Samui Wining & Dining
Tasty Dates

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


1st - It’s been around forever, but this was when whisky first appeared in written records. Attributed to Friar John Cor, its creation was noted in the Exchequer Roll of Scotland, on this day in 1845.

2nd – Bureaucrats are weird – this was the day, in 2003, that the American authorities declared that frozen, battered French fries were, in truth, ‘fresh vegetables’!

3rd – Wit or what? On this very day, back in 1964, TS Elliott replied to Groucho Marx, “The picture of you in the paper, saying that one reason for your London trip was to meet me, has greatly enhanced my standing in the community – particularly with the greengrocer across the street.”

4th – Staff at Cardiff Airport were surprised to discover a 10lb frozen turkey hidden in an outgoing passenger’s hand luggage, on this day in 2010. The reason? Spanish turkeys were “garbage” and “… it’s not like it’s going to suddenly thaw at 30,000 feet!”

5th – Alice Cooper rocks! But not according to his pet 8-foot boa constrictor. This was the day, in 1977, that the snake was attacked by its breakfast, one angry brown rat, and died soon after.

6th – A homeless Taipei man who’d just been released from prison, on this day in 2008, promptly stole a box of cheese snacks just to get arrested again because he was “ . . .unable to forget the police department boxed lunches”. Police commented that they often saw repeat offenders under similar circumstances.

7th – This was the day, in 1939, that giant hailstones the size of grapefruits suddenly came down upon Minnesota, driving themselves into the ground, slamming through roofs and killing hundreds of cattle.

8th – Lassie The Wonder Dog ‘appeared’ for the first time, on the radio, on this day back in 1947. Well, she didn’t actually show up in person, as her whines, woofs and other doggie noises were provided by animal-imitator, Charles Lyon. (The show was sponsored by Red Heart Dog Food, just so you know!)

9th – Nucking Futs to you! This was the day, just a year ago, that Australia trademark-regulators finally approved the snack bearing this name and, at the same time, also said a reluctant yes to ‘Nibble Nobby’s Nuts’!

10th – Keep an eye on the skies today– it’s International Black Cow Day!

11th – This was the day, in 2008, that the director of the Berlin Zoo lost one of his fingers, deftly bitten off by Pedro the Chimp. “Pedro is the boss of the group so he has to demonstrate a certain dominance to prove it,” said Director Blaszkiewitz, wagging his finger at the chimp reprovingly.

12th – This was the day, exactly a year ago, that Edward Archbold won a South Florida cockroach eating contest, but keeled over afterwards and was pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital. A hospital spokesman said: “Unless the roaches were contaminated I don't think that they would be unsafe to eat. We’ll have to wait for the post mortem. It may have just been sheer excitement.”

13th – Police stationed in Kathmandu were officially reprimanded, on this day in 2009, for running a butcher’s shop from their station house. It seems that money was scarce and bribes were being offered in the form of livestock – and one thing just led to another.

14th – This was the day, in 1988, that a class of students in a New Jersey high school kept a black bear at bay by hurling cheese sandwiches at it. It had strayed from a nearby game reserve – but the students couldn’t understand why it kept coming back . . .

15th – It was today, back in 1963, that ‘Sukiyaki’ became an immediate hit on both sides of the Atlantic. It was the only hit outside of Japan for singer Kyu, but it was on everyone’s tongue, back in the day.

16th – Don’t you just love grease!? Well, ‘Grease’, anyway. This was the day the musical opened on Broadway in 1978, and the Four Seasons’ Frankie Valli went on to sell two million copies of a song about it, too.

17th – England’s first King Edward was born on this day, in 1239. He had an undistinguished reign but became renowned for his funeral, with a feast that contained 278 hogs of bacon, 450 pigs, 460 oxen, 340 sheep and 22,600 chickens.

18th – Another song, this one far more . . . cheesy . . . than the last. The wondrous ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ was recorded on this day, in 1952, by Jimmy Buffet, and actually managed to smear its way into the US charts, finally hitting a high at number 84!

19th – One certain ginger, lasagne-loving, hip-cat was born on this day, in 1978, courtesy of cartoonist, Jim Davis, who modelled Garfield’s character largely on himself, including his own tastes in food.

20st – Roger Hamilton of Oklahoma City was attacked for his cheese and bologna sandwich, on this day in 2008. He was sitting on a bus station bench and about to put mayonnaise on his lunch, when another man punched him in the mouth, grabbed his sandwich and ran away. Police valued the theft at 78 cents.

21st – ‘Bigwigs Nail Down Cheeses’. This might have been the headline following the ‘International Convention on the Use and Designations of Origins and Names for Cheeses’, otherwise known as The International Cheese Treaty, held in The Hague on this day, in 1957.

22nd – This was the day, back in 1626, that a large cod, sliced open at a market in Cambridge, England, was found to contain a small book of religious treatises by theologian, John Frith. His contemporaries noted with satisfaction that his work had always been hard to digest.

23rd – Rural oddity, as a man was arrested in Fresno County after he broke into the home of two California farm workers, stole their money, rubbed one in the face with spice and whacked the other with a sausage before fleeing, on this day in 2009. Maybe he couldn’t find any cheese.

24th – A general American oddity this time – today is National Creamy Pralines Day in the USA.

25th – “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such fun . . .” this was first published on this day, in 1766. Although supposedly a children’s nursery rhyme, it is full of political reference and scandal, and refers to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the reputed lover of Queen Elizabeth.

26th – Another headline rant – “US Head Is Giant Donut!” This, on the day in 1963 when the visiting American President, John F Kennedy, informed all of Germany that he was a ‘jelly donut’. He had intended to announce that he was a Berliner at heart. But ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ actually means something quite different!

27th – Actor Jack Lemon died on this day, in 2001. Amongst others, he starred in films such as ‘Fortune Cookie’ and ‘Days of Wine and Roses’.

28th – At last! The mystery of Crop Circles in the poppy fields of Australia’s southern island state of Tasmania was solved on this day, in 2009 - stoned wallabies were eating the poppy heads and hopping around in circles. “We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” spokesperson Lara Giddings announced. “Then they wander away and fall over, leaving everyone mystified!”

29th – This was the day, in 1967, that actress Jayne Mansfield died. The only beauty title she ever refused was that of Miss Roquefort Cheese. “I read it was discovered in some mouldy old cave in France,” she quite possibly might have been reported as maybe having said.

30th – America’s longest-missing person (he’s still not been found), High Court Judge Joseph Force Crater, vanished without trace on this day, in 1930. He dined at a restaurant, went on to see a show, took a taxi home, never arrived and was never seen again!


Rob De Wet

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