Our modern dystopia presents major challenges to those interested in staying alive, and many have resorted to begging, stealing, and even Kickstarter just to make it through another miserable day. Little do these people know, a wealth of resources deposited by our fellow Americans rests in a stratum just six feet under the earth. And now that the invention of science has put old-fashioned superstitions to rest, graverobbing has grown in popularity has a legitimate means of income. As with any profession, the field of corpsefound treasure excavation contains unspoken laws engineered to cause shame and disgrace if left unfollowed, so please keep the following in mind before you go elbow-deep in some dead person's grandpa.

  • You'll need more than just a shovel to be successful. The ideal graverobber kit contains a pryer, a smasher, a skin loosener, a cavity scoop, a worm churner, and a means of self-defense. So be sure to bring along a small claw hammer as well.
  • You may be after a bounty of vintage, preserved toys buried in tiny coffins, but check those tombstones carefully -- any child buried in the '90s is bound to be resting in a coffin full of Beanie Babies, which are practically worthless. Be sure you're up-to-date on your polio vaccination, and seek out the graves of non-adults who expired no later than 1940. With a little bit of polish, those diecast model train sets will net you a fortune on eBay.
  • Have a graveyard full of competition and want to stake your claim? Simply plant your shovel in the ground nearby to let everyone know. Remember, "Handle in the air, you better beware. Handle on the ground, open season on this mound."
  • When stripping the body, don't neglect the suit! While the slit down the back and the general decay may make these garments seem worthless, most T.J. Maxx stores will at least give you store credit for them. Additionally, the general "corpsey" smell will assist in fooling clerks into thinking these clothes came from their store.
  • Pet cemetaries: Generally, these are a waste of time. Retrieve the skeletons of several large parrots, though, and you may be able to convince Nicolas Cage they're rare dinosaur skeletons worth millions of dollars.
  • Fresher corpses undergoing the process of putrefaction may irritate sensitive noses. For this reason, it's recommended to bring along a military grade gas mask, which can be purchased for a little under $100. Graverobbers on a budget should instead carry several bottles of Grapefruit Fizz Febreze, and a reliable vomit tote.
  • RTC: Respect the Corpse. Though you may be severing ring fingers and tearing out gold teeth, remember, these are the bodies of fellow human beings. If you happen to tear off an arm to spook a colleague from behind, be sure to return it to the coffin, placing the appendage as close to the original joint as possible. In the rare instance that you need to tear the wedding dress off of a cadaver, ball it up afterwards, and place it gently under the feet. Avoid the temptation to mime a slam-dunk.
  • Since graverobbing is still a crime, it's recommended to perform this act under the cover of night. Total eclipses of the sun work just as well, since most people will be too busy viewing it through a box to notice you for the next seven minutes.
  • Should the police arrive on the scene, play it cool. Simply state you were just interested in the whole "subterranean midnight picnic" fad and never realized you were in a graveyard. If you're in the middle of corpse-stripping, start feeling around the body and exclaim, "I'm so glad you're here! This man is very sick!" In both cases, your charge will most likely be waived on account of insanity.
  • If your diggings don't yield any treasure, remember: corpses can easily be transformed into respectful Halloween decorations. No manner of inflatable pumpkin or fake spider webs spread across the shrubbery could possibly compete with the skeleton of a real Civil War hero hanging from the awning of your front porch.

– Bob "BobServo" Mackey

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