All That and a Bag of Mail: Pancakes and Jacuzzis Edition

I’m writing this mailbag from Mackinac Island, where the lower peninsula meets the upper peninsula in Michigan. This may be the only place in the continental United States that isn’t 80 degrees today. Basically, it’s heaven. But I’ve been up here for a couple of days now and I’ll begin the mailbag with a question that I pondered as we were walking around in Mackinac City yesterday, why do all vacation spot restaurants have pancakes and all vacation hotels have jacuzzis?

Neither makes any sense to me because neither is much of a luxury. 

For instance, is there some lack of pancakes? Are there people in America who want pancakes and can’t find them anywhere? I mean, I get that pancakes are tasty and all, but go to an American vacation spot — the Smoky Mountains, Mackinac Island, Destin, Florida — and every restaurant has pancakes (or waffles). 

Why? 

Given the number of pancake restaurants it’s like there’s an insatiable national demand for pancakes.

Yet there aren’t that many pancake restaurants in your hometown. And the vast majority of restaurants don’t have pancakes. In fact, if you walked in to a place like Applebee’s and said, “I’ll have the pancakes,” even the waiters and waitresses at Applebee’s would think you’re weird, so I don’t get this pancake infatuation.  

So evidently tons of people go on vacation and they’re like, “Screw it, I’m going to splurge and have the cheapest and most easy to prepare food out there. All day long, every day. Just give me flour and a skillet.”

Also, do you go out of business if you open a restaurant in a vacation locale and don’t offer pancakes? Do people walk in, study your menu, throw up their arms and say, “To hell with this place, they aren’t even pouring mix in a pan and waiting for it to cook. I’ll take my money elsewhere!”

They must be.

Someone explain this to me.

Second, what’s with the Jacuzzis in all the hotels in vacation spots? 

Why are these so popular that they’re advertised on the hotel signs?

I have a Jacuzzi bathtub in my house. Do you know how many times I’ve been in it since we built our home?

Once, when I ran a half-marathon and wanted to soak in a cold tub after the run.

Every other time I’ve taken a shower.

Again, Jacuzzi tubs aren’t that big of a luxury anymore, it’s like advertising HBO or cable television. (Don’t get me started on crappy hotel room televisions. I can barely see the damn things now). 

Once I stayed in a hotel in Indianapolis — not even a vacation destination — with a Jacuzzi tub next to my bed. And it was in a Hampton Inn, not some by the hour rental and I was there solo. I watched SportsCenter from my Jacuzzi tub — I mean, I had to Jacuzzi, right — had a beer, then climbed out and went to bed. 

The whole thing was just weird. I could touch my bed from the Jacuzzi. I felt like I was in a 1975 swinger porn film.  

Photo of the Collins, Mississippi Best Western courtesy of genius @karenehowell

When I see Jacuzzis on vacation, the only possible reason they exist — in my mind — is because men believe that if they get a Jacuzzi tub room their wives or girlfriends are more likely to sleep with them. I base this on the fact that men only care about bathtubs or bathrooms when caring about bathtubs or bathrooms makes them more likely to get laid.

So are there women out there who otherwise wouldn’t sleep with their boyfriends or husbands unless they get them the Jacuzzi room? Like some women walk in to a hotel room, walk straight to the bathroom, see a plain tub, and say, “No sex for you tonight.”

This can’t be true, right?

I find it hard to believe that there are tons of women out there clamoring for sex in dirty Jacuzzi tubs where, presumably, thousands of other people have already had sex. 

Basically, this is what happens to me when I go on vacation, I start wondering about pancakes and Jacuzzis. 

Send me your hypotheses, I’m too busy eating fudge.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is the guy in San Diego who set off every firework on July 4th at the exact same time. 

Here’s the video. 

Vincent writes:

I was depressed because I’m working and not drinking right now on the 4th. Then I encountered a shirtless man with sweet American flag shirts and a ridiculous man stamp and my day got better instantly. You’ve been on OKTC record stating how you thought nothing could top Tyler Bray or A.J. McCarron’s back tat. Meet this mid-50s, patriotic Florida fan who has a big ass tattoo of a horse in the region of his back where no man should ever (and I mean ever) have a tattoo.

 

God bless America.
 

Okay, this tattoo is awful, but where in the world did you have to go to get this photo?

What are there fifteen bathmats there? Is that to soak up the blood after you killed him?

There are several issues here.

1. No man should ever have a back tattoo.

2. The tattoo looks awful.

If you’ve ever doubted the stupidity of most Americans, flip through a tattoo book and realize that every tattoo you see is popular.

That means many people have seen this tattoo before and thought, “I can’t live without this image being permanently affixed to my body forever.”

And this guy — wearing the American flag swimsuit, “Gotta support the troops!” — thought, if I don’t have this horse on my lower back forever, I am blowing it.

The tattoo fad is so played out that the newest “Real World: St. Thomas” features two roommates who independently chose to get “Hakuna Matata” tattooed on themselves.

Both of them, really.

3. What message is he sending with this tattoo?

Tattoos are supposed to be metaphorical, right? Stand for something more than the image at hand? Even if, you know, most people who get tattoos don’t know what a metaphor is.

What’s the message here? That he’s a wild stallion who can’t be contained?

This tattoo says the exact opposite.

He’s a Gator fan, he should have gotten a Tebow tattoo instead.

Like this guy.

Hakuna Matata!

Jennifer writes:

“Does it bother you that you have haters? And who do you think hates you the most in the media?”

I find it hysterical that I have “haters.”

And no, they do not bother me. My haters are such niche hipster haters that it’s trying way too hard to hate me. I wish I had a famous hater, like Nancy Grace. I’d feud with her. But as a general rule I’m only feuding up, if you’re nobody knows who you are, why would I bother engaging you? I don’t gain anything.

I learned a while back that I have a unique talent, most people worry about being liked. I never have. I’m told this is a rare attribute to have.  

For those who don’t have this attribute, Charles Barkley said it best when we were out drinking one night, “If you worry about making the people who don’t like you like you then the people who do like you won’t like you anymore.”

That seems exactly right. People are tribal, they want to choose sides, hate or love, it doesn’t really matter to me. If I listened to anyone else, I’d still be trying to bill 2000 hours a week as a litigator. 

As for who hates me the most in the media? I have no idea. I can honestly say there isn’t anyone I hate. If I don’t like what someone says, writes, or does, I guess I’m old-fashioned, I don’t pay attention to them. Why waste the time?

There are tons of people in the media I love. 

And at the top of the list is Tony Kornheiser.  

@jmatt_schultz writes:

I’m in Vegas with the wife. If I go see Celine Dion tonight will I turn gay?

Yes.

Convince her to go out for pancakes and Jacuzzi instead.

Russell writes:

Clay, today is the 50th anniversary of William Faulkner’s death, where would you rank him on the greatest American author list?

He’s first. “Absalom, Absalom!” is, I think, the best American novel ever written. 

Here’s my list of the top five American authors:

1. William Faulkner

2. Mark Twain

3. Ernest Hemingway

4. Cormac McCarthy

5. Toni Morrison 

I’ve read everything that these four men and one woman have ever written. You can make arguments for other writers, but you’ll be wrong because no other writers have been as prolific and consistently good. That’s not to say that these authors have all written the best individual books — “The Great Gatsby” is almost impossible to beat and Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories redefined fiction — just that the entire body of work of these five is almost impossible to top.  

Incidentally, you didn’t ask, but my vote for best book of the 21st century goes to a guy named Edward P. Jones who wrote “The Known World.”

Read it.

And the only author in my book who can give Faulkner a run is Gabriel Garcia-Marquez who is, I think, the second greatest writer of all-time.  

Tom writes:

I don’t want to be an overcontrolling dad, but my son is a year old and likes to roll tennis balls. Occasionally he throws them. Is it wrong for me to try and get him to use his left hand because he has a better chance of being a major league pitcher if he’s left handed?  

No.

I think every dad secretly does this.

But I don’t think it works because both of my kids ended up righthanded. And I went through a couple of months with both of them where I was convinced they were going to be left handed. I’d tell my wife, she’d roll her eyes, but she was correct.

Now I assume you’re just handing the ball to him in his left hand. That’s fine. But about as far as I’d go. If at any point you’ve considered tying his right hand behind his back and forcing him to use his left hand, you’re probably still normal. But if you’ve actually done it, you’ve got a future as a Russian trainer ahead of you. 

Also, go watch the Todd Marinovich documentary again. 

You can’t train a kid forever, eventually he rebels.  

@wesleywall writes:

Clay, certain regional accents are extremely annoying and bothersome to me. Which do you think is the worst?

The worst regional accents:

1. Boston

2. The Midwest

There are no other arguments for the two worst.

Everyone agrees on this.

And those who don’t agree are from Boston or the Midwest.

Okay, gents, I’m off to eat more pancakes and then make sweet love to myself in the Jacuzzi.

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