No photo submissions this week. Hang your heads in shame. You’re going to have to read something. I imagine it’ll be exhausting. Maybe digest it in installments. Five small meals a day. Of course, I’m barely getting the mailbag in this week, so maybe we all have something to work on for next week. For amusement purposes only…
Q: Out of the following, who is the bigger degenerate gambler? Someone who gets 50 dollars in nickels and sits at a slot machine until they are numb below the waist, or someone who walks into a casino and puts $500 on a single blackjack hand and then leaves? Beau Nuspin, Atlantic City, NJ.
A: Definitely the slot player. The person betting big on one hand is either desperate, an idiot, or has a lot of disposable income. I judge your commitment to gaming by how long you can spend in a casino without going insane. You see, you can lose money VERY FAST. You could walk in with $200 and be done in 11 minutes. Then it’s like 9:41 pm, but you already paid for parking so….now what? My only marathon sessions in the casino were playing low-stakes poker. As I’m sure you can guess, there is very little that is more boring than that type of poker. It’s like a coin-flip that takes 4 hours. I never had a great time playing poker. I had fun with the idea of playing, but once I got there it was a slog. Even if I won some money, it felt like an effort. My greatest moment ever in a casino, when I walked in and hit THE WHEEL slot for a quick grand was also a bit anti-climatic. I was still standing around with a ton of time to kill. I just had a pocket full of hundos. If you don’t go to a casino and think to yourself, “How many meals can I squeeze into the next 8 hours,” then you MAY have a problem. It’s the people who lose track of time at a casino that you have to worry about. People with their gambling in check don’t look at you bleary eyed and say, “It’s morning?” So, the slot player isn’t necessarily a degenerate, but they clearly have the gene.
Q: Do you think it is awkward when you have a kid and you name it say, “Chris,” and then you have to tell a friend of yours (also named Chris) what the kid’s name is? Pete Frank, Humble, TX.
A: I’m sure it’s a little awkward. You know how I know? Because I feel like one of the parties is going to say something stupid. Either friend Chris will be like, “Great name.” Or you’ll blurt out, “Durr…It’s spelled differently than your Chris.” Naming a kid has to be an incredibly exhaustive process. You figure you have to get over that initial desire to be the one who came up with the name. You might shoot down your spouse’s first 20 picks just because you didn’t think of them. It’s like that Seinfeld episode when Elaine was dating a guy who had the same name as a serial killer. They tried to think up a new name–DISASTER. One of Elaine’s choices was “O.J.” So, I think when you finally land on a name, you can’t be like, “Oh, I went to college with a kid named that, what if we see him at the reunion?” This is why people give their kids unique names, though. Along with vanity. Common names can sometimes cause confusion. I once walked into my house and there was a present sitting on the counter with MY NAME on it. It was not my birthday. It was not Christmas. It was not any holiday. I was like, “Oh, Hell Yes! Random Present Time!” I almost opened that sumbitch up, no lie. And, thank god I didn’t, because as it turned out, the present was for some baby that had just been born who shared my name. I’m reasonably sure he wasn’t named after me.
Q: How much longer until Facebook doesn’t really exist? I really want to delete my account, but I’m kind of just hoping the fad dies and I can save myself the trouble of explaining to people why I’m pulling the eject handle. Trey Putterritory, Media, PA.
A: Well, seeing as how Facebook stock is at an all-time low, the end could very well be in sight. Facebook is also VERY BOSSY. The other day it told me that it was switching me over to that timeline format. What is the timeline format? I DON’T KNOW. But, people who navigate the nuances of Facebook like pros seem to have strong opinions on such changes, but Facebook says, “GO POUND SAND.” Their stance is, you’re addicted. You need Facebook. They could make you learn Mandarin just to log in, and you probably would, because you want to keep playing Bejeweled Blitz and checking in on what all your friends think about The Newsroom. For Facebook to completely fall out of favor, there has to be something to replace it. Facebook made MySpace about as cool as your dad’s jeans, but what will bump Facebook to the curb? Does Twitter have that type of pull? Are our attention spans short enough yet? Twitter/Instagram in combination? What about a Mark Zuckerberg scandal? I have no doubt that Facebook will eventually go DOWN, but my advice to you, is GET OUT NOW. If you feel strongly about it, get ahead of that curve. Then, in five years, when people are jumping ship you can be like, “Facebook? I haven’t been on Facebook in years.” A little smugness can go a long way.
Q: Have you ever successfully applied sun block? What I mean is, everyone misses a spot, right? Red Streake, Honolulu, HI.
A: I’m sure some people are very conscientious about their SPF application process. It’s a high-pressure situation. Applying someone else’s sun block is very dicey. I’m not talking about getting all pervy and “doing someone’s back,” I mean if you have a kid and you have to lather the little chief up. If you miss some spots, the tyke is going to be whining about being burnt. Nightmare. When I got burnt as a kid, it was quite the production. I can’t sleep! My legs are ON FIRE! The usual. As far as applying to myself, AS AN ADULT, I’m not that great at it. The last time I went on a warm-weather vacation I missed at least one crucial spot every day. First day? Ankles. Second day? That spot on your thigh where your shorts ride up when you sit in a golf cart. Third day? MY LEFT CHEEK. I was really a mess. I have no idea what my problem was. I’ve always been a spot-misser. Sometimes in my youth I’d get conned into washing our car. My parents would lure you in with buzzords like “HOSE,” and “SUDS.” It could be fun to fool around with that stuff, but it was hard to learn that “WET=CLEAN” is not an accurate equation. The car would dry and there would be dirty spots all over that cusser. Then my parents would palm their foreheads and tell me to sort it out.
Q: Why is Pez the only candy that comes in a dispenser? Gordo Faht, Kitty Hawk, NC.
A: Probably because Pez isn’t really good? It’s a novelty. Hey, look at this little f*cking contraption. It’s filled with below average candy. It’s like those candy necklaces they used to make. That candy was horsebleep. It had to be. Otherwise, you’d eat the entire thing in about 40 seconds. Can you imagine if you had to get M&Ms through something like a pez dispenser? It’d cause rioting in the streets. People would be taking any blunt object to the thing just to get at those precious M&Ms. Pez is tiny, and yet you don’t necessarily want to eat a lot of it. That’s a real rarity in the candy world. This isn’t to say that candy distribution couldn’t be improved. Have you been to a golf course lately and seen those bottles full of “Divot Mix?” The carts now have these holders for these bottles so you can fill your divots instead of replacing them. No one replaces divots correctly and the grass DIES. Anyway, I think it’d be nice to incorporate this into the back seat of your car. A little bottle full of candy that snaps into place instead of the center arm rest? Who uses that thing anyway?
Q: Is there a more annoying habit than people saying things like “Barnes and Noble’s?” Trent Edward, Bufffalo, NY.
A: Wait, is that not what it’s called? I think this is a habit of an older generation. They came from a MORE HONEST TIME when the book store belonged to SOMEONE and not to some corporation. Every place they went was Joe’s Service Station, or Hank’s Deli. This is probably why Sam’s Club is so popular. Just a guy named Sam with a really SPECIAL CLUB. It does bother me a little bit, though. I can’t help myself. Sometimes I don’t understand how people get it wrong. There’s a sign right out front, is there not? The same thing happens with people getting names wrong. For a certain percentage of the population, Asante Samuel was forever “Samuels.” I’m sure all these people had seen his name in print, on jerseys, written in 30 ft lettering on the jumbo screen, but they can’t get it. When I open up my bar/chicken finger place/driving range I’ll just go ahead and call it 3-Putt Territory’s. Save people the trouble of getting it wrong.
Q: What do you think the conversations are like in the Cardinals’ offices when they are discussing the choice between Kolb and Skelton. They have to know they’re totally screwed, correct? Does it just get to the point where it’s comical? Does someone say, “We’re going 6-10 either way and then they all burst into laughter?” Denny Greene, Tempe, AZ.
A: Here’s the thing, coaches know when players stink. It’s not like you are sitting there at home watching the game and seeing something that a coach isn’t picking up on. I’d say that on occasion, they allow themselves some optimism. Say Skelton has one good game. In their hearts they’ll know it was a total fluke, but they might think, what if he can string together 15 more flukes IN A ROW? Or maybe they see a guy who has one tool, like a huge arm, and they think perhaps they can make him serviceable. I’m pretty sure that a conversation about Kolb and Skelton isn’t discussing things like, “Which one of these guys is our franchise QB?” It’s probably more like, “Which one of these guys isn’t going to get me fired in week eight.” Or, “Which one of these guys is less hated in the locker room?” I imagine there isn’t anyone less popular in an NFL locker room than an awful QB. Here’s a guy that touches the ball every play and doesn’t do a damn thing. Kevin Kolb, with his production and salary? It’s PURE BALLS for him to even walk into the Arizona locker room. If I were him, I’d get dressed in the parking lot and disappear immediately after games.