The death rate among the Dead Rabbits is very high, especially among newcomers to the gang. Because they risk much more than veterans. In many cases they are taken in by their own cover. Not only do they go hopping and sniffing around like rabbits, but they also believe they are dead. (In fact, one of their worst fears is being roasted and eaten.) They are a typical product of what anthropology calls “idiotic thinking,” which is halfway between “magic thinking” and the “no-thought”. Since they are allegedly dead, they think they cannot die and when, say, giving two fingers to an elevated train, instead of being at a safe distance from the rails, as veterans do, they stand right in the middle of the track, and die mowed down by the train while they give the two fingers to it. Their buddies pretend to believe they were heroes and brave ones, but in reality they think they were dumb like a fish. There was one O’Malley who volunteered for a maritime mission. It was about swimming to a sailboat anchored in the bay and throwing an empty can of sardines on board. Well, he underestimated the fact that he was unable to swim and, as soon as he threw himself into the water, he sank like a stone. For more than three hours his companions were waiting for him to emerge from the water at the same point where he had thrown himself, until they understood that he had drowned or had died from any other cause.
One of the classic feats of the Dead Rabbits consists of lying in the middle of the road on a busy avenue with the purpose of being run over by a car, thus causing feelings of guilt in the motorist. Another typical feat of these gangsters is to cover themselves with some flammable substance and light themselves on fire with the purpose of causing a fire engine exit. When the fire engine arrives at the place, firefighters are almost always too late to save their lives, which causes the preening and teasing of the rest of the gang. These are all prototypical cases of “idiotic thinking” and they are set as an example at Anthropology schools.