Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It's our fifth mailbag. We still have no idea what to call it.

What do you think, Mr. Burgundy?

Your questions...

What movie/TV quote do you use the most?

I find myself quoting Arrested Development a lot, mainly because it's the most quotable show since Seinfeld and I've watched it all the way through more times. My favorites to pull out are are GOB being indignant about his treatment despite the cost of his suits and basically anything David Cross says in the entire series. Other than that, it would be a tie between the following Anchorman quotes: "I'M IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION!" and "I'm kind of a big deal. People know me." I'm also partial to "You're out of your element, Donny" from The Big Lebowski but I don't have a chance to use it much.

Come on!

I remember a time when one of my friends was going to the store and another friend was like, “oh can you get me these vitamins. I’ll pay you back once you return.” And the person was like sure, saw the vitamins and they were like $40, way more expensive than you'd think, but like the guy was good for the money, so whatever, he got them, got paid back, fine.
The question is, what's the upper price limit in that scenario? And does this number change if the payback method is cash vs check vs online transfer, etc?

At Brandeis, we had a friend who was a celiac and therefore could not eat bread or pizza or more importantly drink beer. Of all non painful or life-threatening ailments, this is just about the worst thing I can imagine. I eat gluten constantly and have no idea how I'd alter my diet without it, but I digress. I was making a liquor store run, probably to stock up on good beer because I'm obnoxious and refuse to drink Coors and this friend asked that I pick up some gluten-free beer for her. Well I got there and saw the price, something like $9, and brought it to the register. It was at that point that I realized it was NINE DOLLARS PER BOTTLE OF BEER. Needless to say, I only got one bottle, because a $54 six-pack seemed like a bit much.

To answer your question, I think up to $20 would be fine without calling to confirm (and even in that 15-20 range, I might advise it), and more than that you should at least check. Payment method doesn't change anything for me, unless you need the money back immediately, in which case don't spot someone $40. And last, being a celiac really really sucks.

What's the food item that varies the most wildly in terms of how good it is when made by different people? My vote is chicken salad: one of my favorite lunch items when good, and inedible when bad.

Chicken salad is a really good answer, and egg salad for the exact same reason. I would say that eggplant parmesan is not nearly as inedible when poorly made, but the gap between bad eggplant parm and great eggplant parm is at least as wide as chicken salad because its high is so much higher. 

Why don't parents just understand?

I don't know, man. I just don't know.

Do you think there's a scientific basis to the feeling that time goes faster the older you get?

Yes and no. A year seems to go by faster because it's a much smaller proportion of your life. When you're 4, a year is 25% of your life, and when you're 50 it's 2%, but that doesn't totally account for it. I think we also learn to appreciate times with nothing as we get older, and that with less impatience, time can seem to go by faster.

How could the Spanish men's soccer team win the European Cup yet flame out in the first round of the Olympics in the same month?

They're very different teams. The Olympics plays with teams of players 23 and under (plus three older players per roster). It's the same reason I didn't really care that the US didn't qualify, even though I would have like them to, because the best team is reserved for World Cup and other international competitions. That Spain team's legacy won't be tarnished at all by this - World Cup and Euro's are a much bigger deal, and they've won the past 3.

How come horseshoes isn't an Olympic sport?

Because you don't want some 83-year-old guy in Sicily to dominate an Olympic sport (these guys would also boss bocce ball). I was going to contend that I don't care about sports where close matters, but I love the shit out of curling so that's untrue. It could be an Olympic sport, but we need baseball back first.

When did this POTUS/FLOTUS/SCOTUS thing start and why am I so annoyed by it?

The first I was aware of it was in the cold open to the pilot of the West Wing, and lately I've been very annoyed by anything to do with Aaron Sorkin (I can't even bring myself to hate-watch the Newsroom, and I LOVED hate-watching Studio 60). I don' t know why you're annoyed by it, but I have a feeling you're just a big hater.

Do you think the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies should have included a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes killed in a terrorist attack and bungled rescue attempt at the 1972 Munich Olympics?

I was mulling over writing a post about this, but Grantland ran an excellent piece about the IOC, politics and South Africa whose take, that the IOC is afraid of controversy, was too similar to mine. I think the IOC didn't want to make something political out of the never-ending pomp of the opening ceremonies, even if a moment of silence in remembrance of tragedy that happened at the Olympics should not have been considered a political statement. Just the fact that it involved Israel was treading too closely to infuriating other members, and the IOC has a phony narrative of squeaky cleanness and "amateur" sport as a conduit to cross-cultural understanding to uphold. Such myths are not uncommon. See also: FIFA with the World Cup, NCAA with everything, NFL with concussions, MLB with steroids, ad infinitum.

The idea that we should only remember things on anniversaries ending in zero is kind of strange to me, so it didn't particularly irk me that it was forgotten. I noticed that a lot of people on my Facebook feed felt pretty passionately about this, but then if you went by my feed Scott Walker would have received zero votes in the recall election, so I'm guessing it's skewed. There's no reason against observing a moment of silence, but it didn't surprise me or particularly bother me that it never happened.

Is there another sporting event/sports-related event better for haters than the Olympics?

The Olympics kind of have everything. They have the Opening Ceremony, which is like a 3 hour long Super Bowl halftime show, except somehow more over the top and way more annoying. They have countries, and any country other than the United States deserves my scorn and hatred. Even better, the Olympics have such ridiculous sports that gymnastics is pretty mainstream, and I can't get through a male floor routine without cracking up at least five times. OOOOOH WATCH HOW I SPREAD OUT MY ARMS AND LEAP TO THE CORNER IN AN ARTISTIC FASHION. WATCH HOW BADASS MY SPLIT IS!
Watch this clip...

How can you not hate on that? When the horse does the diagonal step-over move I lose my shit every time.

The absolute best reason for the Olympics being hater central is that there are judged sports. I know nothing about any of these sports - SYNCHRONIZED DIVING - but I can always hate on judges. They're the worst. Just thinking about how they screwed McKayla Maroney from her perfect score is making my blood boil. Let's move on.


Rhythmic gymnastics? Really?

Yes. A thousand times yes.

Thanks for your questions. Send 'em to Sean for next week.