HOW TO!: UnScene’s Weekly Column About How to Do a Thing


HOW TO! #10: How to survive a hostage situation!

by Rich Karski


Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s HOW TO!: The weekly online column that gives you the knowledge needed to amass an impressive collection of gold and jewels.


There has been a lot of talk about terrorism recently, with the anniversary of the Marathon Bombings, that stupid Dutch girl who threatened an airline, and that disappeared plane that didn’t actually end up being taken by terrorists but everyone just assumed that it had because nobody wanted to admit that they just forgot where a plane went. Through all of this though, everyone seems to have forgotten about the original terrorists. That’s right, rouge East Germans who use their “terrorist attacks” to break into vaults containing millions of dollars in bearer bonds with the help of an annoying black nerd.

And this is exactly what they want from you. They’ll tell you there’s no more “East Germany” but then how do you explain that you can still Google it and like a thousand results show up? You can’t Google things that don’t exist. What they’re doing is biding their time until they find another building with a large vault worth stealing from, and then it’s only a matter of minutes before they’re on the phone with their black nerd friend talking about getting the band back together.

Nowadays, almost all business is conducted in large buildings, most of which probably contain some sort of vault. Since I already taught you how to get a job in business, it’s highly likely that you work in one of these large buildings that will most likely be the target of such an attack. Well I’m here to assure you that when these suave and sexy European bandits come and round up you and your co-workers, you won’t get caught holding your dick or your vagina or your friend’s dick. So, today I’m going to teach you:


kitten_hostageStep One: Familiarizing Yourself With Your Surroundings

If you’re anything like me, you have had the same job for a very long time and are still thoroughly confused by the layout of the building. That’s okay. You’re not getting paid to figure out hallways (unless you’re the Manager of Figuring Out Hallways in which case seriously you need to get better at your job these hallways are fucking ridiculous.) Now however, this becomes knowledge that is essential to you. Are there hallways that lead to a special escape hatch that contains some sort of fireman’s pole that you can slide down to safety? If so, look for those. Those hallways will be helpful. If not, maybe there is a hallway that leads to some weapons? The weapon hallway should also be a priority in case you decide that you can thwart these terrorists on your own with the proper firepower. If there are no such hallways, try to figure out if anything in your general vicinity can be used as a weapon. Maybe like a really sharp book that you can throw at the terrorists to cut their heads off? Then you can say something like “Looks like you’ll never be HEAD of accounting.” And then you look at the head of accounting and give him/her a wink because you know that you guys will be making out later. If you don’t think you can escape or fight back, then you’re going to have to settle in for the long haul, which will be addressed in the following steps.

Step Two: Communicating With The Outside World

Nowadays, everybody has a Facebook and a Twitter and a phone that has these things inside it. If you do not, then start writing some letters and training some pigeons now grandpa because you won’t have the time when you’re staring down the barrel of a Custom German AF-349 or some other gun that is actually real. Take some pictures of your captors and fellow hostages and put those things online, but make sure to hashtag them with #whitepeopleproblems so your friends know that you’re still down to earth despite like alllll the news coverage and interviews and book deals you’re probably going to get once you’re freed. Maybe you’ll even get on Ellen! Wouldn’t that be wild? Do you think she would read your screenplay and maybe give you notes? I mean, you’re a hero now so it’s the least she can do. Stuck up bitch. Anyway, don’t let your captors find out that you’re subtweeting them because that’s rude and they will get very angry at you and possibly shoot your face. Maybe ask them for their @ handles so they can be part of the fun and you guys can possibly establish some kind of rapport.


Step Three: Crying and Peeing Your Pants—Strategically

Let’s face facts. If you haven’t found a way to escape or to murder your captors, then you’re going to be doing some crying and some pants-peeing. The problem is you can’t get all of this out of the way right off the bat, because you’re going to need this stuff later. Avoid crying right away, because if you do the terrorists will think “Yup, that person is terrorized we’re doing a very good job.” You need to make them work for it. Let them yell in your face a little, tire them out, make them think you’re never going to crack. Allow them one tear, after a long session of yelling, and when they’re like “Why are you crying you big baby? Are we finally terrorizing you?” that’s where you say “Nope, I was just thinking about a beautiful country that I love. A country called ‘America.’” And now after you say this be prepared, because you’re going to get hit with the butt of a gun. They’ll act like they’re mad at you, but in actuality you’ve won their respect and they will view you as just another soldier of fortune like they are, and maybe in another life they could even see sitting down for a beer with you but unfortunately life has put you on different sides of the same coin. Oh right so the pants-peeing. The pants-peeing needs to be saved for the rescue, because A) of all, you don’t want to be sitting around in your peed pants for the entire damn negotiations, and B) of all, if you’re not crying in the fetal position with your pants peed none of the firefighters are going to carry you down the stairs when they come up to save everybody. They’ll just be like “You can walk” and you’ll look like an asshole if you argue that you deserve to be carried so make them believe it’s true by peeing in your pants.


Step Four: Befriending Your Captors

This is a good idea if you think your plucky underdog Europeans have a chance of succeeding, because let’s look at the facts:

  • They’re super handsome.
  • They’re from Europe so they probably know where all the good sex is.
  • They’re about to be very rich.


So maybe if you can demonstrate your value to them as a hostage, they will take you along with them and let you live in wildly sensual European opulence for the rest of your days. The first thing you’re going to want to do to achieve this is to distinguish yourself from your co-workers, and then sell them out. Say things like “Oh wow, THANK GOD. FIIIIIINALLY there are some COOL people in this office. Not like that sow Amy. Hey, if you guys are looking for some snacks I know big fat Amy keeps Oreos in her desk! There should be a jar of Nutella in there too because she loves to dip the Oreos in Nutella isn’t that SOOOOO GROSS?!” And your captors will probably be like “Wow that is gross. I mean it sounds kind of delicious but Jesus Christ, Amy get your shit together.”

And then there’s no way Amy is going to be spending the rest of her days on a handsome European sex vacation. You’ll want to give them other helpful tips, things like “Hey the toilet in the third stall doesn’t flush!” or “All of the bearer bonds are kept off-site but I have a GPS in my Civic it will probably be a tight fit but I’m sure we could squeeze in as long as we don’t take lardass Amy, COME ON AMY YOU’VE GAINED LIKE THIRTY POUNDS IN THE LAST MONTH I KNOW YOU’RE PREGNANT BUT WE’RE THE ONES WHO HAVE TO LOOK AT YOU!” and your captors will be like “Wow you have all the information we need and your burns on Amy are so sick we will totally split this money with you.” And then, my friend, you are on easy street.


So there you have it.

Four easy steps on how to survive a hostage situation led by East German terrorists who are only out for gold and glory. You could also try watching Die Hard but I find that movie to be a tad unrealistic.

Rich is a contributor for

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