Friday Mailbag

Readers are wondering:

What’s with Barbara Walters? Who the hell knows. Have you heard about the 69 year old woman who had an affair with JFK when she was in college and interned at the White House? She’s written a book about it. In a moment of weakness, I watched a Comcast vid of her recent visit to the television show “The View”. Ba-ba-ra was not happy. How dare the hussie allow herself to have an affair with the President and embarrass Caroline and the family with the details all these years later. This from a woman who has spent her entire career getting people to share intimate, unedifying details of their lives. Call me crazy, but Camelot or not, when it comes to White House intern affairs, I think the male with all the power deserves all the blame.

• What’s with Beyonce and Jay Z? Nothing except they’re really, really special. How can you tell? They named their child Blue Ivy. Ordinary people choose ordinary names. Special people choose special names.

• What’s with Tiger Woods? The sportswriting cognoscenti’s analysis of Tiger’s play continues to be woefully incomplete. El Tigre is playing better than a year ago, but compared to when he used to dominate, there are a lot more guys who are as athletic, as long, and as driven. Younger guys who don’t even remember when he dominated. Guys with serious game from every corner of the world. Bombers with exquisite touch. Luke Donald, the world’s #1 has never won a major. Lee Westwood, the world’s #3 has never won a major. They don’t hand them out. Tiger isn’t losing as much as others guys are winning. I’m downgrading the odds of Tiger winning more majors than Jack from 50% to 20%.

• What are the odds of someone else breaking Jack’s major record sometime this century? 10%. Imagine someone who has an unusually successful career combined with exceptional health. They qualify for and play in every major from ages 26 to 46. That’s 80 chances. To win 19 they have to win almost every fourth one. Very unlikely because of the amazing depth in professional golf these days. One major defines a career, three or four and you’re elite.

• Come on man, how many golf questions do you think you can get away with before you’re tarred and feathered as a one-percenter? Two.

• Why do some businesses send birthday cards to their customers they have almost no personal contact with? Who the hell knows. I’m sure it’s supposed to make you think, “Wow, my insurance agent really does care about me.” But I can’t help but think, “Wow, my insurance agent must really think I’m idiot if she thinks I’m basing my decision to go with her company on anything other than the rate and quality of coverage.” I’m often amazed at how salespeople have one pitch and how businesses employ one size fits all customer strategies. And to all the workers at Safeway. I know Corporate has told you otherwise, but you don’t have to chase me down the aisle just to say “Hello”. For the love of God, please stop with the faux friendliness. And to all the cashiers who can’t pronounce my last name, I hereby give you permission to just say, “Take care dude.” Or maybe I should get a special “Safeway” credit card with an “easier” last name. “Thank you Mr. Shaft.” Then I take my brocoli and almond milk and walk out like it’s 1971 and I’m Richard Roundtree. Mandatory related link on a brilliant new business concept—personal service.

• How is your training going for your little swim, bike, and run in late August? Although training officially starts March 5th, I’ve been maintaining my regular diet of two swims a week, four hours on the bike trainer, four runs a week, and one massive piece of chocolate birthday cake a day. Also, I’ve officially joined the Church of Core Strength. Lots of pushups, some bridge work, and planking every week. Those activities aren’t any fun, but they’re making a world of difference not just when swimming, cycling, and running, but in my quality of life more generally. Also, I now have another athletic goal of note.

• If you weren’t a college prof, how would you pay for your next carbon fiber bicycle? Male honey trapper.

• The fact that you felt compelled to make up this mailbag is concerning. Everything okay? Better than okay. It’s just sometimes mental decluttering is in order. Now, on Monday, we can return to normal, less vapid programming. I would like to do a real mailbag sometime so send me a question or two if you don’t want to be subjected to another faux one.

Postscript—I’m appreciative of a recent uptick in readers and subscribers. Thanks new and long-time readers for playing along and enjoy the weekend.

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