Dead Pool 4th September 2022

Let’s begin with awarding the points! 59 points to Martin and Lee for correctly guessing  Gorbachev, and again to Martin for also guessing Bill Turnbull, along with Mark, Chrissie and myself, finally breaking my duck! 84 points each! 

We also have a guest writer today, thanks Neil for the excellent essay below. If anybody would like to contribute, just email your work to the usual address. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Mikhail Gorbachev, 91, Russian politician, president of the Soviet Union (1990–1991). 
  • Mark Shreeve, 65, British electronic music composer (Redshift) and songwriter (“Touch Me (I Want Your Body)”). 
  • Bill Turnbull, 66, British journalist and presenter (BBC Breakfast, Songs of Praise, Think Tank), prostate cancer.  
  • Diane Noomin, 75, American underground cartoonist and editor (Wimmen’s Comix, Twisted Sisters). 
  • Frank Drake, 92, American astronomer and astrophysicist (Drake equation), designer of the Arecibo message. 
  • Drummie Zeb, 62, English reggae musician (Aswad) and record producer. 

In Other News

Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers has said he “misses” his beard after losing it while undergoing chemotherapy. The TV personality and chef shared an update on his cancer diagnosis during a chat with on-screen partner Si King. “It’s the beard I miss, though,” Myers said during an episode of his podcast Agony Uncles, adding: “I was born with that beard.” He added: ”I just miss having my beard – the feeling of it, because your skin’s different and all peachy. No, I want my beard back. I’m alright with my hair – I think the bald head and beard’s the way to go for a biker.” He added that he’s “doing OK under the circumstances”. Myers first revealed his diagnosis on the podcast in May, telling listeners he would be taking a step back from filming and attending food festivals throughout the summer. “Anyway Kingy, I’ve got to come clean now,” he said. “I haven’t been too well recently and basically, I’ve got to have some chemo, you know all this anyway, so this year is going to be a bit quiet for me. I’m not going to be filming, some of the festivals I’m not going to be able to go to, some I may be OK but this year’s a bit of a write off for us.” The 64-year-old continued: “I would love it if people respected my privacy and just let me get on with it and give Si and our team all the support they need, that would be great.  

Argentina’s vice-president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, survived an assassination attempt late on Thursday after a man with a loaded gun tried and failed to shoot her. Video footage of the incident showed a man holding a pistol inches away from the vice president’s head as she greeted supporters. Ms Fernandez de Kirchner was unharmed in the incident. On Thursday, President Alberto Fernandez confirmed in a televised address that a man attempted to kill the vice-president while she was surrounded by hordes of supporters outside her Buenos Aires home. “A man pointed a firearm at her head and pulled the trigger. Cristina is still alive because – for some reason we can’t technically confirm at this moment – the weapon, which was armed with five bullets, did not shoot although the trigger was pulled,” he explained, before adding: “We must eradicate hate and violence from our media and political discourse.” Mr Fernandez declared Friday a national holiday in an effort to show support for the vice-president. A suspect was arrested seconds after the attempted attack and Argentina’s official news agency, Telam, identified the man as 35-year-old Brazilian national Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel. The Argentine Ministry of Security also reportedly confirmed the weapon was a .380 firearm with cartridges inside. The attack on the vice-president comes amid rising political tension in the country and the region that has put politicians on edge from Colombia to Brazil.   

Just when you thought that executives jumping out of windows was a thing of the past… A man jumped to his death from the 18th floor of the famous ‘Jenga’ tower in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighbourhood on Friday. He’s been identified as a Bed Bath & Beyond executive. Gustavo Arnal, 52, was the Chief Financial Officer of Bed Bath & Beyond, a company that has been going through struggles of late due to high inflation and a sagging economy. The company announced plans to close 150 stores, of its roughly 900, and lay off 20 percent of staff just two days before Arnal’s death. He reportedly sold over 42,000 shares in the company, oft-identified as a ‘meme stock’, for $1million just over two weeks ago. At the time, he still owned 267,896 shares in the company, valued at just under $6.5million.  Arnal moved to Bed Bath & Beyond in 2020 – when the company was already struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic – from London-based cosmetics giant Avon, where he was also CFO, and had spent 20 years at Proctor & Gamble. When Arnal was brought to Bed Bath & Beyond in April 2020 a company spokesman said in a statement they were ‘bringing in world class talent to offer new perspectives, expertise and experience as we rebuild our business.’ Little did they know that said perspective was from a high rise window. So, with the world going to shit, perhaps a few powerful businessmen might be worth listing next year. 

On This Day

  • 1693 – Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon‘s invention of champagne; it is not clear whether he actually invented champagne, however he has been credited as an innovator who developed the techniques used to perfect sparkling wine.
  • 1892 – The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. She will be tried and acquitted for the crimes a year later.
  • 1944 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.
  • 2020 – At least 220 people are killed and over 5,000 are wounded when 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate explodes in Beirut, Lebanon.


  • 1875 – Hans Christian Andersen, Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet (b. 1805)
  • 1962 – Marilyn Monroe, American model and actress (b. 1926)
  • 1996 – Geoff Hamilton, English gardener, author, and television host (b. 1936)
  • 1997 – Jeanne Calment, French super-centenarian; holds records for the world’s substantiated longest-lived person (b. 1875)
  • 1999 – Victor Mature, American actor (b. 1913)

Death by Food by Neil G

I know when putting together my annual list of the damned, I usually hit up Dr. Google with “Celebrity ill health” or some such search term.

Predictably, most celebrities can afford the top medical interventions on offer, so my list often gets repeated year after year until the stubborn bastards finally succumb.

The blood of so many unicorns gone to waste.

However, this coming Christmas as I disregard buying presents for loved ones, and instead cram in my usual 25 minutes of research into noted humans, who I hope will die and furnish me with my maiden win in this despicable competition. Perhaps it would be prudent to pick those who we know like to eat things they probably shouldn’t…

10th of July 1850, one Millard Fillmore was inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States. Millard probably wasn’t expecting to become President if we’re honest, but for the rather odd death of his predecessor Zachary Taylor.

Taylor was particularly warm after participating in Independence Day activities at the Washington Monument, so he did what many of us do: He came home and raided the fridge (or icebox, in his case) for something cool to snack on. After enjoying some iced milk and cherries, Taylor fell sick almost immediately. He was dead five days later. Some historians believe the milk carried deadly bacteria; others suspected the massive quantities of acidic cherries mixed with the milk was too much for Taylor’s delicate stomach. Still others wonder if Taylor was poisoned. Probably should have played safe and gone a beer over the cherries. Let this be a lesson.

Here are nine other notables who have died due to eating oddities:

1) Steve Peregrin Took – Musician

Cherries, man, they’re such a menace. In 1980, Steve Peregrin Took, of the band Tyrannosaurus Rex, was pretty excited when the band’s manager managed to get the guys some back royalties they were owed. Took, who was no longer a member of the band at the time, celebrated by basically blowing the money on a huge bash that included magic mushrooms, morphine, and booze. After taking a magical mixture of all of those things, Took’s mouth went numb, making conditions just right for a cocktail cherry (and its pit) to slip into his throat unnoticed, and that was him done at the tender age of 31.

2) Adolf Frederick – King of Sweden

On February 12, 1771, the King of Sweden gorged himself on a feast that could have fed a whole crew of men: lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, herring, and champagne. To cap off his meal, King Adolf Frederick enjoyed 14 servings of semla served in hot milk. He died the same day, apparently of digestion problems. Semla, by the way, is a flour bun filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream. It shouldn’t come as much of a shock to learn that Adolf is now known as “the king who ate himself to death.” A glutton for punishment?

3) Sherwood Anderson – Novelist

Novelist and short-story writer Sherwood Anderson was on a cruise with his wife in 1941 when he started to experience severe stomach cramps. He died a few days later at a hospital in Panama, where a doctor discovered that he had swallowed a whole toothpick that had likely speared an olive in a martini glass. The toothpick damaged Anderson’s internal organs, which then became infected.

4) George M. Prior – Navy Lieutenant

In other “don’t put things in your mouth that don’t belong there” news, we have the surprising demise of Navy Lieutenant George M. Prior. Prior had a few days’ leave from work and decided to spend every day playing golf at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. He felt nauseated by the end of the first day. By the end of the third day, he had a rash and a fever of 40°C and admitted himself to the hospital. Blisters the size of baseballs cropped up shortly thereafter, and a week and a half later, he was dead, with 80 percent of his skin burned and blistered. It was later determined that the golf tee he habitually stuck in his mouth after every hole had been covered in the fungicide the golf course used to keep their grounds beautiful. Prior’s allergic reaction to a chemical in the fungicide burned his skin from the inside out and caused the failure of several of his major organs.

5) Bando Mitsugoro VIII – Kabuki Actor

Remember that episode of The Simpsons (“One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish”) when Homer thinks he accidentally ate some poisonous fugu fish and would likely die by the time the sun rises? (Spoiler alert: He was fine.) In real life, certain parts of the fugu fish are extremely toxic, especially the liver. Ingesting too much of it will render the victim completely paralysed but totally conscious. Eventually, the paralysis even hits major organs. Basically, the victim ends up asphyxiating.

This is exactly what happened to Japan’s “Living National Treasure,” Bando Mitsugoro VIII, a Kabuki actor. In 1975, the actor insisted that he was strong enough to survive the toxin and ordered a large—and probably illegal—portion of fugu livers. Turns out Mitsugoro wasn’t strong enough to survive the toxin. Fugu you Mitsugoro, ya bloody drongo.

6) Basil Brown – Health Food Nut

As the saying goes, “all things in moderation.” That includes even the most nutritious food, believe it or not, which health nut Basil Brown learned the hard way in 1974. He was known to drink a 4.5 litres of carrot juice every day and would take excessive amounts of vitamin A pills to stay in tip-top shape. In the end, though, he wound up dying from “hypervitaminosis A,” a massive overdose of vitamin A that essentially shut down his liver. The doctor who performed the autopsy said the end result was indistinguishable from alcohol poisoning (that’s also my story and I’m sticking to it).

7) Edward Archbold – Wanted to Win a Python

Any way you can imagine it, death by roaches sounds pretty horrific. In the case of Edward Archbold, a Florida man, it wasn’t a weird Kafkaesque situation that did him in—he was actually ingesting the cockroaches. Along with about 30 other people, Archbold was consuming insects for the chance to win a free python in 2012. (“Eat like a python, win a python,” after all.) After eating a large number of roaches, two ounces of mealworms, and 35 horn worms, Archbold collapsed, his airway obstructed by roach body parts. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.


8) Henry Hall – Lighthouse Keeper

Being a lighthouse keeper certainly has its hazards, but you probably never thought ingesting molten lead was one of them. Henry Hall probably didn’t, either. Hall was the lighthouse keeper for the Eddystone Lighthouse in Devon, England, when it caught on fire in 1755. As he looked up at the burning tower of the lighthouse, some melted lead from the reflector dripped onto his face and down his throat. The 94-year-old lasted 12 days before succumbing to his injuries; upon his death, his doctor removed a chunk of lead from his stomach that weighed nearly half a pound.

9) Vladimir Likhonos – Chemistry Student

Exploding bubble gum may sound like one of those tricks a clown may pull on you, but to chemistry student Vladimir Likhonos, it was no joke. Likhonos, who was studying at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in Ukraine, had developed a penchant for dunking his gum in citric acid before chewing to give it a sour pop. Sadly, a “pop” is what he got when he accidentally dipped his gum in an explosive substance he had been working with instead of the citric acid. The combination of his saliva with the powder was powerful enough to blow off most of his lower face. Paramedics were unable to save him.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Michael Berryman (74), Beyoncé (41), Iman Vellani (20), Charlie Sheen (57), Pauline Collins (82), Keanu Reeves (58), Salma Hayek (56), Keith Allen (69), Zendaya (26), Burn Gorman (48), Lily Tomlin (83), Gloria Estefan (65), Steve Pemberton (55), Barry Gibb (76), Richard Gere (73), Leem Lubany (25), Chris Tucker (51), Jessica Henwick (30), Cameron Diaz (50), Michael Chiklis (59), Warren Buffett (92), Carla Gugino (51), Emily Hampshire (41), Lenny Henry (64), Rebecca De Mornay (63), and Elliott Gould (84).

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