Q: I saw a commercial for Golden Corral the other day. Please keep in mind I’ve never been and couldn’t find one with 11 iPhones, but they are selling all you can eat cotton candy. Did the ghetto meter just explode? Sunday Bar, Nashville, TN.
A: Is Golden Corral more, or less, budget than Old Country Buffet? I’ve seen this commercial. They also have all you can eat waffles. I don’t get to these places as much as I’d like, so I’m not aware of the range of tasty treats you can put away. I imagine the mac & cheese is always popular, the mashed taters–maybe meatloaf? BAKED ZITI? Like I said, I have no idea. The last time I went to an establishment that did not limit my portions I suffered a mild case of chicken finger poisoning. It’s as serious as it sounds. Since then, I’ve been wary of your basic quantity over quality joint. There must be a differentiation problem in this restaurant genre. You can’t roll out some filet mignon and charge people $8.99 at the door for their feed bucket. So, the challenge to the marketing teams–what is cheap that we aren’t already selling? The answer? Spun sugar. Since going to Golden Corral has to be akin to attending your local carnival, I think the cotton candy is appropriate.
Q: I was in a store the other day and a woman was trying to leave. She decided she wanted to take her son (aged approx 11 yrs) with her, so she called to him that they were leaving. The kid’s response? “Hold on, I’m on the phone.” You leave the kid in the store at that point, right? T. Mobil, San Antonio, TX.
A: I don’t have kids, so I can’t speak to the temptation of giving your kid a phone. It has to be a powerful feeling, being able to reach into your wallet, spend the cash and bestow upon your progeny a lifetime of having no attention span. I don’t think we can win the battle of keeping phones out of the hands of today’s youth. They are going to have their phones and I suppose if I was being honest, I guess it’s not a great deal different than me toting around my Game Boy in a not so convenient carrying case. Motocross Maniacs was the SH*T. The real issue here is making sure that the phone doesn’t turn your kid into an insufferable prick. This kid in the store is either a) a precocious douche who speaks to his mother as if she were a secretary, or b) repeating something he’s heard people say a million times before at a very inopportune time. Do you want to give the kid the benefit of the doubt? I’m not inclined to, but I think the real lesson here might be: don’t call out to your kid from across a crowded store, because you really have no idea what the little bastard is going to yell back.
Q: What do you think is the most embarrassing scenario for calling the wrong person, or sending an email to the wrong recipient? Miss Taken Identity, Ludwigs Corner, PA.
A: I guess you are only limited by your imagination in this scenario. What immediately comes to mind is someone who is having an affair sends a message to the wife instead of the girlfriend. Also, back when Texts From Last Night was real hot and trendy, I saw a few that fit the scenario you describe–think mother and girlfriend having the same first initial, or same first name. Those, assuming they were real, had to be pretty dicey. In my life, I’ve sent only one such message. It wasn’t because of a similar name, it was just one of those times when you have two conversations going and you aren’t paying ENOUGH attention. When I realized what I had done–that’s a sick feeling. My mind immediately started racing. Why must I TALK JUNK behind people’s backs? It’s one of those moments where you pledge to quit cold turkey. I will NEVER send another text again. Luckily for me, the person who received the message accidentally eventually let it go. I think most people realize their friends have said something nasty about them at one point or another, you just never want to see it in writing. I do try to differentiate people in my phone, though, if they have similar names–I’ll use a nickname or something. Not because I am always sending inappropriate messages, but just out of convenience. I’ve sent multiple harmless messages to the wrong person, prompting responses like, “What the cuss are you talking about?”
Q: I was leaving a restaurant the other day and there was a sign on the door that said they still proudly accepted Diners Club cards. Have you ever seen a Diners Club card? Would you ever want one just to see the look on waiter’s faces when you handed it over? Billy Ray Valentine, Philadelphia, PA.
A: I have never seen a Diners Club card in real life. There is something romantic about the idea of them, though. This look you describe would be pretty incredible. I’ve gotten looks simply for using cash, especially for a large purchase. You know someone swipes credit cards all day when you see the smoke coming out of their ears when they try to make change–or when they have to call a manger because there is three ones and a quarter in the cash drawer. If we do ever get to the point where cash is wiped from the planet, I might look into a Diners Club card. I’m just afraid that I would be rejected. You see, Diners Club is not a credit card. It’s a CHARGE CARD. That balance is due at the end of every month. IN FULL. You don’t get a Diners Club card to pay off your Visa bill. This is a device of convenience for people who can actually afford what they buy. What a novel concept. Diners Club was the pioneer in this market, but has since been mostly pushed out of the market by American Express–according to Wikipedia. Getting back to my first sentence, I have seen a Diners Club card in the fictional universe. I believe one made an appearance on Mad Men, and Louis Winthorpe III had one in Trading Places. If you remember, Winthorpe had charged goods and services all over the world. Sounds like a pretty amazing lifestyle. Maybe one of these days Diners Club will send me a pre-approved application.
Q: Suppose they were making a movie about your life–would it be a comedy, drama or a sports flick? Who would be in the starring role? Speck Script, Detroit, MI
A: Unfortunately, unless someone thought it appropriate to chronicle the year I hit 1.000 in T-ball, I’m not sure if I’ve accomplished anything on the athletic fields that would be worthy of a motion picture. Was the 81 I shot through the snow flurries at Hershey Country Club gritty? Yes. Could you squeeze 90 minutes out of that historic day? PROBABLY NOT. I guess the movie would have to be a comedy, or at least have its comedic moments. It would have to have a hell of a star, because like I said, my life hasn’t been that interesting. I’ve had my fun, but we’re coming up on summer blockbuster season. I’m not a Transformer, or a comic book hero. I would need a commanding performance in the leading role to get people into the theaters and the actor would have to be engaging enough that people would enjoy watching him putter around being a smartass. If we can ignore the fairly large difference in age, I think I might choose Bill Murray. Not all the way out there Caddyshack Murray, but maybe Groundhog Day Murray? I think that might be my guy. I’ll shoot Aaron Sorkin an email, get him working on the screenplay.
Q: If you could caddy for one professional golfer, who would it be? Fluff McKay, Phoenix, AZ.
A: Well, it wouldn’t be Rory. I can say that with certainty. You’ve got to weigh a lot of factors. Money. Consistency. Schedule. And, story potential. I think a guy like Jim Furyk has probably made his caddy a bunch of money for about 20 straight years, but Furyk seems a little mundane. Do you really want to look at those shirts all day? I DON’T. I think Mickelson probably treats his caddy as well as anyone, but I imagine doing anything with Phil can get a bit EXHAUSTING. He’s always asking questions, talking everything to death–I bet he’s like that ALL THE TIME. He probably spends 20 minutes discussing the menu at a restaurant. If I could go back to about 1989, I’d take Fred all day, every day, but at this point his back could pop at any moment and that’d be a career. That’s quite a risk to take, but would I rather caddy for Fred once, or for Furyk for 20 years and make millions? I’m thinking…Honestly, I might try to catch on with John Daly and hope he can manage a Champions Tour career down the road. Daly is a wild ride. You’re either flush, or you’re bust. Anyone who has spent any time around some caddies knows that this is inherent to the profession. If you want to see $120 disappear, give it to a looper. Shouldn’t it be the same at the professional level? Plus, I’ve got a feeling Daly might make some hay on the Champions Tour–if he can stay out of jail for the next 4 years.