The Dead Pool

A woman I know at work runs a ‘Dead Pool.’ You know, you choose someone famous who you think will die in 2012, and you get points if they actually die.

You get points based on a scale of 100. So if you pick someone that’s 33 years old, and they die, you get 67 points. You can pick 10 people. But that’s not all, there’s bonus points. You get double points if someone dies on their birthday. You get additional points for how they died. Drug overdose, bonus points. Car wreck, even better. Plane crash, even more.

I decided I couldn’t play.

And not because I have anything against the game. But because I’m way too competitive. I know that I’d start rooting for people to die. And that’s a little weird.

Why do I know this? I play fantasy football and baseball with my family. We’ve been playing for years. I know the trash talking that goes on in this pool. I root for players to do well, get hurt, and sit out a game with the flu. You know, I want to win. (As an aside, I came in 7th place on my football team – losing in the playoffs to my niece’s 15-year-old son.)

If I played the dead pool, I’d root for Lindsey Lohan to fall off the wagon get drunk and drive her car into a private plane where Barbara Walters was flying from LA to NY to celebrate her birthday. That way I’d get points for Lindsey, bonus points for drunk, car wreck, Barbara, plane crash and birthday. I’d clean up.

I would scour the papers for people with illnesses. I’d search the transplant banks to see if anyone had signed up for a liver or heart or pancreas. I’d search the over 100 dead pool sites to see who was at the top of their ‘draft list.’ I’d even resort to insider information – asking some of my pharma clients who may be taking their drugs. I’d become the Gordon Gecko of ‘dead pools.’

It would overtake my life. It would consume me. It would hang over me like a sword of Damocles. I would crack under the pressure. Start drinking and driving.

That’s why I can’t play.

Although I think Lindsey Lohan would be a good pick.

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