This photo was submitted for the bag, but I’m not really sure what the focus was. It’s a menagerie of embarrassing golf tournament behavior. Note the overreacting “marshal” in the red shirt. Tough work containing a crowd of seven. Somewhere in this picture, I’m positive a spectator is wearing golf shoes. But I think our focus is supposed to be on this gentleman(?) front and center. The ponytail is one thing, but there’s no way those shorts are regulation. No sir. I’m very excited for the mailbag today, but I’m pretty easily amused. You can judge for yourself.
Q: The “word” F-bomb is now in the dictionary. I take this as a sign that the dictionary is no longer a valid source for what constitutes a word. As far as I’m concerned, we’re getting closer to the day when the book will contain only one entry: dipsh*t. Noah Webstir, Albany, NY.
A: The dictionary has, without a doubt, lost all credibility. Someone over there is misguided. The dictionary shouldn’t have to keep up with the times. Somewhere along the line, the dictionary got caught up with, WHAT ARE THE YOUNG FOLK SAYING? But, that’s not why you should be using a dictionary–to stay hip. A dictionary is for people who play Scrabble, the last citizens of Earth who don’t use spell check, and people who tend to make up words. Not words like F-Bomb, though. Words like irregardless, or naiveness–great dictionary material. If you want to walk around saying irregardless and say that it’s in the dictionary–GO RIGHT AHEAD. The only reason it’s in the dictionary is that people have been messing it up for decades. So instead of being a reference book, the dictionary has come to include any old bit of idiotic slang that penetrates the culture. There should be a real dictionary and a section called, “dumb things people say.” I’d be satisfied with this distinction. I imagine the only thing worse than a dictionary at this point would be dictionary.com. If you want to see people get riled up, go to a word-nerd website and get in arguments citing dictionary.com as your source. It’ll cause a small riot.
Q: If you were interviewing someone for a job, what kind of questions would you ask them? Ronald Trump, Buffalo, NY.
A: I think you have to ask one question just to make sure that the person is not crazy. A lot of big corporation type places will sit you down in front of a personality test. Part of this test is to check to see if you are crazy, but I think the other part is to see if you are smart enough to tell people what they want to hear. That’s SO KEY for many jobs. I’d skip the test and just ask: “Say you happen to come across an on-foot police chase. Is there ever scenario where it’s OK to trip up the cop?” If the person is like, “Well, maybe the guy didn’t do it, man.” Or, “I usually side with the criminal,” then you just say THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. Good luck with your search. Once you get that quick sanity check out of the way, I think I’d be pretty efficient. My second question might be, “How much of your resume is complete horse bleep?” My biggest concern would be knowing what I was getting. If I’m hiring a moron with no experience, I’d like to know that EARLY IN THE PROCESS. Then I won’t be disappointed. If you portray yourself as a real dynamo, but when the chips are down can’t count to ten–that’s GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL. The truth is, I’m a real quality judge of character, so I’d probably just eyeball the candidate for a while and then make my decision. Trust your instincts.
Q: If you could fly, but the contingency was you had to wear a cape at all times, would you accept? Clark Parker, Helena, MT.
A: Flying is not the first superpower I would pick. I’d probably take being indestructible, or superhuman speed. You see, I’m very slow. And there are actually people who are fast. No one can fly. I’m not really missing out on much. As an aside, you should never trust someone who says they’d pick invisibility. These people are generally creepers, snoops, or pervs. Unless you ask a teenage boy, in which case they’d all say invisibility. Then I could just totally walk into the girls locker room and they’d be NONE THE WISER. That’s just hormones. They can’t help themselves. But, back to flying, I’m not sure I see the appeal. You’re up there AWFUL HIGH, and does this include interaction with birds? Because if that is the case, no thank you. I can picture myself just sailing along and then all of a sudden I get swallowed up by a flock of geese. I’d sh*t myself. So, for that reward, there’s no way I’m wearing a cape. I maintain a pretty conservative style of dress 364 days a year. If I had to go through life with a cape–too much for me to handle. I’m not Frank Costanza’s lawyer.
Q: What’s the dumbest thing you heard in the last week? I heard someone claiming that 2% milk actually contained 2% milk. What the rest would be? I don’t know. I. N. Accurate, Newport, RI
A: That’s a pretty good one. I guess that would make skim milk NO MILK AT ALL. That’s why it’s so healthy. And delicious. Sometimes I hear a conversation and you think the person has just misspoke, but then you realize, NO–that’s what they actually believe. I should probably start writing down the things I’d hear, and then I would be more prepared for this type of question. I’ll go with the following: I was in a public setting writing a blog post not long ago when a group of wholesome American teens started talking about the state abbreviation, WA. I soon found out they were talking about it, because they did not know what state it stood for. This, in itself, was a bit troubling. I wouldn’t consider WA one of the more difficult state abbreviations. Now, those A’s and the M’s can get a BIT TRICKY, but the W’s? I guess it wasn’t so much the one thing that was said, as much as the whole conversation. It played out like this:
Chick: There’s no “a” in Wisconsin.
Guy: I don’t know…
Chick: There’s only 3 states that begin with “W.” Wisconsin, Wyoming and West Virginia.
Guy: I’ll Google It.
(11 seconds later)
(fireworks go off)
Q: Say football is eventually banned from the American sporting scene. What do you think would be more popular? Some version of flag-football that is far safer to play, or some complex virtual reality/video game ball that you’d watch on TV or in stadiums on the jumbo screens? Paul Tagliaboo, Hartford, CT.
A: You’re basically asking me the boxing robot question. Did I watch Real Steel? Maybe I did. WHAT OF IT? Anyway, in that movie, human controlled robot boxing is the greatest sport of all-time. People loved it. Of course, this was a necessarily plot point–so I don’t know that we can trust its validity in regard to this discussion. What would replace football is a pretty common discussion. Would baseball get a boost? Would people finally flock toward soccer? I don’t think soccer is going to cut it. What draws people to football–is the violence a part of it? Because if it is, flag football isn’t going to work. And, really, that would have no chance. Flag football is a novelty. It’s like watching a skills competition, or an All-Star Game. Would you occasionally see great catches? Sure, but it wouldn’t be the same. I think you’d have to go the virtual reality route. Get everyone a set of goggles and have two nerds FIGHT IT OUT, Madden 2040 style. So, the superstar goes from being the QB to that guy who’s like crazy good with the controller and sh*t. Would this guy operate alone? Would he need coaches and coordinators? Is one man too easily corruptible? How would it impact the betting? My head just exploded. Let’s save the NFL.
Q: You know how people rally around small businesses that are about to go under? Why don’t the owners of these businesses fake people out? Instead of letting it get to the point of no return, why not after your 1st bad month be like, “Well, we’re screwed! Going out of Business! Thanks for your patronage–Through the Years.” Then after a month or so, once revenue picked up, it’d be all “WE THANK OUR CUSTOMERS FOR SAVING OUR STORE.”
A: This is a pretty strong idea. Think about how satisfied the customers would be with themselves when they thought they saved the business. You’d be hard pressed to find a prouder group of Americans. The trouble is, once you pulled back from the ledge, your customers would probably head back to the superstores or the internet. How many times could pull off this ruse? Or how long could you keep it going before someone said, wait–I thought you were going out of business. You know what people like less than an opportunity to feel superior? BEING DECEIVED. I still think it’s a worth a shot, though. What’s the alternative? I also hate how people rally around these closing stores. The Chester County Book & Music Company is closing and now everyone is acting like it’s their favorite store EVER. Meanwhile they’ve been wearing out Amazon for years. People like the IDEA of these stores, but deep down they also like SAVING MONEY. Regardless, you can always count on an outpouring of support in these cases. Someone will be overwhelmed by that outpouring. This is the boilerplate language. The outpouring will be replaced by a mob trying to take advantage of the suddenly discounted prices, and then everyone will forget. If only the CCB&MC would have feigned its demise years ago.