(*Disclaimer: Shorter mail bag than usual today. I think this whole New Year’s being Monday/Tuesday kind of threw off the whole week. I was playing catch up from the jump and I still am. No football picks until Wild-Card Saturday. So, a little appetizer bag and no special pun names for the letters, that takes longer than you might think. It’ll make you appreciate them more next week. Also, there may be more typos than uzual.)
So, I’m watching a TV show the other day and I see a commercial starring Shannon Dougherty of 90210 fame. It’s for an online college degree program. Did you know that Shannon always wanted a college degree? I didn’t either. I have a feeling she only wanted one after being approached for this career nadir of a commercial. Anyway, Shannon is getting a degree in Liberal Arts. Um, what? That reminds me of the Good Will Hunting scene. Just Liberal Arts? Must have been a survey course. The good news is, for those unemployed college graduates out there who are cursing their degrees, you no longer have the most useless education in the world. Shannon’s coming. The mailbag…
Q: Can anyone or any group match the celebration skills of an NBA bench? These guys are highly skilled artisans when it comes to celebrating.
A: A lot of NBA players do have a certain child-like wonder about them. It’s like they are seeing a dunk for the 1st time. They explode out of their seats, come out on the court waving towels, hollerin’, etc. It’s quite a scene. And, the game situations makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE to these guys. A team could be down 30 pts, but if someone gets dunked on, they’re celebrating like your grandmom at bingo. I like to imagine what the players are yelling. It always starts with “OH, SH*T,” and then you mix in your own medley of expletives. I think that night in, night out, there is no group that can match the energy of an NBA bench. Hockey players and soccer players celebrate EVERY goal, but what I like about the NBA celebrations is that the guys are genuinely happy with someone else’s success. Except for the guy on the far right up there, but he’s the exception. It must be nice to impress your peers in such a way. If your dunk gets your teammates up, you know it was a DUNK. The only thing that could even come close to the NBA celebration is the walk-off home run, but that doesn’t happen on a consistent enough basis. Your basic, three minutes a week, NBA 12th man is the best cheerleader in sports.
Q: Do you think the receipt checker at Sam Club’s has ever successfully stopped an attempted robbery?
A: I doubt it. This is a measure to protect against lazy thieves. You see, there are two types of criminals. Those with a plan, and those who have NO IDEA what they’re doing. Some people can’t help themselves, though. If something is there–they’re going to take it. It’s why you hear people say things like, “Are these free?” The next step is lying about how many rolls you have in your bag at self-checkout, and from there you are actively looking for easy things to steal. So, if stealing a three gallon jar of mayonnaise was as easy as strolling into Sam’s and then walking out the door with it, people would do it all the time. Not because they needed that much mayo, WHO DOES? But, because Sam’s Club was practically begging them to take the stuff. They don’t even check for a receipt! So by checking for a receipt Sam Club’s is just saving you from your own primal urges. And, you can tell they don’t expect the receipt checker to stop anyone. Look who they install in this position. It’s usually someone who is semi-retired, a kind old fella. If things actually were going down, they’d have someone with a uniform. Perhaps a token badge and an earpiece.
Q: What do you think is the least masculine word you can say? I heard a guy drop, “comfy,” about eight times in the span of three minutes the other day. “Are they comfy?” He kept saying this. Keep in mind he was talking to another adult male and not a 3-year old. Would it ever occur to you to say “comfy?”
A: Comfy is a cute little word, isn’t it? I don’t think it’s in my regular rotation. I might say “cozy,” but not comfy. There’s a difference. Any time you shorten an adjective, you are really running the risk of sounding a bit “adorbs,” yourself. I see how it would be a bit surprising to see two gentleman trading this word back and forth, but perhaps you’ve hit on something. Maybe the guy has kids and is used to speaking this way. He can’t break the habit. Last night he asked his kid if the Dora the Explorer* footie pajamas are “comfy,” and that just carried over to the next day. I understand the whole comfortable (see) in your masculinity argument, but I feel like there is a line there as well and it’s OK if you don’t want to appear dainty. Surely, there is room in this PC world for an aversion to daintiness? IS THERE? I hope so, because even though I don’t care if you use the word “comfy,” in situations that don’t involve irony, that doesn’t mean I want to use it. And it doesn’t mean I want to push around the little mini-cart at the grocery store either. That’s dainty. I’ll take a basket, a regular sized cart, or I’ll take NOTHING. Kind of got sidetracked there, top-5 least masculine words: comfy, lilac, quinoa, tushie, and purse.
*No clue what a popular cartoon is these days.
Q: Would you rather live a pretty modest existence and have unlimited use of a private jet, or be very wealthy and have to drive or sail everywhere you want to go?
A: I’ve never been on a private jet, not exactly. I’ve flown on a charter flight, but it’s not like sliding into a Gulfstream with a titan of industry. Airports and air travel are two of the most stressful things on the planet, when you take away everything that actually matters. From what I hear, flying private is a breeze. It’s about as stressful as an afternoon spent on your couch. So, there would be an obvious appeal there. But, if you are living a modest existence, where are you going with this plane exactly? Are you chartering a flight to Applebees? You have to be able to afford to do things once you actually get to your destination. So, you could fly to Tahiti, but then you’d have to vacation on the tarmac. Obviously, it would be a nice perk, but you couldn’t utilize it fully. If you were rich, your biggest problems would be getting made fun of by other rich people for not being able to fly and not having an easy way to get to Europe. In both cases, you aren’t maximizing the full potential. Believe it or not, I think I’d take the private jet. That’s an incredible asset. It’s the 21st century. You’ve gotta have wings.
Q: Why is it Hamburger if it’s made from beef? Is that obvious and I am missing something?
A: Well, I suppose it could be obvious. Depending on who you ask, or depending on your natural curiosity–you may be missing something. A hamburger AND the name hamburger actually have nothing to do with ham. I think you probably got confused by the more modern incarnations of the “burger.” Like, a turkey burger is made from old Tom Turkey and is not a hamburger made in the NATION of Turkey. But, you see, a hamburger is named after Hamburg, Germany. It doesn’t have anything to do with the ingredients. It’s just a coincidence that the first part of the word is another American meat product. It’s kind of like Buffalo Wings. Those come from the city, not the ancient and mythical winged Buffalo-Pegasus.