WEDNESDAY, July18, 2012

BINGHAMPTON'S MARAUDERS -- A U.S. Navy refueling ship cruising in the Persian Gulf off the Strait of Hormuz opened fire on a small speedboat that setits course toward the USNS Rappahannock and refused to obey commands to stop.  At first thought to be an Iranian gun ship, it turned out to be a group of Somali pirates honoring the memory of Ernest Borgnine by reenacting a scene from "McHale's Navy."

DE-PEACOCKED -- Dubbing their attempt to merge television and the Internet in a cable channel they called MSNBC a "noble experiment," Microsoft and NBC have decided to part ways, renaming the channel NBCNews.com.  Staffers are so sad that they will no longer get pay checks signed by Bill Gates, Al Sharpton is wearing his bow tie at half-mast and Rachel Maddow went  back in the closet.


DEAD AHEAD -- "Ice Age: Continental Drift" soundly thrashed "Spiderman" in their opening weekend debuts: $46 million to $35 million.  Voiced by major stars like John Lequizamo, Queen Latifa and Ray Romano, Ice Age teaches kids how animals survived in frigid climates.  You can look for a sequel.  They live on the same iceberg the Titanic ran into.

PETER PRINCIPLE -- Best known for his starring roles in the desert classic "Lawrence of Arabia" and "My favorite Year," Peter O'Toole is calling a wrap on a career that saw him close some of the most popular watering holes in England and Wales with fellow pub-crawlers like Richard Burton and Robert Shaw.  Lawrence told reporters he wants to spend more time with his liver.


THANK HEAVEN -- Almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks, the 7-Eleven mini-market chain is eighty-five years old.  Company-sponsored celebrations are underway nationwide, culminating at the corporate HQ with the unveiling on Saturday of a life-sized statue of franchise-founder Hyram P. Seven in beef jerky.

LONESOME COWBOY --  Glen Campbell was, along with Sammy Davis, Jr., Hope's most frequent male guest.  He was a consummate sketch player (a skill Hope attributed to a singer's innate sense of story-telling) and before becoming a star of his own variety show, had been a sought-after studio musician and a world-class guitarist. At West Point, we wrote a sketch with Hope, Glen Campbell and Robert Urich as West Point’s first class of 1802 with Mickey Rooney their first commandant.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Robert L. Mills  All Rights Reserved

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