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In this era of economic turmoil, climate catastrophe, and cliques of cool teens just waiting to make fun of your shoes, we live in a heightened state of fear. We’re afraid of the world and afraid of each other—but not nearly as afraid as we should be! McSweeney’s contributor (and co-executive producer on Family Guy) Evan Waite’s absurdly hilarious survival guide, Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe demonstrates that being afraid of literally everything is the only guaranteed way to stay safe.

Today, we’re happy to offer an excerpt from this important and very funny guide.

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Ruining Your Credit So No One Wants to Steal Your Identity

Over sixteen million people a year are victims of identity theft. Falling prey to this scam can increase your insurance premiums, give you trouble with the IRS and fade you from photos like Marty McFly.

It can happen to anyone, especially you. And that’s because you’ve been fiscally responsible, which is very irresponsible. Having good credit is the financial equivalent of strutting through a dive bar dripping with diamonds. Why not also wear a sign that says “Come and get it”? The solution, my friend, is to wreck your finances so badly that criminals treat your identity like a dead skunk and steer clear.

Your payment history plays a big role in determining your credit score, so try to pay your bills late. Consider cultivating a grudge by paying with a greasy, food-stained check, with the words “I spit on your remittance schedule!” in the memo line, perhaps with a few “hahas” at the end. To expedite this process, you can also simply not pay your bills at all.

Identity thieves will try to drain your bank account, so beat them to it. Buy a pool table! Don’t worry if it doesn’t quite fit in your house. Lease a speedboat! It doesn’t matter that you’re two states away from the nearest body of water. Just throw cash in a ditch! I can share the coordinates for the perfect ditch for this, actually. Turning your account into a smoking hole where money once was is a great way to ward off thieves.

Next, max out your credit cards. Consider taking out a business loan for that idea you had for a bakery that also gives haircuts. When the health department shuts you down because there are beard clumps in the biscotti, double down by taking out a second mortgage on your house. Maybe you’ll be evicted! If your spouse finds out and begs you to stop, understand this to be misguided and maybe a little selfish. Your identity is at stake! Consider divorce, which is a handy way to drag your credit through the mud.

According to recent data that probably exists, there is a direct correlation between how stinky you are and your likelihood of becoming the victim of a data breach. Criminals tend to avoid taking on the identity of unwashed slobs, so forgoing bathing could be your ticket to financial security. Grow mutton chops and eat oatmeal without a spoon. Don’t change your socks, ever. Given that this wards off only those who are nearby and downwind, try to broadcast your putrid state on social media. Think about adding stink lines to selfies.

I know it can be scary to put these ideas into practice, but trust me, it works. I used to lead a dangerously successful life, with a great job and a nice house. I had a sweet car, and would drive it around where everyone could see. I was just asking for trouble. But through a series of strategically poor decisions, and a frightening online poker addiction I chose not to seek help for, I spiraled down into the gutter and haven’t looked back since. Now I live under a bridge, and no one wants to steal my identity or even make eye contact with me when I ask them for their leftovers.

Hey, are you going to finish that sandwich?

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Buy Evan Waite’s Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe.