PHILADELPHIA—A report published Thursday by sociologists at the University of Pennsylvania has determined that 38 percent of all road trips end with the traveling group of companions burying one of their members in a shallow grave in the desert. “According to our data, more than a third of road trips conclude with several individuals gathering in the darkness miles from the main road and solemnly digging a 2-foot-deep burial pit in the sand for a friend they just put out of his misery with a lug wrench,” said the study’s lead researcher, Molly Lashker, adding that within the particular subset of cases, 63 percent of the travelers draw lots to determine who will retrieve the body from the trunk, 79 percent rush to turn off the car’s headlights when they hear the sound of an engine in the distance, and 98 percent make a pact to never speak of what happened again. “The proportion of journeys that end in a rushed late-night desert burial appeared to be consistent across all types of road trips, whether it was a spur-of-the-moment two-day retreat or a week-long cross-country adventure. We also found that in nearly every instance, the outing begins with each of the friends happily singing along to the radio and declaring that it was going to be the best trip ever.” Lashker went on to note that only 2 percent of road trips involve the supposedly deceased friend frantically clawing their way out of the grave and stalking the others.
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