Ways I Imagined I Might Die When I Was a Kid

I’m told to eat my vegetables. I eat watermelon instead, and swallow a seed by accident. A watermelon grows inside of me, crushing my organs.

I walk to school and can’t fight my urge to run across the street a bunch of times without looking both ways. I’m entirely unharmed by passing cars but my care-free cardio triggers a deadly asthma attack.

I decide not to say “please” or “thank you” when ordering food at a restaurant and I’m immediately pummeled to death by a resentful diner waitress.

I’m peer pressured into listening to explicit music and soon get placed in a lower reading group at school. I fall in with a bad crowd and get really into skateboarding, which is basically dying.

I go unchaperoned to visit my grandma, who lives in the woods. When I arrive, I’m attacked by a wolf pretending to be my grandma. I’ve seen this before and survive easily until my actual grandma mistakes me for a cunning wolf antagonist and ends me with her Depression-era resourcefulness and a rolling pin.

I roll down the car window while going through an automated car wash. It’s raining suds and I’m elated. This is the best decision I’ve ever made until the machinery grabs me and turns me into human spaghetti.

I talk to a stranger who immediately abducts me. He returns me home completely unharmed but only after he has instilled in me a passion for magic. Soon after, I’m pulling a rabbit from a hat in front of a thoroughly delighted school talent show audience when I learn I’m deathly allergic to rabbits.

My parents are out of town and I’m supposed to listen to the babysitter. The babysitter is an axe murderer. I’m extremely prepared for the situation and have booby-trapped the entire house. I fall for one of my own clever tricks and my hungry ant farm eats me alive.

I make fun of a kid at school. Later, the kid reads me my fortune using a paper fortune teller. It predicts that I’ll die during recess and I do.

I’m supposed to wait to take a second helping of food until everyone has had their first helping. I take seconds anyway and snag a choice piece of watermelon. I swallow a seed by accident and a whole piece of fruit grows inside me. That’s okay, I thrive on the nutrients and become regionally famous. Come harvest time, there’s a knock on the door. It’s a farmer. He cuts me open for my tummy fruit and I die.

I’m overcome with excitement during arts and crafts and break into a full sprint after grabbing scissors. I trip and am entirely uninjured so I finish making a rustic holiday ornament. Later, my parents put the ornament on our Christmas tree where nobody can see it and I die of disappointment.

I run away from home and get lost in the woods. I handle the situation with extreme maturity and eventually navigate my way home, and, in so doing, fall in love with nature. I join the Boy Scouts and win all of the badges for knot tying before accidentally, and irreversibly, tying myself to an extremely angry beehive.

I imagine surviving my childhood despite never listening to my parents. I raise a family of my own and we take a road trip. We’re enjoying large roadside attractions when I swallow a watermelon seed by accident. It’s okay, it was a white seed. As I laugh at my close call and my nuanced imagination, I’m rolled over by an award-winningly large watermelon.

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