Parents vs. 30-Year-Old
I moved out of the house at 23. I don’t think that’s too late in life. Though a lot of younger people are living at home until their late 20s (and every family is different, for different reasons), I couldn’t imagine staying until I hit my 30s.
That’s what this guy did, and his parents sued him for it. Seems they’ve been pleading with the man to get a job for eight years and even offered him money to get his own place. It finally got to the point where they served him with five “please get the hell out of our house” notices and filed a lawsuit against him. The case went to court last week and the judge sided with the parents.
He’s going to appeal the decision, of course. If he stays in the house during the appeal, that’s going to be one awkward dinnertime. But earlier this week, he was offered a job at Villa Italian Kitchen restaurant. And while his parents only offered him $1,100 to move, they’re going to give him a bonus of $1,101. Stay tuned.
Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby…
June 1 marks the first official day of the hurricane season, and we already have the first one, named Alberto. Actually, it’s officially “Subtropical Depression Alberto.” That makes it sound like he needs to take medication, but it was still packing winds and a lot of rain for the southeast as I write this.
Other names coming up this season in the Atlantic include Beryl, Chris, Debby, and Ernesto. Here’s the full list. This year’s list is the same as the 2012 list, with one exception: Sara has replaced Sandy, a name that has been retired for obvious reasons.
I’ve never collected postage stamps. It’s something I have a mild interest in and I bet it would be fun, but at this point it just seems like a Herculean task. I mean, they’re stamps, and they’ve been around for decades. Where do you begin?
Maybe with the first scratch-and-sniff stamps. These new stamps from the United States Postal Service picture various multicolored ice pops, but they will all smell the same — and the exact scent is being kept under wraps. Now when you send the electric company a check (do you still send checks?), the people who work there can have the added fun of smelling some outdoor merriment they don’t get to partake in.
I just hope they don’t come out with scratch-and-sniff stamps for U.S. presidents. Nobody wants to know what Millard Fillmore smelled like.
When Bad Things Happen to Good Websites
I’ve seen a disturbing trend online the past few years: writers, artists, even entire companies abandoning their websites and moving completely to social media. This strikes me as not only foolish, but also dangerous. Why give your entire identity and online presence to Facebook and Twitter? What if they go out of business or change their terms of service? You certainly can’t design it the way you want to, and what about people who aren’t on social media?
The latest site to shut down is TV Shows on DVD. It was a great site (one I’ve linked to many times here), but I went there the other day and found this message. Sure, you are still going to be able to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s not going to be the same.
Look That Up in Your Funk & Wagnall’s
Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In turns 50 this year. Here’s a look back at the show from Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson, and here’s a story that CBS Sunday Morning did this week, which includes interviews with producer George Schlatter and star Lily Tomlin:
RIP Alan Bean, Bill Gold, Allyn Ann McLerie, and Patricia O’Grady
Alan Bean was the fourth person to walk on the moon, during the Apollo 12 mission in 1969. He also spent 59 days on the Skylab space station in 1973. He died Saturday at the age of 86.
Allyn Ann McLerie was a veteran actress who appeared in such movies as Where’s Charley?, The Way We Were, All the President’s Men, Calamity Jane, and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? She was also a regular on the TV shows The Tony Randall Show and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, and performed many times on Broadway. She died last week at the age of 91.
Patricia Grady’s story is a fascinating one. She was an acclaimed stage actress many years ago and appeared in small parts in a few movies and TV shows, but her real claim to fame is how and where she lived. Grady moved into a Greenwich Village apartment with three roommates in 1955, and because they agreed to do chores around the building, they were only charged $16 a month.
Her girlfriends eventually moved out, but Grady stayed. And that’s where she was still living when she was struck and killed by a car in March at the age of 84. At the time of her death, she was paying only $28.43 a month, thanks to rent control laws and a landlord who really liked her. Here’s the story at CNN, and here’s another one in The New York Post.
I’d advise the 30-year-old above that there’s an apartment available in New York City, but the rent for O’Grady’s place is about to increase a lot.
Quote of the Week
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” —ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, after the star made some (more) dumb remarks online.
This Week in History
Jell-O introduced (May 28, 1897)
I haven’t had it in several years, but I remember liking the lime flavor.
Here’s an ad for the quivering dessert that ran in the Post in 1924, illustrated by Norman Rockwell.
Marilyn Monroe born (June 1, 1926)
The Post’s Pete Martin had a three-part interview with the famous sex symbol in 1956 that focused on the “new” Marilyn Monroe.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Wedding Dress-Up (June 1, 1946)
This cover is by Constantin Alajálov. Weddings are popular in June because the goddess Juno is a protector of all things female. It’s also popular because of the weather, though you would think that October would be even more popular because the bride and groom and guests wouldn’t sweat as much.
Today Is National Doughnut Day
You don’t need another reason to get a doughnut today, but a lot of places are giving away free food, including Krispy Kreme, which is giving away a free doughnut to each customer, and Dunkin’ Donuts, which is giving away a free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
National Ketchup Day (June 5)
Or do you say catsup? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call it catsup. My spellchecker doesn’t even recognize the word. Are there still places where you’ll find it spelled that way? Let me know in the comments.
D-Day (June 6)
The Tree Has Arrived
How was your week? I pulled a muscle in my neck, had to get my stove fixed, and for the 32nd year in a row I wasn’t named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. But there is good news: The Christmas season has begun.
You might think the season officially begins when the red and green candy appears on supermarket shelves or when the department stores hang their wreaths, but it officially officially begins when the Christmas tree arrives on a truck in front of Rockefeller Center. It’s almost as if you’re given permission to call it the holiday season and listen to Christmas music when the big tree gets to New York City. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
The lighting of the 75-foot Norway spruce happens the night of November 29 on NBC.
Toys: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Two different toy-related lists were released this week, one naughty and one nice.
The consumer safety group WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm, which sounds like the name of a secret team of superheroes) has released their annual list of the 10 most dangerous toys. This year’s list includes the Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword, Jetts Heel Wheels, the Slackers Slackline Classic Kit, and the Itty Bittys Baby Plush Stacking Toy. Yes, even toys with the word “plush” in them can be dangerous.
But this week also saw the induction of several toys into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The three inductees are the board game Clue, Wiffle Balls, and paper airplanes. What finalists didn’t make it this year? My Little Pony, Risk, play food (toys that look like food), Transformers, PEZ dispensers, UNO, and sand.
That’s right, sand was a finalist this year. Sand.
Where Will Amazon Build Their New HQ?
That’s the big question every state is asking these days. Well, maybe not Hawaii, but many of the other 49 states. Amazon is going to build a second headquarters, and many cities have submitted plans to the online retailer with their best pitch.
The Wall Street Journal has done a study to figure out which city would be the best fit for Amazon, taking into account such criteria as cost of living, taxes, access to college graduates and tech help, and culture. The paper says that the top three contenders are Dallas, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
What the company should do is build it at the North Pole. There’s plenty of land, there might be some elves looking for work, and people sort of think of Amazon as Santa Claus already.
It Better Not Be the Oatmeal Cremes
Which one? pic.twitter.com/L0JNW7SAVL
— Little Debbie (@LittleDebbie) November 8, 2017
That’s a tweet the snack company sent out recently. They’re getting rid of one of their popular snacks, and they want to know from you which one should go (actually, they say “one gotta go” and boy is that an odd phrase). Of course, there’s no real reason why they have to get rid of one of the snacks. It’s clearly a publicity thing, something they want to become a “meme” and “go viral.” Writer R. L. Stine likes the Oatmeal Creme Pies, and William Shatner wants them all to stick around.
I think it’s obvious which one will be hitting the unemployment line. It’s the Honey Buns. No one has a heart black enough to get rid of a cake shaped like a Christmas tree, Oatmeal Creme Pies are too delicious, and Nutty Buddy rhymes, and everyone likes when foods rhyme. So Honey Buns gotta go.
RIP Liz Smith
Liz Smith was a journalist for 60 years and is best known for writing about celebrities and the culture of Hollywood and New York for various newspapers from 1976 to 2009, when she was let go from The New York Post at age 86. She died Sunday at the age of 94.
Here’s a great video interview with Smith at The New York Times, where she talks about her experiences with people like Frank Sinatra, Donald Trump, Katharine Hepburn, and Barbara Walters.
Casablanca at 75
The classic Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman drama premiered in New York in November of 1942. Bill Newcott talks about the film in this week’s edition of “Movies for the Rest of Us,” and on Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning did a story about the film and its dedicated fans, including interviews with the children of stars Bogart, Claude Rains, and Paul Henreid.
This Week in History
George S. Patton Born (November 11, 1885)
Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson explains how General Patton was part of the century’s best-kept secret.
The Star Wars Holiday Special Airs (November 17, 1978)
I’m not even sure if this has been seen on television since it first aired. Maybe only a few times or in snippets here and there. But thanks to YouTube, you can watch the whole thing. Along with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, you get sketches with Bea Arthur, Art Carney, and Harvey Korman. Plus: Jefferson Starship!
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Squawking Turkey (November 13, 1915)
I’m trying to figure out how the scene in this cover by Tony Sarg unfolded. Why was a little kid sent to get a live turkey that’s even bigger than he is? What exactly is that on the ground, a pan and water?
“The Thumb Twiddlers” — mentioned below the picture — sounds like an article that could be written today about people addicted to smartphones and social media, but it’s actually a short story by writer and director Rupert Hughes, uncle of Howard.
Are you a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving, or are you a bit daring? I’d like to think I’m the type of person who wants to try something new and out of the ordinary, maybe ham instead of turkey or Brussels sprouts or a pie made with a fruit I’ve never tried before. But when you get right down to it, I like my turkey and my mashed potatoes and the classic green bean casserole. Thank you, Dorcas Reilly!
But beyond those favorites, you’re going to need more for the day. Here’s a recipe for a sweet potato casserole, and here’s one for the perfect pie crust. Not sure how to cook your turkey? Here are some tips from McCormick, Food Network, and Melissa Clark at The New York Times.
If you have trouble cooking that turkey, you can always call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. They’ll tell you how long to cook your turkey, what to do if you bought your turkey in 1969, and what safety measures you should take for the stuffing.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
World Hello Day (November 21)
This international holiday started in 1973, and the goal is for everyone on the planet to say “hello” to 10 people. And no, saying it to them on Facebook doesn’t count.
National Tie One On Day (November 22)
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 23)
While the turkey is cooking and the yams are yamming, you can turn the TV to NBC, where you’ll see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which NBC has televised every year since 1948. It starts at 9 a.m. Eastern.
Hillary’s upcoming shindig is likely to seem sedate in comparison to the zaniness of last week’s spectacle in Cleveland. But, if anything, this is a turnaround from tradition. Historically, the Democrats have been the raucous ones.
Just look at the 1968 Chicago convention. For context, recall that President Lyndon Johnson, amidst abysmally low ratings due to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War, had announced in spring that he would not run for a second term. That decision opened up the Democratic field to JFK’s brother Robert Kennedy and antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy, as well as the more centrist Hubert Humphrey, the incumbent vice president.
In the months before the convention, both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. There was the palpable sense that America was coming apart at the seams. On the convention floor, the bitterness boiled over into shouting and shoving matches, but ultimately Humphrey and the status quo prevailed.
If this angered the antiwar delegates to the convention, it drove the 10,000 protesters outside into a pure and dangerous frenzy. Throughout the week, protesters were in open conflict with Chicago Mayor Daley’s security detail of 11,900 Chicago police — reinforced by more than 10,000 Army troops, National Guardsmen, and Secret Service agents.
Murray Kempton, a columnist for the New York Post and editor of The New Republic, was in Chicago to serve as a delegate for the liberal Senator Eugene McCarthy and also to write about the proceedings for the Post. After watching his candidate lose, he stepped outside to bear witness to the rioting in the streets, where he quickly found himself arrested along with hundreds of others.
The Decline and Fall of the Democratic Party
By Murray Kempton
Excerpted from an article originally published on November 2, 1968
We had arrived at 18th and Michigan, where the [national] guard and the police waited to say we could not go farther. The delegates had all found us and efficiently lined up behind Rev. Richard Neuhaus and me, since, for reasons obscure but connected with the failure of its beginning, ours was known as the Neuhaus-Kempton group. Such then was my last caucus; and, when Dick Gregory [the former comedian turned antiwar activist] went forward to get himself arrested and the Rev. Mr. Neuhaus to treat with the police, not knowing the procedure for getting arrested in Chicago as well as Gregory, I found myself stranded as its leader. Gregory’s blacks were juking in front of us; and [pacifist David] Dellinger’s strayed grays were no doubt preparing some manifestation behind us; and there fell upon me the sickening dread that at least two of our repertory companies were about to start their productions while ours, the amateur one, could not even think of its script.
Then Neuhaus returned at last, welcomed as no servant of the Lord often is, and said we should advance to confront the guard. There was nothing to do but get arrested, which took an unconscionably long time, during which we sat down symbolically, and then got up, because Gregory’s pards felt that it was about time to go into their performance and that we ought to stand and afford them free passage. A National Guard lieutenant colonel finally read his office over me, and I was moved, correctly but not cordially, into the wagon. Its bag was a mixed one of delegates and stray young people; riding over, the young called out “Free Vietnam” to the invisible streets outside. “Free assembly,” I ridiculously croaked.
In my usual job, you come to think of policemen as very much the same; when you are under arrest, they turn out to have quite extraordinary range. I should say that I met three nice cops for every nasty one; what surprised me was how far our permissive society has gone even with cops: A pleasant one feels free to be unusually pleasant and a mean one feels free to be unusually mean, neither of which tones is exactly what the book must command for treatment of that offender against society who is also its ward.
“Give me everything you’ve got with a sharp point,” the one who searched said. “One of you peace lovers put out an officer’s eye with a pin once. Do you know that?” He found a token that somebody had slipped me a long day ago and that I had put in my pocket without even looking at. It turned out to have the likeness of Martin Luther King on it; and he threw it to the floor. “Martin Luther Coon,” he said, grinding it with his shoe; “you all come from the same bag.” To my shame I did not make reply and only shuffled along, which is why it is so necessary never to be surprised. Yet, after this caricature, the trip to the Dark Tower, while tedious, had illogical moments of good manners. “What is a distinguished-looking man like you doing being arrested?” one of the booking detectives asked. I had no answer; the question, kindly meant, could only make me understand that I was getting old.
But, after a while, these desultory excursions into the study of policemen were driven away by the revelation of the other persons who had been arrested that night. The journey crept along in the company of The Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute and The Personnel Director of the Perth Amboy Hospital, The Telephone Company Lawyer, and then it would end in the waiting outside Riot Court, the Dark Tower itself, with the finding there of Harris Wofford, the President of A New York State University, of The Man from The New York Times, and The Rockefeller Man from Kentucky.
What could have brought them here in police custody? I knew why I was here; I had taken a contract. But what brought them, these safe men who had never before been arrested and probably never would be arrested again? It must be the indefinite suspension of their assurance of the virtue and redemption of America. The means of grace and the hope of glory had been taken away, because, after all, America had been their real God. And this night, otherwise inconsequential in our dreadful recent history, was The Night They Knew It.
But I could almost feel each of them, in his private heart, tending all afternoon toward this least dignified of places as the only one where they could be sure of being alone with their dignity. For them to have been in public that night would have been to rail or make bad jokes there; they had gone to the patrol wagon for privacy.
We stood about and talked among ourselves as men unused to arrest probably do; Dellinger’s stray young grays, who had been there before and would be again, slept on the floor. I felt quite tender about them, because I had noticed that although they sometimes carry signs bearing the device of some four-letter word or other when they are on-camera, they do not write dirty words on the walls of detention rooms. Do they, among other reasons, go to jail for privacy too?
There is very little to the rest. We went on talking; The Man from the Times came out from the Dark Tower and said this was a rough judge; he had been told to stop slouching. (I cherish The Man from the Times, but, in fairness to the judiciary, he does slouch.) My name was called; I entered the Dark Tower. And there, as usual with me, the first sight, instead of the Beast, was the warm bright greeting of William Fitts Ryan, my congressman; the convention was over and he had generously come down to be my lawyer. Bill Ryan unsheathed his congressional identification card and gave rein to his imagination for hyperbolic explanations of the distinction of his client; the judge struggled to the summit of whatever foothills of grace are afforded by night courts, and I was set loose.
For a complete inside look on the 1968 Democratic National Convention, read the full text to Murray Kempton’s “The Decline and Fall of the Democratic Party.”
The Year in Review
So here we are at the end of the year, and that’s the time for list, lists, lists! Everyone likes lists! The best this, the worst that, the biggest this, the most disappointing this and that. Here’s a quick wrap-up of what pop culture writers liked and didn’t like in 2015:
TV: The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum hates doing top 10 lists like I do, but here’s her list of the best shows of the year; Robert Rorke at The New York Post hated True Detective (like a lot of people); Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz picks the best shows, episodes, and performances of 2015; and Entertainment Weekly has the best and the worst picks from Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen.
Film: Over at The Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper picks his best and worst; New York Times critics A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, and Stephen Holden give us their lists; and Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty picks the 10 best (and 5 worst) films of the year.
Books: The staff at The Atlantic picks their favorite books of 2015; Laura Miller at Slate picks hers; the writers at The Millions go over their Year in Reading; and here’s the Best of the Year from the critics at The New York Times.
Music: Wow, reading these lists of the Best and Worst Albums of the Year makes me realize … I’m now too old to know anything about current music. Tyga? Jamie xx? Father John Misty? Tame Impala? Hey, I’ve heard of Adele!
It’s hard to list all of the well-known people who pass away in a single year. There are just too many people and you simply can’t list everyone. But two outlets do a great job with their annual video tributes. The best is probably by CBS Sunday Morning, and another good one is courtesy of Turner Classic Movies:
And since those tributes were completed before the end of December, we have to add people who passed away this past week, like Harlem Globetrotters star Meadowlark Lemon, actress Patricia Elliott, and Twilight Zone/Star Trek writer George Clayton Johnson.
An IMDb member has created a list of people in show business who passed away in 2015, and it has over 3,500 names!
Rules for Holiday Gift Returns
It happens to a lot of people at Christmas. There’s that one gift you get that you don’t like or it doesn’t fit or maybe you broke your arm using it or it exploded and caught on fire. This is the week that everyone returns the gifts they don’t want, and there are rules to follow.
Money has the five rules of holiday gift returns, and most of them are common sense. You should return the gift as soon as possible (don’t wait until Valentine’s Day), you should check to see if a website return policy is different than an in-store policy, and please note that Amazon doesn’t let you return wine. (Also: Amazon sells wine.)
I got mostly gift cards and cash, and, well, I’m not returning those.
Tonight: The Return of Sherlock!
I mentioned this several weeks ago, but this is a quick reminder that Sherlock returns tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern. The PBS series has been gone for a while (and the fourth season doesn’t even start filming until this spring), but this special episode has the master detective and Dr. Watson solving a mystery in 1890s London. And no, it’s not a dream sequence or time travel, they’re just going to be in 1890s London.
Predictions for 2016
We’re still trying to figure out what happened in 2015, but some are making some predictions about the year ahead.
Fortune looks into their crystal ball to make some predictions about the worlds of business and technology; Newsweek makes five completely random predictions for the year; and USA Today has 52 goofy and serious predictions for the world of sports.
I’d make a prediction about who our next president will be, but the way this election season is going I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Mitt Romney, Mark Zuckerberg, the ghost of William McKinley, or the kid who bags my groceries at the supermarket.
Hangovers and Resolutions
DID YOU IMBIBE TOO MUCH LAST NIGHT? Sorry, I’ll lower my voice. Did you imbibe too much last night?
Note: The Saturday Evening Post cannot verify or endorse any of these remedies. I mean, if you want to try eating a deep-fried canary to get rid of your hangover, you’re on your own.
As for resolutions, I think I found a way to make sure I stick to at least one of the resolutions I make. I simply resolve to not stick to any of the resolutions I make. That way, I don’t have to stick to any resolutions, but I’m guaranteed to feel good about the one I actually did stick to. Though I guess by actually going through with that resolution I actually am sticking to one resolution, which destroys the logic of the whole exercise. Oh well.
Upcoming Events and Anniversaries
President Theodore Roosevelt dies (January 6, 1919)
The Saturday Evening Post Archives Director Jeff Nilsson lays out an alternative of World War I and what would have happened if Roosevelt had been re-elected in 1912.
Common Sense published (January 9, 1776)
You can read the entire text of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet at USHistory.org.
Baseball adopts the designated hitter rule (January 11, 1973)
Here are the pros and cons of the controversial rule, debated by Aaron Rimstadt and Kelsey Roan.
Batman TV series debuts (January 12, 1966)
It’s the 50th anniversary of the Adam West/Burt Ward series. My mom told me that my first word wasn’t “mom” or “dada” or even “binky.” It was “Batman.” Probably from watching this over and over and over.
Jack London born (January 12, 1876)
London wrote 18 stories for The Saturday Evening Post before dying at the age of 40. Here’s “A Goboto Night”.