News of the Week: Mariah vs. Darlene, the Oldest Post Office, and Can a Hot Dog Also Be a Straw?

In the news for the week ending August 26, 2022, are a Christmas conflict, a duct tape dispute, a frank discussion of straw alternatives, and more.


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Who Is the Real Queen of Christmas?

We’ve had The War to End All Wars. We’ve had the Thrilla in Manila. We’ve even had the Battle of the Network Stars. And now comes the fight for which female singer best embodies the spirit of the holidays.

In this corner: Mariah Carey. The singer with the massively popular hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has filed a trademark request to be named “The Queen of Christmas.” In the other corner: Darlene Love. She says she was given the title by David Letterman after singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on his Christmas show 29 years ago (something she did every year until Letterman’s retirement), before Carey’s song was even released. And if that wasn’t enough, Elizabeth Chan says she’s the real queen because she released an album actually titled The Queen of Christmas.

Somehow I can’t see Rosemary Clooney or Peggy Lee filing a trademark to be named the Queen of Christmas.

Maybe Carey, Love, and Chan can tour together and call it the “Queens of Christmas Tour.” (That will never happen.)

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana?

That’s the punchline to a classic “knock-knock” joke but is also a good description for an update on a story I first brought you in 2019.

A man put a banana on a wall using duct tape and called it art. He got paid for it too, in the six figures. Now another man has filed a lawsuit, saying that he first duct-taped fruit to a wall in 2000 for a piece titled Banana & Orange. The plaintiff is accusing the other artist of copyright infringement.

The Oldest Post Office Still in Operation …

is in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. It opened in 1816, which means it’s even older than the Post, which launched five years later.

Tweet of the Week

RIP Jerry Allison, Len Dawson, Tom Weiskopf, Michael Malone, Gary Gaines, Virginia Patton, Mildred Kornman, and Helen Grayco

Jerry Allison was the drummer for Buddy Holly and the Crickets and co-wrote their hits “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be The Day,” and “More Than I Can Say.” He died Monday at the age of 82.

Len Dawson was a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was later an analyst for NBC and HBO. He died this week at the age of 87.

Golfer Tom Weiskopf won the 1973 British Open. He also had impressive showings at the Masters and U.S. Open tournaments. He died Saturday at the age of 79.

Michael Malone had an interesting career. Besides writing well-received literary and mystery novels and nonfiction and being a writing teacher at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale, he also became head writer of One Life to Live in 1991 and won a Daytime Emmy. He later wrote for Another World. He died last week at the age of 79.

Gary Gaines was the high school football coach made famous in the Buzz Bissinger book Friday Night Lights and the movie of the same name. He died Monday at the age of 73.

Virginia Patton played Harry Bailey’s wife Ruth in It’s a Wonderful Life. She died last week at the age of 97.

Mildred Kornman was one of the last surviving actors of the silent era. As a child she appeared in Our Gang comedies. She later had a successful modeling career under the name Ricki VanDusen. She died last week at the age of 97.

Helen Grayco was a singer discovered by Bing Crosby. She later married bandleader Spike Jones and often appeared on his shows and tours. She died last week, also at the age of 97.

This Week in History

Benjamin Harrison Born (August 20, 1833)

The president we always forget about was nicknamed “The Human Iceberg,” which could be the name of a Marvel superhero.

First America’s Cup (August 22, 1851)

It was originally called the R.Y.S. £100 Cup, and the first race was won by a schooner called … America.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Coastal Post Office (August 26, 1950)

Stevan Dohanos asked his friend, fellow Post artist Ben Stahl, to pose as the artist of the painting in the picture. Stahl even drew the painting he’s posing with. The Post paid him $1.65.

Using a Hot Dog as a Straw (and Other Weird Food Tricks)

I have approximately 27 questions about this video that went viral this week, showing a New York Yankees fan drinking his beer with a straw made from a hot dog.

One, why would you use a hot dog as a straw when you obviously have a straw already because that’s what you used to make the hot dog straw in the first place?! Two, does beer mixed with the flavor of a hot dog taste any good?

Also, who drinks beer with a straw anyway?

But it seems to work, so more power to him. It got me thinking about other food and drink tricks that people use when they make or eat something, the little quirks we all have.

I can think of two I have. One is that I don’t drink my tea in a mug. I drink it in an “to go” insulated cup, even though I rarely “go” anywhere with it. That way I don’t have to constantly wash a mug. I even pour the tea back and forth between two cups so I don’t have to dirty a spoon. I go through a lot of paper cups this way but it’s more enjoyable for some reason (though less civilized).

The second is that I twirl my spaghetti on a spoon with my fork (hey, I’m Italian). I’ve lost count how many times people look at me in amazement, as if I had just solved Rubik’s Cube in three seconds. I thought everyone twirled their spaghetti, but I guess it’s a skill, like juggling or turning a hot dog into a straw.

What are some of your food tips, quirks, and hacks?

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

College Football Season Starts (August 27)

Several games will air this Saturday, on what is apparently called Week Zero.

Little League World Series Championship (August 28)

It airs on ABC at 3 p.m. ET.

U.S. Open (August 29)

This is Serena Williams’s last tournament. ESPN will have coverage starting at noon ET, and if you miss any matches, Tennis Channel will have highlights in the morning and match replays at night.

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  1. I’m a heathen, I cut my spaghetti up. That is when I eat “spaghetti”, I usually use a different pasta shape like Fusilli or something. I’m a grade A mess otherwise, lol.

  2. I am a Diet Coke lover. When in an unfamiliar restaurant I always ask if they have Coke products. About 50% of the time the answer is, “No, but we have Pepsi products”. At this point I usually make a face and the server will hurry to say, “I’m sorry!”

    As for weird food quirks I have one about eggs. I enjoy them fried, boiled, scrambled and in deviled form. I absolutely cannot tolerate egg salad. The consistency is a major turn-off.

    I really enjoy your columns !

  3. Queen of Christmas? It’s a measure of how unthinkingly blasphemous this era is that people don’t scream, “That’s the Virgin Mary!!” And I’m not Catholic.

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one for whom the washing of a glass or cup is an unbearable burden. I’ve been living this way for forty years. Paper plates and plastic silver, too.

  4. I’m sure lawyers on both sides will work it out; but will it be before Christmas? The banana thing is ridiculous and should be thrown out of court figuratively and literally. I’m sure there’s probably some phony in the New York art crowd that may try to make money off it. At least it isn’t emptied vacuum cleaner contents.

    Per that Tweet, Pepsi’s fine. So’s Sierra Mist if I asked for a Sprite. No apologies needed, thank you. The straw dog video is weird on all kinds of levels, but whatever. Never feel bad about twirling the spaghetti. Didn’t Lucy do that in the famous Bill Holden/Brown Derby Hollywood episode in 1955? I think so. Just don’t have too much on the fork at one time unless you have a scissors handy.

    No food tips I can think of off hand, but I like to put a plastic bottle of water in the freezer overnight so I have cold ice water throughout the day in the heat, if I have to be out. Adding the electrolyte fizz helps.

    GREAT colorful Stevan Dohanos cover, Bob! So wonderful to see it all lit up online. Thanks for the extra insider info on it too. I’m sure there’s more to Ben’s compensation than that $1.65 we don’t know about. There has to be!


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