Thanks to XP champion Cop, I found out a thread started back in 2001 by japhy which is actually in the form of a poll but seems to have never made its way to polls. I'm reposting it here with additions from the various replies given in the original thread, some cosmetic interventions and a pair of suggestions of my own.
Perl Programmers Don't Die...
- they get DESTROYed
- their refcount drops to 0
- they get collected
- they just refer to something else
- they just warn
- if they're in an eval
- they croak
- they form a circular self-reference and so continue to exist forever, but become inaccessible
- they shutdown
- they are exported
- if they are blessed
- if they are damned
- they reset $self
- they go out of scope
- they get undefined
- they just leave the symbol table
- they get dumped and hope someone remembers the reverse
- they accidentally get stringified and can't be restored
- they're obfuscated and B::Deparse can't handle it
- someone enables strict and they have to adapt or leave
- they're locals and you move away
- they're deprecated for the next release
- they just fade to Python
- they just hibernate waiting for Perl 6
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