Tuesday, July 22, 2014

La vita è una combinazione di magia e pasta

Recently, I was suddenly made to remember (by an non-Geneva convention excluded method) the most expense lunch I've ever had:

Way back in 1978, when I had a work study job, my first paycheck came directly to me, rather than the school, to pay for tutition ( I was in the bizarre position of having a work study job and going to college with a full scholarship.)  Students were then responsible for their own finances, and fancy free that I was when I was 18, I thought I had no expenses.  I grabbed my best friend, (remarkably, still my best friend,) and decided that we had to have a great lunch.

We decided to go to Patsy - which at the time was still a 'mobbed up joint'. We made reservations (the first time I made a reservation) and since we were 'Ivy League men', we donned our best jackets and ties and took the train down from Harlem into 'the City'.  We were met by the bemused Maitre 'd and seated in the 'grown up' room upstairs.

I believe we had:

Two very dry martinis (what the hell two 18 year olds were doing, having martinis is anybody's guess.)
Clams casino
the antipasti platter
Veal Parm (with the spaghetti)
(probably broccoli)
A bottle of chianti
dessert (with coffee and anisette)
Two Courvoisiers
The final cost with tax and tip - $120

$120 in 2014 is now about $450, hence this was the most expense lunch that I've ever paid for (another time, when I am being more expansive, I'll tell about the most expensive lunch I think I've ever had.)

are usually a two-word phrase in which the first letters (and occasionally the initial vowels) of the words are reversed.  July 22nd is Spooner's Day, honoring Reverend William Archibald Spooner, a 19th Century British clergyman, who was born on this date in 1844.

Reverend Spooner was adept at the art of the oopsy linguae, or misspeak. As a result, certain verbal miscues have been tagged Spoonerisms.

July 22, 1964 -
One of Hitchcock's most underrated (and sexually twisted) films, Marnie premiered on this date.

After rehearsing just a few scenes with co-star Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren asked Alfred Hitchcock, "Marnie is supposed to be frigid - have you seen him?" referring to the young Connery. Hitchcock's reply was reportedly, "Yes, my dear, it's called acting."

July 22, 1967 -
The Toho Studio released King Kong Escapes, directed by Ishiro Honda in Japan on this date. (Despite the master villain being named Dr. Who, this film has no connection to Doctor Who.)

This film was a live action tie-in to the animated TV series King Kong, which was also produced by Rankin/Bass Productions, and not a sequel to King Kong vs. Godzilla.

Today in History:
July 22, 1587 -
, the colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh, might have gone missing on this date.

Recent development point to the fact that the inhabitants of Roanoke didn't go missing, they appear to have originated the joke that after certain people left, everyone else moved and didn't leave a forwarding address.

July 22, 1933 -
Wiley Post
(who possessed his flying license signed by Orville Wright) took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York City and traveled 15,596 miles over a period of 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes and became the first person to fly solo around the world on this date.

Post lands back at Floyd Bennett Field in New York, completing the first round-the-world solo flight. His return was greeted by some 50,000 people.

July 22, 1934 -
John Dillinger
was shot dead outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre,on this date in history. And one of the most bizarre urban legends is born.

According to the rumor, J Edgar Hoover, pug ugly head of the FBI and notorious transvestite, rushes to Chicago to see the corpse himself. Dillinger, Public Enemy No. 1, was a ladies man and was reported to be very specially endowed.

Hoover, after viewing the nude lifeless body of Dillinger in the morgue, orders Dillinger's member to be removed and preserved as a 'specimen' for his private files.

Rumors of Hoover's trophy dogged him for the rest of his life. He even went to the extraordinary step of stating sometime in the late '60's that he "did not now nor even have Dillinger's privates in a jar". His comments were not taken seriously as he was wearing a size 28 Dior outfit with matching handbag (and Raymond Burr Nipple Rouge) at the time.

The Smithsonian museum is still flooded with requests annually to view this 'special exhibition'.

July 22, 1951 -
It's the first episode of Dogs In Space

Two Russian dogs, Dezik and Tsygan, were the first canines to make a sub-orbital flight in history on this date.

The Russian space program used dogs quite often to determine whether a particular space mission would be safe for humans. Little know fact: the real reason Nikita Khrushchev slammed his shoe on the desk in the UN - Khrushchev had just been passed a note about a ten year investigation of Tsygan's over-familiarity with his shoe.

At the time of his death on this date in 1982, King Sobhuza II was the longest-reigning monarch in the world. His death also established him as the most recently-deceased monarch in the world. Today he is on a long list of continuously dead rulers.

Sobhuza began his career as Paramount Chief of the Swazi in 1921, but was not recognized as king by Great Britain, which ran the nation as a protectorate, until 1967. (The forgetful Brits have a long history of failing to recognize kings, perhaps owing to the difficulty of seeing clearly in the London fog.)

The Brits wrote a Constitution before they left, but Sobhuza did not discover it until 1973, at which point he discarded it on the grounds of its being British. Five years later he implemented a better Constitution that, surprisingly enough, left all political power in his own hands.

He died in 1982. The Constitution declared that he should be succeeded by one of his children, which seemed simple at first but was complicated by the revelation of his having had over 600 children. (Apparently he had time on his hands for more than political power.) It took four years to find the right son, and King Mswati III has reigned ever since.

July 22, 1982 -
It's a happy 32nd anniversary for over 2000 couples who were married by Rev. Moon in NYC on this date in Madison Square Garden.

As far as I can find out, nearly 75% of the couples are still married (although, perhaps not to each other.)

And so it goes.

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