I can’t remember why I adopted Switzerland during the last El Cupo Worldo. Was it their stifling defense? Their unwavering neutrality? Hard to say, but I don’t see any real reason to change my allegiances now after that smooth win over Ecuador. After all, if the US makes a run, I can always just watch the reaction videos on YouTube and feel like I was there.
Q: You strike me as someone who might be concerned with the portion reduction and price increases going on at restaurants, thoughts? E. Leven Fries, Topeka, KS.
A: I feel like I’ve been hearing about this increase in food prices for a while, but it has just started to sink in, leaving an unfortunate hollow feeling in my wallet and my gut. I was at a restaurant the other day and they had the stones to charge $16 for a French Dip. I’m sorry, I wanted a roast beef sandwich–not a DIAMOND. So, I ordered it anyway, because I was already trapped and inside the restaurant. Imagine my relief when they compensated by giving me a quart of “jus.” GREAT. So, there was my sandwich, my soup bowl of jus and some fries on the plate for sixteen bucks. The food was perfectly fine, but COME ON. I’ve noticed portions dwindling all over the place. I’ve noticed a lot people asking if you want lemon in your water, which is great for me, because I DO NOT, but really? Every other condiment is getting rationed out in a little cup, like you got one pass through the line at Fuddruckers. It is a disturbing, disturbing trend. I’m worried the country’s obesity epidemic could be in danger.
Q: What floor would you have to live on to take the elevator consistently, assuming you had access to one? Second, right? Matt Stares, Camden, NJ.
A: I currently live on the ground floor of a building with an elevator, and I have ridden that elevator a few times for NO PARTICULAR REASON. It’s amazing that in these modern times an elevator can feel like such an extravagance. My elevator frame of reference is going to take me back to college where I lived on various floors of various buildings where I wasn’t exactly supposed to have elevator access. Sophomore year we lived on the 4th floor and for a time we had access to an elevator key. Hard to put into words how important an elevator key makes you feel. I don’t remember if it was gained through bribery, or through fake injury, but it was a coveted item. Four flights of stairs is a lot, especially in the wee hours of the morn. That said, I walked up and down those stairs hundreds of times and allowed myself to feel a sense of accomplishment. I’m the guy who would walk up four flights with a pizza and scoff at the guy getting off the elevator on his way back from an 83-minute kettlebell workout. Because my legs are bit older now than they were in college, I’m putting the cutoff at the 4th floor. Fourth floor, I’m riding. Anything less than that I am pretending I am getting a great workout–unless I’m carrying something, like A grocery, then ride–obviously.
Q: It’s been over 40 years since Miller High Life trotted out the 7 oz. pony bottle. Is this a valid way to drink beer? Yul Pint, Tacoma, WA.
A: I’ve never had a High Life in a pony bottle. Can anyone drink JUST 7 ounces of the champagne of beers? Your question inspired me to do some research on the pony bottle and it seems like it was invented by YOUR Rolling Rock brewery, of Latrobe, PA, after the depression. It seems that a full 12 oz. was a bit steep for some of the folks still getting their feet under them, so this was a way to drink after work and still MAYBE have enough money for food–or whatever. Rolling Rock is the first beer I ever had in pony bottle, probably at some “pony party,” in college, which sounds like a great idea until you end up with twice as many empties and floaters. Is it a valid way to drink beer? Pretty much any way to drink beer is a valid way to drink beer. Why would I judge? I think Rolling Rock is horrible, so 7 ounces might be more palatable than 12, but if it’s your beer of choice and you like collecting little bottles for arts and crafts, or to put in with your kid’s lunch–BY ALL MEANS–go pony.
Q: Is cat litter getting a bit too descriptive? Do I need to know that it’s SUPER CLUMP?
A: Cat litter is an interesting product, because I’m sure some of it works better than others, but in a certain sense, none of it REALLY works. I guarantee if your cat lets it happen and you are within nose-shot, you are going to know about it and it’s going to be unpleasant for a couple of minutes. I guess after that the litter TAKES HOLD, but at that point the room still smells like 95% weird cat litter and 5% cat dumper. This is what we put up with to have pets. The cat litter process is really no more or less weird or disgusting than walking miles with digested Kibbles & Bits in a plastic baggy. Our pets really have us by the balls sometimes. I have not bought cat litter myself in a long time. Every once in a while, back in the day, when we had a bunch of cats I might have to pick some up, but we just bought it in industrial sized drums. Four Petco employees would just forklift it out to the car. We weren’t reading slogans, we just wanted the BEST VALUE per pound of litter. Or something. If this is the direction we’re going though, I have a few ideas–New FRESH STEP PLUS with TURD COCOON POWER!
Q: Say we found another Earth. Do you think the colonizers would treat it well, knowing how badly we have punished Earth One, or would history repeat itself and see the people just start immediately pumping toxic waste into the rivers? Brooke Trout, Auburn, AL.
A: I think it’s pretty obvious Earth 2 is getting completely trashed. It’s like if you told someone you would erase all the damage smoking has done to them over the past 40 years, do you think they’d immediately stop smoking? No, they’d be like, YES, I now have probably a couple of years of guilt-free smoking, THEN I’LL QUIT. Sure. That’s what we’d do with Earth 2. You’d want to recycle, but look at all that VIRGIN LANDFILL SPACE! So enticing. An ozone layer without a single hole? Fully formed polar ice caps? It’s a license to pollute. Would people immediately start practicing sustainable forestry? Or would they go right to the old growth for their kitchen floors? I think we know how important hardwood is, so let’s not give the human race too much credit. Earth 2 might be better off, because we probably wouldn’t be burning coal for 100 years and maybe the chemicals wouldn’t go into the rivers, etc., but I certainly wouldn’t expect any ecological utopia.
Q: I saw a grocery store the other day selling a patio set for $300. I do not know if this is a particularly good deal for a patio set, but who buys a patio set at a grocery store? This wasn’t a yuppie grocery store either, this was an old-school one. Quick and dirty. Is a patio set an impulse buy?
A: Was the patio set displayed by the register with the batteries and M&Ms? Because then it might be an impulse buy. Sometimes I think grocery stores have stuff just to fill up space. They are big stores. Got a little gap? How about a giant cage of balls? I’ve started seeing clothing with the town’s name on it–really? Milk, eggs, and a sweatshirt that says EXTON please. So, maybe the patio set just looks good to fill up the space in the summer. Maybe it reminds people–SH*T, I need charcoal, or something like that and if someone happens to be stupid enough to actually buy it? TREMENDOUS. If not, you just trot that thing out the next year at $325. That’s called inflation. Of course, maybe this is a really good deal and I don’t even know. Maybe people in the know buy ALL their furniture at Giant. I just googled “patio set,” and the prices range quite wildly. It seems like the grocery store isn’t all the way at the bottom of the list though. Certain outlets would be willing to put you in a patio set for as little as $199. This furniture will turn to dust the first time it rains and probably grow wildly contaminating mold all over it, but still–SAVINGS.