This Day in Death

9.25.16: Golf Legend Arnold Palmer – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:00 pm September 30, 2016

Palmer, seen here in the famous Masters Tournament Green Jacket. But the accolades didn’t stop there: In his decades-long career, Palmer won every bizarre golf trophy the game had to offer, including the Golden Teapot, the Accursed Moon Boot, and even the mythical Indigo Wifebeater. Oooh, I wasn’t even sure that last one was real!



As you probably haven’t noticed yet, we don’t do that many sports posts around here. Truthfully, I lost all my faith in sports when I found out that Tim Conway didn’t actually have his shins amputated for those Dorf On… movies. He was just standing in a hole! Commit to the craft or get the hell out of the sports-themed spoof film industry already, Conway!

But today we’re making a rare exception for legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, because I can respect a sport that encourages you to have other people carry your equipment so you don’t break a sweat/can maintain an air of superiority, which really emphasizes the psychological aspect of these kinds of things. After several years of failing health, Palmer passed away on Sunday due to complications caused by heart problems. He was 87 years old. Not “87 years young,” as your feisty grandpappy likes to say, because you know who doesn’t tack “young” onto the end of their age? Actual young people.

Palmer became one of the best known sports figures and, at 5-10, 175, a telegenic golfer who burst out of black-and-white television sets across the country in the late 1950s and into the 1960s and took the game to the masses.

“Arnold meant everything to golf. Are you kidding me?” Tiger Woods said . “I mean, without his charisma, without his personality in conjunction with TV — it was just the perfect symbiotic growth. You finally had someone who had this charisma, and they’re capturing it on TV for the very first time.

“Everyone got hooked to the game of golf via TV because of Arnold.”

So great was his fame that even Palmer’s name took on additional meaning. But having an “Arnold Palmer” means more than just masturbating to videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger working out in the 80s. It’s also the name of a drink consisting of three parts iced tea and one part lemonade. Notably, adding vodka to an Arnold Palmer makes it a John Daly, and adding a lime to a John Daly makes it awful. Limes are garbage.

 

Source: USA Today

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6.10.16: Gordie Howe – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:52 pm June 19, 2016

GORDIE_HOWESee, back in the day, nobody wore helmets because the science just wasn’t in on the health risks of massive head trauma yet. No, the scourge of the day was carpal tunnel brought on by excessive high-fiving/butt-patting. As you can see, you really had to protect those hands, presumably by sticking them inside of giant glazed hams.



As I’ve said many, many times before, here at the TDiD we do quite a lot of sports posts. It’d be hard to argue otherwise: After all, this is the third consecutive post about an athlete, fourth if you count Harambe the gorilla‘s short-lived career as Mexican wrestler El Apetito Niño (which I do!). I can’t help it, I just love everything about the high-octane world of sports. From the byzantine rules to the technical fouls to the constant stoppages in play to discuss minutia, it’s really just wall-to-wall, completely accessible action. Plus it’s given me a lot of useful tips for getting blood stains out of clothing.

So you can imagine my shock when I picked up my Sports Illustrated football phone and heard the news that hockey great Gordie Howe had passed away. Considered by many to be the greatest to ever play the game, Howe was known by such not-at-all grandiose nicknames as “The Legend,” “The Most,” “Mr. Everything,” and “Mr. Hockey.” Justified? Perhaps. But objectively those nicknames are terrible. I haven’t seen anything manage to be both so extravagant and so unimaginative at the same time since Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ha, just kidding, I never saw Avengers: Age of Ultron. But for real reals, how do you run with “The King of Hockey” and leave “The Howeitzer” on the table? Or what about celebrating Howe’s storied love of on-ice fisticuffs with, I don’t know… “Gordon Fightfoot”? This is why sports analysts almost never become poet laureates.

The Hockey Hall of Famer had had health struggles in recent years, suffering a stroke in 2014. A statement from the Howe family said he passed away peacefully Friday morning with his family by his side.

As a six-time league MVP, Howe arguably was one of the sport’s greatest players, scoring 801 goals in his 26 years in two stints in the National Hockey League.

Definitely great stats, and not to be indelicate, but this here is the TDiD’s 350th post, even more if you count all of those times I accidentally posted articles intended for my Men’s Rights Advocacy subreddit (which I do not!). It’s all nice and fine that old King Gordita there got his due, but your 350th post is the big one. Everyone knows you don’t go all limp when it comes to the semiseptcentennial celebration, yet I haven’t received a single congratulatory gift basket or congratulatory erotic cake, or even a congratulatory copyright infringement notice for all the header images I don’t pay for.

Now, I’m not being obtuse here. Of course no one would claim that writing a bunch of blog posts of inconsistent quality is an achievement on the level of a 4-decade career as the best hockeybro ever to play the game… and quite frankly that’s what’s wrong with America. I mean, come on! Look, who was there for you the day Prince died? All media outlets, sure, but who respected his audience enough to sit on that story and make sure it was the musician Prince and not Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, the newborn prince of Bhutan (who’s doing fine, by the way, you’re welcome)? Hell, I’m still vetting some sources on that, just to be sure. Meanwhile the lamestream media went whole hog with their assumptions, Anderson Cooper got to buy another sapphire-encrusted yacht, and the wheel of mediocrity continues to turn undisputed. I guess what I’m really trying to say is I need about $40 until the end of next week.




Source: CNN and The Hockey Writers (header image)

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6.6.16: Kimbo Slice – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:40 pm June 13, 2016

KIMBO_SLICEGranted, he was pretty intimidating, but you could put that durag on Fred Savage and I’d be just as scared. Wait, no, that’s not true.

 

As I’ve had to (ironically, at this point) disclaim many times, we don’t do many sports posts around here. Nope, I’ve sat through Over the Top, both Major Leagues, and all of those Karate Kid movies, and the evidence is clear; Sports dramatically raise your risk of exposure to dated buttrock soundtracks. Talk to your doctor if you’ve experienced symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Loggins Disease, Hagar Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV), or Bononucleosis.

Nonetheless, today we’re talking about the death of Kevin Ferguson, aka Kimbo Slice, and not just because we share the same nickname. Of course, the difference is that he became known as “Slice” after leaving a large cut on an opponent’s face, whereas I got it because I once ate half the menu at the Cheesecake Factory to win a bet. The medics said I wouldn’t survive the night, although I think they underestimated just how high I’ve raised the tolerance threshold for abusing my body. It’s a special kind of discipline.

But back to people who aren’t me for a moment. Slice, a controversial figure in the worlds of MMA and boxing, died last week at the age of 42 due to heart failure resulting from a tumor on his liver. It’s a surprisingly early end to his life and career, but at least he’s in heaven punching angels now. Yeah, I feel I’ve pieced the jist of the Bible together pretty well over the years.

He played middle linebacker at Miami’s Palmetto High and showed the potential to play in college before Hurricane Andrew caused Palmetto High’s season to be cut short and his scholarship offers vanished. He flunked out of college at Bethune-Cookman University and was homeless for a brief time. He worked as a limo driver, strip-club bouncer and bodyguard before rising to fame through his viral street-fighting videos.

Ugh. Even for someone who lived as hard and fast as Slice did, 42 is still a depressingly young age to die. Life doesn’t even begin until 50, if the t-shirt section at Spencer Gifts is to be believed. As an athlete in your early 40s there are still so many ears left uncauliflowered, so many used mouthguards left to sell on eBay to recoup unsuccessful vanity record label losses, and at least one sad and misguided late-career comeback attempt. I was really looking forward to being let down by that in 10 years.

 

Sources: ESPN and Yell Magazine (header image)

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6.3.16: Muhammad Ali – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:40 pm June 6, 2016

SvA_fullAli and Superman, seen here settling a dispute over the most tasteful way to publicly wear too-short man trunks. I’m giving it to Ali on a technicality, since Supes is kinda cheating by wearing a unitard underneath. Show us them supergams or go back to Krypton, Kal-El!


As I’ve long since gotten sick of telling you people, I only do sports posts on this here laffy laff site when someone of great notability has passed. You see, most sports are simply too violent for me. I’m a humanitarian, and I can’t bring myself to witness people putting themselves through that kind of punishment for such trivial rewards as fame and fortune. Now watching street people fight each other for half of my Filet-O-Fish, well, that’s a beautiful display of survival skills. Maybe I’m just more interested in what really matters in this world.

Regardless of why your lapsed morals caused you to develop such an unquenchable bloodlust, you’ve no doubt marveled at the almost unbearably graphic facepunchery of storied boxman and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately, Ali passed away over the weekend due to a respiratory illness brought on by Parkinson’s Disease. While the odds of him triumphantly punching his way out of the grave and challenging Death to a rematch are slim, I advise keeping an eye on it for a few days anyway, as that would be wicked metal.

Crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC, Ali was noted for his pre- and post-fight talk and bold fight predictions just as much as his boxing skills inside the ring.

But he was also a civil rights campaigner and poet who transcended the bounds of sport, race and nationality.

Asked how he would like to be remembered, he once said: “As a man who never sold out his people. But if that’s too much, then just a good boxer.

“I won’t even mind if you don’t mention how pretty I was.”

In his later years, Ali’s struggle with Parkinson’s stripped him of both his mobility and his characteristic speech. It’s like he made some bizarre Faustian deal where he got to be great at two things and then had those two things taken away from him. You know, I don’t get why the devil feels like he has to pull that sneaky shit every time. You’re already getting an eternal soul, why add insult to injury with the whole “ironic loophole” thing? Let some poor schmuck enjoy 70 or so years of having the girthiest dong without any weird unforeseen complications, and then you get to hold complete dominion over him for literally all of the remaining time in existence. It’s already a pretty lopsided deal, and you’re trying to sweeten the pot? Pettiness does not look good on you, Prince of Darkness.


Source: BBC

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7.31.15: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:24 pm August 5, 2015

ROWDY_RODDY_PIPERPiper, right, opting to leave his shirt on during extreme physical exercise. It’s a good look, and suddenly I don’t feel so alone for refusing to go topless in the pool at the YMCA. Hey, if we could all have hairless shoulders the world would be a very different place.

 

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, WWE Hall of Famer and the last person named “Rod” not to go into gay porn, was found dead in his Hollywood home last week. Piper’s death is being reported as natural causes, which may sound unusual considering he was only 61, but in wrestling years that puts him in, like, his early 400s. Those guys have life expectancies that make medieval peasants look like Greek gods.

Technically cast as a villain among the pro wrestling personalities of the World Wrestling Federation (also known as the WWF and later the WWE), Piper’s charisma, over-the-top personality, and boundless energy made him a key pop culture figure. The WWE has named him as the greatest villain in wrestling history.

I’ve discussed my utter confusion about wrestling before, but one area that I’m completely into is the impossibly steep curve of insane stunts that the fans force the wrestling industry to climb as time goes by. Once your headline is that Seth Rollins just beat a man with an actual steel fucking ladder there’s no going back to the fundamentals. The industry could survive another 10,000 years and you’ll never see anyone talk about trying a back to basics approach that really emphasizes holds and good sportsmanship. You’ve crossed a one-way threshold. If you were to travel just five years into the future your brain probably couldn’t even acclimate to how much more psychotic the whole thing will have become in such a relatively brief time. By 2020 you’ll have guys with surgically-altered lizard faces cannonballing through brick walls and ripping out each others’ shoulder blades to use as oars with which to paddle themselves to safety, since it all takes place within a Plexiglass cage that is slowly filling up with hundreds of gallons of the performers’ own HGH-infused sweat. And that’ll be the undercard.

Just, you know… no blood. It really sends the wrong message about violence, and these are family-friendly events.

 

Source: Screenrant

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7.5.14: Washington Generals’ Entrepreneur Louis ‘Red’ Klotz – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:12 pm July 21, 2014

LOUIS_RED_KLOTZCome on, Generals! If you’re gonna go out there and be made jackasses of, at least take a cue from the Detroit Lions and demand a discount on concession nachos or something. Ha, I’ve been assured by my sports friends that that is quite astute.

 

As all of you guys know, I’m a huge sports fan. Only exhibition games, of course. Contests where prizes or money are at stake tend to get me all anxious and trigger my psoriasis. That’s actually why I turned down that referee position with the Miniature Golf League. Burdened is the back that shoulders the MGL stripes.

For the better part of the last century, the absolute kings of the pointless exhibition game have been the Harlem Globetrotters, who, incidentally, weren’t originally from New York and didn’t play a game in Harlem until 42 years after their founding because huh? But geographic scruplelessness hasn’t kept the team from winning over 22,000 games against a stacked deck of mostly inept opponents, largely due to the use of such tools of questionable legality as buckets of confetti, hypnotic umbrellas, and mid-game pantsings. Also, I think I caught Meadowlark Lemon traveling once.

For decades, the Washington Generals have functioned as the primary stooges for the Harlem Globetrotters’ incessant showboatery. In 1952, Louis ‘Red’ Klotz somehow managed to put together a team of legitimate athletes who would allow themselves to be humiliated every night for the rest of their careers. Unless Klotz’s scouting process involved placing a net over a door marked “Self-Esteem Workshop” like it was a damn Wile. E. Coyote cartoon, I have no idea how he managed to keep that train rolling. Are they paying these guys in ruby scepters and Google stock? Who the hell is signing up for this shit? Even their logo has them getting punked out:

WASHINGTON_GENERALS_LOGO

Not to mention the subtle use of a white man, representing the military-industrial complex, being clowned on by a black man dressed in the colors of the flag, signifying the beginning of the overthrow of America by the Nation of Islam.  It’s all true! I stumbled on it while hanging out on this fair and even-handed forum for fair and even-handed people who just want to celebrate their own culture and that’s not racist so what’s so wrong with that this is still America for now isn’t it?

Anyway, in keeping with the Generals’ tradition of loserdom, I’m going to allow “Sweet” Clyde Dixon to deliver my eulogy to Klotz, whom I forgot to mention died recently. Sorry about that.

Cold as ice, that “Sweet” Clyde.

 

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6.4.14: Don Zimmer – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 11:28 pm June 7, 2014

DON_ZIMMERYou’d better hope that if you Google “Don Zimmer + 3rd Base” you only get back sports-related results.

 

I don’t do a lot of sports posts around here. When you’ve lost as many loved ones to jock itch as I have, it just takes all of the comedy out of athleticism. Seriously, parents: Talk to your kids about not sharing towels.

But despite that, we’re gonna go ahead and do this Don Zimmer post. Why? Because baseball is America’s pastime, along with co-ed toga parties and putting desserts inside of other desserts. Read your Constitution, you heathens, it’s all in there.

Zimmer, nicknamed “Popeye” (which was probably the “Diddy” of the 50s), remained a figure in professional baseball right up until his death, marking an amazing 66-year career in the game. Let me try and put that into a context we can all relate to: In that same span of time Tolstoy’s landmark work of realist fiction Anna Karenina could’ve been reprinted in its original serialized format sixteen and a half times over. Of course, I don’t have to tell you that’s a prospect the Russian Orthodox Church most certainly wouldn’t be too excited about, considering their harsh criticisms of the man whom they believed helped the Bolsheviks rise to power during the Russian Revolution of 1917. Wow. I guess sports are pretty interesting. You know what? I’m gonna apply for that job at ESPN after all.

 “He was a great, fiery ambassador for the game,” said Zimmer’s former Dodgers teammate Roger Craig, who also hired him as a coach when he managed the Padres and Giants. “That’s why he worked for so many teams and with so many good baseball people. He loved the races and he loved baseball. He was a great human being.”

Also, if you say his name the way it appears in a phone book, it sounds like a Rastafarian telling someone to “simmer down.”


Source: The Chicago Tribune

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5.12.14: A Couple of Cartoon Voice Actors – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:21 pm May 12, 2014

LEE_MARSHALL_EFREM_ZIMBALISTIn a Class-Off, I’m giving this to Alfred in a walk. Granted, a neckerchief adds a touch of sophistication, but that lead shrinks pretty significantly when it’s literally the only thing you’re wearing. Also, stitching your name onto it? What are you, in third grade? Who wants to steal some mountain biking tiger’s sweaty neckwear anyway?

 

Animation: It’s kind of bullshit. Loosed from the constraints of reality that the rest of us are slavishly beholden to, animators get to just go around drawing any damn thing, things which may not even really exist, and we’re supposed to be impressed. Wow, vast landscapes of the imagination and delightfully colorful characters, huh? What do you expect me to do with that? Why don’t you get back to me when you’ve drawn something real, like… a loveless marriage of convenience? Or student loan debt? Teachers don’t get to make up which facts they’re going to teach. Surgeons don’t get to just freestyle crucial labia-enhancement procedures. Yet we let animators just make shit up and nobody’s policing any of it. I mean, there’s the FCC, but they’re tied up doing God’s work of making sure I don’t accidentally hear an f-word at 11:30 PM on a Tuesday, because apparently I live in a Sear’s catalog from 1956.

Today we’ve got a double-shot from animation’s saving grace, the clothing-optional world of voice acting: First up is Lee Marshall, the voice of Frosted Flakes’ sugarpeddling mascot Tony the Tiger, who had spent decades accompanying ethnically-diverse youngsters on whitewater rafting trips like everything was just totally normal there. HOW DID HE GET OPPOSABLE THUMBS!?

Marshall began voicing the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes mascot in 1999, filling in for the original actor, Thurl Ravenscroft.

Marshall got his first full-time radio job at the age of 14 in Phoenix. He had a prematurely deep voice and lied about his age. His career included radio newsman, rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey, sports broadcaster and wrestling ring interviewer.

Well, I can’t imagine the ring itself has all that much to say in an interview, but then again I’m not a sports fan.

Next up is fellow voice actor Efram Zimbalist, Jr., who portrayed Alfred Pennyworth in the seminal Batman: The Animated Series… uh, series. At least it means I get to talk about Batman, which, frustratingly, was at least half the reason I started this stupid blog in the first place. Did you know Burt Ward is still perfectly healthy? Guy doesn’t even have a wasp’s nest on his property or anything. It’s horseshit is what it is.

Zimbalist found a whole new generation of fans through his voice roles on several animated TV series, including as Doctor Octopus on Spider-Man, Justin Hammer on Iron Man, and as King Arthur on The Legend of Prince Valiant. But it was as Bruce Wayne’s droll butler and confidante Alfred Pennyworth on Batman: The Animated Series that he may be best known to IGN readers.

Also of note to IGN readers: “Efram Zimbalist, Jr.” is what it sounds like when you say “X-Men symbolist fever” with tape over your mouth. Really surprised that didn’t make the article. There must have been a word limit or something.


Source: USA Today and IGN

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4.20.14: Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:46 pm May 5, 2014

RUBIN_CARTERCarter, seen here being visited in prison by Bob Dylan. Man, 70s-era Dylan could’ve taught even Johnny Depp a thing or four about the accessory management game. For instance, if the flower in your Panama hat is a spring-bloomer you really should flip your top-most scarf in the same direction, but for summer and fall flowers (like, say, a Cottage Apricot Chrysanthemum, which is just lovely, by the way) you’re going to want to do a full-wrap with one of your mid-level scarves, which, obviously, should be a light cotton along the lines of a Roberto Cavalli triangle wrap. Anyway, #rockandroll, #prison, #hardguys.

 

As you all should be thoroughly aware of by now, I don’t bother following sports. That’s largely because ESPN is right next to Bravo on my cable box, making it a level 3 “accidental Andy Cohen viewing” threat. But prizefighter Rubin “Hurricane” Carter is dead, and I have a duty to keep writing this blog until someone calls me a genius and puts my face on a series of commemorative plates, so let’s just get on with it.

In 1967, Carter was convicted of murdering three people in a bar in New Jersey. The case became a tangled mess of racism, questionable legal and police procedures, media buffoonery, and bitchin’ protest songs. Amidst the confusion, Carter became a symbol of all that’s wrong with our legal system, and a painful reminder of how far we still have to go when it comes to healing our racial divides. After 19 years, his conviction was overturned and he would spend the rest of his life fighting for others whom he believed had been falsely imprisoned. It’s a harrowing story of prejudice, perseverance, and, ultimately, justice. Certainly something we should all take some time to reflect on, except that, yeah, he probably did kill those people after all. That kinda puts a heavy “do the ends justify the means?” stank on this story, which this blog is absolutely not up to the task of addressing. It’d be a lot easier on me if Carter had just slung worthless grills like George Foreman or something. I like him, you can tell he’s one of the good ones. I’m talking about boxers, not… you know. What? Oh whatever, fuck you guys. I can’t be racist, I had three Busta Rhymes albums in high school, so there.

BLOCK QUOTE SQUAD IS DANGEROUS!

His ordeal and its racial overtones were publicized in Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal.

In a statement issued Sunday, Washington praised Carter’s “tireless fight to ensure justice for all.”

Point, Washington. Counterpoint:



HEART_CONDITION

You made this. This would not have existed without your active and willing participation, and a small handful of people ended up seeing it. Carter lost 19 years, those people lost 100 minutes each, adding up to somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 total hours, gone. You tell me, where’s their justice? So, you know, I guess there are two sides to every story, huh? Case dismissed!



Source: The Huffington Post

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4.8.14: The Ultimate Warrior – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:01 am April 25, 2014

ULTIMATE_WARRIORFull disclosure: I accidentally merged my “Ultimate Warrior” folder with my “Tan Mom” folder, so I cannot in good conscious swear to the appropriateness of today’s image.

 

At this point I really shouldn’t need to remind you that I don’t like to bother with sports posts around here. Sorry, but if I cared that much about stats and scores I’d be paying a lot closer attention to where I fall in my family’s power rankings. I called bullshit on that noise two years ago when I only made fifth seed.

But considering that professional wrestling is technically only a sport in the same way that Power Wheels are technically cars, I’m gonna let it slide. Besides, it’s not often I get to break out the “bicep tassels” tag. So, it’s with broken hearts and breakable folding chairs that we mourn the death of James Hellwig, a.k.a. the Ultimate Warrior. Oh man! And we were so close to making “queer” into a verb!

“WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior,” a statement read.

Warrior, born James Brian Hellwig, legally changed his name in 1993. The cause of his death was not mentioned.

Wait, he legally changed his name to Warrior? That’s a little grandiose, isn’t it? Honestly, I’m a little skeptical of this whole motif. I mean, come on… Ultimate Warrior? As in, like, the A-one, top warrior of them all? And it’s a guy with a chest slathered in Vicks VapoRub and hair like somebody put a Barbie doll in the dryer? That’s our most ultimate of warriors? …Well, alright then. Far be it from me to argue these kinds of points with a guy who must’ve owned literal crates of singlet deodorizer. I guess you can just step the hell off, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, all of Sparta, and untold thousands of samurai; It looks like you’ve all been out-warriored by a guy who had his face painted neon like he was at a nine-year-old’s birthday party. You’re just gonna have to duke it out for the title of Penultimate Warrior, or possibly Ultimate Utility Combatant. Either one would still look pretty sweet spelled out in rhinestones on the back of a bathrobe, though.

Source: ABC News

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