It is not an uncommon experience to walk into a bookstore and leave with something you hadn’t planned on purchasing, but this one is something else entirely. My new favorite book is called 13 Elegant Ways To Commit Suicide by Harold Meyers and illustrated by Jack Davis. The book came out in 1959 and is quite thought-provoking, something that could have certainly been inspirational—a bible of sorts—for Harold of Harold and Maude-fame. And really, it’s a handy future planning book. If you end up with a second edition, not only do they give you thirteen great options for effecting your very own demise, they also instruct you on how to prepare a will, cater a wake, write an obituary and personalize headstones. And, the second printing (the one I have) has a cheery hot pink cover, perfect to draw the attention of any guests for coffee table discussions about lurid things.
Now who is the author Harold Meyers? Clearly he’s a morbid kook who enjoys a good laugh. Other books by Meyers include Belly Laughs, and Honeymoon Guide which you can only expect dispense quick wit and advice in the similar tone of 13 Elegant Ways To Commit Suicide. Paired with his satirical dialogue, the real star of the book are the illustrations by the great Jack Davis. Davis is an American cartoonist who has quite the long and illustrious illustration resume including most-famously work for MAD, EC Comics,, TV Guide and even a Johnny Cash album cover for the 1966 record, Everybody Loves a Nut. His iconic style is easily recognizable to the trained eye.
13 Elegant Ways To Commit Suicide provides extremely original ways to say “farewell, cruel world.” Some of Meyers’ methods are truly out of this world (see method three below). Method one, Damp Death is simply to, um, die for if you’re a big fan of binge drinking or as Meyers says, “a good all-around souse,” you can leave your permanent mark (and body) at your favorite neighborhood bar!
Method two, Sweet Ending explores a great option for those who love laughing or perhaps have a particularly shameful variety of animal-assisted foot fetish.
The Out of this world method is your way to go if you are into space exploration and generally want to “rocket n’ roll.” Also, this has my vote for the most elegant way to commit suicide. Going out with a bang.
If you’re looking to leave behind a well-preserved body, you have to go with the Frozen Stiff Method. It’s the best way to insure leaving a good-looking corpse, as well as nabbing a potential spot in a museum.
Method five, Sanitary Send-Off, is probably only sanitary if you’re obsessed with cleaning your bathroom on a daily basis. However, according to Meyers, it is “tidy and efficient.” The only mess you’ll leave behind is a clogged toilet. But hey, I guess that won’t be your problem.
Now, if you are in need of some last minute love or simply hope to be loved to death, you might want to try the Kiss of Death. It also ensures that you won’t be alone at the very end, you’ll be surrounded by “love starved girls.” Viagra optional.
The Big Game “Goodbye,” explores a great option for those who has always wanted to be an animal. Feel the raw excitement of being hunted in your last moment, it’s sure to be one final thrill!
Method eight, How to Make a Killing in Wall Street, provides a method that allows you and co-workers who’ve recently lost in the market to cut your losses all at once.
Method nine, Bachelor’s Blackout, gives you one last rowdy rumble while death awaits. Just make sure you pick a gal who has a brute for a husband, one with violent tendencies. Meyers warns if the husband is a “scoundrel, he may very well insist that you take his wife, which is a fate worse than death, after all.”
Method ten, Hell-Bent Woman, is my favorite of all the options. You get one final joy ride thanks to the Indianapolis 500 in this very public way of passing. Perfect for thrill seekers and speed freaks!
If you’re in no rush to end your life but have plans to someday, you might want to check out the Plant Me Now- Dig You Later Method. It will really help you become one with nature and give your family members a place to follow suit.
The Man Who Came to Dinner Method, is really the ultimate gift you can give as you exit this world. Offer yourself up as a meal to the “friendly Sandwich Island people-eaters.” They’ll appreciate you more with every bite.
Last but not least is method thirteen, the East Meets West Method. While the general location of this method is outdated, I’m sure you can just improvise with any violent region experiencing civil unrest to find a location that works for you. You might even get in some “bucket list” sightseeing before your final moment!
Now, if this book isn’t exactly your cup of poison but you think it would be an excellent gag gift for someone you love to loathe, Meyers suggests giving it to some of the following people: “two time lovers, miserable in-laws, your boss (also miserable), price-cutting competitors” among many others!
While this book is out of print, the good news is you can find a copy on Amazon or you can read the entire thing online at Hairy Green Eyeball 2. Happy reading and don’t try these at home, kids! And as always, creep it real.