Cary Grant Is In Big Trouble for What He Did To Katherine Hepburn

The Philadelphia Story is on TCM tomorrow (Sunday March 18) at 4PM. Seeing it listed brought back memories of a column I wrote a long time ago that now, in the age of #MeToo, seems relevant. Here’s what I wrote on January 27, 2002.

Something’s always bothered me about the opening scene of The Philadelphia Story, the 1940 flick starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart.

The romantic comedy opens with Cary storming out the front door of his mansion. Kate, his soon-to-be ex-wife, is fast on his heels, carrying Cary’s golf clubs.

With a fierce look in her eyes, Kate pulls out a club and snaps it across her knee. With steam coming out of his ears, Cary approaches Kate, his left hand in a fist and poised to pop her one in the chops. At the last instant, he pulls back his fist and, with his right hand, grabs Kate by the face and flings her to the ground.

I know this is make believe, the movies and all, but it bothers me every time I see it. And Turner Classic Movies has been showing it a lot lately as part of a series of clips celebrating the history of the movies.

So, I decided to do something about it … and invited Alan Rubenstein, the feisty former Bucks County (PA) district attorney, and currently a feisty Bucks County judge, to watch The Philadelphia Story with me. Turns out Alan is a huge movie buff and a big Cary Grant fan. He even knew his real name: Archibald Leach.

Unfortunately for Cary/Archie, that’s not enough to get him off the hook with this

“That’s technically a simple assault,” Alan said after Cary threw Kate to the floor. “Today, Katherine Hepburn could immediately contact the police and say: ‘My husband, Cary Grant, assaulted me. I fear for my future safety.’ The police would advise her to immediately file for a PFA (protection from abuse order) and within 72 hours a hearing would be held.”

“Alan, if you were the judge and saw that video in your court, what would you rule?” I asked.philly3

“I could, on the strength of that alone, grant a PFA. In the worst-case scenario, for Cary Grant, he would be excluded from the marital residence, would pay temporary support and for 18 months be prohibited from any contact. He could also be arrested for simple assault and prosecuted.”

“What if he had gone ahead and punched her with his left hand?”

“He could have been arrested on the spot, if she suffered some type of injury. The police could have been called and charged him with simple assault. The maximum sentence is one year.”

Alan continued: “There has been abuse between spouses since there were cave dwellers. It’s only been in the last 15 years that it has come to the forefront. Men routinely commit aggressive actions, acts of assault. And it’s not just men. In the past, the stigma was on the victim. Now, it’s appropriately on the ones committing the assaults.”

I know I’m 62 years late on the whole Cary/Kate incident, but hey, I didn’t have a column back in 1940. If I did, Cary would have been in big-time trouble.

OK, there you have it, my column from 16 years ago.

The Case of the Mysterious Backpack: Another Lost Wedding Band Story

So, I’m at a party and suddenly a great lost wedding band story breaks out…

Coincidence? Or are these blog posts sparking discussion, conversations and storytelling all over the world about lost wedding bands? I’ll go with coincidence. Or the fact that I asked if anyone at the party had a great lost wedding band story.

pexels-photo-89089.pngLauren: It was 2007 and I was home from college after spring semester, before my summer job as a counselor at Camp Cheerio Adventures.

Me: Camp Cheerio Adventures? Like the cereal?

Lauren: Like the cereal.

Me: I didn’t know Cheerios were so adventurous. What is it you do with them at this camp?

Lauren: Ha-ha Mr. Funny Guy. My dad and I went on a hike and at the top there’s a rock scramble. So, he took of his wedding band and put it in my backpack in this extra zipper pouch.

Jeff: Why?

pexels-photo-547116.jpegLauren: Because sometimes his fingers swell up. We did the hike, no problem, and at some point during the next few days, before I left for camp, he remembered I had his ring. But it wasn’t in the zipper pouch. It was gone. I worked at the camp all summer, for eight weeks, and used that backpack every day. I finished the summer, got home and opened the bag and there it was. His wedding band!

Jeff: How did you tell him you found it? What did you say?

Lauren: Now that I think about it, maybe I wasn’t home when I found it. I think I was back at college and I called him and said “Dad, you’re not going to believe what I just found.”

BTW: Jeff has an inscription inside his wedding band: Vous et nul sutra.

For those of you who can’t read French: You and no other.

OK, who else has a great lost wedding band story? Either email it to me, or invite me to your party.

Kitchen Renovations: The 4th Leading Cause of Divorce

It’s Day 43 of our great kitchen nightmare, I mean renovation project. And, we’re pretty much where we were on Day 7. Ah, Day 7! We were chock full of hope and wide-eyed optimism (and naiveté) that this would all be done in a month.

Here’s an update: Our contractors destroyed, I mean cleaned out our kitchen, removing everything. And I mean everything. This is how you start a kitchen renovation project. Lots of smashing. The frig is in the living room, and plugged in. The stove/oven is in the dining room and isn’t plugged in. We have no kitchen sink.

And, when the contractors smashed up and removed everything, including a bunch of dry wall, they started discovering structural, plumbing and electrical problems. Big ones. Expensive ones. It would be a fascinating episode on one of those HGTV shows if this was an HGTV show and not my actual life. It’s always better when stuff like this happens to someone else! Sorry someone else.kitchen1

So, delay No. 1: Getting a permit. It’s a really complicated and expensive process. I’m going to stop using the word expensive, as it’s redundant, and every time I write it, a little piece of me (and our bank account) dies.

Delay No. 2: Getting a plumber. We’re still in the midst of this one, but he’s supposed to start removing and replacing all the plumbing in our entire house – the entire house, not just the kitchen – a week from tomorrow (knock on wood). Turns out the previous owner didn’t get permits for his renovation. Or do it to code. Which is probably why he didn’t get a permit.

Not sure when the electrician gets here to do his thing, but he can’t start until the plumber starts and/or finishes. And our contractors can’t do their thing until the plumber and electrician finish doing their things. A lot of things seem to depend on other things in a renovation project. And when one thing goes bad … the entire timeline is rubbish.

It’s been even harder on our cats, Louie and Penny, than it’s been on Susan and me. We’ve had to move their bowls/eating area from the kitchen and their litter boxes from the basement (which you get to through the kitchen) to the upstairs bathroom initially, and now, into the attic … in anticipation of the plumber’s much-heralded arrival and work in the kitchen, basement and upstairs bathroom. Poor Louie, he can’t seem to remember where to go to eat … or poop. He’s old and confused and spends most of the day yelling at us. And sleeping. Penny is handling it a lot better than Louie.

Susan is handling it a lot better than me. She’s become quite adept at doing dishes in the bathroom sink and has amazing patience with Louie. And with me. Kitchen renovations projects are the fourth leading cause of divorce in this country. Now I know why!

I’ve become quite adept at fashioning meals from supermarkets. And, by adept, I mean I ran out of new ideas on Day 27 and now it’s the same few things over and over again.

For breakfast we have a yogurt with stuff in it, either fruit or granola. Both on Sundays!

For lunch, we have more yogurt with stuff. Or a PBJ. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to get to the peanut butter on the bottom of the jar with a plastic knife. Three out of four times the knife snaps in two.

For dinner, my go-to is Whole Foods, and their prepared foods/salads, which are somewhat reasonable (for Whole Foods) at $9.99 a pound. Our favorites are the Mediterranean chicken and the lentils with mushrooms. Then again, I’m sick of Mediterranean chicken and the lentils with mushrooms at this point. One more lentil and I may lose it.

OK, time to stop whining.

“It will all be worth it when we have our beautiful new kitchen,” Susan keeps promising me. At this point, this is the only thing keeping Louie and me from a total meltdown. I wonder which one of us will crack first?

Another Great Lost Wedding Band Story: Bob’s Beautiful Hands

You’d think someone would notice if their spouse wasn’t wearing their wedding band. Every day for three-plus years!

Then again, here’s Bob’s story…

pexels-photo-424766.jpegSo, Bob is a golfer and several years ago was in some sort of tournament. “I would put my wedding band in the pocket of my golf bag before I played,” Bob said. “It affected my grip.”

I’m not a golfer, but this sounds plausible.

“At the end of the tournament, I received the door prize of a new golf bag during the post tournament festivities, which included my fair share of adult beverages,” Bob said. “I asked the caddy at the golf club to transfer everything in my current golf bag to my new golf bag and…”

Yep. This story is headed exactly where you think it’s handed.

“Fast forward a week, a month, and I notice I don’t have my wedding band,” the not-so-observant Bob said. The old golf bag was long gone. Hey, did anyone out there ever get a golf bag at Goodwill or a thrift shop and find a wedding band in the pocket? If so, it’s Bob’s band. Contact me and we’ll get it back to him.

OK, back to our story…

Miraculously, Heather “didn’t say anything,” Bob said. He’s safe. Or so he thought.

pexels-photo-280218.jpegFast forward again, three naked-ring fingered years, and Bob somehow gets a gig as a catalogue model for Wolf Ovens. It’s a company that makes high-end ovens, which is why I’ve never heard of them.

Bob is part of some group shots at the modelling gig. I can imagine a bunch of good-looking people gathered around a gleaming Wolf, oohing and aahing at a bubbling pot of pasta sauce bubbling away atop all those glorious flames. Darn, I’m getting hungry. Anyway, they need a close-up shot of a man’s hands for a photo, check out the digits of all the male models and…

“Yep, he chooses me to be the hand model,” Bob said, adding they gave him a prop wedding band to wear.

Fast forward eight months and, finally, the new Wolf Oven catalogue starring Bob and his hands is available and…

“We look at the hand-modelling pic and Heather says, ‘that’s not your wedding band!’” Bob said. “I’m busted.”

handsHe told me this story recently during lunch. I looked, and sure enough, Bob really does have beautiful hands (that’s them in the photo). They’re exquisite. Insert George Costanzo joke here. And, for extra points: What was the name of the famous hand model in the Seinfeld puffy shirt episode whose career was ruined because he wasn’t master of his domain, over and over again until his hands became clenched into deformed claws?

I looked again, and Bob wasn’t wearing a wedding band. Turns out he never got a new one.

“How’d you get away with that?” I asked.

“Heather trusts me,” Bob said.

Answer: Ray McKigney.

Here’s the link to my previous post on great lost wedding band stories. If you have a good one … well, what the heck are you waiting for? Email me and tell me all about it.


Yet Another Totally Great Week for Trump!

trump1Here’s a CNN headline from earlier today: Trump’s Absolutely Disastrous Week.

Are you kidding me? This has been an absolutely fabulous week for the Prez. He and his base relished and rejoiced in all the dysfunctional insanity and free, non-stop publicity, TV coverage and obsessiveness over all things Trump. It was all Trump all the time, which is pretty much his philosophy for governing. Me, me, me. And it’s working. It was such a great week that Monday, Feb. 19, is Trump Day. Some call it Presidents Day, but let’s be realistic: Every day is your day when you’re the Donald. And in charge.

The fake-news CNN article “claims” it was a disastrous week for Trump because he “was buffeted on virtually every front — the Russia investigation, issues of his personal conduct prior to becoming president, staffing at the White House, crisis response…”

Again: Come on, are you kidding me?

Allegations he had an affair with a porn star is a tremendous publicity strategy and proof of his amazing virility. It’s not like a normal man can have sex with a porn star. Could you? I doubt it. Could I? No way. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. You have to be a totally macho, skyscraper developing, golf champion, intellectually awesome kind of guy to have an affair with a porn star. Especially if you’re married to someone else at the time. And she just had a baby. I don’t even think George Clooney could pull this off. Only the Donald. And maybe Charlie Sheen.

And remember how his grab ‘em by the you know what moment propelled him to the White House? This one’s even better. I can’t wait for the next awesomely inappropriate revelation about the Donald. Whatever it is, it will surely guarantee a second term.

The Rob Porter debacle?

Again: What debacle?

It only proves that nobody other than Trump can lead this country. Everyone else in his administration is a lesser human being and Trump should just fire everyone and run the whole damn White House, country and world by himself. In fact, who needs a government at all when we have Trump. He’s already fixed healthcare, immigration, the environment and taxes. I mean come on, if all this stuff benefits billionaires, it just has to be good for the rest of us, right? I’m more than happy to pay $350 more a month for my Affordable Care Act coverage this year, and am totally not worried it could go away in 2018. I just won’t get sick. It’s really that simple. So, stop all your whining about not having health coverage – and just don’t get sick. Like Trump. He’s never been sick in his entire life. Except for the bone spur thing, but the Donald conquered that with pure tenacity and willpower and can now walk at least 30 yards at a time – maybe more if a porn star is at the other end of the bedroom.

Plus, the Prez did eventually say domestic violence was bad, really bad, after several days of debate about whether or not he thought domestic violence was bad. What a great PR strategy by the Donald. It put domestic violence – and Trump – in the spotlight 24/7 (even with the Olympics going on) and his all-powerful, brilliantly delivered 7-second condemnation of domestic violence has pretty much ended domestic violence forever! See, another problem solved.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point: It was a great week, a tremendous week for Trump. With many more to follow. He’ll have so many more great weeks we’ll actually get sick of all his great weeks.