Friday, May 20, 2011



It was the wedding of the century for Anglophiles, adorers of all things British including The Spice Girls, Chumbawamba, and spotted dick.

Like his father Charles’ fairytale wedding three decades before, Prince William’s news-making nuptials last month captured hearts and headlines around the globe. Starry-eyed romantics set alarm clocks and DVRs, determined not to miss the ballyhooed event; some fanatics took it a step further, like Teresa Cunningham, a Missouri woman who said “cheerio” to her job and flew to London to camp outside Westminster Abbey the night before the joyous event.

The bouquet tossing, rice throwing, hailing and farewelling may be over, but Royal Wedding Insanity certainly isn’t. As the pomp, publicity and paparazzi surrounding the April 29 ceremony dwindle, the money-making merchandise machine is just getting warmed up.

Prince Charles and Lady Di’s vow-swapping spawned an endless line of garish plates and mugs, but that memorabilia doesn’t hold a Union Jack-emblazoned candle to the chintzy chotchkes, crazy collectibles and strange souvenirs being sold to commemorate the union of “Wills” and Kate Middleton. There’s virtually something for everyone, though I doubt anyone but hardcore fans would want most of these items:

Royal Wedding Silk Knickers (that’s “panties” to us Yanks) – Keep the Royals close to your, um, heart by ordering these crown-

and-frill-bedecked bloomers for $11.52 on Ebay.

William and “KaTEA” Bags
– ‘Cause nothing says “romance” more than watching the happy couple drown in a sea of Earl Grey.


Royal Cellphone – Features “God Save the Queen” as its ringtone. You’ll want to drop this phone in the toilet after a couple of hours of having to stand up every time you get a call.

Royal Wedding Sick Bags – Bloody perfect for folks who are royally sick of all the hoopla and feel like “throne up.” (

Papa John’s Will and Kate Pizza – Mushrooms, peppers, olives, pepperoni and other toppings make up the likeness of the couple on this pie selling for $500 - that's a lotsa mozzarella! Though not sold in the U.S., the very idea makes me want to reach for a Royal Wedding Sick Bag.

Will and Kate PEZ – With England’s history of beheading kings, who WOULDN’T want to eat candy from the gaping neck-holes of the royals?

Crown Jewel Condoms – Sales slogan: “Lie back and think of England.” Blimey!

Hopefully, these and other madcap mementos will make their way to home shopping channels. After all, Teresa Cunningham needs something to occupy her newfound free time.

Friday, May 06, 2011



As the Carpenters and Neil Sedaka before them sang, “Breaking up is hard to do.”

Sometimes relationships start with a spark but fizzle out, sometimes they’re fractured by infidelity, sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there, sometimes people simply grow apart. And sometimes, the rose not only falls off the bloom, it’s ripped from the vine before it even has a chance to blossom.

Most of us have had relationships fraught with red flags of warning, couplings we knew early on just weren’t going to work out. But in some cases, the realization blindsides us and brings the liaison to a screeching halt, sometimes even on the first date. Something happens, something so jarringly unacceptable – an action, insult, or cringe-inducing discovery about our honey-bunnies – that douses the flames of passion and leaves us boggle-minded and reeling.

This is the moment commonly known as “the deal-breaker.”

I’m not talking about run-of-the-mill complaints like, “She squeezes the toothpaste from the top,” or “He puts the empty milk carton back in the fridge.” That’s mere nitpickery compared to the breakups chronicled on Robert K. Elder’s blog, “It Was Over When: Tales of Romantic Dead Ends” and his book by the same name. The tales of good love gone bad are sad, stupefying, hilarious and often unprintable in a family newspaper. If you think you’ve dated some jerks, freaks and psychos, you’re bound to feel better about your own failed affairs of the heart after reading user-submitted stories like:

“It Was Over When …”

* “… she wanted us to drink each other’s blood so we would always be together.”

* “… he sent me some online weight loss tips.”

* “ … he wanted to go to Kohl’s and buy me underwear that he had bought his wife.”

* “…she said, ‘If you go to sleep tonite [sic] you will not wake up tomorrow.’”

* “ … (My son’s principal) informed me it was against school policy for my husband to pick up a senior cheerleader for lunch dates.”

* “I caught her in a cheap motel with a co-worker. Her mom was in another room with a friend of the co-worker.”

* “He refused to use nail clippers, instead pulling his foot up to his mouth and chewing off his toenails! Then he spit them out on my carpet!”

* “I placed a fake ad on the personals page of a local paper pretending to be exactly the kind of guy I thought she’d like. The ad only got one response, and it was from my wife.”

* “Two days after my best guy friend passed away, my boyfriend said, ‘Now I probably won’t feel jealous anymore.’”

These are interesting reading, but I’d love to see a blog called “It Was Over When: Celebrity Version.” I’d wager that Charlie Sheen’s ex-goddess is just itching to write, “It was over when he cleared all my bottled water out of the fridge to make room for his tiger blood.”