What a Week! Sept. 6-12

Publix took a page from Tina Fey’s book, responding to Hurricane Irma with cakes; the Honey Bunches of Oats Lady retired; the 91st-annual Miss America Pageant took place Sunday.

click to enlarge Publix took a page from Tina Fey’s book with "hurricakes." - Photo: Alexf
Photo: Alexf
Publix took a page from Tina Fey’s book with "hurricakes."
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 06

When you think about Honey Bunches of Oats, two things may come to mind: a sweet and crunchy breakfast cereal that’s a great source of whole grains and the enthusiastic bespectacled hair-netted woman from the commercials. We’ve grown up with Honey Bunches of Oats Lady, memorizing her classic lines, from “We gotta feed America!” to “Don’t eat me now!” (Was that just us?) While most commercials cast actors to play employees or customers, HBOO Lady is the real deal. She’s worked in production for the cereal for 40 years and she has a name: Diana Hunter. And this week we learned Hunter has retired. The woman was a walking billboard for the cereal for years, so hopefully she is set for life. Not just financially — she better get hooked up with a lifetime supply of her beloved “sparkle flakes.” May we all be as satisfied with our jobs as Diana Hunter, forever our HBOO Lady! 

THURSDAY, SEPT. 07

The New York Times ran an article this week on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Senate investigators about his ties to Russia. The story included a photo taken in February of the president’s oldest son sitting at his desk in Trump Tower. At first glance it seemed innocuous enough, but the photo begged for a close reading of Junior’s desk situation. Let’s dive in. On DJTJ’s desk is an array of family photos — normal —but they’re all turned toward the camera like his name plate. Great photo staging! Only in the center of this collection of photos, the largest frame stands out: It holds a picture of Junior himself, apparently alone. Is it more psychotic to stare at the backs of picture frames or display a portrait of yourself that’s bigger than any shots of your growing hoard of spawn? Elsewhere we find a bobblehead of his father, a tiny silver skull and a gigantic pair of scissors, all of which are at least slightly troublesome. At least he isn’t eating a culturally appropriated lunch atop piles of trash, collecting several of his own magazine covers while creeping on his ex-wife. 

FRIDAY, SEPT. 08

The Guinness Book of World Records is a testament to people’s endurance, perseverance and… freakish tendencies. The latest round of world record-breakers was announced this week, celebrating everyone from the woman with the longest fingernails (18 feet, 10.9-inches — *heave*) to the oldest bodybuilder (83 years old) to the man with the first prosthetic tattoo-gun arm. Indeed, many records are odd and highly specific, like most basketball slam dunks by a rabbit in one minute (eight!), most Jenga blocks removed by whip in one minute (four) and most jelly eaten blindfolded without hands in one minute (50.97 ounces). Follow your dreams!

SATURDAY, SEPT. 09

The recent hurricanes and tropical storms hitting the U.S. (and beyond) are no laughing matter. But Southern grocery chain and the Happiest Place on Earth Publix took a page from Tina Fey’s book, responding to Hurricane Irma with cakes. Bakeries in Publix locations across Florida this week created beautiful hurricane-themed decorated cakes (hurricakes?). The baked good featured iced phrases like “Go away Irma” and “Weather it out,” with artistically rendered tropical storm imagery. Poor taste or a delicious response? It’s a quintessentially “Florida” response and, as loyal fans, we stand with Publix on everything, from their hoagies to hurricakes.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 10

The 91st-annual Miss America Pageant took place Sunday, and not to be all, “these poor beautiful women,” but these poor beautiful women were really put through the ringer. Sure, all they have to do is not eat solid food for two weeks, walk across a stage in heels, smile and perform some menial talent (there may or may not have been a ventriloquism act). But they have to do all that, perfectly, in front of a national audience and then face a grueling Q&A where they’re pressed on complex political and social issues. At a pageant. Of course, these questions are designed to stump the beauty queens (who could forget Miss South Carolina’s “such as” ramble about maps at Miss Teen USA 2007 or Miss USA California’s homophobic response to same-sex marriage?). However, when asked about topics like the removal of Confederate statues, Trump’s response to the Charlottesville and whether the president colluded with Russia (seriously, these were the questions) these women got woke! In fact, winner Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, criticized Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord. We’re not one to say “keep politics out of it,” but it’s asking a lot of a young woman to formulate an intelligent, pragmatic response to a highly controversial political question without offending anyone when our actual politicians can’t even do that. Or rock a bikini!

MONDAY, SEPT. 11

What better way to remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 than by watching the latest film about those terrorist attacks? The answer is anything — anything would be better. Martin Guigui’s cleverly titled 9/11 stars Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Luis Guzmán and Gina Gershon in a movie about a group of people trapped in a World Trade Center elevator when the first plane hits. Unshockingly, the film was panned by critics who dubbed it exploitative, manipulative, misconceived and forgettable. Haven’t Americans suffered enough?

TUESDAY, SEPT. 12

This week in questionable decisions: Method acting maniac Jared Leto temporarily blinded himself for his Blade Runner 2049 role; John Mayer flirted with Nicki Minaj on Twitter after once claiming his “dick is sort of like a white supremacist;” weather and religion expert Kirk Cameron said God sent hurricanes to teach us to be humble and repent; a photo of The Great British Bake Off judge dressed up as a Nazi officer emerged online; and the White House’s director of social media tweeted a fake Irma video, only to be fact-checked by the Miami Airport.


CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: [email protected]

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