Samui Wining & Dining
Tasty Dates

We highlight some of the more curious events of the month of January.


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1st – If you’re reading this with both eyes open then it’s not January 1st! Because today is not only National Hangover Day in the UK, but it’s also National Bloody Mary Day in America.

 

2nd – This was the day, in 2008, that a man in Boise, Idaho, was reported to be attacking a Coke machine with a hammer and yelling, “… they’re all trapped inside!”. Police later discovered a quantity of crack cocaine in his possession . . .

3rd – The last of the peanuts disappeared on this day, back in 2003. Well, make that ‘Peanuts’, as this was the last-ever publication of the comic strip, following the death of of its creator, Charles Schulz.

 

4th  – The world’s certified-oldest man died on this day in Italy, in 2002. He was 112 years old and attributed his advanced age to drinking a cup of red wine every day.

 

5th – The largest-ever chicken’s egg was found by farmer Zhao Li from northern China, on this day, in 2010. It measured 9cms long and weighed 420gms.

 

 

6th – ‘Chip Slash Official’ might have screamed the German headlines on this day, in 2006, as the government of that nation decreed that French fries would have to become smaller due to a disastrous potato crop. Fries longer than 2 inches were suddenly illegal. Oddly, there was no limit on how many of the mini-fries could be sold!

 

7th – Another one for the record books, this time as English fisherman, John Goldfinch, hauled up a giant catch on this day, in 2009. Unfortunately it turned out to be a scuba diver with the hook buried firmly between his legs. The tackle was quickly removed from his tackle with no harm being done.

 

8th – Yet another record – the only Head of State to be sick on another one. This was the day, in 1992, that President George Bush vomited over the feet of Japanese Prime Minister, Miyazawa Kiichi. He later told the press that he wasn’t expecting the sashimi to be uncooked.

 

9th – Rumble in the jungle? This was the day, in 2001, that New Guinea cult leader, Thomas Peli, had a restraining order placed on him, as he and his followers had been regularly having sex in public ‘to encourage the banana harvest’.

 

10th – Today is St Martha’s Day, sister of Mary Magdalena and patron-saint of cooks, dieticians and domestic servants.

 

11th – Cornish Pasties? Hardly. These pasties stick to your chest, are ‘no-peek’, and appeared for the first time on this day, in 2009, to safeguard the modesty of women who objected to the new full-body airport X-ray scanners.

 

12th – This was the day, just a year ago, when the City of New York appealed for unwanted refrigerators. They were to be left at collection points throughout the city. However a staggering 11,528 of them disappeared off the streets overnight. Only in America . . .

 

13th - That man again! This time President George Bush burst a blood vessel, fell onto the floor and fainted. It was later attributed to him trying to do more than one thing at a time – eating a pretzel whilst trying to cheer a game on TV, on this day, in 2002!

 

14th  - He began as a humble salesman but opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955. Six years later he owned 228 franchises and eventually bought-out the McDonald brothers in 1963. When Ray Kroc died a multi-millionaire, on this day, in 1984, his empire stood at 7,500 outlets worldwide.

 

15th - Immortalised by the ‘non-art’ paintings of Andy Warhol, this was the day, in 1990, on which Campbell’s made the record books, as it sold its 20 billionth tin of tomato soup.

 

16th - If you listen carefully they still sing this song on Samui, although ‘I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts’ was first released by Danny Kaye, on this day, back in 1950.

 

17th – Moo-ving up in the world, this was the day, in 1988, that history was made at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, with the opening of the world’s first-ever departure lounge for cattle. VIP breeding stock were now able to enjoy pre-flight drinks and fodder, before being flown away to be eaten.

 

18th – Captain Cook discovered Hawaii, on this day, in 1778. He originally named it after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich, and the region was known as the ‘Sandwich Islands’, until being re-named in 1795.

 

19th – And talking of fridges and freezers, this was the day, in 1971, when the world’s lowest-ever recorded temperature occurred, at the Prospect Green Camp in Alaska. With temperatures down to -88° F local workers just dumped their groceries outside on the porch, where they would stay fresh for months – if you could pull them off the step again!

 

20th – A bottle of beer for 2,500 baht? No, not in a 6-star hotel but in retail outlets of Scotland’s BrewDog Brewery. The world’s strongest beer went on sale on this day, in 2009, sold packaged inside a dead stoat! (Well, a live one would have been really tricky . . .).

 

21st – Get stuck into the local food here on Samui today, as it’s International Eat Something Hot and Spicy Day!

 

22nd – This was the day, in 1909, on which the French novelist, Marcel Proust, ate a piece of tea-soaked toast which triggered-off a blast of childhood memories. These recollections gave rise to his 7-volume novel entitled ‘Remembrance of Things Past’.

 

23rd - A slick old time, on this day, in 1963, as 3 million gallons of soya bean oil, gushed from a ruptured tank in Mankato, Minnesota. Happily, little harm was done – although no doubt the 10,000 ducks that subsequently died on the nearby Mississippi River felt differently about it all.

 

24th - Beer again, this time a ‘first’, as this day saw the appearance of the first-ever cans of beer, sold by the Krueger Brewery in New Jersey, in 1935.

 

25th –You just can’t keep a good Bush down! In an attempt to win voters in Iowa, the irrepressible president publicly munched on a raw corn cob, with gleefully-boyish exclamations such as, “Wow!” and “Yum!” The farming public was not moved by his enthusiasm: they were all well-aware that corn like this is only fit to be eaten by cattle. Moo!

 

26th – This was the day, in 1932, that the jaws of William Wrigley finally came to a halt, along with the rest of him. He began his working life as a soap salesman, but then noticed that customers preferred the free chewing gum promotions to the actual soap. He started to make his own gum and finally ended up owning the world’s largest chewing gum company.

 

27th – Were you aware that, right up until this day, in 1677, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous? For centuries it had been thought that tomatoes were inedible, but Sir Francis Bacon discovered that storing them on lead or pewter dishes was actually the cause.

 

28th – Was it Albert Dunny? Or Alfonso Bogg or Frederick Kahsey? It was, honestly, Thomas Crapper who invented the first flush toilet (in 1883). And this was the day, in 1920, on which he finally shuffled off this mortal coil.

 

29th – What do you call an exploding 56-foot sperm whale? This event was witnessed on a public street in Taiwan, on this day, in 2004, whilst it was on its way to an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Expanding internal gasses were the culprit and provided a lot of people with free sushi.

 

30th –This was the day, in 1969, that The Beatles made their last public appearance, playing on the roof of Apple Studios in London.

 

31th – And, just to connect with Ray Kroc and the McDonald’s story, this was the day, in 1990, when Russia had its first taste of the ‘Bolshoi Burger’ when the big golden ‘M’ appeared for the first time, in Moscow. Progress, comrade, progress!

 

 

Rob De Wet


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