Episode 207 – The One Where We Get All Dolled Up For Halloween!

In This Week’s Show, episode 207, we get spooked by Jenn’s homeopathic anti-vaxx-a-cilin, which does seem to contain actual terror.

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Anubis (the Egyptian guardian of the dead) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that they didn’t have any unplanned pregnancies at Hogwarts because of the spell “fetus deletus”!

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

See if you can spot tonight’s theme: Did you know that within 3 days of death the enzymes that helped you digest your dinner will begin to eat YOU?

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Red Lodge Ale – Bent Nail IPA

  • BA Link: bit.ly/2yt06Ix
  • BA Rating: 3.77/5
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 6.30%
  • Aaron: 7
  • Jenn: 9
  • Shea: 8
  • Steve: 7

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

Welcome new Patron King Torm – Who, I assume, is a better, Mr. T-ier version of King Orm.

No iTunes Reviews.

Voicemail!

Freethinker215 had another small correction for me, and once again, he’s correct. It’s not two-fifteen as I said multiple times, it’s a zip code so it’s two one five. I have been duly informed.

Follow up on the tongueless mummy from CraigDeFarmer on Twitter for Jenn:

Uhm… right in he article about the guy without the tongue…
“It appeared clear the flat stone was a replacement for a body part because it had been put in the front of the mouth where the tongue ought to be,” he added.
Evidence of infection on the jaw bones supports the theory that the tongue was amputated in life.”The mouth is full of bacteria so if a tongue is cut out, an infection is likely to arise,” Mays said.
Signs of active infection in the bones indicate the tongue was likely severed months or even weeks before death.”He probably died because of the infection following amputation of the tongue,” Mays said

Thanks again, Craig. And as I mentioned, despite the fact that I DO read most of the articles I use in full, Steve can always find a question I didn’t think to look for the answer to. And Shea has the question that I just finished answering.

Update on the witches hexing that guy – bit.ly/2SmhAyq

Headlines (You asked for it) – Really it’s just Steve’s stories

bit.ly/2z4zH3m

It seems that we have a large portion of our population who is doing all they can to make sure they die off. I’m not talking about some gangland murderous bunch of people killing their own in turf wars or ethnic cleansing in the third world, I’m talking about right here at home in the USA. I’m talking about people who should know better, who in most cases were taught better, but who cannot seem to see the truth that’s right in front of them. I’m talking about a group of people who believe that they are the chosen people who rule the land of the free? Who don’t worry about getting enough to eat or clean drinking water (hell, many of them wouldn’t deign to drink tap water anyway). I’m talking about the higher income white people who are refusing to vaccinate their children. It’s like they unconsciously know that their time is over and they are doing what they can to make sure there are no more generations to follow them. These are people who are so tied up in their own minds about what they see as a right that they are incapable of realizing that they are hurting themselves. In this way, they are no different than the zealots who blow themselves up in the name of their superstitions, except, in this case, they are choosing to harm their own children. Their parents were bright enough to get them vaccinated, so they aren’t the ones at risk. It’s the marginal people who share space with their unvaccinated children who are really in danger. The ones who cannot get vaccinations due to their being too young, or undergoing chemotherapy, or because they have a chronic illness. The children of these selfish, idiotic, morons have, in many areas, driven down general immunity to levels below what’s necessary for herd immunity to protect those most at risk.

Okay, with that rant off my chest, I can move on to the story that brought me to this place of frustration today. Arizona, a state not especially well known for making great decisions, has done it again. The state had created a pilot online course to educate people about the need to vaccinate due to the rising number of the state’s children who were not getting school-required immunizations. This 60-90 min online course, which was not required, was launched in 17 schools in Maricopa County districts last academic year and was scheduled to expand to other of the county’s schools in the 19-20 school year. Its overarching goal was to spread the message that childhood vaccines are far safer than the diseases they prevent. Naturally, it only took a few noise-makers to get this program shit-canned. Approximately 120 fuck-wit individuals and families, including 20 parents who said they don’t vaccinate, complained to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council who then questioned the state health department about the course. The state responded by canceling the whole goddamn thing and have started over in the quest to follow their regulatory duty in providing vaccine education.

As usual, most of the complaining from the stupid detractors is based on bullshit assumptions. They thought they would be forced to take the course before they could file for an exemption (not true). Many admitted that they hadn’t seen the program but were just opposing in on principle. One parent wrote that the course seems to be an attempt to, “create an emotional response, creating fear and pressure in order to compel parents to vaccinate. Do lawmakers think we’re stupid?” Whether or not your lawmakers think you’re stupid, I certainly do. Fact is kindergartners in Maricopa County as a whole are below herd immunity for measles and if this complete push back against the established science of public health protection has its way, many other diseases once considered handled will be coming back in a big way.

Arizona already has one of the most liberal personal belief exemption policies in the country and apparently just providing actual scientific-based education was a bridge too far for many, even though all they had to do was refuse to view the material and fill out a form to make sure their kids were easier for the disease to kill. What I’m afraid will happen is a bigger and much more dangerous version of the Disneyland measles outbreak of 2015. (A bit over a year after that, California prohibited non-medical exemptions.) Arizona and likely some of the other 17 states that allow personal exemptions will experience a nasty outbreak of an easily controlled disease. Many will be disabled and many will die, and then, perhaps just perhaps, once people can see for themselves what our parents and their parents saw, then we can get this bullshit stopped and get back to protecting our populace.

This Week’s Stories

Don’t take that shit… become a patron and get this shit instead!

I’m generally a pretty skeptical guy… Who am I kidding, I need two forms of ID to verify my wife’s identity, so I wasn’t at all surprised when I read about the following. Generally, vitamin supplements are a bunch of bullshit good only for making you have expensive pee. That is true for most of the rest of the supplement industry too, a huge part of which is marketed for sexual enhancement, muscle growth (grr), and weight loss. They make money on ignorance, gullibility, and stupidity of the common person, just like the homeopathy industry. So, with that in mind, I wasn’t a bit surprised to learn that a recent review of the FDA’s database of contaminated supplements for the years 2007 to 2016, found that the most common contaminate is sildenafil which is more commonly known as Viagra. Other common contaminants include another boner chemical, tadalafil (Cialis), sibutramine (Meridia) which is a dangerous appetite suppressant banned in the US, and steroids in muscle-building products. The telling number really though, is that 80% of the supplements were contaminated by at least one product that shouldn’t have been there, and 20% contained 2 or more, with two containing six unapproved drugs. Fewer than half of the products were recalled. Since 1994, supplements are regulated as food as not subject to the testing that “drugs” are, so this $35 industry does about whatever the fuck they want. wapo.st/2ynUZJA

Jenn’s Halloween Horror-fest!

The Final Episode- (at least until I run out of ideas at a later date)

This week’s tale is the final one before Halloween, so I tried to come up with a doozy. AND IT IS! I feel like this one has everything: a beautiful heroine, a tragic ending, a truly…abiding love, a restraining order, and a mummy. This week a bring you the story of the real Dr. Love.

(That is if your idea of love is broken and creepy and obsessive to the point of a literal horror story. This is not for the faint of heart or stomach.)

To start things off, let’s meet the main player, Dr. Carl Tanzler. Dr. Tanzler was born in Dresden, Germany in 1877 and emigrated to the US in 1927, by way of a year-long stay in Cuba. He had also briefly become a British citizen while living in Australia around the time of WW1. He attended the University of Leipzig where he claimed final degrees as a Master of the Arts of Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, among others.

Now that is officially the end of pretty much everything normal about Dr. Patzer,

aka Count Carl von Cosel. He had many aliases actually, but that one is the best because he began using it when, at the age of twelve, he was visited by the ghost of an 8th-century countess, Ana Constantia Von Costel, who said he was her direct descendant, and therefore, a count. Don’t think the encounter with the ghostly countess was a one-off, but we’ll get back to her.

Remember his list of degrees? Later investigation showed the University of Leipzig had no record of him. His visit to Australia? He was actually taken there was a prisoner of war while serving on a German sub in WWI. He also claimed to own an island on the equator that had coconut groves “near the area where Amelia Earhart went down”.

Back to his invisible friend, the countess: In addition to upgrading him to nobility, she also gave him visions of his future wife-to-be. Tanzler later said the dark-haired woman he was shown was “so beautiful he couldn’t begin to describe it”. Later, when living in Australia (as either a British citizen or POW), he claimed his fiance/vision joined him there and stayed for seven days, following him to work and standing by his bedside while he slept. Aw, sweet!

When she did finally disappear, or his meds were adjusted, he was very distraught and vowed one day to be reunited. (Psst, foreshadowing!)

He eventually returned to Germany and got married to a woman named Doris Shafer around 1920, and had two children (FYI: he was 43, she was 18). No word on her hair color, but she was apparently not the apparition of his dreams bc in about 5 years he abandons his family and hops a ship to America.

After some time in Tampa, he ends up in Key West, FL, home of pretty much nothing normal. (He upped the crazy, however.) He began working as a radiologist at the U.S. Marine Hospital, that apparently didn’t require actual transcripts for their doctors. (Because at this point he is a Count Doctor) It was at this hospital in 1930 where his life was changed forever and our story really starts getting its legs.

In April of that year, a young Cuban-American woman, Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos (known as ‘Helen’ bc yeah) visited the hospital with her mother for the younger to have an examination for a, at this point, undiagnosed illness.

Now because up until this point Carl was so very stable, of course, he takes one look at the lovely, dark-haired 21-year old and sees his long-lost hallucination, I mean, love. Before you can say ‘schizophrenic’, he immediately becomes full-on obsessed. (For the record, Carl was in his mid-50’s at this time.)

Helen was the daughter of Cuban immigrants, her father being a Miami-area cigar maker. Her life to this point had already had a large dose of tragedy: In 1926 she had married a man named Luis, who promptly left her after she miscarried their first child left than a year into their marriage. Her health began to decline, but her family at first assumed it was due to grief from her miscarriage and abandonment.

It wasn’t until she developed a persistent cough that her family began to seek treatment, which led to her referral to the Marine Hospital in Key West and Dr. Craziest of Pants.

Pretty much immediately it’s all Helen, all the time. Tanzler stops sending money to his wife and children and pines for her until she returns a few weeks later for a chest x-ray. It’s somewhere during this that Helen is diagnosed with tuberculosis, a typically fatal disease at the time, that eventually claimed the lives of almost all of her entire immediate family because this poor girl could not catch a break. (I’ve also seen it reported that it was the diagnosis which led to her husband leaving her and not the miscarriage, but potato/poTAHto.)

Tanzer is undaunted by the diagnosis and persuades his superiors to allow him to conduct his own experimental treatment on her. He proceeded to administer a series of specialty treatments, consisting of homemade elixirs, herbs, and tonics (including sacramental wine and coffee), as well as utilizing x-ray equipment and machines he brought to the de Hoyos home (you know he stole that shit from the hospital). He also showered Hoyos with gifts of jewelry and clothing, frequently professed his love to her, and basically did all the things her parents probably wanted to kick him out for, but he was a Count Doctor.

Tragically, despite Count Doctor Carl’s best efforts, Helen died of the disease on October 25, 1931 (the day before this episode wide-releases is the anniversary. Yay?). In his grief, Carl insisted on paying for her burial, which I guess was a nice gesture. Then he decided she was to be buried in an elaborate stone mausoleum, which, sure, that’s still reasonable. Then he pays extra to have her body cleaned, dressed and made-up by a mortician of his choosing. Eh…

Ok, well, moving past the lengths he went to for the burial, please don’t think this was the end of this fairytale romance. Oh no, when Carl commits, HE COMMITS.

For 2 years he visited her grave every night, serenading her in the dark, sleeping and crying on her tomb, you know, what you see in the third act of every romantic comedy. Somewhere around this time he is fired from his job (bc generally creeping an entire town out can’t go past two years–limits!) and finally stops visiting the mausoleum.

So, perhaps Count Doctor finally found a friend to sit him down and explain this is just not a good look for anybody? Maybe he found a good therapist? Got a new hobby? Well, not exactly.

It wasn’t discovered what had caused Count Doctor Crazy to stop his nightly graveyard haunts until 1940 when one of Helen’s sisters stopped by his home to confront him about…shall we say, unpleasant rumors that were circulating (ex: People had observed the doctor dancing with a giant doll). To her understandable horror, she didn’t just find Tanzer at home. She also found her sister. (And if you’re keeping score, this is 9 years after she died.)

Yep, after 2 years, the nighttime visits just weren’t cutting it, so he loaded up poor Helen’s body into a child’s wagon and transported it to a makeshift lab he had fashioned inside of an old airplane. Not content to stop there, he decided to ‘reconstruct’ her, like 2 years dead is hard on a girl and she needed some TLC. Using plaster of Paris, wires, mortician’s wax, and glass eyes, Tanzler brought Elena “back to life,” and proceeded to take her to his home where the pair shared a marital bed.

Over the years, Tanzler kept Elena “alive” using wire hangers to preserve her frame, stuffing her abdominal cavity with rags, routinely reapplying wax to her face, replacing her decaying scalp with real hair, and constantly dousing her in disinfectants and oils to mask the rotting smell of her body. He also saw to his own needs as it was discovered he had built a wax and paper tube so their love could be consummated. (urck) Pics in the show notes, but NSFW or a healthy mind.

Unsurprisingly, Carl was arrested, but the charge seemed to be a bit soft; I’m no judge, but “wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization” doesn’t really seem to fully convey the situation.

Also not surprising, the trial became a media sensation, with Panzer taking the stand, and unapologetically, again declaring his ‘undying love and devotion’ for Helen. What is odd, at least to me, is many people (mainly women) were sympathetic to Count Doctor, seeing him a misunderstood romantic. (I guess bc this was during WWII everything was horrible?) Also while on the stand, Carl claimed he planned to use an airship to take Hoyos, “high into the stratosphere, so that radiation from outer space could penetrate Elena’s tissues and restore life to her somnolent form,” which made about as much sense as anything else during the hearing.

Unfortunately for the prosecution and poor Helen’s family, the statute of limitations had already passed, forcing the court to drop all charges and Tanzler to be released a free man.

To end this story on exactly the notes it deserves, here is the instant follow-up:

Following the trial, the local funeral parlor displayed Elena’s body where thousands of morbidly curious people paid $1 to file past her remains. After this sideshow, her family buried her in an unmarked grave. Jesus Christ, this poor woman.

Carl Tanzler retreated into anonymity before dying in July 1952. In what I suppose could be considered irony if this all weren’t so goddamn awful, his body wasn’t found for three days, lying in his bed. Oh yeah, among his remaining possessions was a life-sized replica dummy of Helen de Hoyos.

Sweet Dreams, everybody!

Next Week’s Beer

Meadjito from Fallen Timber brewing

Faith In Humanity Restored

Pizza to Die for…

Ok that was a bit dark, but the story is super heartwarming. Some 25 years ago Rich and Julie Morgan loved Steve’s Pizza in Battle Creek Michigan. Unfortunately, they no longer live there so the couple had planned a trip from their Indianapolis home to visit again. Unfortunately, just days before his the trip and Steve’s birthday, he was told his cancer had worsened and he was placed in hospice, given weeks, maybe days to live.

Julie Morgan’s dad, David Dalke, found out about their plan and called Steve’s Pizza, knowing that they don’t deliver and certainly not 225 miles, hoping they could just send a note to the couple saying they were sorry that they couldn’t make it for a visit. About five minutes after the call, David got a call back asking what kind of pizza they like. He told them pepperoni and mushrooms.

It had been Dalton Shaffer on the phone with David. The 18-year-old grandson of the original Steve in “Steve’s Pizza”; Dalton had a plan of his own. He cooked up the pies of choice and as soon as he closed the store, he hit the road.

Now it’s about a 3.5-hour drive from Battle Creek, MI to Indianapolis, but that was no problem. Shaffer said it was a “spontaneous reaction” which made him decide to set out on what may be the longest pizza delivery known (for a stranger at least).

David Dalke waited patiently until 2 am when the delivery arrived. Dalton handed over the two pizzas, just as ordered, refused any money or an offer of a sit-down or a stay overnight, and headed back so he could work the next day. A 450-mile round-trip delivery for a man he’s never met because he has a big heart.

Julie Morgan posted about it on Facebook and the response has been remarkable, inspiring people from all over.

The final news is sadly, Rich Morgan died Saturday, but not before Steve’s Pizza came to the rescue.

cnn.it/2z2DlKZ

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P.S. Patreon updated a bunch of it’s posting functionality this week. If history is any indicator, that makes you all beta testers and me support. So, let me know if something is fucked and I’ll shove it up the contact-pipes they call “customer care” — because we live in a bizarro universe where words can just mean fucking anything because reasons…