History Lesson

It started years ago when two guys with more time and cynicism than they knew what to do with each put five bucks in an envelope and exchanged their predictions. As life-long “have nots,” their lists were defined more by drunken resentment of the “haves” of the world than by good, solid research. Come the next New Year’s Eve, the results were predictably pathetic. They each got one out of ten. And who was the one stiff they both managed to get? You guessed it, Lee Atwater.

Lee was a shoo-in that year, as you may recall, so the money was returned, and nobody won nothin’. Still, the Dead Pool was born, and since our less than earth-shattering start, it’s blossomed into an international corpse-counting craze that we’re pretty darn proud of. In 2005 (our best year, so far), we totalled 1,135 entries, originating in dwellings from Edinburgh to Eagle Rock, and believe it or not, most of these players have never met. We like to think that the harmonious success enjoyed by our twisted little amusement is a microcosmic manifestation of the greed and bloodlust that made America great. Amen.

So, ruleswise, how has The Invitational changed over the years?” you’d like to know. Don’t ask. If you had any idea what we’ve been through just trying to define what a celebrity is, you’d probably send us fifty bucks and say, “here — you deserve it.” Well, maybe not, but if you’re curious about the evolution of The Invitational (sometimes referred to as our descent into Hell), dig this. Don’t get freaked out by all the verbiage, though, ’cause the rules aren’t really all that complicated. We’re just trying to help you kill time until the next game starts.

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