25 Random Things

I typically avoid participating in Facebook chain letters, but I didn’t have much to do this evening and found writing 25 random facts, habits and opinions about myself to be an amusing challenge. As luck would have it, Facebook isn’t letting me save it as a note as the chain letter instructed, so I’m posting it here instead.

  1. I don’t drink coffee.
  2. I hate wedding receptions. If you invite me to your wedding and I RSVP yes, I’m lying. I’ll likely come up with an excuse to skip it at the last minute.
  3. One of the Indigo Girls gave me a disapproving look for wearing a Metallica t-shirt to one of their concerts.
  4. My favorite unexpected Las Vegas celebrity sighting is a three-way tie between Bono, Joe Rogan and Phil Giroux.
  5. I hate conflict but sometimes say things I know will annoy people and may lead to disagreements. What’s that all about?
  6. When I get stressed about work, I dream about the video store job I had in high school and college.
  7. Most of the funny things I say are slightly altered jokes from comedy albums in the late ’80s.
  8. My best friends in high school were girls, resulting in my voluntary attendance at three New Kids on the Block concerts.
  9. I sometimes get jealous of my dogs’ lives. That all goes away when they have to shit outside in January.
  10. My friend Cathy has referred to me as Mr. Bubby for the past 14 years, and I’m not really sure why.
  11. I’ve never lived more than 3.5 miles from my childhood home.
  12. I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through college, which means I’m no longer Catholic but have a thing for girls in plaid skirts.
  13. I think the popularity of mobile phones is the worst technological development of my lifetime.
  14. My favorite food was, is and probably always will be toast.
  15. For at least 12 years, my wallet has consisted of a rubber band. I get a new one about every four months.
  16. I miss the Mayte era of Prince’s career.
  17. I find few greater joys than sipping cocktails on my deck with my wife on warm Saturday nights with music from inside the house blasting, dogs playing in the yard and bunnies scampering in the distance.
  18. I had Minnesota Twins season tickets during a couple of their worst seasons. It ceased being fun when they became good and other people started showing up for the games.
  19. I have owned five cars: a Mercury Cougar, two Pontiac 6000s and two Buick LeSabres.
  20. I like swearing. Shit. Fuck.
  21. I really wish this list was only supposed to be 20 random things because it has taken me more than two hours to get this far.
  22. Several times in grade school, I was sent home after vomiting in class. Once I even yacked in the lunchroom, covering Jeff Robertson’s PB&J sandwich with my chunks. In high school, my vomiting moved from the classroom to social events. If I began to feel queasy, I typically went outside to spew. For some reason, I always convinced my friend Dave to come along. He saw me throw up several times. As an adult, I rarely vomit. When I do, it’s directly tied to careless drinking.
  23. When I meet people for the first time, I usually assume they’re idiots and let them try to prove that notion false. It saves a lot of time and disappointment.
  24. When I go to the bank, I’m paranoid security is watching me and thinking I’m about to rob the place.
  25. I had a monster crush on Jessica Alba until she did a movie with Dane Cook

Candy Corn Sucks

Last night, Michele and I got into a heated debate over the merits of candy corn. I proclaimed it one of the lowest forms of candy. Michele didn’t really disagree but defended it by insisting it can be mixed with peanuts and M&Ms to form a distant cousin of trail mix that tastes like a Salted Nut Roll. If you want something that tastes like a Salted Nut Roll, why not just buy a Salted Nut Roll? Candy corn be damned. 

Anyway, this got me thinking about the worst common Halloween giveaways from my youth. People who have ever given away any of the following “treats” on Halloween should be banished to hell forever.

  • Candy corn: See above. 
  • Pennies: If you’re one of those assholes who cleaned out his change jar every October by giving the neighborhood kids five pennies each, you’re a cheap motherfucker who deserved to have his house plastered with eggs. 
  • Fruit: Your good intentions of supporting healthy habits were wasted, hippie. I guarantee none of your tasty apples ever made it home before being discarded. Even though they’re packaged, raisins fall under this category. Nature’s candy, my ass.
  • Anything homemade: Handing out something you took the time and effort to prepare may have been a quaint practice in the 1960s, but by the early ’80s even bad parents recognized the harm in letting their kids eat your potentially tainted cookies.
  • Peanut Butter Chews: If you think no candy can taste worse than candy corn, put one of these chewy shit nuggets in your mouth. You’ll never want to trick-or-treat again.

Come for the Pie, Stay for the Pie

I’m a fan of all-you-can-eat restaurants. Stuffing one’s gut with endless amounts of food is as American as fake boobs, bottled water and SUVs. When I was a kid, trips to Shakey’s Pizza for slice after slice of pepperoni, sausage and Canadian bacon were a special treat. As an adult, I find great joy visiting the finest buffets in Las Vegas. There’s something that feels so right about something as wrong as eating to the point of near illness—for one relatively low price.

Unfortunately, the all-you-can-eat concept is spinning out of control. The first sign came during spring training, when the Minnesota Twins began promoting an all-you-can-eat section at the Metrodome. For $33, baseball fans can enjoy as many hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, pretzels, sodas and bags of popcorn as they can stand. Although engaging in this gluttonous display may bring some joy to the act of watching Carlos Gomez strikeout three times in one game inside a stadium that feels more like a Home Depot than a ballpark, I object. If you’re a true sports fan, you should be drowning your sorrow in giant plastic cups of Budweiser—not eating a baker’s dozen of Dome Dogs.

Even dumber is the latest promotion at Baker’s Square—a Midwest chain of family diners with substandard food and even worse service. The only redeeming thing about these joints is the pie. And apparently the restaurant chain’s brain trusts realize this. Last month, several BS locations in the Twin Cities painted their front windows with giant ads promoting all-you-can-eat pie for $5.99. How much pie can one person eat? It’s pie. I can’t imagine any scenario where someone would be inclined to down more than two—maybe, just maybe, three—slices. 

Somebody please stop this trend before people are lined up at McDonald’s for all-you-can-eat McRibs.