It’s happening again.

You got so excited eating your soft pretzel that you inhaled an old Band-Aid while you were walking around a Victoria’s Secret at the mall. It’s lodged in your throat pretty good, and it’s becoming clear that you won’t be as lucky as you were the last time. Things aren’t looking great for you right now, but don’t worry: there are three proven ways to die with a shred of your dignity intact.

“The Hero”

Every second counts when you’re choking on an old bandage in Victoria’s Secret and don’t want to die in complete disgrace. In the final moments before the lights go out, you need to think fast. “The Hero” method can help.

Here’s how it works: As you begin fatally choking, scan the entrance to the Victoria’s Secret for someone who is just leaving. When you spot a promising target, run, walk or limp toward them, making sure your head is turned to the side so the drool draining from your mouth does not impede your path. When you’re close enough to lunge at your chosen target, yell “he’s/She’s getting away!!!”* and proceed to lunge at him/her. The two of you will tumble to the ground and, if you’ve timed it correctly, you will be dead before you hit the floor. Your death will look like the death of a hero defending the store from a sneaky shoplifter.

By the time the police sort it all out, your limp corpse will be tucked safely away in the morgue, the seeds of a hero’s death too deeply planted in the minds of witnesses to be altered.

Congratulations! You’ve managed to die with an ounce of dignity.

*If the old Band-Aid is lodged too deeply in your esophagus to allow this many words, you can resort to a dramatic “Noooooo!!!” before making your “hero’s lunge.”

“The Victim”

You’ve scanned the exit for a target to attempt “The Hero” with, but no one is leaving. What now? Curl up and accept the death of a fool? No. The next viable option for a slightly more dignified finale is “The Victim.”

For this method, grab the nearest Victoria’s Secret undergarment (does not matter what) and examine the tag. Was it made in China? Good, that will help you; announce it to the store: “Huh, made in China? Figures!” Pretend to examine it for a second before also shouting: “Huh, kinda smells like lead!!” Keep your head turned so that your drool does not get on the undergarment as you try to put it on (note: there will be no time to undress as you choke death on the smelly Band-Aid—simply put the undergarment on over your clothes).

Before your lifeless flesh flops to the floor and your bowels release, muster up enough energy to shout, “Something is terribly wrong with this product!!!” When people rush to your aid, it will appear you died from a faulty/toxic Victoria’s Secret product, and not from choking on an old Band-Aid like a moron. You were a tragic (yet noble) victim of corporate greed.

Congratulations, an ounce of your dignity was salvaged.

“The Godfather”

If there is no viable target for “The Hero” and you also lack the power of speech required to perform “The Victim,” it may seem you are out of options for a marginally more dignified death in the middle of Victoria’s Secret. Not so. “The Godfather” serves as a potential last resort to escape an utterly pathetic demise.

In this method, you will replicate the collapse of Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather: Part I,” where mob lord croaked while playfully chasing his young grandson around a tomato patch. To pull off this slightly more dignified death, you will need to find someone (preferably a child) to playfully chase around the store as you choke to death. In place of the orange slice Don Corleone had in his mouth in the famous scene, use a piece of your soft pretzel. It is also important to grunt like a monster during the playful chase (this should not be a problem since you are already gagging on an old Band-Aid).

After you’ve made a few rounds about the store, stumble and fall backwards, grabbing on to some surrounding clothing racks as you go down. If you’ve timed it right, you’ll be dead before you hit the linoleum. And if you’re lucky, it will take a moment before the person you’ve been chasing realizes you’re not playing anymore and are actually dead. People will gather and realize you’ve died in a similar way as Don Vito Corleone, a respected fictional mafia leader.

Salud, Godfather: You’ve died with a shred of dignity.

Join upcoming November classes in Satire Writing, Sketch Writing, and Stand-Up Joke Writing.