5 Inventive Ways to Make Sure Your Date Isn’t a Serial Killer

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The dating game isn’t just depressing, it’s downright scary. In this age of online dating sites and cyber stalkers, it’s hard to weed out the harmless crazies from the dangerous ones. How does one determine whether a date is hiding actual skeletons in his closet? Fear not. There are a few inventive, yet subtle ways to determine if your date is hiding a deadly secret.

5 Play 20 Questions

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While serial killers tend to do poorly in school, they usually have above-average IQs. Find out if your date shows this serial killer trait with a game of 20 questions. You might want to study a little before the date to fill your brain up with facts that only a genius would know. If your date is a deep well full of obscure facts or can discuss a specific subject, such as science or taxidermy, with astounding ease, keep the butter knife close.

4 Flatten the Tires

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Because homicidal urges are largely unpredictable, a serial killer has to be prepared, which means there will be a few must-have tools in the trunk. Hide a knife somewhere on your person—this might come in handy later—and when your date isn’t looking, stab one of the tires. When he pulls the spare from the trunk, take a quick peek. If there’s not an obvious giveaway, like a corpse, look for duct tape, rope, plastic wrap or a suspicious-looking bag. If there are two or more of these things, take that knife and run like the devil is after you. Actually, don’t do that. They like it when you run.

3 The Pet Test

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Dogs have an uncanny knack for identifying people who might do them harm, and since serial killers usually leave a tortured puppy or two in their past, your dog might be the best way to determine if your date has a few bodies piling up. If you can’t introduce your date to your own dog, suggest going to the local animal shelter. Pet all the dogs. Maybe the cats too. Pay attention to the animals’ reaction to your date. Now, he might act cuddly and lovey-dovey with the animals to throw you off, but excessive affection for a mangy mutt or a spitting cat could indicate a loose screw or two.

2 Make a Mess

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Sneeze, cough, bleed; do whatever you can do to mess up your date’s personal space. Serial killers are often OCD about germs or tidiness. Sneezing or getting other fluids on the skin or clothing of a serial killer could send him into fits. Of course, he may be smooth, and subtly bring out the sanitizer to clean it off. If your date is at his home, you’re nuts for being alone with him, but since you’re there anyway, investigate his level of clean. If you could perform surgery on his immaculate floors, start worrying. If his cupboards and closets are organized alphabetically or by size, color or type, get out of there. A year’s supply of latex gloves in the closet? Run. Don’t look back.

1 Suggest a Killing Spree

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If a serial killer thinks you’re on the same page, you might avoid becoming his next target. Don’t actually go on a killing spree. Duh. Just casually mention how you have always admired Bonnie and Clyde and other such couples who don’t repress their most basic urges and all that fun, nutty stuff. Imply that you sometimes find it hard to resist the urge to cut a throat now and then. If he doesn’t call the cops or proposes marriage, you might want to change your locks and such. If he freaks out a little, tell him you were joking before he reaches for his phone.

Renee Miller began writing professionally in 2008, contributing to websites and local newspapers. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers, and she's published a couple of novels. She views humor and sarcasm like she does bacon and chocolate: there's no such thing as too much.

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