5 Hilariously Elaborate Ways People Ducked Their Problems

Being an adult is hard. You’re hurtled out of the lazy summers of your teen years, only to find yourself burdened with bullshit responsibilities like a spouse, kids, and — ugh — a job. Well, the following people weren’t going to take growing up laying down. They wanted to rid themselves of all that pesky nonsense, and you wouldn’t be reading about it on Cracked if it went well.

#5. A Cop Invents An Elaborate Horror Movie With Himself As The Victim

Imagine you’re a cop and you get a call about an officer down. You fire up the siren and hurry to your colleague’s burning home, where you find him tied up with a crude pentagram carved into his back, jabbering about a visit from someone called “The Executioner.” That’s some movie-caliber crazy right there, but it truly happened. In 1996, New Zealand officer Brent Garner was discovered in his home after narrowly surviving an attack by a satanic monster who could only be accurately described with horror film cliches.

New Zealand Herald
Who is also shitty at drawing pentagrams.

In the weeks leading up to the attack, a figure named “the Executioner” had flooded Garner’s desk — and local papers — with threatening letters containing satanic overtones. Clearly, Garner had awoken some kind of curse, or perhaps angered whatever New Zealand calls witches. Witcheridoos, we suppose. The police launched a massive investigation, code-named “Venus,” to find this Executioner. They spent over $250,000 on the case, interviewed almost 2,000 people, and all for nothing. The lead inspector put it best: “You can imagine the scenario: there’s effectively a homicidal Satanic-worshipping maniac hell-bent on murdering a member of police wandering around the country for months sending threatening letters.”

New Zealand Herald
“Taking up our time with Satanists when there are Muslims we could be profiling?!”

Eventually, it dawned on them that either horror movies are real and Garner was starring in one, or somebody was pulling a con. In either situation, there was only one thing for the police to do: harass the protagonist. They began a shadow investigation called “Mars,” this time directed at Garner himself. Of course, you already know that he invented the entire thing, because he’s in this article. What you don’t know is why: He just really, really didn’t want to be married to his wife anymore. The back wounds? Self-inflicted, courtesy of a scalpel tied on a stick.

Martin Hunter via New Zealand Herald
Couldn’t even be bothered to put an ad up on Craigslist.

See, Garner had been having an affair with a receptionist at work, and was looking for a way out of his marriage. Being the proactive type, he decided to tie this up with a big fat fraudulent insurance payment. We’re not sure at what point the logic leapt from “Leave the wife, fraud a little, hope not to get caught” to “Make up a generic horror movie villain and pretend they burned down your house, while carving pentagrams on your own back with a scalpel tied to a stick,” but that’s us. We’re not creative thinkers.

#4. A Billionaire Sets Up A Fake Taxi Company … So He Can Use Carpool Lanes

Ever been stuck in traffic, alone, willing to trade a kidney if you could only use that damned empty carpool lane? Well, it was the same for Irish billionaire Michael O’Leary, the owner of budget airline RyanAir. But instead of sucking it up and waiting his turn or buying a blow-up doll for the passenger seat, O’Leary had a plan. Taxis could use the special lanes, so all he had to do was create a private taxi firm. Said company consisted of a fleet of one car: his own. He coughed up the taxi permit fee, set up a meter in his own private vehicle, and avoided the lines, presumably laughing all the way.

Irish Typepad/Wiki Commons
Dude, you know you can buy a cadaver for $1,000?

When challenged about his obvious loophole abuse, O’Leary pointed out that the meter was on every time he used the taxi lane. The average fee for his rides was $102, and according to O’Leary, “last time I checked this was a democratic republic. As long as I pay my taxes, I’m free to do with my money what I like.”

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
“I pay hundreds of dollars in taxes! Hundreds!”

Ireland’s transport minister, however, disagreed. He moved to close the loophole soon after O’Leary’s shenanigans came to light. They had to change the law because of one petty, cheap motherfucker who didn’t want to wait his turn.

#3. A Couple Skips Work By Waging A Brutal Hate Campaign … Against Themselves

What’s the worst thing you’d do to get out of work? Intimately describe your diarrhea to your boss? Fake the funeral of a 14th consecutive grandma? Suddenly pretend you don’t speak English?

News Corp Australia
In our extensive work-shirking experience, the diarrhea option is best.

That’s all bush league compared to Australian health workers Tabitha Lean and Simon Peisley, a married couple who needed a few personal days. So they started a Gamergate-level hate campaign. Against themselves.

In 2012, a job review made Lean worry that she might be dismissed, so the pair started sending anonymous threats to themselves. These threats demanded Lean and Peisley step down, and ranged from garden-variety “I’ll put a bomb in your underwear” stuff to them mailing their children’s bloodstained clothes … to said children’s goddamn school. They sent around 80,000 of these threats over two years. Presumably doing this instead of actual work.

Adelaide Now
The cost in postage alone …

The scheme paid off in every sense of the term. The state government agreed to give them indefinite leave with close to full pay, threw in some paid vacations, relocated them to a “safe” location, and even covered all their medical expenses. Police grew suspicious when the pair seemed to be having a grand old time under the burden of constant death threats, so they marked the couple’s envelopes with invisible ink. Then, when Lean and Peisley got their next round of angry letters, the police simply ran them under a UV light, and thus ended Peisley-gate. Something to think about before you call in a murder threat against yourself on Zelda release day.

#2. A Soccer Player Skips Out On Child Support Payments … In An Ambulance?

All soccer players are aspiring actors — just watch any foul call. But in 2016, Ecuador national striker Enner Valencia took his acting chops to a whole new level. He had recently returned to his home country for an international game, only to find local lawyers and police waiting for a word with him about an ongoing dispute over child maintenance payments. They weren’t going to pull him from the game (soccer is a sacred duty in every part of the world but the U.S.), so they figured they’d wait until it was finished. Now, Valencia did play in that game, but was substituted off the pitch with an apparent injury. He was hooked up to an oxygen mask, whisked off to a waiting ambulance, and driven away. You’ve already jumped to the right conclusion. Now here’s the police reaction as they slowly, slowly realize what’s happening:


“Whoa, running? The academy never prepared us for this!”

It begins with mild disbelief, as they follow the medical buggy. Surely, he wouldn’t …? He would. They move to anger as the cart zips past, then to full panic when they realize their perp is escaping in front of a stadium full of witnesses.

What happened here? According to the mother of Valencia’s daughter, a man who earns the equivalent of $41,586 a week from his English Premier League club should be able to cough up the kingly sum of $17,000 total, which is what he allegedly owed in childcare. According to Valencia himself, there’s quite a bit more to the child maintenance dispute, and also he was hurt, for realsies, no foolin’. We don’t know for sure what the truth is, but we know one thing: That video really needs to have “Yakety Sax” playing.

TyC Sports
Done.

#1. A Mayor Tries To Escape Massive City Debt By … Running For Governor?

Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. was a lawyer and prosecutor who had earned his chops fighting organized crime, and he became mayor of Providence, Rhode Island on a victorious anti-corruption campaign in 1974. He set out to fix the city’s tumbleweed town situation by pouring money into everything from downtown infrastructure to schools. He was a hero, a champion, and, unbeknownst to his electorate, a master snake oil salesman who was conjuring city rejuvenation dollars from nowhere.

When his first term ended, Cianci ran again and won. However, he knew that he couldn’t keep the gaping $16-million black hole that his projects had torn in the city’s finances hidden for much longer. So he decided to escape the debt and high-tail it out of Providence for good. By becoming governor.

AP via Politico
In case you thought this was a uniquely Trump thing, failing upwards is a time-honored tradition in politics.

As Cianci stated it: “My idea was to get out of Providence — ’cause shit was gonna hit the fan with the finances ’cause we were broke. I knew that was coming. So if I get out in time, I’ll be able to say, hey I left, I don’t know what happened.”

His genius plan can best be understood by watching this clip from Tommy Boy:

Cianci suffered a crushing defeat in his run for governor and was forced to return to his mayoral throne in Providence. To give him credit, he did — sort of, kind of — try to fix things. He slashed municipal spending by ending guaranteed overtime for garbage men, which did save money … but also led to a strike of more than 1,000 city workers. Cianci didn’t want to risk losing voter confidence by leaving piles of stinking garbage in the street for weeks, so the anti-corruption crusader who got his start fighting organized crime cozied up to the freaking mob. And that, dear readers, is why you don’t break a vase and hide the cracked side.

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