Posts Tagged ‘off the grid’

Pseudocide – the ultimate escape. More than just a plot device on daytime television, the death fake properly executed is a thing of beauty. It is the perfect murder. Consider this: any sloppy murder can still go unsolved, but faking one’s own death – to kill your own identity – in this day, this age, requires a masterful stroke of genius.

Sherlock Holmes and Huck Finn faked their own deaths. Jim Morrison did too and he used the same Dutch company that assisted Elvis with the King’s exit of the building. Keep in mind – the best pseudocides are those we never suspect. We usually only hear of those that fail, like the douchebags that buried their spouse in the backyard before claiming their partner was in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Or Ace Baker, my fellow conspiracy theorist, who was so tired of not getting any traction with his “9/11 as inside job” theory that he had himself “executed” via machine gun attacker while live on the radio. Or Marcus Shreuker, the Indiana financial planner who set his plane on autopilot, called MAYDAY and parachuted out, only to be arrested at a campground a few days later.

You can’t blame them for trying. The romantic appeal of leaving it all behind and starting over is strong. Especially if you include some sort of loot-grabbing heist to the plot. Many claim DB Cooper was the greatest of all pseudocides, but DB does not apply as the identity of this bank heist/hijacker/parachutist has never been proven, therefore, no identity was ever killed (For what it’s worth, I know the terrain where DB Cooper dropped into and it is a land of marijuana barons and Big Foot, no surprise DBC was never heard of again).

Most failed attempts (again, we cannot study the successful ones) are by those in dire financial straits and/or wanted on criminal charges. Executing a death fake might seem to be a good evasive strategy, but there is going to be more skepticism if the subject is already a flight risk. The best time to pull off a death faking is when the public would least expect it.

Old Man Neverman… or DB Cooper?

Rule #1 – never attend your own funeral service. I can’t tell you how many egomaniacal idiots have been busted by breaking this first rule.

Best Bet – to fake your own death, leave a post on your facebook page that you are going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Never before has a span inspired so many jumpers, this is an ideal setting. All you have to do is leave enough suspicious personal belongings on the edge and disappear. No one would ever question the lack of body.

(It would seem odd I would condone such a selfish criminal act, but I merely see pseudocide as a great alternative to the very fatalistic suicide)

Personally, Vic Neverman has a long history in this craft. Many even accuse my father of pseudocide. Old Man Neverman lived double-lives, why wouldn’t he shed one in order to pursue another?

Before my exodus out of Chicago, I planned my pseudocide very carefully. Everything was ready – my life insurance was made out to Des Riley (the X), I tossed my extracted wisdom teeth into the front seat of my car, all I needed was to set the spark during any typical winter blizzardy night. The chance arose, but I turned chicken shit. I decided to wait one more day. Over the next 24 hours, my car was entirely buried by snow. By the time of the thaw, I had a change of heart. Des may, herself, have had something to do with that. I decided to take my fight to City Hall and did manage to get a lot of parking tickets lifted from my record.

Brothers Von Trier of South Milwaukee

The Chicago turnaround was just a stay of execution. I would eventually be forced to flee for the nearby suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There I had a nice existence: I would camp out close to the airport lounges with the Von Trier brothers, sipping outrageous cocktails or intense German beers. I even had a girlfriend who was once in a Christian cult compound in Texas (not Waco, but now that I think about it, she didn’t specify). Once the lilies of spring rose, so did the snooping grunts of Chicago. South Milwaukee was not far enough away. I decided to fake my own death once again. This plot was even more perfect. I was going to hire a call girl, take her aboard a gambling cruise, feign gross intoxication, and while the shore was still within range, I was going to fall overboard into Lake Michigan and use an underwater breathing apparatus to help me ashore to where the Von Triers were waiting. The prostitute would not be included on the plan, she would just be an innocent witness. When it came to showtime, though, I just couldn’t find a hooker I didn’t mind being seen with.

Rule #2 – if you give a shit about how others perceive your “death”, you shouldn’t be faking it in the first place.

Obviously, it seems as though Vic Neverman is all bark and no bite the big one. These Midwestern attempts, however, were not my first plots. I have faked my own death. Let me take you back to the period of my life I refer to as the “American Werewolf in Sydney” days. Dark days? Not at all. Sure, I was searching for my recently departed elder Neverman, but I was in fairly good spirits. A lot of those spirits were served up by a lovely Aussie muse in a halter top at a city bar English ex-patriots frequented. Her name escapes me, so I will refer to her as Matilda. Her hair was touched by fire, as they say.

At first, there was darkness… Well, before the darkness was Matilda and the deviled bollocks sweat she peddled. Then there was darkness.

I remember waking up at four am in a strip club in Kingscross, a sketchier neighborhood in Sydney. A local firefighter was to my right, telling me out how his wife had kicked him out. The strippers on the pole were horrendous, but not as bad as the American domestic bottle of swill in my hand. I would never order this brand of beer in the USA, let alone Australia, so obviously I had not been myself. I recovered from this blackout and walked across the city in the mid-AM towards my hostel with a vague recollection of what happened earlier in the night.

Vic playing the didge in Aus

Two nights later, I returned to my regular drinking hole to see the lovely Matilda. The bouncer at the bar, some bloke I didn’t think I knew, gave me a pat on the back, “Good to see you’re alive, mate.” Yeah, likewise, bro. One of the bartenders saw me and greeted me similarly, “Oi! Look whose liven’!” Yep, no zombies here. Matilda arrived and was not surprised or thrilled to see the looks of me. I asked her if I had been a jackass the other night. “I’ll let you be the judge of that” she said with no love lost. That’s just it, I don’t quite… remember…. It was apparent Matilda was lost to me, so I left the bar with an empty heart to sleep in an emptier bed.

The next day I decided to leave Sydney behind me. It wasn’t long before I was at the airport with a ticket to the Northern Territory when I ran into a couple of Prisoners Of Mother England who I had been drinking with on the night of infamy. I asked these guys if I had been a jackass to sweet Matilda the other night. “Oh no, you were brilliant!” they exclaimed. “When you were on the floor, I about pissed myself.” On the floor? “Yeah, when your red-headed bird started ignoring you, you started to do anything to catch her attention, right? You eventually pretended to choke. When that didn’t work, you faked your own death and we had to carry your wanker arse out of there!”

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Life as a paranoid conspiracy theorist is not easy, especially when attempting to assimilate into a society repulsed by alternative thought. I’ve always tried to offer up advice to fellow paranoids on the subject of interacting with the mainstream populace, but I, Vic Neverman, am not always successful. Especially in the art of romance.

As a conspiracy theorist, where success is measured by how many alphabet groups are monitoring you (i.e. FBI, CIA, NSA, ATF, DEA, FEMA, IRS, etc.), quality of life depends on how well you live off the grid. Living off the grid is more than paying in cash, unpredictable behavior, and learning how to trap, kill, gut, skin, and cook a squirrel. Living off the grid means you must be very selective in choosing those who remain close to you. The closer, the more selective you must be.

Last night, a moderately attractive bartender and I amused ourselves by discussing 3-leaf clovers in the head of the Guinness pints she served up and I threw back. She was practicing for the upcoming St Patrick’s Day traditions and I was endeared to her in the process. Yet, outside of my healthy gratuity, nothing will become of this frivolous flirtation because I cannot trust her. She has recognized me from earlier patronage which leaves her susceptible to outside corruption. Has she been employed by an antagonist agency looking to undermine me? Probably not. But since I have frequented this bar, there is a reasonable chance she has been. That is a chance I will not take.

As a conspiracy theorist who hides amongst the shadows in order to deliver the unfiltered light of truth, I cannot expect anyone from the local bar, gymnasium, library, burrito stand, or DMV to not be employed in some manner by an organization seeking my demise. Thus, being a paranoid romantic is not easy. The most common people in my life have to be suspected the most.

Which is why I strive to find romance in spontaneous encounters. In search of one such encounter, I accompanied a friend and his two young spawn to a children’s birthday pool party in the suburbs of Florida where there was the promise of attractive single moms. I arrived with my long time co-conspirator Tusk (learn more about him in the Cast of Characters page) and his mini-clones at the typical suburban compound equipped with a swimming pool. My primary duties were to attend to the children of my associate, but for the sake of secondary duty, I puffed out my chest in peacockian display to illustrate to any adequate female that my loins were ripe for the adjoining. I even had scripted dialogue at the ready.

The scene was a crazed playground of small people aged less than some of the half & half in my fridge. These little beings were all smiles and tears, subsisting, it seems, entirely off of highly sugared edibles. Tusk was recognized by the elders of the party and he formally introduced his non-sexual male companion, Vic Neverman, as a writer. The collective sum of the elders inquired what it was I might write, to which I responded…

“I am a blogger for Scientology, catering to the upper tiers of the membership. If I were to share any of the information from my blogs with you, your heads will simply and literally explode for lack of reasoning capacity.”

I smiled after this delivery. The response was stifled, at best. These party-goers soon turned towards each other and immediately resurrected their previous conversations, any small talk distraction to distance themselves from my announcement. I did clear my throat and assure them my statement was a joke, but by this time, they were fully entrenched in ignorance warfare. My humor went without laugh.

And so I was left alone with Tusk’s two small persons who were crawling around like sloths scavenging earthbound cookie crumbs. I took to my duty as caretaker and I took it rather seriously as it was the best way to further myself from the other adults I was surrounded by. Until… she walked in.

I appropriately say, ‘she walked in’ as her face and name were rather forgettable while her legs were absolutely not. She (name aforementioned was forgettable) did carry around a creature born of her womb, but she did seem relatively un-husbanded. I relished this chance to engage this bastardized child’s mother and Tusk was quick at the introduction, “This is Vic, my friend, the writer.”

She inquired into what sort of writing I pursued. While my writings cannot be bound by simple characterization, I can lean upon one aspect or another as needed. In this case, I harped upon a recent project I have taken up with the assistance of my ally Tusk: a children’s book.

She seemed delighted. She regularly read to her birthed person stories from such books. She inquired into what my book was about.

“Well…” I began, ever eager to impress. “The title is ‘Who Shot JFD’?”

Distracted by her progeny, she expressed some half-hearted confusion at the premise.

I continued, eager to expound upon my works. “It is a children’s conspiracy book, you see. The premise is ‘who shot John Fitzgerald Duck?’. JFD is the first web-toed elected president of the park and a very popular president at that. But he has his enemies… First of all, there are the squirrels who John F Duck announces can no longer eat from the bird feeders. Then there are the raccoons who John F Duck says can no longer eat from the garbage bins. Then there is the fact John F Duck doesn’t always sleep at home” At this point I wink at the mother corralling her spawn. “Because he happens to have a few ‘birds’ on the side, if you know what I mean. These birds happen to have their own mates who are jealous of John F Duck and thus wish him ill. In short, JFD had many enemies.”

By the wide-eyed, open-mouthed, expression on her face, I was able to gather that she was rather enthralled by my children’s book thriller.

“After the assassination of John Fitzgerald Duck, the park authorities quickly nab Harvey Lee Opossum for committing the dastardly crime. Harvey Lee Opossum, of course, admits that he is a patsy, which is believable because how can this lowly marsupial pull off the murder of the century? But before Harvey Lee Opossum’s voice can be heard, he is in-turn gunned down by Jack Rooster! And Jack Rooster soon dies from cancer (perhaps a cancer delivered by the crazed scientist Mojo Monkey of New Orleans who had created such an evil disease made transitional via syringe). So who is really to blame?”

She, the one with the legs, was mostly speechless. Suddenly, there was the presence of a masculine figure hovering over my baited prey. He asked of her a status of goings on. She immediately introduced me, Vic Neverman – a writer – and quickly excused herself. The flee by which she made was expected as this man appeared to be the husband we did not account for. Shame. He stood defiant in her sudden absence, arms folded tightly over his chest. He was a meager man in the shadow of my form, but his standoffishness was to be respected out of my adherence to civil law (though I was tempted to box his ears). He, having not heard my long story, inquired upon what sort of writing I engaged in.

“I write a blog on Scientology.”

A Vic Neverman by any other name is still paranoid. Here is my (slightly delayed) Valentine story…

Living discretely and off-the-grid is about blending in and escaping notice. Pay in cash and wear clothing camouflaged to match wallpaper. At the height of my stealthiness, I was so good I could barely use public restrooms: the auto-flusher, auto-faucet, auto-dryers never detected my motion (which is why I carry my homemade bacterial soap (note I did not say “anti-bacterial” as that shit only makes you more susceptible to disease) made of bovine lard and crushed mint leaves).

As hard as I am to track down, I am not surprised when Father’s Day comes and goes without any cards from any potential bastardized progeny left in my wake. Nor am I surprised when no Valentines arrive… especially when you take into account my very first entanglement with love all those years ago.

I was 14 and one of a herd of kids from my town making a pilgrimage to a protestant bible camp deep in the Appalachia backwoods. I took after my father and was more of a fair-weather Jesus fan, so when I found myself surrounded by similarly aged children who were biblical scholars, who experienced orgasmic ecstasy through hymn, and who welcomed the possession of their body by the holy spirit, I knew that I was infiltrating this world as an outsider. So I did what any kid raised on Miami Vice and 21 Jump Street would have done: I created an undercover alter ego. For the first time, I became “Victor”.

Oddly enough, the kids from my hometown thought it a good idea and went along with it. No longer was I the boy from ___, but now I was Victor from ____ City! It should be noted that I wasn’t entirely responsible for spreading the lies as I barely spoke at that age and certainly didn’t mutter much to girls other than throaty grunts. Instead, it was friends ER and a boy to later be known as “‘Cuda” that came up with elaborate back-stories, spewing whimsical lies I merely nodded along with. At one point, one of the Georgia peaches ER was wooing mentioned, “Your friend Victor sure doesn’t talk much.” ER confirmed with the explanation, “He’s been quiet ever since his father, President of Eastern Airlines, died in a horrific microwave accident. But Vic is pretty cool once you get to know him.”

Young Vic & Friends, clockwise from bottom left: 'Cuda, Dude, Dude, Dude, Vic, Sister Neverman, ER

I cleared my throat a few more times in the presence of the pretty southern belles ER wooed, but they were not for me. I befriended some rough and tumble country kids who I felt more comfortable with when they weren’t talking about their snake-handling preacher back home. One of these kids was a brace-toothed tomboy I barely noticed, (for the purpose of this exercise we will call her…) Cammie. She was a girl I was actually able to speak to, probably because I never quite realized she was just that: a girl.

Until the night of the farewell dance. Cammie metamorphosed and all of a sudden had beautiful golden locks of hair and dear Jesus… cleavage! I don’t know how it began, but she and I danced for a mere eternity, my knees wobbling the whole time. After slow-dancing to Jimmy Buffett’s Volcano, Cammie kissed me on the cheek and said in her sweetest Carolina accent, “Goodnight Victor.” I can still remember those sweet words to this day. I stood there, knees buckling, and the only sound I could respond with was a throat clearing. I intended for words to follow, but my air-pipe restricted, cutting off air to my lungs.

Our chaperones arrived to take the various groups back to their respected houses in the small presbyterian college town. I watched Cammie longingly from afar as she spoke excitedly to her friends. They in turn pointed in my direction, speaking words I could not hear, and suddenly, Cammie’s expression collapsed.

My cover was blown. Cammie learned that I was not Victor. I was someone else. I had betrayed her. I met the disappointment in her eyes one last time before she turned and walked away.

The mole was none other than ER. The very friend that built me into legend, reduced to me into ash. That night, I couldn’t sleep and just stared at the dark ceiling, muttering puppy-like sighs, until finally, ER’s guilt overcame him. “Alright!” He groaned and climbed out of a neighboring bed in our dorm room. “Let’s go find this girl.”

ER and I strapped on some jeans and sneakers. We quietly climbed out the window into the dark void, blindingly finding a footing to bring us to the roof. From atop our house, we found the large oak tree where we made our descent down to earth and away from the all-seeing eyes of the adult dictatorship that kept us under lock and key. ER and I fled through the night to the house Cammie’s church group was staying at. A knock at the window and a light came on. One girl’s face disappeared and there appeared another girl’s face. It was Cammie. She looked through the glass at me, her soft blue eyes already forgiving me my deceit.

“Why did you say your name was Victor?” She asked with no mask to her vulnerability. “Who are you… really?”

I cleared my throat for the last time, “I told you my name was Victor because… I am Victor. I am no less Victor than I am someone who belongs here, in this place, amongst these people. You see, there is a mainstream within which I do not flow. I belong in the outer fringes of society, moving always within the shadows and just beyond reach. You and I cannot be, my sweet first love, for you are a beauty to be drawn out beneath the sun and I am a creature too unworthy to lurk in the moonlight. But for tonight, I was Victor and you were you, and nothing will ever change that.”

(Of course, I am paraphrasing here, I don’t exactly recall those last nervous words.)

Cammie and I parted forever. Over the course of a few hours, she had become my first true love and my first real heartbreak.

It is not easy being Vic Neverman.