Another in a series of strategies for murdering your fellow humans. For more obvious plans, see earlier installments. This series assume you are looking to murder, which is a behavior we do not endorse or recommend.

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Humans, by nature, reach the top of a flight of a stairs and then just stand there for about fifteen years. Here in New York City you see this phenomenon most notably in subway stations, where people emerge into Times Square and then plant their feet solidly, oblivious to the one hundred million people coming up the stairs behind them.

No one is exempt from this instinct. Nice people, jerks, geniuses, idiots. There is something in the genetic code of the human being that tells it to STOP and WAIT FOREVER when you reach the top of the stairs. I assume that in cavemen times, there was some breed of saber-tooth tiger that loomed above the entrances to caves, and every one of our ancestors who stepped boldly out of his cave with no hesitation was instantly murdered and removed from the gene pool.

Regardless of the cause, this behavior is not only undeniable but powerful. People don't just wait for a second. They stop, they let their jaws go slack, they stare up and around, like they have never seen the sky before, or learned how to walk. They stare with their hearts full of wonder! Look, the top of the stairs! I never could have dreamed!

Extra-dumb: people do this when they are home also. They get to the top of the stairs, put their hands on their hips and think "Now, what did I come up here for?" Their conscious minds have been erased by the happiness of reaching the stairs.

PLAN: Put a bunch of stairs in the woods and fields of the Earth. When humans see them they will happily walk to the top and stand there. Pick them off with an automatic rifle.

SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: Detached stairs, sniper rifle.

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Hall and Oates cracked the top ten about 4500 times in the late 1970s and 1980s with songs like "Private Eyes," "Rich Girl" and "Maneater." They fell out of style… never. Their songs have been played continuously on the radio, as hold music, at stadiums, during movie montages and on everyone's personalized Pandora stations.

Nonetheless, there's always some jerk in a group of friends who hears Hall & Oates songs and thinks he/she is discovering them for the first time.

"You know who's great?" these people say. "Hall & Oates. Have you ever heard them?" Then they lean back in their chairs and place their hands behind their heads, smugly satisfied.

This is not like being the first to dig up Nick Drake, or the Neutral Milk Hotel, or Mos Def. This is like saying you found a cool American landmark, and it's called The Mississippi River.

PLAN: Go to a busy city square. Start playing Hall & Oates very loudly on a stereo system. As people smile and start recommending it to the person standing next to them, unleash a flood of napalm into the square.

SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: A city square, napalm.

QUALIFIER: I am one of these people described. Hall & Oates: Have you ever heard them? Oh, you really should.

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752. ATMs

Facts: people are scared of computers, of reading, and of facing their finances. ATMs present all three in a neat little package of knee-rattling intimidation. Thus, there are few weapons more potent for subduing a human being than the digital glow of an ATM screen.

Here are things people can generally do with little effort or stress: open a lid on hot coffee while driving a stick-shift car; talk to two people at once while also watching a movie; trod down a steep staircase while dialing their smart phones. But ATMs flummox everyone. You stop in front of them and stare, uncertain of your every move.

"Checking" or "savings" or the ever-mysterious "other"? Such a question paralyzes us all. And that's only the first question you must answer. Do we want to pay the extra fee for using an ATM outside our bank (yes, always)? Can you think of an amount in a denomination of twenty dollars (sure)? Would we like a receipt? (Yes, but I'm throwing it away in ten seconds). And would you like to see your balance first (God, no)? Each and every question freeze the customer in place, as he/she dangles a finger above the screen scared to press down and make a choice.

For people over 50, it's even worse. Sure, a spry 18-year-old seems confused in front of all ATMs, but someone over 50 freezes in place so long they are in danger of starving to death.

Sure, eventually you figure it out. After all, you use ATMs all the time (actual number of bank tellers in the US today: three). But it takes you a while, and when you walk away you still look preoccupied, distant, as if you were visited by a glowing, touch-screen version of God.

PLAN: Get a bunch of inactive ATMs. Scatter them into a field. Tell people there's a free concert featuring Katy Perry, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age and a reincarnated James Brown. Once people get there and see the ATMs, they will gather around and stare. At that time, hurl a series of replacement buzzsaw blades at their necks and take them out.

SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: Inactive ATMs, buzzsaw blades, remarkable dexterity.

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People get together. People tell anecdotes. Notice, please, that all anecdotes fall into two categories:


"Get A Load Of This Idiot" can include complaining about relatives who are not present, people you saw at the mall, or the current president of the United States. "Listen To How I Saved Money" stories are almost exclusively about how to rig your cable boxes to get you free channels. These are the only topics humans are interested in saying to each other.

SO: Gather a large amount of capital, buy a large commercial block on prime time television. Start your commercial with some graphics that read "GET A LOAD OF THIS IDIOT." Then launch a drone attack on America's homes.

SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: Large amount of capital, fleet of drones.

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This would work too.

Thank you for your time! Please remember that we do not condone murder. Just thinking about it.

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