Always good to start the year by learning something new. Here’s what I learned:
Forrest B. Raffel was to roast beef what Col. Harlan Sanders was to chicken. With his younger brother, Leroy, he founded Arby’s — which, contrary to many myths, stands for Raffel Brothers (RB). The origin of the chain’s name has been a question on television’s Jeopardy! and a crossword puzzle clue in The New York Times.
Nicknamed Fuzzy as an infant, Raffel died Sept. 19 at his home in North Miami Beach. — Miami Hurled
All these years I thought the “RB” that became “Arby’s” derived from “Roast Beef.” Save your jeering. You probably think the “US” in US-1 and other highways stands for “United States.” You do, don’t you? Well, you’re wrong. It’s “Unified System.” FGI. Maybe.
Damn. That’s two things. And it’s still the first week.
The other night I wander past the teevee in time to see the end of a commercial advertising the upcoming Grammy awards. The graphic includes a rendition of an early phonograph. And then, for the first time ever, it hits me: “Grammy.” “Gramophone.” Too busy all this time sneering at the plastic, tinsel, and self-serving ceremonial hype surrounding the awards, the connection eludes me until this very moment.
Ridiculously proud of myself, I mention this to Guido, who does that thing with the narrowing eye and pursing (not quite curling) lip.
“Didja hear about the Lindbergh baby?” she finally asks.
Well excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me.
Besides, that’s three things. Three! I’m so ahead of schedule, I’m done for the whole damn year.