Hoffman's Houston
hold on 'til january

Ken Hoffman on why celebrities shouldn't die in December, plus the proper way to brush your teeth

Ken Hoffman on why celebrities shouldn't die in December

Colin Powell
Beloved statesman Colin Powell died this year — in time for the Times. Photo by Getty Images

You know who I feel sorry for? It’s people who die in December.

You’d think dying would be bad enough, but the December deceased are the Rodney Dangerfield of the Afterlife: they don’t get no respect, at least not in the New York Times.

A week ago today, with December barely begun, the New York Times published its “Notable Deaths of 2021” list. Among them: Colin Powell, Hank Aaron, Larry King, Bobby Bowden, and the one that saddened me most, Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Hagler fought them all: Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, John Mugabi, some of the hardest punchers ever. I watched Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard on closed circuit TV at The Summit. Hagler got screwed, losing by a questionable split decision, and Leonard refused to give him a rematch.

It’s not like the New York Times says “we’ll catch you next year” to December deaths, either. For example, Texan Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, a pretty important act in rock history, passed away a few days ago, sadly past the Times’ deadline for deaths.

The Times’ message to terminally ill celebrities: hang on to January.

So to make good in a small way, here are some notable December deaths from recent years: former Houston Astros players Denis Menke, Ken Berry, Tommy Nobis, Clifford Irving, Dick Enberg, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Henry Heimlich (exactly what you’re thinking), and George Michael.

All you need to know: the most “Googled” names of 2021: Alec Baldwin and Pete Davidson.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion was ranked the No. 4 outdoor concert venue in the world by Pollstar, the recording secretary of the live music industry. The Woodlands pavilion sold 256,807 tickets for shows between November 19, 2020 and November 17, 2021 during the teeth of the pandemic. One thing, though: kinda makes you wonder if anything weird happened on November 18th that it’s not included. Conspiracy!

Janice Dean’s fun fact
Here’s a quirky little fact about Janice Dean, the popular and outspoken host and weathercaster for the Fox & Friends morning show on Fox News Channel.

One of Dean’s first jobs in broadcasting was at KLDE-FM, the long-gone, distant memory oldies music station in Houston. She was the news anchor and sidekick for morning man J.P. McCarthy.

That’s not unusual, many national news people worked in Houston on their way to a network spot.

Here’s the quirky part. One day, I bumped into Dean in the hallway of the Clear Channel cluster of radio stations when KLDE played the early ’60s hit The Little Old Lady From Pasadena. Dean said, “The people who sing that song have my name.”

How’s that? The Little Old Lady From Pasadena was recorded by the California surf duo Jan and Dean.

“That’s me. My middle name is Anne. So my full name is Jan Anne Dean.”

By the way, she’s not exactly the Little Old Lady from anywhere, certainly not Pasadena. The song was recorded before Janice Dean was born the following decade in Toronto.

Meanwhile, in 2000 KLDE-FM morphed into Houston’s current rock alternative KTBZ-FM The Buzz.

Wait...how many people at the Texans game??
The official attendance at the Houston Texans vs. Seattle Seahawks game Sunday at NRG Stadium was 67,610. Liar, Liar (repeat 35,000 more times).

Either half the crowd left their seats, at the same time mind you, for a delicious hot dog and never came back, or the Texans hired the Acme Invisible Paint Company from Roadrunner cartoons to cover the upper deck.

My call: 30,000 — tops.

Are you brushing your teeth wrong?
Ever see those “You’re Doing it Wrong” stories? Like “You’ve been eating a banana wrong” or “You’re taking off your T-shirt wrong.”

The other day, some friends got on the topic of “how do rinse out your mouth after you brush your teeth?” Somebody said using a drinking glass was repulsive (I agree) because it gets caked with toothpaste.

Most said they use a paper cup from a dispenser. I didn’t know my friends were dentists or worked at Dairy Queen.

One person brushes, rinses the toothbrush and brushes a second time and spits, which makes no sense to me. Once is enough, you sing Happy Birthday twice and you’re done.

I said how I do it: I stick my head under the faucet like a water fountain, rinse, and spit. I used to cup my hands under the faucet, take a gulp, swish and spit.

I was told that I’m disgusting. (Just for a different reason this time.)  

So how do you rinse after brushing your teeth?


Contact Ken Hoffman at ken@culturemap.com.