About the BloggerAndy Carpenter is a native Wisconsinite who also has spent time living in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Australia and now Hilton Head Island. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 2009, and has been known to moonlight as a copy editor, bartender, pirate, rowing coach and Green Bay Packers fan. | Email Andy
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More from The PreGame
"You don’t like shopping or large crowds or lines. But deadline’s over, Andy, and you don’t want to go home; this is your chance. And think of the deals. C’mon, this is Black Friday; drop some boom upside your Christmas shopping, bro,” Pope Benedict XVI said to me.
It would be so much more understandable if that’s how it went. Divine intervention! Except it wasn’t the pope talking, just my head. Convincing me to do something I’d professed to hating on principle in years past.
(Scene: Friends and esteemed guests are seated on chairs, bar stools and plastic patio chairs around a full Thanksgiving dinner table)
Andy: Wow, I can’t believe this is actually here. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody, and thank you for coming. I couldn’t be more pleased everybody accepted my invitation — well, except Aaron Rodgers, but he’s got better things to do today. Everything looks delicious, but before we start to eat, as is PreGame tradition, we need to go around the table and either say one thing we’re thankful for or draw a hand turkey.
For most of my life, the word "rookie" has referred to either a time of awkward -- and sometimes painful -- inexperience, or the best kind of baseball card.
During last year's oyster roast season, the former was much, much more apt.
Hailing from lands where seafood is a dish best served breaded and stickified, I found this whole oyster roast situation precarious to say the least. "Part of the culture," they said. "You have to try it; even if you don't like seafood, you'll love it," they said. I gave in. They had me at "it."
It may be early November, but The Season has awoken from its gift-wrapped slumber.
The other day, I was perusing an unnamed retail store for an unnamed something when the smooth Christmas beats of John Legend played on the store’s ambient soundtrack. Immediately, I was filled with the spirit of giving, warmth and goodwill toward man.
Immediately after that I was filled with impatient rage, for it was All Saints’ Day.
All Hallows’ Eve holds the top spot in my Holiday Power Rankings — and has for years, being only seriously challenged once, by the Thanksgiving following a semester of dorm food my freshman year of college.
Its reign of dominance is due to a number of factors, among them freshly harvested candy corn as well as the adjective “spook-tacular” in regular vernacular. But perhaps my favorite part of Halloween is the people-watching.
I try to avoid wielding a knife for a seed.
But I usually make an exception in October for the quintessential Halloween treat (discounting, of course, candy apples, pie, sugar products, razor blades wrapped in sugar products, Octoberfest beer and food coloring): pumpkin seeds. Now, I realize these are available year-round for purchase at the grocery, but the packaged variety just isn’t the same as the kind harvested fresh from the gourd.
I’m a firm believer that everyone, deep down, has a little pirate in them.
I promise I’m not trying to rip off a Captain Morgan ad, nor am I suggesting, for the love (and fear) of eyeliner, that everyone’s inner pirate is the kind Johnny Depp plays on the big screen. But I think there’s a small part of everyone that’s just begging to let loose and throw on an eye patch, exaggerate some R’s and purposely get a couple pronouns wrong here and there.
If there’s one thing I’ve been hoping for since I was a wee boy, it wasn’t a movie about Rock’em Sock’em Robots.
Thank you, “Real Steel,” for fully realizing that dream.
What bothers me isn’t that I think the movie, which comes out Friday, will be bad (I do). Or that it will lead to other dumb movies about children’s games (it likely will). Or even that I won’t be able to get my two hours back when I inevitably see it (sigh … they’re gone already).
It’s that Rock’em Sock’em Robots wasn’t even an entertaining game to play.
I can’t help it; it’s been drilled into me since the fifth grade:
“Shrimp.” Shrimp? Jumbo shrimp. Oxymoron.
Every English teacher from whom I’ve had the pleasure of learning figurative language has used “jumbo shrimp” as the designated example for an oxymoron. You see, because shrimp are inherently small, classifying some of them as jumbo — eliciting images of large boxes and/or cartoon elephants who are able to use their oversized ears to fly — leads to a contradictory juxtaposition that leads to silly laughs and overthought dinner orders.
When I tell people I spent a large portion of my childhood in Wisconsin, a topic that always seems to be brought up, after cheese and snow, is bratwurst. More specifically, its abundance, exaggerated to the point where we Wisconsinites use them as toothbrushes and emery boards.
Which is actually a mostly accurate description, except for the emery board part (we have Parmesan for that).