Things I Don’t Understand, Pt. 6

21 11 2008
To celebrate the holiday spirit, here’s some of my least-understood holiday traditions

1. Pie at Thanksgiving
I’m probably gonna take flak for this one, but hear me out. On Thanksgiving day, we eat a variety of foods. Turkey, corn, beans, cranberries, pumpkin, apples, and the list goes on. We eat these foods because they’re traditional. They’re traditional because that’s what they ate at the first Thanksgiving. They ate them at the first Thanksgiving because that’s what they had growing naturally in America at the time. But not pie. Pie crust is made with flour. Native Americans weren’t known for their ample supplies of flour. Corn, yes, but no one eats pumpkin pie with a corn crust. It’s delicious, and it’s traditional, but if you think about, it just doesn’t make sense.

2. Fruitcake
While I’m ragging on festive foods, I’ll take a shot at fruitcake. Everyone hates it. Even people who like it can’t stomach a whole thing. People buy them as gag gifts sometimes, but have you ever seen someone laugh when they open a present and it contains a fruitcake? It’s the thought that counts, but if the gift is fruitcake, the thought is irrelevant. There is no excuse for fruitcake.

3. Mistletoe
I feel no need to explain this, but I will anyways. Mistletoe is a hemi-parasitic, poisonous plant which people enjoy hanging in doorways and making out under. It’s an old tradition and it makes no sense. The only kiss-ish thing about mistletoe might be the hemi-parasitic thing (it’s a parasite that is fully capable of surviving on its own if it wants), and that really only applies to some high school couples and newlyweds (and I’m not sure the “hemi” applies to those high school couples). So essentially, it involves mimicking a plant which you walk under. I think next year I’ll hang a Venus Flytrap over my door and anyone who walks under it has to eat a bug. It’s festive!

4. Yule Logs
Also known by its other name, the “Great Ashen Faggot”, it’s a log. That you burn. On Christmas. Why this is more special than any other log you might burn on Christmas remains a mystery. It supposedly has something to do with the Norse god Thor, but Thor does lightning. And comic books. Not logs. So this tradition doesn’t quite seem to fit…

And so I’m not run out of town for insulting holidays, here’s some of the usual stuff.

5. Meatloaf
Nearly all American kids are subjected to this dish at some point during their childhood. If you’re one of the few who are unfamiliar with it, it’s composed of ground beef, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and sometimes vegetables or cheese, mushed together into a pulpy mixture and baked into a loaf, then slathered in ketchup (or catsup, if you prefer). So essentially, it’s a hamburger that someone beat the crap out of and then smooshed into a pan to give it the loaf shape. What doesn’t make sense is why someone would be sitting there, enjoying a delicious hamburger, and thinking to themself, “You know, this would be so much better if it was mushy, and baked, and coated in an unnecessary amount of ketchup, and if I needed a fork to eat it”

6. Mountain Dew Spin-Off Nomenclature
Mountain Dew’s name is a bit of a stretch as is, as it’s not anything like actual dew and is based out of New York, which is definitely not a mountain. Putting that aside, the spin-off flavors all have stupid names. For example:
Code Red (Cherry MD) – This one makes the most sense, since it’s red-colored and all. I’ll give them this one.
Live Wire (Orange MD) – This is where the stupidity begins. Live wire? Is this a subtle way of saying I’ll be “shocked” by how good it is? That drinking it will be an “electrifying” experience? That the high levels of caffeine will leave me feeling “wired”, with a “buzz” that will keep me awake?
Pitch Black (Grape MD) – It’s not even black-colored. It’s purple.
Supernova (Strawberry Melon MD) – A supernova is a star that is exploding. Ergo, when I drink something called “supernova”, I fully expect my lower jaw to melt and drip off my face into a tooth-filled puddle on the floor. Instead, it’s served chilled over ice. “Absolute zero” would apply here. That took me two seconds, and I did it for free. Meanwhile, a team of highly paid marketing experts got together for several months, and the best name they could come up with was “supernova”. Nice work, guys. Bonus checks all around.
Voltage (Raspberry Citrus MD) – See Live Wire above
Revolution (Wild Berry MD) – This name brings up images of Pancho Villa, Che Guevara, and V for Vendetta. The one thing these dudes had in common: Mustaches. Revolution would thus be a good name for the potion from Willy Wonka that makes you grow large amounts of facial hair. For a sugar-laced drink marketed towards “x-treme” clean-shaven teenagers, not so much.

7. Nerf Guns
When you shoot someone with a real gun, they bleed and die. When you shoot someone with a Nerf gun, everyone laughs and has a good time. When you pistol whip someone with a real gun, they bleed and die. When you pistol whip someone with a Nerf gun, everyone laughs and has a good time. No, wait. They bleed and die. It seems like we’re sending mixed messages to the kids here. Why aren’t the butt ends of Nerf pistols made of foam or something? You can’t imply that a Nerf gun is a safe alternative to a real gun when using it like a real gun can sometimes still kill someone. That’s like saying a dog is completely housebroken, but if he drinks the right liquids, he will still pee all over your duvet.

8. Bottled Iced Tea
Tea is traditionally served hot. For summer weather or those who don’t like hot drinks, there’s iced tea. And for those who are on the go, there’s “bottled iced tea”. Which is never true, because for it to be bottled iced tea, there would have to be ice cubes in the bottle. And the cubes would melt during shipping. So it can’t be both bottled and iced. It can be bottled cold tea, but that sounds stupid.

9. Bonsai
Bonsai is the Asian art of planting a tree in a really small pot and then trimming it as it grows, so that you wind up getting a really small tree. It looks really cool, but it’s a weird process. It’s sort of like Chinese foot binding, but with the whole tree, not just the roots. It’s more like dressing a baby in baby clothes, but then forcing it to wear baby clothes for the rest of its life, while you use sandpaper to file down whatever grows too big for the tiny singlet.

That’s all I got for now.

-dave




Things I’ve Heard, Pt. 2

13 11 2008

In the latest issue of Cedars, the Cedarville University student newspaper, the entire back page was dedicated to student responses (sent in via email) to our new president-elect, Barack Obama.  Below, I critique the ones that stuck out to me.

1.  No Words

There are no words to describe it, short and sweet.  “A dream come true.”  God is in control.

Wait, if there were no words (short and sweet or not), why do you then go on to list a few words?  That … That makes no sense.

2.  Yes We Can

Yes we did.

I had to include the Bob the Builder reference …

3.  Checks and Balances

America got what she wanted… CHANGE.  Obama, Pelosi and Reed now control the executive and legislative branches, and the possibility of the judicial branch through Obama’s nominations… so much for checks and balances!  I’m glad God is sovereign, especially even when things don’t make sense!

Very observant.  America would have gotten change either way.  Additionally, I’m pretty sure we still have checks and balances, regardless of who’s in the branches.  You can’t just take away checks and balances, that’s kind of the concept of The Constitution.

4.  Zimmerman/Thompson ’12

I put down myself and my roommate as write-ins.  Even though Obama is technically the winner, I’m still hoping that works out for us.  Zimmerman/Thompson ’12!!!!

Kristi, you’re famous!  Oh, by the way, Dave wrote this from your email account, that’s why you don’t remember writing it ;).  Words of wisdom: never leave your computer unattended.  Also, you guys should probably give up now.  You don’t stand a chance against the unstoppable force of the Cox/Laird ‘012 train!

5.  Antarctica

I’m moving to Antarctica.  Anybody wanna come with me?

We’re holding you to that.  You and everyone who claims they’re moving to Canada, Africa, and … anywhere out of the country.  Actually, Dave has a bona fide list.  You’ve got two months after Obama’s sworn in to get out or he’s reporting you to homeland security.  So there.

6.  9/11 Comparisons

Obama, the new president-elect, has made history and I respect that immensely.  However, those at Cedarville that try to elevate the significance of this historical event to the same importance of events like 9/11 are horribly misguided.

I completely agree.  Why would you even compare the election to 9/11?  They’re on two completely different spectrums.  One involved terrorists slaughtering countless innocent Americans.  The other involved the majority of the country picking one man to be their new president.  So any connection that might be there is one you made up.  Probably on your connecting flight to Antarctica.

7.  Christian Responses

While I didn’t vote for Obama, I am frustrated by responses I’ve heard from some Christians, referring to people who didn’t vote for John McCain as ignorant and uninformed.  Just because someone votes differently than you doesn’t mean they’re ignorant.

Preach it!  Please refer to the stupidity in this article for a few examples.

8.  Voting by Skin Color

I’m excited about having a black president for the first time in America history, but I think that the way some people voted and talked indicated that we as a nation still have not reached the point where people are not judged by skin color.

Although I think that it’s cool to have an African American president, it really bothers me that he may be the first president who might not have wont he election but for the color of his skin.

Two people both posted on the same issue.  Obama is clearly our new president simply because he’s black.  It has nothing to do with his policies, or how sick our country is of our previous Republic president, or how horrible the alternative (John McCain) was.  Here’s the thing though.  People say Obama wouldn’t have won if he was white, and he was the “first president to win based on race”.  Well, I’d bet money that Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have won if he was black.  So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

9.  Don’t Trust the Promises

Obama will crush the poor and middle class.  Taxes on “the rich” (that nebulous arch-enemy trotted out by progressives seeking power) will be passed on to the consumer through raised prices, downsizing and layoffs, plus outsourcing.  Don’t believe his promises.

Yes.  Taxing the rich means higher prices.  Because taxing the poor to the point they that can’t afford things and the demand decreases while the supply remains the same could never affect prices.

10.  First African American President

I am first, and foremost, disappointed that Senator McCain did not win the presidential race.  However, “America voted” and chose Barack Obama to be our next president.  We have our first white, black, and Arab president!

I first and foremost would like to know why you put quotation marks around “America voted.”  I can’t stand it when quotation marks are used unnecessarily.  And … Wait, Obama is Arab?  That’s news to me.  I thought he was our first African American president, not Arab.  Now I’m just confused.  Or you’re just a moron.  Yeah, that’s the one.

11.  Hope

Hope.

Apparently the less words you provide, the bigger the font they use.  Seriously, this one was the largest quote, in the middle of the page.  And the “Yes we did” one wasn’t much smaller.

12.  Misbehaving Child

Like a parent whose child has just misbehaved, I still love America, yet dislike its behavior at this time.  The election of Barack Obama signals a cardinal change in American voting behavior from voting on what a candidate represents, to voting based on who a person represents.

I included this specifically because, not only do I love Brad, but he is also one of the few that actually proofread their emails before sending it to Cedars.  High five!





Things I’ve Seen, Pt. 4

12 11 2008

We really went all out for you this time.  We’ve got eight things we’ve seen that don’t completely square with reality.  Enjoy!

1.  Writing Papers

... Don't go to them for grammatical help

... Don't go to them for grammatical help

Every poster in the Lower SSC is grammatically correct except for the one offering to help you with your papers!  Where’s the question mark?!

2.  Rubik’s Cube

It exploded ...

It exploded ...

I know, this isn’t that unusual for an old Rubik’s Cube, but I wanted to include it.  Apparently my cube was having a bad day, because it literally just broke apart in my hands while I was solving it.  And it was so young … *sniff*

3.  Turn Me On

A forward piece of equipment

A forward piece of equipment

Will do.  My only question is, who is Number 6?  It sounds like a name out of Austin Powers or something.  Actually, that would be fitting in the context.

4.  Illiterate Menu

How do YOU spell quesadilla?

How do YOU spell quesadilla?

(Compliments of the lovely Krista Goodman.)

Phonetically, they basically got it right.  But phonetics probably won’t win you a Spelling Bee.

Also, Roast Beef is two words.  Roast would be the adjective describing what kind of beef it is.  Nice job, guys.

5.  Indecisive Chinese Place

one-of-the-best-chinese

The best, just not legally

Well, which is it?  This Chinese restaurant must have low self esteem.  Either that or, after eating their free meal, their lawyers told them, “You’re going to want to add this line, trust us.”

6.  Box of Gluten

box-of-gluten

Got Gluten?

Why would you ever need a whole box of Gluten?  I guess I never really cook, so there’s probably some viable reason.  I just found it even more amusing because one of my friends is a Celiac, and my roommate and I were joking about getting her a box of pure Gluten … A few days later, lo and behold, our wish is granted!  (Don’t worry, Megan.  We didn’t get it.)

7.  Apple Crash

I found it amusing when the Operating System told me to panic.  Hey, if Apple doesn't know what happened, what hope do we have?  (For all your nerds out there who care, you can't install Leopard on a G3 Processor.)

Panic is acceptable

You know it can’t be good when the Operating System tells you to panic.  I mean, the Operating System is what’s supposed to always give the appearance of happy to the user so they don’t panic!  If Apple doesn’t know what’s going on, what hope do we have?

(To all you nerds out there who want to know what the problem was, you can’t install Leopard on a G3 Processor.)

8.  Never Settle

Dave and I find it ironic that the lid of this water bottle says "Never Settle."  Really?  But ... It's a water bottle.  If you want a drink, water is about as "settling" as you can get.  So, everytime you're thirsty and you bust our your water bottle for a drink, you're instantly encouraged to drink something else ... ANYTHING else.

Never settle for water

Here’s a little quiz.  What is the most common substance held by a water bottle?  That’s right: water.

Griffin has this tag in the lid of his water bottle that says “Never Settle.”  That’s probably a good way to get you to go out and do something with your life, but did they ever stop to think about the immediate consequences of this phrase?  Your bottle is filled with water.  Water is about the most settled you can get.  So, everytime your thirst overwhelms you and you pop the lid for a drink, you’re instantly encouraged to close the lid and drink something else.  That makes sense.

But, hey, at least they already got you to buy the $30 bottle.  Sucker!

-alex