I live in the suburbs, which makes the SUPER market a big part of my life. I’m fairly particular about my grocery stores. How is their chicken selection? Does anyone work there who knows how to ice a donut? So, anyway, in these parts we are under a Wegmans invasion. Wegmans is a giant grocery store. They CRUSH the square footage statistics. And, they crush the competition as well. Wegmans is the Super Wawa and every other store is a feeble 7-11 with three parking spaces out front. I like Wegmans, because I like the room. Wegmans is like a well worn pair of relaxed fit khakis. Walk into a crowded Whole Foods and be prepared for a claustrophobic nightmare. I don’t necessarily think the food is better, but they do have some pretty excellent prices. It’s a VOLUME business. I just wish the store wasn’t so infatuated with itself. In the hours leading up to the hurricane I went to two different grocery stores. Don’t concern yourselves about why. At the first, they had virtually no water and bread. At Wegmans they were high on bread and had water everywhere you looked. Drink in our plentiful water supplies! They’d even marked it down to $2.99 a case. Your hurricane well being > our profit margins. We’re anti-gouging. SO WEGMANS. And, speaking of hurricane prep–the mail bag.
Q: I was out getting some hurricane supplies when I happened upon a large fellow who was loading the majority of the grocery store’s cake display into his cart. Halloween party or is that his no electricity menu? Reece S. Pieces, Atlantic City, NJ.
A: Can man survive on cake alone? It sounds to me like this guy was going to try. And, I respect that. It really is hell trying to plan a menu with no electricity. I tried to prepare myself, but if the power had gone out I would have been on a steady diet of peanut butter crackers and pretzels. Delicious, but hardly the building blocks for a whole meal. I saw a Today Show-style segment on what kinds of meals you could make with no power and the first suggestion was tuna and bean casserole. That was the FIRST suggestion. Can you imagine the options that didn’t make the list? If things get ugly–dive into the FANCY FEAST. Put me in a room with tuna and bean casserole and no electricity and there’s a decent chance I build an oven that runs on my own carbon dioxide before I eat that slop.
Q: I recently watched the pilot episode of Cheers. To my surprise, it was pretty good. I remember being bored to death by random Cheers reruns back in the day. Is this a sign I’m getting old, or was TV really solid back in the day?
A: Cheers is a solid show. It was before my time, but I’ve seen some episodes and it’s pretty sharp. I didn’t appreciate it as a kid and that’s because I was a grimy little moron. Here’s the deal. Back in the day certain shows were made solely for adults. And, not only that, kids acted like kids. I didn’t want to be all mature and sit down and watch Cheers. I’d rather PLAY PAPERBOY. There were certain adult shows, very popular ones that I despised. Play the theme song for MASH right now and I will get a sour look on my face. That’s universally regarded as one of the best TV shows of all-time, but I’ve never seen a single episode. There was nothing appealing to a kid about MASH. But, every day it would be on PHL 17 at 5:30 or something and you’d contemplate watching it, because you only had about eight channels. WE GOT CABLE LATE, OK? I’d say MASH and Taxi were two shows that I got angry at every time they rolled those opening credits. Can I have another Family Ties instead, please? I may have been the last generation that faces this phenomenon. It’s not like kids now sit there at 6:30 PM and have to decide between Seinfeld or A Current Affair. They can watch whatever, or hop on Twitter. Did I answer your question? Oh, you’re getting old. Deal with it. And watch Cheers. Get invested in Sam & Diane.
Q: Is unsubscribing from SPAM emails the hardest, easiest thing to do? Ken Yan Prince, Austin, TX
A: It’s up there. It took me a year to unsubscribe from Bleacher Report emails. Why did I ever sign up? I’d get SO EXCITED every time my phone buzzed, but then it’s just f*cking Bleacher Report. I don’t care! But, it’s a fleeting emotion. You move onto the next thing your tiny attention span mind can handle until the next time that email comes in, and then it’s back to BLIND RAGE. I got an email from Cole Haan the other day and I went on an internal tirade for twenty or thirty seconds. Why did I buy those sandals? They were so extravagant and yet less comfortable than a $25 dollar pair of Clarks. I don’t care if the calfskin hand crafted and butter massaged leather loafers are now down to $249, OK? Anyway, long story short, I didn’t unsubscribe. That’s what they count on. What other easy things are hard to do? Maintaining a clean toothpaste nozzle? Saying no to the Dead Sea salts lotion weirdo in the mall aisles? Um, how about lifting the toilet seat? Or, replacing a divot on a golf course. I could probably go on for quite some time. Spam is king, though. I’ll concede. I have to be very offended to unsubscribe, otherwise I’ll keep holding out for that one pertinent email. I’m expecting it in June, 2017.
***Whoa, Picture bag Interlude**
Q: Is sorbet and sherbet the same thing? I honestly have no idea. Trip Scoop, Berwyn, PA.
A: I have no idea. You may be asking the wrong person, because first of all, I prefer the “sherbert,” spelling. No one wants to say sure-bit, you want to say, “Rainbow SURE BERT.” Also, there may have been a couple of days in my youth when I thought “sore-bay” was just the correct pronunciation for sherbert. That doesn’t make sense, of course, but think about “bologna,” and maybe I have an argument? Some words are weird. Draught beer? You can’t be expected to know these nuances as kid. You have to leave a little room for the world to broaden you. But, getting back to the question, all I know is that they are NOT the same thing. Sherbert is for smearing on your face during a summer birthday party. Sorbet is for CLEANSING THE PALATE. So right there, we’re talking about two different things. After a quick Google check, it turns out the main difference is that sherbert contains some dairy products, while sorbet does not. So, maybe someone who is lactose intolerant can fill us in on the rest of the details.
Q: I recently went on vacation with a friend who explained to me that sports is the universal language. I have to admit, I didn’t buy it – at first. After a week of being shut-out of every conversation because sports was the topic around which everyone (except me) could engage, I now believe that sports is the universal language – and I need some lessons. And, to that end, how late is too late to develop a sports persona? How do I get in the game and know which teams are the best match for me? Balsar Dumm, Richmond, VA.
A: I think I agree with your original thought. Sports is not the universal language. It’s English, right? That sounds like something a sports fan would say. There is something about sports that can break down barriers, but you could say the same for music, or other types of art, or food, or most anything about which people show interest. I’ve been in similar situations. I once spent almost an hour with two guys who talked only about refinancing their mortgages. I wanted to do harm TO MYSELF. But, sports is a big one, it’s up there with reality TV as something that most people are expected to know a few facts and figures. I was lucky. I was like one of these children who learns 4 languages by the time the time they can stroll into pre-school without a diaper. It’s easier to learn things when you are a kid, and that’s when I got a foundation in all the major sports. I don’t even remember learning the rules. It just absorbed into my adorable little melon. I wrote a while back about snobs, sports snobs being one category, and they hinder the growth of the adult sports fan, because they make you feel like you need to know everything IMMEDIATELY. You will ruin the entire afternoon with one innocent (likely also stupid) question. If you want to tackle sports, it’ll help to find a benevolent mentor who can watch games with you and field those questions. I’d start with one sport. Try to watch some games, then tune into ESPN every once in a while. They will show you the best plays. You’ll start to recognize names. You’ll see interviews. You’ll naturally like, or dislike certain athletes. You may take an interest in one, or in a team. That’s kind of how it starts. It’ll be a commitment, though. As far as which team? Geographic association is the best way to go, because sports are very provincial. The people you interact with on a daily basis will likely be invested in that team. Or, if your chosen sports mentor has a favorite team, it might not be a bad idea to jump on that bandwagon. But, if you are unattached, you can choose any team. YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION. The important thing is staying loyal. I’d sit down and watch the NFL one Sunday. You’ll see one player you like. Maybe he made a spectacular play, or maybe he just looks really good IN HIS UNIFORM and you could adopt that team. Go in with an open mind and try to not let the snobs get you down. But don’t buy that universal language horsebleep. Next time just throw a temper tantrum until they change the subject. The universal language is whatever everyone in that particular room can talk about.
Q: Shouldn’t there be a mandate which states that if a city’s football team plays in a dome then so should it’s baseball team? Or if the baseball team can suck it up and play outdoors then so too should it’s football team? The situation in Detroit and Minnesota immediately come to mind. Skigh Dohm, Toronto, CA.
A: This is an interesting thing to take issue with. I can see the argument that no baseball team should play in a dome, or no team at all, but I’ve never heard the same city/same roof theory. I think at most, a baseball stadium, or BALLPARK, if I’m being super pretentious should have a retractable roof. You really need grass for baseball, where I think football is completely fine playing on “field turf,” or whatever they call the fake stuff now. And, as far as I know, you still can’t really grow grass in a dome. The Astrodome proved this for all eternity. So, baseball has its share of weather related domes in Seattle, Toronto, Miami, Arizona, etc. The Diamondbacks would draw even fewer fans, earn slimmer profits, if they played outdoors in the summer heat. The football Cardinals, though, were fine playing for years outdoors in the enviable Arizona winters. That brings us to the bottom line–cash. Lambeau Field may have its history and “frozen tundra,” but when it came time to build a new stadium in Detroit they wanted that roof to keep everyone’s wallet warm in the club section. Don’t forget that a dome also means you could host a Super Bowl, or a Final Four. I’m sure they’d love to have a Final Four in Chicago, but there’s no roof on Soldier Field. I get that a dome in a place like Indianapolis feels especially soft, but I can’t support the theory of more domes for baseball and I don’t feel strongly enough to demand everyone play outdoors.
No, Thursday night picks as of now. I suppose the brain trust is scared away by this signature pile of AFC West garbage. Big night for Philip Rivers. If you can’t blow out the Chiefs at home, it’s time to head to Canada. Rivers would OWN the CFL.