Barney’s: Popular Hollywood Beanery Since 1920s

My recent unposed foto captured a moment that just begged for a scatological, biological caption. Cop: I’m ticketing you for excessive gas emissions.

Seriously, Barney’s Beanery has always been the place where famed movie and music stars came to mix, relax and hang out. And they still do, while enjoying today’s extensive food and drink menu that goes far beyond basic bean platters.

There are now six branches of Barney’s gastropubs throughout the Los Angeles area. This one on Route 66 and Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood is the original with a colorful history that goes back to the Jazz Age.

Included in the famous silver screen faces that once beamed over a platter of Barney’s beans are Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and James Dean.

Later, rock legends Janis Joplin, Bono, John Lennon and Jim Morrison cavorted at the famed gastropub. Rumors are that Janis died one morning in 1970, just hours after spending a druggy evening with pals at Barney’s.

What Happens When China Takes Over Hollywood?

For the past decade, China has been busy buying up American companies. It already owns the Chicago Stock Exchange, Starwood Hotels and Smithfield Hams. The deals are happening fast.

Latest news reports reveal that Paramount Pictures will soon belong to Chinese investors. Other movie and TV studios are also potential targets of the takeover. A Chinese corporation already owns the AMC theater chain, as well as the historic Grauman’s on Hollywood Boulevard.

Hmmmm. When they totally own the American film industry, will they next demand to rename all of Hollywood’s classic movies. For instance: Citizen Kong, Rickshaw Driver, The Lord of the Mings, Dances With Pandas, Lawrence of Asia, A Streetcar Named Shanghai, The Good, The Bad and the Sushi.

More movie title changes could happen: Gone With The Wonton, One Flew Over The Tofu’s Nest, Twelve Angry Chow Mein, Anne Of Green Moo Goo Gai Pan, Formosa And My Girl. And, of course, cartoon characters that must be renamed: Mandarin Mouse and Peking Duck.

England’s Prince Philip To Retire At Age 95

Buckingham Palace announces that Philip, Royal Consort and Duke of Edinburgh, will retire from his official duties in August. It isn’t that he’s had a tough career. He wasn’t sweating in the mines, loading cargo nor pushing a plow. His 70-year career consisted mostly of shaking hands, kissing babies and watching people scrape and bow to his royal spouse.

On second thought, it must tough every morning to crawl out of the royal bed and get all gussied up in a fancy uniform. He and his personal valet must remember where the buttons, braid and medals have to be tacked on. He has to ask himself: does today’s parade require me to wear my Army, Navy or Royal Air Force uniform? Or just a tuxedo and top hat? Not likely he can relax in a torn Beatles tee shirt and jeans with fashionably ripped knees.

Along with all his princely grandeur, it must be a bit humiliating at all the ceremonies to walk a step behind his wife. Many people believe most of Philip’s life has been similar to being a toy soldier. Seriously, let’s not forget he served bravely during World War 2 as a combat officer in the Royal Navy.

United Airlines: Giant Rabbit Frozen & Cremated

As if United doesn’t have enough troubles with human passengers, the airline is now facing big legal problems because of a deceased big bunny passenger. Simon, a Continental Giant rabbit, was flying from London to Chicago.

He was scheduled to compete in a world’s biggest bunny competition at the Iowa State Fair, but the four-foot-long Simon won’t make it. According to United employees, he was mistakenly locked in a freezer after arrival at Chicago, and possibly froze to death. Making the situation more serious, his body was then dumped into an incinerator.

Of course, the chilled and cremated bunny tragedy will now be the subject of yet another lawsuit against the troubled airline. In the future, could some intense rubbing of a rabbit’s foot help bring good luck to United both in the air and courtroom?

Vive Le Presidente! Er, Is That Yo Momma?

And you thought Trump and the Clintons are freaky? The new president of France, Emmaneul Macron is a handsome age 39, with a fluffy hairpiece that makes him look like a reincarnation of young Jack Kennedy. By his side as he begins his rule, we’d expect to see a glamorous 20ish Jackie look-alike first lady of France.

However, unlike Donald and Bill, infamous for chasing younger women, Macron has reversed the tradition. He’s married to his former high school teacher. She’s 64, some 24 years older than the new president of France. In the US, she could have been charged with criminal sexual misconduct with her then-17-year-old student. Brigitte Macron has three adult kids from a previous marriage who are close to their stepfather’s age, and are parents of seven of Brigitte’s grandkids.

So, cheer up all you ladies at the local nursing home. Keep looking out the window, and maybe some day, a handsome young politician may come riding by on his white horse and sweep you up to Elysée Palace.

Simple(ton) Math: Smoking Cuts Lifespans By Decades

Vulnerable kids always get caught up in the tobacco industry scam that smoking is the key to grown-up cool. The reality is, when it happens, for each new addict the first cigarette means a guarantee of early death. The Bible says life expectancy is 70, but today’s average for a non-smoking American is up to about 80. For smokers, maybe early 60s.

As with any teen, I didn’t think of smoking as a deadly health hazard. However, after just one try way back then, puffing on a burning stack of leaves wrapped in paper, I always found was stupid as hell. I eventually realized it’s actually a slow suicide for the addict.

As I got older, the big ad campaigns for cigarettes were everywhere. Not only with full-page newspaper and magazine ads, but also radio and TV programs were heavily sponsored by tobacco companies. Movie and sports stars made lots of money posing with the deadly products.

Did it affect their lifespans? Consider famous smokers who didn’t make it to three score years and ten: Babe Ruth 53, Humphrey Bogart 57, Jackie Kennedy 64, Steve McQueen 50, Enrico Caruso 48, Nat King Cole 45, Gary Cooper 60, Errol Flynn 50, Clark Gable 59 and George Harrison 58.

Not coincidentally, all three R.J. Reynolds died in their early 60s. The records show that Sr., Jr. and RJR III, owners of the cigarette company were heavy smokers.