Archive for November 25th, 2012

Phrase Malise

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

“The Proof Is In the Pudding”

No, it’s not. If the proof was literally in the pudding, all you would have is a soggy, piece of proof. The correct phrase is:

“The Proof of the Pudding is in the EATING.”

Well of course, Skippy! Doesn’t that make sense? Language MUST make sense if it’s to be an agreed-upon, verbal or written exchange of thoughts between people.

No, It’s Not ‘O-Taay!’

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

'Oo-taaay!'

Remember Buckwheat? Whatever happened to the young actor who played the character in “The Little Rascals” and then took a dive into oblivion?

ABC’s respected investigative reporting show, 20/20,  decided to find out. In October, 1990, the show claimed it had tracked down Buckwheat to Tempe, Arizona where, sadly, he worked as a grocery bagger. In the televised interview. ‘Buckwheat’ told his sad tale and many viewers felt sorry for him. Some sent money.

It was a great ‘riches-to-rags’ story except for one thing: the real Buckwheat, William Thomas, died over 10-years before the 20/20 show. His IMPOSTOR, Bill English, pretended to be Buckwheat for over 30-years! Uh, oh.

Within a week, a red-faced ABC admitted its mistake, fired the producer of the piece – and was sued by the child star’s son.

William Thomas wouldn’t have liked any of this. He was a quiet, modest man, who worked for many years in Hollywood as a film lab technician. And he never could understand the nostalgia that was making the ‘Rascals” series famous again.

Nonetheless, in 1980, Mr. Thomas reluctantly accepted an invitation to a ‘Nostalgia TV’ convention. He doubted many people would even remember the show – much less what he considered his minor contribution. He was wrong. Even before his introduction was finished, the audience burst into a spontaneous, loud and long, standing ovation which moved him to tears.

It was Buckwheat’s last shining moment. Just three months later, Mr. William Thomas dropped dead of a heart attack. He was 49.