While faking your own death is purposefully getting away from the people in your miserable life, going into witness protection is a more of a forced situation. Well, forced if you call the alternative being rubbed out by a Mafia hitman. While the prospect of receiving a new identity, back story, house, and career may seem daunting, it doesn’t need to be. Actually, it can be exciting in that "what’s behind Door #3" sort of way. So, if you just spilled the beans on Tommy the Toe’s dealings and need to get the hell out of town, make sure to print this guide and memorize it on your way to Kansas. You’ll then be ready to hit the ground running as your new — although likely not improved — self.

Brown Bag It

From what we’ve heard, this is the biggest complaint from those entrenched in the program. The US Marshals will set you up with fake ID’s, fake birth certificates, a new job, house, and per diem to get you jumpstarted. What they don’t do is stock your new fridge with your favorite munchies. Now you’ve just landed in South Dakota and the closest food is Mickey D’s — and it closed at 9pm because of the town’s curfew. Make sure to pack a lunch before you get to leavin’ on a jet plane or else you’ll be doing a beef jerky run to the 7/11 three towns over. At midnight.

Must Remember: Um, vodka and Funions, anyone?

Ask for the Premium Channels

Hey, you’re giving up a cush life you have built for the many years you have lived in your grandmother’s basement, so the least the government can do is hook you up with decent cable for the rest of your existence. At the very least, make sure to demand HBO and Showtime, because "Entourage" and "Dexter" can help you forget that your new life has you working in a recycling plant. Seriously, we’ve tried to live in a cool city that we chose to live in with just regular extended cable. We can’t imagine what it’d be like in say, Clifton, New Jersey.

Must Remember: FX, the NFL package,, Nickelodean (it’s the last season of "iCarly", come on!)

Do Your Homework

You’ve got an entire 30-plus years to erase and replace with another person, time, and place. Make sure you have it down like the lyrics of "Pour Some Sugar on Me" or else Cooter at the local gas station might get suspicious of your alibi. Your life timelines will need to be solid and you will likely have to memorize details about a town you are from that you have never even visited. This is where your acting skills come into play that you learned while portraying Ducky Lucky in your 1st grade production of “Chicken Little”.

Must Remember: Create five names of people you fake went to high school with and drop them into sentences whenever you can to add some authenticity to your stories. Example: "This guy I knew in high school, Ben Killian, won the school hot dog eating contest four straight years."

Blend In

You will of course want to blend in physically with your new surroundings. That may mean knocking out a tooth or two (Southern States), butchering your hair (Midwestern States), or removing a few brain cells (Southern California). Wherever you end up, if you stick out like My Cousin Vinny, you will be a dead man in a matter of days. You have to look like you belong in order to keep your new identity intact — and not be strangled by Guido in your sleep. So take a look at your new town’s culture and absorb it. Go load up on threads at the local Big & Tall. Go get a trim at the closest Fantastic Sam’s. And learn the local — as much as it might suck — accent. It’s all about staying alive, Brosef.

Must Remember: Sports apparel of the local sports teams — college or pro — always puts locals at ease. Pick up a hat and display it proudly. Plus, it hides that bald spot, so two birds, one stone.

Make Your Move

You are new in town, but you also are blending in quite well. You are a rookie, yet familiar. Like a left hand to 98% of men. There’s no reason why you can’t have some fun with your new life situation, right? Hit your local bars, clubs, and Lamaze classes, and enjoy your new identity. Statistics show that most Witness Protection placements are in small to mid-size towns. And those statistics also say that those places are full of desperate housewives wishing they could be one of the "Desperate Housewives". Your move, Sport.

Must Remember: Adopt the motto "anything goes." If you make a fool of yourself, just enter another Witness Protection Program and start over. Problem solved.

Have an Escape Plan

You are under protection by the federal government — which is exactly why you need a backup plan. We’ve all seen the movies. Some how, some way, the bad guys always track the witnesses down. But not you. You will have a nice alarm system thanks to Joe Taxpayer, but it needs to go beyond that. Always have an overnight bag packed (with snacks, of course) and a quick route out of town. So if you get the call that the Calzone Family might have located your whereabouts, you can be heading over the bridge and to the nearest Marshal’s station. If the Calzones get to your house before you get the warning…well, you had a good run.

Must Remember: Invest in pepper spray. It could save your life.

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