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Dead Pool Round 132: Hot as blazes in here…

High 80s, which is as hot as Britain ever gets. Because of that, though, there’s no air conditioning anywhere, except maybe in cars. So, good day to stay home and stay immobile.

Durnedyankee wins it with Olivia de Havilland. Olivia was a sure thing. Olivia has been a sure thing for upwards of ten years. Olivia was the Actress that Wouldn’t Die. And now she’s dead.

Durned has won before, as has Mrs Durned.

Right. Are we ready?

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

July 31, 2020 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 77

Millions de Douches en France

Remember I said we could see France yesterday? Well, the atmospherics must have been perfect. For the first time ever, we picked up a bunch of French TV channels last night, as evidenced by the fuzzy screenshot. We spent a happy hour laughing at the frogs.

Yes, yes…’douche’ means ‘shower’ en Français. That wasn’t the funny part — Head and Shoulders is called Head and Shoulders, but they pronounce it ‘Ed and Sholdères. I laughed.

Between us, we had just enough French to pick up the gist, provided they were speaking slowly enough. Which means the cartoon we watched was hopeless, but we did better with the true crime program Autopsie d’une Injustice.

The really striking thing were the ads, though. There were white people in them. Lots of them!

UK advertisers have signed on to some kind of industry pact vowing to up non-white representation, which they’ve done with a vengeance. Culminating this year, when ad breaks are full of absurd levels of BAMEs. Way, way out of proportion to the actual demographics of Britain.

I tried to find an article about the advertisers self-consciously doing this, and all I found was an industry article whining that BAME representation was at an all-time high, but advertising agencies were still 95% white. Heh.

Anyway, nothing good happens when a white woman from Tennessee talks about race, so I shall leave it there.

Eventually, the…ionosphere, or whatever sciencey thing controls TV signals, shifted and we lost all those new channels. Au revoir to our new French chums.

Back here tomorrow. Six WBT. Dead Pool 132.

July 30, 2020 — 7:29 pm
Comments: 12

I see London I see France…

Today, we drove a long way from home, to Dungeness. It’s the closest bit of England to the continent. And, being a lovely clear day, we could see it with the naked eye. Bonjour, France. Also Dover, White Cliffs of.

It’s a long stretch of shingle beach and we stood watched giant container ships navigate the channel like portable city skylines. There must have been a hundred people out enjoying the sunshine with us.

Then we bought a fish for dinner at the hut pictured. A fish and a half, actually. Local plaice.

It was so fresh, it had rigor mortis. Yes, that’s a thing. It means it probably had been caught within 24 hours.

Life is good when you step away from the news, peeps.

July 29, 2020 — 7:59 pm
Comments: 13

I don’t think I could resist

People in eight different US states have received unsolicited packets of seeds in the mail, postmarked from China. The USDA is warning people not to plant them.

Pff! I know magic beans when I see them.

When I was a kid, a mysterious vine appeared next to our back door one year. Mother called it the moon vine and kept it watered. Eventually, it grew pumpkins. We figured somebody sat on the back doorstep and cleaned out a pumpkin one Halloween, slinging the seeds to the ground.

I think it’s really weird they haven’t said what the seeds are. Any competent botanist can tell at a glance, so they know. Maybe they’re worried that there’s additives or weird genetic manipulation or something, and if they tell people they’re cantaloup, some bugger will plant them.

July 28, 2020 — 8:39 pm
Comments: 7

Word to the wise…

Have you been following the flooding in China? Wild stuff. I’ve been keeping up with it via discussion forums, so I can’t really link to a definitive source. Twitter is a good place for impressive videos.

The smart bet seems to be that the Three Gorges Dam isn’t going to fail, but they’re having to flood the whole area to relieve pressure on it. That includes the breadbasket of China.

Uncle B read a little while ago that we’ll see rice shortages in the West as a result, as China is forced to import a large proportion of its supply this year.

Could be typical internet bushwa, but we just tried to add rice to our weekly order for next week and…not in stock. We can get by without it, but I’d rather not.

By the way, if the dam does go, it will be the largest natural disaster in, like, recorded history. Not just directly wiping out millions, but washing several nuclear power plants and a China-sized garbage dump into the Pacific. I gather water is super efficient at dissipating radiation, but I hate to think what will wash up on the beaches. Godzilla, probably.

And Durnedyankee has won the dick! I didn’t actually double check he’s the one who had Olivia de Havilland, but that’s the scuttlebutt. I love saying scuttlebutt. Also bushwa. Y’all know what this means – new Dead Pool Friday.

Durned, drop me a line. I can’t remember if one of the envelopes on my desk waiting to go out has your name on it already.

July 27, 2020 — 8:05 pm
Comments: 8

Yup, that too

The topic of witch marks or apotropaic marks came up in the previous thread and I decided to plug ‘apotropaic’ into Ebay.

Sure enough, there’s a bunch of junk. Mostly jewelry in unrelated traditions to ward off the evil eye.

The Chinese favor green Moldavite crystal necklaces (moldavite was formed by a meteor strike, so that’s cool).

The Italians like screaming heads, Medusa in particular. Or figa fists. Ahem.

For your friendly neighborhood white supremacist there is the Norse Ægishjálmr Helm of Awe.

The Hamsa, or Hand of Fatima, does a confusing double duty as a good luck charm. Fatima was Mohammed’s daughter, but it’s also mentioned as a Kabbalah symbol.

And if you think you turn up a lot of woo with a search of apotropaic, try good luck charm.

Avoid the evil eye this weekend, everyone!

July 24, 2020 — 7:51 pm
Comments: 7

Magical Spoon of Ohio, y’all

Per the listing:

An Old Hand Carved Magic Hex Symbolic Wooden Label T43

Size: 15 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches. Crack. This is an old piece. I found this in Ohio near Pittsburgh, PA.

Only $2,000. The “collection” appears to be an assembly of pretty ordinary antiques for Ebay. This appears to be the only one with ‘magical’ qualities, so at least this person isn’t in the habit of selling fake woo.

I’d love to take a magnifying glass to this thing and see if the crack was there before the pentagram. Er, octogram.

July 23, 2020 — 8:05 pm
Comments: 12

So, you can buy magic spells on Ebay, I guess

As Uncle B pointed out, if it didn’t work, exactly how would you complain? Like, “hello, customer service. I bought a magic spell and somehow…”?

I was going to mention that this person has 100% positive feedback, but then I noticed she only had two sales.

C’mon, you know it’s a she.

I was looking for a bookbinding kit.

July 22, 2020 — 8:17 pm
Comments: 10

Last call

We did our last shop at Aldi for a while today. Mask order starts Friday. I didn’t think they were going to make staff wear masks, but the man at the checkout was wearing one and said they’ll be mandatory for everyone. First time an Aldi cashier has ever been surly with me.

I estimate 10-15% were already wearing masks – not many more than usual. I hope that means most people are not fundamentally on board with this, but perhaps it means the scaredy people are staying home until masks are worn.

It’ll be interesting to see which is the larger: people who stay home because no masks or people who stay home because masks.

I’ve already begun switching back to online shopping with a double booze order.

My finger slipped. I swear.

July 21, 2020 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 4

The natives are getting restless

My employer’s Board of Directors met by Zoom today. They are all squarely in the danger zone for various reasons, and they have taken the lockdown very seriously. It surprised me, actually – I thought one or two would be stubborn old coots.

But I get the definite sense they’ve had enough. Our crisis never materialized. We peaked around April 20 (around 5,000 a day) and are now down to a daily case number of around 600, which is comparable to March 20, when the lockdown began.

Wait’ll people get a taste of how uncomfortable the masks are…

July 20, 2020 — 8:10 pm
Comments: 13