So I’m driving down the road last night sometime after late dusk. It’s not completely dark. I’m not on a highway, but on a pretty well-traveled thoroughfare. Suddenly the car behind me puts their high beams on. Not a flash, the signature move of all assholes, but they were just driving with their high beams on–right behind me. The light hit my rear view mirror and went directly into the center of my eyeball. I was furious. So, I’m wrestling with the rear view, trying to flip it into that less reflective position and then the high beams go off. Then, back on. As someone who spends a good portion of time judging other people’s driving, I’m not sure I ever encountered a more frustrating scenario. Finally, the mongoloid banged a left and I was free of their reign of terror. Of course, when I went to re-adjust my rear view, it fell off the windshield and rattled around in my cup holder. Great times.
Q: When I was kid I had a friend who would eat dog biscuits. It was kind of like his party trick. I was thinking about him the other day. Do you think he made it? Milque Bones, Boston, MA.
A: I assume you mean IN LIFE and not as someone who eats dog biscuits professionally–as an adult. I’m sure they’re doing just fine. They probably haven’t even had the urge to eat a dog treat in years. I’ve never sampled dog food, which is a bit surprising considering my extensive exposure to it, but then isn’t surprising considering I rarely sample anything. My junior year of college my roommate and I housed a dog illegally in our apartment for a few months. In our cupboard we had a package of really fancy dog cookies. They were decorated, looked like real cookies, etc. One day they were just gone, and I’m fairly sure the dog didn’t eat them. Someone rummaging through our place for snacks CRUSHED them, and they probably never knew. One time I gave my dog a Frosty Paws (dog ice cream) and I almost licked the lid out of habit. GAH. And, there always is a chance I have eaten a dog dessert without knowing, but I try to eat things made for humans. I’m not typing this with a bowl of Snausages sitting next to me. As for your friend, I think dog food has really come a long way. I’m thinking no lingering effects. You can eat dog biscuits and go on to lead a RELATIVELY normal life.
Q: Please rate the following carnival foods: Sno-Cone, Cotton Candy, Corn Dog and Funnel Cake. Carny Landsferd, Aston, PA.
A: It is carnival season. A bit of surprising news: I’ve never really gotten into The Corn Dog. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one. I guess I would like them, but it’s a bit of an unsettling VISUAL for me. The only thing I really eat off a stick would be dessert pops. Your basic Dove Bar, a Firecracker Popsicle–things of that nature. I’m just such a traditionalist with my dog intake. I like my bun, etc. So, I’m going to have to abstain from rating Corn Dogs. In last place, I’d put cotton candy. It’s OK, but maybe too much sugar at this point in my life? I don’t get quite the same satisfaction when the stuff crystallizes in my mouth? Is that a valid point? I like Sno-Cones a little more, because Sno-Cones know they are ghetto. From the cheap paper cup, to the huge bottles of “syrup,” this a low-rent operation. Eating a Sno-Cone is a roller coaster of emotion. It looks so good for the 1st four seconds. Then all the syrup drains and you’re basically eating plain ice for 5 minutes, but then it’s pure glory when you can CHUG the syrup at the end. It’s nutritious. Kids today are probably too fancy for Sno-Cones, they want water ice. The funnel cake really dominates everything on this list, though. It’s fried. AND, it’s topped with sugar. When you eat something and the paper plate it was sitting on has all but disintegrated beneath it? That’s your Winner!
Q: Is it more dangerous to navigate a busy highway at rush hour or a parking lot of a Super Wawa at lunchtime? Hamilton Shortie, Newark, DE.
A: I’m going to amend your question, because if we’re talking rush hour–it’s not even close. Stop and go traffic is a walk in the park compared to Wawa. How about driving in Connecticut on I-95 with traffic flowing vs. Wawa? Connecticut, by any reasonable measure or observation, the home to the worst drivers in America. People come over from India and are a little unsettled by some of these moves. In terms of chance you’ll get into any type of accident the Wawa parking lot is going to win. I avoid the Wawa from 11:30-1:30 if I can, because it’s just too trying of an experience. There are gas lines, food lines, checkout lines–it’s just lines. I wonder how they staff Wawa, because during the lunch rush they need about 11 people at the deli, but what do they do for the rest of their shift? Anyway, Wawa parking lots are also oddly designed. You have the ILLUSION of plenty of room, but there is always someone pulling out, in, cutting across–nightmare. There are stop signs, but no one pays any attention. But is any of that really dangerous? I think the highway is more dangerous, but the Wawa is more likely to have you taking snapshots of your bumper with your iPhone.
Q: Do you ever have a correction dinner? Like one day you are out and maybe you order a burger or something and it’s pretty awful so the next day you have the exact same thing to rectify that experience? Charl Broiled II, Chicago, IL.
A: That’s an interesting concept. I’ll have the same dinner two days in a row on a fairly regular basis, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever had this particular motivation. Sometimes I just remember a dish is very good, so I make it again. Haven’t had Mac N’ Cheese for a while, have extra supplies left over–BOOM. I can see this happening, though. I’m picturing a cook out. You are PRIMED for the occasion and then your host breaks out the frozen Bubba Burger patties and that part of your brain that produces joy just dies ON THE SPOT. Maybe they don’t have your favorite kind of rolls? Maybe the center of your hot dog is “chilly?” A lot of things can go wrong at a cookout. Maybe the Bubba Burger was just enough inspiration for you to go out and get some fresh ground beef for the next night. I can tell you one thing I will do that is similar to this. If I go to a restaurant and maybe they have small portions, or I am at a dinner event and it’s all odd little finger foods or something and you can’t sit down and properly FEED yourself? You can bet your ass that I will bury myself in dinner the next day. Two days in a row with small dinners is borderline starvation.
Q: What would you make of an adult who said their favorite book was “The Cat in the Hat?” Are they being intentionally cute? Have they never read a novel? What the hell? Sam Eyem, Whoville, FL.
A: I love looking at lists of people’s favorite books. Will they list all the Twilight books or just say, “The Twilight Series?” Will they leave out one of the Harry Potter books? How can you make these tough decisions. Every book is part of a series now. A Jack Kingslover Mystery #36, or Sloane Peterson Romance #412. Anyway, if someone said their absolute favorite book was The Cat in the Hat, I might have to conclude that they aren’t the biggest reader. It’s perfectly OK to like the Cat in the Hat, but for it to be your favorite book? Something isn’t quite adding up there. That’d be a bit like saying your favorite food was some delectable offering from Gerber. It is a clever thing to say, though, if you haven’t read a lot of books, because it will throw the person asking the question off guard. A more standard answer, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” or something along those lines could lead to follow-up questions. EXPOSE YOU. What if they ask about something that isn’t in the movie? No one is going to be like, “Oh, The Cat in the Hat….what’s your favorite part? Tell me about the symbolism.” The conversation is pretty much over from the get-go. Dr. Seuss–moving on. I’d rate a Seuss fan above a Twilight fan, though. OK, you don’t read, but maybe you like good movies–or something.
Q: I have a theory that the downfall of society can be traced to the vending machines in the entrance ways to grocery stores. When America was really thriving, you could get yourself a real prize, now it’s just crap. Helen Ahandbasket, West Chester, PA.
A: Nothing quite matches the disappointment of getting the wrong thing out of a vending machine. You want that Phillies helmet SO badly, but no, PADRES again. It’s a great life lesson. Do kids even care about this stuff any more? Do they look up from their video games long enough to even notice the vending machine? In my opinion the holy trinity of vending machine toys are: the Super Ball, the Plastic Helmet, and the Fake Tattoo. That’s the elite merchandise. I haven’t checked out the machines lately. Can you no longer get super balls? The last thing I remember seeing on a regular basis were Pokemon stickers. Is that from this century? What does it cost for a sticker now–$2? When I was a kid I was keenly aware of the machines. I wanted ALL the baseball helmets. I needed them for THINGS. If you gave a kid a mini-helmet right now he might flip you off. That’s my first guess. I think several problems can be illustrated through the vending machines including the following: We are no longer easily amused and more importantly, we can’t even get cheap sh*t cheap any more. I’m not sure I’m ready for a world where you can’t placate your dipsh*t kid for the ride home with a quarter. That used to be a bargain. Now you probably have to buy them a new app to keep them from choking you out with your seat belt.