I thought about running a sweet slideshow of fall foliage today instead of the mailbag, but I couldn’t put my finger on the right background music. So, mailbag it is–envelope yourself.
Q: What do you think is the most realistic Rocky movie? You have to keep them in context. Like if you say Rocky III, you have to take into account what happened in the first two movies. Spider Rico, Philadelphia, PA.
A: Believe it or not, I think this is a pretty easy question. As long as Rocky V counts, that’s the answer. A heavyweight champion blows all his money? Sounds pretty standard. The mentoring of “Tommy Gunn,” is a bit far-fetched, but not by Rocky standards. But, like a lot of people out there, when I think of the Rocky movies, I’m thinking of the 1st four. These are the iconic installments of the franchise. The least realistic Rocky movie is Rocky IV. It’s an incredible film, but everything from Rock’s Siberian training regimen to Uncle Paulie’s robot girlfriend is almost laughable when looked at independently. Really any movie based on the premise that Rocky Balboa is a good boxer, or the heavyweight champion is complete horsebleep. That’s why the original is the most realistic of the first four. The movie may or not be loosely based on a real fighter, Chuck Wepner–The Bayonne Bleeder. Wepner took Mohammed Ali to 15 rounds in an otherwise average career. The thought that a champion could get challenged by a guy who he was unprepared for and overlooking is something that’s happened throughout boxing history. When you get past that, and Rocky starts winning rematches and turns into a long-standing champion, that’s when you cut the ties with reality. So, to summarize: Rocky loses=realistic. Rocky wins=UNREALISTIC.
Q: Your thoughts on pumpkin flavoring? Gordie Orange, Boise, ID.
A: I’m pretty sure during the month of October that pumpkin becomes a synonym for “plain.” Order a muffin? PUMPKIN SPICE. Care for a coffee? PUMPKIN LATTE. Cold beer? PUMPKIN ALE. We’re awash in orange this time year. It’s all so festive. Personally, I cannot stand the flavor of pumpkin. In my mind, they’re a decorative gourd. Prop them on a bale of hay, carve a cute little face into them, do what you have to do, but I’m not in a hurry to put pumpkin in my belly. I dislike the whole Fall beer genre and my stance is that if these beers were so great, wouldn’t they figure out how to make them year round? And, the same goes for pumpkin. Wouldn’t they be available all year if there was a REAL demand instead of a novelty demand? If pumpkin pie is so great, why doesn’t anyone serve it in March? Pumpkins just put people in a good mood, make them think about a holiday. A pumpkin? Is it almost Halloween? Oh, hell yes, give me that pumpkin muffin. It’s like candy canes. There are few less exciting treats, but you see them appear in November and Christmas goes off in your loins. I’LL TAKE SEVEN BOXES.
Q: What was your best Halloween costume ever? My best was the year I duct-taped a brown throw rug to myself, put in some fake teeth and went as a beaver. Can you top that? Hal Oween, Jupiter, FL.
A: I can’t top that. I had a pretty short Halloween career. By the time I was 13 or so, I think I was pretty much done going door to door. In the years since, I’ve grown quite an aversion to putting on costumes. I think college was the last straw. Halloween on a college campus is SERIOUS BUSINESS. You have to be fully committed. You need a costume. You need to be irresponsibly drunk. You have to love the crush of the crowd. I could never quite go all-in. While my friends were putting together elaborate costumes with hopes of luring in the “slutty” (Fill in the Blank), I was being a huge downer. One year I wrote “GOODYEAR,” on a piece of paper, stuck it on a gray shirt and went as the blimp. That was my best college costume. How about I give you my worst/most embarrassing costume? Sometime around I’m going to guess 1987, my sister and I both went as “punk rockers.” We had crazy wigs, crazy clothes, and I think fake electric guitars made out of cardboard. The question is, why? Did we listen to punk rock? NO. Was punk rock over by 1987? PRETTY MUCH, YEAH. The reasoning behind these costumes remains a great mystery.
Q: I got into a gigantic argument with a friend of mine the other day over the size of pizza slices. He got angry because there was no consistency to the slice sizes. I claimed as long as we both got an equal half, who cares? But he went on and on about the integrity of the slice. Frankly, it ruined the whole dinner.
A: I appreciate a little care in the craftsmanship when it comes to wielding the pizza cutter. No one is perfect, but no one wants that feeble mini-slice. Even if you get the giant complimentary slice too, it still feels like you are getting short-changed. Perhaps there should be a saying in the business that goes, “You’re only as good as your smallest slice.” A huge, floppy slice has a lot of appeal. Isn’t this one of the reasons why NY Pizza is so popular. Yeah, it’s delicious, but they have no restrictions on size. Giant triangles of loving. I’m not a huge fan of the tiny slice. When I was a kid we often went to one pizza place and they had one pizza that was a square and came in 12 pieces. After a long hiatus I went back to this location and got the same pie. It was still square. It still tasted exactly the same, but it was cut into 16 pieces. I opened the box and it was obvious something wasn’t right. Then it hit me and I was all, “OH HELL NO.” It bothered me to the point that the next time I went back to said joint I dropped the, “this is going to sound a little strange, but can you cut that hoss into 12 slices?” THEY FORGOT. Slicer’s rhythm, I guess. So, now I’m stuck with this pizza that just isn’t quite right. Troubling.
Q: I’d like to create the female equivalent of the sports bar. Not that women don’t enjoy sports, but the sports bar caters to male clientele. I’m thinking of a place like Hooters, or the recent addition to the rockin’ King of Prussia scene, “The Tilted Kilt.” My question is, say you opened up a bar that had a bunch of “cozy and fun,” seating areas, big screen TVs that showed Real Housewives, or Nashville, or whatever and threw in a bunch of good-looking guys serving everything in martini glasses. Would this be the most profitable bar ever, or go out of business in seconds? Kosmo Politan, Oaks, PA.
A: Great idea–on paper. If there can be sports bars, why can’t there be Bravo Reality TV bars? Can women sustain such an establishment? Are there enough women out there who are this interested in drinking during the week? I think there are. Plenty of classy ladies out there like to get their DRANK on. But, I see two problems. For the 1st problem please allow me to stereotype. Aren’t these shows a bit of guilty pleasure? And, if that’s the case aren’t they more pajama on the couch shows? I’m not sure women want to PUT THEIR FACE ON and go out for something like this. The thing about most guys is that they’ll throw on a pair of swishy pants and a jersey and hit a sports bar with NO QUALMS. The bartender will still TOTALLY be into them. I’m not sure women are so breezy. I don’t know that they could get comfortable, relax, and get into their housewives. The other problem and another reason they wouldn’t be comfortable? The bar would immediately be overrun with shady creepers. Guys would flood into this place. They’d ruin it. Almost immediately, I’d imagine. So, cancel your plans to open Ally McBeal’s.
Q: Have you ever pretended that you were in the mafia and you had to “off,” someone? Assuming you have, did you think about how you’d pull it off without getting caught? Rando Soprano, NE Media, PA.
A: I’ve definitely thought about being in the mafia. And I’ve thought about needing to get away with a crime, but I’m not sure I’ve ever gone to mafia hitman mode. Maybe some people in our audience can help you with the best ways to dispose of a body. On Breaking Bad they use some type of acid or corrosive material. In Snatch, they used feral pigs. In Goodfellas–the Pine Barrens. That DID NOT work, by the way. I don’t think I’ve got any great insight for you, but I can say if you are looking to get away with any type of crime the best way is to have no motive and no witnesses. If the proper authorities can’t figure out why you’d do it, then it’s hard to make you a suspect. What I can’t understand about people who participate in criminal activities is how they live with the fear of getting caught? If I was a bookie for example, every time someone knocked on my door, or every time a car followed me for more than 2 seconds I would be PARANOID AS HELL. Every time I got a new punter on my book, I’d think, was that an undercover detective? He looked a lot like Joe Pistone. I guess that is what separates the true criminals from civilians like me. They just don’t care. I suggesting forwarding this question to a prison of some sort.
Q: How angry will you be if the Seahawks beat the 49ers tonight? And, if they do, will you come around on Russell Wilson? Carol Peterson, Seattle, WA
A: We’ll get to the picks in a bit, and I don’t want to put a curse on anyone, but Seattle is in a real tough spot here. That’s about all you can say. Will I come around on Russel Wilson? Spoiler alert: I’m never going to come around on Russell Wilson. There’s a bit of the Rory McIlroy phenomenon going on here. But, I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about Wilson achieving that kind of success. He’s too limited. He’ll have some moments, but the guy has thrown for 1,100 yards in 6 games. To quote Kraft, when talking about my High School’s point guard, “He’s legally a dwarf.” So, let’s just see what happens. We don’t have to go all Sportsguy here, who already crowned Wilson and Seattle, backed off completely after one game and then jumped back on the wagon all in the span of six weeks. Will there be more or less Wilson momentum this week? We’ll see. A pick…
Big Dub, Record: 17-12-1