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Former dictator and human pineapple, Manuel Noriega died at the spry age of 83.

Noriega put the “Dick” in Dictator.  He ruled Panama in the 80s where he helped the US, helped Cuba and sold a lot of drugs.

He was known for brandishing a machete during speeches.

He lived a lavish, libertine life off drug-trade riches, complete with luxurious mansions, cocaine-fueled parties and voluminous collections of antique guns.

Most importantly, he liked to display his teddy bears dressed as paratroopers.  


Noriega, shown here doing his impression of Dick Cheney.

Oh, how I Googled and Googled the hell out of “Manuel Noriega’s Teddy Bear Collection.”  Alas, not even a thumbnail could be found.

In 1989, George Bush #1 got tired of his antics and shenanigans, even if it did keep Crockett & Tubbs employed.

With operation “Just Cause” (a name Bush came up with at retreat called “Operation: Lame Names”) the US invaded Panama (because invading is what we do) and deposed Noriega (because deposing is what we also do.  Ain’t that right, Chile?).  

A separate operation to keep Noriega from escaping was deployed.  This was Operation “Nifty Package.”  No.  Really.  Bush got his money’s worth at that retreat.

Noriega ended up holed up in a mission set up by the Vatican.  He came in and claimed sanctuary, just like Quasimodo.

To flush him out, the US used what is called Music Torture.  A fleet of Humvees mounted with loudspeakers rolled in, and blasted music, 24 hours a day, in this densely populated area.  I believe it was Operation “Neat-o Tunes.”

The playlist included The Clash, Van Halen, U2, Bruce Cockburn, Guns-n-Roses and The Doors.

Thee Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff maintains that the music was used principally to prevent parabolic microphones from being used to eavesdrop on negotiations.  In other words: they lied.  Again.  It’s what they do.  (Ain’t that right, Weapons of Mass Destruction?)

After ten days of this, Noriega surrendered.  It was later noted that if country “music” was played, the standoff would have only lasted two hours.  But we couldn’t do that to the brave soldiers manning the Humvees.

Noriega then spent his time traveling the world.  He stayed in Jails in the US, France and… well, Panama.

Later that year, “Miami Vice” was then cancelled.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Then Noriega died.

This hit goes to: Team Sushi!  Their swath through 80s mediocrity continues!

Happy pooling,


Current Standings:

Wes: 140 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20, David Penrose Buckson – 10, Erin Moran – 50)

Josh: 120 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10, Terry Edwards – 60, Chuck Barris – 20)

Jami: 100 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Team Sushi: 70 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30, Roger Moore – 20, Manuel Noriega – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 70 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40, Sam Ard – 30)

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 60 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20, Lola Albright – 10)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 60 – (William Christopher – 20, Mary Tyler Moore – 20, Moulton “Pete” Marston – 20)

M: 30 – (Sir John Hurt – 30)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

The Mumblers: 10 – (Don Rickles – 10)

Mary: 10 – (Chuck Berry – 10)

Joanne: 10 – (Judge Joseph Wapner – 10)


I believe this child has no future

She was not taught well.  She did not lead the way.

An autopsy showed all the beauty that she possessed inside.

In a sense, she died.  Which was easier

than staying in a hospice, not remembering how she used to be.

She decided long ago, she would walk in her mother’s shadow

And she failed, … yet succeeded.

At least she did the bathtub-OD.

The one thing that she took from Whitney

Bobbi Kristina, shown here getting ready for a bath.

Bobbi Kristina, shown here getting ready for a bath.

And it took away her dignity.

And now the greatest hit of all

Is happening to Mary.

She drafted the greatest hit of all

In round 16.

The greatest hit of all

Was not easy to achieve

After ODing in a tub, being put into a medically induced coma for months, transferring to hospice care before finally dying, and giving you a whopping 80 points to shoot out into the lead…

It is, truly, the greatest hit of all.

When contacted for a statement, her father Bobby Brown noted that his daughter was fine and was coming over for a pool party later in the day.  It is noted that denial is his prerogative.  It’s the way that he wants to live.

Bobbi Kristina Brown gives Mary a 160 point total to make The Girl on Fire the new leader!

Nancy Reagan, somehow, continues to live.

Happy pooling,


Current Standings:

The Girl on Fire: 160 – (Mario Cuomo – 20, Richard Dysart – 20, Anne Meara – 20, Denise McCluggage – 20, Bobbi Kristina Brown – 80)

Occupy the Casket: 150 – (Sir Terry Pratchett – 66, Lauren Hill – 90)

Jami: 140 – (Diem Brown – 70, Sam Simon – 50, Dick Van Patten – 20)

Tailgating with Jesus: 120 – (Jean Béliveau – 20, Ernie Banks – 20, Jerry Tarkanian – 20, Minnie Minoso -10, Al Rosen – 10, Chuck Bednarik – 20)

Gianna: 90 – (Ahmad “Real” Givens – 70, Vincent Bugliosi – 10)

I-Steve (a.k.a: The Arch-Bishop!): 80 – (Fiorenzo Angelini – 10, Jorge María Mejía – 10, Cardinal Karl Josef Becker – 20, Roberto Tucci – 10, Giovanni Canestri – 10, Giacomo Biffi “the Vampire Slayer” – 20)

Nikki: 80 – (Stuart Scott – 60, BB King – 20)

Anne: 70 – (Lesley Gore – 40, Joe Cocker – 30)

Fearless Ghoul Pool Administrator: 60 – (King Abdullah – 10, Joe Franklin – 20, Alex Rocco – 30)

Team Sushi: 50 – (Marion Barry – 30, Omar Sharif – 20)

Nora the Explorer: 50 – (James Best – 20, Ben E. King – 30)

Babysitter: 50 – (Leonard Nimoy – 20, Gary Gahl – 30)

Anne: 30 – (oops, I forgot who Anne had – 30)

Mostly Mike: 20 – (Ralph H Baer – 10, Edward W. Brooke III – 10)

Nathaniel: – 10 – (Christopher Lee – 10)

Erika: 10 – (Jayne Meadows – 10)

The Mortician’s Daughter:  10 – (“Little” Jimmy Dickens – 10)

Singer Joe Cocker is no longer Feelin’ Alright.  He died of lung cancer today at the spry age of 70.

Cocker’s cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help from My Friends” was used as the theme song to the popular TV show, “The Wonder Years.”  But it was more than a theme song.  It was a sign that the innocent times that we lived in were changing.  Sitting in front of that TV with my Dad meant so much more than just prime-time viewing.  It was an experience.  It was a generation learning to grow.  I knew right there and then that things would never be the same with us… or with the world.

But what can I say about Joe Cocker that John Belushi couldn’t with his impression:

In 1972, the AKC gave Cocker the honor of having a Spaniel breed named after him.  Of course, the Joe Cocker Spaniel was wildly unpopular due to it’s sudden spastic body movements, sloppy appearance and tendency toward alcoholism.

Police started using them for their natural talents as drug sniffing dogs.  The program was scratched because, while the

Cocker, shown here contemplating the tiny, tiny chance of actually getting lung cancer from these things.

Cocker, shown here contemplating the tiny, tiny chance of actually getting lung cancer from these things.

dogs found contraband easily, they always insisted on ingesting everything they found.

The only remaining Joe Cocker Spaniel lives at Keith Richard’s house, calmly waiting for him to die.

This hit goes to: Anne!  She gets on the board on her Birthday!  See, Joe Cocker knew it was her birthday today.  He wracked his brains for the perfect gift.  Finally it hit him: succumb to lung cancer!

Happy pooling,


Current Standings:

Jami: 70 – (Diem Brown)

Anne: 30 – (Joe Cocker – 30)

Team Sushi: 30 – (Marion Barry – 30)

I-Steve (the Arch-Bishop!): 20 – (Fiorenzo Angelini – 10, Jorge María Mejía – 10)

Tailgating with Jesus: 20 – (Jean Béliveau – 20)

Mostly Mike: 10 – (Ralph H Baer – 10)

Master zimbalist Efrem Zimbalist Jr. died at the spry age of 95.  Efrem Zimbalist Sr was unavailable for comment.

Efram.  There’s a name you don’t see much.

Efram, like his father, started playing the zimbals a young age.  

At the age of 18, he won a very competitive scholarship to study the zimbals at Berkeley.  He went on to play the zimbals for the London Symphony Orchestra, where he stayed for many decades.  If you listen carefully, you can hear his distinct style in the “Star Wars” theme.

Fame and fortune came when he released his first album, “Zimbiology,” which went triple platinum in it’s first month.  “Zamfir can only dream of those kind of numbers,” he recounted in a Barbara Walters interview many years later.

His follow-up, “Zimbnonics,” outsold his original effort and spurned a world tour.  “Zimbalist Weekly” referred to Efram as “the Hendrix of the zimbal.”


Zimbalist was also a master of self-hypnosis.

But as it often does, partying and drugs started to tear him apart.  Wild parties where he was doing coke off of some strangers oboe became all too common.

His appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra became sporadic at best.  Between the touring and the wild parties, it just wasn’t a priority. They always kept his seat though.  “You don’t just throw away the greatest zimbal master in the world!  No matter what kind of a trainwreck he was,” said… some… English dude.

He controversially hit rock bottom when he woke up next to a dead, transvestite gigolo in Bern.  He was acquitted of most charges, but had to do 100 hours of community service where he taught disadvantaged youths to play the zimbals.

After that, he went into rehab.  He cleaned up his act and released his most critically acclaimed work, “Jagged Little Pill.”

And this hit goes to: Good to the Last Drop (© Maxwell House)!  While this pick seems to be a little outside of his theme, I know that Mark is a real zimbal enthusiast.

Mark is now tied with Babysitter and me.  Which isn’t saying much.

Happy pooling,


Current Standings:

Jami: 190 (Ariel Sharon – 20, Philip Seymour Hoffman – 60, Peaches Geldof – 80, Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter – 30)

Starving Writer – 100 (James Avery – 6’ 5” – 40, L’Wren Scott – 6’4” – 60)

Tailgating with Jesus – 80 (Jerry Coleman – 20, Ralph Kiner – 10, William Clay Ford – 20, Ralph Wilson -10, Jack Ramsay – 20)

Gianna 80 (Tom Laughlin – 20, Alicia Rhett – 10, Mae Young – 10, Ruth Robinson Duccini – 10, Pete Seeger – 10, Fred Phelps – 20, Marc Platt – 0)

Joanne: 70 (Ace Parker – 0, Nelson Mandela – 10,  Ray Price – 20, Maximilian Schell – 20, Connie Marrero – 0, Al Feldstein – 20)

“Imaginary” Steve: 50 (Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci – 10, Cardinal Ricardo Carles Gordo – 20, Emmanuel III Delly – 20)

The Girl on Fire: 50 (Eleanor Parker – 10, Dave Madden – 20, Ralph Waite – 20)

Good to the Last Drop (© Maxwell House) – 40 (Frederick Sanger – 10, Maxine Kumin – 20, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. – 10)

Babysitter: 40 (Mikhail Kalashnikov – 10, Russell Johnson – 20, Mickey Rooney – 10 )

SPMI: 40 (Peter O’Toole – 20, Joan Fontaine – 10, Sid Caesar – 10)

Team Sushi – 30 (Bob Hoskins – 30)

Occupy the Casket: 30 (Ronnie Biggs – 20, Harold Camping – 10)

Dora the Explorer: 20 (Jeremiah Denton – 20)

The Girl on Fire: 20 (Ralph Waite – 20)

Mostly Mike: 20 (Shirley Temple Black – 20)

Carol’s 1%: 20 (Harold Simmons – 20)

Dick in Town: 10 (Hiroo Onoda – 10)

Irish Punk Rocker Phil Chevron died at the spry age of 56.

In 1985 Chevron joined The Pogues, a group that, if you knew them in the 80s, you were clearly too cool to be cool.


Yeah, if I’d seen this picture, i’d have picked him too… he’s like the oldest hipster in the world.

The Pogues were known for their calm demeanor.  Sitting and sipping tea with their pinkies raised… sharing a crumpet or two.  They often ended their shows early so they could be in bed by 9:00.  And they LOVED the British!

Chevron left the band in 1994 because of… you guessed it: drugs and alcohol.  He wasn’t trying to quit or anything.  He just wanted to spend more time with them.

After leaving the band, he invented the shape named after him.  “I started with, like, a house-shaped thing… and I thought what if someone rammed a stick up its arse?”

This lead to a lengthy lawsuit against an oil company that used his new shape.  He eventually won the suit and ended up owning the business.  He re-named it after himself.  And that, my friends, is the story of Phil Oil.

This hit goes to: Occupy the Casket!  Yes, Occupy is actually on the board!  And with 50 points, Occupy is tied with your illustrious Ghoul Pool Administrator!  …which we all know, ain’t sayin’ much.

Actually, with a hit like this so close to draft night, Pirate is probably pissed that the fucker couldn’t hold on for four more weeks!  That’s 50 Damn points she coulda started the year with!

Happy Pooling:


PS: 25 Days until Draft night!  Who’s coming?

PPS:  Almost congrats for “Sister” Mary Sheila.  She has Dario Franchitti on her list.  You know, the guy who did this:

Current Standings:

Dawn-n-Mike – 170 (Oscar Niemeyer – 0, Norman Joseph Woodland – 10,Patti Page – 20, Reg Presley – 30, Hugo Chavez – 50, Frank Thornton – 10 – George Jones – 20, Tompall Glaser – 30)

Babysitter – 140 (Clive Dunn – 10, Ravi Shankar – 10, Margaret Thatcher – 20, Chi Cheng – 60, Pat Summerall – 20, Douglas Englebart – 20)

The New Dick in Town – 120 – (Jack Klugman – 10, Mindy McCready – 70, Jonathan Winters – 20, Jeanne Cooper – 20)

“Imaginary” Steve – 100 (Al Neuharth – 20, Ken Venturi – 20, Art Donovan – 20, Elmore Leonard – 20, Julie Harris – 20)

Joanne – 100 – (Freddy Schmidt – 10, Robert Bork – 20, C. Everett Koop – 10, Moon Mullen – 10, Virgil Trucks – 10, Dr. Joyce Brothers – 20, Eydie Gorme‏

– 20)

Gianna – 100 – (Lucille Bliss – 10, Bonnie Franklin – 40, E. L. Konigsburg – 20, Deanna Durbin – 10, Margaret Pellegrini – 20)

Team Sushi – 90 – (Conrad Bain – 20, Roger Ebert – 30, Deacon Jones – 30, Helen Thomas – 10)

Tailgating with Jesus – 70 – (Marvin Miller – 10, Earl Weaver – 20, Jerry Buss – 20, Gus Triandos – 20)

Occupy the Casket – 50 (Phil Chevron – 50)

Sean P. McFeeley I – 50 – (Patty Andrews – 10, Dick Trickle – 30, Jean Stapleton – 10)

Council of Geeks – 50 (Richard Griffiths – 40, Ray Harryhausen – 10)

Jami – 50 – (Larry Hagman – 20, Annette Funicello – 30)

The Girl on Fire – 50 – (Dear Abby – 10, Ed Koch – 20, Milo O’Shea – 20)

Carol – 20 – (Stan Lynde – 20)

Nikki the Bad-Ass – 10 – (Stan Musial – 10)

“Sister” Mary Sheila – 10 (Lee MacPhail – 10)