2010 Dead Pool

RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards

Contest Rules
As we leave the aughts and enter the whatevers, the Alt Obituaries Deadpool continues to thrive. More and more people play every year, the updates continue to be fun to create (not) and edit (not) and we continue to be out of our minds for doing this. For Bill and me, it's a labor of love. But let me be clear. It is a labor. So listen to me. Follow the instructions to the letter and don't complain. Shall we begin?

Send me 40 names (same as last year). People you think will die (none of this pass away bullshit) in 2010 and get an obituary in one of the many fine news outlets that still produce obituaries. We may have to relax this a bit as the newspapers go to newspaper heaven, but I've not had much of a problem with this over the years and I'm generally a soft touch.


The alphabet. Learn it. Use it. Is this too much to ask? Put those 40 lost souls in alphabetical order. LAST NAMES FIRST AND CAPITALIZED. First Names Upper and Lower Case. Check your work. Then, in parentheses next to the name, tell me who they are. Yeah, I know who most of them are. Indulge me. I want there to be no mistake. NUMBER THEM. Don't make us count to 40.

Example: 12. KENNEDY, Ted (U.S. Senator)

That reminds me, make sure they're not already dead. Every year I get dead people on lists. Every year I write and say you got a dead person on your list and I allow you to replace said dead person. If I miss it, then you got dead people on your list.

Then send it to me with the subject heading MY PLAYER NAME's 2010 Deadpool List. Don't send it with the actual subject heading MY PLAYER NAME's 2010 Deadpool List. Then I'll think you're truly retarded.

Example: I will send

     AMELIA's 2010 Deadpool List

I will capitalize my player name. Note that my player name and my real name are the same. Yours may vary.

Send the list to

(remove the hyphens and replace the "at" with the appropriate single character that happens to be found on the numeral "2" key). Don't hit reply on AO. Any communication on the deadpool should go through aodeadpool-at-gmail-dot-com.

If someone on your list dies before the year ends, I will write to you and ask for a new name. Don't give me extra names "just in case." Get your list in before December 31, 2009, 7 PM EST. Someone will send you a confirmation, usually me, to let you know we got it, it's an excellent list, or "Arthur Godfrey is already dead," or "you didn't capitalize" or "you don't know the alphabet, fucktard," or "enough with the al Qaeda operatives already." Which reminds me, if there are multiple ways of writing someone's name (terrorists, royalty, pseudonyms, nicknames) please make it perfectly clear who you are talking about with all the variants.

Give me your real name and your player name. If you're changing your player name from previous years, let me know. If you don't want to give me your real name, then you can't play. Your name is safe with us. Make sure to send the list from an email address I can use to communicate with you. Write your email address in the body of the email. You can only play one list under one name and one email address. Why you would want to play two when there's no money involved, I can't even imagine.

< 20  25
20-29  22
30-39  20
40-49  18
50-59  14
60-69  11
70-79  8
80-89  5
90-99  2
The scoring is the same as in previous years.

Spouse and children of the famous are not automatically famous or eligible even if they have a major obituary. They must have prior fame. This is a gray area. I expect trouble. If you have a pick you're unsure of, submit it and we'll let the Rules Committee decide. You should only know who the Rules Committee is.

Solo PickOnly entrant to select that person5
Duet PickOne of two entrants to select that person2
Trio PickOne of three entrants to select that person1
Daily DoubleTwo hits on same day10
Hat TrickThree hits on same day50
 Selected person dies on birthday15
Hits occurring from December 25th through December 31st10
 Youngest hit of the year25
Someone is not famous merely for the manner in which they die. They must have achieved prior fame. Sick kids visiting presidents don't count when they die.

No bonus points for super-geezers, because I hate writing the updates. So you'll get one lousy point. Is it worth it? Be more creative.

People on death row are eligible if they
   a) die from a cause other than execution, or
   b) their level of celebrity is such that their
    passing would have been newsworthy even
   before their crime and/or conviction, or
   c) their crime or some element of their    trial, conviction or incarceration is newsworthy
   enough that they have wide name recognition.

Saddam Hussein was a valid pick under "b." Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh would have been valid picks under "c." Ordinary murderers are not acceptable. In many different ways.

If you pick someone who went missing in a previous year, but was found in this year, it's not valid unless the Medical Examiner determines the person lived until this year. So, not a good bet.

There is no entry fee. There is a prize for first, however. Thanks to Mark in Maine, you will win Moxie Soda, generally two bottles. Some think this makes second place more desirable. If you win, you must be gracious and thank him, even as you're spilling it down the drain.

After each hit, Bill or I or a guest updater will write either a respectful or irreverent obit and post it on alt-dot-obituaries with the relevant scoring update. I know we haven't been exactly timely. We will try harder.

And finally, we're busier than ever, the people who run this deadpool. Please volunteer your services for writing the updates. Let me know if I can count on you. So many of you are great writers and have expertise in bizarre areas, It would help. Don't make me beg. Volunteer.

I've probably left a whole bunch of stuff out. Write to me if you're new and need clarification on something.

To recap, here's what your submission should look sorta like:

AMELIA's Deadpool list

Real Name: Amelia Rosner
Player Name: Amelia
Email: Amelia dot Rosner at gmail dot com (you can do it correctly, of course)
Yes, I can write updates. Ask me anytime!

1. AAAAAA, bbbbb (type designer)
2. etc.

Above all, have fun.

Amelia and Bill

RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards

Grim Reaper Victim Day  of
Average Number of Kills-Per-Day Peak
Projected Kills
for the Year
[Kills to Date]
John Sheldon Wilder 1st     1.0 Kpd   1.0000 365  [ 1 ]
Freya von Moltke 1st     2.0 Kpd   ◄► 0.5000 731  [ 2 ]
Art Clokey 8th     0.3750 Kpd   2.6666 137  [ 3 ]
Hermine "Miep" Gies 11th     0.3636 Kpd   2.7500 133  [ 4 ]

RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards



Died: January 1st
Age: 77
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: ?.??% of entrants
Selectors: Wendy
Morris the Cat
1. John Sheldon Wilder

2009 was not Wendy's year, as far as deadpools go. In fact, unless some famous dead celebrity surfaces in the next week or so, she will win a very important prize in the AO Deadpool. So what happens when you get skunked (her words) one year? On the very first day of the new year, you get a hit. (Along with a new player named Morris the Cat.) Scoring will follow the update, lovingly prepared by none other than Wendy. And it's a fine piece of work. Thank you so much, Wendy.

John Shelton Wilder wanted to be governor of Tennessee. In fact, he wanted it "so bad, I could die."

Unfortunately, Marcelle Wilder, his wife, refused to live in the governor's mansion because she would have to host "wine parties" so Wilder was forced to settle for being Speaker of Tennessee's State Senate and first in line of succession to the governor, i.e. Lieutenant Governor. That must have been good enough, because Mr. Wilder served in that position from 1971 until January 9, 2007. This made the longest-serving lieutenant governor in the history of the United States and possibly the longest freely-elected legislative leader in the world.

"Huh?" you say. "Some yokel from Tennessee rates that honor?" Well, yes-he does. Wilder was a master of nonpartisan politics; if you supported his policies, then you were on his team. He might have parceled out the majority of committee chairs to Democratic loyalists, but he made sure the rest went to Republicans, even if they were the minority party. When senate Democrats tired of his presence as Speaker and tried to replace him in 1987, the Republican Caucus repaid Wilder's bipartisanship by nominating him for the position.

Wilder believed in compromise, moderation and had an innate sense of fair play that reached beyond politics. He defied his neighbors and Tennessee's agribusiness interests in the '60s when he encouraged the black tenants on his farms to register to vote. When neighbors drove sharecroppers who had registered from their rented land, Wilder allowed them to camp on his.

Gov. Wilder, as he liked to be called, considered himself a Democrat in the Jeffersonian tradition, speaking against government debt and for fiscal responsibility. He fought against loan sharks and the liquor lobby with its price-fixing. He arranged for Lamar Alexander, a Republican, to be sworn in as governor three days early in an attempt to prevent out-going Democratic Governor Ray Blanton from granting last-minute clemency to state prisoners for pay. Wilder called the move "Impeachment... Tennessee style."

His uniquely long run was threatened in 2004, when Republicans won a one-seat majority in the Senate, but Wilder's allies on both sides of the aisle voted for him, and Wilder was sworn in for his eighteenth term as Speaker and Lt. Governor. Wilder rewarded his Republican supporters by keeping the Democratic leadership and majorities in two committees, including the important Finance Committee, while giving the Republicans the other seven senate committees. Republicans, who figured having the majority meant control of the state's purse strings, remembered this lapse in Wilder's vaunted nonpartisanship.

When he came up for reelection as Speaker again in 2007, Republicans shunned Wilder to elect one of their own. Gov. Wilder, who was eighty-five at the time, and who had said he wouldn't last long if out of office, suffered critical injuries in a fall at his home three months later. (Being a tough old bird, he drove himself to a local gas station for help.) Wilder then returned to his Senate seat only to be sidelined by pneumonia the following year, at which point he announced his retirement.

Wilder was an avid bicyclist and flew a twin-engine Comanche, using it to commute between his home in Somerville, Fayette County and the capitol in Nashville. He was a veteran of WWII and often spoke of himself in the third person. Wilder was known for his aphorisms, "The Senate is the Senate. The Senate is good" being the most famous. Unfortunately, he also fought ethics reform, and he too often looked the other way when the dishonesty of his colleagues proved the Senate was not always good.

John Shelton Wilder was born June 3, 1932. He died at the Baptist Home in Memphis, TN on January 1, 2010 from complications of a stroke suffered a few days earlier. Marcelle, who enjoyed sixty-three wine-free years with her husband, died in 2004.

Morris the Cat and Wendy share first place. They each get 8 points for the hit and 2 for the duet. Total: 10. Great start to the year. 

Died: January 1st
Age: 98
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: ??% of entrants
Selector: Charlene
2. Freya von Moltke

Freya von Moltke was one of the last survivors of the Gestapo purge after the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944. With her husband Helmuth she was involved in the anti-Nazi Kreisau Circle. The Kreisau Circle was named for the town where the castle inherited by her husband was. Meetings were held there to discuss the situation in Germany. Freya, her husband and like-minded friends took part in conferences where they planned for the day in the post national socialist era when Hitler was no more and Germany could be set to rights again. I gather they weren't terribly quiet about these meetings, because she was the only one attending who survived the war. The others were executed for treason. Her husband's 1700 letters to her tell the whole dissident tale.

We were in Berlin this fall and among the museums we visited was one that honors the memory of the men and women who resisted Nazi rule. It's housed in Otto Wendt's Workshop for the Blind. Otto Wendt, blind himself, hired blind and deaf Jews to make brushes and brooms. He protected them in whatever way he could. There were bribes, and there were hiding places and there were parcels sent to concentration camps. When his secretary was deported to Auschwitz, Otto Wendt made a sales call to the camp with his brushes so he could leave her a message to tell her where to find food and medicine.

For twenty years after the war, there were no honors in Germany for people who took great risk in helping victims of persecution, because the post-war German government didn't think it was possible under the Nazi regime.

It was possible.

We have the letters to Freya and the hiding place in Otto Wendt's workshop to prove it.

Freya von Moltke was 98 when she died in Vermont on the first of January. Charlene, a bit to the north and west, is proud to be associated with such an important figure in history. She gets 2 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. 

Died: January 8th
Age: 88
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: ??% of entrants
Selectors: Exuma
3. Art Clokey

Bill Schenley writes:

If there was anything lamer than "Gumby" during the 1960s ... it was "Davey and Goliath," and both were created in clay animation by Art Clokey. The best thing about both Gumby (who made his lame-ass debut on Howdy Flippin' Doody) and "Davey and Goliath" ... were the parodies they both spawned; Eddie Murphy on SNL and Adult Swim's Moral Orel. "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" ... my ass.

Still, I like knowing that Gumby had those big, wide legs...because being made of clay made Gumby top-heavy, and that's the only way Clokey could make him stand up. That kind of information is what made writing this update worthwhile.

So Exuma has this guy as a solo, which makes me now wonder about Exuma. Anyway, Gumby's dad was 88, so he gets five for the hit and another five for the solo. Total: 10. And for the moment, the lead. 

Died: January 11th
Age: 100
Worth: 1 Pt
Popularity: ??% of entrants
Selectors: Eternity Tours
Chipmunk Tours
4. Hermine "Miep" Gies

I think I'm going out of order here, but there's a reason for it. Bill is writing the Gumby creator and he's not finished yet.

So in the meantime, I'll post the lovely remembrance that Marilyn gave us for Miep Gies:

     I heard her speak maybe 15 years ago at Westchester Community College. She was simple and riveting. I wasn't a hero, she said; you would have done the same. She had spent the years since the war speaking to young German students about her experiences. She took three questions from the audience. I was already calculating how I could see her again and get other people to see her too, so I asked her where else she'd be appearing on this trip. This was it, she said. She was flying back to Europe the next day.

     Westchester Community College! A Sunday afternoon in the winter.

Brigid, Buford, Chipmunk Roasting and Eternity Tours went to Holland and came back with this low-scoring but lovely hit of a 100-year-old anti-hero. They each get, yup, one point. But look on the bright side. She got the real reward. A very long life. 

5. to be determined

      ??        4        9o.75        2.00        7.00        2     
Age at
      Average number
of Selectors
per Hit
Point Value
per Hit
      Solo Hits
for the Year
( 50.0% )

obits penned by ...
Wendy :1
Marilyn :4

RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards


As of Monday January 25, 2010
Tie goes to the: fewest Hits, most Solo Hits, most Duet Hits, most Trio Hits, then reverse alphabet ("Z" to "A") on entrant names

PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
Hit On ...
( Gold )
Wendy  10 1 0 1 0
  1. John Sheldon Wilder — 10 duet points
    Youngest Hit of the Year (so far)

    average: 10.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 1st
( Silver )
Morris the Cat  10 1 0 1 0
  1. John Sheldon Wilder — 10 duet points
    Youngest Hit of the Year (so far)

    average: 10.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 1st
( Bronze )
Exuma > 10 1 1
  1. Sir John Mortimer — 10 solo points
  2. Art Clokey — 10 solo points

    average: 10.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 8th
4th Charlene  7 1 1 0 0
  1. Freya von Moltke — 7 solo points

    average: 7.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 1st
5th Eternity Tours  1 1 0 0 0
  1. Miep Gies — 1 point

    average: 1.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 11th
6th Chipmunk Roasting  1 1 0 0 0
  1. Miep Gies — 1 point

    average: 1.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 11th
7th Buford  1 1 0 0 0
  1. Miep Gies — 1 point

    average: 1.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 11th
8th Brigid  1 1 0 0 0
  1. Miep Gies — 1 point

    average: 1.00 points per Hit
    most recent hit: January 11th
( Plumbium )
A load of them (so far) — Dim Reapers 0 0 0 0 0  « none in 2010 ... so far »
PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
Hit On ...


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