The Worst Times to Travel This Fourth of July Weekend
It's a fantastic feeling to be able to travel this weekend, after a year-plus in quarantine. But there are SOME drawbacks in returning to normalcy. For one, a LOT of people will be on the roads. A recent poll found that 132 million Americans, or 51% of us, will go somewhere this weekend. And it's expected to be the biggest weekend of travel since at least Christmas of 2019. Triple-A put out some data on traffic that found you should have started your travel YESTERDAY if possible. The roads will be crammed this afternoon . . . tomorrow afternoon . . . and on Saturday, particularly between 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. The best times to hit the road are late tonight . . . tomorrow morning . . . Saturday evening . . . all day Sunday, which is the Fourth of July . . . and early Monday morning. And when you're coming back, try to avoid Monday, late afternoon, between 4:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M.
Four Things to Look Forward to in July
It's a new month, and we've got America's birthday coming up on Sunday. But here are a few more things to look forward to in July . . . 1. Lots of sports: The NBA Finals start a week from today . . . another UFC rematch for Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirieris set for July 10th . . . the ESPY Awards are the same night . . . baseball's All-Star Game is July 13th . . . and the Summer Olympics finally get started on July 23rd. 2. A few big movies are on the way: "Black Widow" hits theaters and Disney+ next Friday . . . "Space Jam: A New Legacy"with LeBron James lands July 16th . . . and Disney's "Jungle Cruise" movie comes out on July 30th. 3. On TV: "Big Brother" and "Love Island" return next Wednesday . . . the "Monsters, Inc." series "Monsters at Work" hits Disney+ the same day . . . the new "Gossip Girl" reboot arrives on HBO Max July 8th . . . and Shark Week starts on July 11th. 4. And finally, the holidays: The big one is the Fourth of July this Sunday, but here are a few more you might want to mark on your calendar . . . Tomorrow is World UFO Day . . . National Bikini Day is the 5th . . . Fried Chicken Day is the 6th . . . Piña Colada Day is the 10th, followed by Mojito Day on the 11th . . . National French Fry Day is the 13th . . . Ice Cream Day is the 18th . . . Junk Food Day is the 21st . . . and National Tequila Day is July 24th.
One in 11 Americans Say Wine and Hot Dogs Pair Well Together
Something called the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says we'll eat 150 MILLION hot dogs on July 4th, making it the top hot dog-eating day of the year. They did a new poll, and asked people to name the best DRINKS to pair with a hot dog. And one in 11 Americans must be fancier than I am . . . because 9% said WINE pairs well with them. Soda is #1, with 76% of people agreeing it goes well with hot dogs. That's followed by beer, 57% . . . lemonade, 54% . . . iced tea, 48% . . . orange juice, 12% . . . milk, 9% . . . and wine, 9%. They also looked at America's most-loved regional hot dog STYLES . . . and New York style is #1. That's an all-beef dog, topped with steamed onions and deli-style mustard. (Bonus points if you buy it from a street vendor who's yelling at a cab driver.) Second on the list is Chicago style . . . with mustard, relish, onions, peppers, tomatoes, a pickle, and celery salt all jammed into a poppy seed bun. And third on the list is Detroit-style Coney dogs . . . topped with mustard, onions, and chili. (The Hot Dog and Sausage Council's website has a list with another 15 regional style dogs.)
8% of Americans Hate Fireworks
A new poll found only 8% of Americans HATE fireworks. Check again after everyone's been woken up at midnight for a week straight, and I bet that number will be higher. 75% of people said they either like or LOVE fireworks . . . 12% said mostly dislike . . . and 8% hate them. (Another 4% said they're neutral or don't know how they feel.) The survey also found young people like fireworks more than older people do. And women are almost twice as likely as men to say they HATE them.
Bill Cosby Is a Free Man
BILL COSBY was released from prison yesterday, after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction. The court ruled that Cosby was denied protection against self-incrimination. It's basically a technicality, but it's good enough, because he can't be retried on the same charges. Cosby was convicted on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault back in 2018 . . . for allegedly drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He had served nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence. Bill Tweeted a picture of himself with his fist raised over his head, and the following statement: "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. "Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law." He also called in to a Philadelphia radio station and said, quote "This is not just a Black thing. This is for all the people who have been imprisoned wrongfully regardless of race, color, or creed. "Because I met them in there. People who talked about what happened and what they did. And I know there are many liars out there." Constand issued a statement saying the decision was, quote, "not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system." A lot of female celebrities rage-Tweeted about Cosby's release, but ROSIE O'DONNELL was one of the rage-iest. She Tweeted, quote, "I guess 70 women weren't enough. [Eff] U Bill." One famous woman had his back, though. Not surprisingly, it was his "Cosby Show" co-star PHYLICIA RASHAD. She said, quote, "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted . . . a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"
Today's Showbiz Highlights
1. BILL COSBY is a free man after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction on what basically amounted to a technicality. Bill said, quote, "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence." 2. There's a play running in London called "Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner". It's a comedy that's described as, quote, "a vivid exploration of blackness, queerness, and the online world." 3. The woman who caused the crash at the Tour de France has been arrested after a four-day search. She hasn't been identified. Tour de France officials have said they plan to sue the woman . . . and at least one rider he might, too. 4. Starting today, the NCAA will finally allow players to make money off their names, images, and likenesses. However, it's still illegal for colleges to pay athletes directly. 5. The people behind the new "Halloween" movies are making a sequel to "The Exorcist". One of the producers says, quote, "I think it's going to pleasantly surprise all the skeptics out there." 6. ADAM SANDLER is in need of, quote, "highly skilled" basketball players for his new Netflix movie, "Hustle". Tryouts are being held mid-July in Delaware for dudes who are 18 to 30 years old and aren't playing for the NCAA. 7. Next Wednesday, Disney will air "The Good, the Bart, and the Loki", a crossover short combining "The Simpsons" with the Marvel Universe. TOM HIDDLESTON, of course, will be voicing Loki. 8. Someone started a petition to keep nudity out of Amazon's upcoming "Lord of the Rings" series. It says, quote, "Tolkien's creations have always been mostly FAMILY friendly . . . KEEP IT THAT WAY." 9. A FREE ELVIS PRESLEY streaming channel is coming out next year. It'll show archived footage, Elvis films and music documentaries and will only be available in the U.S. and Canada through Samsung, Roku, Hulu, and Amazon. 10. BRIAN KELLEY has a yearly 4th of July get-together plan. He loads up his truck the night before, and then drives to the beach at 4:00 A.M. to reserve a spot, and set everything up. After a short nap, it's party time. 11. DARIUS RUCKER is constantly surprised at how many people don't know he was in Hootie & the Blowfish. He thinks it's funny when they wonder why he sings so many Hootie songs in his concerts.