News of the Week: The Metaverse, Mustard Misery, and Macy’s Brings Back Toys ’R’ Us

In the news for the week ending July 22, 2022, are gold medals, Grey Poupon, franks and beans, Hollywood Death Trips, and more.

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Random Thoughts  

Notes jotted down during an increasingly hot, humid, uncomfortable week … 

Apparently the metaverse is the future of the internet. Which means that one day you’ll be able to join me inside my world and sit next to me as I write these columns in my sweatpants. If you could bring some snacks with you that’d be great.  

I didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday. Can I return these tickets to the store? They’re defective, so can I get my money back for them, or at least get credit toward new tickets? 

Audible has a new podcast called Hollywood Death Trip, about unsolved Tinseltown murders, and it’s hosted by writer James Ellroy. Doesn’t sound like something the whole family can gather around the computer to listen to, but I bet it’s fascinating.  

For some reason I found myself up at midnight the other night looking at pictures of Helen Reddy’s old house. The ’70s were a really bad decade for interior design. 

I just realized there’s a bee in my apartment and it’s the size of a golf ball (the bee, not the apartment). Another reason to hate summer. 

There’s a Mustard Shortage in France! 

“Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon? 

“No.” 

In related news, there’s now a Grey Poupon ice cream. 

Update: Jim Thorpe’s Gold Medals 

Thorpe’s two gold medals from the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, for the pentathlon and decathlon, were taken away from him when officials found out he had played some professional minor league baseball and therefore wasn’t an “amateur” athlete. Thorpe has now been declared the sole winner of those medals and the official record has been corrected. 

An interesting footnote: The man who got the gold medal for the decathlon when Thorpe was disqualified, Hugo Wieslander, never accepted the honor and always considered Thorpe the real winner. 

Thorpe died in 1953.  

Toys ’R’ Us ’R’ Back 

Did you know that products from Toys ’R’ Us, which went out of business a few years ago, have been available in some Macy’s stores and their website? The store chain made a deal with the company to sell their toys and games, and now they’re taking it one step further. Macy’s is opening Toys ’R’ Us departments in all of their stores, starting at the end of July. 

Most stores will have around 1000 square feet of Toys ’R’ Us products, but the larger stores will have 10,000 square feet. This news could make us all Toys ’R’ Us kids again. 

Post Writers You Should Read  

The new movie Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (reviewed here by Bill Newcott) is based on the novel Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico. He wrote several stories for the Post. In fact, he won the O. Henry Award in 1941 for “The Snow Goose,” published in the November 9, 1940, issue. 

Fun facts: Gallico started out as a sportswriter, drove 10,000 miles on a 1955 trip sponsored by Reader’s Digest, and wrote the novel that the film The Poseidon Adventure is based on. How’s that for a varied career?  

J.K. Rowling has said that Gallico was a big influence on her Harry Potter books.  

RIP William Hart, Bobby East, Sean Kelly, Kathy Marlowe, Penelope Windust, Mickey Rooney Jr., and Pat John 

William Hart was the lead singer of The Delfonics, known for such songs as “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind),” “Ready or Not Here I Come,” and “La La Means I Love You.” He died last week at the age of 77.  

Bobby East was a former NASCAR driver. He died last week at the age of 37. 

Sean Kelly was an editor and writer for the National Lampoon. He also wrote several books, stage comedies, and musicals, and was a writer on such TV shows as Saturday Night Live, Shining Time Station, and Between the Lions. He died last week at the age of 81. 

Kathy Marlowe Thompson had a recurring role on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show; appeared on Mr. Lucky, Surfside 6, and Bachelor Father, and in several movies; and had a highly successful career as an advertising model. She died earlier this month at the age of 87. 

Penelope Windust was an actress who appeared in such shows as ER, Mannix, Dallas, Boston Legal, and Murder, She Wrote. She also did a lot of theater. She died in February at the age of 76.  

Mickey Rooney Jr. was the son of actor Mickey Rooney and an actor and musician himself. He appeared in movies like Honeysuckle Rose and Songwriter, was one of the original Mouseketeers (before getting fired for shenanigans in the Disney paint room), and played in bands with Willie Nelson. He died Saturday at the age of 77.  

Pat John played Jesse on the popular, long-running Canadian show The Beachcombers. He died last week at the age of 69. 

This Week in History 

First Parking Meter (July 16, 1935) 

It was installed on the corner of First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City. 

Where I live they’ve replaced the parking meters with those kiosks that use either a smartphone app or a credit card. I’m not a big fan, because I don’t have a smartphone and I don’t want to see coins/cash go away. 

Now, I don’t own a car, but still, it’s the principle of the thing. 

Erle Stanley Gardner Born (July 17, 1889)  

Many of Gardner’s Perry Mason stories were serialized in the Post. He died in 1970, just four years after playing the judge in the last episode of the Raymond Burr series. 

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Making Camp (July 19, 1958) 

I’ve been camping only once in my life, and this is just one of the many reasons why. 

Hot Dogs and Baked Beans  

Hot dogs and beans are a camping staple, right? So it’s a good time for some recipes (also, it happens to be both National Hot Dog Month and National Baked Bean Month). 

Taste of Home has recipes for Corn Dog Twists, Cincinnati Chili Dogs, and Mini Mac & Cheese Dogs. And Eat This, Not That has 16 hot dog toppings you may not have thought of, including avocado and bacon and gravy and fries. 

AllRecipes has a recipe for Spicy Baked Beans (the heat comes from jalapeño peppers and chili pepper), while Dinner Then Dessert has these Southern Baked Beans, which have won four BBQ competitions.  

And here are 7 recipes for beans from a 1912 issue of our sister publication, The Country Gentleman, including Boston Baked Beans, which has always been one of my favorites. 

Hot dogs and beans both go great with mustard, by the way, whether it’s French or French’s.  

Next Week’s Holidays and Events  

National Parents’ Day (July 24)  

And this isn’t just some casual holiday someone decided to make recently to get clicks to their site; the resolution creating the day was unanimously passed by Congress in 1994. 

Tell an Old Joke Day (July 24) 

“Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.” 

“What year, sir?” 

“Well, I’d like it right now.” 

 Featured image: Shutterstock

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Comments

  1. Kaye, love your comment. That’s interesting the odor (not scent) from the Grey Poupon factory wasn’t anything like the flavor. GP, Maille Dijon and French’s. Their Dijon and Honey flavors are excellent too. Now I want a corndog from Der Weinershnitzel because I LOVE mustard!

    The future of the internet link didn’t work so well. With buffering every 3 seconds, I had to bail out. Bob, I have to give Helen Reddy’s old house a break here. It might be in part because I’ve always liked her and her music so much, but also that clothing and hair styles were so bad during the ’70s, they let everything else off the hook. I DO have to say though, by some miracle, the cast of the Mary Tyler Moore Show looked good in those regards then and now (especially Mary).

    I’m glad Jim Thorpe was declared the winner of the gold medals at the 1912 Olympics. Even if it’s very late in coming, it’s a wrong that’s been corrected for the records, and I’m sure his family is very happy about it. Mickey Rooney, Jr. appeared briefly in one of my favorite movies, ‘Hot Rods To Hell’ (’66) starring Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crain. Nothing like being chased in the California desert in your ’61 Plymouth sedan by nasty hot rodders.

    Love that Thornton Utz ’58 Post cover. It’s another one that I swear I’ve never seen before, even though I know I have. I have the book; this is embarrassing! Of course that’s nothing compared to Josh Hawley’s 1/6 running away footage from the rioters he inflamed and encouraged earlier, singularly responsible for it being so much worse. He either should have fallen prey to the rioters on Jan. 6th, or be in a men’s general population prison now. Oh, and his masculinity overkill must be due to some kind of personal shortcoming the scardey cat c-word has.

  2. Lived across the street from Grey Poupon factory in Dijon summer 1964. Have memories of the odor of mustard which was not as fun as the flavor. Hope the shortage ends soon.

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