Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: A Real Housewife learns a lesson in paying for things, Kate Middleton keeps us guessing, and Barney Frank is now a meat product.
Poor Jill Zarin. The Real Housewife of New York City who went from beloved busybody on the first season of her Bravo show to reviled, fired villainess by the fourth now can't even get a free dinner anymore. The copper-haired gadfly apparently had her assistant asking around to various restaurants to see if they would straight up comp her birthday dinner for eight people, but, shockingly, not one restaurant said they would. What?? Not Per Se, not Marea, not even Senor Swanky's? (RIP Senor Swanky's.) Truly shocking. Poor Jill's assistant says that she was just calling restaurants that had offered her boss free vittles in the past, but that's a rather likely story. Anyway, Jill ended up having 11 people over to the exquisitely classy "Italian restaurant/nightclub" Lavo, and her husband Bobby paid. Oh well. It was a good run while it lasted, eh Jillzy? [Page Six]
The famous Mr. Bartley's burger shack in Harvard Square has named a meal after the soon retiring Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank. The "Bye Bye Barney" is actually not a hamburger, rather it's a pineapple-jalepeño relish-covered hotdog. Pineapple-jalepeño relish because he was sweet but spicy, and a hotdog because... Well, because he likes dogs and often complained about the Capitol building's heating. Why, what were you thinking the hotdog thing was all about? You need to get your mind right, is what you need to do. [Roll Call]
A pair of poets in the UK, Alice Oswald and John Kinsella, have withdrawn themselves from consideration for the prestigious T.S. Eliot prize in poetry because the prize, once government funded but a victim of austerity measures, is now funded by a wicked hedge fund management company. The company, Aurum Funds, represents the "very pointy end of capitalism," according to Kinsella, who also says that Aurum "does not sit with my personal politics and ethics." Ooooof, burn. The worst kind of burn is a politely worked rebuke against your economic morals delivered by an old British/Australian poet. Consider yourselves fully burnt, Aurum Funds, with your hundreds of millions of dollars and offices in, amongst other places, Bermuda. That poet just put you in your place. [New York Observer]
Meghan McCain wants YOU. Or maybe not you specifically, but a few people at least to guest blog on her McCain Blogette website. Yes! She's spent the past couple days tweeting about wanting to get people to come write for her relaunching web endeavor, claiming it will be "a safe place for people to share their opinions, no bullying or hate." So... you're not gonna have comments on the site, Meghan? Because that's just about the only way to prevent bullying or hate. Or, oh, are you just using those words because they're popular right now but what you really mean is people are gonna be nice and the site will be rather toothless? Or does it really mean nothing and who cares, it's just a funtimes blog paid for by the beer millions so who really cares? Anyway, the point is, Meghan McCain wants you to write for her website so you should probably do it lest she have her dad build a dang fence around you. You really wouldn't want that. [Roll Call]
Kate Middleton and her husband, William Prince of All England, Lord Protector of the British Seychelles, High Chancellor of Old Brunswick, Third Earl of North Siam, Foursquare Mayor of That Burger King Off the M11, recently went to a concert given by Gary Barlow, lead singer of Take That and an X Factor judge (equals, commingling), and Kate spurred pregnancy rumors by wearing a loose-ish dress and holding a purse in front of her belly. (Traditionally where British royals carry their young for nine months.) The theoretical baby, who would be the Emperor of Canada Except Quebec when born, is basically the most exciting thing happening in all of royal news these days, unless Charlotte Casiraghi got a haircut that we don't know about. [Us Weekly]