The All-Star Break will drag on for another day this year, so we get to “double up” on the worst sports day of the year. I heard they were playing a few WNBA games, but how do you prove something like that? As surprising as it sounds, considering how badly the Phillies season has gone, I actually felt myself noticing the absence of action tonight. Someone should plan a big event for these two days next year, and I’m not talking about the ESPYs. If you are watching the ESPYs right now–you have unmatched courage. I’m going to distract myself with the mailbag.
Q: When did avocado become so popular? Why is it on every sandwich now? Is it a condiment? I’m confused. Brewster Louis Thurgood, Alexandria, VA.
A: You’re confused? The word I’d land on would be…horrified. I think my life, and certainly my television watching was better off when the avocado wasn’t so IN MY FACE. If you walked into your basic Acme twenty years ago, the avocado was about as exotic as it got. There was a noticeable lack of starfruit and pomegranate. Think of all those poor bastards wandering around not knowing about SUPERFOODS. Of course, people will talk themselves into loving anything that is considered healthy. Oh, it goes on everything! Doubtful. If you want to get a little tingly over guacamole, go right ahead, but plain ‘cado? I’m out of my depth. Shouldn’t it at least be mixed with something? Mayocado? Putting that aside, what comes to mind is my memories of people picking out an avocado. It’s a real struggle in the store and then they get these f*ckers home and it’s all, “Nope! Not a good one, TRASH IT.” The ‘cado is terribly fickle. Which brings me to Wawa and Subway putting this food on everything. Do we think these two chains are getting the cream of the avocado crop? Of course they aren’t, but the sheep are still lining up and wearing out the avocado button on those touchscreens. The good news is, once a trend hits Subway–it has to be dead. The replacement for the avocado is right around the corner. We just don’t know how super of a food it is yet.
Q: What do you think is the most annoying profession in the world? Craig List, Miami, FL.
A: There are different ways to be annoyed. Are you actively bothered by the person? Professions like telemarketer come to mind, or customer service call center bot, or any person that spends a lot of time on the phone–these people drive you crazy. But in today’s world, people answer their phone less and less. I can’t remember the last time I actually had to deal with a telemarketer. You just ignore that noise. If you’re calling me, YOUR NAME BETTER SHOW UP ON MY PHONE. If not, that sweetie is going to voice mail. So, I’m going to let the telemarketers off the hook. They can’t love looking themselves in the mirror anyway. The other category of annoying is: someone who has a cushy job, but shows absolutely no skill that justifies their particular employment. If you want to get angry at a professional athlete who makes 20 million dollars a year, I’d suggest trying to make a professional sports team on your own athletic merit. At the end of the day, that stuff doesn’t really bother me, what does? Something like a golf travel writer. Do I need 1,000 words on why Bandon Dunes is so amazing? Do I care that you played the entire British Open Rota in six days? Am I looking for a great course in the hills of North Carolina that costs a mere $145 during the week? NO! Oh, you had a good time on your all expenses paid junket? I’M SHOCKED. I should try to play Pebble Beach before I die? Thanks for letting me know, I’ll go make a tee time RIGHT NOW.
Q: I saw a commercial for NyQuil ZZZ (?) or something like that? It’s NyQuil you take when you aren’t sick just so you sleep better. The commercial said it’s “not habit forming.” I guarantee someone is going to start chugging this stuff every night. Pop Ambien, Mesa, AZ.
A: If you only knew how many times I contemplated slugging some ‘Quil before I hit the sack when I was feeling healthy. Let’s say you’ve got an early flight and you’re anxious and you find yourself still staring at the clock five hours before the alarm is set to go off? That screams NyQuil, doesn’t it? I’ve never given into the temptation, though, because I don’t want to be addicted to anything. Not even the so you can rest medicine. It’s my understanding that NyQuil has some booze in it–that’s not true, but it can give you a buzz. In high school I knew multiple kids who would opt for NyQuil when the supply of Red Dog ran out. There was a kid on my baseball team who claimed he once passed out after drinking NyQuil and woke up believing he had become a dwarf. TRUE STORY. The point I’m getting at is that NyQuil is pretty deadly. It’s always done the trick for me, but I treat it like Charlie Manuel treats Jonathan Papelbon. I don’t want to use it just any old time. It has to be a SAVE SITUATION. The thought of a non-boozy NyQuil is intriguing, and I guess what they are saying is, you won’t become chemically dependent on the stuff–even if you do drink it down every night. So when you go overboard, and wake up three days later, the good news is: no withdraw symptoms.
Q: So, I heard recently that sitting in a chair all-day can take years off your life. How much exercise do you think it takes to compensate for butt to chair? Is 2 to 3 hours a day realistic or excessive? XaQutioner, Aging Well, PA.
A: I think if I start offering fitness advice on this blog the Earth may actually start spinning on an alternate axis. All I can do is speak from my personal experience, and as someone who has gained, and lost, and gained, and lost some weight over the years I can say for certain that sitting around all day is a killer. When I hit my peak of skinniness, I was on a pretty good fitness regimen, but my job also required me to be on my feet and/or walking around for about 8 hours a day. That’s a lot of extra calories. I’ve had similar good runs of fitness, but paired with a more sedentary lifestyle, I’m still waiting to get back into my skinny jeans. I’ve seen that some people have taken to standing desks to fight the butt to chair phenomenon of which you speak. I suppose that works, but if that’s impractical, can you exercise your way out of this scenario? I’m sure you can. And my first reaction is, if you are working out 2 to 3 hours a day and it’s not enough? You’re either eating WAY TO MUCH, or working out the wrong way. My guess is you’ve been pulled in by some scare tactics. These “Sitting Yourself to Death,” pieces that you are seeing aren’t targeted at people who exercise every day. They’re more for the guy sitting on his couch that uses his gut as a TV tray.
Q: Have you heard this Hamels to Texas trade rumor? Apparently Buster Olney was reporting that the Rangers would give up two top prospects (Olt and Profar), David Murphy and two other minor league players. There’s no way this is on the table, right? If it was it’d be done. Patricia Gilicke, Olney, PA.
A: A five for one deal? The Phillies have a distinguished history in such deals. Perhaps you remember the Phils shipped off five players for the rights to Von “Stick” Hayes. Von could never quite live up to the expectations of being traded for five players. This time, the Phillies would be on the other side, getting five players for a Cole Hamels rental. The speculation around the Hamels situation has reached ridiculous proportions. No one knows what’s going to happen. I think might even include the Phillies’ front office. You want to trust that the boys have a plan, but at this point–I’m not sure. It’s impossible to judge how the fans would react to a sell-off and giving up on the year might be harder for Ruben and Co. than it is for the fans. Admitting failure, admitting the math is against you is tough to do. We also have no idea of Cole’s value. All it takes is one team to offer up a huge package, and the Rangers could be that team. Texas could very well be desperate. They’ve lost two consecutive World Series. They’re looking at Josh Hamilton in the last year of his deal. It has to be tempting to seize the day, especially when the prospects they are trading are highly regarded, but not guaranteed. That said, this specific package seems too good to be true. Some people think the Phillies wouldn’t even be able to get Olt straight-up. To get a MLB outfielder, Olt and an even higher rated prospect in Profar would be Amaro’s best deal as the GM. If the Rangers have offered this up, the only thing keeping the Phils from accepting is the dream of a 50-win 2nd half. But I doubt that’s the case.
Q: I love to watch movie previews. At the theater, I mean–not online. I get pretty upset if I miss any of the previews and when most of the audience groans when that 5th preview comes on, I find myself hoping for number six. How long do you think a theater could run previews for before the whole audience rioted? Clip Trailer, Norman, OK.
A: I like the previews too. I like to make jokes during the previews. Really OBVIOUS jokes. It passes the time. The other great thing about the previews is you inevitably walk out of your movie and ask the person you’re with, “What was that preview that looked good?” Then, neither of you remember it. In general, I think people want to get the movie started. Especially these days when you can watch a trailer whenever you want–why waste 15 minutes before the feature? What the theaters have going for them is that before the movie starts everyone is shoving popcorn and candy into their holes. It’s like over-feeding a wild animal to keep it sated, as long as that hand isn’t hitting the bottom of the popcorn tub you should have some time to play with. But a lot of this will depend on the audience. When something goes wrong in a group setting you need someone to take the lead. The majority of the audience would sit there and say, “Oh my god, another preview? Is this right?” They’d be upset, but they’d still sit there. Other people are proactive. They’d take action. They can’t wait to report something to an usher. If the right person is sitting there, as soon as that sixth preview started they’d be up like a shot and in the manager’s face. But factoring in most people would have to complain about it on Twitter first, then do something, I’d say the absolute max would be 24 minutes of previews.