WEDNESDAY READER | FEBRUARY 8
Hello Readers + fellow Daymakers –
January went out with a giant chill – that slid into February for a few days. Sleet – icy roads – brrrr.
I was prepared as far as wrapping outdoor + dripping faucets, making sure there were staples for my cat family, wild birds outside the picture window and me for a few days. All went well.
Are you a shopping cart returner? Stephanie Hayes’ column in today’s issue is a pretty – darn – good – makes – ya – think piece. Be sure to give it a read.
Fajita marinade recipe! Thumbs up. Get ready to make it over and over and share the recipe – people are gonna be asking for it.
I present today’s Wednesday Reader. I hope it succeeds in bringing a bit of a kick – back – enjoyment time.
As always, thank you for being here. Appreciate ya.
- HOW MANY KEYS ARE ON A STANDARD PIANO KEYBOARD?
- IN DECEMBER 2022, STEVEN HORSFORD BECAME THE 28th CHAIR OF WHICH ORGANIZATION?
a) American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
b) Congressional Black Caucus
- FORT KNOX IS NAMED FOR A MAN WHO HELD WHAT POSITION?
a) Governor of Kentucky
b) Secretary of the treasury
c) Secretary of war
d) Vice president of the United States
WHAT PART OF YESTERDAY WOULD YOU LIKE TO RELIVE IN SLOW MOTION?
HOW ABOUT A RAI$E, BO$$?
A wonderful, clever writing clipped from an old newsletter.
In this life, we all need $omething mo$t desperately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport, including $weat and $ervice to the company.
I’m $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.
The next day Norman received an email reply from his boss:
I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You may have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well, as yet.
NOw the newspapers are saying that leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if we might go into aNOther recession, I have NOthing to add NOw. If you kNOw what I mean.
IT’S HARD TO BEAT A PERSON WHO NEVER GIVES UP
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle. ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
WHAT BUILDING HAS THE MOST STORIES?
FAJITA FIESTA MARINADE
There’s a local, popular Mexican restaurant in this hometown named, Tio Tony’s. The food is authentic, extremely good, the portions generous, the employees and owners awesome. One of my favorite plates to order is the Fajita chicken/beef combo quesadilla.
They’re all very tight lipped and protective of the in-house recipes (as they should be) so I recreated what I think is a very, very close version of their fajita marinade.
Give it a try! Let me know what ya think.
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup Natural Mesquite Liquid Smoke
- 1/2 cup Soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp minced garlic (another time I use the Lighthouse freeze dried garlic – simply superior)
- 1 tsp smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 2 TBSP pureed canned chipotles in adobe sauce
Put all marinade ingredients in a large zip plastic bag and shake – shake – shake. Add sliced meat of choice. Zip. Let marinade in fridge for a few hours – flipping it once or twice. Grill. BUENO!
Insider tip: Save some marinade for sauteing the fajita veggies in. Such great flavor.
~ Hippie Cowboy recipe box
DO YOU RETURN YOUR SHOPPING CART, OR DO YOU CHOOSE CHAOS?
A fruitful exercise is to ask readers what irritates them, which I do often in my newsletter. This opens a floodgate of material, from “Forms: Why does my child’s swim school need the name of my dentist?” to “Golf: Ew.”
This week I heard from Cameron Spears of Odessa, Florida. He suggested I write about shopping carts, or people who don’t return them. “It fascinates and annoys me,” he said. Well, Cameron, same. This infraction has been chilling on my peeve list for some time.
In my wild and brazen younger years, the days of Candie’s tracksuits and platform flip-flops, I admit to having dropped carts wherever. I half-credit an ex with changing my mind. Half-credit because his reasoning was, “Imagine what the cart guy could do if he wasn’t busy cleaning up your carts!”
Now, returning a cart doesn’t mean a store employee will peel off his name tag and become a full-time infectious disease specialist. Retail workers are plenty busy without cart negligence, and they deserve respect for what they do. But it got me thinking: I had no excuse to be a lazy sack of pink terry cloth. Putting my cart back was an easy place to start.
That relative ease is at the core of the Shopping Cart Theory, a viral meme that posits: “The shopping cart is the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing. To return a shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognize as the correct and appropriate thing to do.”
Because punishment is mostly nonexistent, the theory goes, returning a cart is intrinsic good faith. Generally, I agree this is one small thing mankind can do when we’re not slapping each other to death against a backdrop of staggering galactic insignificance. But there are caveats, opportunities to press the brakes on judgement.
Scientific American went deep on cart behavior in 2017, using terms like “injunctive norms” and “descriptive norms.” Anthropologist Krystal D’Costa outlined who may not comply. This includes parents who can’t leave babies alone. Shoppers may have physical limitations, visible and invisible disabilities.
Then there’s a more baffling cohort of rebels who believe they benevolently keep people employed by turning the Target lot into a Tough Mudder. This, friends, is mental gymnastics, and I wish you well in the Olympics!
In the name of anthropology (stalking), I spent a few hours observing (staring like a creep at) people to gauge cart compliance. I sat in my car, peering over sunglasses and sipping a large Sprite Zero with nugget ice, a discount detective. A Tampa Walmart appeared more chaotic, in contrast to the tidy Publix two miles south. By the time I got to an outdoor mall 20 miles away, buggies were in full lawless disarray: Target carts flipped over behind the building, Costco carts big enough to transport several capybaras found clear across the premises, a PetSmart cart crying out existentially.
Among the varieties of cart disposal:
Curb cart: This one is a head-scratcher. The shopper had to maneuver it off the ground into the mulch. The Apple Watch is lit after this; one wonders if a simple jaunt to the cart bay would have burned fewer calories.
Parking space cart: The worst cart! One thousand negative bonus points if the cart is in the accessible space. For shame.
Cart pushed just out of reach of shopper’s car into someone else’s car: Two thousand negative points.
Cart right next to the cart bay: They made it all the way to the cart receptacle and then, I guess, were raptured.
Lost boy carts: Abandoned carts that have formed a club.
Cart with mysterious open food/feasting birds: Why is it always a rotisserie chicken?
Cart moment of truth: This cart is at a crucial juncture. The shopper has unloaded three pallets of Kirkland water, a value pack of brownie bites, two electric toothbrushes and incredible quantities of pinot grigio. Shopper looks askance. Will he leave the cart? Will he walk the 25 feet? Suddenly, he is saved when a woman emerges from her car in search of a cart, thus completing the cycle into …
The handoff cart: This mayhem starts all over again.
This column was originally published July 16, 2022
Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida.
Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
- Les Clefs d’Or is the international organization of hotel concierges, the people who can solve any problem, meet any request and answer any question a hotel guest might have. The name is French for “keys of gold,” like the trademark crossed keys lapel pins professional concierges wear. Dating back to 1929, Les Clefs d’Or now includes member concierges in more than 80 countries.
- Since 1976, February has been officially recognized as Black History Month in the United States, but its origin goes back to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson proposed the idea of “Negro History Week” to commemorate the historic achievements of black Americans. A Harvard Ph.D., educator and author, Woodson chose the second week of February for the commemoration because it included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Feb. 12, and Fredrick Douglass, Feb. 14.
- When soldier-explorer Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere sailed from France to Florida in 1564, his crew included artist Jacques Le Moyne. While Laudonniere organized the French settlement at Fort Caroline (in what is now Jacksonville, Florida), Le Moyne documented the expedition in sketches and watercolors, including rare portraits of the local Timucua people, who eventually were wiped out by Spanish conquerors. After Le Moyne’s drawings were lost during an invasion at Fort Caroline, he returned to France and recreated them from memory.
~ LESLIE’S TRIVIABITS (TM)
BY LESLIE ELMAN