I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there's a pretty decent chance you're going to die. Don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us. At the very least, you can take solace in the fact that you're in good company. I have it on
good authority that a number of famous people have also died. St.
Thomas Aquinas, for example. And George Carlin? Long gone. Kurt
Vonnegut kicked off only recently as well. Why, even old Donny "The Royal Asshole" Regan ate it
eventually, despite his repeated assurances that he'd be sticking around indefinitely to "keep his boot upon the necks of the poor".
I guess my point is that it isn't the inevitability of death which frightens most
of us. No, most people worry about the way they'll go. A lucky few will go quietly in
their sleep, some will experience a massive thrombotic stroke while
piloting a motorized scooter, and others will (puzzling though it may be) somehow manage to
receive a stray bullet to the brainstem while ogling children at a
And while goes without saying that most people have very little say in
the method of their own demise, it is sometimes possible to
hand of fate in a certain direction. So for those who are interested in achieving a more interesting death, here are (in no particular order) The Top Five Most Fascinating Ways To Die.
MOST PAINLESS/PLEASANT: HEROIN OVERDOSE
In my opinion, there's no question that a heroin overdose would be, by far,
the least painless way to die. But since I'm not a doctor and have never actually tried heroin (even half a Tylenol 3 makes me too nauseous to stand), you'd have to be pretty foolish to trust my opinion. So don't.
Instead, here are two excerpts from what I believe to be mostly
truthful and fairly
reliable first-person accounts from former addicts of what a
heroin overdose feels like.
From pricking the skin, jacking it and then finally
mainlining it you
feel little pain... about six or seven seconds later a rapturous rush
comes over you like never before.... amazing... too amazing... It's at
that point that you think "Woah... maybe I did a little too much..."
Unfortunately, that's all you have time to think... now what you don't
know is that you've passed out from the drugs unrelenting assault on
your entire system... soon your breathing will slow and eventually
you're heart will stop. And then you're dead! Perfect and painless!
Very, very painless... infact, the bliss that one would feel before
they died of a heroin overdose would be immense.... not painful.
When you overdose on heroin, it is instantaneous. You don’t
creep up on you and there’s a warning. You are sitting somewhere
injecting one minute, fully alert, then you are waking up sometime
later... that’s if you’re lucky.
It is important to remember though, that a painless death by heroin
overdose is far from guaranteed. If a passerby were to stumble across
your blissful, gurgling, catatonic near-carcass and phone an ambulance, there's a pretty decent chance you'd be revived. And again, I'm no doctor, but my suspicion is that being blasted from a blissful opiate reverie into a confused state of hyperaware, vomit-spraying anguish probably isn't that painless. But more importantly, it also won't ensure your death. Which was kind of the whole point.
In any case, I'd probably stay away from heroin if I were you. I've
heard rumors that it can be sort of dangerous. Just a heads up.
MOST PAINFUL: DISSOLVED ALIVE BY SULFURIC ACID
Obviously this is going to be subjective, but this
is potentially the most "universally gruesome" death story I've come
across in a long while:
A physician we interviewed recounts the story of a laborer
who worked around vats of sulfuric acid -- one of the most caustic
forms of acid. The man fell in one day. He quickly leaped out, but was
covered in sulfuric acid, which immediately began to burn him
chemically. In a panic and excruciating pain, the man ran outside. By
the time his coworkers caught up to him, the man had essentially
The acid burned the man to death, searing through skin, cauterizing
blood vessels, and eating through organs until he died. The pain would
be unbearable, and the circumstances irreversible. This is
unquestionably a really bad way to die.
I would tend to agree, and moreover I would propose that being elbowed
into an enormous vat of acid and subsequently being dissolved alive is
probably a more painful way to die than Burning Alive (the current
"Most Painful Way To Die" champion). However, this is only my opinion.
While I may not agree with Burning Alive proponents, I can certainly
respect their theory.
And anyway, the only method I could come up with for resolving this
would be to conduct a study in which people were either dissolved with
acid or burned to death. Just before the pain became to overwhelming as
to render them unconscious, they would be instructed to scream out or
gurgle a number on a ten point scale to express the pain they were
feeling. But even then it wouldn't be foolproof, as one man's 4 ("Oh
Sweet Jesus It Hurts So Much!") is another man's 10 ("I Wish To Inform
You That The Level Of Pain I Am Currently Experiencing Is Inexpressible
As Well As Inconceivable"), so it's probably best just to call it a tie.
MOST HILARIOUS: DYING OF LAUGHTER
Sure, one could make the case that "Darwin Award" style deaths (in
which a person does something incredibly stupid to bring about their
own death) are "hilarious", but this is merely a subjective opinion.
By Laughter is literally
Allow me to explain: Upon consulting a dictionary, you will find that
for something to be considered "Hilarious", it need only be "marked by
boisterous merriment or laughter". And certainly a death brought about
by uncontrollable laughter could easily be described as being "marked
by boisterous laughter". Therefore I have concluded that dying of
laughter is--by definition--the most hilarious way to die.
Here are three actual instances in which a person "died of laughter":
British man died of laughter while watching an episode of the
television show The Goodies, in which a man flailed away
at a lump of pudding with a set of bagpipes. The man apparently could
not stop laughing for a full 25 minutes, after which he experienced a
heart attack, slumped over in his seat, and died.
Third Century Greek philosopher Chrysippus is said to have
died of laughter after "giving wine to his donkey and seeing it attempt
to feed on figs." It isn't made clear in the story, but I'm guessing
our old pal Chryssy had probably indulged in a substantial bit of wine
himself, because some old drunk donkey chewing on figs doesn't exactly
strike me as the joke of the century. But maybe you just had to be
In 1782, some old Limey named Mrs Fitzherbert went to a theater to see
some show called The Beggar's Opera, and was seemingly so overwhelmed
by the hilarity of one of the character's costumes that she was forced
to leave the theater to avoid ruining the performance with her insane,
A week later, Gentleman's Magazine reported her fate: `Not being able
to banish the figure from her memory, she was thrown into hysterics,
which continued without intermission until she expired on Friday
morning.' So there you have it. If that isn't a hilarious way to die, I
don't know what is.
MOST SCIENTIFICALLY INTRIGUING: SUCKED INTO A BLACK HOLE
One cannot deny that dying in a black hole would be a terrifically
fascinating experience, especially for those with a scientific mind.
But what exactly happens in there? Would we be crushed out of
existence? Stretched out by gravity until our bodies finally
disintegrated? Transported to another part of the galaxy, or perhaps
even an alternate dimension, one in which Who's The Boss potentially
aired for seven seasons instead of the traditional eight?
My god. One cannot even comprehend the far-reaching implications such a
seemingly insignificant change may have had upon the modern world. The
ill-fated spinoff "Charmed Lives" starring a young Fran Drescher might
never have aired, thus assuring that her nasally abrasive charms would
never have reached a slightly larger audience, and perhaps ruining her
chances of landing the starring role in the hit sitcom The Nanny as a
result. This of course would mean that The Nanny would likely have been
even more generic than it was, which also means that I probably would
not have wasted countless hours of my life watching The Nanny as a
child, and might have gone to play outside in the street instead, where
I would likely have been struck by a drunk driver and killed.
The driver of the car, a father of four from West Texas, unable to
forgive himself for running down a fat child with the face of an even
fatter child, would commit suicide three months later in the parking
lot of an Elk's Lodge in . The high-caliber bullet from his gun would
travel out the back of his skull through future president George W.
Bush (who was exiting the lodge at the time) through both of his
kneecaps, shattering them and relegating him to a wheelchair for the
rest of his days. His anger and bitterness about this situation would
assure that he would never run for president of the United States and
by 2010 all third world countries would have ceased to exist due to
unchallenged terrorists running rampant all across the globe and
And so it goes...a Danza flaps its wings in Connecticut, and the world
as we know it is changed forever.
MOST BADASS: POSING AFTER BEING COVERED IN CEMENT
Many people assume that when a person is covered in "quick dry" cement
that they will either have time to wash the cement off before it
hardens, or simply die due to suffocation. This is not the case. In
reality, a cement death plays out pretty much exactly the way a small
child who has watched too many cartoons would assume it does. But do
not take this to mean that posing after being covered in cement is
easy. It is actually a somewhat involved process.
So in light of this complexity, I've made up a quick a step-by-step
guide as a service to help out those of you who're at risk of being
covered in cement pose properly:
- Cement will be poured onto you. Sit patiently and await 100%
- Struggle to your feet. At this point you should covered in thick,
cementy muck, which will drip off of you in a cool/awful way as you
- Take a few laborious steps. Since the cement has already begun to
harden around you, this will obviously be extremely difficult, but this
is an integral part of the performance and should not be skipped under
- Strike a pose. Certainly the position you choose is completely up
you, but I would suggest something timeless like a single arm extended
to the heavens or the "I Just Got Shot In The Back And I'm Sort Of
Grasping At My Back Look" as seen in The French Connection. But
whatever position you choose, try to make sure your face is twisted
into a mask of torment. People eat that shit up.
- Freeze. The cement will pretty much take care of this part on its
own, but it's worth knowing that you will have only 5-10 seconds to get
yourself into a good pose. Don't fuck it up.
- Die. At this point you may now feel free to expire, as the cement
your skin will have hardened into a permanent shell in which your
remains will be encapsulated for all eternity (barring any outside
- Entertain. Hopefully you will have hardened in a park or other
highly trafficked area so that others will be able to gaze in awe and
horror upon you. But if not, I wouldn't get too broken up about it. We
don't often get to choose where we die, and suffocating alive in a full
body cast of cement is no exception to this.
We take our leave of death for now. But of course, it will always be
there. Lurking just out of sight. Watching...waiting...and then, when
you least expect it...KABLAMO! You're dead.
Actually, come to think of it, "Kablamo" might not be the best
onomatopoeia to use for a death that hasn't taken place in a Looney
Toons episode. Realistically, it'll probably be something more like the
screeching of car tires followed by the sound of metal colliding with
metal ("SCREEEEECH, CKRRRKKNNK!"), a guy having a heart attack ("Call
an ambulance, I think I might be having a heart attack.") or the sound
an old person makes falling down in the shower ("?").
So I think what I'm trying to say here is--well actually I haven't got
a clue what my point was, so let's just go ahead and end
this before one of us says something we're going to regret.
Full Disclosure: I have no idea what the original publishing date of this article was, but I did pop in and edit/revise a few things in October of 2011 due to the fact that happened to accidentally re-read the opening paragraph and hated it. I'm still not completely happy with how most of it, but at least it's slighly less embarrassing when I read it back to myself. So yeah, that happened.