Answers for November 2008

ANSWERS for November 2008. A close call in this death-related quiz with good efforts by Wendy Mooney, Steve Merdith, James Harkin and James Dale, among others but the WINNER on only his second try is

Laurence Boyd

of Townsville. Steak and chips, indeed. Enough of your sauce.

Question 1

The Roman emperor Galba was extremely unpopular; after his death 120 different people claimed to have killed him.  What did all these people have in common?


A list of their names was fastidiously made, and the emperor after next executed all of them.

Additional Answers

  • 46 chromosomes, 7 cervical vertebrae, eutherian levels of metabolism and an abrupt Vitelline end.
  • A number of things, actually. Firstly, they were a bunch of greedy bastards. Secondly, at least 119 of them were bloody liars as well. Thirdly, I’ll bet each and every one of them lived (and died) to regret that they confessed to killing Galba, as much as he thoroughly deserved it. Teach them to try and claim a reward that was not rightfully theirs. Someone got hold of the list of claimants and did unto them what they said that did unto ol’ Galba.
  • Altogether around 120 people claimed the credit for killing Galba, being anxious to win Otho’s favour and hoping to be rewarded. A list of their names was drawn up, which fell into the hands of Vitellius when he succeeded Otho as emperor. Every one of them was executed.
  • Apart from the obvious common wish to see Galba garroted, it is a little known fact that the 120 were all lexicological perfectionists, horrified to the point of murder at his continued insistence on being called ‘Galba(e)’ rather than the more correct ‘Galbum’ or even ‘Galbus’. Their reaction was just like today’s French when someone says ‘le hamburger’ or ‘le disk drive’ in a sentence.
  • Aside from the fact that they were all probably fibbing, they were executed.
  • A shared preference for popular emperors.
  • Ego
  • Empathy with Jesus Christ.
  • Everyone who claimed to have killed him were executed by the Emperor who succeeded the man who succeeded Galba, Otho of Lusitania: uh, oh, I smell a Titanic quiz. [Arrgh, I did not know this. But it’s true! That bloody ship rose from the ocean and haunted my dreams. I woke up shivering and went and made a lettuce sandwich. Iceberg lettuce, of course…]
  • Execution
  • Galbacide!
  • Ha ha they all got knocked off themselves. That’s Karma baby; and hilarious.
  • He had beaten them all with wet celery [or lettuce] at some point in his life and they were out to get him.
  • Long noses.
  • None of them realised that you can’t kill someone “after his death”
  • Syphilis, and lion bites on the legs.
  • That they had all claimed to have killed Galba.
  • They all had a piece of his body hanging around their neck– that was good though as it gave the new emperor something to tie them up with
  • The fact they all claimed to have killed him. That, and their love of waffles.
  • Their subsequent careers were foreshortened by Vitellius having them all rendered terminally redundant.
  • They all claimed to kill Galba? perhaps they all had the same surname? perhaps they all actually did kill him….
  • They all had 2 things in common: 1) They all claimed to have killed him2) They were all avid fans of pornography
  • They all had a motive.
  • They all had a stab and were owed money
  • They all had pet aardvarks
  • They all hoped to be rewarded by Galbas successor, Otho.
  • They did not like emperor Galba.
  • They didn’t kill him. [True in at least 119 of 120 cases]
  • They didn’t like him?
  • They wanted to gain favour and be rewarded by Otho who succeeded Galba. Unfortunately for them, Vitellius, who succeeded Otho, had them all executed.
  • They were all dead foreigners.
  • They were all executed as a result of their claim?
  • They were all executed.
  • They were all his relatives
  • They were all human.
  • They were all killed by Vitellus when he became Emperor. Vitellus was known as Titanic for reasons we cannot go into here Dr Bob. [Arrgh again. A bust shows him to be, er, rather portly so perhaps there’d be room for 120 stab locations. Probably not a good idea to make Titanic comments within his earshot]
  • They were all on the Orient Express.
  • They were all supporters of the Roman football club, “Mercury’s Maulers”. The club had a history of anti-social behaviour and hooliganism stretching back several centuries. Galba, a supporter of a rival club of that era, “Juno’s Jocks”, upset the Maulers fans by suggesting they were a bunch of sooks, ie a team of pussycats, drank milk out of a saucer, purred when you patted them etc etc. This enraged a hard core of Maulers’ fans and they rose up against him. The Jocks on the other hand, drank Guinness. Galba was succeeded by Otho (CEO of the Maulers) who only reigned for 3 months before committing suicide after defeat in battle. The 120 also shared a common fate as they were all put to death by Vitellius who succeeded Otho.
  • They were also dead.
  • They were ex-wives and former girlfriends whom he skipped out on paying child support on…
  • They were founding members of al qaeda ?
  • They were naked.
  • They were on the Titanic. [Would have had a better chance if they were, even in cabin class]

Question 2

When persons were publicly burnt at the stake, if they were not particularly famous (or particularly guilty), and if the authorities had a generally lenient attitude at the time – well, not so lenient as to actually cancel the execution, but, you know, sort of more lenient than usual – what were the condemned’s family and friends allowed to bring along to the occasion?


Extra faggots to help the blaze along and ensure a quicker death.

Additional Answers

  • A bible
  • A bottle of Moet and a goat with three legs.
  • A cake to bake on the pyre.
  • A handkerchief, a packet of smelling salts, two cans of beer, a hat and sunscreen.
  • A pack of BBQ meat from Woolworths
  • A small, cheap digital camera.
  • A thermos and sandwiches and comfy chairs? Fire extinguishers?
  • Additional faggots and firecrackers to make the death less painful.
  • Additional fuel to make the fire hotter and hasten death
  • An urn
  • Bangers, rissoles and a nice piece of rump for a barbie by the bonfire. (It is a little known fact that today’s word ‘steak’ is a corruption of the medieval word ‘stake’ for this very reason.)
  • Barrels of water.
  • Beer.
  • Binoculars.
  • Dry wood.
  • Extra firewood
  • Faggots and firecrackers.
  • Faggots and fireworks, of all fings. I’d have fought fire extinguishers were more family friendly.
  • Family and friends could bring along their own selection of supplementary tinder and incendiary devices to make the death faster and thus less painful.
  • Fire extinguishers, or perhaps marshmallows
  • Firecrackers and aviation fuel – may as well go out with a bang~
  • Fuel. As in extra bits of wood and stuff to make sure that the fire burned hotter, thus ensuring that loved one expired quicker and in less pain (hah!). Apparently, the stake needed more chips. Wasn’t that well done?
  • I’ll be the umpteenth sniggerer: Burning faggots.
  • Ice
  • Incense
  • jiffy fire lights, kerosene; fire-crackers, marshmellows and sausages. not forgetting that it was mandatory to bring matches or a lighter.
  • Lunch
  • Marshmallows
  • Marshmallows (I bet I’m the only one who says this…, really)
  • Marshmallows on sticks. May as well enjoy the occasion.
  • Marshmallows!
  • Marshmallows?
  • Oil and fuel to make it a fast fire with lots of smoke to suffocate and kill them quick
  • Orycteropus afer
  • Petrol
  • Popcorn, marshmellows, sausages on sticks et cetera…
  • Relatives that they disliked, so they could be burned with them– may as well make hay while the sun shines– or burn relatives while the flames are hot hey! Actually, why has this burning at the stake been taken off our social calender? [Because it increases greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming. And local warming, in the case of the accused].
  • Sparklers… no point in letting a good bonfire go to waste.
  • Steaks, a few sausages, maybe some sliced onion & mushrooms if the authorities were feeling particularly benevolent – may as well make good use of the fire. Steaks? Did I say steaks? I meant stakes. To help with a faster death.
  • Their own video camera. So much cheaper than buying the souvenir DVD at the gift shop.
  • They could bring bags of gunpowder which were strapped either under the chin or between the legs of the condemned. If s/he was lucky, the bag exploded bringing about a quick death. The gunpowder didn’t always explode but it did burn rapidly which usually sped up the demise of the unfortunate.
  • They were allowed to bring additional wood and firecrackers to make the death less painful
  • Unless the authorities were particularly vindictive against a prisoner, family and friends could bring additional faggots and firecrackers to make the death less painful. They did this as a small fire was quite painful. I’m sure the soon to be departed thought his relos were bloody crazy.
  • Water pistols (as if they’d do any good. En masse, on second thoughts…)

Question 3

How did this conversation, between two old friends, continue. “Hullo, Tish.” “Hullo, Tosh.” …..?


This was when James “Tish” Corbett happened to meet his old friend Albert “Tosh” Pierrepoint during the course of the latter, er, ‘executing’ his professional duties.

Additional Answers

  • The correct order was “Hullo Tosh”, “Hullo Tish”. The greeting was a catchphrase from a radio show and it was used by publican Albert Pierrepoint and a customer James Corbitt when they did a duet together in the pub. Pierrepont was also the chief executioner in the UK at the time and after Corbitt strangled his girlfriend, they met again in the cell adjacent to the gallows. Corbitt greeted Pierrepoint with “Hullo Tosh” to which Pierrepoint responded “Hullo Tish, old pal”. After a few further pleasantries, Pierrepoint led Corbitt to the gallows and hanged him [which one could say was somewhat less pleasant]
  • “Are you on the pish again,Tish?”
  • “Do you got my money?”
  • “Hey, I saw you on u-tube the other day” “Yeah, but that was not MY arse” “sure, they all say that”
  • “Hey, look – a member of the Orycteropodidae family!”
  • “How are you? Come on Tish, old chap, let’s see if this fits round your neck. There, dear fellow, it’s perfect. Now for the hood. Never looked better old chap. Business will take a nosedive after this, I’m afraid. Not that you drank much, but tenors are hard to find. All set now? Give my best to God old boy.”
  • “How you going?” “‘Nbad, yaself?” “OK.” “Hey, what’s happened to ya face?” “What has happened to my face?” “The left side’s gone all blue.” “That’s no good. (gropes face) Can you fix that?” “Sure.” KABOOOOOOM!
  • “Hullo Tush…and what a pretty one you have, m’dear.”
  • “I was at the pub the other night and I saw this chick parallel park her car and she got it first go AND was only 18 inches from the gutter””WOOOOOOOOWWW, how cool is that?????? you certainly dont see that everyday! Did you get it on camera for U Tube?” “No” “Dang!”
  • “I’m dead.” “Yeh, so I see.” “No, I’m ACTUALLY dead.” “…
  • “Nice Tush”, “thanks, mush”, “Got any nosh?” “here’s some mash,” “I’ll give you some cash” “that’s a bit flash” “hey, aren’t you mathematician John Forbes Nash?”, “No, I’m Tish – we’ve already established that. Idiot”
  • “Nice weather, isn’t it Tish?” “Not really” “No, I suppose not” “It’s too cold… global warming, my a***” “Yes, yes… This is my first visit to South Africa” “You don’t say?” “I guess you’ve been here before” “Oh yes, many times” “Do you know any good restaurants?” “Not really. I’m on a tight budget. I mostly just eat those little tins of baked beans” “Ah… that explains it” “What are you implying?” “Nothing!” “I don’t like the tone of your voice” “Aww, c’mon Tosh – I didn’t mean anything by it” “I’m Tish, you idiot – you’re Tosh” “Oh sorry, I lost track” “Well, I best be going” “OK Tish – was nice catching up” “No it wasn’t” “No, I suppose not”
  • “So ‘ows life down in Sun’ill?” “You’ll find out soon enough, sunshine. You’re nicked.”
  • “Tosh, you wanna come to a burning at the stake this arvy?” “yeah, might bring along the mother in law, do you think there will be room for her in a nice hot part of the fire?” “yeah, but its gonna be a tight squeeze coz I’m bringing mine too” “well we better make sure we have some good gaffa tape as I cant stand the sound of mine and I dont want to hear that god awful scream” “who is this god bloke, he burnin too?” “its an expression” “Ok then, see you at oneish” “aye”
  • “Wanna get it on?” “You better clear your schedule!”
  • “What do you wish?” “I wish for a wash” hohohohehehe
  • 42
  • Albert Pierrepoint and James Corbitt past drinking friends – hangman and his victim respectively… AP strapped JCs arms then said ” Come on Tish old chap, follow me” then did the deed
  • Come on Tish old chap.
  • Corbitt (Tish): How are you? Pierrepoint (Tosh): Come on Tish old chap. Pierrepoint then leads Corbitt to the gallows.
  • Damn we have dumb names!
  • Goodbye Tish, Goodbye Tosh
  • Have you seen my dentures?
  • Hey man we been smoking some serious shit to get like this…..
  • How are you? [Tosh: Well _I_ am very well, which is more than will be said about you in a minute]
  • How are you? “Come on Tish, old chap.” – Albert Pierrepoint just before he executed an acquaintance from his local pub
  • how’s it hangin’?
  • Hullo Tash
  • Hullo Tesh
  • Hullo Tush
  • I would think that was quite enough thank you.
  • Is that an iceberg off the starboard bow?
  • It is a conversation between James Henry Corbitt (“Tish”), a convicted murderer and his old friend and executioner, Albert Pierrepoint (“Tosh”). Pierrepoint described the conversation in his memoirs. Following the greeting above, Pierrepoint asks Corbitt how he is and describes how Corbitt smiled and relaxed. After strapping Corbitt’s arms, Pierrepoint says “Come on Tish, old chap”, at which Corbitt goes to the gallows “…lightly…I would say that he ran”.
  • Pish posh
  • Sorry, I tuned out to giggle at their stupid names and outrageous accent.
  • They were originally friends from a local pub until one who was the hangman was required to hang the other for a murder. They used to greet each other in the pub with these words and the execution went the same way with the condemned rushing to the gallows and trying to fit the noose himself.
  • This one’s a snap. Tish the hangman and Tosh the hangee. Did not continue for long.
  • Two old friends, Pierrepoint the hangman, and an old drinking buddy found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, as it came towards execution time. …How are you?””He relaxed at that and breathed in cheerfully,” Pierrepoint wrote later. “I gently took his arms and strapped them quickly then said in his ear; `Come on, Tish, old chap’. He went lightly to the scaffold. I would say that he ran. He lifted the noose with the crown of his head and tried to get inside it, he was so anxious to please.”
  • We differ in religious conviction…die!
  • What a load of tish tosh!! lol
  • Where’s Bish and Bosh?
  • Why can’t we correctly pronounce hello?
  • With the opening of the trapdoor as the public hangman Albert Pierrepoint dispatched a bloke who used to drink at his Pub. The bloke murdered his girlfriend after having had a couple of jars at Albert’s pub. [And I bet the beer was warm, too]

Question 4

Marcus Garvey, now recognised as a hero of Pan Africanism, was commemorated by TWO obituaries, printed at different times, instead of the usual one.  What caused him to qualify for the second one?


Reading the first one, which gave him a stroke.

Additional Answers

  • 1/10th omnipotence
  • A derogatory, racist one was written before his death, and he had a heart attack on reading it, following which a second, more balanced one was written and published.
  • After Garvey suffered a stroke, a premature obituary was published. Garvey read the obituary while in hospital and it was enough to give him another stroke which killed him
  • After suffering a stroke in January 1940, the Black nationalist read his obituary in the Chicago Defender which described him as “broke, alone and unpopular”. Apparently as a result, Garvey suffered a second stroke and died. Thus he got a second one.
  • Apparently NOT bisected on the International Dateline: he died, but one month after reading his own obituary.
  • Death. It was the first obit that he failed to meet the prerequisites for. In London, on June 10, 1940, Marcus Garvey died after reading his obituary even though he was very much alive. It’s said he suffered a heart attack after he read it.
  • Garvey read a mistaken obituary of himself in the Chicago Defender. Apparently he had a stroke at that point and died.
  • He actually died the second time (reportedly as a result of reading the first obituary).
  • He didn’t die the first time
  • He died after reading the first (incorrect) obituary.
  • He died and was resurrected.
  • He died mun, de first obit was premature and it was de reading of dis dat killed im. but you knows what dem rastas is like he wuz probabaly just stoned de first time
  • He died of a stroke after reading the first one
  • He died twice?
  • He died when he was exactly over the date-line.
  • He faked his death for a cash payout.
  • He had a fatal stroke whilst reading the first one. Well you would, wouldn’t you.
  • He had a heart attack while reading the first one and died requiring a correct second one
  • He had different names.
  • He had multiple personality disorder. (I know it’s bad joke, but it’s better than saying “he got revived”).
  • He had two wives, one from each
  • He rose from the dead and died again.
  • He was actually dead the second time.
  • He was buried on the cusp of two time zones and so not offend early rising gentry a second was released
  • He was immortal like Kim Il Sung.
  • He was in two minds about topping himself.
  • He wasn’t really dead the first time ?
  • Hey, Dr Bob, is Pan Africanism like Pan Pharmaceuticals? Or do all Pan Africanism cures actually work? [No, and no]
  • His death
  • His suitcase was discovered among the remains of the Titanic
  • Is that like Pan Am? maybe he got a discount on the first one but hung on for a few years and it had to be changed
  • Not dead the first time
  • Nothing qualified him for the second– he just didnt die the first time– aliens took him– he was studied and probed and sent back– thus he lived a bit more
  • On the first one the writer mispelled Marcus’ surname as “Gravey”.
  • Pan Africanism? Is that an airline? Did they find his body in the crashed plane? Or is he the guy with all that money stashed in trunk boxes in Nigeria?
  • Q: How are Marcus Garvey and Michael Phelps different? A: Phelps got gold for his strokes, Garvey got told of his strokes.
  • Reading the first one, which precipitated two strokes.
  • Reportedly died after reading the first, false, obituary.
  • Swallowed too much formaldehyde
  • The first one wasn’t sombre and factual enough – in fact, it was “a bit too airy.” Ahem.
  • The first one. Well, reading it, to be more precise. Marcus, never one to doubt the printed word, read that he had died and hastened to correct the factual error.
  • The sight of the first.
  • Unlike his cat, which had nine lives, Marcus only had two.

Question 5

In 1994 an application was made to the House of Lords to declare the innocence of Timothy Evans, who was wrongly hanged in 1950 and pardoned (somewhat too late) in 1966.  Why did they turn it down?


Ka-chinggg!  It have would cost too much to process.

Additional Answers

  • Aw, man. I don’t know.
  • Because each of them were as drunk as a lord, and slept in.
  • Because he was a catholic?
  • Because he was already dead so nobody cared.
  • Because he was dead anyway; what did it matter?
  • Because he was dead. “The pardon could not wipe out the punishment, and the Home Secretary does not have the power to raise someone from the dead.” Ahh, how times change, how the mighty have fallen! If only it had of occurred a couple of thousand years ago, when powerful beings still took an active part in mankind’s development. Who knows what could have happened?
  • Because it was no longer the “swinging 60’s” ahem.
  • Because there were no living relatives and he also had a bunch of unpaid parking fines outstanding.
  • Because they couldn’t be bothered.
  • Because they have no f’n lives themselves
  • Because they thought the evidence was firm for him murdering his wife not his daughter, even though its regularly accepted Christie murdered them both.
  • Because whilst he was innocent of the murder for which he was tried, he still murdered someone else.
  • Cost
  • Evans was convicted (and later pardoned) for the murder of his daughter Geraldine. He was not tried for the murder of his wife, Beryl. Christie, who killed both Evans’s wife and daughter, was tried and hanged for the murder of his own wife but he was also responsible for the murder of at least six other women. An investigation into the case in 1965 said that Evans was probably innocent of the murder of his daughter but guilty of murder of his wife. Further attempts to have him declared innocent failed because it was suspected that he had killed his wife. It was not until 2004 that Evans was declared probably innocent of both murders.
  • Hhe had been offered as a sacrifice and they didnt want to upset the “dark one”
  • He wasn’t an Englishman
  • His previous conviction of Tubulidentaticide
  • I only turn it down when it’s really loud. So maybe it wasn’t that loud at the time.
  • Insufficient evidence.
  • It co-incided with the anniversary of the Titanic sinking and they thought it disrespectful
  • It was a suspended sentence….
  • It was too expensive to overturn his conviction. Eurgh, Dr. Bob! The real serial killer used a thighbone as a rose trellis, and the bobbies MISSED it? As lurid as a Nazi or Titanic quiz. [You’ve been reading about the case.  I read this detail when as a younger man I lived near Rillington Place, and I still recall it: that the police missed a femur that was propping up the fence.  There was also a dog hanging around, that scrabbled in the garden soil and dug up a human skull during the first police search.  This was thought to be perfectly OK and normal!  You have to realise it was not long after WW2, and London was in ruins generally. ]
  • It was too hard to decide whether Evans killed his family or not, so the investigator compromised and said he only killed his wife. Fortunately capital punishment was on a hiatus begun in 1965. Otherwise the now innocent-of-the-murder-of-his-daughter Mr. Evans would have been dug up and hanged for the murder of his wife.
  • It was too late.
  • It would have cost too much!
  • M’luds were just back from a long lunch that day and were so busy with witty bon mots such as “Evans has been hanging around waiting for 40 years now” and “This is all noose to me” and “You’ve taken my drink, old chap – gibbet back immediately” that they forgot to do any quashing. And then they found they’d spent so much money on the lunch that there was none left to pay the legal bills to clear poor Evans’s name.
  • My sources suggest it was 2004. But I am like the British legal system and don’t have money to waste on looking into stuff that is long dead and buried. The money the money.
  • No point throwing good money after bad, old boy. All water under the bridge now you know. No real purpose in dredging things up again. Just let bygones be bygones, there’s a good chap.
  • Not sure [It would have been better if the original judge had been “not sure”]
  • On 16 November 2004, Timothy Evans’ half-sister, Mary Westlake, started a case to overturn a decision by the Criminal Cases Review Commission not to refer Evans’ case to the Court of Appeal to have his conviction quashed. She argued that although the previous inquiries concluded that Evans probably did not kill his daughter, they did not declare him innocent, since a pardon is a forgiveness of crimes committed. The request to refer the case was dismissed on 19 November 2004, with the judges saying that the cost and resources of quashing the conviction could not be justified, although they did accept that Evans did not murder his wife or child.
  • Probably scared the remaining family would sue. Gutless mongrels.
  • The cost of the case could not be justified since they accepted he was innocent
  • The house of Lords is populated by rather elderly gentlemen. “We’ve come for a pardon” “Pardon?” “Yes, a pardon” “PARDON??” “Yes, that’s right” “It’s five past three” etc…
  • There was a rough chance he was still alive and living in Rio.
  • They couldn’t be bothered.
  • They might have had to actually agree on something ?
  • They stated that the cost and resources of quashing the conviction could not be justified.
  • Timmy was killing people in the afterlife. I mean he did the “time” so to speak, may as well commit some crime.
  • To save face. [As if that were possible in the circumstances]
  • Too expensive
  • Too expensive to review the case even though they accepted he probably did not commit the murders
  • Too many Lords, not enough house.
  • Well…for those of us who watched 10 Rillington Place (and wasn’t Mr Christie soooo scary) know that Timothy John never did what he was hanged for (tch, tch, tish). [No, Tish belongs in Q3]. After Christie got his comeuppance (although he never did confess to the killing that Timothy was hung for), Timothy’s half sister went out of her way to clear his name. In 2004 the Court of Appeal (not the House of Lords, you naughty man. Although the pompous old twits were all Lords in any event) said that they were frightfully sorry and all that, but, really, not worth all the time and trouble, what? Bastards.
  • While the judges accepted that Evans did not murder his wife or child, they determined that the cost and resources required to quash his earlier conviction could not be justified.

Question 6

This is a renowned mediaeval cleric and poet.  What’s he doing, as depicted here?


John Donne, shown rising from his tomb at the Resurrection.

Additional Answers

  • Are you sure doctor Bob? It looks like Spike Milligan to me. Probably depicted doing a radio program. The clue being in the lower left of the border. [Wow! Arrghhhh!]
  • John Donne posed for this painting/engraving in his funeral shroud in his later years and then kept the print by his bedside for the rest of his life, contemplating on the transience of life. The portrait was to provide the sculptor of his monument with a design from which to work.
  • Acting the fool
  • Being dead
  • Being painted in a funeral shroud to provide the sculptor of his monument with a design from which to work.
  • Decomposing [Yes! The only example of the answer I expected]
  • Donne is at a halloween party in San Francisco dressed as Paula Abdul and not wearing pants. How do I know this: The clues are n the caption. I have translanted [a useful new word meaning “to move across the Atlantic”. Gosh,that could be applied to…] it below: Here is Donne newly dressed as a that girl from church, Paula. He is dressed as beautifully as a fertile Lohann. Church is clearly a reference to idol as in American Idol. The second part is a reference to Lohann’s unfortunate limo exodus. Now where can you go to a halloween party without pants? The Exotic Erotic Ball in San Francisco. The fact they only show his torso provides further proof.
  • Enjoying his one-way trip to the underworld, snug as a a bug in a rug.
  • Eyes shut in a blissful yet holding something back look. Can’t see his hands. You can see where I’m going with this one.
  • Farting quietly and hoping no-one will notice.
  • Frightening children and livestock while decomposing…men can multitask !!!!
  • Getting a blowjob.
  • Getting a sneak preview of what he’s going to look like after he dies. Not a bad idea, really. Must pop down to the undertaker and get him to embalm me and photograph me in the casket. Not fair that I won’t get to see it otherwise. But then before you know it, it’ll be Donne to death.
  • Getting himself wrapped in some rubbishy white cloth…
  • Gosh, thats a queer sight. Religion?
  • He has just smoked opium so is feeling a bit relaxed
  • He is calculating the number of denari he spent on Vitamin C to stay fit and healthy.
  • He is contemplating why betamax is no longer the standard format.
  • He is dead so not a great deal, actually, he is just lazing around waiting to be buried
  • He is playing Mary to Sir Walter Raleigh’s Joseph in the 1602 palace nativity production. Queen Elizabeth I’s ass was well recieved by all, I believe.
  • He’s dead in a body bag.
  • He’s either being buried or burnt at the stake for his honest and completely correct Christian beliefs. Meself, I’d rather be smart than become a martyr…
  • He’s really looking forward to playing the steamed pudding in the Christmas pageant.
  • I wouldn’t call John Donne “mediaeval”, he is younger than Shakespeare. This is a portrait he had commissioned a few months before his death and it depicts him as he expected he would appear when he rose from his grave at the Apocalypse. He hung it on his wall. That’s his story, anyway. I suspect it was a portrait he had done showing his costume for the Mardi Gras ball at Cambridge.
  • It is John Donne pretending he is dead.
  • It’s John Donne and it looks like he’s being dead, but he’s only practicing, wasn’t quite dead yet when this was painted. He does look pretty crook though doesn’t he?
  • It’s John Donne. He’s depicted in his shroud (i.e. deceased), as he expected to appear when he rose from the grave at the Apocalypse (hence the smile). He commissioned the portrait some time before his death and displayed it to remind himself of the transience of life.
  • It’s John Donne posing in his shroud, coz it’s got ‘is name at quarter-to-six. You might smudge it a little ;-). Guess he’s grinning because this time he really does know for whom the bells toll? Memento mori, indeed.
  • John Donne’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave…NOT. Crazy as a loon that boy. In his dotage (late in his dotage), John got to thinking – as we all do – how he would look when he appeared at the Apocalypse. Bob…are we wandering off into fantasy-land here? So he got all dressed up in his shroud (turin, turin, too dah!), got his picture taken (not as we know it – someone drew his picture). He put it beside his bed so that he could “reflect upon the transience of life”. To answer your question as to what he was doing? Bugger-all by the look of it. Actually, there is not much you really can do when you are pretending to be dead, apart from pretending to be dead, that is.
  • Just finishing smoking weed.
  • Laughing his tits off
  • Looking out from a picture frame (with his eyes shut).
  • Looks like the busie old fool has donne died on the job, so to speak. Maybe he’s a distant ancestor of Billy Snedden?
  • Lying dead.
  • Masturbating
  • Meditating.
  • Onanism
  • Pretending to be dead in a woman’s cap and scarf.
  • Rising from the grave in the time of the apocalypse
  • Something naughty.
  • The first mediaeval drag queen !
  • The shroud of Donne to a turn, for which he modelled weeks before he died, and looking as if someone’s hands are roaming ‘Before, behind, between, above, below.’ [I left the name visible deliberately but most people have missed it. Donne had this picture on his wall and looked at it every day.  It’s how he saw himself rising from the tomb at the Resurrection.  (I presume he is still waiting).   By calling him a poet I am hoping to get some puns about “decomposing”]
  • thinking about that hot chic he is taking out for dinner
  • Using the potty.
  • Warming up after getting out of a Titanic lifeboat.


  • All this death stuff reminds me of the definition of Mixed Feelings – those you have when your mother-in-law backs your new car off a cliff.
  • Are you “‘really'” a doctor? [Yes, but not the MBBS type – I am a real doctor, of philosophy. Well, I have a basic medical knowledge…]
  • Blue horseshoe loves NAB.
  • Bother. I missed last month’s quiz; and I had some brilliant answers. Maybe you could retrospectively change the winner?
  • Couldn’t come up with anything for no.3
  • Damn the Hullo Tish question
  • Dead easy this month. Next time – how about some Icelandic banking policy questions? [No, because the quiz is meant to be fun. And obscure and difficult]
  • Dear Dr.Bob, I am a tired old Skeptic who never has all the answers so I read and watch and wait. [So like me. If I had all the answers I would not need to set the quiz. And I watch and wait, mostly for a Tattslotto win. Perhaps I should buy a ticket]
  • Do you think we have free will Dr Bob? [I want to say “yes” but something makes me say “no”]. Do you think we have any choice but to? And if we do, and we don’t, how could we not have? Huh? Huh?
  • Geahd, well peeple jurst SHURT URP abahwt tha Oonahted Steetes alaction?! Et’s drahveng mee enna tha greeve. (surch a beeaad purn, wahsn’et?)
  • Good Questions [OK – I will try to find some for you]
  • Hatti told Martti, “You’ve won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize…”
  • Hello there Dr Bob. What fun, darn near fell off my chair with the Galba question, man those Romans knew how to live. I hope you are well. [I’m better than Galba, anyway. Only a few people want to kill me]
  • I died whilst taking this quiz.
  • I put my pants on for this?
  • I was completely useless on this quiz…
  • Kevin Rudd is probably the most convincing link yet between North Korea and Finland, bearing a striking resemblance to both their leaders.
  • Long time reader, first time enterer.
  • My first time, be lenient please…
  • No comment.
  • Pretty morbid this month Bob. Wrongful hangings, bastard judges and horrific executions. Sort of sums up my week… [And when you find out that you are the winner it will probably depress you even more]
  • Quick answers this month Dr. Bob? I know mine were. [well, they speak of “the quick and the dead”]
  • Second entry this month – went for a theme, based on one of our previous email exchanges, and sorry but I couldn’t help myself with the last one there Dr. B! (insert witty retort here —> )
  • Some people have far too much time on their hands !! [and I wish I was one of them]
  • Sorry Dr Bob but it’s after hours and I don’t take things seriously then..
  • Struggling to be witty this month Doc, I will try harder in December.
  • Thanks Dr. Bob, a trifle morbid, but my knowledge of death has expanded…
  • Two ladies meet at the Pearly Gates: 1st woman: Hi! My name is Wanda. 2nd woman: Hi! I’m Kelly. How’d you die? 1st woman: I Froze to Death. 2nd woman: How Horrible! 1st woman: It wasn’t so bad. After I quit shaking from the cold, I began to get warm & sleepy, and finally died a peaceful death. What about you? 2nd woman: I died of a massive heart attack. I suspected that my husband was cheating, so I came home early to catch him in the act. But instead, I found him all by himself in the den watching TV. 1st woman: So, what happened? 2nd woman: I was so sure there was another woman there somewhere that I started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic and searched, and down into the basement. Then I went through every closet and checked under all the beds. I kept this up until I had looked everywhere, and finally I became so exhausted that I just keeled over with a heart attack and died. 1st woman: Too bad you didn’t look in the freezer—we’d both still be alive.
  • Well I won’t win this time as I got them all correct. Very easy this month Dr. Bob. Again No Iceland, ditto Titanic or Hitler. Mind you Vitellus didn’t mind popping people. Come on Dr Bob give us an Icelandic question. [The day will come when you regret that request]
  • Without compulsory voting as you have in Australia, we in the USA have managed to have 80% voter participation. Did you know that Obama said in his book The Audacity Of Hope that he accepts evolution?
  • Yep – gott’m all correct. Easy peasy.