Mid-Week Mailbag.

Gato or Perro? Let Me Escuela You.

I’ve got to say, I’ve come to love the mailbag.  It’s a great time.  I don’t care if I make up most of the questions.  It still makes me feel important.  Let’s go.

Q: I’m a bit of a Thanksgiving protectionist.  What I mean is, shouldn’t every holiday have its window of glory?  Thanksgiving gets the shaft every year.  Take down the pumpkins, put up Rudolph.  It’s not cool. Henry Mayflower, Plymouth Meeting, PA.  

A: Thanksgiving is not one of my favorite holidays believe it or not.  Why didn’t the Pilgrims make CHEESEBURGERS? But, I do appreciate the desire to not be rushed.   I love Christmas, but that doesn’t mean I want it all up in my grill right this second.  I went into the grocery store yesterday, and there’s one guy marking down the Halloween candy and another one setting up the candy canes.  CANDY CANES?  I understand you gotta push Christmas, but how many people are out stocking up on canes on November 1st?  Have people been craving candy canes?  Are the circular, year-round mints not cutting it?  Anyway, I agree Thanksgiving gets sold short, but the problem is, there’s nothing to sell except for the Bird.  I suggest you just carry around a portable horn o’ plenty and just set it up in your office, on your dash, etc.  

Q: How do you know the right type of pet for you?  Pet rats?  Cat vs. Dog?  Girl vs. Guy? No cliché answers, please. Q, Exton, PA.  

A:  Well, of course you should get the kind of pet you want and if you are going to take care of it properly, that is all that really matters to me.  But, if you get yourself a rat, be prepared for me to talk behind your back and never visit your abode again.  And, that’s really the story.  Anyone with common sense can figure out what kind of pet they want or should get.  If you work 12 hours a day–don’t get a border collie.  No matter what you get, though, people will draw some conclusions.  If you’re a chick with a tiny little Pomeranian that you carry around people will assume you are high-maintenance and a little bitchy.  If you are a chick with a lab, people will think you’re more easy-going, outdoorsy.  A guy with a cat gets the same conclusions as a chick with a Pomeranian.  And, the list goes on and on.  I’m not saying stereotyping is right, I’m just saying it HAPPENS.

Q: Here’s a puzzler for you, how come there isn’t a homemade version of the OREO that totally dominates it?  I mean, no one in their right mind would take a Chips Ahoy over a homemade chocolate chip cookie, but sometimes you just have to have the OREO.  Freddie Nabisco, Lake Placid, NY.

A: That’s real advanced cookie theory, Freddie.  I see what you are saying.  I also like that you capitalize OREO like that. It’s a word of weighty significance.  The Oreo is just in a category by itself.  It’s store-bought and the cookie portion is crunchy.  Those are two giant red flags when talking about cookies and yet the Oreo shrugs them off with no problem. And, I can honestly say I’ve never even seen someone attempt to make a homemade version of a Oreo.  I’m sure it would be a DISASTER.  What is even in a Oreo?  Where would you start?  I could whip up some chocolate cookies and throw some vanilla icing between them, but that’s hardly a Oreo.  I think it’s best not to question it.  Don’t look a gift cookie in the mouth, if you will.  

Q: So, Northern Illinois beat Toledo 63-60 in regulation last night.  That’s college football.  Is it me, or are there two different versions of college football?  The top-25 play the game we’re familiar with and everyone else is just trying to score as many points as possible.  63-60?  Alonzo Amos Stagg, Charlottesville, VA.  

A:  It is strange to see college football teams putting up those kinds of numbers.  The kid from Houston threw 9 TDs the other day–NO BIG DEAL.  I think there are two ways to run a successful college program and the scores you see highlight the differences.  The first way is to get the best players and try to win national titles.  There are only so many players to go around though, so what do the other 100 schools do?  They’ve got to make themselves as entertaining as possible.  Spread it out and score, score, score.  It also gives them a chance to become relevant.  Don’t you think some better athletes started going to Boise because they wanted to get in on that action?  Running up and down the field is fun, and it’s good for the fans.  If you’re going to be 8-4 in a crap conference, might as well average 48 points a game, right?  And, offensive talent seems easier to get than defensive talent as well.  It’s a little like the old Western Conference in the NBA.  Denver, Golden State, Phoenix, they were never going to win a title, but they’d put up 130 for you if you bought a ticket.  The good news for you is, if you don’t like the high scores, you can stick with the big schools, but if you want to watch football on a TUESDAY–you’ll need to adjust.  

Q:  So, the price of peanut butter is sky-rocketing.  I knew I should have planted my own bushes (trees? what does a peanut grow on?) this year.  Do you have a ceiling for peanut butter price, or are you just going to suck it up?  Alice Smuckers, Cape May, NJ.

A:  I got my first dose of sticker shock on the peanut butter a few days back.  Is that a “4” out front?  JAY-SUS.  That’s steep.  I never even thought about peanut butter being dependent on a crop of anything.  You kind of forget you need the damn peanuts.  I guess I should have seen this coming.  Former South Georgia Peanuts manager, Wally Backman, suggested, “I read the F*ucking Chart.”  Apparently, there are charts for this type of thing, but anyway, I imagine I’ll probably buy less peanut butter.  I don’t know why.  The price of meat fluctuates all the time and I still buy it.  Chicken is 4.99 a pound, 3.99 a pound, and I still just get the dang chicken.  I guess peanut butter doesn’t rank high enough on the list of necessities to merit me ignoring the cost.  

Q:  OK, so how inappropriate is this?  I’m at a restaurant the other day and they serve me up this giant plate.  The thing must be 14 inches in diameter.  My sandwich is on there, but then the toppings for the sandwich (lettuce/tomato) are also sitting on the plate taking up a huge amount of space.  Then there’s the damn pickle and finally just a tiny little window for my handful of fries.  If you are going to set a damn pizza pan in front of me, you can at least fill it with fries and not spread out the damn greenery all over the place.  I’m not a moron.  I see what’s going on here.  Dan Bunyan, Bismarck, ND.  

A:  Yeah, I mean one of the real moments of apprehension when you’re out to eat is that moment when you are waiting to see how many french fries you get and how good they look.  And, in general, I suppose the bigger the plate–the more fries you expect.  I honestly don’t know why sandwiches automatically come with the lettuce/tomato/onion.  Why not make those people ask for it?  I imagine at the end of the day the restaurant would waste less food that way.  Someone is always taking off the onion, or the tomato, or all three.  I also hate how the plate looks when you do construct your sandwich and there is a SEA of white plate between it and your fries.  I guess the only thing worse than huge plate/tiny fries serving is ordering the exact same thing as someone and seeing they got way more fries than you did.  That, is THE WORST.

Q:  So, who’s going to win this LSU/Alamaba game?  1 vs. 2.  Likely ticket to the National Title game.  It kind of seems like a big deal.  Tim Olney, Bristol, CT.  

A:  It’s a huge deal.  Even I know that.  Two college football questions for someone what almost never talks about college football.  I really have NO IDEA who is going to win this game.  I know I might actually watch some of it, which is a real leap for me, but I’m not sure I have a scouting report for you.  What can I tell you?  LSU is the #1 team in the country.  They’re on the road.  And, they’re 5-point underdogs.  This game feels like the classic 3-pt line for the home team, so to see it sitting at 5 points, especially when that team is the #2 squad–that makes me think that ‘Bama is going to bring it home.  If it was 6 points, I’d say it was a lock.  I honestly just hope the game lives up to expectations.  College football die-hards have been pointing to this game for months.  If it gets ugly, there will be a lot of disappointed faces around the salsa bowl.  

Q: What’s the more meaningless job, national morning show weatherman, or sideline reporter?  Does Al Roker really need to say, “Pretty dry in the East–Let’s see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.” And, when was the last time you got any good information from a sideline person?  Oh, the Colts are down 48-0 at halftime and Jim Caldwell says they need to make some defensive adjustments?  Thanks, Michelle Tafoya.  Kitten Conrad, Conshohocken, PA.  

A:  Wow, that’s a toss-up.  A total TOSS-UP.  I feel like back in the day people were less demanding about weather. Willard Scott could stick a smiley sun face on the east coast and a frowny-faced cloud on the west coast and everyone was all right with that.  Now, we want to know what it is going to be doing right in our own BACKYARD.  Obviously, you can’t do a weather report for every city in the country, so Al’s been reduced to a bit of a weather emcee.  It does seem a little pointless.  That said, I’m not sure what the point of a sideline reporter ever was.  Teams aren’t forthcoming with game plan information, with injury information, or anything like that, so what are they going to do?  I guess people like to see the coach talk even if he spits out a few cliches and pushes his way into the locker room.  If you had used Ken Rosenthal as your example, I’d be even more inclined to say reporters, but I think I’m going to go there anyway.  




15 thoughts on “Mid-Week Mailbag.

  1. once again, a highlight of my week. you should really try to Marley and Me syndicate yourself. “Big questions by a Big man.” I imagine people would think you’re 6 foot 4 or something. i know i would.

    anyhow, about the content (nice photo), um, yeah…i think your pet analysis was honest. though, no new insights for me.

    moving along, thanksgiving is the most under-rated wonderful holiday, second only to yom kippur. i love to pay hommage to gratitude and food. i like food of many varieties. i just wish sushi showed up in the spread more often. one holidy tradition at the Q extended fam event: the ice cream cake in shape of turkey or pilgrim’s hat. special.

    interesting too, re: portions on a plate, funny the portions still are super human at most places, yet they are cutting back on probably one of their cheaper end product – the potato?

    finally, regarding sideliners v. weathermen. al roker holds a very important place in my morning routine and heart. i’m gonna go with viva the morning weatherperson. i always like to know about wildfires in cali, too.

    and re: sideline reporters…obvious gratuitous reporting when sports media usually puts the chick on the sidelines. offensive. when will a woman be the play by play? for football people, not tennis or figure skating.


  2. Hah.

    Strong opinion. As always.

    I gotta disagree about the unkempt part, though. I think your run of the mill neat freak is more likely to have a cat than dog.

  3. Lots of good Q&A here, but the Oreo question is really sticking with me. Why is it impossible to make your own oreo?? I never thought about that before.

  4. I disagree. Have you ever seen a dog owner on Hoarders? No. But whenever you turn that reality smut on, the hoarder has like 50 cats. I saw one the other night where the guy was hoarding cats, not memories or packages or dolls or whatever, literal live cats-well, some of them actually died and he was being brought up on cruelty to animal charges, but neither here nor there. Point is, cat people=hoarders & pedophile serial killers, dog people=well adjusted, non serial killers.

  5. Hoarding is a whole other issue.

    But, People hoard dogs.

    type it into google, youtube, whatever…

    plenty of examples.

    There’s a TV show called animal hoarders, pretty sure they’re not all cats.

    i’m not going to link it, because it creeps me out, but it’s out there.

  6. great post – trying to decide if the best part was the picture or the K. Conrad sighting.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday…its so cool it doesnt need the two month advertising build up of xmas

    perhaps Kitten Conrad could post to 3PT the latest kittens available for adoption?

    • Well, in the spirit of keeping this going so no one knows what we’re talking about, maybe Kitten Conrad should start her own blog.

      And, I hear Jasper and Kate Middleton were both adopted.

  7. You know why Thanksgiving is awesome as a holiday? No pomp and circumstance needed. Halloween needs to leverage a kid’s unbridled need for candy and fantasy. Xmas needs presents, as does Easter (along with heavy religious push). What does thanksgiving have? Turkey and mashed ‘taters. That’s it. If you like that, get involved, if you don’t, pound sand. This is not to mention it’s pretty much glossed over that it’s the celebration of the first conversation in 4 conversations that ended with “Well, forget these natives, let’s just kill em all and take their stuff.” Not exactly politically correct, but Turkey Day just slips right on under the radar, quietly giving an awesome meal with arguably the best left overs of any holiday/celebration in existence and a solid day of football. AMERICA…….f*ck yeah.

  8. Doesn’t Thanksgiving NEED the food, though? I mean, where do you draw the line? Also, pumpkin pie? Really? That’s the dessert? Vomit.

    And, Christmas isn’t all about the presents, you spoiled brat. You’ve got the tree (epic) and some pretty good food as well. Plus, National Lampoon’s Xmas Vacation.

    Halloween too, I know a good portion of adults that love Halloween without any candy. They like costumes, or parties, or those weird haunted houses, carving pumpkins…Is it a little odd? Yeah, but that’s their deal.

  9. Well there’s also sweet potato pie you dessert snob. Christmas isn’t “all about” the presents, but it’s a large portion of it for the masses. My point is look at all the hullabaloo other holidays need/have compared to the minimalist nature of thanksgiving. I bet if you ask most people why the xmas tree exists they’ll say it’s to put presents under. All holidays have a signature or various underlying ways to generate the interest/revelry is my point, and thanksgiving’s is pretty spartan comparably.

    • haha, boys…well, I’m gonna agree with Melo on almost all points here except National Lampoon’s never gets old. and don’t get me started on the xmas tree symbolism. it doesn’t look too pretty in q’s psyche but that tree with lights sure does. namaste. but MOST IMPORTANT POINT HERE, MELO, YOU STAND CORRECTED – 3-PUTT IS NOT SO MUCH A DESSERT SNOB, BUT OF DESSERT LIMITATIONS. see how i shifted that?

      evil (silly) q

  10. the pumpkin nor the sweet potato are viable dessert options. you can’t put something in a pie that you just served as a side dish for the meal. Oh, did you not get enough sweet potatoes at dinner? Well great, here’s a damn pie full of them. Also, where is the cake?

  11. for some, cake doesn’t fall under their food groupages…i can see dairy, but um…now, fruit and veggies! talk to me more about that, YUM.

    popeye q

    • ps, just to clarify…a lot of people are open to maximizing their fruits and veggies, not saying there is other crap in a s.p. or pump pie, but…ya know what i mean. which i think is your point, but it’s also my YES PLEASE point. i just can’t get enough of fruits and veggies. kind of sums me up. anyhow. FINALLY, if you are ever VIP enough and you come to a Q family TG….you surely can rock the blessed TG ice cream cake. as delisciously described above. and and and and part of the TG dessert fun, parallels the TG meal…lil bit of everything, blend it. love it. ice cream cake gets along well with apple pie. believe me. though, OUCH, i think i just tapped into another 3-Putt rule (the overlap/mix and match). on that rule, i do say, i kind of admire that purist zest. q

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