Is this the most tasteless competition of all time?

Charles 1 Comment


Over at they have an annual competition. The idea is to guess who will die in the next year (they’ve got to be famous enough to merit a newspaper obituary). Editorially, it is GFG policy to present you with everything that’s going on out there. Personally, we’re squirming more than somewhat. 

Here is an abridged version of the rules:

Send us 40 names. People you think will die (none of this pass away bullshit) in 2011 and get an obituary in one of the many fine news outlets that still produce obituaries. 

If someone on your list dies before the year ends, I will write to you and ask for a new name. 

People on death row are eligible if they a) die from a cause other than execution or b) their level of celebrity is such that their passing would have been newsworthy even before their crime and/or conviction or c) their crime or some element of their trial, conviction or incarceration is newsworthy enough that they have wide name recognition. Saddam Hussein was a valid pick under “b.” Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh would have been valid picks under “c.” Ordinary murderers are not acceptable. In many different ways.

There is no entry fee. There is a prize for first, however. Thanks to Mark in Maine, you will win Moxie Soda, generally two bottles. Some think this makes second place more desirable. If you win, you must be gracious and thank him, even as you’re spilling it down the drain.

After each hit, Bill, Brad or I, or a guest updater, will write either a respectful or irreverent obit and post it on alt dot obituaries with the relevant scoring update. 

There’s more to it than being the luckiest guesser. There’s also a scoring system. You get more points for a young person than you do for an older person. There are also bonus points — you’ll need to check this all out — here

Updates are recorded on the alt.obituaries Google Group, together with a well-written and respectful obituary. 



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james showers
10 years ago

Oh glorious human species – sometimes how I love us. How brilliantly creative this idea of a (OK, yes, slightly ‘sick’) competition about who’s going to pop their clogs soon. But great humour, especially when mixed so beautifully with grief is surely a moving and respectful reminder of our mortality? How can we fail to be impressed, moved, inspired by this listing of people we looked up to, grew up with, despised – all of whom died in the last 12 months – forgotten by all but a few, but brought back with great warmth here in this project. Long… Read more »