Mid-Week Mailbag.

Paperboy Was Prematurely Grey, Among Other Things.

The mailbag is hot this week.  It’s trending on Twitter.  Right now it is!  Oh wait, now it’s not anymore.  Don’t bother checking.  But, we did get unprecedented audience participation this week.  People are catching on.  They want in on the ground floor of something magical.  So, here we go, the answers to life’s most important questions.  If you’re starting to feel left out–submit a question for next week.

Q:  I’m not much of a gamer, but a few times a year I find some online game and get pretty addicted to it for about a week.  Usually this involves me getting irrationally angry at some point because I cannot get past a certain level. What I’m saying is, I’m an adult that still would throw the controller across the room if I was given the opportunity.  Luckily, I stop short of drop-kicking the laptop.  The question is, what video game incensed you the most?  Roy D. Raige, Broomall, PA. 

A:  Oh, man.  The bailout answer would be that every single video game I’ve ever played made me angry to a certain extent.  THAT’S PART OF THE FUN.  I think I have to get in an adolescent frame of mind for this, because you never can match that youthful anger later in life.  You’ve got other things to worry about now, but back then, your video games were your life.  I’m going to walk you backwards through the top-3, with an honorable mention to Soda Popinkski laughing in your face.  Number Three:  The Tecmo Super Bowl Random Fumble.  The only way they could make the game harder was to force you into horsebleep turnovers.  You’d be playing the ‘Niners in the NFC Championship game, Heath Sherman is cruising down the field and suddenly…HE COUGHS IT UP. This, of course, is considered “cheating” by the game cartridge and you immediately hit reset.  Number Two:  Tetris. There were any number of ways Tetris could bend you over.  Perhaps the most maddening was the “delayed settle.” They showed you the next piece coming, so sometimes you’d be anticipating that move during the split second when the previous piece had to come to rest and at the last second you’d jack up your screen.  BOOM!  There goes the Game Boy across the room.  Number One:  Paperboy. The game forced you to crash.  I don’t want to even get into it, it just happened, and I’m still a little upset about it.  

Q: Other than the Kindle Fire, what’s on top of 3-Putt’s “If I get this for Christmas, I will immediately throw it in the trash in front of you,” List?  Andrew Feline, Zurich, Switzerland.  

A:  Wow, do I really give the impression that I’d chuck a gift right in someone’s FACE?  I’m not a great receiver of gifts, even when I actually like something, I don’t break out into a little dance or something, no baby fist-pumps–nothing. I’d actually be really excited if someone gave me a Kindle, because I would re-gift that to someone who actually wanted it, IN A HEARTBEAT.  Then, I’d use the money I had set aside for their present and buy myself something I really needed like this Sierra Nevada T-Shirt.  If someone gave me a Kindle, I guess I’d be a tad disappointed that they had NO IDEA what I stood for as a reader, but there are worse gifts.  I’d rather get a Kindle than like any of the Harry Potter books for example, or a scale–that’d be an insulting gift.  A Vegan Cookbook–That’d probably go right in the trash.  

Q: Have you ever thrown out a dish rather than clean it?  Sometimes that food just hardens and I don’t have the time or energy to try to resolve the situation.  What’s the hardest food to get off a dish once it’s been sitting for, oh I don’t know, four days.  Luther Palmolive, Wichita, KS.  

A:  Can’t help you out, Luther.  I do the dishes IMMEDIATELY after every meal.  Not buying that?  Ok.  I don’t think I’ve ever thrown something out rather than clean it.  At least not an actual dish.  Maybe a reusable container where some ungodly fungal growth was occurring, but I don’t waste dishes.  This isn’t Greece.  What’s the hardest food to get off a dish?  I was going to say melted cheese or some type of sauce, but then I realized there is a combination of the two: Macaroni & Cheese sauce.  It’s amazing how cheese binds to a plate once it’s melted.  I once took a bowl out of the dishwasher and it had a little shred of cheese spot-welded on there.  It’s going to be there for all ETERNITY.  But, anyway, if you don’t rinse your Mac & Cheese plate or pot right away–forget about it.  If you let it sit, you have to do something drastic like pour in boiling water into the pot to “reanimate” the cheese and then get to work.  Taxing stuff. Gotta rinse.

Q:  So, as much as I’d like to live in a place that has its own washer and dryer–I don’t.  The washing machine costs $1.25 and the dryer costs $1 even.  My question is, why the “F” aren’t there washing machines that take dollar bills?  Isn’t change being systematically removed from the earth anyway? And, now I need to scrape up 18 quarters to do two loads of laundry?  Keep in mind I have no idea if these machines exists, but the ones in my building were recently replaced–still coin-only technology.  G. Washington, Oxford, PA.  

A:  I’m in the same boat.  Quarters only.  It’s a nightmare.  This does seem to be a logical question.  I mean, the soda machine, the candy machine both evolved to take dollar bills, but the old washer still wants those quarters.  Here’s some random theories:  People are less likely to try to break into a machine if it only has quarters in it instead of dollar bills?  You’ve got to factor in there’s always something seedy about a pay-laundry room, regardless of where it is located.  Maybe there was a study somewhere that says people are more likely to pay $1.25 if it’s all in quarters.  Oh, what’s another quarter?  It’s practically USELESS.  But, if you have to put a 2nd bill in there and then get change–that feels like a total ripoff.  I’m on-board with your movement.  Let’s take the coin out of the coin-laundry.  I’m pro-cash, but definitely anti-change.  Or, I’m for change in terms of getting rid of change.  Think about that.  

Q: Why is that I’m constantly seeing people on television and movies play charades and yet I’ve never actually seen anyone play the game in real-life.  It’s an awful game, right?  That’s the answer?  Milton Bradley, Augusta, ME.  

A:  I’ve never played charades.  Never had the desire to play charades.  I’m pretty sure as long as there is ANY other game available you play that over charades.  Why is it constantly still being played in movies and on TV?  I’d guess laziness.  At some point in history there was a problem with a script.  What can all these people be doing at the same time?  How can we make it funny?  Some genius thought up charades and from there we’ve had no evolution of thought. If someone gets real wild, maybe the people on TV will be playing Pictionary.  Ok, no, I just thought of the answer. It has to be Charades, because you can’t have a TV show where people are sitting around staring at the Boggle cube.  Or, deliberating what Apples to Apples card to throw.  There has to be ACTION.  Thus, charades.  Phew, for a second, I thought I was going to be stumped there.  

Q: So, Kevin Kolb didn’t play last week because of Turf Toe.  What a little bitch.  During my illustrious college field hockey career I had turf toe countless times.  I always played, and no one was paying me a crapload of money to do it.  I once had it so bad my big toenail fell off.  What’s going on with these NFL babies?  Pettie Larceny, Haddonfield, NJ.  

A:  You know what, I still don’t know what turf toe is.  Let me look it up…Ok, turf toe is essentially giant swollen cartoon toe.  Like when you get hit in the foot with a giant mallet and then the toe swells up and starts throbbing?  That’s turf toe.  You’re welcome.  There seems to be two explanations here.  One, you thought you had a bad case of turf toe, but that was just relative to you.  Like, say you had a nasty dose of poison ivy on your hands and you think it can’t get any worse, but then someone is like, try having it on and about the CROTCH.  Perspective.  The other explanation is that you are far tougher than your average NFL player.  My guess is, it’s the latter.  Kolb’s a paycheck collector, you were playing for love of the game.

Q:  I remember you doing a post once about the great ghetto foods. Does cornbread apply?  I feel like the less fancy the cornbread–the better.  Charlotte Cobb, Ambler, PA.  

A:  Absolutely.  Cornbread should never be gourmet.  I don’t want chunks of jalapeno pepper in my cornbread.  I don’t care if it’s authentic Tex-Mex, or some such nonsense.  It’s an epidemic we face in this country–this constant desire to “jazz” things up.  Oh, you know what’s great in some cornbread?  Pineapple.  NO!  It’s not.  And, I don’t even want chunks of corn in there.  If I want corn, I’ll eat some damn corn.  I don’t want stray kernels in my bread.  And, don’t make it too sweet either.  It’s not dessert.  It’s not a corn cupcake.  It seems like such a simple food, and yet you don’t see great cornbread many places.  Except Boston Market.  Great Cornbread there.  The name of the restaurant should have been Boston Cornbread.  So, yes, keep my cornbread ghetto style.