Step 1: Carry a book with a creepy or vaguely threatening title. Example:
It is not necessary to actually read the book, simply having it in your lap, face up, will usually work. Note, the book above has a creepy title, The Poisoner’s Handbook, but the subtitle Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York is a lot less threatening. Luckily for us, that part is in much smaller print and should not detract from the creepy factor.
I have found books about how to be a serial killer can also be very useful for this.
All that being said, I’m really enjoying The Poisoner’s Handbook, very interesting stuff. I also find it infinitely sad how the more things change, the more they stay the same, particularly in politics and bureaucracy when comparing the 1920′s to today.
My only quibble with this book is that some of the stories it touches on are touched on too lightly. I’m left with more questions than answers and a growing list of old cases and people who I want to go look up to get a better understanding of their motives and to see how it all turned out for them. I’d still recommend it though. Do be aware though, some of the science is rather disturbing to read. Very flat sciencey descriptions of autopsies and experiments. If you’re a member of PETA, you’ll might wanna give this one a pass.
So, next time in our series of how to secure a seat alone on the bus, extra loud music on your iPod or random twitching and muttering. Which feels more right for you?