William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

I’ll Kill You Off On This Blog For $10

A generous reader gets what’s coming to him

According to the Daily Mail, “Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin offers to ‘kill off’ one of his fans for $20,000.

“George RR Martin will name a character after a male and female fan and kill them in a future A Song Of Ice And Fire novel as part of a fundraising campaign.”

The man himself says, “You can choose your character’s station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death!”

Truly, I had no idea people were so enthusiastic about seeing themselves ushered publicly and painfully into the Great Beyond. But, hey, who am I to judge? Especially when there’s the possibility of wrapping my paws around some necessary needed lucre?

Martin’s is such a good idea I decided to adapt it at WMBriggs.com. And I’ll go one further than Martin, too.

I will write one of my award-eligible one-act Mini Plays featuring those readers who donate at least $10 American.

At the $10 level or $1/month level, you have your choice of character name and “station in the world.” I pick the way you hand in your dinner pail. But those who double the suggested amount—and here I top Martin—have the privilege of choosing the method they trip down their final staircase. (Use the comment box at the links provided to specify your names and choices.)

Think of the possibilities! Admire Utopian purges? The guillotine’s for you. Feeling nostalgic? Go for a hanging. You’re an academic? Starvation by gulag is just the ticket. Computer geek? Bashed on the head by your Twitter handle. Somewhat squeamish but still want to play? How about being at the center of a nuclear bomb? Painless, that. The sky’s the limit—including being dropped from a great height by an over-sized vulture who mistook you for a three-week-dead ferret.

Here’s the topper. If nobody donates by a week from today, 14 June 2014, I’m killing all of you off. Probably by some banality like stroke or myocardial infarction. As dull, non-noteworthy, and as undistinguished kinds of deaths that I can think of. As far as station in life, everybody is a junior bureaucrat named Jayden in a sub-sub-basement of the NSA tasked with sorting through typed transcripts of college girls’ cell phone calls (“And then I was all like, ungh. Like she didn’t, like, get it?” “Like, I was like, yeah, but, like, not that I liked it”). Nobody will even be allowed a suicide.

It will look something like this:

SCENE ONE SETTING: A bright and clement day. A line of gray lumpen non-smiling polyester-slacked people with Supercuts hairdos line up at the NSA entrance to pass through the metal detector. The line extends to the parking lot where a MAN is exiting from his faded gray 1998 Toyota Corolla.

SCOTIAN: Excuse me, miss. Is this the IRS?

SHERI: No, the NSA.

SCOTIAN: I’m from Canada and I always wanted to visit it.

SHERI: Many people do.



SHERI: Too bad he’s so far from his national health insurance.


SHERI: I feel a headache coming on—

That’s right—this is blackmail. I won’t put the pretty on it. There’s only one way to stop this excruciating drivel from being exposed to public view. Pay or suffer.

Update You have been saved! Next Saturday, I’ll give everybody the details, thanking all involved. I’ll also let you know when the mini-play will run.

I had thought you could enter details (name, life station) into the donation form, but apparently not. So if you donate, either put them in the comments or send a separate email. Thanks!


  1. I’ll have you know that I drive a sandy beach coloured 2011 Toyota Camry. This is payback for the title change, isn’t it?

  2. Briggs

    June 7, 2014 at 9:28 am


    Have you had your blood pressure checked recently?

  3. Briggs, I’m under treatment. Your time will come bucko. You’re turning fifty soon arn’t you? That’s the beginning of the end you know, so enjoy the few months that you have left.

  4. I wonder how much he would charge to kill off every character on that stupid show and be done with it.


  5. Scotian: Speak for yourself on that over 50 thing!

    Briggs: Why am I pecking away at my cell phone? Is there some new trend out there that I missed? Did someone say “smart phone”? How is a phone “smart”?

  6. So you just discovered crowd-funding, eh? Long way to go to challenge the Veronica Mars movie that raised $5.7M from 91,500 fans, $2M of it in the first 24 hours. The secret is having fans in the first place.

    Questions: how much do you charge for a plot where we meet a Martian wearing a hat?

  7. Since I have a headache 🙂 where do you want the name and manner of death listed after I fork over the cash? It’s not really clear with this headache.

  8. Brandon Gates

    June 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Briggs, I have gladly donated 10 clams toward your book habit. Alluding to both Melville and my love of biology, “Call me Darwin” and take whatever license you deem befitting my character’s demise.

  9. Brandon Gates

    June 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    PS, I’m a fan of Bogart, so Queeg might make an amusing stand-in for Ahab.

  10. Brandon Gates

    June 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Sheri, I think Briggs meant that all the kids these days have smart phones. Not that I see you as a kid. 🙂

    I am an overgrown boy, but I resisted getting a “smart” phone until two years ago. Relative to other’s I’d toyed with in the past, it’s rather decent. But I don’t tap at it incessantly. Ever. But especially not in public or in the company of friends. One might say I’m an old-fashioned kid bordering on grumpy old man.

  11. Briggs

    June 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm


    See the update above. Thanks!

  12. Brandon: I have a “smart” phone but no data package. So does that make it a “sort-of-smart” phone? An intellectually challenged phone? 🙂

    (I almost never text, either It’s really not my thing.)

  13. La Longue Carabine

    June 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Think: “Kind Hearts and Coronets” — maybe one of your readers would like to die more than once? Twice? Eight times? Could they get a bulk discount?

  14. Brandon Gates

    June 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Sheri, I just can’t resist:

    1) Not completely evolved.
    2) Non-intelligently designed.

    Take yer pick. 🙂

  15. Brandon: Not completely evolved. I like it!

  16. Brandon Gates

    June 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    So glad, I was grinning like a fool when I wrote it.

  17. In Holland we had the murder detective series “Baantjer” on television where famous dutch actors would be very honoured to be “the corpse” at the beginning of the programme.

  18. any thoughts about a series depicting the aftermath (much more interesting than just a plain death)–reincarnation, purgatory, hell or heaven?

  19. oh…Dante did that already….what was it called? The Inferno?

  20. 1) Scotian is better off in the parking lot than at home – Canada’s provincial health services haven’t aspired to VA levels of performance for decades.

    2) People who think Martin kills everybody off haven’t read the books. People die (or nearly die) when they aren’t true to themselves. That’s most people, of course, but the joke here is that those who think is might be worth the money to die in cameo deserve – according the book’s ethos – to die.

    3) I think exploding heads would be the way to go:

    Murph: me! me!
    Briggs: (head explodes)
    Scotian: (gets up, buys a Volvo, moves to Maine)

    George R.R (sotto voce, off stage) “what we had here, was a failure to understand”.

  21. Paul: I think exploding heads sounds like the way to go.

  22. Murphy,
    1) tsk, tsk. It will be hard to take you seriously now.

    Why Maine?

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