News of the Week: Grease Theories, Greta Friedman, and the Great Guacamole Controversy

In the latest News of the week, Bob Sassone tackles the important questions: Was ‘Grease’ just a deathbed hallucination? Does ‘moobs’ belong in the dictionary? Do peas belong in guacamole? This and more.

Guacamole dip

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Here’s a Theory About Grease I Bet You Never Thought Of

Of course, you probably don’t sit around your house thinking about Grease theories at all — “Hey, Edna! Get in here! I have a new theory about Grease I want to share with you! — but if you did, here’s a new one that might interest you.

Sandy was dead the whole time! [insert scary music here]

This theory was spread by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar on Facebook. She didn’t come up with it, but she heard about it and passed it along to her fans.

That’s right, Sandy actually drowned at the beach that day (“I saved her life, she nearly drowned …”) and she’s in a coma imagining this entire musical before she dies. Grease co-creator Jim Jacobs disputes this theory, though to be accurate, he co-created the stage musical. This theory has to do with the 1978 movie version with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

If anything, this new theory might give you an idea for a Halloween costume this year. Sure, many people will be dressing up as Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or Captain America or someone from Game of Thrones, but you can surprise everyone by going as Dead Sandy from Grease. Just be prepared for a lot of questions.

RIP Greta Zimmer Friedman

Friedman is one of the most famous women in the world, but you never knew her name.

She was the dental assistant grabbed and kissed by a sailor in Times Square on V-J Day, the day World War II ended in 1945. Friedman was just standing there with friends celebrating when George Mendonsa, a sailor also celebrating the end of the war, surprised her by taking her in his arms and kissing her. The classic photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Friedman passed away last week at the age of 92. She’s going to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to her husband.

There has actually been confusion about who the couple was, with several other people coming forward over the years, claiming to be the man and woman in the photo. But researchers say that Mendonsa and Friedman are the ones locking lips in the iconic picture, and four years ago CBS reunited the couple in Times Square.

Squee, Moobs, and YOLO

No, that isn’t the title of a new kids cartoon about animals who open a law firm. They’re three words that have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Squee is the high-pitched sound someone makes when they’re excited. YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once,” and moobs is a pudgy man’s … well, you can Google that if you want.

Other new words added include Murica (a different way of saying “America,” and it has more than one spelling), clickbait (those web headlines that try to get you to click on them and they turn out to be misleading or worse), and fuhgeddaboutit (“forget about it” mashed into one word and often said by people in New Jersey). To celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, the OED editors have also added Oompa Loompa and scrumdiddlyumptious, and they’re also adding yogalates, which is a combo of yoga and pilates. Like you, this is the first time I’ve ever heard that word.

By the way, if you can use all of those words in a single sentence, let us know in the comments.

New F. Scott Fitzgerald Stories Coming in 2017

Who said there are no second acts in American lives? Oh wait, that was F. Scott Fitzgerald. But he might change his tune if he were alive today.

Next April, Scribner will release I’d Die For You, a collection of stories Fitzgerald wrote in the 1930s and was unable to sell because the subject matter was different from what magazine editors at the time expected of the writer. The title comes from the time Fitzgerald was suffering from alcoholism in North Carolina and his wife was in a sanatorium.

Fitzgerald, of course, wrote several classic stories for The Saturday Evening Post, and here’s a feature on how we helped create The Great Gatsby.

This Week in History: Jesse Owens Born (September 12, 1913)

Owens wrote several pieces about the Olympics for The Saturday Evening Post in 1976, including this piece on how he trained for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and what happened there.

This Week in History: Princess Grace of Monaco Dies (September 14, 1982)

Here’s how Princess Stephanie, youngest daughter of Princess Grace, described the car accident that took the life of the former actress known as Grace Kelly.

National Guacamole Day

How many ways are there to make guacamole? You’re probably thinking that guacamole can’t possibly be controversial. But it is, and we’ll get to that in a minute. Meanwhile, for National Guacamole Day (which is today), here’s a classic recipe from The Saturday Evening Post Antioxidant Cookbook.

You’ll notice that this recipe — like most guacamole recipes — doesn’t have peas in it. And therein lies the controversy. Last year, people were up in arms because The New York Times printed a guacamole recipe that included those little green veggies. It was The Great Green Pea Scandal of 2015! The Guacamole Recipe That Shook the World! The Guacamole Conundrum (which also happens to be the best Robert Ludlum novel)!

Here’s the recipe that caused all the trouble. Even if you don’t think it sounds too appetizing, try it anyway. Maybe you’ll be surprised. YOLO!

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

The Emmy Awards (September 18)

The 68th ceremony airs this Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Here’s a list of nominees so you can make your guesses at home.

Wife Appreciation Day (September 18)

Not to be confused with Mother’s Day, which celebrates women with children. Wife Appreciation Day is for married women who don’t have kids.

Fall begins (September 22)

BREAKING NEWS: I bought tea this week; I’m ready for fall. That doesn’t mean the temperatures are going to cooperate right away, but fall begins on the 22nd, and I’m ready for it.

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  1. (Part II)

    The OED is adding some really stupid, fleeting-in-meaning words that should make anyone of intelligence, good taste and common sense put the OED’s sense of judgement into serious question.

    Nice attempt at a spin save Bob, but ‘Murica’ is a flat out ignorant, just plain WRONG pronunciation of America and we both know it! Shame on them for putting in the dictionary. I always thought ‘whee’ (not squee) was the sound a happy child made on the swing-set, or was that just my imagination?!

    ‘Moobs’ and ‘YOLO’? Fuhgeddaboutit. Clickbait has some legitimacy, the others not so much, but do compared with Murica!

    Thanks for the feature on Princess Grace and the link of Princess Stephanie’s account of what happened. I didn’t know these details which makes it all the more tragic. If only she hadn’t insisted on driving after her chauffeur basically begged her not to, and had come up with the perfect solution.

    She would have avoided that treacherous road and the accident most likely wouldn’t have happened. We lost a wonderful woman as a result, and gained a daughter that would understandably be scarred for life from that day forward in 1982 at age 17. It’s heart breaking. Just imagine yourself in her situation.

  2. You’re right Bob, I never thought of this theory about ‘Grease’. Of course I didn’t know there WAS a theory TO be thought of about it until now. The comments by Ms. Gellar actually make perfect sense. Having not seen the film since its release nearly 40 years ago, it might be time to re-watch it. All new, all over again.

    There’s been A LOT of confusion and misinformation over the years concerning the VJ Day photo which has to be THE single MOST famous photo of the entire 1900s.

    For YEARS most people thought Edith Shain and Carl Muscarello were the couple in the photo. Simply google her name, and go down to the 4th feature. When she passed away in 2010 it was widely reported on the news that she was the nurse in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous LIFE photo. There always had been some lingering doubt though as to her legitimacy of really ‘being the one’.

    I’m very glad we know who the real couple is. It’s important for a lot of reasons, including accuracy of 20th century American history at the end World War II with this photo almost as the happy bookend to Pearl Harbor. Another interesting fact is that this photo was NOT on the cover of LIFE magazine at the time!

    The following week it WAS the lead photo in the News Photos of the Week section—inside. LIFE did do a softcover book in the ’90s using it on the cover when it was still a monthly with the larger LIFE logo. Had they known the impact the photo would have, I’m sure it would have been on the cover instead of “Tooey” Spaatz taking a drag on his cigarette.


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