The Mailbag (Don’t Worry, The Bag’s Reusable)

Choose Carefully.

Choose Carefully.

So, the government is not open for business.  What does this mean?  I DON’T KNOW.  I’m going to go to Bleacher Report and read the top 2013 things you need to know about the 2013 Government Shutdown, but until then…clueless.  I realized yesterday that National Parks were closed.  This seems a bit harsh?  Ok, maybe you can’t get in to see the Liberty Bell, but you can’t even go for a walk in Valley Forge Park right now.  I’m sure you COULD, but you aren’t supposed to and that seems ridiculous to me.  I wonder how many people showed up in their running tights yesterday and had no idea what was going on.  About a week back I was in a neighborhood I hadn’t been to in a while.  and I pulled into a Wawa parking lot.  I thought to myself, “Thank god it’s not that busy.” It was almost lunch.  I got all the way to the door before I realized it was closed. Not for the day–for good.  I suddenly realized there was no signage, not a single other car in the parking lot.  That’s how oblivious I was.  Someone waiting at the red light watched me walk back to my car like I was EASILY the world’s dumbest human.  I’m just saying, if this keeps up, someone is going to arrive Valley Forge with an SUV full of bikes in a few weeks and look awfully stupid.  To the mailbag, thankfully not delivered by the USPS….

Q: I was having dinner with a guy the other day and he was served his cheesesteak and he stared the thing down for a good 30 seconds.  Now, this sounds like a short amount of time, but before you eat tonight, look at your plate for 30 seconds–eternity.  I said, “What the hell are you doing?”  He told me he was deciding which half of his sandwich to eat first.  For real?  U. Cuteyepick, Frazer, PA.

A:  I assume your issue here is with the length of time and not the thoughtful process itself.  It’s CRUCIAL to make this decision before eating any sandwich that has been cut into two pieces.  Why would you want to eat the “good” half first?  Are you going to be a baby and not finish it, is the second half for the labrador?  You always want to have that better half left, because then when you are done the first half you are still in a glass half-full situation.  Maybe you saved the bigger half.  Maybe the half with a better cheese ratio. Regardless, things are looking up!  Thirty seconds is a long time, though.  You’ve got to learn how to make quick decisions, otherwise people ask questions.  That interrupts FEEDING TIME.  This is also important to do with pizza and shared pizzas.  Trying to get the ebb and flow of the shared pizza right so you get the best slices is a DAMN ARTFORM.  I know people who split the pizza before they eat it, which is democratic, but doesn’t reward vision.  Every pizza has a “best slice,” and it’s unthinkable to take it right away, so you must plan it out ahead of time.  Of course, this is why it’s always better to get way too much pizza, because then piece selection is a bit less dire.  

Q:  What sponsor would you be proud to wear on the golf course?  I saw some big names during the FedEx Cup, a lot better than what you’d see on your basic T-ball jersey.  Bill Board, Houston, TX.

A:  I think one of my first Little League teams was sponsored by an oil company (Not Exxon, like Jim’s Oil–Staats?).  So, right away I was a bit of a sellout to big business and greed.  I don’t know that Little League teams have sponsors like that anymore.  The parents are probably expected to COUGH UP the dough for a jersey.  This is a development right on par with everyone hits and we don’t keep score.  Why don’t you just set up some bleachers at recess at the parents can watch that?  Are we playing a game here or being cute and polite?  ANYWAY, enough of that…I have thought about this question.  I wonder if I would be a total sponsor whore. Would I wear whatever someone put in front of me for a few dollars?  PROBABLY.  That’s got to be better than trying to make cuts, but if I had my choice…I’d want companies with less than offensive logos and products I’d want to get for free.  Mercedes would probably be a good place to start.  Then of course you need to have a clothing sponsor.  I’ve always been a bit of fancy boy in terms of golf apparel.  I went down with the cotton ship.  I loved my Fairway and Greene.  I don’t think they ever sponsored tour players. Maybe Peter Millar?  You know, just a nice supply of $100 shirts I can’t afford.  So, that’s a good start, maybe round it out with some Mizuno.  If I’m on tour I assume I would finally be good enough to hit those clubs.  

Q:  Any MLB playoff picks? Pete Rows, Cincinnati, OH.

I do NOT like the Phillies’ chances.  I believe they’ve been mathematically eliminated.  I did have the Pirates over the Reds (no proof), but that was a great atmosphere in Pittsburgh and I actually am happy for real Pirates fans and even the people who have thrown themselves on the bandwagon.  Playoff baseball is incredible in person.  I like the Rays over the Indians.  This probably won’t get posted before that game is over, but it’s noted here for all eternity.  It’s a strange year for the post-season, or I guess this is just how things are now–you have to almost wait and see who gets hot.  If we were back in the day, it’d be hard to argue against the Dodgers who can send out Kershaw, Greinke Dinky Do, and Ryu to start any series.  That’s a decent place to start.  The Cardinals have undeniable post-season magic and I think the NL comes down to those two teams.  NO to Atlanta.  The Red Sox had an incredible regular season, but I’ve never seen them as a World Series favorite for some reason.  I don’t trust Verlander and Scherzer atop Detroit’s rotation this year and Miggy is hurting.  I like the Rays if they get through, but otherwise–LA over Oakland.  Why not?  

Q:  Any thoughts on the rise in popularity of hard cider?  I mean, I always remember Woodchuck being around (Haha, let’s have a Woodchuck as a joke), but now apparently things are getting serious–and there’s pear cider? Chuck Strongbow, Exton, PA.

A: Oh sure, perries?  Pear cider?  Been around for ages I would imagine.  Don’t know that anyone was drinking any notable quantities, but it was around.  I have noticed more cider in my travels.  I see it on tap, which is something I don’t remember seeing at all in my younger days.  Does draught cider taste better?  I DON’T KNOW.  I have more important mysteries to solve.  It must be great for the people who drink cider, because is Woodchuck actually good?  How would you know unless you had something to compare it to–so now there are more choices.  Of course, cider is gluten-free and beer is not, which has to be a growing selling point.  A lot of gluten allergies out there along with people who do things like this voluntarily so it’s nice to still be able to get hammered–gluten free. Speaking to the growing popularity, there was a cider festival in Philadelphia this past weekend and evidently this is something people actually attended.  You know, I try not to make judgements about people based on what they drink.  I read an article about this today, it was a lot of “30-year olds that drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade still hit on college girls,” etc.  That’s not my style.  You’ll never convert me, but go ahead and have your cider.  

Q:  Do you think people who eat tunafish for lunch should be confined to separate quarters so other people don’t have to smell what they are eating?  Gagg Reflex, Dublin, OH.

A: Well, kind of, but no–that kind of thing just isn’t allowed.  I think you need to be a bit careful with your wording there.  Words like “confined” and “separate” don’t hold up too well in the higher courts.  People tend to frown on segregation, even if it is of the aroma variety.  Tuna sandwiches are really a dangerous animal, though.  Several years back I was headed to play golf with a friend and we stopped at Wawa for lunch before we played.  He got a tuna sandwich, which I didn’t LOVE, but you know, it was a short ride to the course.  Tolerance.  We just inhaled the things before we started and didn’t think twice about leaving the wrappers in the car.  Or, I should say I didn’t.  I’m going to ballpark the temperature at about 94 degrees that day, so inside the car during the round we probably kissed 115ish.  Anyway, four, five hours later we get back to the car and the one bite of tuna that was leftover had taken over the atmosphere inside my Chevy.  The air was thick.  A starving cat could have been strolling by and they would have said, “Eh, no thank you.”  I went on a brief “never leave tuna in my car ever again” tirade under the guise of joking around, but I really wasn’t.  I just hope that stuff tastes better than it smells, I really do.  For your sake.

 

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