I had to fly all the way to Detroit to get kidnapped. Extreme Kidnapping is a company operated by Adam Thick, an entrepreneur and convicted counterfeiter from Oakland County, Michigan. Thick founded Extreme Kidnapping in 2002 after being inspired by the old David Fincher movie The Game. (SPOILER: It was all a game!) For $500, Adam and his crew will abduct you at gunpoint and hold you hostage for four hours. A thousand bucks gets you ten hours, along with a bit of customized sadism. GQ was curious to see what $1,500 would buy me.
If it strikes you as obscene that people would pay to be kidnapped at a time when it happens routinely to other people for real, the fact is that we live in an age when a normal life simply isn’t enough for many Americans. If you watch enough movies and TV (as I do), you end up yearning for a life that is more cinematic than blissful. Experiences are the newest, hottest luxury items. I looked at it like I was paying for a memory implant, Total Recall-style. But the one thing that didn’t make sense to me was how Adam could pull off the trick of making a kidnapping feel real when his client knows it’s not.
As with any pricey upscale service, you have many choices for your Extreme Kidnapping. You can even select your kidnapper. Adam offered me the standard goons, or I could choose a team of Elite Girls—sexy girl kidnappers who wear stripper platforms and microskirts. I declined the Elite Girl squad because (a) I’m married, (b) getting kidnapped by sexy ladies isn’t exactly realistic, and (c) I’m not an idiot. Clients probably hire the Elite Girls thinking it would be awesome, only to find out that the girl kidnappers are ten times more sadistic.