“You don’t really need to fake your death; I mean — I think that the term that is used is ‘off grid’ — you disappear. Or as the Sopranos would call it, ‘on the lam,’” Private Investigator Christopher Warrender says to me. He goes on to talk about debt collection and how, if you were to move about two to three times a year and not have a landline, you could effectively evade being charged. Warrender explains that debt is often sold off to collection agencies after about a year to six months but they also take on numerous cases. These agencies only have a certain quota to make. So if an individual is able to effectively slip through the cracks of that quota, they could actually be forgotten.
Such an idea absolutely floored me and I’m quite sure it would dishearten many tax payers. Without even leaving the country, I could avoid paying my dues. However, people don’t go to jail in Canada for not paying debt; debtors prisons are a thing of the past. Declaring bankruptcy is definitely not the end of the world. Or as Warrender puts it, “Debt is not prison.”
The key to disappearing is in fact not really doing anything. “You don’t tell anybody — you don’t make a big scene out of it,” PI Ashley Cyr tells me, “I’d take nothing with me — not my tooth brush, clothes — nothing.”
Investigator Zachary Lapointe concurs, “Hiding your motive for running away is often the most important factor in successfully staying hidden.”
When asked, all three PIs interviewed said technology can give people away. The majority also agreed it would be best to go to a foreign country and live off the land as a hermit in a shack by the sea. Yet, the idea of a missing body hung over us. Lapointe told the story of a man who successfully faked an at-sea death, which made me wonder if I should take up fishing and boating. Although, Elizabeth Greenwood, author of Playing Dead, advises, “A drowned body always shows up eventually. Disappearing while hiking is a good way to die.” Luckily for me, I enjoy long walks in Gatineau Park.
Ultimately, it would seem that a complicated plan can be your downfall. Doing nothing, taking nothing, and seeing no one is the best option, no matter how the "death" happens. It’s time to really think about all those little things that annoy me about the people I love, so that maybe I too could pull this off.
Phoebe Strike is a snarky 21-year-old college student with a strong love of comics, good beer, dry humour, and old movies. She’s an aspiring fiction and content writer who enjoys writing humour pieces as well as slice of life. Her plan is to hone her skills in whatever writing industry she can get her hands on.