Tenuous claims to fame - WIN GG - List now closed
Greg Jackson
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Calgary
Alberta
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We all have at least one. We know somebody who knows somebody who used to date the famous guy from that TV show/rock band. Some people here on the Geek are actually famous (at least in our circles) and some people may actually be friends with proper famous people but that's not what I'm after here.

I'm looking for those extremely tenuous and completely pointless claims to fame. At some unspecified time next week (when I decide this has run it's course and when I get a chance to get online and check) I will award 10GG plus any tips this Geeklist receives to the claim to fame that I consider the most tenuous/amusing. My decision will be final. Obviously I am relying on you all to be well behaved and not tell any porky pies.

Incidentally when I thought of the idea for this Geeklist I looked to see if there were any similar ones around and found this one: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11777 by Legomancer but I figured that was a while ago and I'd go ahead with this anyway. So sue me.

I'll start you all off with a few of my own....

Edit: I've remembered what gave me the initial idea for this list now - Chris Evans on Radio 2. Thanks Chris

I will now read through the many, many entries and will post a thread to let everyone know the winner.

In a self-referencing frenzy here is a link to the forum post where I declare the winner and my honourable mentions:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/314369
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1. Board Game: Don't Catch A Cold [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Greg Jackson
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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My girlfriend's former housemate used to live with a girl who was going out with Chris Martin from Coldplay when they were all at University (UCL in London for anyone interested). I have met the former housemate but not the girl that went out with Mr Martin. So close to fame. So close.
 
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2. Board Game: How to be a Complete Idiot [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Greg Jackson
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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My current housemate's boyfriend used to go out with a girl who is now the latest girl to have been seen (and photographed with pictures in The Sun newspaper) coming out of Russell Brand's house. What makes this more amusing is that Russell Brand is currently starring in a film called Forgetting Sarah Marshall in which an average guy is trying to get over it when his girlfriend leaves him for Russell Brand's character. In real life however, it was my housemate's boyfriend that dumped the girl. Still funny though.

Oh and can anyone guess what my thoughts about Mr Brand are?
 
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3. Board Game: Dump [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Greg Jackson
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Definitely one that is more for the Brits here. My friend from University wasn't half bad at cricket and has in his time played for Northamptonshire and the Lancashire 2nd team. When he was at Lancashire he was there with a certain Andrew Flintoff (the Aussies may also have heard of him) and being around the same age he was in with a group of them that would go for nights out down the pub etc. On one particular night there were a bunch of them out and they all decided they would go back to Flintoff's house. My friend Tim was with a group that ended up getting back to the house before Flintoff himself and so they were waiting around for him to get back to let them all in. However, Tim badly needed a dump, and when there was no sign of Flintoff arriving back he took matters into his own hands and went into the back garden where he found a wheelie bin. He laid it down on it's side, opened the lid and proceeded to squat down and curl one out onto the lid, before then closing it and putting the bin back. So my third and final tenuous claim to fame is that my friend Tim has shit in Andy Flintoff's bin.
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4. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Jon
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
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That...is my father-in-law.
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5. Board Game: Spoons [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:14879]
Jonathan Davis
United States
Wake Forest
North Carolina
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Well, I don't know anyone who knows anyone who's famous. However, my senior class in college (2005, UNC-CH) all got together and had the world's largest group spoon. 400 of us all laid out in the quad spooning in a giant circle. Mo Rocca from Comedy Central fame came to speak to the senior class and also had the honor of being one of the official witnesses for the Guinness World Records people.

I am World Record holder.
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6. Board Game: Don't Drop the Soap [Average Rating:3.32 Unranked]
Adam Skinner
United States
Seven Hills
Ohio
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I am almost famous:

http://www.soapboxxer.com/soapboxx/5873

http://www.soapboxxer.com/soapboxx/5472
 
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7. Board Game: Ice Cream [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:12515]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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My sister went to university with Howard Johnson III.

(Note to non-US readers -- Howard Johnson's is a chain of family restaurants best known for their orange-and-turquoise buildings and their ice cream sundaes.)

(Me? I've just worked on Nobel-prize-winning scientific research. That clearly doesn't fit the criteria for this list, though ;-) )
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8. Board Game: Jenga Ultimate [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:10641]
Davido
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California
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back when I was younger, better shape, and living at a higher latitude I played Ultimate Frisbee for a college the Boston area. I wasn't very good, just fast enough to play deep and run 'cherry picker routes'. But anyways, we were at a tournament in Amherst and while killing time (we got wiped in the quarters), met some guys from the Rude Boys.



Turns out they were based one town over from us and offered to come by and scrimmage if we'd provide the beer and chemicals First, ran some drills, then scrimmaged us against them (we got wiped pronto), more drills, then a mixed scrimmage of us/them. Great, great ambassadors for a wonderful sport. So yeah, I have in fact played against the BEST IN THE WORLD
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9. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1019]
Jeff
United States
Linden
New Jersey
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My girlfriend used to work with the brother of Sam Levine (of Freaks & Geeks fame), and invited him over once upon a time. I'm a huge Freaks & Geeks fan, so I was excited to meet the dude, but he turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. He embodied the deadly combination of boring and chatty, and he had a tendency to make himself at home. The first time we hung out with him, he took his shirt off, loosened his pants, and spent the night. He also had a tendency to drop names of third-tier celebrities (e.g., Huey Lewis, of The News fame) that he had met through his brother.

I'm a nice guy, so I tolerated him for a while. But every time he came over, he'd spend the night, and made himself a little bit more at home every time. Soon enough, I found myself forced to do things that I would never do intentionally, like watch Jay Leno. Also, he confessed his love to my girlfriend, and made a habit of hitting on her right in front of me.

But it was board gaming that put me over the edge. We tried to play a game of Risk 2210, thinking it would shut him up for a while. It didn't. He talked about nothing in particular throughout the whole game, and every time it got to his turn, I had to explain the rules again. After that, he would invariably make an illegal move that indicated he wasn't paying attention. After the first couple rounds of this, we formed an unspoken alliance against him and wiped him off the map because we were tired of explaining. Maybe it was bad sportsmanship, but this dude practiced bad person-ship.

Anyway, he kept calling, so we made up lame excuses for a couple of months and didn't tell him when we moved.
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10. Board Game: Take A Taxi [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Davido
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California
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one summer early 1980's-when not in college, I was still involved in the Order of the Arrow (Boy Scout service organization), and the national convention was in my then hometown of Austin, Texas. We were the 'service lodge' and among other duties we got to chauffer (sp?) celebs around. I had the 'coolest car', my dad's 57 Chevy V8 4 door sedan, so I was on schlep duty when I got to drive at different times Miss Indian America (not bad looking, but a TON of makeup) and Miss Texas (Sheri Ryman, who would be 4rthrunner up in Miss America, but projected as the "ideal stats and background to win" which probably caused a backlash) (who was in fact good looking despite costume and make up).
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11. Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:4439]
Davido
United States
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The eldest son of my dad's former boss (from Houston) married a woman from Katy, Texas who was the best friend of Debbie Clemens, who is married to a certain baseball pitcher.
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12. Board Game: The Brotherhood [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:10010]
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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My mother had a good friend in college who ended up marrying a Kenyan. About 15 or 20 years ago, this friend and her son was back in the US and had dinner with us.

Their last name? Obama.

The son's name? Not Barack.

Yes, many years ago I had dinner with Barack Obama's stepmother and half-brother. Does that qualify me for my own secret service detail? (Actually, if I remember correctly, she had divorced her husband when they were over for dinner, so I met Barack's former stepmother and half-brother. But close enough.)
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13. Board Game: Jewish Fluxx [Average Rating:5.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.35 Unranked]
Davido
United States
California
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I was a classmate of Kinky Friedman's (of Texas Jewboy fame) sister in High School. Said sister actually was born on the same day/year as moi (and no, we never hooked up in any way shape manner or form).

Actually once met the Kinkster at the wedding of a mutual friend.

[edit]: other Austin and/or music meetings too numerous to mention
 
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14. Board Game: New England [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1697]
Davido
United States
California
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actually Massachusetts. A good family friend was the correspondence secretary (read ran the auto signature machine) for Governor Michael Dukakis. Briefly met the Govenor on a vist to her "office".
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15. Board Game: Dilbert: The Board Game [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:11846]
Chris Okasaki
United States
White Plains
New York
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My aunt's longtime SO was Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, back when Scott made a guest appearance on Babylon 5, in the episode Moments of Transition. My aunt played Scott's Minbari aide. According to family lore (although contradicted by some of Scott's public statements), Scott really wanted to play an alien, but the producers insisted he had to be recognizable. Scott was disappointed and was going to back out, but my aunt insisted that he still take the job so that SHE could play an alien.

Oh, and I'm also immortalized in sequence A137181 in the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, which arose out of my most spectacular failure.

C'mon, tenuous connections to Dilbert and Babylon 5, and being in the OLEIS for failing? You can just give me the GG now!
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16. Board Game: Mother [Average Rating:2.63 Unranked]
Davido
United States
California
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yes, I honor the memory of my dear Mother with this classic Tanga offering. No, I have NO shame

anyways, my folks were into 'adventure/eco travel' way before it was cool. Mom was an R.N. and took supplies to help the local missionaries minister to the locals and teach effective sanitation/health practices. This was back in the 60's. Anyways, one trip found them in Venezuela and an ex-pat offered to take them to a waterfall that was worth the trip. the guide: a descendent of Stalky (of Kipling's Stalky and Co. fame). the falls: Angel Falls. AFAIK, Mom was the first white woman to ever see Angel Falls.

unrelated footnote: My great-grandmother AFAIK was the first woman dentist (in the early 1900s) in Russia, but that can't be anywhere near substantiated.

[edit]: My entries are sandwiching the entry of the creater of TradeMaximizer. I've participated in trades that used Trade Maximizer
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17. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:349]
Robert Rossney
United States
San Francisco
California [CA]
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Mine was the first email address ever printed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

How I know this: After I filed my column (over a 1200 baud modem! This was in 1995!), I got a call from one of their systems people. "Your column contains an @ sign," he said. "Is that really necessary?" Yes, I said, it's necessary, is that a problem? "Well," he said, "I'm going to have to change the typesetting program's configuration to support it. We've never had to print one before. Are you sure you need it?" Quite sure.
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18. Board Game: Demolition Derby [Average Rating:5.30 Unranked]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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WAIT! I just thought of one.

When I was in graduate school, I took a class with a woman whose brother played the role of the guy who got thrown through the gun display case glass in that scene in Demolition Man.

If that's not tenuous, I don't know what is.
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19. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Dick Ruck
United Kingdom
Brighton
East Sussex
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Crabro was my first own-design stunt kite, named after a genus of black and yellow stinging insect in the UK
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A good friend of mine who I used to game with regularly sold his house to an artist of M:tG cards.

Occasionally I walk past it...
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20. Board Game: Heavy Metal L-Gaim [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Steve K
United Kingdom
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My sister went to school with the sister of the guy who plays bass in the band Budgie.
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21. Board Game: Code Monkey [Average Rating:5.08 Unranked]
Hammock Backpacker
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I eat lunch almost every week with the nephew of David Huffman, the inventor of the Huffman Coding algorithm.

In computer science and information theory, Huffman coding is an entropy encoding algorithm used for lossless data compression.

...

Huffman coding today is often used as a "back-end" to some other compression method. DEFLATE (PKZIP's algorithm) and multimedia codecs such as JPEG and MP3 have a front-end model and quantization followed by Huffman coding.



Don't you feel smarter now?
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22. Board Game: Al Cabohne [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:3830]
Chris Okasaki
United States
White Plains
New York
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When my favorite high school English teacher was a baby, her babysitter was Al Capone's wife.

I was responsible for a large grape jelly stain on the carpet of that English teacher's classroom. She had me sign the stain with a Sharpie. Given how much funding public schools get, my signature is probably still there.
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23. Board Game: Pizza Box Football [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2671]
Erik D
United States
Pasadena
California
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I have been on a highlight reels of SportsCenter twice:

In the mid-90s, my brother was an offensive lineman for Syracuse. I swapped my corner end-zone seats with my parents' "Parents Section" 50 yard line seats. I ended up sitting next to Donovan McNabb's parents (including Mrs. McNabb of Chunky Soup commercial fame). Nice people, both of them--chatted with me the whole game. Anyways, McNabb had a helluva game as he often did those days and the ESPN highlights kept showing footage of his parents cheering in the stands with me right next to them.

I graduated Seton Hall in December of 2002 but didn't walk until the end of spring semester '03. Our graduation was held in the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands on the same day the Devils were to play the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Finals. That night on SportsCenter, they showed a time lapse movie of the graduation ceremony, conversion to a hockey rink, and game. Granted, I was only about a pixel high on the screen, but still, there I was in a seat located on center ice.
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24. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Belgium
Brussel
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I once played go against a guy who played against some guy who played against some other guy that once played against Go Seigen.

That means I have only a 4-string indirect connection to the greatest go player of the 20th century!!


I'm ok now. Just took my medication.
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25. Board Game: Hole [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Steven Dennis
United States
Covington
Louisiana
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In 1995 my band played at The Memnoch Ball. This was a Halloween blowout at the old St. Elizabeth's Orphanage in New Orleans, the then home of author Anne Rice. Two notable celebrities in attendance were a young Kirsten Dunst and Courtney Love.

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On October 28, 1995, Anne Rice invited the fans into her world. The Annual Gathering Of The Coven of Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club was rechristened The Memnoch Ball and was held at St. Elizabeth's Orphanage in New Orleans. Crowd estimates went as high as 6,000 and the party was featured in People Magazine.


I'm the one playing guitar as a Droog from A Clockwork Orange.


After the party at St. Elizabeth's there was an after party at the music club Tipitina's where all the music acts played extended sets. During our set a very drunk Courtney Love stood right in front of me the entire time. Afterwards backstage she came up to me and started chatting me up. She told me about how her and " my huband, Kurt (who had killed himself just a year earlier) loved that movie (A Clockwork Orange)." She also told me that "my husband, Kurt, had an amp just like that one." For most of the rest of the evening she was in my ear. Finally, her and her girlfriend (equally loaded) cooked up a stunt to go out onstage between bands and flash the crowd. She asked me, "Do you think I should do it?" I told her "No." laugh They did it anyway.

As she left that night she gave me a flower she had gotten from somewhere. To this day my bandmates kid me about the night I could have had Courtney Love.
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