if you think they’d enjoy this newsletter. Regardless, thanks for reading. xoxoxo

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