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A Strange Hobby Indeed - Pretending To Be Dead
Pranking People By Playing Dead May Not Be Funny To Everyone - Be Prepared For The Consequences
Apparent death, also known as playing dead, is a phenomenon seen in several animal species as a way of avoiding unwelcome attention. This attention could come in the form of an attacking predator, an unwelcome mate or a variety of other reasons. The hope, however, is the same in any case - by pretending to be dead the interested party will become uninterested.
While this behavior is seen quite often in nature, humans don't have much need for it anymore (thank goodness). There are some people, though, that practice the art of playing possum, either in the form of practical jokes, as an unusual hobby or just as a way to pass the time. Oh, and let's not forget make-up artists and people who act; they also like to play dead or make people look like they're dead.
If you're a practical joker who loves to scare and shock others in a fun way, just be prepared that some will not be too happy about your little trick. For those of you who like taking pictures and keeping records of your strange hobby, I would suggest to be selective about who you share it with. And for those who have had to feign death to keep from being killed, my sympathies - I hope you never have to go through that again. Let me end this introduction by saying that this lens will be about the lighter side of playing dead - no serious stuff allowed. Enjoy.
Above photo by Amy Messere / flickr.
For Informational Purposes Only
Playing Dead Game VS Lying Down Game - Know your meme.
The Origins Of The Playing Dead Game
There was a Japanese manga back in the 1990's called Crayon Shin-chan. The main character often played pranks on his mother by pretending to be dead on her return home. Though that theme was not in every episode, it was part of what made it such a great hit.
As the show gained in popularity, pictures of South Korean students playing dead began showing up on the web in 2003. It wasn't long after those appearances on the web that the phenomenon exploded into a full fledged internet meme.
Though not as popular as it used to be, the art of pretending to be dead is still alive and well and has enough followers to last for many years to come. You can find groups on many established art, photo and social sites, flickr and deviantART being two of the most well-known.
Dead People Pictures - Pictures of dead people who aren't really dead.Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Gashlycrumb Tinies By Edward Gorey - The cutest little book about death you're ever going to read.
This is perhaps Edward Gorey's best known abecedarian book (alphabet book). It's makes an extremely wonderful gift for people who have a dark sense of humor. The morbid humor within shows just how dangerous childhood can be as each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by a beautiful illustration and a witty saying. Below is a sample of what you'll find inside, just so you'll know what you're getting into.
A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.
I is for Ida who drowned in a lake.
J is for James who took lye by mistake.
This is a short, fun book that is definitely not for children. It's an alphabet book for adults. It may not be long, but you'll find yourself looking at it often. Trust me.
What's your opinion on playing dead?
Halloween and April Fool's Day are perfect times to pull this prank on somebody.
Sittin' Up With The Dead - By Ray Stevens
Tips And Tricks On How To Play Dead
Whether you're doing it as a group or a single person, keep in mind that the main goal of playing dead is to convince others that you are no longer living. Whatever position you place your body in should be as natural as possible. Think about what would happen if you just fell all at once - total loss of muscle control. That's what you should aim for.
- Thinking about what you are doing when you die will help you come up with interesting ways to position the body.
- Be aware of your surroundings. You may want to clear it of stuff that may hurt you.
- If one dies while awake, the eyes usually stay open. If a person dies while sleeping, then they stay closed.
- Keep still. Take small, slow breaths that others won't be able to see. If you decide to keep your eyes open, be careful about blinking or following movement.
- Be prepared for people to touch you. This may or may not happen. They may even begin to drag you around. You will have to decide how far to take your deception. If, of course, you're only doing it for a picture, then you won't have to worry about this.
- Using fake blood is an option, but not necessary. It may even get you in trouble with the law if causing too big of a disturbance.
- If doing this in public, it's best to have people stand watch to let others in on the joke in case things start to go too far (dialing 911, etc.).
- Playing dead in bad weather may not give you the effect your looking for. Fewer people will want to go out into it to inspect the body.
Still One Of The Best Practical Jokes You Can Play On Someone - If you're a fan of dark humor, that is.
The old fake snake gag is priceless. When I was younger I got my granny good by holding a fake one and acting like it was dead in my hands. All of a sudden, I acted like it was alive and threw it towards her. She screamed like crazy. It took a little while, but she eventually laughed about the prank.
This snake looks pretty real, but you may want to expose it to your victim in low light. Maybe towards dusk or in a darkened room. My favorite is to just lay the snake down in a room and let people discover whether it's real or not on their own.
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