Reinventing Fast Food Breakfast.

If You Have the Stones To Order This, It Should be Available 24/7.

If You Have the Stones To Order This, It Should be Available 24/7.

On a scale of zero to Dunkin Donuts serving tuna sandwiches where would you rate the Taco Bell Waffle Taco?  For me, it’s a bit hard to determine, because this really isn’t a taco.  It appears to be a waffle sandwich, which while equally troubling, might be a bit less disgusting?  Does the sausage have Tex/Mex flavoring, because that would be a tremendous red flag.  Is that a pitcher of “dipping syrup” next to the taco?  I assume Taco Bell’s syrup comes from Not-Vermont?  What I don’t understand is why T-Bell thinks it can penetrate the breakfast market.  Are there people out there who think, “If I could only eat Taco Bell a fourth time a day…”

Anyway, the Taco Bell Waffle Taco is a part of a number of food innovations I’ve seen lately.  Some, like the cookie dough flavored Oreos appear to be inspired.  Others seem a bit haphazardly thrown together.  Is working in new product development for a fast food chain the easiest job in America?  Do they have a fat checker?  Just a guy at the top of the chain who is paid the big bucks to say, gut reaction–is this chubby enough?

I’ve actually had the opportunity to peruse some confidential fast food files and believe it or not, other fast food chains are not taking the Waffle Taco sitting down.  There will be a response.  A preview…

KFC:  Potato Oatmeal.

Not a new dish as much as a re-branding POWER MOVE.  The KFC potato oatmeal will be a bowl of mashed potatoes. They are focusing more on the “meal” than the “oat” in this effort and it’s expected to be a monster success.  Mix in chunks of your favorite breakfast meat for an additional $.49.

Wendy’s: SAC O’ BACON.

Wendy’s is on the leading of the bacon movement.  They will not be out-baconed and if you want 8 slices of bacon your burger, just walk into Wendy’s and tell them you got 7 slices at Burger King and they will give you the 8th ON PRINCIPLE.  The Sac o’ Bacon is essentially what it sounds like– 8oz of crisp bacon in a bag.  Complimentary bacon flavored mayo for dipping.

Pizza Hut: Pizzomelet.  

Are you familiar with the P’Zone?  This is a product that I was surprised to find still on the Pizza Hut menu.  It’s what the person who invented the stromboli feared might happen to the stromboli.  BUT, the Pizzomelet is a whole other animal.  It answers one of life’s greatest questions, “why can’t I eat this omelet with my hands?”  A buttery dough shell around that bad boy will solve all your problems.  Like everything else at Pizza Hut, a 3 lb side of penne alfredo will cost you only an additional $3.99.

Dairy Queen: Breakfast Blizzard.  

The Ice Cream for breakfast market is WIDE OPEN.  Dairy Queen is going to charge through the door with the breakfast blizzard.  Maple flavored soft-serve loaded with chunks of bacon.  Substitute scrapple for bacon in PA locations only.

Roy Rogers: Waffle Fixin’ Bar

The inventors of the Fixings Bar find a new muse.  The Belgian waffle.  The Belgian waffle crosses socio-economic lines.  It makes ANYONE feel like they are getting a classy breakfast.  You combine that with your choice of an array of syrups, sweet toppings, ice cream, and you have turned around an entire company–maybe.  Now just hop on a random turnpike and hope to find a location.

Burger King: Butter Nuggets

Is Burger King the most decadent of the fast food chains?  Has any other chain embraced what they are as much as Burger King?  Do we want to try to expand to a market that eats healthier, or do we want to continue to throw our loyal customers fastballs RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE?  I think Burger King leans toward that second philosophy and this breakfast trend has them ready to take the next step.  Much like the great French cooks, Burger King knows the value of butter.  What makes this taste good?  Butter.  So, lets cut to the chase.  Burger king is now proud to serve up butter nuggets (salted or unsalted) in 3, 5, 7 or 20 pieces.  ENJOY.

The Universal Skill.

This Car Must Have Been Without Driver.

This Car Must Have Been Without Driver.

It’s snowing a lot this winter.  How do I know?  I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the streetlights outside my apartment window.  Still coming down?  I learned to look at the light from a young age.  When I was a kid, praying for a snow day, I’d open up our back door–let in an inordinate amount of cold air–and stare at the porch lights.  That snow always looks more devastating while illuminated was besides the point.  Just show me something, anything, in that light–a two-hour delay?  Anything.

Of course now I’m mostly thinking about shoveling out my car, but I still look to the light and after a year or two of mild winters we’re getting our share this time around including a fresh ten inches or so a few days back.  What does all this weather mean?  It means it’s time for me to start hearing people talk about how well they drive in the snow.  And, to listen to them quietly–all the time thinking, “No, I’m really THE great snow driver.”

Before I move on with this, I’ll just offer the disclaimer that I am discussing Mid-Atlantic snow driving and snow totals.  I’m not trying to draw the ire of someone who is buried under five feet of lake effect.  This isn’t a contest.  At least not one you’d want to win.  Keep in mind this disclaimer does not apply to people who live in moderate climes, but spout off horsebleep like, “I went to summer camp in Buffalo,” or “I crossed the Rockies in a Volkswagen back in ’85.”  Being in a cold weather city for thirty seconds does not give you any special powers.

So, what is it about snow that makes people lose their ability to judge themselves?  Now, I know there are certain areas where people don’t often look in a true mirror, but most can admit to a shortcoming or two.  Let me be a good example.  I can’t sing.  I can’t perform ANY winter sports.  I can’t grow a mustache.  You get complete honesty from me on these issues, and I feel like I would get some agreement in the crowd.  Maybe you can’t carry a tune either, but what if I were to say I wasn’t a good driver in the snow?

Maybe you’d think, OH YOU’RE THE GUY, because we all know the terrible snow drivers are out there, it’s just that no one is taking credit for the fishtails, the sliding back down hills with the brakes locked, the gentle tumble into the guard rail.  And yet each time it snows we are all behind dozens of these people.

I think everyone has their own comfort level for driving in poor conditions.  A person who is driving a steady 10 mph through the flurries probably thinks they are doing a GREAT job.  After all, they haven’t crashed, right?  They are just sitting there, behind the wheel of their Civic (or whatever) thinking, MY GOODNESS, I can practically feel the tires gripping the road right now.  The guy in the jacked up F-350 behind them, though, is about to pop a few capillaries until they finally get the chance to rip by at 65 mph in a spray of slush and rock salt. When this pass inevitably happens, both parties are likely cursing the other, and thinking, “why can’t anyone drive in the snow?”

So, I have my own snow driving story from today.  I was on a particularly odd stretch of back road, trying to avoid a bit of traffic on the way home.  I’m headed up a winding hill and about halfway up the road forks and I take the fork. The fork, still moving uphill, immediately comes to an intersection and at that intersection is a school bus.  So, everyone is stopped and the car closest to the bus pulls toward the shoulder a bit.  The courteous thing to do?  It was narrow, but the bus had plenty of room.  What I couldn’t see is that under the snow debris the front car had inadvertently pulled into a little depression.  A now, icy, slushy depression.  Stopping for the bus had ceased all momentum for the front car and for traffic in general.  Several cars waited while little Petey and Marybelle meandered toward their driveway.

The blinking red lights stop, the bus pulls away but the front car is still motionless.  Is that the sound of a tire spinning?  The cars lined up behind are getting a bit impatient.  Incredulous.  “First time driving on a hill there, Chief?”  It gets to the point where the front car has to roll their window down and wave people around.  Go on ahead, SAVE YOURSELVES.  What was I thinking?  I was thinking, hurry and pass me so I can back out of this f*cking rut. That’s right, a perfect career of snow driving and a tremendous ego was shattered this afternoon.  Perhaps I am the one.  The one who cannot drive in the snow.

To Redeem Self-Esteem, Quiz of the Day Nostalgia.  Sports Team Logo Timeline.  My Score: 21/25.

Post-Christmas Check-In.

Anyone Get A Car With A Bow?

Anyone Get A Car With A Bow?

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, or holiday season in general.  Still a week of slacking left before that cruel wake up call, January 2nd comes around.  Such a downer.  In the middle of enjoying gifts, packing on those last few pounds, here’s a quick update for the 6 people involved.

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:

  1. Kraft, 45-33-2
  2. Big Dub, 41-32-3
  3. Grossy, 42-34-4
  4. DC, 41-35-4
  5. Nichols, 40-38-2
  6. JCK, 35-39-1

As you caq see, Kraft remains in control, as both Dub and I failed to take advantage of his 2-3 week.  DC making a late charge, and JCK needs a 5-0 to get everyone over .500.

The “Epic Christmas Light Display,” Pick of the Week:  Nichols, Indianapolis (+6)

Didn’t see this one coming.  I would have loved an “outright” call here for emphasis, but tis the season to make generous assumptions.  I’m sure Nichols was expecting this Colts romp.  Either way, better than any pick I made.

The “Fruitcake” Awful Pick of the Week:  Grossy, Chicago (+3)

Oh, dear.  Did the Bears cover that number?  The funny thing is, the scenario played out exactly as I thought it would.  The Cowboys won, making the game meaningless for the Eagles.  The Bears needed the game to clinch the division.  It should have been a layup.  Then the Bears came out like the Flyers in a game seven against Ottawa, the Eagles were clicking and pounding their starters and it was a blowout from the jump.  Didn’t help the Eagles in the standings, didn’t help me in Pick ‘Em.  Merry Christmas.  I stink.

***

3-PT D.A. of the Week:  Ryan Tannehill.  

10/27 for 82 yards.  Shutout by the Bills.  Yep, that’ll do, Pig.

After one week of the D.A. Finals, Doubleback Vineyards leads Eli Esses D, 27 to 5.75.

***

Arbitrary, Yet Definitive, Top-10:

  1. Denver, 12-3.  A reliable blowout team
  2. Seattle, 12-3.  Whoops.
  3. New England, 11-4.  Hilarious when Baltimore gets blown out.
  4. San Francisco, 11-4.  Hottest team in NFC.
  5. Carolina, 11-4.  Massive win.
  6. Kansas City, 11-4.  Massive Loss.
  7. Arizona, 10-5.  I officially feel sorry for the Cardinals.
  8. Indianapolis, 10-5.  Possible AFC spoiler.
  9. Philadelphia, 9-6.  Suddenly impressive at home.
  10. Cincinnati, 10-5.  Dalton the anchor.

Week 13 NFL Picks — Finally.

The Pride Of New Hampshire.

The Pride Of New Hampshire.

Well, the games start in about 4 hours.  If I wait much longer, I’d be guaranteed to picks some winners.  This is what can happen.  Big holiday weekend.  Eating, shopping, had to dig the christmas tree out of the ground myself.  It’s that holiday time.  I won’t waste any more of it…

Week 13 Beer:  Smuttynose “Finestkind” IPA

I first had this beer a long time ago.  So long that I really didn’t remember it at all.  It was on tap at Quotations in Media, home to many a random brew.  Sometimes those nights at Quotations turn into a little bit of a haze when one beefy IPA gets poured on top of another.  But, I started seeing Smuttynose in six-packs, and despite me having no idea what the name means, I decided to try it again–for the first time.

Am I sorry I didn’t Get Sierra:  No.

Smuttynose packs a lot of punch.  At nearly 7% ABV, it’s an IPA with a distinct taste but you know from the first sip that you aren’t drinking a light beer.  It warms you up right away.  But, Smuttynose has all the classic IPA hops you’d be looking for and pours absolutely beautifully–if you’re into that kind of thing.  It’s a great beer to drink while you ease through a big, beefy dinner.

Top 10:

  1. The Alchemist, Heady Topper
  2. Southern Tier 2X IPA
  3. Smuttynose “Finestkind” IPA
  4. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
  5. Shed Brewing IPA
  6. Bell’s Midwestern Pale Ale
  7. Casco Bay IPA
  8. Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA
  9. Evil Genius Eye PA
  10. Deschutes Brewery IPA

***

JCK, 27-34-1

  1. Denver (-5.5) over Kansas City
  2. New England (-7.5) over Houston
  3. Miami (+2) over New York Jets

***

Kraft, 35-23-2

  1. Buffalo (-3) over Real Housewives of Atlanta
  2. Seattle (-4.5) over New Orleans
  3. St. Louis (+8) over San Francisco
  4. Jacksonville (+7) over Cleveland
  5. Tampa Bay (+7.5) over Carolina

***

Nichols, 29-31-2

  1. Denver (-5.5) over Kansas City
  2. Chicago (+1) over Minnesota
  3. New York Giants (-1) over Washington

***

DC, 28-29-4

  1. San Francisco (-8) over St. Louis
  2. Miami (+2) over New York Jets
  3. San Diego (-1) over Cincinnati
  4. Minnesota (-1) over Chicago

***

Grossy, 34-23-3

Chicago (+1) over Minnesota.  Wrong team’s favored.  That’s one of my all-time favorite tout lines.  But, really, Minnesota giving points is awfully tempting.  What’s the worst thing that could happen, they tie?  This is 53 guys against Adrian Peterson.  I’ll take the 53 guys by a whisker.

Arizona (+3) over Philadelphia.  Some warning signs for Arizona–they’re coming across the country.  They are coming off a big win.  Some warning signs for Philly–they haven’t beaten a good team.  I’m nothing if not disturbingly stubborn, so I’m going to stick with this whole Nick Foles aberration thing until I’m proven right.  It may take 10 years, but it’s happening damnit.

Buffalo (-3) over Atlanta.  So, you think Atlanta, in their current state of grotesque deformity, is going to be fired up for this trip to Buffalo?  Forecast for Southern Toronto?  38 degrees with rain and snow showers.  Sounds like a dream for a dome team that’s given up on the season.  If Atlanta was a Tecmo Bowl season, they would have hit reset about 10 weeks ago.

New England (-7.5) over Houston.  The Texans have about as much appeal as a Port-0-Let in the Houston humidity. This is teams that have given up on their season…Number two.  The Patriots, on the other hand, should be more than happy to beat the Texans down by a couple of scores.  The only question is, will Bill Belichick screw over everyone with his RB rotation, or just 95% of fantasy players?

New Orleans (+4.5) over Seattle.  Mega Revenge Game.  This is at least double revenge, if not triple.  I’m not going to say, “well the Seahawks will lose at home eventually,” even though that is 100% accurate.  I just think New Orleans is going to get the better of them this time.  And, as not to waiver and back into a cover I’ll later take credit for–I’m expecting outright here.

 

Alternate Viewing Guide: Thanksgiving Edition.

In Case You Are Sick of Football AND The Godfather Trilogy.

In Case You Are Sick of Football AND The Godfather Trilogy.

Certain people feel obligated to watch football on Thanksgiving.  Maybe it is some high school rivalry game they’ve been to for the last 30 years, maybe it’s the NFL, but football has branded itself with Thanksgiving.  So, you’ll probably end up watching a bit even if you think football is dumb and “don’t really get the rules.”  Of course, not all Thanksgiving football slates are made equal, and this year feels especially repulsive.  Green Bay at Detroit should have been the game of the day, but with no Aaron Rodgers, it loses a lot of its appeal.  It still might be the best contest, though, as Dallas/Oakland should be ugly and Baltimore/Pittsburgh is about two years past its expiration date.  I strongly encourage you to follow the advice below if can’t stomach another second of football.  For the sake of originality, I will not list the Godfather this year.  Just know that it’s going to be on.  Probably all day.

12:00-1:00 PM–The National Dog Show, NBC

As you probably read I went to this event a couple of weeks back and now is your chance to not see me on television. Despite my offer, I was not asked to sit-in as a guest commentator.  Starting at 12:30, football is going to be on for about 10 straight hours, so this will get you in the proper, competitive frame of mind.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Dr. Phil, OWN.  Dr. Phil is the absolute worst.

1:00-2:00 PM–Wild Russia, Animal Planet

Judging by the description, this is an hour of watching Polar Bears.  If you need more enticement than that, you are probably dead inside.  If all animals were able to domesticated, and could live comfortably, and you know…not accidentally maul you to death, a polar bear would be in my top-5 of animals to just have “around.”

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch: Keeping Up With the Kardashians, E!  I’m not above reality TV, but I’m above this.

2:00-3:00 PM–Cliffhanger, Sundance

Of all of the implausible roles that Sly Stallone played (Rambo, Rocky, Demolition Man) and of all the ridiculous things those characters pulled off, I’m not sure that there is anything more ridiculous than Sylvester Stallone: Rock Climber.  Just an amazingly horrible and watchable film.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Top 100 House Party Songs Part 9, Fuse.  You’d probably be lost if you missed the first 8 parts.

3:00-4:00 PM–Family Feud, Game Show Network

I’m assuming this is classic Feud and not Steve Harvey Feud.  If you don’t see Richard Dawson, turn back to Cliffhanger.  Dawson was a perverted master.  He’ll kiss you, ON THE MOUTH, at any moment.  Let it happen.  Also, the Feud is great for sporadic attention spans and audience participation.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Star Trek Next Generation, BBC.  I’d love to hear a defense of any Star Trek vehicle.  Just kidding.

4:00-5:00 PM–Property Brothers, HGTV

Who doesn’t love the property brothers?  I’m sure this show is a total scam, but it feels like the show to get on, because they get you a good deal on a house and then they renovate the damn thing for you.  All you have to do is waffle on a few decisions and act exasperated a few times.  Sign me up.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Beverly Hills, 90210, Soap.  Not on the Pilgrims’ Day.

5:00-6:00 PM–The World Series Of Poker, ESPN

Dinner should be over, people should be getting sleepy and/or tipsy, it’s the perfect time get the juices flowing for some games of chance.  It isn’t a holiday without some cutthroat family game time.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Sponge Bob Squarepants, Nick.  Isn’t everyone’s kid watching this crap on their iPads at this point?  Free up the TV.

6:00-7:00 PM–Pawn Stars, History

You just won all that money off your family, how about a Civil War belt buckle to complete your collection.  I’ve been through a Pawn Stars phase, a Storage Wars phase, an American Pickers phase and a Duck Dynasty phase.  Pawn Stars seems to have the longest shelf life.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch: The Andy Griffith Show, TV Land.  Your parents will defend Andy Griffith like you’ll defend Seinfeld in 20 years.

7:00-8:00 PM–Con Air, Random Cinemax.

I took a bit of a shot at Stallone earlier, of course some of Nic Cage’s roles make Sly look like Daniel Day Lewis. There’s plenty to love here, from the ridiculous premise, to the horrible Cage accent, but Thanksgiving is a time for nostalgia.  Remember when Nic Cage was a movie star?  Remember when you saw horsebleep like this in the theater?

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Reba, CMT.  I’m mostly against genre crossover.  Singers sing/actors act, etc.

8:00-9:00 PM–Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, ABC.

You know, unless you don’t love America.

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch: Billy Madison, IFC.  Someone’s got to say it–Billy Madison isn’t funny anymore.  Sorry.

9:00-10:00 PM–Friday Night Lights, ESPN Classic.

I think I would actually rather watch this movie (for the 9th or 10th time) than the Steelers and Ravens play live. Even though I know that Mojo isn’t going to get in on that last drive against Dallas Carter, part of me thinks this could be the year?

Under No Circumstances Should You Watch:  Glee, Fox.  People that like Glee don’t even like Glee anymore, right?

***

Ok, that takes you to 10 pm.  At that point you should be pulling down the covers and calling it a night.  Or having a conversation with your granny, or eating your 22nd piece of pie–just no more TV.  We’ll see you Friday, Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday Evening Self-Esteem Check.

Tom, The Blog, Not Happy With Mr. Whistle.

Tom, The Blog, Not Happy With Mr. Whistle.

I don’t have a ton of time to throw this together tonight.  Already a good bit behind schedule.  Perhaps it is a good thing.  Not a great week for picking games.  It sure would have been nice to get that Patriots cover last night.  The shame is, the game played out kind of how I expected.  I wasn’t thinking blowout, but I thought New England could win, would find a way to win.  They were right on the verge.  Anyway, still 30 games left to pick (a lifetime), but dreams of 65% or winning the Super Contest next year are starting to fade away…

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:  

  1. Kraft, 33-20-1
  2. Big Dub, 31-21-3
  3. Grossy, 30-22-3
  4. DC, 25-26-4
  5. Nichols, 25-28-2
  6. JCK, 24-30-1

***

The “Sean Bradley Triple Pocket Jort,” Pick of the Week:  Big Dub/Nichols (Tampa +1.5)

You would think someone who has hated on the Falcons so much recently would have had this game, but what happens is there are some weeks where I like more than 5 games and some get left off the sheet.  That happened this week and I certainly regret it and am envious of the wisdom displayed by these two.  I think we’ve finally seen the end of Atlanta getting the benefit of the doubt?  Will the lines start to reflect them being 2-8 now?  Has everyone decided they aren’t going to snap out of it?  If they play Jacksonville tomorrow, who is favored?  They just got blown out by Tampa.  Maybe the Jags look feisty in that matchup.  Anyway, I’d expect the Falcons to continue to be a popular fade.

The “Sean Bradley’s Jort Tailor,” Awful Pick of the Week:  Kraft (Jets +1) 

Sometimes I go for faulty rationale, other times I just go for games that didn’t even get close to covering.  The required line for this game would have been NYJ +23.5.  When the Bills cover by three touchdowns, obviously something has gone terribly wrong.  What might have Kraft been forgetting?  The Jets could be on a–get blown out, win inexplicably, get blown out see-saw right now?  Rex hates Buffalo since he got his stomach stapled?  I don’t know…

***

The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary, Top-10:

  1. Seattle, 10-1.  Am I worried about them winning the Super Bowl yet?
  2. Denver, 9-1.  Nice solid win, but more tests coming.
  3. Kansas City, 9-1.  Needs to adapt in two weeks time to prove themselves legit.
  4. New Orleans, 8-2.  Has to figure out how to get home field.
  5. Carolina, 7-3.  Six straight wins.  High-Water Mark.
  6. New England, 7-3.  Need more big plays.
  7. Indianapolis, 7-3.  Need a blowout to regain rhythm.
  8. Cincinnati, 7-4.  Atop an ugly division.
  9. Philadelphia, 6-5.  Atop an uglier division.
  10. San Francisco, 6-4.  Floundering–again.

At The National Dog Show.

Where is Busy Bee?

Where is Busy Bee?

I went to the National Dog Show this weekend, which shouldn’t be confused with the Westminster Dog Show, but instead is the dog show that your aunt will be watching on Thanksgiving before you rip the remote from her hand and put on the Lions game.  Follow all that?  Great.

I imagine the large majority of people out there have not had the opportunity to attend a dog show, but it really is almost exactly like the movie Best in Show.  I’m not even sure that movie qualifies as parody.  Aside from all the handlers having a right AND a left foot, the dog show related details in the film are all quite accurate.

Dog show people are crazy in that obsessed, yet not totally endearing way that you see with most niche fascinations. And, going to the dog show was an intense experience because you have the common folk walking around saying things like, “look a Lassie dog,” mixed in with someone blow drying a dog’s tail while it stands on a specially designed grooming table that may cost more than the groomer’s car.

Anyway, I’m not going to spoil which breed won the show, and actually I have no idea who won.  The results are either closely guarded or people don’t care enough to make them public before Thanksgiving.  But, we only saw one group final and a bunch of preliminary stuff.  Some dog show thoughts–in case you ever go.

1. Some of the dog owners are very nice, some cannot be bothered at all, and others are blossoming egomaniacs?  Oh, US?  We’re just waiting around for best in breed.  Yep, thanks, thanks for asking.  (No one asked).

2. The dogs, on the other hand, seem to all be extremely friendly and well-behaved.  I didn’t see a single unsuspecting toddler lose a grubby finger.

3.  It’s a bit of a low-budget affair.  There is a misconception among some people that there is big money in raising dogs and showing them, kind of like racehorses, and those people are wrong.  I’m fairly sure the winner of the dog show gets a trophy, a lot of personal validation and a coupon to Cracker Barrel.  This ain’t the Kentucky Derby.  And, that shows in the “outer rings” that are nothing more than squares outlined in collapsible “fencing.”  The areas where the dogs have to wait things out are also quite cramped.  Even the “tv ring,” is a lot smaller than it appears on television with fewer seats available than your average high school gym.

4. I learned that not all the best dogs go to all the big shows.  It’s sometimes better to win a smaller show than to get bested against tougher competition.  This, of course, does not matter to the casual spectator who is not interested in seeing Grand Champion English Tom’s Muffins–they just want to see whatever kind of dog they have.

5. The guy who announces the show really is the best.  Is he reading off a script?  Does he get bored describing the same breeds every year?  “The Appalachian Squirrel Terrier originated in Western Virginia in the 1830s and quickly developed a reputation among moonshiners as a loyal and easily trained tracker of small game.  In the years since, as demand for squirrel meat has rapidly declined, the Appalachian Squirrel Terrier has found a niche a docile lap dog.  This is Appalachian Squirrel Terrier…Number 27.”

6.  The handlers wear terrible outfits.  There are a lot of suits (on the ladies w/skirts) that seem salvaged from the nineties.  Apparently being a handler requires you to wear something that accentuates your upper arms.  Think shoulder pads or poofy sleeves.  If you took all the dogs out of the room you might think, “oh, hilarious–90s prom party.”  Also, all these women wear grandma sneakers and trot around the ring.  It’s spectacular.

7. Speaking of clothing. I thought I’d see more air-brushing.  I thought there would be an air-brushing station where you could get your dog sprayed onto your jean jacket, but I saw nothing of the sort.

8.  Someone streaked right between the Schipperke and the Keeshond.  I’m joking, but that would have been wild, right?

9.  Aside from the main show ring there were two massive crowds.  One around the ring where the golden retrievers were showing and another around the booth selling dog treats.  I’m serious, the dog treat booth was like stock exchange scene in Trading Places.

10.  There were no puppies for sale.  Thankfully, because you might have left there with a dog.