It’s Fall, time to clear out my inbox of summer ideas that didn’t make it to full-fledged stories but seem too good to simply abandon. So, here are those ideas, still half-baked but just like half-baked cookies, taste yummy in their own right. Please, sit back and enjoy them.
Item 1: This Year’s “New” Movie “Rating”
Yes, “thanks” to these crazy, scary COVID times, there’s a new notice accompanying movie reviews. It’s Not R, It’s Not X, but it’s scary as hell.
“Please consult the CDC guidelines before watching movies in theatres.”
Now, if that’s not a message that screams “Rush right out and buy a ticket,” I don’t know what does!
By-the-by, has anybody gone into a movie theatre yet? Do tell! What was it like?
Handsome Hubby and I love going to the movies. It’s one of our favorite weekend treats. Catch a late afternoon movie. Stuff ourselves silly on popcorn. Go for a long walk afterward complete with handholding and window-shopping. Have dinner out with friends. Then, hang out at our favorite pool hall complete with some friendly wagering and a little trash-talking. Oh, those were the good-old-days! Not really. It was just six months ago. Still, it seems like forever ago.
Item 2: The Long, but NOT the Short of It
My hair has grown shaggy long during these salon-less months of sheltering in place, but nothing compared to a man named Joseph Grisamore.
Grisamore has been growing his hair out since 2013. Recently he set the world record for tallest mohawk, at 42.5 inches.
I’m unhappy because it takes me 15 minutes to blow dry and do what I generously call “style” my hair. And also I gripe and moan when once a month I have to sit still while hair color is applied to cover up the gray!
But Joseph says it takes 60-90 minutes to make his hair stand on end — that plus six cans of hairspray!
Honestly, just looking at Joseph’s hair makes my hair stand on end! I wonder how he gets through doorways. Does he bow first? Is his hair sharp? Does it qualify as a lethal weapon? I bet it makes his mother’s heart bleed!
I also thought the scientific intel would make a good story for you all, but I got sick to my stomach gorging on the details. So, I’ll spare you all the gastronomical info.
But here’s the summary: The world’s “best” hot dog eaters can outeat a grizzly bear or a coyote, but fall behind, far behind, a wolf or a Burmese python.
And based on mathematical calculations, the maximum number of hot dogs a human could theoretically consume in 10 minutes is 83.
As for me, I’m starting small. I’m sticking to M&Ms — plain, not peanut. I’ll hot doggit later. Much later.
And, oh yes, the winners of this year’s (virtual) Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest were: Joey Chestnut, who broke his own world record by downing 75 hot dogs (with buns) in 10 minutes and, for the women, Miki Sudo, who also set a women’s record, chomping down 48.5 franks.
Item #4: “Cream Cheese Conundrum”
This item I subtitle, “Sweating the Small Stuff.”
Do you read Miss Manners? I do. The column frequently makes me laugh. However, one particular reader’s query, dated July 30,2020, had me howling. I quote:
“How does one spread cream cheese on a bagel? Assuming the bagel is cut in half, does one spread cream cheese on an entire half of the bagel? Or is a bagel treated as, say, a dinner roll, where one butters only the pieces that one breaks off? I’m afraid that my family didn’t come across bagels in the old country, so this has us a little mystified. (I admit I have been treating it as dinner bread — it seems less gauche than buttering an entire half-bagel.) I await your answer with bated breath. There’s a very nice bagel shop across the street, and I will enjoy it so much more when I know how to eat the bagels properly.”
I’m sorry, but SERIOUSLY, this is what’s on your mind in the midst of a pandemic and political turmoil? This is what you require guidance about?
God bless the writers of the Miss Manners column, who answered this preposterous question with aplomb and dignity, beginning with the words “Either method you describe is indeed proper, depending on whether you consider it a piece of bread or a sandwich.”
However, I am from the old country (countries) from whence bagels hail and I offer a more down-to-earth reply:
For God’s sake, cream cheese is a shmear. Just shmear it. Add some lox. Some white fish. Some onions. Enjoy. Don’t worry so much. Just eat. Cream cheese conundrum? Cream cheese shmundrum!
Falling into Fall Finale
And now, I must close. My inbox is empty and my tummy is too. All this writing about hot dogs, bagels, and cream cheese (and even popcorn) is making me hungry. Nostalgic too. I’m longing for the carefree days of my NYC childhood when the only thing you ever caught was a cold! I need comfort food STAT. While I won’t break a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition record, a frank and bun with sour kraut and beans on the side sound heavenly. Of course, I need to get some sort of vegan option for Handsome Hubby, but such are the times. Such are the times. Yes, I’m ready to fall into Fall, head over heels, or is belly first?