Oddly Enough Blog

News, but not the serious kind

If it’s bumpy, best be jumpy…

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If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy spending too much time around hand grenades. So when I see a photo like this, I am both amazed and curious at the wide variety. I guess grenades are kind of like doughnuts, where there used to be just one flavor, but now there are dozens. This has got to complicate life more than you’d like.

Our great journalists who cover that part of the world tell me this guy appears to have fragmentation, offensive and sound grenades, which is a lot to remember when stuff starts happening and you really don’t want to hurl the wrong kind. I hope they have an easy-to-follow Grenade Guide you can carry in your pocket, or maybe some helpful memory aids or something. 

“Let’s see,  if it’s brown, it’s for sound, if it’s bumpy, best be jumpy… Green! What rhymes with green!”

grenades-300.jpgA policeman stands guard at the entrance of Imam Abbas in Kerbala, 70 miles south of Baghdad January 15, 2008. REUTERS/ Ceerwan Aziz

The long and winding rodent…

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Blog guy, since the “Year of the Rat” is about to begin, it seems to me that you need to do a better job of keeping us up on rodent news. That’s why many of us come to your blog.

Hmmm, that explains quite a bit. It happens that rodent stories are cropping up all over in connection with food. We have photos of the rat plate special at an eatery, to go with a story called No ratatouille on menu, but plenty of rat. I also find recent shots of grilled rats in Vietnam, but you don’t want to see those here, trust me.

It’s easy to tell the drinkers by their teeth…

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Hey, Blog Guy. I just got a nice new bottle opener for Christmas, and it made me curious to know how they open beers in other countries?

I am touched by your abiding interest in other cultures. In some places, they prefer opening bottles the natural way. Of course, most people can only use that method 32 times before they run out of teeth. After that, I suppose they switch to cans.

Got Haggis? Happy entrails to you…

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A frequent topic here is “Stuff you Wouldn’t Put in your Mouth for a Million Dollars.” This brings us to a Reuters story about haggis, a Scottish dish which is basically a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs wrapped inside its stomach lining. In other words, sort of like a turducken gone terribly wrong.

The U.S. has banned imports of haggis. Scotland wants to get the ban lifted, because supposedly Scottish people living here really want to buy the stuff. If you live in heavily Scottish areas of the U.S., this will explain the long lines at the butcher counters in Piggly Wiggly, as shrill bagpipers demand a haggis fix.

Are you stupid enough to sign?

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We ran a story about this tavern whose chicken wings are so spicy, folks who order them have to sign a waiver saying they won’t sue. We immediately heard from readers who said they know lots of places that do the same. Are you KIDDING? So, “If you eat our food and go into a coma that’s tough,” is now a marketing strategy?

What do you suppose these release forms say, anyway? Maybe something like, “Our cook never bathes, we get our chickens from a toxic dump and marinate them overnight in a toilet bowl full of caustic drain cleaner, and by the way if you sign this document, welcome to the U.S. Marines.”

Snail caviar: a rough roe to haute

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If your family is like mine, you’re always looking for new parts of the snail to eat. In France, they’re serving snail caviar, and after years of trying to improve this delicacy, it seems to be catching on.

Compared with wherever other caviar comes from, the snail has advantages. Even the laziest hunter in the world doesn’t mind going after this slow-moving creature. And, you don’t have to order it over that complicated Internet – you can just use, um, snail mail.

It’s Tuscan? That’s in Arizona, right?

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Hey, Blog Guy! Last week you wrote about some Ruffles that you said would sell for $200,000 at auction. I like potato chips as much as anybody, but who would pay that much?

No, I said truffles. They grow in the ground, as opposed to potatoes, which… okay, so they also grow in the ground, but they’re not the same. Yes, I was wrong about the $200,000 estimate. In the end, the truffle I mentioned actually went for $330,000, to the wife of a really, really rich guy.

Ewwwww! Buddy, get a hanky!

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Quick quiz: the guy in this newsphoto…

a) should have had that growth on his face looked at long ago
b) needs to learn to use a handkerchief in public
c) believes this ugly thing will earn more than $200,000 at an auction

Amazingly, the auction answer is correct. This hideous clump is the biggest truffle unearthed in 50 years, and some chef with way too much money will buy it to use in whatever you use truffles in. As a semantic oddity, you don’t use truffles in making truffles – I went to a Godiva shop and checked.

“I told you to SHARE the peanuts!”

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flight-chin-160.jpgBlog Guy, I’m a flight attendant. I hear there is a fantasy camp where those in my profession can take out our frustrations. Do you know about that?

I think you might be talking about this course. It’s supposed to be self-defense training, but I guess it might qualify as a fantasy camp for some beleaguered flight attendants, who I imagine could perform the jabs and kicks while hissing stuff like:

Get in the Jacuzzi, Susie!

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Blog guy, you seem to know quite a bit about sophisticated stuff.  A friend gave me some Beaujolais Nouveau, and I’d like to cook her a special meal and open the bottle. What food goes great with this wine?

Food? Food? I’m so glad you came to me for help!  As you can see in this photo from a trendy resort, you don’t drink Beaujolais Nouveau, you bathe in it.  If you invite your friend over to “enjoy the wine,” that’s what she’ll be expecting.  I’m pretty sure Beaujolais Noveau translates directly to ”Rev up the Jacuzzi.”