Day 29: Hey, Blood—Let’s Party

A night to dismember: art from Kristin Fletcher's & Emily_Guinn's kids

A night to dismember: art from Kristin Fletcher’s & Emily_Guinn’s kids

Yes, that’s a desperate channeling of Jeff Spicoli, but I’m still in this thing, and I’m drop-dead exhausted from the fear of it all. I mean, do you even remember a time when we weren’t running from The Boy? I’m not sure I can recall what normal feels like anymore.

Nevertheless, LDBCers, we’re almost there: midnight of the 23rd. The end of the struggle. And what a struggle it’s been. We’re closing in on 1,000 victims who’ve reported in via the form (Mrs. LDBC among them), and we’re at that point in the game where those who get taken out now break my heart. So close. But that’s our Boy, bloodthirsty to the last.

How bad is it? Well, take a look at the gallery of LDBC-elfies below, which is comprised of those who’ve taken a Boy-inflicted dirt nap since the last time I posted a Dispatch. Seventy-two in all. (Okay, so that’s a rather large gap between updates, but as noted philosopher Luther once said, I been busy.)

There’s no sugar-coating it. It’s bad. So bad that LDBCer Sara Starkowski wasn’t even safe in Bethlehem. As in, the Bethlehem.

Every morning I awaken and pray that today will be the day that nobody is caught out in the open. And within a few hours, a dozen or more prove that prayer is useless in this Thing of Ours. Sadly, it seems that our list of toxic media isn’t exactly getting the job done, either, as people keep stepping on clearly marked landmines. (Don’t watch that Pee-wee/Grace Jones video, folks. Just don’t. Same goes for those episodes of The West Wing and American Horror Story.)

Anyway. This’ll be the last Dispatch before the finish, when we can finally breathe easy and take time to both celebrate and mourn. We’re almost there. Hang in. We can do this.

Spare a thought for the fallen below; honor the memory of our First Fallen; keep the rules ever in mind; and for God’s sake, whatever you do, keep moving. You don’t want to be buried in a Pet Sematary this late in the game.

For Sloppy Joe!

Faces of the Fallen: LDBC-elfies


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LDBCer Dispatches: When You Find Out Who You Are


“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change. Not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are. You’ll see what I mean.” — Whistler the Demon

Thirteen days in, LDBCers. Thirteen days, and nearly 500 reported losses thus far. Our friends. Our colleagues. Family members we don’t care for all that much, though we’d never admit that to ourselves when sober. And that guy everyone just knows is stealing other people’s sandwiches from the office ‘fridge.

These are their stories. Well, two of them, anyway. And there are so many more. Enough to fill 400-plus cells in the spreadsheet that the reporting form feeds into. (C’mon, you knew I was going to mention the form. I’m all about that thing.)

First up, a man who went looking for a deal and got more than he bargained for. After that, a woman with zipper issues.

All they wanted to do was shop. Is that so wrong? (Yes, yes, it depends on what you’re trying to buy, true, but rhetorically speaking and setting the freaks aside for a moment.)

These are our fellow warriors, people. Laid low by our foe. As I’ve said before, mourn them. Learn from them. Giggle at them if you must, but know that in doing so, you invite the attention of The Boy. And that’s just not the kind of scrutiny you want pointed your way.

I can offer you nothing more than those lessons in vigilance.

Well, yes, I can. Here’re a few more lessons in the form of the latest LDBC-elfies. But that’s it, I swear. I mean, I have to log off and go make dinner sometime, you know.

Meanwhile, check the list of toxic media before you go blindly watching what may be a landmine for your ears. And let’s be careful out there.

Now go find out who you are.

For Sloppy!

LDBC-Elfies: Faces of the Fallen

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Day 9: the Sound and the Furry

Kayla Roche and Kim Drogan Prentice

Material issue: Kayla Roche, Kim Drogan Prentice, and their potentially complicit cloth compatriots

Our cute and cuddly critters won’t save us, fellow LDBCers. In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests they may be part of the problem. If nothing else, they’re certainly not helping. The two ladies above were done in while in the company of an assortment of wee, fuzzy pals. Kayla Roche was shopping among them when The Boy found her and laid her low. Kim Drogan Prentice was trying to find a good home for those she created. Think about that. Behind the fabric visage, could there lurk the spirit of a being that would happily create musical matricide? (Yes, this paragraph is polluted with a lot of alliteration. I fall into that now and again and have no doubt posted about it before, though I’m too upset to go find where and when.)

The body count, going by those who’ve reported in via the official form, has now topped 300—and the real number is probably higher. Some were felled by already documented toxic media. Others simply shopped when they should’ve stopped.

I don’t know. After a while, it’s all we can do to resist the temptation to go numb. But to resist is the point. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I don’t tend to zombie-walk through our struggle like an over-injected famous face full of Botox. (And there I go again, plus I’m mixing metaphor and simile.)

What can I tell you? I’m rattled. And I think that’s understandable, given that our casualty rate has just passed that of the Spartans at Thermopylae. And all we can do is run, hide, and earbud our way to safety. No stabby solutions for us.

I have nothing more profound or promising to offer on this cold, rainy Chicago Saturday, folks. If we’re to weather this thing of ours, it’ll be together—hand in hand, heart beating against heart. The Boy’s a hunter. A tracker, as noted bounty hunter and philosopher Leonard Smalls once said. Some say part hound dog.


The most recent casualties are pictured below. Mourn them. Learn from them. Pay your respects, and then do your damndest not to suffer their fate. But should you fail and fall, post it to the Facebook page, add it to a comment on an existing post, or Tweet it to us.

And one more thing. I don’t want to flog our new charity effort to the point of being tiresome (too late, maybe?) and keep asking people to donate to Americares, our official charity this year. (Though I’ll note that the donation button is on this Facebook post.) But I wanted to call out fallen LDBCer Justin Fermenich, who pledged a very generous 50 dollars whether he won or lost. He went face first into the turf, alas, but he is a man of his word:


Love and altruism will get us to the other side of this thing, friends. Well, that plus cowardice, planning, panic, and dumb luck. But who’s counting? I am. And we’ve topped 500 bucks in donations thus far. So again, there’s absolutely no obligation to give. But if you can and you feel like it, here’s that link one more time.

Live or die by the rules, comrades, and don’t forget our First Fallen.

For Sloppy Joe!

Faces of the Fallen: LDBC-elfies

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Day 5: Can We Go Home Now?

Jaws pier

So long, holiday roast.

You’ll notice that certain movies get mentioned a lot in this thing of ours, people, and Jaws is certainly one of them. But the parallels between the shark terrorizing Amity and The Boy are fairly obvious. And I was reminded of another earlier today, when I pre-ordered a two-bag venti English breakfast and walked into Starbucks to drink it there, only to realize they were in full holiday-tunes mode.

I have nothing but respect for those who try to alter their circumstance using earbuds or careful planning, but lately I’ve been more in organic mode, taking normal care to avoid obvious places but otherwise trusting my luck to get me through. It often results in my exit, but today, I was able to finish my tea as harmless Christmas song after harmless Christmas song ticked by.

Though I did panic a bit when I was packing up and getting ready to leave because I was almost home. And it took me right back to sitting in a darkened theater the summer before fifth grade, freaking out as Charlie, one of the knuckleheads using a hunk of meat chained to an old pier, swam for his life while the shark approached, and his pal yelled for him to just keep swimming and don’t look back.

That was me, wet shoes slipping uselessly on wet planks as I struggled to get to safety before doom struck. I couldn’t get my Mac into my bag fast enough. Why were people blocking the trash can? And was the music playing outside, too, through external speakers? I couldn’t recall.

Still, I survived, which is in stark contrast to the 180-plus unfortunate LDBCers who’ve already reported in via the official form as having gone down. Some missed out on the warnings from our list of toxic media. Others just decided to play fast and loose and drew a bad card.

Some submitted LDBC-elfies (gallery below), and you can, too, should you be taken. Just post it to the Facebook page, add it to a comment on an existing post, or Tweet it to us.

Also, if you’d like to donate to Americares, our official charity this year, the donation button is on this Facebook post. Using that allows us to track how much has been given thus far. (We’re almost at $500, so thanks very much those who’ve contributed!)

And again, below are some of those who’ve already left us.

That’s it for now, faithful LDBCers. Step lively, keep the rules in mind, and honor our First Fallen.

For Sloppy!

Faces of the Fallen: LDBC-elfies

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Day 1: Already, a First Fallen

Moby Dick and Ahab

“[F]rom Hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

The fun part of this thing of ours? It just keeps growing. The tragic part of this thing of ours? There are enough people playing that it doesn’t take long before we have a First Fallen. And so we do, people. For the rest of the game, let us cut loose with our battle cry for Sloppy Joe, taken down while testing his music-playing clock. (And if I do say so myself, I think it’s my favorite name since starting the tradition of First Fallen.)

As always, check the rules for a refresher and updates. (Parodies count this year.) And should tragedy strike, be sure to report in via the official form.

Ever vigilant, people. For Sloppy Joe!

LDBC on CNN (Do Not Watch During Game)


I repeat: do not watch this when the game is on (12:01 am Black Friday through midnight of Dec. 23) unless you and everyone within earshot are already out. It contains LDB and will kill you and everyone near you deader than dead.

OK, you’re sure the game’s not hot and there isn’t anyone around who you might take out?

Look again. Still sure?

Cool. Watch this.

Puh-Rum-Pum-Pum-Post-Game Results for 2017

LDB Statue Toppling

Down with The Boy, by Joyous James Barnett

I’ll start with an apology for the lateness of the 2017 wrap-up, faithful LDBCers. In years past, I’ve posted this by the 8th or so. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: when I launched this thing way back in 2010, it never occurred to me what might happen if it grew beyond my circle of friends, their friends, and a few random strangers. Now I know—it takes me a lot longer to crunch the numbers and read through everyone’s inspiring tales of heroism and woe. That’s not a complaint, mind you. This is a labor of love. Nevertheless, I’m a bit late. Sorry.

Rudolph: Deviation from the NormNow, putting together charts and poring through narratives of personal struggle tends to get you thinking. And, as is often the case when I toss a few more logs on the ol’ cranial bonfire, my thoughts turned to Charlton Heston. Well, not Heston specifically, but Robert Neville, the character he played in The Omega Man. Not the movie version of Neville’s struggle, but the version from Richard Matheson‘s classic book, I Am Legend. I assume you all know how that ends because it’s a favorite of elementary-school teachers and parents of small kids and is usually read to children at bedtime. Or maybe it was just my mom who had a unique sense of what should send a wee one off to Dreamland. Either way, if you don’t know, spoiler alert: Neville lives in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles that’s overrun by vampires whom he hunts and kills during the day, while they slumber. At the end, they capture him and, as he waits to be executed, he realizes that their roles have flipped. He’s the monster who murders the innocent when they’re at their most vulnerable. The way the vampires see it, they’re the victims; he’s the villain.

Charlton Heston in The Omega Man

The Omega Man‘s Heston, Dressed to Kill

All of which led to a fundamental question. Might the same be true of us? What if The Boy is the real hero of this tale and we, in trying to stay away from him at holiday time, when all should be welcome and the lonely should be included, are the real baddies of the tale?

And then I realized: don’t be an idiot, man. The little bastard is pure, concentrated evil. If anything, we don’t hate him enough.

I mean, just look at the reasons for that hatred, friends. The justification for the anger in so many of us, we who are the prey of darkness when all we wanted was to enjoy a holiday market, support local artisans, or pick up a damned cup of hot joe. (Repeat that last phrase to yourself with your best Heston delivery. Really drives the point home, doesn’t it?)

Michael_Bublé_FartingJust think of Meg Wilkinson, struck down by a panpipe-playing agent of The Boy in OaxacaJen Gripman, harvested as she enjoyed a revue of Golden Girls Christmas episodes performed by live players in drag. And a whole host of noble LDBCers laid low by new phenomena entering the game’s universe. (There seemed to be more reports of involvement by toxic mothers-in-law, for instance—and a lot of people who were alternately taken out or saved due to broken bones.)

A fascinating thing, that last one. What some might see as a challenge in other aspects of life serves as an advantage in this one. Consider the undefeated Kathryn Hill, for instance, who had this to say in her form response:

Kathryn Hill's Form Response

This motherfucker. Boy, is it. And boy, is he. Yet when the dust clears after midnight on the morning of the 24th, here are we, and gone is He. As it should be. (Take note of the finish date, those of you whose entered losses I had to change to wins because of calendar errors.)

This Thing of Ours brings us a refreshingly different view of the world out there. Or it Little Girl Middle Fingerbrings me one, anyway. I’m a media shut-in and have been for years, going from writing about TV for a living for more than a decade to hardly ever watching shows at all. You’d think that would give me an edge, and maybe it does sometimes. But it didn’t save me or Mrs. LDBC this year.

Yet the game continues to educate, as it always does. I’d never heard of Psych until the movie version wiped out a wide swath of LDBCers like that head-cutting whirling-blade thing in Caligula. (Don’t Google that. Trust me.) And I had no idea how many folks go back and watch West Wing reruns. (Year after year, that one old episode claims a few more victims.) Nor did I realize how many otherwise perfectly sensible people didn’t know not to click on viral videos of Bing and Bowie or Grace Jones and Pee-wee. (I’ve toyed with the idea of creating a resource of shows and movies to avoid but have decided not to for the time being. This is not a game meant for padded corners and rounded scissors. Step lively or perish.)

Learning is pain, people. But it needn’t be dishonorable, which is why we dedicate each year’s game to the First Fallen among us. (For 2017, it was Joyce Dudley Hindman—for Joyce!) So no matter the letter by your name below, whether L or W, hold your head up high. The Boy has been tarred and feathered like a devilish boardwalk cone dipped in chocolate and then rolled in crushed nuts. And his withering is our joy.

Not much more to tell you, really, other than to wish you the usual good fortune and happiness for you and yours in 2018. As I’ve said many times before, the LDBC has always been a work-intensive pleasure for me because the out-and-out strangeness and stupidity of it is something I hold to be sacred. And without all of you, it’d just be me and the missus cursing as we go down in flames, surrounded by puzzled looks and a vacuum of non-existent empathy. We’ve built a community, and we rise and fall as one.

Thanks, as always, for your comments, your LDBC-elfies, your participation, and all of the myriad other ways in which you contribute.

With that, let us all stand and say: puh-rum-pum-pum-pum, people. ‘Til Black Friday, when we meet again.

The Boy in Hell: Gustave Dore by way of Mandy Henning

The Boy in Hell: Gustave Doré by way of Mandy Henning

The Quick and the Dead


Source: LDBC Analytics, Inc.

Song Sung Blue


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

2017 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

First Fallen Joyce Dudley Hindman – L

This is a fun game, and it’s nice to join in with total strangers—and who can be stranger than a bunch of people frantically trying to avoid a gawdawful holiday song?—and just “have a larf,” as the Irish say.

Susan Beachy – L

I never thought cheese would do me in.

Davina Weaver – L

My new co-worker looks at me strangely, shrugs, and keeps working.

Brigitte Hales – L

I was standing outside Ariel’s ride in California Adventure when these assholes dressed as toy soldiers marched by with trumpets and puh-rum-pum-pum-pummed me in front of my whole family. My seven-year-old couldn’t stop laughing.

Lisa Andrews – L

In the Walmart produce section, where I went to purchase a single banana. One freakin’ banana.

Bev Gelfand – L

My sudden string of expletives rather scared the woman in line behind me.

Taylor Dekker – L

Who ice skates to “The Little Drummer Boy”??!!!

Pin Bender – L

Don’t trust other people’s stations.

Lillian Murphy – L

I knew going to see Pentatonix live was taking a huge risk.

Dawn Roth-Smith – L

I was so excited to be able to put gas in my own car for the first time since major foot surgery.

Darlene Tucker – L

Children are overrated!!!!

Rebecca Nelson Arkenberg – L

Who thought a Norwegian choir would choose “Little Drummer Boy” for a concert program to represent their culture?

Erin R K – L

My cat threw up on the carpet after we heard it, so I’m sure it has an effect on felines. My dog had no reaction.

Jen Hess – L

Please don’t ever stop doing this. When you get old, make sure to choose a successor. Maybe choose one now in case you get hit by a bus, Boy forbid. This ridiculous contest brings me so much happiness.

Lisa Danielson – L

At least there was beer.

Renée “Mrs. LDBC” Bauer – L


Sharyn Corbett – W

My daughter persuaded me to do this, and I beat her. I’m very happy about it.

The Victorious and the Vanquished: The LDBC Wall

Name Result
Marc L
Kim W
A., Cat L
A., Mark L
A., Sita L
A., Alex L
A., Tricia L
A., Jay L
A., Chris L
A., Rico W
A., Robert L
A., Barbara W
A., Sylvia L
A., Brian W
A., Deb L
A., Dave W
A., Evan W
A., Gregg W
Abel, Dana L
Abney, Bill L
Achauer, Allison L
Acosta, Rachel L
Adair, David L
Adams, Christoph W
Adams, Pat W
Adamson, Leif L
Addams, Wednesday L
Adler, Ellyn L
Ahern, Nancy L
Albans, Dylan L
Allard, Jennifer W
Allen-Hall, Olivia W
Allmer, Christina L
Almeida, Hannah L
Almjeld, Karin L
Almjeld, Susan Gartman L
Alpineprincess, Anne W
Altenburger, Janice L
Althoff, Drew J L
Altman, Laurie W
Amlaw Swift, Lys L
Amrhein, Justin L
Amrhein, Michele L
Anderson, Tina L
Anderson, JB L
Anderson, Susan L. L
Anderson, Giles A L
Anderson, Nathan J. W
Andrews, Lisa L
Andrews, Marcus L
Angier, Cynthia L
Anthony, Kathy L
Applebaum, Bonita L
Archer, Lisa L
Arellanes, Douglas L
Arkenberg, Rebecca Nelson L
Arnold, Joni L
Arnold, Karen L
Arnold, Richard L
Aronoff, Janee L
Ashkenaz, Scott L
Aubrey, Janice L
Auer, Avery L
Austin, Karen L
Austin, Amy E L
Axaopoulos, Penny W
B., Beth L
B., Lydia L
B., Chloe L
B., Emily L
B., Collin L
B., Andrew L
B., Mark W
B., Will W
B., B. W
B., Chip L
B., Laura W
B., Michele H L
B., Sum L
B., Kim L
B., Jeffrey L
B., Cheyenne W
B., Thom W
B., Charles W
B., Kerry W
B., Leslie L
B., Jess W
B., Lori L
B., Isaac L
B., Geni L
B., Kelly L
Babcock, Jenna W
Bachs, Rhedde L
Bacon, Sarah L
Bahrami, Julie L
Bailie, Beth L
Ball, Heather L
Baltes, Scott L
Banks, Stacie L
Barish, Mike W
Barker, Craig L
Barker, Jennifer W
Barnett, James W
Barnum, Deb L
Barr, Christine L
Barsuk, CP L
Bartholomew, Kim L
Bartholomew, Max L
Barton, Jack L
Barton, Nicole W
Batchelor, Rhonda W
Batey, Ryanne L
Batterton, Rob L
Batterton, Scott R W
Bauer, Renée “Mrs. LDBC” L
Beachy, Susan L
Bear, Bruce L
Bedolla, Brianna W
Beebe, Gillian L
Belland, Julie L
Bender, Pin L
Benjamin, Rebecca L
Bennett, Angela L
Bennett, Gene D L
Benson, Bob W
Bentley, Dawn L
Berg, Maren L
Berg, Marisa W
Berg, Stephen W
Bergquist, Emily L
Bergstrom, Sarah L
Berlin, M’ris W
Bernier, Lex L
Berry, David L
Betts, Janet L
Bez, Shawnna L
Bianchi, Emma L
Biando, Becky W
Biddle, Laura L
Biddlecomb, Susan L
Biggins, Nancy L
Birkemeier, Alan L W
Bishop, Wesley L
Bittner, Crew W
BK, Lauren W
Black, Nathan L
Black, Alan W
Blackbird, Oxalis L
Blackburn, Robin L
Blackburn, Barak L
Blackmore, Kris L
Blair, Natalie W
Blakeslee, Erin L
Blakeslee, Jennifer L
Blakeslee, Jeff L
Blanchard, Jan W
Blowers, Julia W
Boak, Tracy L
Boedecker, Nicholas and Joelle L
Boedecker, Joelle L
Boelter, Don L
Boni, Paul W
Bonnet, Gordon L
Booker, Rachel L
Booth, Brendon L
Boram, Carrie L L
Borchardt, Jennifer W
Borck, Nathanael L
Bowe, Marisa W
Boyd, Mary L
Boyd, Irene Emer L
Boyle, Keri L
Bracebridge, Tory L
Bradford, Timothy L
Bradley, Anissa L
Braganza, Désirée L
Braine, Bill L
Brandt, Karen W
Brannen, Colleen L
Bremer, Gloria L
Bremer, Grant L
Brewer, Alexandra W
Brittain, Lucretia W
Brock, George W
Brody, Larry W
Broner, Jacqueline L
Brooks, Ron L
Broom, Emily W
Brothers, Amanda L
Brown, Ben L
Brown, Jessica L
Brown, Michele L
Brown, Vicky L
Brown, Lynne L
Brown, Kirsten L
Brown, Gerard B L
Brown, Mary Jo Hobaica W
Brown, Lisa L
Browning, Heather W
Bryan, Peter C L
Bubier, Jason L
Budge, Matilda L
Buencamino, Rose L
Bullard, Jimmy W
Burnand, Lisa L
Burns, Chris W
Butkiewicz, Christine L
Butterfield, John L
C., Jordan L
C., Deborah L
C., Brenda A L
C., Nichole L
C., Anita E W
C., Jada L
C., Cyndi W
C., Shelley W
C., Alec W
C., Lindsey W
C., Amanda L
C., Erika L
C., Emily W
C., Stephanie W
C., Lisa L
C., Jay L
Calderon, John W
Calhoun, Ivan L
Caliban, DJ W
Call, Christine L
Campbell, Deb L
Campbell, Kat L
Campbell, Carolynn L
Camperson, Shannon L
Carlton, Tyler L
Carpenter, Thomas W
Carr, Kim L
Carvalho, Lisa M. L
Casey, Ed L
Castillo, Rochelle L
Caston, Casey W
Catalano, Michele L
Catlin, Katherine Eppich L
Chamneaa, Janelle L
Chapman, Samuel L
Chase, Bud W
Chilson, Dawn L
Christensen, Mike L
Churchill-Danis, Jessica L
Cicconi, Kim L
Cicero, Donna L
Cicero, Morgan L
Clark, Nicole L
Clark, Sue L
Clark, Todd L
Clark, Meghan F W
Classen, Lance L
Clay-Buck, Holly L
Cleveland, Rachel L
Clow, Beth W
Cockrell, Joe L
Coggins, Tiffany L
Cohen, Andrew L
Cohen, Joseph L
Cole, Casey W
Coleman, Tami L
Collesano, Michael J L
Collins, Bootsie L
Colón, Yvette L
Coman, Sam L
Combs, Scott L
Conger-Henry, Jess L
Connelly, Irene W
Conrad, Bob L
Conroy, Heidi L
Converse, Catherine L
Conway, Kathryn m L
Cook, Jen L
Cook, Amanda M L
Cook, Ronald A L
Cook, Jacob M L
Cook, Kirsten W
Cooley, Jamie W
Cooper, Jason L L
Cope, Ben L
Corbett, Rebekah L
Corbett, Sharyn W
Corcoran, Elaine W
Corgiat, Jeanne L
Cornelison, Ann B W
Corriere, Claudia L
Couture, Jen W
Craiglow, Jodi L
Crane, Susan L
Crawford, Mindy Gulden L
Crawford, Wendy L
Cris, Joseph L
Crone, Julie L
Cronin, Michael T L
Crosby, Tyler L
Cuccia, Nick W
Culp, David R L
Cumberland, Sally E W
Cummings, Dan L
Cummins, Jean L
Cummins, Kirsten L W
Cunningham, Catherine L
Cunningham, Becky W
Cunningham, Stephanie Y. W
Curristan, Melissa L
Curry, Sean L
Curtice, Rebecca L
Curtin, Claire L
Curtis, Tammy L
Cyr, Nathan T W
D., Jennifer L
D., Alicia L
D., Alice L
D., Christina L
D., Mari L
D., Season L
D., Sharona L
D., Joshua W
D., Neal Anderson W
D., Adam W
D., Chantelle L
D., Matt L
D., Jessica L
D., Joseph D. W
D., Ronna W
D., Dawn L
Dage, Theo R L
Dailing, Paul L
Damigella, Rick L
Dan, Dryheat L
Daniel, David L
Daniels, Rebecca L
Danielson, Lisa L
Dark, Stephanie L
Das niels, Rebecca L
Davies, Michael L
Davis, Tina L
Davis, Ronni L
Davis, Jonathan L
Dazzle, Hollie L
De Courcy, Gabrielle L
De Lis, Tara L
Dean, Emily W
Decastrolobisser, Rena W
Deck, Mike L
Deese, Randy L
Dekker, Taylor L
DelPonte, Katie L
DeMange, Mary W
DeMattia, William W
Denehie, Elizabeth L
Denney, Jesse W
DeSimone, Mickie L
Desmarais, Barbara L
DeWaal, Erik L
Dice, Fuzzy L
Diemond, Pam L
Dilkus, Christopher W
Dimitri, C. Robert L
Dinsmore II, Richard Ellsworth L
Dobbyn, Francesca L
Dobrinski, Rebecca L
Doherty, Dawn L
Donna, WTF L
Donovan, Jessica L
Dost, Andy L
Dotta, Andrew L
Doucette, Rick EBSBU L
Dougherty, Jennifer L
Douglas, Jeanene L W
Dowd, Jim L
Downing, Thom W
Dragon, Jen Williams L
Draper, Dave L
Druce, Evan L
Drumgool, Sharon L
Duckworth, Clint L
Dudley Hindman, Joyce L
Dulchinos, Don L
Duncan, Stephanie L
Dunlap, Bobby L
Dunn, Robert L
DuPre, Justin L
Duthie, Holly W
Dye, Jessie L
Dygert, Jamal L
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Eastman-Kurtz, Molly L
Eckert-Chu, Corrin L
Edelstein, Rob L
Elias, Justine L
Ellis, Stephanie Jo L
Elmore, Lynn L
Elwell, Samuel L L
England, Laura L
Enn, Carmen L
Ertsgaard, Melissa W
Erwin, Robin L
Escott, Peter L
Espinosa, Andi L
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Esterman, Sammi L
Estes, Amy L
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F., Lane W
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F., Yoli L
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Facemire, Rhonda L
Falk, Milaka L
Farrell, Thomas W
Farrington, Kelly W
Fayerman, Jessica L
Federowicz, Peter E W
Feilan, Nessa L
Fenn, Trish L
Ferguson, Michael L
Fermenich, Justin D L
Fernandez, Julia L
Fernandez, Patricia Ann W
Fields, Stacey L
Finkelstein, Elizabeth L
Finn, Christine L
Finnegan, Sheila L
Fintschenko, Pete L
Fischer, Molly Lenore L
Fisjee, Stella L
Fitter, Fawn L
Fitzgerald, Scott L
Fitzgerald, Mark W
Fitzpatrick, LAURA E W
Flanagan, Sam L
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Fletcher, Barbara A. M. L
Fletcher, Kristin W
Flickinger, Meg W
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Flinn, Wes W
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Franz, Amanda L
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Freeman, Pamela W
Friedman, Cheryl L
Fritze, Hannah L
Froemming, Kelly L
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G., Wendy L
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Gaither, Daigan L
Galinson, Stephanie L
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Goldfarb, David A L
Goldsmith, Tim L
Gonzalez, DJ W
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Goodall, Pete W
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Grieve, Kelly L
Griffin, Isaac L
Griffith, Heather W
Griggs, Linda L
Gronberg, Bethay L
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Hadley, Wendy W
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Haughie, Pete L
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Healey, Reagan L
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Heifner, Stephanie L
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Heintzinger, Erin L W
Heittman, Alison L
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Kittredge, John L
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V., Alejandra L
V., Erica L
V., Jennifer L
V., Kim L
V., Lisa W
V., Linda L
Vader, Michael W
Vandermark, Bill L
VanHorn, Shawn A W
VanMatre, Jennifer L
VanRy, Denise L
Velez, Julie L
Vertino, Dave L
Vineyard, Sherrie L
Vinson, Kathy L
Viola, Zack L
Visnov, Michael L
Vollono, Kim L
Vosloo, Graham L
W., C.S. L
W., Gretchen L
W., Heidi L
W., Janet L
W., Terry L
W., Cindy L
W., Elizabeth L
W., Harold L
W., Sarah L
W., Dena G L
W., Kristi L
W., Amber L
W., Keenan L
W., Allie M L
W., Adam L
W., Essie W
W., Jackie W
W., Deborah W
W., Megan W
W., Mark W
W., Molly Katherine L
W., L’Rae L
W., Stacia W
W., Diane L
W., Minda W
W-J, Daniel E. W
W., Katie W
W., Karl W
Wacknov, Stacey W
Wagner, Betsy L
Walden, Steven L
Walker, H. Liz L
Walker, Erin L
Wall, Nancy L
Wallace, Aisha L
Walsh, Chrissy W
Wandel, G Bernard L
Wangmo, Shardröl W
Ward, J. Robin L
Ward, Terence P W
Washburn, Shari L
Watson, Kristan L
Watson, Sophie L
Watts, Kelly Lankau W
Weatherston, Claire L
Weaver, Davina L
Webb, Kelsey L
Webb, Barbara L
Webb, Jacob W
Weber, Kendra L
Weilacher, Allyn L
Wendell, LeeAnn L
Wesdorp, Jade W
Wessel Walker, Mary L
Wessel Walker, Donna W
Wheeler, Robin L
White, Joanna L
White, Brian D L
White, Beth L
Whitton, Audra W
Wiese, Jodi L
Wieth, Jason W
Wilcox, Janey L
Wilcox, Carmon L
Wilder, Lynn W
Wilkinson, Meg L
Willett, Lindsay L
Williams, Raymond L
Williams, Nancy L
Williamson, Becky Rusmisel W
Wills, Carroll L
Wilson, Stacey L
Wilson, Jennifer L
Wilson, Jason L
Wilson Hall, Bridget W
Winchell, Pam W
Winter, Stacy L
Wirth, Diane W
Wise, Newton W
With-Ana, Anna W
Witkowski, Tom L
Witt, Michelle L
Wojick, Jane L
Wolf, Jodie L
Wolfisch Cole, Terry L
Wong, Katie L
Woodruff, Katie L
Woods, Gretchen L
Woods, John L
Woodward, April L
Wrenn, Leslie Jabara L
Wright, Andrew L
Wright, Lauren W
Wyatt, Brennan M. L
X., Joey W
Y., Jo L
Yamat, Vanessa L
Young, Shelle L
Yung, Charles L
Z., Bobby L
Z., Bailey L
Z., Mark L
Z., Alix L
Z., Richie L
Z., Julie W
Zientek, Joshua W
Zimmerman, Toni C L
Zions, Jason W
Zuber, Tara L
Zukas, Florian W
Zwiebel, Elie L

Day 30: “Someday This War’s Gonna End”


The end is relative due to that little thing known as the Earth’s rotation. As you read this, the struggle is over for the year for our friends in places such as New Zealand and Australia. (And I know we have some because I see where those who visit this blog are from. But don’t worry—I can’t see who you are or anything intrusive like that.) The dark time just expired in the Middle East, too.

But here in the U.S.? It’s hours to daylight—or, if you want to be overly literal—midnight.

As I type this, 961 people have reported in as having been taken out by the dreaded Boy. And there are plenty more who haven’t had a chance to let us know yet, I’m sure. Mrs. LDBC and I are stone dead, having been laid low in two separate incidents. Desperate cries of, “Don’t drum me, bro” carry no weight with The Boy.

When it’s your moment, you’re gonna get it.

Billy Joel slaughtered thousands—including LDBCers the Peckmans (no relation)—at The Garden a few days back, and the Piano Man probably doesn’t even know what he did. Probably. Kay Morris went down right in front of my old office building, which makes The Boy’s evil feel even more personal. Justin Fermenich‘s downfall was such a tragedy that a press release was issued.

Yet there is hope. And it’s that hope, a small flame in all this darkness, that allows us to go on.

Billy Joel

He’s seen the lights go out on Broadway. As have his victims.

Midnight. Just a word—a word so distant, though brimming with relief. Yet it will arrive all the same.

But the nail-biting hours we have left feel much like, as a friend of mine pointed out today, Henry Hill‘s cocaine-fueled day of paranoia. Sure, the drug made him jumpy and nutty. Still, the helicopter was real. And Lois, despite all her yeah-yeah-yeahs, did made the call from the house.

Meanwhile, here are the LDBC-elfies submitted since the last go-round. May their sacrifice not be in vain.

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Ever vigilant, people. And remember: if midnight your local time hits and you’ve survived, report your victory via the form. Then post a victorious LDBC-elfie on the Facebook page. If you’ve lost already and haven’t reported it yet, there’s still time to do that, too.

For Joyce!

Day 19: Just Another Day


The Boy by Van Frank (courtesy Libby); Santa ornament by Maggie Sheridan (courtesy Clare)

So Mrs. LDBC and I are just getting around to watching the second season of Stranger Things, which sets the mood nicely for this Thing of Ours. And in only the first episode, they include the perfect song, which I’d forgotten all about:

Because it has been just another day. Nineteen of ’em, in fact—dark and deadly ones. And as Mr. Elfman says, there’s murder in the air. And a lot more of it to come, I’m afraid.

Now, it’s not all doom and gloom, people. Well, it is for the time being, but I’d like you to keep the children’s art (on loan from the offspring of generous LDBCers Libby Frank and Clare Sheridan) in mind so that the creative pixie dust of the wee ones’ drawing implements may help you face the butchery ahead.

We’re about 600 people down thus far in the game, which is more than 30 blown away daily, on average. And that’s just those who’ve reported in. Madness. (Not the band. I’m talking true lunacy here.)

Alec Rose suffered a Moldavian Massacre-like episode in Whole Foods, which might as well be called Whole Family from this day on. Lisa Andrews wanted a banana—and for her sins, The Boy gave her one.  Desiree Kern got wrapped up but goodPeggy Gannon survived a day of paintball, only to get pasted. And Lillian Murphy. Ah, Lillian Murphy. In a year where more people than ever are being taken down by the dreaded Pentatonix, Lillian Murphy managed to do it live, in person, at a concert. That kind of suffering takes some doing, folks.

While I’m at it, let me just stress: stay away from Pentatonix. And for pity’s sake, do not watch that Pee-wee Herman/Grace Jones video being sent around. Oh, and avoid Psych: The Movie, which has been mowing people down right and left. And when you see the Amazon Echo/Alexa and Blue Man Group ads coming, run like hell.

What else? A couple nice mentions from The Boston Globe and The Indianapolis Star, both of which we’re very grateful for. Spreading the word about the menace of The Boy means lives may be saved. And speaking of lives saved, LDBCer Marine Madesclaire filed this dispatch from the Land o’ Disney, which she managed to escape unscathed. We’ll take our inspiration where we find it, so thank you, MM.

(Please note that there should be a video above. If there isn’t, please try another browser or watch it here. Chrome on the Mac can sometimes be wonky with Facebook embeds, for some reason.)

All of that said, there’s no avoiding the sadness, people. Thus, we present a gallery of the latest victims, here to be mourned along with those from the last batch. And a strange idea I’ll toss at you: while assembling and tagging this gallery, I was listening to the Hilarious World of Depression podcast. And as it turns out, clicking through the gallery while the theme song from that plays makes for an oddly appropriate multimedia experience. Give it a try.

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OK, remember, please: should you go down, let us know on the Facebook page, and fill out the reporting form. And all the while, be true to the spirit of Carlin Reed, who really does manage to sum the entire LDBC dynamic up in one simple statement here:


And let’s be careful out there.

For Joyce!