NEWARK - When they settled into their airplane seats on Sunday morning, likely wearing floral shirts and leis, ready to order a fruity drink with an umbrella as they zoomed over the gritty Newark landscape to brighter skies, they had no idea the dream would be quickly dashed. Passengers on the United Airlines flight were booted off the plane because of "abnormally hot brakes." Firefighters were dispatched to spray down the brakes, as passengers were grudgingly removed from the plane and transported with a stair truck and buses back to a dismal Terminal C, where Bud Light awaited.

SEA BRIGHT - Bar chatter, bursts of laughter and clinking beer bottles may just be loud enough to trigger hefty fines under a revised local noise ordinance. That's why owners of Tommy's Tavern & Tap are suing this borough, telling the Two River Times that the excessive new restrictions - which include "loud talking" - are absurd. Tommy's owners also hope to overturn bans on live performances and music speakers at their tavern's outdoor patio. But, until a judge pipes up, enjoy those suds....quietly and respectfully.

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MONTCLAIR - Say "досвидания" to the famous Russian 'spy house' here. It may soon be sold, perhaps to a buyer with the secret code word. The long-vacant, two-story Marquette Road colonial has turned into a fixer-upper since 2010, when the feds scooped up and deported spies, Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, living there as Richard and Cynthia Murphy. Their double lives, fake names, phony passports, and spycraft tools helped inspire FX's hit drama, "The Americans." Now, a true capitalist tells NJ.com he's renovating the place - and maybe sweeping it for bugs and hidey-holes - in hope of selling it for a ton of rubles.

BRIGANTINE - Unlike the claims from your 8th grade guidance counselor, playing cards can be a very lucrative career. Scott Blumstein, from Brigantine, is popping the champagne in Las Vegas this morning, after winning a massive Texas Hold 'em tournament yesterday. The winnings? $8.1 million for this 25-year-old card player. To win, Blumstein had to best 120,995 entrants from around the world and 7,200 players who made the final rounds of this ultra-competitive tournament. We say it was all about skill; that bitter 8th guidance counselor likely dismisses it as pure luck.


WASHINGTON - In yet another example of how we are now unable to live without smartphones, a city man took a garbage bath to find his dropped phone. He was innocently throwing out his trash in the chute at his apartment building, when he made a chilling realization: his phone was somehow in his trash. The man leaned into the chute and, of course, fell inside. At about 3 a.m. yesterday, he was able to find a phone from inside the chute and called 911. Firefighters had the stinky job of hauling him out with a harness.


AT THE CAFE - If your morning coffee gave you an erection lasting longer than 12 awkward hours, please consult a physician. The FDA has found a Viagra-like chemical ingredient in an herbal coffee that Texas-based Bestherbs Coffee sells online. The company did the stand-up thing, voluntarily recalling its "New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee." It markets this coffee as an erectile dysfunction remedy, but the FDA warns the ingredient could pose health concerns for men taking certain medications. What a letdown.


With the arrival of a new, tough-talking, "You're Fired!" type of Communication Director, media is eager to learn all it can about Anthony Scaramucci. And that begins with a full troll on Twitter, with media quickly learning that Scaramucci had posted what he thought was a sentimental, inspiring quote from Mark Twain, which clearly wasn't.

The blistering Twitter responses, replying to @Scaramucci:

"Na na na na na na na nana, Na na na na nana, Gettin jiggy wit it." Nelson Mandela

"Cash me outside, how bow dah?" Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." Vincent van Gogh

"Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games." Upton Sinclair


It was on this day in 1966 that grizzled Casey Stengel - who was the manager of both the Mets and Yankees - was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On learning of the news, his reaction was something like this:


Highfalutin - [hi-fuh-LOOT-un] - adjective

Definition: Pompous, haughty

Example: What's up with that highfalutin, erection-causing coffee?