Re-litigating the War of the Roses

Black Pudding, Botox, and Balls

As Jeff Goldblum famously said: “Life… finds a way [to interfere with your newslettering schedule].” So thanks to former Intern and current Senior International Pudding Combat Correspondent Linda Yu for stepping in to guest-tab at short notice. I’ll be back tomorrow. —Rusty


Nature is healing and by that I mean the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships in Ramsbottom are back on. For £1, competitors can attempt to "dislodge giant Yorkshire puddings from a 20ft high plinth by throwing black puddings" and legend has it that the tradition started as an homage to the War of the Roses, when supposedly both sides ran out of ammunition and devolved into a food fight instead.

In another example of remembrance, Sejal Sukhadwala went searching for a vanished London Indian restaurant that promised "Authentic Indian atmosphere. Leaky roof. Threadbare carpet, and menu stuck together with sellotape." On a similar culinary path, I got to wondering about the history of the greatest Indian-Chinese food item—the Gobi Manchurian—and it turns out its inventor, Nelson Wang, is still around and a bit of an institution in Mumbai. Like every other Asian he has since grumpily emigrated to Vancouver, but in 2008 when Jennifer 8. Lee made the trip to his flagship, she received a separate Chinese people menu.

Zombie Gawker has an essay from compulsive fake Dear Prudence letter writer and frEmily Bennett Madison, who revealed that Slate has published fifteen of his fabrications, including one about pandemic-masked fornication that fooled Tucker Carlson. It’s not much of an accomplishment, but we all do the best we can. Apparently Madison thought Daniel Lavery had become too much of a scold, primarily concerned with "the neurotic milieu of the Brooklyn middle class," and while there may have been a certain degree of something in that era of Prudence, it doesn’t really erase the irony of moralistically scolding someone for being a moralistic scold.

Yesterday was also Anna Wintour’s ugly clothes party, the Met Gala, which was mostly a showcase of people who walked away from the Biden inauguration with a modelling contract. Here was Amanda Gorman co-chairing the event, there was Manic Pixie Second Daughter Ella Emhoff rolling up to the carpet and the breathless bosom of the NYT in Stella McCartney, and AOC arrived with "Tax the Rich" appliquéd to her back. I'm the sort of dribbling idiot who has an opinion on every member of the Antwerp Six, and yet scrolling the prices on the Brother Vellies webshop made something in my sternum crack. I'll save you a click, the looks this year were bad without exception and somehow made more repulsive by the recent celebrity PR playbook of acting like they are united with the rest of us in some universal struggle.

It's Recall Tuesday in my home state of California and Gavin Newsom is confident, but then so was Gray Davis. The actual question is definitely "why is it like this" since both recall and replacement are insanely decided on one ballot.

I submitted my overseas ballot at the last minute and via an online faxing service (if only Aretha were here to see it) and it probably comes as no surprise that I went for "no," but ended up tipping my secondary vote to Dennis Richter who appealed to my inner teamster and has no chance in hell. Not to say the alternatives were particularly inspiring: there was a Wall Street veteran cannabis consultant, someone whose statement was simply "Can you dig it?", a self-described Incorruptible-Independent-Bernie-Democrat, a billboard queen, a man who mostly seemed to be promoting his IMDB, a former KUWTK side character, a guy who commanded us to "Search YouTube"—does it make me an uninformed voter if I did not?—and a new college graduate whose statement read like a line from a cover letter.

Speaking of cover letters, I'm deep in the trenches of job applications and every time I apply to one I feel like a Bush-era spin doctor: "Why yes, my passion in life is [desk job with annual salary]." I'm currently wondering if I should be like Lulu Pencil and make the lateral move from freelance journalist to professional wrestler whose gimmick is being a freelance journalist turned professional wrestler. Is filing invoices any less painful than being put into a submission hold by crop top wearing British giraffe Chris Brookes?

Also in pro wrestling: there's been a bit of a ratings war of the roses going on in the industry as after years of total WWE monopoly, some independent wrestlers started a rival promotion that has picked up some traction. It could almost put a tear in one's eye until one remembers that the little startup that could is financially backed by yet another billionaire—the richest person of Pakistani origin in fact—who also owns the Jags and Fulham FC. It really does feel like sticking it to Marvel by being into DC, although I will confess I did cry more than little when my favourite luchadores recently won the tag titles.

Not to say that Vince MacMahon is going anywhere, WWE just signed a streaming deal with Peacock that also led to a memory-holing of some no-no moments from the company's past. Like wrestling, the continued success of billionaires isn't fake... it's just predetermined.

Two other things of note: 

And now, a narrative in four tweets:

I did not expect Tucker Carlson to be the most mentioned person in this guest Tabs.

Today’s Song: AC/DC, “Big Balls”

~ and he’s got big tabs, and she’s got big tabs ~

Thanks Linda! This is too long already! See you all tomorrow.