Dem’s Da Rules

It’s very easy: So long as you don’t hear “The Little Drummer Boy,” you’re a contender. As soon as you hear it on the radio, on TV, in a store, wherever, you’re out. And you record your loss on the official reporting form, then tell us all about it on the Facebook wall, along with the time and place of your demise.

(Special note: You cannot be done in by anyone tricking you into hearing the dreaded tune or otherwise hitting you with it on purpose. Such exposure doesn’t count. And a new wrinkle for 2016 is what we’re calling the “Hoist with His Own Petard” rule: the person who tries to take you down is officially eliminated for the attempt. Don’t let them try to tell you they’re not playing. We’re all playing, and they’ve lost. Bullies need to go down in flames and shame.)

What’s the time frame? The game begins the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) at 12:01 am local time and continues until midnight, Dec. 23. If you haven’t been puh-rum-pum-pum-pummed, you win. For this year, anyway.

Puh-Rum-Pum-Pum-Post-Game Results for 2016

 Robot Santa

So here we are, with another year and another game rapidly shrinking in our rear-view mirror, fellow LDBCers. And sometimes it seems as if we’re well rid of both, as if they were particularly cruel.

That’s because they were. As in, Robot-Santa-raining-hell-upon-all-below cruel. For starters, we kicked 2016 off by losing one of the patron saints of the game, the late and truly great David Bowie. (And I’m not saying that lightly. The man was one of my creative heroes, and I actually like his duet with Der Bingle quite a bit, lethal as it is year in and year out.) Never mind the others who left us as the year went on. (And I won’t name any more. This thing of ours is about helping us to forget our woes, not enumerate them. Besides, you know them as well as I do.)

Git some! [H/T James Barnett]

Git some! [H/T James Barnett]

The New Year, 2016, turned against us. And then Christmas did, too. Yes, it’s true that we added a healthy helping of new players, passing the 3,800 mark on the Facebook page this year. And it’s also true that a greater percentage of us remained healthy this year than did so in 2015 (the percentage of winners rising from 24 to 28). However, the doom continued to find us in new ways, from new sources.

The This Is Us holiday episode slew a good number of LDBCers whose only sin was to seek out quality network drama. The Real O’Neals, seeing that, felt the need to get in on the action and followed suit. Indie-film darling Wes Anderson decided to do some artful bloodletting while getting handsomely paid for it by the evil H&M. Jennifer Nettles and Idina Menzel suckered their country fans by sneaking The Boy onto the Country Music Awards, accompanied by a little kid whose dancing made for one of the most infuriating ways to lose the game in 2016. Even Crusoe the Celebrity Dachsund took a chunk out of somebody.

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachsund

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachsund

And that’s not to mention the standard villains who betray and slay us on an annual basis. They were all heard from again: Reindeer Games, Pee-wee Herman and Grace JonesAmerican Horror StoryWill Ferrell and his misbegotten SNL Christmas special, and our friends at NPR, who did in scores of the faithful with their bumper music whether the listeners had contributed to their local pledge drives or not. Loyal friends found themselves six feet under before they’d even noticed the first spade of dirt headed their way. Photoshop fiend James Barnett, the man behind the marvelous movie-parody posters with which we announce the coming o’ The Boy, ate it after years of easy wins. (As much as I love the man, however, he was getting a bit cocky, so perhaps it’ll do his attitude some good in the long run.)

A Summer Place

[H/T Mrs. LDBC]

Let’s face it: the holidays are too damn violent. Every year, we vanquish the kid. And every year, it costs us dearly. Yet come late November, we take up the fight anew. It’s sort of like we’re all Westworld hosts, and The Boy is The Man in Black. Only it’s drumsticks instead of a knife and gun. And he’s not nearly as good an actor as Ed Harris. And we’re already well aware of how many times we’ve died, so nobody needs to clue us in.

The Man in Black

The Man in Black

OK, so maybe it’s not like Westworld at all. Maybe it’s more Stranger Things. The Boy is that petal-faced monster from an H.R. Giger scratchpad, and too many of us are Barb.

I don’t know, people. I’ve had a lot of caffeine today. What I do know is that this year brought us some new wrinkles, too—chief among them the “Hoist with His Own Petard” rule, which holds that anyone who intentionally tries to take you out is themselves out, no matter how much they try to claim they’re not playing. Bullies must be bludgeoned, bashed, and bedeviled, and that rule goes a long way toward that end.

Nettles, Menzel, and some thoroughly irritating child

Nettles, Menzel, and some thoroughly irritating child

Personally, it was a good game. Mrs. LDBC and I both won again, mostly because we’re shut-ins and have alienated anyone who ever would have invited us anywhere. On the invitation flip-side, however, I was asked back by the good folks at Good Day Sacramento, who have been kind enough to tolerate my nonsense at least once a season for several seasons running now.

So it wasn’t all bad. It just seemed that way while we were skulking about, living in terror.

A few other things to note: I added a new chart this year to show what percentages of victims were taken down in which week (below). Nothing earth-shattering was revealed, but it’ll be fun to keep an eye on that in the future. The aforementioned Bing and Bowie continued to rule the roost in terms of claiming the most victims. And Harry Simeone was consistent as well. Location-wise, fewer people fell victim at home compared with those who went down in the car, at live events, and in other external locales this year vs. last year.

The takeaway: you people get out of the house too much.

So that’s it, friends. Once again, we close out remembering our First Fallen. This year, it was the unfortunate Mike Misch. (For Mike!) May it be no one at all next year, but we know that’s not going to happen. Still, we’ll kindle the flame of hope come next Black Friday, and start the annual struggle all over again.

A very Happy and Healthy 2017 to all of you, veterans and newcomers alike. As much of a goof as this thing is, you vastly improve and brighten our holiday season with your enthusiasm, your posts, your form-filling, and your LDBC-elfies (below).

And let us all say: puh-rum-pum-pum-pum, people. See you in November.

Restaurant Martin, 1906

The Quick and the Dead

LDBC Place of Demise, by Type

Source: LDBC Analytics, Inc.

Song Sung Blue

Homicidal Artist Breakdown

Source: LDBC Analytics, Inc. (Click chart for full-sized version)

Here Is Where the Story Ends

LDBC Place of Demise, by Type

Source: LDBC Analytics, Inc. (Click chart for full-sized version)

Comes a Time

2016 Losses by Week

Source: LDBC Analytics, Inc. (Click chart for full-sized version)

LDBC-Elfies: Tragedy and Triumph Captured

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LDBCer Tales from the Trenches

John Alston – L
I went out like Elvis.

Scarlett Anderson – L

I said “fuck” in front of a customer when it came on.

Bonita (Beth) Applebaum (Grodis) – W

My daughter is a little turd who tried to sabotage my win, so I took one of her Christmas presents back. Teach them young.

Carolynn Campbell – W

Key to winning: stay out of New Jersey.

Matt Carson – L

Boss was walking around the office handing out gifts with music playing on his phone. I’m a freelancer and so did not receive a gift.

Holly Duthie – W

It pays to avoid humans and the places where they gather.

Sebastian Forst – W

I’m 8, and I’m the only one in the family who won!

Michael Jacobs – L

I’m not surprised. 2016 just hasn’t been a good year in any respect.

Polly Law – L

When I realized what was on the audio system, I exclaimed, “I’ve been killed!” rather loudly. Probably not the best idea, as there was an armed police officer in line to get his morning coffee standing nearby. A rather minor kerfuffle ensued.

Andrew McDonald – L

As soon as I got into the car, I heard the damn boy and swore aloud. The driver looked at me funny. I told him I just lost the LDBC. His response: “It’s a nice song; try to enjoy it.”

Lynn Sebrell – W

I drink from the Keg of Glory! Bring me the finest eggnog and fruitcake in all the land!

Molly Shira – L

I managed to refrain from shouting, “Fuck!” in a crowded theater.

Sara Starkowski – W

As a professional elf in retail, Christmas parties, parades, and any place where holiday spirit is required, I never expected to make it! I am beyond amazed at this Christmas miracle. Santa was thrilled. He was taken out early.

Anne Timberlake – L

Country music in the car is my guilty pleasure. This time around the guilty drummed out the pleasure.

George Timms – W

Do you think I can put this on my CV?

The Victorious and the Vanquished: The LDBC Wall

Flinn, WesW

Name Result
Jacqui W
Karen L
Mc Peg L
A., Barbara L
A1, Ben L
Abbott, Edward W
Abel, Dana L
Abel, Tricia L
Achauer, Allison L
Acosta, Rachel L
Adair, David L
Adams, Christoph W
Adler, Ellyn W
Admirand, Meghan L
Admirand, Peggy L
Albans, Dylan W
Aldrich Smith, Allison L
Allen-Hall, Olivia L
Allen, MJ W
Allmer, Christina W
Alsdorf, Greggory L
Alston, John L
Althoff, Drew L
Altman, Laurie L
Altreuter, Bill L
Ammerman, Amy W
Amrhein, Justin W
Amrhein, Michele L
Anastasia, Shandielle L
Anderberg, Kat L
Anderson, Chantale L
Anderson, Claire L
Anderson, Emily L
Anderson, JB W
Anderson, Scarlett L
Anderson, Sue L
Andrews, Lisa L
Andrews, Marcus W
Ann, Beth L
Anselmo, Barbara L
Anthony, Kathy L
Aplin, Carol L
Appel, Kris L
Applebaum (Grodis), Bonita (Beth) W
Arden, Liz W
Ardizzone, Marc W
Arnold, Karen L
Ashkenaz, Scott L
Ashley, Robyn L
Atcheson, Catherine L
Austin, Amy L
Austin, Karen L
Ayer, Katy L
B from 317, Charles L
B., Alf L
B., Andrew L
B., J. W
B., Kris W
B., Matt L
B., Morg L
B., Ryan L
Baange, Eugie W
Babcock, Jenna L
Bachs, Rhedde L
Bacon, Sarah W
Baiyor, Patricia L
Baker, Gretchen L
Baker, Heather L
Baker, Jamie W
Balke, David L
Baltes, Scott W
Banks, Stacie L
Barber, Paula W
Barish, Mike W
Barker, Craig L
Barker, Jennifer W
Barnett, James L
Barr, Loel L
Bassett, Kim L
Bassi, Laura L
Batchelor, Rhonda L
Bates, Leslie L
Baucom, Janet L
Bauer, Renee W
Beachy, Doug L
Beachy, Susan W
Beckley, Lisa L
Belland, Julie L
Benedetto, Anna L
Bennett, Angela L
Bentley, Dawn W
Berg, Maren W
Berg, Stephen L
Bergstrom, Sarah W
Berne, Jennifer W
Berrones, Lisa L
Berry-Kagan, Lauren L
Berry, Davis L
Betts, Janet L
Betty, Isaac L
BH, Sooshe L
Bianchi, Emma L
Biando, Becky W
Bichsel, Stefanie W
Biddlecomb, Susan L
Biggins, Nancy L
Bingham, Craig W
Birkemeier, Glenn L
Bishop, Spider L
Black, Alan W
Blackburn, Barak W
Blackburn, Robin W
Blackford, Andrea L
Blackler, Kelly W
Blakeslee, Jennifer L
Blanchard, Jan L
Blankenship, Erin L
Bodie, Jen W
Body, David L
Bogan, Bobbie L
Bogan, Emily W
Boni, Paul W
Bonnet, Gordon W
Borchardt, Jennifer W
Borck, Jeffrey W
Boschee, Lynne L
Bowen, Daryl L
Bowers, Justin L
Boyle, Keri W
Bracebridge, Tory W
Bradburn, Sophie L
Braganza, Desiree W
Braine, Bill L
Bremer, Gloria L
Bremer, Grant L
Brewer, Alexandra L
Bright, Brandi L
Brilliant, Sarah L
Brilz, Erik L
Brittain, Lucretia W
Britten, Bob W
Broner, Jacqueline L
Brook, Steve W
Brooks, Steel L
Brookshaw, Chip L
Brown, Charlie L
Brown, Earl L
Brown, Jessica L
Brown, Lisa L
Brown, Mary Jo L
Brown, Michele L
Browning, Heather L
Brubaker, James L
Brundage, Patrick L
Brunson, Terri L
Bryer, Amy L
Bubier, Jadon W
Bui, Emily L
Bulthuis, Anna L
Bunce, Renshin L
Burgess, Amy L
Burkart, Melissa L
Burkhardt, Amy L
Burnand, Lisa L
Burns, Margo L
Burns, Maura L
Butkiewicz, Christine L
Butler, Will L
Byers, Rob L
Byrne, Brian L
C-B, Holly W
C., Brenda L
C., Mary L
C., Nichole L
Cain, Fonda L
Calhoun, Ivan W
Call, Christine L
Campbell, Carolynn W
Campbell, Deb L
Capers, Cindy L
Carbonell, Nancy L
Carpenter, Rebecca L
Carr, Dennis W
Carroll, Katherine L
Carson, Matt L
Carter, Stuart L
Caruso, Sarah W
Carvajal, Alejandra L
Carvalho, Lisa L
Case, Holly L
Caston, Casey L
Cazares, George L
Ceva, Claudia L
Chandler, Trey W
Chavez, Ermando W
ChocolateMilk, Patty L
Christensen, Julie W
Chubon, Cindy W
Church, Lisa L
Churchill-Danis, Jessica L
Cicero, Donna L
Cicero, Morgan L
Cinderflame, Patrick L
Claire, Andrew L
Clark, Jenie L
Clarke, Chelsea L
Clemons, Heather L
Cleveland, Rachel L
Cline, Cindy L
Coffey, Lea Ann L
Cohen, Jay L
Cohen, Joseph L
Cohen, Kate W
Colbert, Janie L
Colbourne, Kymberli L
Colby, A. L
Cole, Casey W
Cole, Emily L
Collesano, Michael L
Colon, Yvette W
Cone, Justina L
Conger-Henry, Jess L
Connelly, Irene W
Connolly, Cyndi L
Conrad, Stephen W
Cook, Amanda W
Cook, Jay W
Cook, Ron L
Cooper, Jason L
Cooper, Robin L
Corden, John W
Cornelio, Karen L
Cornish, Scott L
Covington, Celia L
Craddock, Jo L
Crawford, Mindy W
Creamer, Duncan L
Creech, Cynthia L
Crosby, Tyler L
Crowe, Jessie L
Crowley, Joe W
Cruz, Tina W
Culp, David W
Cummings, Dan W
Cummins, Jean L
Cummins, Kirsten L
Cunningham, Catherine W
Cunningham, Stephanie L
Current, Rebecca W
Curro, Christy L
Curtis, Tammy L
D., Alice L
D., Jason L
Dailing, Paul L
Daley, Liz L
Danforth, Mary L
Daniel, David L
Daniell, Ripp L
Dark, Stephanie L
Dasher, Christina L
Dasher, Joshua L
Davenport, August L
Davis Couling, Angela L
Davis, Jonathan L
Davis, Tina L
DeAngelo, Keri L
Dee, Amy L
Dejesus, Crystal L
DelPonte, Katie W
DeMange, Mary L
DeMattia, Bill L
Deming, Susan L
Denchy, Ruth L
Denehie, Elizabeth W
Dennison, Ian L
Dennison, Reid L
Design, Factory 1 L
DeSimone, Mickie L
Desmarais, Barbara W
Devine, Roger W
Diamond, Joshua W
Dimitri, C. Robert W
DiStefano, Laura L
Dixon, Anne L
Dobbertean, Chris W
Doberstein, Anne L
Dobrinski, Rebecca W
Doering, Susan L
Doherty, Dawn L
Donahue, Penny L
Donovan, Jessica L
Dorsey, Chantelle L
Dost, Andy L
Doty, Amy L
Doty, Charity L
Dougherty, Jennifer W
Douglas, Jeanene L
Douglas, Kim L
Downing, Thom L
Draper, Dave L
Drewry, Elizabeth W
Dumlao, Justin L
Duncan, Stephanie L
Dunn, Barbara L
Durham, Mary Frank L
Durham, Murphy L
Durish, Tiffany L
Duthie, Holly W
E., Roya L
Eckert-Chu, Corrin L
Eddy, Carrilee L
Eddy, Kelly L
Edelstein, Robert L
Edmands, Marsha L
Egleton, Simon W
Elias, Justine L
Ellis, Stephanie L
Elmore, Steve L
Eppich Catlin, Katherine W
Erwin, Don L
Essid, Joe W
Esterman, Sammi L
Evans, Patrick W
Eynouf, Erica W
Fadness, Jessica L
Farrell, Thomas L
Fartman, Arthur L
Fasimpaur, Andi W
Febres, Iris L
Feeney, James L
Fenimore, Suzanne W
Fermenich, Justin L
Fernandez, Julia L
Finkelstein, Andrea W
Finkelstein, Liz L
Finn, Christine W
Finnegan, Sheila L
Finnell, David L
Finnell, Erin L
Fintschenko, Pete L
Fischer, Matt W
Fischer, Molly L
Fitter, Fawn L
Fitze, Hannah L
Fitzgerald, Mark L
Fitzgerald, Scott L
Flanagan, Dolores W
Flanagan, Sam W
Fleming, Lucy W
Fletcher, Kristin L
Fletcher, Ben W
Fletcher, Kari L
Flyn, Colleen L
Flynn, Terri L
Ford, Jeannette L
Forfia, Angela W
Forst, Christina L
Forst, Sebastian W
Forstater, Ann L
Fox, Lizzie W
Foxworthy, Brandee L
Franck, Judith W
Frank, Libby L
Frank, Zilpha W
Frasher, Doug L
Frederick, Alyssa W
Freeman, Pamela L
Fremont, Lynne L
French, Dani L
Friedman, Cheryl L
Friedman, LeeAnn L
Froehlich, Marianne L
Froemming, Kelly L
Frye, Darrell L
Fuller, Lori W
G., Sarah L
G., Susan L
G., Walker L
Gaither, Daigan W
Galinson, Steph L
Gallagher, John W
Galles, Jill L
Galletti, Natalie L
Ganz, Claudia W
Garcia, Chel W
Garcia, Martha W
Garcia, Rudy L
Gardner, Rebecca L
Garrison, Randi L
Gates, Amber L
Gatlin, Cere L
Gelineau, Matt W
Giangrande, Tina L
Gibbs-Ruby, Kristina L
Gilbert, Jennifer W
Gilmore, Mary E L
Gilson, Carly L
Gironella, Ninette L
Goldman – van nostrand, Lisa L
Gonzalez, DJ L
Goodall, Pete W
Goodman, Nate L
Gordon, Jenny W
Gorrie, Wendy W
Grady, Robert W
Gray, Iris L
Green, Megan L
Greene, Emily W
Gregorio, Gina L
Gregory, Tyler L
Greiner, Michael L
Grengs, Dayna L
Grieve, Kelly L
Griffiths, Amanda L
Griggs, Linda L
Grove, Pamela W
Gruchalla, Lorien L
Gudzikowski Jacobs, Laura L
Gunning, Emma W
Gustafson, Donna L
Guterman, Lila L
H., Erin W
Habashy, Renee L
Hadley, Wendy W
Hahn, Madeleine L
Hailey, Meredith L
Haire, Grace W
Hamilton, Reid L
Hanlan, Karen W
Hanses, Ben L
Hanson, April L
Harkin, Loren L
Harkins, Barbara L
Harmon, Heather L
Harris, Matthew W
Harris, Meggie L
Harris, Nancy W
Harrison, Darcy W
Hartman, Genevieve L
Harvey, Larisa L
Hatala, Tara L
Hatch, Rollie L
Hatcher, Cody L
Hauser, Jim L
Hawkins, Dillon L
Hawley, Rob L
Hawn, Matthew W
Hawn, Molly L
Hayes, Holly W
Hays, Bre L
Hayward, Catherine L
Hazel, Anna Samantha L
Hazel, Heather L
Hddn, Jeff L
Headly, Anna W
Heaney, Tim W
Heck, Emily W
Heller, June L
Helms, Alyc L
Henderson, Fiona L
Hendron, Samantha L
Hennessey, Christina L
Henson, Karen W
Henson, Brian W
Henson, Lisa L
Hermanson, Dalea L
Herne, Bree L
Hess, Andrew W
Hess, Janet L
Hess, Jen L
Hesse, Peter L
Hicks, Kenny L
Hight, Brian L
Hill, Christine W
Hindman, Joyce L
Hiott, Jenna L
Hoang, Meredith W
Hochman, Eric W
Hockett, Rachel L
Hockett, Rose Ann W
Hodgson, Julia L
Holcomb, Mike L
Holcombe, M. L
Holler, Steve L
Hollingsworth, Janet L
Hopkins, James L
Hornyak, Jeff L
Horton, Matthew L
Houlihan, Christopher L
Howard, Aaron W
Howlett, Niki L
Hubbard, Nathan W
Hubbard, Shelby L
Huber, Joanna L
Hufford, Amy L
Hughes, Justine W
Hugo, Heather L
Hunter, Joanna L
Hutton, Sheryl L
Hytowitz, Rebecca L
Igoe, Tom W
Ives, Brian L
Ivicek, Victoria W
J., Laura L
Jacob, Renae L
Jacobs, Michael L
Jacobson, Meredith L
Jaitin, Gail L
Jalbert, Alison L
Jaress, JC L
Jenkins, Sarah L
Jeromin, Amanda L
Johnson, Barb L
Johnson, Brian L
Johnson, Daryl L
Johnson, Gary W
Johnson, Kim L
Johnston, Maura W
Jolliffe, Meghan L
Jones, Karen L
Jones, April W
Jones, Brad L
Jones, Tracy W
Jordan, Alison L
Joseph, Jeff L
Judge, Sere-nah W
Juhala, Jeff L
Juncker, Chandra W
K., J. W
Kaatz, David W
Kalinowski, Tricia L
Kamin, Hester L
Kamm, Lisa L
Kaplan, Steve W
Kaplounenko, Igor L
Karst, Laura L
Kashi, Edva L
Kashuba, Ken L
Kealey, EM L
Kelleher, Desiree L
Kelly, Adam L
Kelly, Kevin W
Kenfield, Melissa L
Kenslea, Matt L
Kern, Desiree L
Khan, Kamal L
Kief, Jacob W
Kief, Kristen L
Kief, Tom W
Kilgore, Addie L
King, Brendan L
Kleinhenz, Jennifer L
Klohn, Liz L
Klouse, Jennifer L
KM, Lindsay W
Kohn, Tina L
Kohn, Vicky W
Kook, Christina W
Kopperman, Leah W
Kraiger, Michael L
Kranyak, Margaret L
Kreidler, Scott W
Krohn, Steven W
Kuhn, Julia L
Kunz, Nicole L
Kurth, Rebekah L
L., Carrie W
L., Jason L
L., Katrina L
L., Melina L
Lademann, Christine L
Lake-Corral, Lorien W
Landers-King, Letitia L
Landow, Jeff L
Landow, Meg L
Lane, Keith L
Lane, Mikey W
Lang, Kerry L
Lank, Madeline L
Lannan, Hillary L
Lara, Erin L
Larsen, Laura L
Larson, Natalie L
Lastname, Janet L
Laurie, Brigid L
Lauriston, Robert L
Law, Polly L
Lawson, Emily L
Lawson, Jen W
Laxson, Shawn W
LDBC, Mother L
Lebowsky, Beth L
LeClair, Joe W
Lee, Lori L
Lee, Michal W
Lee, Nicole W
Lee, Roger W
Lefton, Sarah L
Leftwich, James L
Leo, Jennifer W
Lerner, Edith L
Lerner, Mark L
Leslie, Diana L
Leslie, Michael L
Leveridge, Brett L
Levitan, Stacy W
Levy, Susie W
Lewis, Karl L
Lichtenberg, Robyn L
Light, Paula L
Lim, Jeena L
Linder, Gretchen L
Lindsey, Amanda W
Linger, Zed W
Linville, Cindy L
Loechner, Kevin L
Loeffler, Carolyn L
Long, David L
Losey, Michelle L
Loveland, Sheila L
Lucas, Marc L
Lucas, Wade W
Lutz, Ericka W
Lynch, Rebecca L
Lynde, Jerry L
Lyon, Kammy W
Lysne, Lisa L
M., Rachel L
Macaulay, Jillian L
Macedo, Barbra L
Mackay, Kenneth L
MacKenzie, Doug L
MacKinnon, Bryn L
Madesclaire, Marine W
Madzin, Kathleen L
Maguire, Lindsay L
Mailander, Melissa L
Maine, Shanoah L
Majewski, Katherine L
Malmros, Mary L
Maloney, Sean L
Manson, Tycho L
Marco, Natasha L
Marlowe, Monica L
Marracco, Muffy W
Marron, John W
Marsden, Malcolm L
Marsh, Holly W
Marshall, Laura L
Martin, Jessica L
Masek, Shelli W
Massey, Misty L
Matura, Allison L
Maxsween, John L
McCafferty, Mindi L
McCain, Billie W
McCann, Barney W
McClure, Brandi L
McCollum, Christina W
McDaniel, Sam L
McDonald, Stacey L
McDonald, Andrew L
McDonald, Stef L
McDuff, Russ W
McEwen, Clint L
McGillicuddy, Carole L
McGinty, Joe W
McGraw, Deb L
McGregor, Heather W
McGrory, Phoebe W
McIntyre, Chris W
McKeehan, Amy L
McKeon, Kit L
McKiernan, Lori L
McKinley, Nation L
McLaughlin, Patrick W
McMahon, Kassie L
McManus, Carole L
McNeely, Alvin W
McNutt, Carol L
Medina, Jen L
Medina, Trish W
Meister, Just W
Mellinger, Bo L
Melton, Holly L
Melton, Mike L
Melton, Morgan L
Meluch, JP L
Mendelsohn, Julianna L
Merckel, Bob W
Meredith, Elizabeth W
Mertzman, Karen L
Mewha, Darren L
Michals, Rebecca L
Middleton, Drew L
Miera, Tom L
Mignone, Bernadette L
Milbrath, Philip W
Miles, Heather L
Miller, Claire L
Miller, Don L
Miller, Jesse L
Miller, Russ W
Minson, Kate L
Mirenda, Kristen W
Misch, Mike L
Mitchell, Shannon L
Mochari, Loren L
Moers, Christine L
Mokler, Linda L
Moncrief, Megan W
Moore, Julia L
Moore, Marcia L
Moore, Megan L
Morayati, Katherine W
Morigeau, Christopher L
Morris, Kay L
Morris, Todd L
Morrison, Cathy W
Morrow, Melissa L
Morse, Tracy L
Moses, Kim L
Motta, Katie W
Mrowka, Gregg L
Mueller, Heidi L
Mueller, Stacy L
Mufson, Stacey L
Mullen, Kile L
Munn, Christy L
Murdock, Liz W
Murphy, Heather L
Murphy, Lillian L
Murphy, Roy W
Myers-Bagent, Stacey W
Myers, Jessie L
Natalie, John L
Nay, Lyle W
Nedderman, Erika L
Neidhardt, Steve W
Neulist, Nicolle L
Newhouse, Pam L
Newman, Christine W
Newman, Heather W
Newman, Stephanie L
Ng, Panda L
Nisbett, Bob W
Nolan, Mike L
Noon, Frances W
Nordstrom, Elizabeth L
Nordstrom, Ron L
Norris, Caitlin L
Northrop, Stephanie L
Norton, Shana W
Nothnagel, Mike L
November, Sharyn L
O’Donnell, Mary L
O’Hagan, Mickey L
O’Shields, Beth L
ODeen, Paddy L
Olfers, Carey L
Olsen, Kate L
Olson, Julie L
ONeill, Christy W
Orlando, Kristin W
Orozco, Tatiana L
Orr, Amy L
Ortiz-Kane, Angelique L
Orzoff, Andrea L
Ostrow, Rachel L
Oswalt, Sandi L
Owens, Ed W
P., Brett L
P., Jill L
P., Michael L
P., Nicole L
Padgett, Ray L
Pal, Len L
Pants, Nancy L
Papalia, Alexis L
Pascual, Chloé L
Patterson, Colleen W
Paximadis, Lori L
Payes, Robert L
Peck, Gayle L
Peck, Larry L
Peck, Maya L
Peck, Michael W
Pellissier, Denise L
Pendleton, Stompee L
Percy, Allie L
Perry, Kelly L
Perry, Lisa L
Perry, Shawnee L
Peters, Toni-Maree L
Peters, Joseph L
Peters, Parker L
Peterson, Nancy W
Pew, Esther L
Pfeiffer, Karl L
Philipp, Elijah W
Phillips, Lauren W
Picardo, Cheyenne L
Pietsch, Janet L
Pinsonault, Diane W
Pirri-Lee, M’elle L
Plaisted, Susie W
Polanski, Rollin W
Poling, Fred L
Polk, Christopher W
Polman, Lynn L
Porter, Brett L
Porter, Melanie W
Pound, Mike L
Parent, Michael L
Prentice, Kim L
Prentice, David L
Printz, Irit W
Proulx, Jesse W
Pryor, Joanne L
PT, Amy L
Purvis, SK L
Quillon, Anna W
Quinn, Dana L
R., Jane W
R., Khajha L
Radding, Reuben L
Radding, Wendy L
Ramina, Matt L
Rea, Laura L
Reardon-Mulhall, Suzanne W
Redman, Emily W
Reed, Tammey L
Reichman, Dana W
Reid, Mary L
Reiss, Randy L
Remigi, Gabriella L
Renfro, Rebecca L
Renn, Max W
Reno, Susan L
Renzulli, Linda L
Reznek, Abby W
Reznek, Karen L
Rice, Jamie L
Richardson, Tehemina L
Richter, Betsy W
Richter, Marc L
Riley, Kathleen L
Rivera, Cynthia L
Roberts, Christy L
Roberts, Laurie L
Robichaux, Julie L
Robinson, Chris W
Rogal, Dawn L
Rogers, Jacinta L
Rollans, Scott W
Ronca, Debra L
Rose, Erykah W
Rose, Alec L
Rose, Mandy W
Ross, Janna L
Roth Smith, Dawn L
Roth, Amy L
Rouse, Gretchen L
Rowland II, Rick L
Rubenking, Kelsey L
Runde, Jenny L
Rusher, Alice L
Russell, Kat L
Ruzich, Christian L
Rykoff, Amanda L
S., Beth L
S., Carolyn L
S., Drew L
S., Flori L
S., Nusia L
S., Samantha L
S., Sarah W
Sacchi, Christine L
Sadofsky, Alyson L
Sakai, Katy L
Sakai, Shuji L
Salvador, Phil L
Samson, Phil L
Samuelson, Jenny L
Samuelson, Michael W
Sandusky, Sarah L
Satre, William L
Savinski, Karen L
Scarlato, Tracy L
Schaefer, Rebecca L
Schaeffer, Julie L
Scheer, Alttara W
Schmeling, Aaron W
Schmeling, Kristin W
Schumacher, Ashton L
Schwarer, Sandy L
Schwartz, Michael L
Schwinke, Theo W
Sciuchetti, Robyn L
Sciullo, Allison L
Scodel, Ruth W
Scott, Ryan L
Seaver, W.A. L
Sebrell, Lynn W
Segall, Margaret W
Settlemire, Jaclyn L
Sexton, Drew W
Seymour, Lindy W
Shanahan, Virginia L
Sharpe, Martha L
Shea, Kelly L
Shengold, Nina L
Shine, Amy W
Shira, Molly L
Shollenberger, Lee Ann L
Short, Jeff L
Shorthill, Amber L
Shupe, Tara L
Sieve, Shawn L
Silva, Melissa L
Silverman, Riley L
Simmer II, David W
Singel, Ellen L
Skinner, Claire L
Skochko, Julia L
Skochko, Sarah L
Sladen, Jane L
Slavin, Mike L
Smith, A. L
Smith, Amy L
Smith, Arthur L
Smith, Ben W
Smith, Cathryn L
Smith, Cathy L
Smith, Emma L
Smith, Lisa L
Smith, Matthew L
Smith, Maurice L
Smith, Randy L
Smith, Tracy L
Smitheman, Rachel L
Smotherman, Katie L
Smrcka, Carolyn W
Snell Nachtsheim, Joyce W
Snyder, Jenn L
Solliday, Jo L
Solovay, Andrew L
Sorenson, Greg L
Spa, Tamara W
Spencer, Joy L
Sprague Frederiksen, Lucy W
Starkowski, Sara W
Stebbins, Kerri Anne L
Stebbins, Matt L
Steinhauer, Art W
Stephens, Nicole W
Stern, Lexi L
Stevens, Andy L
Stewart, Laurel L
Stewart, Mo L
Stewart, Rebekah L
Stickley, Aileen L
Stomberg, Amy W
Stoneburner, Ann W
Strand, Tunafish L
Stringer, John L
Subers, Libby L
Subers, Ruth W
Sullivan, Bob L
Sullivan, Cara L
Sullivan, Jason W
Sullivan, Jim L
Sullivan, Kate W
Sullivan, Rebecca W
Summer, Esther L
Sussman, Anne L
Swakow, Jim L
Swanner, Alex L
Sweeney, Virginia L
Swiecki, Msria W
Taber, Katie W
Tansey, Morgan L
Tappan, Stacey L
Tarabour, Lucy L
Taylor, Julie W
Taylor, Hadley L
Taylor, Jack L
Taylor, Kimberly L
Taylor, Laura L
Taylor, Meredith L
Terpstra, Deb L
Terpstra, Rick L
Tetreault, Brian L
Tevyaw, Christine W
The_Slack, Josh L
Thew, Drea L
Thmp, Thmp L
Thom, Craig W
Thom, Neil L
Thomas, Ben L
Thomas, Billie L
Thomas, Cathy L
Thomas, Leila W
Thompson, Troy W
Thompson, Ashley L
Thompson, Julie L
Thorne, Shannon W
Timberlake, Anne L
Timms, George W
Tingey, Janet L
Trobaugh, Phillip L
Troilo, Jessica L
Trott, Natalie L
Turiel, Josh L
Turmell, Tom L
Turner, Sarah L
Umbaugh, Bruce L
Underhill, Amanda W
Underwood, Madison L
Valizan, Rob L
Van Voorhis, Kathy L
Van Voorhis, Steven L
Vandermark, Bill L
Vanmatre, Jennifer L
Vassar, Matt L
Velez, Julie W
Venuto, Marisa L
Vercillo, Jeremy L
Vermeers, Chris W
Vermut, Absinthia L
Verna, Kathryn L
Vertino, Dave L
Vollman, Gretchen L
W., Kim L
W., Pam L
Wacknov, Stacey W
Wagner, Essie L
Wagner, Karl L
Wagner, Vicki W
Wahl, Ferris L
Walden, Lara L
Walker, Erin L
Walker, Rebekah L
Walz, Lauren L
Wangmo, Shardröl W
Ward, Robin L
Ward, Terence L
Ware, Minda Grace L
Watts, Kelly W
Weagle, Corinne W
Webb, Barbara L
Weber, Kendra L
Weller, Sherry L
Wenk, Sarah L
Wessel Walker, Donna L
Wessel Walker, Mary L
Whipple, L’Rae L
White, Brian L
White, Libby L
Wiedemann, Heidi L
Wiener, Linda W
Wiese, Jodi L
Wilcott, Lynn L
Wilcox, Michele L
Willett, Lindsay W
Williams, Adam W
Williams, Harold L
Williams, Katie L
Williams, Nancy L
Wills, Allie L
Wills, Carroll L
Wilson, Jennifer L
Wilson, Molly L
Winand, Theodore L
Wingfield, Amber L
Winslow, Jack W
Winter, Stacy W
Wishengrad, Paul L
Witt, Michelle L
Wojick, Jane L
Wolf, Diane L
Wolfe, Pierrette L
Wolfisch Cole, Terry L
Wong, Katie L
Woodruff, Katie L
Woods, Mary L
Woolard, Taylor L
Wright, Alana L
Wright, Diana L
Wright, Sarah L
Wright, Tracey L
Wuollet-Anderson, Lindsey L
Wyble, Megan L
Wyman, Kendall L
X., Joey W
Yaller, Josie L
Yoder, Patrick L
Young, Amanda L
Young, Shelle L
Z., Michael W
Zimmermann, Alix L
Zions, Jason L

We Are the Champions

Sauron's Tower Falling

That moment when evil topples, and you get to stare at its one big, dumb eye as its own loss begins to dawn on it? Yeah.

We did it.

The Boy is vanquished for yet another year, people. Now comes the fun part. Fill out the form (below) with your win. Post victory LDBC-elfies to the Facebook page or tweet them to @LDBChallenge. Smiles, people! Show us some teeth! Or better yet, let us see some Freddie Mercury-level rejoicing.

But let us not forget the fallen we’ve left along the way. For they have been us in past years, and they will be again.

You know the routine, old-timers (and you rookies, pay attention). I’ll nag you a bunch more times over the next week or two to fill out the form so I can do all my wondrous statistifying and post all of the LDBC-elfies along with the Wall of the Fallen in the year-end wrap-up. And then we put this thing to bed.

So rejoice! Fill out the form! And the happiest of Happy Holidays to all!

For Mike!

LDBCer Dispatch: Just Desserts

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Ever see that old Night Gallery episode where John-Boy Walton‘s mom asks him to be a sin eater, which means he takes in the sins of the dead person so the departed can go to Heaven? If not, I’ll ruin it for you. His mother tricks him and forces him to eat the sins of his father, who was the village sin eater, which means he’s taking in the accumulated sins of someone who’s already eaten everybody else’s sins. A holiday classic, I tell you.

Anyway, today’s tale is something like that. But I’ll let Rick Damigella take it from here with his LDBCer Dispatch.

I’m writing on behalf of a friend regarding an event I’ve nicknamed the Company Holiday Party Drummassacre and ask that you rule on the actions of a notorious individual we will call DJ Fun Ruiner. A good friend of mine works for a large company. Large enough that different divisions have their own holiday gatherings. Yesterday, their division gathered for a mid-day holiday lunch and party. The very moment the party started, the DJ immediately played a classic instrumental version of “The Little Drummer Boy.” The collective groans and gasps from the revelers indicated a very large number of them were playing The Game. This was absolutely intentional on his part because at this point DJ Fun Ruiner began laughing hysterically. Laughing hysterically at nearly 1,500 people who he thought were just drummed out.

The egregiously evil DJ laughing at the upset players resulted in a large number of the party goers to begin pelting him with cookies. Now, as you can imagine, there were a lot of very distraught people at the Company Holiday Party Drummassacre who believed they were eliminated. Now, while I know the rules, I was hoping you could find it in your heart, to publicly post a ruling on this particular incident, so that I can share it with my friend, who can then let their coworkers know that they are in fact, still very much alive.

John-boy Walton

The dyspeptic John-Boy

Well, those of you already familiar with this year’s new “Hoist with His Own Petard” rule know what comes next. The partygoers are still in the game, but the jerk DJ is himself out due to the jerkiness of his jerky attempt. Even worse, he’s out 1,500 times over—once for each attendee. Which means his face probably looks much like John-Boy’s did at the end of the episode. [Editor’s note: John-Boy is no relation to The Boy.]

I’ve helpfully included an image for those of you who never saw that Rod Serling classic. It ain’t pretty. But it helps if you can imagine cookies launched by angry attendees bouncing off it.

Anyway, we’ve reached day 22 of this thing of ours, and we’re approaching nearly 600 victims of The Boy who’ve reported in via the form. Those who’ve turned in LDBC-elfies since our last report are featured in the gallery below.

We nearing the home stretch, people. Let’s not go wobbly now.

For Mike!

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Photo credit: cookies by Koko’s Kitchen

Day 16: Cross Purposes

Fallen LDBCer Shuji Sakai‘s expression says it all in the LDBC-elfie he submitted: sadness and defeat, yes, but also an outlook leavened by the determination to figure out exactly what went wrong and the hope that it won’t be repeated next year. And isn’t that about the best we can do, really?

It’s been a hell of a time since last we checked in, people. More than 400 of us down already, and that’s just those who’ve been diligent enough to fill out the reporting form. (You know the form, right? The one I’m always going on about? You’ll be hearing more about it in order to give us as complete a set of stats as possible at the end of the game, but if you’re out and haven’t done so already, please fill it out.) We have a new hazard to avoid (the “Last Christmas” episode of This is Us, which took out a whole host of unsuspecting LDBCers who didn’t see our warning in time) and some old favorites to fear (The West Wing, the SNL and Pee-wee’s Playhouse holiday specials). It’s getting so you can’t wake up in the morning without feeling the fear.

Because you can’t.

I’m as positive as the next guy. Ask anyone. (Well, except for those who’ll deny it. Not them. Ask other people.) But I must stress that we won’t get through this without staying frosty and maintaining our edge. It also helps to remember some of the key rules:

You have to hear the song, not read it, which is why the New York Times crossword next to our fallen friend Shuji doesn’t count. Though I’m not sorry the Times ran an apology anyway and cited yours truly. Because I am, after all, a creature of vanity. And sarcasm. And poetry. But there’s a good bit of vanity in there to keep its larger cousin, self-doubt, company.

Also, we have an important new addition this year, the “Hoist with His Own Petard” rule, which helps deal with the issue of your irritating uncle who keeps thinking he can trick you into hearing the dreaded tune. It was already the case that you can’t be taken out intentionally. But now, the person who tries to knock you out is eliminated. They are out, not you. And don’t let them try to tell you they’re not playing. We’re all playing. (And the type of person who’d do such a thing is the type who’ll really hate being told they’ve just lost.) Bullies must go down in flames and shame.

Now, it wouldn’t be a check-in without hearing from Sister Julia Skochko. (She’s not a nun or anything. I’ve just started calling fellow LDBCers “Brother” and “Sister” this year because—well, just because, which is why I do most things.) Julia and her kid have bought it already (see gallery, below). And while I don’t know the lady personally, her narratives of victory and loss rank among my favorites every year. So here’s Julia:

Evil combinations rarely get their due. “Chocolate and peanut butter” are widely celebrated. “Peas ‘n’ carrots” singlehandedly conquered the polygonal vegetable market. But what of more sinister pairings? Creepy old houses and axe-wielding maniacs. Rats and plague bacteria. Preschoolers and air horns. And now… THE BOY AND THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY. I should’ve seen it coming. Those sparkly little buggers contain more human suffering per millimeter than the bear-gnawing-on-Leonardo-DiCaprio-like-a-landjäger scene in The Revenant. I’ve never bought, sold, or even held one. And yet I foolishly ventured into a jewelry store in mid-December, and I was punished accordingly… DeMolished by DeBeers.

I blame my son. I was only there because he needed to have his watch band resized. You might not think an eleven year-old needs a watch. You are right! He also doesn’t need a briefcase, yet he has TWO. I’m pretty sure he’s anticipating his first issue of AARP: The Magazine more eagerly than facial hair. ANYWAY. He recently obtained a big, clunky middle-aged man watch, the kind with seven hundred functions (“Beep When My Bratwurst Is Done Grilling”, “Calculate the Fuel Efficiency of My Pontiac Aztek”). The fact that it was comically oversized on his teeny wrist somehow rendered it even LESS cool, so I took him to the local jeweler.

It was there that disaster struck… quietly, in the form of The Temptations. It was… The Last Temptation of Skochko. “Nooooo!” I shrieked. “Huh?” said my son, who’d been ogling some nice understated tie tacks, “… OH, CRAP!” “Hey, guys, your watch is done,” said the jeweler. It was with feigned enthusiasm and a heavy heart that I accepted it. The only thing I needed to know about time was that OUR time… had come.

You see, Julia’s jeweler couldn’t recognize what had just happened, just as nobody understands this thing of ours. Hell, Facebook can’t even translate it properly. Here’s the evidence. Mark Zuckerberg thinks we’re speaking Malay, which only provides cover for The Boy.

New York Times Crossword

Facebook: lost in translation

Yet so we beat on. However, we do it this year without the folks pictured in this latest gallery of LDBC-elfies. Review them. Mourn them. Learn from them. Then dust the snow off and get on with it. As I always say, the little bastard can’t get all of us. Not all of us, he can’t.

For Mike!

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Photo credits: Facebook translation courtesy Kyle Larsen; Times crossword courtesy Tyler Crosby

Day 4: Train in Vain

wes_anderson_hm

Ho-ho-aaaaaaagggh!!!: Anderson’s deadly ad

When the grand epitaph of our civilization is written, it will point out that marketing did us in. Or maybe that’s just the early days of this game. This year.

Anyway, it has. For those who haven’t seen the warnings from LDBCers such as Brother Reuben Radding or Brother Joe Hobaica, this year’s H&M ad from director Wes Anderson features a deadly heapin’ helpin’ of LDB. And unfortunately, a whole bunch of our fellow LDBCers didn’t read the warning in time, as the fatalities from viewing that thing have come in thick and fast already. As have the fatalities in general (119 of them having come in via the form so far).

And speaking of fatalities, we have our First Fallen this year, as I announced on the Facebook page. Poor Mike Misch caught the foreshadowing of LDB exposure on Thanksgiving Day, only to be taken out for real the following morning. You know the drill, all: from here on out this season, our battle cry shall be, “For Mike!” We will survive. The Boy can’t get us all. And as for Mike, he will be much-Misched. We Misch him already, in fact. (Don’t blame me; blame Sister Tracy Scarlato, who first made that joke.) And no, I’m not making fun of the man’s name. Listen, my last name is Peck. You really want to talk about growing up taking shots for your name—first the bird gags, and then the phallic references? Really, people.

Also worth noting: I’m keeping my eye on Brother Hobaica. Sure, he warned us. But then he just happened to recall that he works for the company that produced the Anderson ad. Sort of like one of those Westworld host robots that’s all heroic until it flashes back to doing something awful. I’m not saying I don’t trust Joe. I love him. I’m just watching him for glitching.

(My favorite commentary thus far is from Julia Skochko, who narrowly missed being assassinated by Anderson, but wasn’t actually exposed to it: “[S]ince it was Wes Anderson, I’m just assuming it was played on a hand-carved miniature balalaika festooned with vintage beach stickers from the 1940s, too. Such an undignified way to be taken out.”)

There is no dignified way to be taken out, Ms. Skochko, though some are more undignified than others, it’s true. So exercise complete vigilance. And if you don’t, and you zig when you should have zagged, post an LDBC-elfie to the aforementioned Facebook page and fill out the official reporting form.

Below is the first batch of this year’s LDBC-elfies. Kindly remove your hats before viewing.

For Mike!

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Heeeeeere’s Drummy!

heres_drummy_w_info

Heeeeeere’s Drummy by Jocular James Barnett

Puh-rum-pum-pum-pum, people. It’s on. (It is here on the East Coast, at Chez Mother LDBC, anyway. It kicks off at 12:01 am your time on Nov. 25.)

Be quick or be dead, and best of luck to you, friends and loved ones. Should you go down hard, please remember to post on the Facebook page to share your misery and seek comfort (and maybe include an LDBC-elfie of your moment of loss; below is last year’s game-ending gallery to inspire you in your tragedy-capturing). Also, be sure to fill out the official reporting form so that you’ll be duly enshrined on the Wall of the Fallen at the end of the game.

Remember, whoever’s first to get hit and post or fill out the form receives the honor of this year’s First Fallen.

And if you need a quick review of the rules—as well as a handy post for sharing with newcomers—you’ll find that here.

Onward!

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