Friday, November 28, 2008

The Return Of An Old Friend: Thanksgiving Corn: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Last night at my Thanksgiving table, I greeted an old friend. It had been years since I'd seen him. Years since he and I shared a turkey day together. It had been far too long, and seeing him yesterday truly warmed my heart.

I call this friend:



Ah, corn. Sweet, tender, buttery, delectable corn. The perfect side dish on my Thanksgiving plate. Study your history. The indians gave the pilgrims turkey, potatoes, gravy, yams, Ruffles, french onion dip, chocolate-covered cherries, diet pepsi and...

Corn. :-)

As a kid growing up, I spent several Thanksgiving getting acquainted with this wonderfully starchy vegetable. But something happened over the past several years. Corn disappeared from Thanksgiving. The turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy remained in abundance, but corn for some reason was no longer on the menu.

At first, I confess: I didn't think much of it. Perhaps someone had forgotten, focused on making more yams. But the following year, corn was again missing. The following year, same thing. The year after that, no corn.

So a few years back, I began my campaign to get corn back on the Thanksgiving menu. But a process I thought would take little time took six years. Unbeknownst to me, there's a lot of anti-corn sentiment in this world. 2003, 2004, 2005, 6 and 7: Each year, I argued for the return of corn on Thanksgiving and each year I was brutally rebuffed.

I heard every excuse in the world. It's too much trouble. No one eats it. It's boring. It's yellow. It's no good cold. Our old people can't eat it off the cob. But I don't give up easily. I was determined to see corn and Thanksgiving united again. And so, I continued to fight the good fight, and in 2008 I went to my mom and asked her this:

Mom, I have wanted to see corn on the Thanksgiving table for so long. Would you be the one to stop the madness and unite corn with Thanksgiving once again?

And you know what she said?

Sure. I'll make a corn casserole.

NO!! Jesus, how complicated can this possibly be? I'm not asking for kobe beef or homemade cheese. It's corn!! Freakin' corn!! Go to the market, head to the frozen food section, and grab a bag of Jolly Green Giant.

Without putting it into a God damn casserole!!

Jews and their casseroles. A topic for another blog. :-)

And I know what some of you are thinking: Nev, if you wanted corn so bad, why didn't you just make it yourself? Because it defeats the entire purpose of the ideal male Thanksgiving!! If you're a guy, the best Thanksgiving food is the food you don't make yourself. It has to be made by someone else, preferrably a woman, to bring out the ideal flavor. Otherwise, it's just not the same.

Men reading this blog know what I'm talking about.

But luckily, fate stepped in.

I got a call from my mom two weeks ago. She tried making the corn casserole. It didn't come out good (shock of shocks). So as a fallback, she was going to make corn.

The casserole taketh. And the casserole giveth.

So last night, corn returned to Thanksgiving.

And it was goooood.


And now for this week's:


It's official: Starting next week, McDonald's is raising the price of their double cheeseburger 19 cents to $1.19.

Not since the Raiders losing the Super Bowl in 2003 have I cried myself to sleep.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Trying To Find A Public Restroom: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

It happens to all of us at one time or another. You're in the car, driving along, not a care in the world, when it hits you:

I have to pee.

And it's not one of those, "I would use the restroom if one was readily available, but since it's not, I can wait" type of pees. No, in this scenario, it's always an uncontrollable urge that must be met, and met now. And when this type of urge hits, you can always count on three things:

You're nowhere near home or work.

You're in traffic.

And gas stations -- which are always in abundance when your gas tank is full and there's no reason to stop in -- have disappeared off the face of the Earth.

This was the situation I was in recently when faced with the "I have to pee and pee now!!!" dilemma. The urge hit, I was stuck behind people who had no idea how to step on the pedal that makes the car move forward, and I found myself on the only street in America where Chevron and Arco and Mobil ceased to exist.

So I did what any of us would normally do in this situation: Scream in frustration, honk my horn, sway from side to side as much as my seat belt would allow, and frantically looked for any place that may have a bathroom that I could use.

It was at this point that I pulled into a mom-and-pop sub shop.

The good news: It had a bathroom.

The bad news: You needed a key.

The worst news: The key was behind the counter, manned by a woman with a look on her face that said, "I hate you, I hate life, and I hate people who ask to use my bathroom key."

Even so, I thought maybe I could sweet talk her.

"Excuse me, may I use your bathroom?" I asked the lady behind the counter, flashing a dazzling smile.

"No bathroom!! You must buy something!!" she lovingly replied.

"But I just..."

"You must buy something!!"

"But can't I..."

"Buy something!!"



So much for charm.

Desperate, I looked around for something cheap and purchased a small bag of chili cheese fritos. After plucking down my 82 cents (including tax), I then asked for the bathroom key, which should at this point be rightfully mine.


"No bathroom!! You must buy sub!!"

Say what?

"I just bought some chips," I argued.

"You must buy sub!!" repeated the gestapo.

"You never said sub," I replied.

"Sub. I say sub now."

"I'm not gonna buy a sub just to use your bathroom. Hell, I didn't even want these chips!!"

"Then give chips back!!"

"Fine!! Then give me my money back."

"No!! No refunds!!"

By this point, I would've bet money that I was on some sort of candid-camera show.

"You mean to tell me that you want me to hand you a bag of chips that I paid for without getting my money back and without being able to use your bathroom?"

"Yes!! Give chips back!!"






"You bad person!! Leave now!!"


And as I got to the exit, I turned around, glared at the woman, and threw the chips in the trash.

"You want the chips back?" I asked. "Go dumpster diving."

And then I walked around the corner and took a wiz in the back of an alley.

As nature intended.

And now for this week's:


It's official. The lady and I have a wedding date: Aug. 22, 2009.

And the ax slowly begins to fall...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Latest Great Idea Of Man: Communal Fries: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I heard the following inspirational commercial on the radio today:

Guy # 1: OK, got the food.

Guy # 2: Sweet.

Guy # 1: Here are your fries.

Guy # 2: Awesome.

Guy # 1: Here are my fries.

Guy # 2: Cool.

Guy # 1: And here are the communal fries.

Guy # 2: Commnual fries?

Me: Communal fries?

Guy # 1: Yeah, these are the fries we share.

Guy # 2: Share?

Guy # 1: Yeah. See, whenever we get fries, inevitably one guy gets more fries than the other. But with communal fries, that problem is solved. If one guy gets less fries, he can use the communal fries to achieve balance.

Guy # 2: That's...that's brilliant!!

And really, it is.

One man getting more fries than another has long been a problem in the world of Man-dom (all men reading this blog are nodding in agreement). When multiple orders of fries are placed in the bag, more often than not the fries get mixed and one person ends up with a greater number of fries.

This can cause the man with fewer fries to ask a series of questions that can lead to dangerous paths. "Why do I get less fries?" "Am I not worthy of more?" "Does my friend not respect me?" "Who the hell does he think he is?"

This is how wars start, people.

And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a radio ad -- a radio ad -- introduces the concept of communal fries. And suddenly, years of unnecessary male strife can be eradicated in one fell swoop. Wounds can be healed, families can be united, countries can be unified.

All in one simple step.

It's like a nuclear bomb...but in a good way.

Communal fries.

The latest invention born from the indomitable spirit of man.

And now for this week's:


Remember all that stuff I said recently about hating the Beatles? Ignore it. I didn't realize they sang "Twist And Shout." I love that song!! It's one of the best songs in the history of musical sound.

It's rather embarrassing to bash a band and then find out later that they sang one of your favorite songs. Who's to blame? Myself?

Yeah right.

No, the ones to blame here are you, the readers. Christ, you spend paragraphs (and in the case of my friend Carlos, pages) arguing vehemently why the Beatles are awesome, and all you had to say was, "They sang Twist And Shout" and I would've said, "Oh. Never mind."

But you didn't.

Shame on you.

Shame on you all.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nev For President: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

This past Tuesday was the U.S. presidential election, and like most American males, I exercised my right to vote only because my significant other told me to. :-)

I usually don't vote. Some of you may think that's blasphemous and are clearing your throats to begin your, "Do you know how many people in this world would literally give anything for the right to vote" speech. But let's be honest: Your vote doesn't matter. Your vote hasn't mattered since the advent of population. If you think your one vote makes a bit of difference (particularly in California, where we vote Republican for our governors and Democrat for political posts that can't be run by actors), you're Yankee Doodle delusional.

But like I said, my bride-to-be made me. :-)

So given the choice of voting or sleeping on the futon for the next six months, I was forced to research the candidates. I wanted to make an informed choice, to ensure that the candidate that had my support was the right person for the job. After all: It's my president too.

And so, after an exhausting 96 seconds of research, I made my choice.

I was going to vote for myself.

To me, it made perfect sense. After all, they say you should really believe in the person you're voting for. I believe in Nev. I believe. Besides, I was smart, a good talker, and I think our foreign dignitaries would like the fact that I eat meat.

In short: I couldn't think of a better candidate.

On my way to the polls, I spoke to future bride Ramona of my decision:

Ramona: You're not voting for yourself.

Me: But I'm qualified. Sort of.

Ramona: You're not voting for yourself.

Me: But if I win, we get to win live in the White House.

Ramona: You're not voting for yourself.

Me: We'll have our own chefs.

Ramona: You're not voting for yourself.

Me: They'll make us beef wellington whenever we want. Or eggs.

Ramona: You're not voting for yourself.

Me: But babe...eggs!!



Me: I'd be better than Ralph Nader.


Ramona: True.

In the end, I didn't vote for myself.

I voted for Obama.

Because my significant other told me to.

And now for this week's:


I was driving to meet a friend for dinner the other night when my mom called and reminded me of the following:

You're going to be a husband soon.

I then lost my appetite.

You should never use the words "husband", "wife", "wedding" or "married" to an engaged man before he eats.

I thought that was a societal given.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Beatles Lovers Fight Back: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Remember when I wrote this?

I'm going to tell you something that I've held inside for years and have never said until now:

I hate the Beatles.

Yeah, that's right. I said it. In fact, I'm gonna say it again.

I hate the Beatles.

Man, that feels good!! A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm a straight man, so this is the closest I think I'll get to coming out of the closet.

I mean, their songs suck, their haircuts were dorky and THEY WERE BRITISH!!!

Where's your American pride?

Plus, the band members were morons. John Lennon broke up the band for an ugly woman who wore beatnik hats, and Paul McCartney turned down a $500 million offer in the 1990s to reunite the remaining Beatles for one night because he felt that it wouldn't be right without John, who broke up the band in the first place.

Paul was probably on acid at the time.

Which would also explain why he married a woman with a prosthetic foot.

All true.


Nevertheless, many of you disagreed with me completely, blindly declaring your love for the Beatles. A love -- I might add -- that will never be reciprocated, because John is dead, Paul has enough money to never have to sign another autograph, and ...

...well, to be honest, I can't remember who else was in the band. I'm sure they weren't important.

Anyways, my point is: It's only fair that your voice be heard. So:

From reader Tony Zayas:

To knock British bands is just wrong. Name a band, from ANY decade, that can stand up to the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Stones, Cream, Black Sabbath...I can go on for days, you get the point. And, I'll even answer it for you - No Such Band, Artist or Act exists. Plain and simple. Americans had Jimi Hendrix, who is my musical idol, but they didn't have much beyond The Experience. Certainly nothing that could touch what was coming out of Britain.

The 60's were great if for no other reason than the music. The 70's were forgettable if for no other reason than disco. The 80's were nothing more than laughable, if for no other reason than what all that blow did to our entire society for a decade.

Tony, you lost all credibility the second you called the 80s laughable. 80s music rocked!! I have two 80s CDs in my car. "Angel Is The Centerfold." "Video Killed The Radio Star." Phil Collins!! All much better artists and songs than the crap you mentioned. Black Sabbath. Good Lord.

Plus, it amazes me that you can bag on the 80s for drug use and yet worship The Rolling Stones, all with a straight face.

You must be a salesman. :-)

From reader Carlos:

You are such a close-minded valley boy jack@$$!

As Tony pointed out, the Beatles are an awesome band! Their musical talents of writing featured in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the White Album are just two albums alone that show originality and talent!

In addition, the British are talented when it comes to music. Again as Tony stated, Rolling Stones, Who, among others are awesome!!!! Why do you think it was called the British Invasion!!!

Carlos, do you have an opinion that's actually yours? "As Tony pointed out." "As Tony stated." If Tony said that bridges would be better suited to hold cars if they were made out of straw, would you agree? Because Tony said so? If Tony said that people who gave themselves concussions are so totally cool, would you hit yourself over the head with a frying pan? Because Tony said so?

You two should share an apartment together. Then you can come back and tell me, "Tony says he always uses starch when doing laundry. I use starch too.

"Because Tony said so."

And finally, from my podcast partner Mike:

I'd agree with everything you said except the Beatle's songs sucking. I have yet to hear a thoughtful, musically educated person make that argument successfully.

Mike, you're fired.

No severance package.

And now for this week's:


A cheetah escaped from its cage on a Delta Airlines commercial flight and ran loose amongst the luggage. Eventually, experts ran onto the plane, shot the thing with tranquilizers, and took the cheetah back to the zoo.

If I was the head of Delta, I'd be furious.

I would've rather seen the cat killed, cooked and served to passengers for $25 a plate.

These are tough economic times, after all.