They were once called appetizers and now called starters. I am not sure how other countries serve starters, but I see the trend of the starter selections growing larger and larger on restaurant menus.  It’s all based on math and profit making. If you order two or three appetizers or starters, that adds up to more than an entrée meal. A lot of diners will feel cheated that they didn’t’ order an entrée so they order one and bring it home. Americans like to eat until they explode and this trend fills the coffers of the restaurant owners. There will be a time when the starters outnumber the entrées. The minority will be the majority. The majority will have no more power hold on the menu and the likes of stuffed mushrooms will rule the day. The days of cocktail wieners is long gone and now you find things like burnt ends and roasted brussel sprouts. This sounds ingenious because the items that were once left in the garbage or dog food bowl have been dressed up as a starter.  I went out dining the other night and saw mac n cheese on the starter menu. Mac n cheese has grown up…no longer is it cheesy goo in a cardboard box. The starters are the entrees in some restaurants… so where do we go from here? Will the new starters be cocktail olives and celery sticks with pimento cheese?  The future is wide open.

Alternative Facts

These two words were never put together until a political pundit and government crony, Kellyanne Conway used them to describe the turnout for President Trumps inauguration. The press was certain the crowd was quite underwhelming compared to previous ceremonies and that is when the two words made their first appearance.  We can now thank the mass media for allowing this new term to survive catchy phrase extinction. The term has certainly been copyrighted and you need to pay someone to use it. I even found myself using the term when my wife had me cornered in a quarrel that was going nowhere. I threw out, “You just have alternative facts.”  She threw it back in my face, “It’s you with alternative facts.” She now uses “Alternative facts” against me by replacing it with “You have A-D-D.” as a last resort go-to in an argument.  I don’t really like either but until she finds a better one, I’m stuck with “alternative facts.” That is where we are at as a society. A couple of words can dismiss an argument by declaring, “alternative facts”, “altered reality” or “I don’t recall.”  I’m just waiting for the next set of words to come around that politicians, criminals and lawyers say that really mean a lie was just told. 


Body Hair, To Be or Not to Be

Sometimes I envy those fellows who have decided that body hair will never be an issue to worry about. They will let all of their hair that grows on the body go unattended until further notice. This includes all ear, nose, back, neck, face, pubic and chest hair. And how can I forget, eye brows. Most men don’t have to worry about eye brow hair, but I have seen plenty that could sure use a little manscaping.

I think if you let it all go unattended for a great length of time you will begin to look repulsive to most of the opposite sex. Unless of course you can find a partner who either has a fetish for this or is a natural person.

 I wonder about the men who grow their sideburns so long that they can comb it into their regular scalp hair. Don’t they know this look went out in the 1890’s. When I see nose hair that grows into a mustache I wonder if the guy owns scissors or a mirror. I myself have to fight ear hairs that can go undetected for weeks until they sprout out to a length that look like antennas.  Chest hair is usually the last thing that gets trimmed. Most guys don’t have enough to worry about.  But when it starts growing above your shirt collar it is time to put to rest the werewolf look.  Unless you like to undo the top buttons and wear gold chains then what is the point?  Back hair has its own classification. When a guy with a hairy back whips off his shirt at the pool…just wait a few seconds until the eyes of judgement reign upon him. Poor bastard must be given credit for the bold move. 

Lastly, we have the pubic area which is not as critical because it comes down to one thing.  Does the hair cover up your manhood so much it is missing in action?  If so, be careful not to rush too quickly into battle.  There are choices to be made, such as scissors, electric trimmers, wax, Nair and matches.  I don’t recommend matches because the smell of burning hair is horrendous.  I go with the electric trimmer until I feel safe enough that skin is nowhere near cutting blades. Like I said before, you can bypass all of the body hair correctness by going full manly manliness, but I warn of the consequences. 


Fast Food Menus

Fast food establishments are trying so hard to be all things to all people. When you walk into one of these chains the first thing you notice is the wall to wall menu. For Chrissakes, there are four hundred choices. Don’t they know the reason why we are here? It’s to get a damn meal and get the heck out of there and hopefully nobody sees us. When you tell somebody you ate there look how they judge you. So what, I like Big Macs… shoot me.

      Why do they serve all the different kinds of salads? This is just a waste of time and money.  Give the people what they want, a dollop of grease and fat with a healthy dose of salt. I don’t go to Jack in the Box for a limp looking salad containing a mealy orange tomato served in a plastic container. If I do order a salad at a burger joint, then I must be trying to ward off a guilt complex about my decision to order an extra-large offering of French fries. The secret phrase at McDonalds is, “Go Big.” This command allows you to get a bucket of soda and large shipment of fries for a fraction of the cost.

      Please, fast food management people, condense the menu. I don’t know why there needs to be fifteen different versions of an egg sandwich and twenty different hamburgers. Decide on the weight; a quarter pound, a third pound or two ounces. Make fast food easy, no math. And lastly, the menu at the drive-through is also too long. You don’t want to be sitting in your car waiting behind the mini-van with screaming kids who just want the toy. Then you see the parent trying to reason with them about their choices. “But honey, you should have a juice box instead of a chocolate shake.”  Hey, van mom! they get a darn chicken nugget meal and let’s get movin’.  I’m done with your exhaust fumes.” Let’s make fast food fast again. 

Coffee Madness

I was at Starbucks the other day, standing in line ready to order my usual, Vente (which means large in Starbuck code) and room for Half n Half. I noticed they raised the price to two dollars and seventy-five cents. As a society we have excepted that a simple cup of java has reached extortion level pricing. What should only cost twenty-five cents is now jacked up in cost by adding presentation and performance which increases our beverage price ten-fold. The proof of this presents itself when you buy their coffee at the grocery store and brew it at home. It turns out that the cost of two large cups of coffee bought at a Starbucks shop is equal to about fifty cups brewed at home. My point here is that, when you go into a Starbucks or some other chain, it’s not about coffee. You are paying for the surroundings, the sights, the smells and the sounds of patrons reeling off silly concoctions to a Barista.  Barista is a term that never existed before all of this nonsense began with chain coffee shops. You have to watch the all-mighty barista conjure up everybody’s beverage while you stand there asking yourself, “why do I always end up here?” I’d rather have a lady named Betsy wearing her waitress uniform pour me unlimited dollar coffee. Call me cheap or old fashioned but deep down you agree with me, but a mass of the population can’t help ordering a “Grande soy latte with a pump of caramel. That will be five fifty please!” 

Yes, a latte or a cappuccino cost you more than a gallon of gas and won’t get you as far. You see folks fueling up with enormous amounts of caffeine before they can get into traffic.  This mix of frustration and a stimulating liquid results in bad decisions made behind the wheel. Have you looked at the drivers in the diamond lane during commute time?  There are a lot of drivers giving the big middle finger to the requirements of the commuter lane.  There is the usual offering of electric and hybrid cars but when you see a truck with a camper shell come barreling down the road with one lone driver you figure either that guy is late for work or he really has to pee.

We love our coffee and along with all our prescription drugs, diet aids, sleeping tablets, boner pills and a vast array of mind-altering substances. Where is all this leading us?  Starbucks figured it out a long time ago. Give the public a place to meet with soft lighting, swanky music and have youngsters with nose rings serve you. It all seems so harmless while you get hooked on the whole show. That will be two bucks for your tall coffee which is really their smallest coffee. See how it works? Reality is distorted but you except it.