13 December

National Day in St Lucia

Creole Cosmo

So we are drinking a...

Creole Cosmo

Today in St Lucia the sun, as always, shines and the good folk of this tiny country, a Caribbean island only 617 square kilometres (238 square miles) in size and home to less than 200,000 people, are celebrating their independence with a nationwide party.

Britain returned St Lucia to the St Lucians in 1979, having ruled it alternately with the French from the 17th century, and then controlling it from the early 19th century. Although the official language of St Lucia is English, most locals still speak a form of French-based creole. So today why not celebrate the island and its people with an appropriately named drink, the Creole Cosmo?

It's also the anniversary of Joan Bennett's scandal

Joan Geraldine Bennett (1910-1990) was an American star who acted in numerous stage performances and appeared in more than 70 motion pictures, but is perhaps most remembered for this day in 1951 when her husband/producer shot her agent in his manhood after suspecting they were having an affair.

To quote from Ed Sikov's 1998 book, On Sunset Boulevard, "In 1951, producer Walter Wanger discovered that his wife, Joan Bennett, was having an affair with the agent Jennings Lang. Their encounters were brief and frequent. When Lang and Bennett weren't meeting clandestinely at vacation spots like New Orleans and the West Indies, they were back in L.A. enjoying weekday quickies at a Beverly Hills apartment otherwise occupied by one of Lang's underlings at the agency. When Wanger found proof of the affair, he did what any crazed cuckold would do: he shot Lang in the balls."

Wanger told the Beverly Hills Chief of Police, "I shot him because I thought he was breaking up my home". Shooting a man in the balls could be considered a measured response, and it would seem that's how the court viewed what could have been attempted murder, as he only served a four-month sentence before quickly returning to his career and making a series of successful films. We are drinking to a good pub story of retribution with an appropriately named Joan Bennett, a fruity floral tall drink created in the star's heyday, 19 years before the scandal.

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