I had every intention of having this out by Thursday afternoon, but that didn’t happen. Other things materialized. I now fear the mailbag may go mostly unread until next Tuesday. That happens to be the day before the NFL season starts. My cuss, I may have to start blogging a bit more often. For those of you who haven’t shot out to the Cape–any cape at all–feel free to enjoy the bag.
Q: Does drinking a beer over 16 oz say something about a person? What I’m saying is, do people without drinking problems order 22 oz drafts or walk out of the local pizza shop with a 24 oz Bud Ice, possibly a 40 oz of High Life? Kenny Pounder, Augusta, ME.
A: The short answer to your question is…yes. But I know what you’re getting at. When you see someone with a 24 oz can of beer, you think to yourself…I wonder what that gentleman’s DEAL IS? There’s one spot where I pick up the occasional six-pack and without fail, every time I’m in there perusing the yuppie beer, someone brushes past me and grabs a 40 oz. There’s no contemplation. The guy grabbing the 40 does not think, do I want to try the Hop of the Morning To You*? WILL IT BE HOPPY ENOUGH? They just want a little buzz to take the edge off their day. They’re looking for value. And while they make their quick decision, I sometimes jump to conclusions in my head. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. This question probably deserves it own post. What does your beer purchase say about you? But even if it’s not the stereotype you are thinking of, every purchase does say something. For example I was at a bar with a friend of mine not long ago and we both ordered a draft beer. We were then asked if we wanted a 22 oz draft, or a pint. I took the 22 oz. I knew I wanted at least two beers. I knew the 22 oz was the economical way to go. The guy I was with, though–wasn’t so sure. He was thinking hard about that pint. Then the bartender (a woman) challenged his masculinity. She said something like, I’m paraphrasing, ARE YOUR LADY PARTS BOTHERING YOU? At this point he just went ahead and got the 22 ounces. Is he an alcoholic? Does he buy forties and those tiny bottles of cheap liquor? NO. He just wasn’t prepared to have his manhood challenged over six ounces of Coors Right.
*Not an actual beer (as far as I know).
Q: Is it more annoying when people say “flap jacket” instead of flack jacket or “for all intensive purposes,” instead of all intents and purposes? Mike Vick isn’t actually wearing a “flap jacket,” is he? Mewt Pointe, Kennett Square, PA.
A: I can’t say that I’ve heard “flap jacket,” that often, but when I read this question–I couldn’t stop laughing. Because I can PICTURE someone saying flap jacket. The people who make this type of error always do it with unblinking confidence and flair. They not only know they are using the correct term, but they are DAMN PROUD of themselves for using it. These mistakes come in varying degrees of shame. Some of the things people say incorrectly like deep-seeded instead of deep-seated almost make sense. Deep seeded would mean rooted deep in the ground or something? But, that’s not the phrase. SORRY. The real shame of this is, these errors are a sign of not reading. If you open your eyes and check out some things IN PRINT every once in a while you’ll see “flak jacket,” and then you’ll say OHHHH! Before I was able to read, this used to happen to me all the time. When I was three, I thought pitchers threw balls at daneeze, not “at the knees.” I thought “daneeze,” was a baseball term. My sister and I used to sing along to the Jefferson’s theme song, but instead of words we just rattled off a bunch of nonsense. It wasn’t our fault. We never SAW THE LYRICS. The point is, you should grow out of things like this, and to speed along the process–dive into that Hunger Games trilogy.
Q: I assume you are aware that ice cream is mostly cream and sugar. I can’t help but think that this is what a lot of people put in their coffee. My question is, is there some coffee shop out there that is offering up a mini-scoop of ice cream with every massive, addictive cup? Joe Float, Mesa, AZ.
A: I’m sure there is some coffee place out there that offers coffee in this way, but if you’re looking for a local recommendation, you’re asking the wrong guy. The only thing worse than coffee is using it to taint ice cream. In fact, coffee ice cream was one of the great mysteries of my youth. Imagine a young, hopeful child on the verge of getting dessert and then someone produces a half-gallon of coffee ice cream. The smell alone could almost send me into tears. Such a dreadful combination. But, getting back to the question, the way you have phrased it here makes it sound like you think this is some tremendous idea. You want to be the one who starts this? I have no doubt that people who drink coffee would enjoy this for the most part, but I think the health-factor would be a stumbling block. So many people are now conscious of how many calories they are dumping in their coffee. Wait a second…(dumps 6 creamers into mug)…this isn’t good for me? GET OUT. So you have people drinking skim-whatevers, and soy-who cares. There’s a long way to go between that and, “I’ll take a large coffee with a scoop of Turkey Hill.”
Q: Any more thoughts on the Jimmy Rollins show? Obviously Charlie Manuel had seen enough yesterday and yanked him from the game. Is there more going on here than just Jimmy’s inability to hustle on every play, because I’m totally available to play every day. Mikey Martt, Philadelphia, PA.
A: And Jimmy had been doing so well. He’d been getting on base at a much higher clip, had hit a couple of big home runs and then Thursday happened. As the series started against the Mets there was a sense–as indicated by my live blog–that the Phillies may have still had a shot. If they swept the Mets (a reeling team), things might finally get interesting. But, they lost the 1st two games of the series in what has become typical fashion and now I can’t see any optimists left standing for hundreds of miles. So, it was once again, very poor timing for one of Jimmy’s episodes. It’s pretty obvious that Rollins cannot hustle on every play. Instead of just running, Rollins has a reaction to every ball he puts in play. There is a moment of judgement. How hard should I run? Ninety-nine percent of the time it works out. When it doesn’t, Rollins looks like and ass and now it’s happened twice in a month. The big concern for the Phillies is they don’t want Jimmy’s approach spreading to other members of the team, especially those who lack his natural talent. His influence on Dom Brown seems to be a particular concern. The benching yesterday and the repeated incidents do seem to indicate that something will come to a head this off-season. Is Rollins coasting his way out of town? Is that his intention? Does he see the writing on the wall and want to join the parade to Los Angeles? Will management take the incidents as a sign that Charlie Manuel is no longer effective? My gut-feeling is that Jimmy is simply not reacting well to the team’s struggles. He’s frustrated, he knows the season is over, so when he pops up…AGAIN, he doesn’t run hard. That’s Jimmy. If it ends up growing into something larger remains to be seen.
Q: What are your thoughts on sandwiches not fitting in their bread devices? Big portions can be a nice selling point, but can’t you go too far? O. Penwhide, Boulder, CO.
A: I think you can go too far. What is it, the Carnegie Deli, that stacks a few pounds of corned beef between a couple of slices of bread? I don’t see the point in that. Do you take the excess home and use it to pack your kid’s lunch the rest of the week? I DON’T KNOW. I think the answer is, what kind of run-off are you getting? For example, I don’t understand the overloaded hot dog. These people who take a normal sized bun, throw a dog in there, cover it with cheese and chili and everything else…why? A hot dog is not meant to be eaten with a fork. A similar thing can happen when people try to put everything on their hoagie. It’s your basic case of OVER STIMULATION at the Wawa touch screen. Their wrapped shortie comes out looking like a 5lb bag of flour. Then you open it up, take one bite and it’s vegetable jetsam. IT’S EVERYWHERE. I’d say there are very few exceptions. Pulled pork would be one. If you have a pulled pork sandwich that is spilling out over the edges, that’s not a big deal, because when you are done you just have a couple of bites of pulled pork. That’s keeping it a lot more social that shoveling together the tattered remains of some atomic chili dog.
Q: Do you think there are any bars out there that fill up their premium liquor bottles with the cheap stuff and sell it to unsuspecting patrons? Vic Popov, Camden, NJ.
A: I’m pretty sure people do this in their private homes. ON OCCASION. I think I wrote a post a while back about how idiot college kids display their liquor bottles, but in truth, a real show-off bar is a similar behavior. Can I get you something to drink (sweeping hand gesture toward a bar with premium bottles)? Here’s what I know, 9 out of 10 drinkers would tell you they’d be able to recognize the difference between top-shelf and well liquor. But, with the chips down, what would that number be? For example, I know for a fact in a blind test I couldn’t decipher Bud Light from Coors Light from Miller Lite. But if I ordered a Sierra Nevada and you gave me something else, I think I’d sense it wasn’t right. Your vodka drinker might not be able to tell the difference between premium brands, but perhaps they notice if you try to slip in something that costs 13 bucks a handle? If you were going to attempt to pull this off, I think you’d have to stick to mixed drinks and even then you’re likely to get called out on occasion. Why I think this probably happens less often than you might think? Reputation. The last you thing you want is to be the bar who serves the fake Grey Goose. With the markup on liquor, I think you just want your customers to be as satisfied as possible. No need to be tricking anyone out there.
Q: Do you think dog racing would be more popular if a breed like a yellow lab was the fastest dog and not greyhounds? Kay Nine, Salem, OR.
A: Interesting question, and I’m going to throw you a bit of a curve ball here–I think it might be even less popular. As much as I am in debt to dog racing for introducing the term, “dog track” into my lexicon, it appears to be a sport that is on life-support. About four years back I spent several colorful nights at a dog track in Sarasota, FL. The actual betting on the races was quite entertaining. I must admit. The races are quick. The downtime is nothing like what you experience at a horse track, and you can get a lot closer to the action. The scene, though? The scene was a bit troubling. The dog races draw an interesting crowd. Your question is stemming from the fact that a race horse is a magnificent animal. There’s something regal about them. The physicality is impressive and that draws people in. But, if you asked people what their favorite breed of dog was, or what dog was the best-looking, or most athletic–very few would say the greyhound. A lab would be a far more popular answer, but I don’t think that would help dog racing. If you ever come across someone who has adopted a greyhound, or is against dog racing they’ll tell you how great the greyhound is as a pet. What a good companion they are, their nice disposition, how good they are with kids and other pets, etc. The thought is, if people realized this dog was good for so much more than racing–maybe they’d stop racing them. Well, these are things everyone already thinks about a yellow lab. So, as harsh as it sounds to the greyhound, if they were a breed that had a more aesthetic appeal to the general population, I think dog racing could be in even more trouble than it is already.