News of the Week: Andy Warhol, Supermarket Etiquette, and Norman Rockwell’s First Post Cover

In the news for the week ending May 13, 2022, are an expensive painting, an unlucky day, a lunar eclipse, a supermarket debate, and more.

Man at a supermarket checkout lane

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Random Notes

Thoughts jotted down during an unseasonably cool May week (not that I’m complaining).

Andy Warhol’s classic, colorful portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 million at an auction, the most ever by an American artist at an auction, beating the old record of $110 million for a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting of a skull. I could say I picked the wrong career, but it looks like we all picked the wrong career.

I had to talk to a customer service rep over the phone the other day, and at the end of the call she said to me “see you soon.” She had to call/email me back later in the day so she just misspoke, but it unnerved me for a moment. Though it did give me an idea for a Lifetime thriller where a customer service rep becomes obsessed with one of their customers. It would star Rebecca Romijn as Kelly Baxter.

I don’t like the Select-A-Size Bounty Towels. The sheets are too small and weird. I’m an adult, I can handle the full size!

If I see the new Doctor Strange movie, will I know what’s going on, or do I have to see the 147 other Marvel movies/TV shows that came before it?

I’m not as up-to-date on my pop culture matters as I used to be, the important things that affect our daily lives and the nation as a whole, but when did they change “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” to “What would you do for a Klondike?”

Tom Brady signed a 10-year, $375 million contract to be the lead analyst for Fox Sports when his football career is over. That’s almost $400 million, or two Warhols.

Friday the 13th

It’s today (if you’re reading this on Friday the 13th, that is; if you’re reading it on Saturday it was yesterday, and so on). Hopefully you’ll read it early in the day so you won’t walk under ladders, break a mirror, walk too close to a black cat, or go to the supermarket while wearing sneakers.

I made up that last one but it makes just as much sense as the others.

Divider Debate

The big internet debate this week was this: Whose responsibility is it to put a divider between the groceries on a conveyor belt, the person who put the groceries on first or the person behind them who then has to put their groceries on the belt?

Is it just me or is the answer painfully obvious? It’s the first person, of course! That person puts their groceries on the belt and when they’re done they put the divider behind them for the next person. Why should it be the responsibility of the next person? How would they even know if the first person is done? And then there’s the matter of courtesy, of course, and let’s not forget that the first person probably doesn’t want to pay for the second person’s groceries.

This isn’t a controversy, it’s a non-troversy. Let’s not divide the country any more than it already is.

Quote of the Week

Regina Mason: “Father, why don’t you stand up for yourself? Are you a man or a mouse?

Father: “I must be a man. Your mother is afraid of mice.”

—The 1941 movie Blonde Inspiration (which isn’t very good but that’s a great line)

RIP Mickey Gilley, Mike Hagerty, Bob Lanier, Midge Decter, George Pérez, James Olson, Kenneth Welsh, Jack Kehler, and Susan Jacks

Mickey Gilley was a country singer who had 17 number-one country hits and a number-one pop hit with a remake of “Stand by Me.” He popularized the “urban cowboy” style, and the movie of the same name was set at his club Gilley’s in Pasadena, Texas. He died Saturday at the age of 86.

Mike Hagerty was a veteran character actor who was in practically everything. He played building super Treeger on Friends and had roles in shows like Seinfeld, Cheers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Home Court, The George Carlin Show, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Somebody, Somewhere, as well as many movies. He died last week at the age of 67.

Bob Lanier was an NBA Hall of Fame center who played for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks. He died Tuesday at the age of 73.

Midge Decter was a leading conservative writer and thinker. Besides writing several books, she was a writer and editor at such publications as Commentary (edited by her husband, Norman Podhoretz), Harper’s, The New Republic, The Atlantic, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. She died Monday at the age of 94.

George Pérez was an acclaimed comics artist who worked at both Marvel and DC, creating The New Teen Titans and working on The Avengers, Wonder Woman, and the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” series. He died last week at the age of 67.

James Olson appeared in movies like The Andromeda Strain, Paper Man, and Rachel, Rachel, as well as TV shows like Columbo, Kung Fu, Hawaii Five-0, and Murder, She Wrote. He died in April at the age of 91.

Kenneth Welsh had roles in shows like Twin Peaks, Lodge 49, Star Trek: Discovery, Charmed, and The Practice, as well as movies like The Aviator, The Day After Tomorrow, and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He died last week at the age of 80.

At the movies, Jack Kehler was seen in The Big Lebowski, Waterworld, Point Break, and Sour Grapes, and on TV he was in The Man in the High Castle, Mad Men, Murder One, and Fresno. He died Saturday at the age of 75.

Susan Jacks was lead singer of the Canadian band the Poppy Family, who had a hit with “Which Way You Goin’, Billy?” She died this week at the age of 73.

This Week in History

Norman Rockwell’s First Post Cover (May 20, 1916)

It was Boy with Baby Carriage. He was paid $75.

Amelia Earhart Becomes the First Woman to Fly Solo Across the Atlantic (May 20, 1932)

She was also a pioneer in the collectibles field, as signed letters and stamps that she carried with her on flights were later sold to fans.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Admiral Electric Range (May 7, 1955)

An ad featuring the Admiral range

Now that’s a fancy oven for 1955, with the futuristic-sounding “Dial-Any-Heat” and “Flex-O-Grill.”

May Is National Barbecue Month

You could celebrate this month by using that oven, or you could barbecue the usual way.

Let’s start with tips on how to set up your grill. After you have that down, you can try Barton Seaver’s Grilled Corn with Sweet Pepper Butter, then move on to Emeril Lagasse’s Greek-Style Lamb Kebabs. Curtis Stone has Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette (a word I always forget how to spell) and these BBQ Turkey Burgers with Homemade Pickles. And Taste of Home has this BBQ Chicken and Apple Bread Pudding.

When I think of barbecue, I don’t think of Apple Bread Pudding, but it sounds good.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Super Flower Blood Moon (May 15-16)

That’s not the name of a band, it’s a lunar eclipse that will happen Sunday and Monday.

National Sea Monkey Day (May 16)

I used to see the ads for these all the time on the back of comic books, but I never sent away for them. Did you?

PGA Championship (May 19-22)

Golf’s only all-professional major is at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. CBS and ESPN will have coverage.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. Those superstitions have given me pause since I was a child, but as I became more educated and experienced, I could rationalize fairly well where they began. Not walking under a ladder when there is activity above is common sense, but perhaps to a child who heard the phrase, was pulled away by his parent and didn’t understand why he couldn’t do such a thing, it became a role. He trusted that his parent knew more than he did and adhered to the warning, perhaps adding “It’s bad luck,” when guiding a friend around a ladder at a later date. And so on.
    I’m guessing the black cat superstition arose around countless witch trials or any other spooky things that folks who didn’t know better couldn’t explain because they didn’t know any better.
    Mirrors, I trust, were very expensive, hard to get and precious so you admonished everyone around you with the severest warning you could muster: bad luck, but more than that, seven years of it. I’d have been mighty careful if I believed in bad luck.
    Sneakers in a grocery store? I can’t explain how that could be bad or dangerous, etc. Perhaps high heels in a supermarket would be more apropos. All sorts of things to skid on and hitting a metal shelf on the way down and then thin tile over concrete: that’d be terrible bad luck.

  2. I’m with you on the grocery belt dividers, but I LOVE Select-A-Size Bounty! Sometimes I even tear a half towel in two and get a quarter size just right for using as a coaster or spoon rest (because I am too lazy to wash same). You can still tear off a regular sized piece for a bigger job.

  3. Who knows with Doctor Strange, and I think there are 35 Marvel Movies. And who knows how many DC ones now. I lost count and have to go to look them up, lol. I always put the little barrier/stick thing up, mainly my things have run over into someone else’s at times and the cashier can’t stop quickly enough because they are timed by how many they can scan at a time. This is the biggest reason I went to self checkout. I want to go at my speed (fast because I’ve worked as a checker) and I’m reasonably more accurate.


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