From The Archives: Celebrity Dwarf, John Rice

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

John Rice, the self-made Florida millionaire who at 2 feet, 10 inches, was one of the world’s shortest twins, has died after falling off a footstool.

Over the last 25 years, Rice and his equally small brother Greg became millionaires doing infomercials and acting in TV and film –you know, mostly shorts.

As news of Rice’s death spread, flags all around the state were lowered to one-quarter staff.

Rice’s brother asked that John be remembered as the indomitable optimist who always saw every glass as less than half full.

Rice is survived by his brothers, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Happy.

Leo Kahn, Founder of Staples

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Leo Kahn, founder of Staples and a pioneer in big-box retailing, is now a pioneer in pine-box decaying.

Kahn tragically died after a series of strokes. By the time doctors got to him, he was already canary yellow and covered with a unique, low-tack adhesive that allowed his body to be removed without leaving marks or residue –not unlike a pad of 3-inch square Post-it Brand notes. With prices like $2.99 for ten pads of 50 sheets each, it’s not hard to guess why this week is “Memo Mania Week”!

Kahn opened his first store in 1986 and offered every item you’d ever need in an office, from reams of copy paper to rape kits.

He soon discovered the secret to amazingly low prices was to first get products directly from the manufacturer –and then not tell them about it.

Today the chain generates over $27 billion a year, primarily because it gives millions of employees something easy to steal while their souls are being crushed at bank jobs.

Kahn requested his internal organs be cushioned in bubble wrap and grouped in highly visible, strategically located “pods” where customers can bring in their internal organs and refill their precious bodily ink fluids.

George C. Ballas Sr., Inventor of The Weed Eater

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

George C. Ballas Sr., a Houston developer who invented the Weed Eater, is now being eaten by weeds.

Ballas got the idea for his machine after watching spinning brushes at a local car wash. He wondered if the same principle that lets Americans underpay migrants who wash their cars could also inspire them to underpay migrants who piss off the neighborhood with noise and choking exhaust fumes.

Ballas soon began experimenting by poking holes in a tin can with fishing wire and attaching it to a rotary lawn edger. Seven maimed cats later, the “Pussy Eater” was born. But it wasn’t until someone suggested he use it on weeds that his invention really took off.

Ballas was the grandfather of Dancing With The Stars dancer Mark Ballas. Mark got the idea to become a dancer after watching a weed eater make everyone in his family so filthy rich they’d never again have to worry about getting a real job.

Ballas requested his remains be cremated and his ashes scattered in front of a leaf blower.

From The Archives: Mike Yurosek, Inventor Of Baby Carrots

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Mike Yurosek, the inventor of those peeled “baby” carrots used around the world by heroin addicts trying to kick the habit, died last week after chomping down on his own niblet.

It was in 1986 when Yurosek first perfected a way to take misshapen and broken carrots that would ordinarily be discarded, and basically make a huge fortune out of trash.

The invention boosted carrot sales by 35%, inspiring Yurosek to further increase profits by miniaturizing wages.

Many less-successful Yurosek innovations followed, including “Baby, Baby Peas,” “Zuchinni-Weenies,” and the puzzling “Mushroom-Shaped Mushrooms.”

Thanks to Yurosek, Americans today are eating a lot more carrots than their parents did. They’re also eating a lot more insect parts and rat droppings, so I guess things have a way of balancing themselves out.

Yurosek was an active volunteer at religious organizations and could often be seen whittling down a knobby, misshapen crucifix into bite-sized pieces.

The deceased requested his body be dismembered, shaped into 2-inch segments, and pumped through pipes into a peeling tank for final polishing.

From The Archives: Rebecca Webb Carranza, Inventor of the Tortilla Chip

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Rebecca Web Carranza, acknowledged creator of the first tortilla chip, died of a heart attack last month when she accidentally ate a priceless plate of nachos in the shape of the Virgin Mary.

Witnesses say her body was found cracked and soggy, lying face down in a half-eaten bowl of picante sauce surrounded by a bunch of teenage boys too shy to leave the snack table to go mingle with the girls standing by the keg.

Relatives say there’s no truth to the rumor she died after breaking her hip on an unusually heavy chunk of guacamole.

Carranza’s Los Angeles tortilla shop was the favorite of many celebrities. Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, who played Jack Benny’s valet on radio and television, would often buy a bag of her chips and then swallow them whole to create his horribly painful voice.

Carranza requested her remains be stored in an airtight, plastic bag for freshness, until the time comes when she must be covered with cheese under a heat lamp.