This Day in Death

6.17.14: Cadillac Ranch Patron/General Weirdo Stanley Marsh 3 – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:37 pm June 24, 2014

MARSHMarsh, in front of one of the cars in his famous Cadillac Ranch art installation. Sure, it’s missing tires and will most likely explode the second you turn the ignition, but it’s still safer than any of the flaming deathwagons that GM keeps rolling out. GM: Because Fuck It.


Insane rich guy, sort-of artist, and probable child molester (ooh, the Bryan Singer hat trick!) Stanley Marsh III has passed away due to pneumonia. Actually, that should be “Stanley Marsh 3,” as he’d had the “III” legally replaced with the Arabic numeral, insisting that Roman numerals were too pretentious. And the producers of The Fast & the Furious franchise slowly nodded their heads in respectful agreement before purchasing suits made out of pure cocaine.

He once turned a football-field-size swatch of ranch land into the likeness of a pool-table top: he had the prairie painted green and supplied giant billiard balls and a 100-foot cue stick. He had a colossal necktie tied around the chimney of his mother’s home. And he had dozens of fake traffic signs scattered around the city offering cryptic or lighthearted messages like “Road Does Not End,” “You Will Never Be the Same” and “Ostrich X-ing.”

When one such sign was stolen by a local teenager, Marsh hunted the thief down to his family’s property, locked him in a chicken coop, and proceeded to berate and threaten him. The incident brings up a mess of interesting questions about things like civil rights and trespassing laws, with the biggest one being what kind of teenager can’t escape the clutches of an out of shape 56-year-old man trying to stick you in a chicken coop? The kid even had home-turf advantage. I blame these video game consoles, making youths all soft and doughy. When I was that age I escaped from older men trying to trap me in all kinds of things, from overturned shopping carts to poorly-constructed bear snares to discarded refrigerators down at the dump. Life used to be a lot more fun.

Source: The NY Times

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5.8.14: Herb Lotman, Developer of the Chicken McNugget – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:35 pm May 26, 2014

HERB_LOTMANYou can really taste the dimethylpolysiloxane. Or at least you could, if your taste buds weren’t experiencing 10,000 simultaneous heart attacks.


I can’t recall much of the 80s, primarily because I was a baby. An alcoholic baby. That’s probably why it’s never occurred to me that there was a time before we all had Chicken McNuggets figuratively and/or literally lodged in our right ventricles. So if the thought of those compressed chicken shavings makes your insides all warm in a non-cardiac-arresty kind of way then you can thank Herb Lotman of Keystone Foods, who developed the McNugget in the 80s. I mean, you can’t really, because he passed away recently. But let’s be real; you weren’t ever actually going to thank him anyway. You have a real follow-through problem, you know that?

Lotman was also a philanthropist, co-founding the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, a major women’s professional golf association tournament, which directly benefited Ronald McDonald House Charities. The event has raised more than $48 million for the children’s charities in the 29 years since its inauguration, making it the largest fundraiser in golf. Since 2010 it has been sponsored by the Wegmans supermarket chain.

“Whether it’s good times or bad times economically, we’ve got to help the kids who aren’t as fortunate as the other children,” Lotman told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2002. “When we tell people our story, they give. It’s been working pretty good.”

It seems to me that, if I were more cynical, I could probably make the case that donating millions of dollars to children’s charities and then inundating said children with cryogenically frozen artery sodomizers roughly hewn into food-like shapes for the rest of their lives doesn’t exactly make you the lieutenant of morality. I could make that case… and it looks like I’ve done exactly that. Huh. It really felt like I was gonna take things in a different direction for a second there.

Source: LA Times

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8.15.13: Carter Adviser Bert Lance – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:23 am August 19, 2013

LANCE_BERTLOOK, I DON’T GET IT, NEW YORK TIMES, ALRIGHT!? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED TO HEAR?! Please, just let me read my Hi and Lois‘ in peace.


Well, Bert Lance died last week, and if that name doesn’t ring any bells it’s probably because you stopped collecting those Office of Management and Budget trading cards after George P. Shultz. Mmm, that guy could measure the quality of my agency anyday.

So, for those of you who were too busy talking to girls to memorize 92 years of bureaucratic minutia, I’ve got you covered. Let’s just sit back and relax while the Times tries to see how much they can cram into a single run-on sentence before we all forget what the hell we were reading about in the first place:

Bert Lance, a small-town Georgia banker who became pre-eminent adviser and tennis-playing confidant to Jimmy Carter but was forced to resign after eight months as director of the Office of Management and Budget because of accusations that he had personally traded on his ties with the president, died on Thursday in Georgia.

Oh, NY Times reporter Robert D. Hershey Jr.! You are the Wikipediest! All the info with none of the contextual nuance. Alright, let me try one:

“Jesus of Nazareth, who was believed to have been born in or around Judea, and who allegedly performed fish and wine-based miracles for his bros using supernatural abilities his followers believe were granted to him by his father, Thy Living Lord God, and who spent his years working as a common carpenter despite possessing Silver Age Superman power levels because humility I guess, was killed by the Romans maybe probably and hung on a cross on Friday because it looks like those Romans do *not* fuck around.”

I dunno, man. All the facts are there, but it just doesn’t have the love.

Getting back to B-Lanz, you may know him better as the originator of the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately you don’t hear it much anymore, as all of our most valuable phrases have been YOLO’d away in recent years. That’s right; “Where’s the Beef,” “Sit on It,” even the ever-reliable and sagelike wisdom of “No Fat Chicks,” all gone. I tried to warn you guys, but that bastard has been a linguistic A-bomb from day one.

Source: NY Times

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1.7.13: Fred Turner, Former McDonald’s CEO, Founder of Hamburger University – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:38 am January 23, 2013


See? You legalize gay marriage and all of a sudden clown mascots are marrying CEOs of multinational corporations. Next thing you know anything goes and an alpaca is getting hitched to an issue of Highlights for Children.


Former McDonald’s CEO Fred Turner is dead today at the age of 80. Turner is the third McDonald’s CEO to die in the last decade; Jim Cantalupo died of a heart attack in 2004 and was replaced by Chris Bell. Bell, who ate the company’s food regularly, died of colon cancer the next year, with his diet potentially at fault. Unlike the others, and luckily for McDonald’s PR department, Turner dying of pneumonia would be hard to pin to their product’s questionable nutritional value. Well, unless you count their controversial Southwestern Streptococcus Chicken Salad. That thing is infectiously delicious.

Turner was actually one of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s earliest employees, starting at the counter and working his way up to become CEO in 1974. It’s an inspiring life story, proof that even you, with enough hard work, can get out of your dead-end minimum wage hellscape of a job and become one of the most success entrepreneurs in the country. I mean, not you personally, as you lack basic ambition and critical thinking skills. What company is looking for someone who can beat The Beatles: Rock Band on expert, or come up with exciting new things to make bongs out of? Honestly, the odds are just astronomically against you. It’s simple social Darwinism, really. If anything you should count yourself lucky you’ve lived this long without choking on a shoelace or something.

In the early days of the company, Mr. Turner could often be found working alongside employees in the restaurants, teaching new hires the McDonald’s approach to preparing and serving fast food. Only two years after his arrival, Mr. Turner wrote the first “operations and training manual,” which is still the blueprint for McDonald’s restaurant operations.

That’s right; McDonald’s has left the same manual sitting in the back room for over 50 years, which is also how they make a jar of Special Sauce. I hear the secret ingredient is sun-dried Grimace bits.

In 1961, Mr. Turner led the effort to create McDonald’s Hamburger University, where employees, managers and franchisees are trained.

Ah, good old Hamburger University! The only school where you can major in myocardial infarctions. You know, they say failure to gain tenure there is what turned the Hamburglar to a life of crime, but I think the deck was already kinda stacked against him with that name. At any rate, it was just another in a long line of savvy business decisions from the company that hired Jason Alexander in a Miami Vice blazer to sell you on the concept that McDonald’s employees shouldn’t have to bother assembling your sandwich for you. No wonder the HU Coronaries never make it to the Super Bowl.


Source: The Chicago Sun-Times

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