Dead Pool 5th December 2021

Welcome to all three of you  who read the newsletter, in which this week we dispense 40 points to Paul C. for correctly listing Eileen Ash; which brings his total deaths score to 8 out of 13, quite a feat! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Sheridan Smith is “lucky to be alive” after being involved in an car crash, it’s been reported. It’s being claimed that the actor and singer was driving her Range Rover in Little Sampford, Essex on Saturday (27th November) and swerved into a tree due to icy weather conditions. Photos appearing to show what is believed to be Sheridan’s vehicle with the front caved in have since surfaced online. A source who claims to be a neighbour of Smith’s told the evil monkeys that the entertainer was left with “cuts and bruises”, adding: “Sheridan is so lucky to be alive. It could have been so much worse. Her car was stuck in the tree, it was a really bad crash.” They continued: “But thank goodness there were land-owners to cut up the tree blocking the road or police would never have got through. It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened.” A nearby dog walker said he feared “someone must be dead in there” after spotting the accident, adding that the car was “totally trashed”. Smith was taken back to her house by a friend after the car veered off the road. An Essex Police spokesperson confirmed: “We attended a collision in that area. However, no offences were identified, no-one was arrested or seriously injured, and it didn’t impact on any of our major roads so, in line with our policy on such incidents, we won’t be providing anything further.” Smith’s alleged car crash reportedly came less than two hours after her appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, which was mired in controversy following earlier reports that she became “upset” after recording the interview. A spokesperson for the series confirmed that Smith “appeared to become upset” after her time on the show despite  seemingly having “a great time” during filming.

A chef has avoided being jailed after serving up a shepherds pie which killed a 92-year-old diner and poisoned more than 30 others. John Croucher dished up the contaminated meal to a harvest-supper party at the Crewe Arms in the Northamptonshire village of Hinton-in-the-Hedges. Church-goer Elizabeth Neuman could not stop vomiting after eating the pie and died of gastrointestinal haemorrhage, while 31 of her fellow worshippers became “unpleasantly ill”. Only three of the congregation escaped food poisoning – because they were vegetarians. But representing himself in court, Croucher – who has been a cook more than 20 years – claimed that the tragedy had made him “a better chef”. He said: “Remorse is an understatement. This is something I will never forget. Because of it, I am a better chef and it is just a shame the cost of it had to be what it was.” The 40-year-old was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Reading Crown Court on Thursday after previously admitting a charge of contravening food regulations. Pub landlord Neil Billingham, of Northampton, was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs after admitting three charges of contravening food regulations. The court heard that Ms Neuman was rushed to hospital soon after eating at the Crewe Arms on 8 October 2018 – but but that she died before doctors could properly treat her. Sentencing, Judge Sarah Campbell said: “No sentence I pass can reflect the loss caused to the family. “Croucher was the chef that night. The mince was not cooked properly and was placed into a pan with iced water. Croucher needed to leave, so put the mince in cling film and put it in the fridge overnight. Having left it, he cooked it again and added warm mashed potato. He did not take the temperature when it was served.” The incident came after hygiene inspectors had already ordered the pub to improve after finding no food safety management systems in place. The court was told that members of the Holy Trinity church congregation which had suffered did not want “retribution” against the pub, Billingham or Croucher, who no longer works there and now lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire. Christopher Hopkins, for Billingham and his company, the Bobcat Pub Co, said: “You will see that Billingham went to local residents who were affected shortly after, apologising for the incident. He also asks me to express his condolences to the Neuman family on his behalf.”    

Marcus Lamb, founder and CEO of conservative Christian  broadcaster Daystar Television Network and a vocal anti-vaxxer, has died at the age of 64, weeks after he tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement on Twitter, the network did not specify his cause of death but said: “It’s with a heavy heart we announce that Marcus Lamb, president and founder of Daystar Television Network, went home to be with the Lord this morning. The family asks that their privacy be respected as they grieve this difficult loss. Please continue to lift them up in prayer.” Lamb’s son Jonathan had earlier described his father’s infection as “a spiritual attack from the enemy” to take him down, in a broadcast on the network last week. “As much as my parents have gone on here to kind of inform everyone about everything going on to the pandemic and some of the ways to treat Covid — there’s no doubt that the enemy is not happy about that,” Mr Lamb said. “And he’s doing everything he can to take down my Dad,” he added. Mr Lamb’s mother Joni had also earlier thanked viewers for their prayers in a telephone call from her husband’s hospital bed. Describing her husband’s illness, Ms Lamb had said: “It’s like, you’ll just be up and everything’s great, and then you have a little lull, and then you come down low and then you come back up, but from everybody that I talk to — I think that’s the pattern.” The network which has over 70 stations across the country was launched by the Texas televangelist in 1997. It has also expanded outside the country and is broadcast in 74 countries across the world. The network became a platform for misinformation and conspiracy theories during the Covid-19 pandemic. It hosted conspiracy theorists like America’s Frontline Doctors who had claimed in a viral video that Covid-19 could be cured not through mask mandates and shutdowns but through the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. The network also brought in Robert F Kennedy Jr, the nephew of the former US president John F Kennedy, who is a prominent anti-vaxxer. Last month, the Daystar Television network along with a Mississippi based Christian fundamentalist organisation, American Family Association, moved court against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate at workplaces. The two companies said in their filing in a Texas court that the vaccine mandate is “sin against God’s Holy Word” and put their employees in a position to potentially sin as well, reported Deseret News. Recently other known anti-vaxxers such as conservative radio hosts Dick Farrell, Phil Valentine, and Marc Bernier also died due to Covid-19, so the virus isn’t all that bad…

Thought of the day: Touching an AM radio broadcast tower will kill you, and not only will it kill you, but it will hurt the entire time you’re dying. Firstly, the voltage is so high that your hands would instantly clamp to whatever charged part of the tower you touched, then because it’s oscillating at a frequency your cells can’t feel you wouldn’t be able to feel yourself being electrocuted until it starts to heat your body from the current, and you’d also be able to hear your body acting as a “speaker” where you’d literally be able to hear whatever was on that particular station as you die.

On This Day

  • 1952 – Beginning of the Great Smog in London. A cold fog combines with air pollution and brings the city to a standstill for four days. Later, a Ministry of Health report estimates 4,000 fatalities as a result of it.
  • 1958 – The Preston By-pass, the UK’s first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. (It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways.)
  • 2004 – The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership is registered there.


A Most Excellent Death

Gaius Petronius Arbiter was a Roman courtier during the reign of Nero. He is generally believed to be the author of the Satyricon, a satirical novel believed to have been written during the Neronian era (54–68 AD). 

Tacitus, Plutarch and Pliny the Elder describe Petronius as the elegantiae arbiter, “judge of elegance”, in the court of the emperor Nero. He served as suffect consul in 62. Later, he became a member of the senatorial class who devoted himself to a life of pleasure. His relationship to Nero was apparently akin to that of a fashion advisor. Tacitus gives this account of Petronius in his historical work the Annals (XVI.18): He spent his days in sleep, his nights in attending to his official duties or in amusement, that by his dissolute life he had become as famous as other men by a life of energy, and that he was regarded as no ordinary profligate, but as an accomplished voluptuary. His reckless freedom of speech, being regarded as frankness, procured him popularity. Yet during his provincial government, and later when he held the office of consul, he had shown vigour and capacity for affairs. Afterwards returning to his life of vicious indulgence, he became one of the chosen circle of Nero’s intimates, and was looked upon as an absolute authority on questions of taste in connection with the science of luxurious living. 

Petronius’ high position soon made him the object of envy for those around him. Having attracted the jealousy of Tigellinus, the commander of the emperor’s guard, he was accused of treason. He was arrested at Cumae in 65 AD but did not wait for a sentence. Instead, he chose to take his own life. Tacitus again records his elegant suicide in the sixteenth book of the Annals: Yet he did not fling away life with precipitate haste, but having made an incision in his veins and then, according to his humour, bound them up, he again opened them, while he conversed with his friends, not in a serious strain or on topics that might win for him the glory of courage. And he listened to them as they repeated, not thoughts on the immortality of the soul or on the theories of philosophers, but light poetry and playful verses. To some of his slaves he gave liberal presents, a flogging to others. He dined, indulged himself in sleep, that death, though forced on him, might have a natural appearance. Even in his will he did not, as did many in their last moments, flatter Nero or Tigellinus or any other of the men in power. On the contrary, he described fully the prince’s shameful excesses, with the names of his male and female companions and their novelties in debauchery, and sent the account under seal to Nero. Then he broke his signet-ring, that it might not be subsequently available for imperilling others. 

According to Pliny the Elder: “Petronius, a consular, knowing he was going to die through Nero’s jealousy and envy, broke his fluorspar wine-dipper so that the emperor’s table would not inherit it. It had cost 300,000 sesterces”.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Catherine Tate (52), Frankie Muniz (36), Marisa Tomei (57), Jeff Bridges (72), Tony Todd (67), Pamela Stephenson (72), Tyra Banks (48), Jay-Z (52), Brendan Fraser (53), Amanda Seyfried (36), Julianne Moore (61), Daryl Hannah (61), Jean-Luc Godard (91), Ozzy Osbourne (73), Lucy Liu (53), Britney Spears (40), Connie Booth (81), Nelly Furtado (43), Woody Allen (86), Sarah Silverman (51), Riz Ahmed (39), Bette Midler (76), Ridley Scott (84), Kaley Cuoco (36), Ben Stiller (56), Mandy Patinkin (69), John Bishop (55), Billy Idol (66), Gemma Chan (39), Diane Ladd (86), Don Cheadle (57), and Gena Lee Nolin (50).

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