News of the Week: Hurt Hands, Hot Dogs, and Halloween

Jimmy Fallon’s latest hand injury, hot dogs put to the test, scary gelatin recipes for Halloween, and more this week in pop culture.

Ghosts pops

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Jimmy Fallon Is Now Officially Out of Hands

Maybe it would be a good idea if Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon simply didn’t leave the studio.

Back in July, Fallon badly hurt his left hand after falling in his kitchen. This week, Fallon injured his right hand after tripping over a woman who was kneeling down at an event put on by The Harvard Lampoon in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fallon was in town to accept the Lampoon’s Elmer Award. He was carrying a bottle of Jägermeister at the time, fell, and his hand landed on the broken glass. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and luckily the injury wasn’t nearly as bad as last time.

He really puts the fall in Fallon, doesn’t he?

Breaking News: Nobody Knows What’s in Hot Dogs

Hot Dog Vintage advertisment
(Shutterstock)

This wasn’t a good week for meat lovers. Just when we heard that the Worldshut Health Organization is now going to classify the bacon, beef, and processed meats we’ve been eating as carcinogens — even if some of the reports have been misleading — we also got word that the hot dogs we’ve been eating all these years might have some things in them that we, well, don’t want to eat.

Clear Food, a testing lab, tested 75 brands of hot dogs and sausages and found that 14.4 percent had problems, some “hygienic” and “substitution” issues. Hygienic means that a non-harmful element was introduced to the hot dog, such as human DNA, which was found in 2 percent of the hot dogs tested. Now, I don’t know how finding human DNA in hot dogs can be considered “non-harmful,” but that’s how it’s classified. Substitution means that there’s something in the hot dogs that isn’t listed on the label.

And those vegetarian hot dogs you’re eating to be healthier? Ten percent of those tested contained meat.

Janet Riley, president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, there’s a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council) says that she has questions about how the tests were conducted, and that any hygiene or ingredient issues could have been introduced to the hot dogs by the staff of Clear Food or by the way the tests were performed and how the samples were handled. She also calls the scary report “silly” and accuses Clear Food of looking for publicity.

Four brands did get a passing grade: Butterball, McCormick, Eckrich, and Hebrew National. Expect a run on those brands at your local supermarket.

RIP, Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O’Hara in Miracle on 34th Street (20th Century Fox)

If I were to pick my two favorite movies, they just might be two Christmas movies: 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life (yes, a common choice but it really is a terrific film) and 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street. The latter starred the beautiful Maureen O’Hara, who passed away at her home in Boise, Idaho this week at the age of 95.

Turner Classic Movies will be running a 24-hour tribute to O’Hara on November 20, with such movies as McClintock!, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Big Jake, and The Quiet Man.

Sherlock Returns on January 1

There’s a great Sherlock Holmes television series, but it’s not the one on CBS. Elementary is … fine, I guess, a passable entertainment, but it’s not great. That would describe the other Holmes and Watson show on television, PBS’s Sherlock. Filming doesn’t begin on the fourth season (or “series” as they say in England) until the spring, but they did film a 90-minute special that will air on both the BBC and PBS on January 1. That’s a first for the show (it usually airs first on BBC and then later on PBS). Here’s the trailer. The show is set in modern times but this episode, “The Abominable Bride,” is set in Victorian England for some reason. It would be great if they don’t even explain why:

Also for the first time, the episode will be shown in select theaters, with 20 minutes of additional footage.

Vintage Words Are Making a Comeback

Dictonary entry for language
(Shutterstock)

Have you noticed that there are a lot of words from decades ago that we don’t use anymore? Language evolves, and some words just vanish as the decades go by, replaced by whatever words we’re all using at the time.

Using Google’s Ngram, which tracks the number of times words are used in print, a researcher discovered that many older words are making a comeback. People are actually using words like “fortnight” and “smitten” and “amidst” and “dapper” again. There’s a chance some hipsters are using these words ironically, but hey at least they’re being used.

There are many words and phrases I’d love to see come back. “Cockamamie.” “Old hat.” “Aces.” “Cahoots.” “Scram.” “Geezer.” “Hoosegow.” Those words are better than any Internet slang or LOL, and if some of them returned it would really be the bee’s knees.

Is Saying “You’re Welcome” Rude?

20151030-be-polite
(Shutterstock)

Crazy question, isn’t it? In what world would saying “you’re welcome” after someone says “thank you” be considered rude? Not to sound like an old man, but it’s coming from you meddlesome kids!

In this Boston Globe essay, Murray McClellan reveals that he recently learned from his son and the son’s girlfriend that saying “you’re welcome” is something you just shouldn’t do. Apparently, saying “you’re welcome” is now looked upon as the equivalent of saying “you owe me one,” an “acknowledgement of an uneven balance of power,” and it’s just plain rude.

Maybe some people don’t want to use the phrase for some reason, but calling it rude?

Now, I’ve noticed that in some situations people actually don’t say “you’re welcome,” Like after the NPR interviews that McClellan mentions (or any interview) where the interviewer says “thank you for being here,” the interviewee won’t say “you’re welcome,” they’ll instead say “my pleasure” or “thanks for having me.” But certainly the phrase “you’re welcome” can and should be used in other, traditional situations we all have, right?

I really do think this is an age thing, a generational thing, and specifically pushed by the tech/business world. In the same way I’ve noticed people start off their answer to a question by saying “So …” which is one of the oddest language things I’ve ever heard.

At this rate, it won’t be long before “thank you” disappears too, and all manners will be gone. We’ll just grunt at one another or stay home so we don’t have to interact with anyone anymore. It’s easier to just type “thx” or “k” in an email (because typing the “o” is too labor-intensive) than to communicate normally. What a cockamamie world this has become.

The Return of the Phone Booth

Phone booth
(Shutterstock)

I miss phone booths, or maybe I miss the idea of phone booths. I’ve gotten sick of hearing other people’s cell phone conversations while at the supermarket, the bank, the movie theater, the street corner. Nobody seems to understand that everyone around can hear what they’re saying. I know what people are having for dinner, what problems they’re having, and even what medical procedures they’re going to be having soon.

But maybe the phone booth is coming back. Or at least a certain kind of phone booth. The new ones don’t have phones in them (unless they’re decorative — a retro touch), they’re more like little rooms so people can have some privacy when they’re on their cells. Several companies are beginning to install the booths in their offices.

This is a fine idea. Now Superman and Supergirl will have some place to change again.

Boo!

Ghosts pops
(Shutterstock)

This year for Halloween I’m going as the same thing I’ve dressed as for the past several years: Guy Who Doesn’t Get Any Trick-or-Treaters So He Eats All the Candy Himself.

Assuming the planet isn’t destroyed by an asteroid and you’re planning a party, how about trying some of these Ghouly Cupcakes from Food Network? Or how about these Tarantula Tacos? You can even top off the evening with a Jack-o’-Lantern Cake.

Now, if you want a really scary recipe, how about this creepy Frankfurter Macaroni Salad Loaf thing? Oh God, it includes … hot dogs!

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Don’t forget to “fall back” this weekend
Before you go to bed on Halloween night, turn your clocks back an hour (and here are some things that might be smart to check after the clocks are changed).

Flight of the Spruce Goose (November 2, 1947)
Howard Hughes’s giant wooden plane only made one flight and is now housed at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Laika the Dog launched into space (November 3, 1957)
The three-year-old female was the first animal to orbit the Earth.

King Tut’s tomb discovered (November 4, 1922)
Was a curse unleashed when Howard Carter and his crew entered the tomb?

Will Rogers born (November 4, 1879)
Everybody has a Facebook page these days, including the acclaimed American humorist.

John Philip Sousa born (November 6, 1854)
He wrote “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the music that’s played during every Fourth of July fireworks display.

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Comments

  1. Although I’m sorry to read Jimmy Fallon’s now hurt his other hand, twice in 3 months (??!) is SERIOUSLY messed up to say the least. Something’s really wrong there.

    Hebrew National is probably the best for that occasional hot dog.

    Vintage words are wonderful and should make a comeback. For all intents and purposes they’re new, and are wonderful unlike the stuff that is new and are often non-words.

    That writer’s son and girlfriend don’t speak for most most people, let alone myself. Saying ‘you’re welcome’ should be said as a response in cases where you did someone a favor and you respond with that after they thank you.

    Depending on the circumstances, ‘my pleasure’ and variants are fine. Those though that think saying ‘you’re welcome’ is rude, are rude themselves! They’re also really stupid, ignorant people best to steer clear of. Sadly it’s not that shocking for the backward 21st century.

    Maureen O’Hara was one of the most beautiful, talented, classy actresses ever and will truly be missed. She’ll live on in her films of Hollywood’s Golden Age fortunately.

    The picture of the ‘3 little ghosts’ is wonderful and really made me smile.

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