Thursday, April 1, 2010

On burgers, briefs, buffoons and bones

A few random thoughts:

I saw a story on the Internet this week clearly illustrating that some people have too much time on their hands and also are horribly misguided. A watchdog group called Corporate Accountability International is mounting a campaign to have Ronald McDonald removed as mascot of the fast-food chain bearing the same name, apparently because he is leading kids to potentially unhealthy fast food. Now, certainly, kids think Ronald is a pretty cool guy, and they're big on the Happy Meals, but Ronald isn't going to their houses and giving them rides to the Golden Arches. It's up to parents to decide whether their children get a Happy Meal or a Filet-O-Fish or a Big Mac and fries. We can only assume that Corporate Accountability International will be coming out in favor of the Hamburglar, with hopes that he will snatch cheeseburgers from the hands of children. What they should really do is just shut up.

When it comes to groceries, I'm very picky about what I buy. I'm not saying I only buy healthy foods, but that I make sure the junk that I'm putting into my body is top-quality junk. When it comes to clothes shopping, I'm not nearly so meticulous. Ask anyone who has seen how I dress. My inattention to detail proved to be a problem the other day. I was in the market for some underwear, so I went to the local store with the bull's-eye logo and checked out its offerings. I've always been a briefs guy, and when I spotted a six-pack of nice-looking, well-priced “sport briefs,” I tossed them in the cart. It was only when I got them home and tried on a pair that I noticed ... there's no hole in the front of these briefs. My underwear have always had holes in a useful place, so this has required a bit of an adjustment in my bathroom routine. The whole thing left me wondering, though. Do "sporty" people not go Number One all that often? And when they do go, do they maybe sit? Sorry. That's just how my twisted mind works.

No one does a better job of treating their viewers like drooling imbeciles than local TV newscasters. During prime time, they'll breathlessly run promos for their 11 o’clock news with teasers like this: “Is a serial killer stalking South Hills residents?” Then they'll come on at 11 and tell you that, no, it was a false alarm. I was actually just a raccoon going through people's trash cans. I exaggerate, but you get the drift. This next part is real. The other night, the irritatingly kooky Wendy Bell on WTAE was teasing an upcoming story about the Steelers’ preseason schedule. She said something about the Steelers facing “strange competition” next preseason and telling viewers to stay tuned to find out what “enemies” the black and gold would be facing. This really had me wondering. Would the Steelers perhaps be squaring off against the Colgate University lacrosse team? Canadian female curlers? The Bangladesh national badminton squad? Uh, no. Turns out they'll be playing a couple of teams they don’t normally play in the exhibition season. And what’s with this “enemies” stuff? Those preseason games are glorified practices. There's not enough anger or enmity in those so-called contests to fuel a go-cart. The real rage should come from season-ticket holders who have to pay top dollar for the right to attend those auditions for third-string tight ends.

Finally, let's talk about lunch meat. It never seemed odd to me when stores advertised “ham off the bone.” Real hams have a bone right down the middle, and one could easily imagine somebody carving lunch meat off of them. But last night on TV, I saw a Shop ’n Save ad touting turkey off the bone. Huh? Last time I checked, turkeys had lots of bones, and I couldn't think of one particular turkey bone that a butcher might be carving slices of lunch meat from. What's next? Bologna off the bone? Salami off the bone? Maybe head cheese off the bone? Just wondering.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate TV news. The catchphrase on WTAE is now "We did some digging and ..."

The first I noticed was that they dig some digging and found out ... that fall is a good time to have your furnace checked.

Next, after the February Blizzard, they did some digging and discovered that ... people were slipping on the ice and that icicles could fall from buildings and hurt you.

Maybe they can do some digging and discover that ... you don't have to do some digging to come up with things that everyone already knows.

As for fast food, parents -- if some clown was advertising marijuana and your kids suddenly wanted a joint, would you buy it? Same logic applies to food. You are the parent ... say NO! Last I knews, no kid has starved to death because his parents won't by him curly fries. But I'd better never catch you at Wendy's, or Taco Bell or Sonic.

The days of taking responsibility for yourself and the rasing of youir kids have been gone about 20 years as far as I can tell.

April 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Last night on the tube, one of the Pittsburgh stations was doing a promo in which they said, “We got both sides of this story ...” To which my wife said, “Wow, that is something different.”

April 1, 2010 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wondered about the "ham off the bone" product. I've never seen sliced ham on the bone at the deli counter, have you?

April 1, 2010 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

That's a good point. And wouldn't you think that if it really came off the bone, it wouldn't be totally round, but with no hole in the middle? Hmmm.

April 1, 2010 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I have a few pairs of those sports briefs... Since I leave for work before my wife wakes up, I often get dressed in the dark. This means that at least once per week, I accidentally put on the "no hole" shorts and it ruins my whole day starting with my first fumbling attempt at urination. I can't bring myself to throw away otherwise intact underwear, though...

But last week took the cake... Again, dressing in the dark... I put a normal pair of boxer briefs on BACKWARDS... Didn't realize until about 10 AM when I thought that I had worn the sport briefs, but they didn't have the soft, cushy waist band that I have come to know and love.

I must have it pretty good... literally, the WORST thing that happened to me last week was putting my drawers on backward.

April 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Athletes don't pee.

April 6, 2010 at 12:47 PM  

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