There are lots of great things about being a mystery writer, but one of the best is watching people’s reactions when you tell them that you kill people for fun. Most mystery lovers are in on the joke, but it’s fun when someone’s eyes go wide as they wonder whether or not you’re actually dangerous.
The good news is, you don’t have to write a mystery novel to be mysterious. Here are some strategies that anyone can employ to keep a co-worker guessing or get neighbors to keep their distance.
Speak with a faint accent. Just enough so that the person you’re talking to isn’t sure if you have an accent or not and would feel rude asking. If they do ask, say no and quickly change the subject.
Wear a cape. Dr. Strange. Dracula. Harry Potter. Goldy Gopher. They all understand the power of the cape. There’s no telling what you could be doing under there.
Collect unidentifiable things in jars. (I still have flashbacks to the glassed-in case along the back wall of science class.) When someone nervously asks you what’s in the jars, offer them tea by way of response.
Trade in your Toyota Corolla. My neighbor’s boyfriend drives an oversized windowless van that had everyone talking as soon as he moved in. Some people thought a family was living in it. Others thought he was selling drugs out of it. Turns out he was using it for an office. Not the van type? Get a Batmobile.
Have a nontraditional pet. Walk a rooster on a leash. (I actually saw a guy doing this once in Miami!) Insist on taking your naked mole rat everywhere you go. Carry your iguana around on your shoulder and baby talk to him. This is guaranteed to simultaneously attract attention and cause people to keep a wide berth.
Sleep in a coffin. This requires a higher level of dedication to the cause. It’s also a good way to get rid of unwanted suitors. (Warning: could actually attract even-more-unwanted suitors.) A quick search yielded an actual coffin bed on Amazon; I encourage you to go there, read the reviews, and leave your own.
Work on your evil laugh. End conversations with a hearty “Mwa-ha-ha.” It’s clichéd, but super effective.
Readers, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever witnessed someone else do? Oh, and also? Mwa-ha-ha.