Mid-Week Mailbag.

I Get Slightly More Mail Than Santa.

Time to answer some more questions.  Remember if you want to get in on the fun, or you need an open forum to discuss your issues, shoot off an email.  I’m waiting at mggross21@gmail.com

Q:  I have a theory that the whole practice of gathering autographs, or any memorabilia for that matter is based on proving your story.  I feel like some guy back in 1920 was insistent that he drank every night with Babe Ruth, but no one believed him until he brought back a signed cocktail napkin.  Richard Henderson Oakland, CA.

A: That’s a very reasonable argument, Rickey.  I’m afraid it is too logical to make sense, though, and I imagine the practice of autograph collecting has always been in some ways rooted in monetary gain.  Surely that went back to times before Babe Ruth’s drinking buddies.  Let me see what Google has to say:  Oh my God.  Rickey is kind of, sort of, right.  According to the internet, autograph collecting became popular in the 1500s when they were used as bragging rights in a clearly defined class structure.  The collections were called a “Book of Friends,” so to answer your question, yes that is why autographs exist, just in future sub out Ruth for Rembrandt in your example.  

Q: Why doesn’t Cadillac market its cars as battering rams for elderly people?  Every Cadillac commercial highlights how sporty they are, skewing young and trendy, but every time I see one in real life, Father Time is peering over the wheel and about to deflect off 3 cars on his way into a bright blue parking space.  Art Lemontree Brooklyn, NY.  

A: I think you’re asking why tobacco companies don’t market their product to people already addicted to cigarettes. No need, my friend.  Old Chimney McGee is going to buy three packs a day regardless, but you need Joe Camel to lure in those new customers.  I’ll allow a moment for that cutting edge, Joe Camel reference to sink in.  What I’m saying is, when a driver hits a certain age they are going to buy a Cadillac (or something of similar proportions) regardless of what they see on television.  You’d think they’d want something smaller, old people move into smaller houses, and you’d in theory hit less stuff with a smaller car, but they don’t care about hitting things.  THAT’S THE RUB.  So, Cadillac forces their youthful verve down our throats, but I imagine it’s not very successful because people like you keep seeing big Cadillac sedans with two dinged bumpers.  

Q: I’ve got a box of Q-tips.  On the box it says, “For a Variety of Uses,” or something wildly non-specific like that.  Shouldn’t it say, “Q-tips: Jam them in your ear hole.”  Roy Munson Paducah, KY.

A: Another marketing question.  Thankfully I took copious amounts of business classes in college and have all these answers at the tips of my fingers, no pun intended.  Q-Tips knows what their product is, but they just can’t quite admit it. Yes, Q-Tips are for jamming in your ear hole as you so eloquently stated, but somewhere along the line someone probably pulled out some brains with their earwax and sued the company.  No more Q-Tips in the ears!  A doctor told me once that you are supposed to shoot water in there or something to clean them out.  OK, I’ll get right on that, water in the ear is so pleasant.  I suppose a Q-tip has makeup uses?  Perhaps?  Who knows, and I’ve once use one to dab a cut on my face, but I’m comfortable saying 9 of 10 Q-tips sold end up in an ear hole.  

Q: What’s the ideal temperature for sleeping?  I like it nice and cool, but not so cold that I can’t get out of bed in the morning.  Audrey Griswald Chicago, IL.  

A:  Well Audrey, when I was a kid my parents used to talk about “good sleeping weather.”  I feel like this was any temperature in the 55-60 degree range.  As an aside, I had a ninth grade teacher who left her classroom windows open year round.  On one particularly chilly day I commented to a classmate that it was “good sleeping weather,” and they couldn’t stop laughing.  I’m still not sure what was so funny, but all I can tell you is what I prefer.  Now, I’m a rare individual that can sleep with no coverings.  When I tell people this they usually look at me like I am a creature from a far off land, but it’s true.  NO BLANKETS NECESSARY!  So, in the summer, I set the temp to about 70 degrees.  In the winter?  If I’m committed to a blanket?  It’s gotta be cold.  Subarctic.  Like 55 degrees.  

Q: It always bothers me when I see a television show or a movie and they have a hot chick playing a role that no hot chick would ever play in real life.  There aren’t FBI agents that can go undercover as supermodels.  I’m looking at you, USA dramas.  Carl Lipbaum, Topeka, KS.  

A:  So you watch cable TV dramas for their realism, Carl?  I think that might actually be your problem and not what hot chicks do or do not do with their lives.  You know, there’s a theory that the recession has hit the hot chick quite hard as well, and they’re having trouble getting by on just being hot, so you’re seeing an influx of these beauties into all types of professions.  I say don’t underestimate the hot chick, I mean, look at Amanda Knox.  She’s got a ton of admirers and spent years in prison accused of murder.  So, go back and watch Chained Heat again with a whole new perspective there, Buddy.  

Q: So, I’m watching the Phillies game yesterday and Ryan Madson comes to the plate with a man on in the ninth inning.  I know things weren’t exactly going to plan, but how does this happen?  Wouldn’t you rather have had Raul swinging for the fences and a 5-1 lead?  Bill Bolt Jr. Aston, PA.  

A: A nice, timely question.  The debate will always rage on, does Charlie know how to double switch?  Does he properly understand how to utilize it, and if he does, does he think far enough ahead to put it into play?  We’ll probably never know these answers.  If someone asked Charlie this question last night I imagine he either would have said simply that he didn’t do it, because he didn’t, or he would have launched into a longer explanation about how he wasn’t at the proper place in the order to pull the switch.  His only option would have been putting Ibanez into Pence’s spot in the order, which means you have Raul hitting in the 9th, but you also have him in the field.  There’s a trade-0ff there.  Plus, managers usually skew toward defense with the lead, but considering how the Phils’ bullpen has been looking I understand your general concern.  

Q: Every year my house is bombarded by Trick-O’-Treaters.  Every year they get more demanding and less grateful.  When I was a kid I kept a straight face when someone gave me a sandwich baggy full of candy corn, now the kids can hardly be bothered to put some energy into it.  They just stand like mongoloids with their bags open.  The point is, I’d like to spice things up for myself this year.  I want to make a wheel that the kids have to spin to determine which candy they get.  There will be a bonus space that wins them a huge candy bar, but I plan on rigging it so that the wheel cannot land on that space.  I want to see the disappointed faces all night long.  Long story short, do I have issues?  Al DeWalt Norman, OK.  

A:  Oh no, Al that’s totally normal.  Everyone gets overworked about Halloween and then spends hours hand crafting a rigged candy roulette wheel just so they can disappoint the CHILDREN.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  My neighbor last year did the EXACT SAME THING.  I’ll give you credit for coming up with a particularly nasty idea, because you know every single kid would be expecting to hit the huge candy bar on the wheel and I can just see their faces as it sits there on your front stoop, untouched.  I think you’re just bitter, man.  In the rose-colored memories of your own youth, you were some Halloween all-star, but you probably were walking around in a sheet mumbling your demands just like today’s youth.  If it bothers you so much, leave the candy on the porch, or move off the grid you gosh dang miserable bastard.