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Arlen Ploog is a character in the novel Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand. He was a low-life who had a gambling problem and was a survivor of the elevator accident in Merlin's Tower. Arlen worked at the Big Apple Laundromat from 5:00p.m. to 1:00a.m. before heading over to Merlin's Tower to eat dinner. After that he'd sleep and head back over to the tower (where he'd usually lose a fair amount of money in poker) before eating lunch and heading back to his job. Occasionally, he'd spend some time with an Asian prostitute named Tina at The Imperial's Tower. After spending time with her one day, Arlen went over to the Tower, losing a game of poker to a cowboy named McMurtry. Once Arlen was finished with the game, he headed over to the buffet line, only to find out he was three dollars short on cash since he lost most of it betting. Arlen wound up finishing his day with a regular cup of coffee instead.

Sometime later Arlen came into contact with Roberto Diaz, a man on the run for killing a child, and he politely asked the man to leave. When he put a hand on his shoulder, Diaz punched Arlen in the stomach and slapped him around a bit before threatening to kill him. However, one of the customers pointed out that he was on camera, and Diaz quickly left the store, warning Arlen not to call the cops. Although he told himself he was going to, he never got around to it and spent his time cleaning his pants (he urinated in them when Diaz attacked him) and thought about treating himself to something nice for all the trouble he went through. So Arlen decided to head off to Merlin's Tower that night, eating clam chowder and drinking expensive coffee before heading into the elevator. While inside, Arlen encountered Allie Goodwin-Gaines, who was creating a stir after witnessing a horrible premonition of everyone dying, and she desperately rushes outside with a detective, his girlfriend and her husband. In the process the elevator doors slammed shut and almost crushed Allie in half, but Arlen quickly released the panels and they were all free. As they waited in the lobby, they looked outside and saw that the elevator was indeed crashing and everything Allie witnessed was coming true.

Arlen and the other survivors were interrogated by Special Agent Hotz and McGavin before being transported out of the police department via police van, and Detective Ackerman finally figured out that Diaz happened to be the one hiding out in his store, and got mad at him for not speaking up in the first place. During the time, a stoplight swung from above and crashed into the van, killing the driver and injuring a few of the occupants, spraying blood everywhere. As the van began to swerve out of control, Warren assisted Allie in stopping the van once he shot her seat belt off and she pressed the brakes immediately before the van hit a tank truck. While in the hospital, Arlen explained to Warren what really happened in the laundromat, making him feel ashamed of himself for not speaking up about the man who wound up killing a kid. However, Arlen eventually got over it and headed back to The Imperial Tower to see Tina.

Arlen was the third survivor of the Merlin's Tower accident to die.

Death

After making love to Tina several times, the prostitute slipped under the sheets and started to give Arlen fellatio. Out of nowhere, a neon sign slammed into the wall and a startled Arlen clenched his knees together, kicking the prostitute in the head. As reflex, she bit down and spat something out when she comes out of the sheets. Screaming, Arlen looks down and is horrified that Tina just bit off his penis. He tries to stop the blood flow, tumbling off the bed and begging for Tina to help him, but she runs out of the room so she wouldn't get in trouble when the cops arrived. Arlen lies on the floor and dies from exsanguination.

Signs/Clues

  • According to Arlen's bank account, he was Death Incarnate.
  • While playing with McMurtry, Arlen noticed he had the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Clubs, the Eight of Spades, the Eight of Clubs, and the Nine of Diamonds. This is known as the Dead Man's Hand and was the same hand Wild Bill Hickock had before he died.
  • Arlen almost died in the patrol van when a traffic light fell and killed the driver, making the van swerve out of control and almost crash into a tank truck.
  • While with Tina, Arlen muses "If heaven was anywhere as good as this, he was about ready to pack his bags, say his goodbyes, and jump on board the first available Greyhound bus that was bound for glory. Next stop: the Elysian Fields."
  • Residents of The Imperial had been complaining for years about the old sign out front, telling the management to replace it or the weakened base before it fell over and killed somebody.
  • The gusts of wind (which no news stations had predicted) that led to Arlen's demise, by blowing the neon sign into the room, were likely the same ones that killed Warren Ackerman.
  • As he desperately tries to stop the flow of blood from his crotch, Arlen feels a strange coolness prickle his skin, like the hand of Death had gripped him.
  • While dying, Arlen remembers a French saying: Le Petit Morte. This means The Little Death and refers to an orgasm.
  • All the survivors of the Merlin's Tower accident died out of order. Why this happened is unclear.

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