Dear Levenson:  I really have to break up with my girlfriend.  How do I do it?  – Joe, Markham, Ontario

Dear Joe,

I know how scary it can be to have to break up with someone.  There's the uncomfortable silence, the expectant stare, the nerve-wracking questions...  But having dealt with a few of these myself, I've learned that the only way to end a relationship is to keep it simple, be honest, and fake your own death.

Don't believe me?  Well, it doesn't matter, because I died six years ago, and nobody cares if you disagree with a corpse.  People just think you're being weird about this.  In fact, I think you'd be surprised how few people are interested in a relationship with a dead person.  And if it turns out your girlfriend wants to talk to a cadaver, it sounds like she's a lot cooler than you thought. 

But just in case, I've put together some tips for orchestrating the grand illusion of self-demise.  It's sooooooooo easy, you're gonna be like, “Duh.”

Death generally happens in one of three ways:  A violent accident, a terminal disease, or Ikea.  No one is precisely sure which of Ikea's properties causes human death, but many scientists have said it's fucking obvious.  The place is a maze.  Plus, Ikea is good because the Swedish people are a historically persecuted group of bloodsuckers who control Hollywood.  If you died, chances are they were behind it. 

Speaking of Ikea, a fun game to play with houseguests is making up dirty foreign-sounding names for your furniture.  You can tell them they're sitting in the Schlöng Chair, or that they're eating at the Gründle Table.  Careful, that's the Anûs Bookshelf!  The point of this game is to make everybody leave quickly.  Then you can get back to the despondent isolation that you were looking forward to.  After that:  Death.

To prove that you're dead, it helps if you stop answering the phone.  Also, keep texts to a minimum.  It's plausible that a person typing “LOL,” “ROFL,” or “LMFAO” has experienced a terminal cessation of brain activity, so try to stick to those.  No one will wonder why a dead person is laughing, because text message laughs are the big lie that everybody just lets slide. 

To be dead, it's also important to not have a job.  That's the second place a skeptical ex-girlfriend will check.  The first place she'll check is under the bed, but it's okay to hide there as long as you remain perfectly still.  Girls' vision is based on movement, which is also why they can never see your point.  Another way girls are like dinosaurs is that a lot of them are vegetarians.  Also, when you get older you stop giving a shit about them. 

Now that you've departed Earth, it's important to watch what you eat.  Nothing screams “I'M STILL ALIVE!” like getting spotted at brunch, no matter how dead inside you feel from all the idle conversation.  If this happens, just do what I do:  Shrug, laugh it off, and use the white tablecloth to turn yourself into a ghost.  You have to scream “Boo!” at the waiter a few times before everyone gets it.


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