News of the Week: Rich Teens, Moving Halloween, and Sandwiches Made of Ice Cream

In the news for the week ending August 2, 2019, are a 3 million reasons to play video games, a Halloween petition, nine decades of Hollywood memorabilia, yummy ice cream sandwiches, and more.


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Kid Wins Millions Playing Video Game

Obviously, I picked the wrong career.

There’s a popular video game called Fortnite. It’s so popular that it has become a worldwide phenomenon, where players who usually play alone in the comfort of their bedroom in their sweatpants play against hundreds of other players in public before large crowds (and some of them probably still play in their sweatpants). Last week, a 16-year-old from Pennsylvania named Kyle Giersdorf — screen name “Bugha” — won $3 million playing it. It’s the largest payout to a single person in esports history.

I wish I had known this back when I was playing Millipede and Asteroids. Giersdorf even quit school so he could practice eight hours a day and make it his career, and I guess we can’t argue with the results.

The event was held in the gigantic Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York. That’s where they play all of the important tennis matches during the U.S. Open, which shows you how big these events have become. Millions also watched the Fortnite tourney at home (apparently, millions of people like to watch other people play video games). For comparison, the champions of this year’s Open will each win $3.8 million.

What If Halloween Was Always on a Saturday?

More than 150,000 people have signed a petition to have Halloween always be on the last Saturday in October. That’s enough signatures to make sure it gets officially reviewed by the White House.

The reason sounds logical enough: if Halloween falls on a school night, kids can’t enjoy it as much as they do when it’s on a weekend night. And if they have it on a Saturday, they can trick-or-treat earlier, when it’s still light out. It will be safer, and they can celebrate longer.

Not a bad idea, but I think individual cities and towns can decide this for themselves. It’s something they do anyway when something disrupts a holiday or if weather forces a parade or fireworks to be canceled; they simply move the event to a later day.

I wonder if adults have anything to do with this. Halloween has suddenly become one of the most popular — if not the most popular — holidays for grown-ups. I’ve never really understood this, but I know many adults who dress up for the holiday and go to parties. It’s big money now.

If they’re worried about holidays disrupting people’s lives, we should also move the Super Bowl from Sunday to Saturday. Employers lose millions every year (supposedly) because workers don’t show up to work the following Monday morning because they’re too hungover … I mean “too tired from celebrating.”

Rose Marie’s Closet

When you’ve been in show business for 90 years (!), you’re bound to accumulate a lot of interesting collectibles and memorabilia. That’s what you see in this auction currently being held by the family of Dick Van Dyke Show star Rose Marie. Besides some nice household items — glassware, plates, and mugs — you can also get clothing, pictures, and even Christmas cards sent to and from various celebrities, including Carl Reiner and Jerry Lewis.

By the way, if you haven’t caught the documentary about Rose Marie’s life, Wait for Your Laugh, it’s well worth seeing. Such a long, fantastic life and career.

RIP Russi Taylor, Hal Prince, Reverend Ben Kinchlow, and Nick Buoniconti

Russi Taylor was the voice of Minnie Mouse since 1987. She also did voices on The Simpsons, including the voice of Martin Prince, and worked on dozens of different animated TV shows, movies, and shorts since the early ’80s. And who was she married to? The guy who did the voice of Mickey Mouse, of course, Wayne Allwine. She died last week at the age of 75.

Hal Prince was the legendary director and producer of such Broadway shows as Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Cabaret, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, and Sweeney Todd. He won 21 Tony Awards. He died Wednesday at the age of 91.

The Reverend Ben Kinchlow was the co-host of Christian Broadcast Network’s The 700 Club for many years. He also hosted other CBN shows and wrote several books. He died last month at the age of 82.

Nick Buoniconti was a Hall of Fame football player. He played for the AFL’s Boston Patriots and then went on to the Miami Dolphins, where he was a member of the only team to have a perfect season record, in 1972. He spent 23 years as co-host of Inside the NFL, and was the subject of a recent HBO documentary, The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti. He died this week at the age of 78.

This Week in History

The Summer Olympics Return (July 29, 1948)

After the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, the Summer Games were interrupted for 12 years by World War II. The 1948 games were held in London.

Herman Melville Born (August 1, 1819)

Most people know him from his classic novel MobyDick, but he had an interesting life and career beyond that.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Beach Parking Lot (August 1, 1959)

Family looking for auto in beach parking lot

This James Williamson cover looks like it could have been inspired by the beach near my house. I went grocery shopping last week at a supermarket near the biggest beach in the area, and the line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot stretched a mile from the entrance, past the supermarket, past various intersections. I think many of them didn’t even get in because the lot filled up.

Today Is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

What’s the perfect summer dessert? There’s the ice cream cone, so iconic and so portable. There’s the ice pop, or Popsicle, which I seem to be eating a lot of during this heat wave (and also seem to be writing a lot about too). Then there are all the desserts you can get from the ice cream truck besides ice pops, like snow cones and Fudgsicles and Push-Ups and other desserts with names that probably vary depending on what the brand is and where you live.

A case could be made for the humble ice cream sandwich. It’s portable too, it has that irresistible combo of chocolate and vanilla (or other flavors), and it’s probably less messy than an ice cream cone or an ice pop. You could just go out and buy a box to celebrate the 120th birthday of the ice cream sandwich, but how about making your own?

Serious Eats has a recipe for a Classic Ice Cream Sandwich. If you like your ice cream sandwiches made with chocolate chip cookies to hold the filling, check out this recipe from Betty Crocker. And if you want to get all fancy, try this Butter Pecan Cookie and Peach Ice Cream Sandwich.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Picnic Month Begins

In June we published 9 Tips to Avoid Picnic Panic on International Picnic Day, and I’m sure those tips will transfer seamlessly to National Picnic Month.

International Clown Week (August 1-7)

If you’re afraid of clowns, this is a bad week for you.

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  2. Sorry Bob, when I first saw the headline I unfortunately thought of those two rich American ‘teens’ who went to Italy last month to make money on drug deals! They had absolutely NO business being over there in the first place, and one of them stabbed an Italian cop in Rome 11 times. For this homicide, the Italian justice system want these (expletives) in prison for life, doing hard labor. I agree 100%, and would LOVE to be the judge handing down that sentence!! Regarding this 16 year old here, the money will likely be gone in not too long a time.

    As for Halloween being moved to Saturday for the kiddies, it’s probably a good idea for the reasons mentioned. Thanks for the link on its popularity for adults. # 4 would have to be my reason; showing off & socializing. It was fun doing my Falco ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ routine at work twice (different jobs) and Chippendale’s guy once, but in THIS socio-economic era/climate, not so much. I don’t want to be chastised for it again (here) in the comments either please; thank you.

    The Rose Marie video is wonderful. What an all-around great entertainer and singer she was; an amazing, classy lady. I will definitely watch the terrific documentary on her amazing life and career. Thanks for the info on it.

    Great POST cover by the way. The supermarket situation sounds like pure hell, Bob! Did you get YOUR shopping done then (afraid to ask) or go home and then go back another time? I would have done the latter. As for the clowns, don’t be afraid of them. If you are, this is the right week to face those fears head on!


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