This is the first edition of a new feature on 11 Points, one that I'm hoping to turn into a recurring list: The 11 Points Inbox-O-Rama. (As often as) every week, I'll respond to 11 e-mails, website comments, Twitters and Facebook messages. Hopefully everyone will enjoy these... and while I don't expect the Inbox-O-Rama lists to go gigantically viral, I think they'll be a really solid recurring feature for the site.
And, to encourage people to send good questions, pictures and follow-ups for the Inbox-O-Rama, I went ahead and got a ton of flashy 11 Points stickers printed up... so if you are featured in the Inbox-O-Rama (and are in the U.S., until I figure out international shipping), I will send you a sticker.
And now, the inaugural 11 Points Inbox-O-Rama.
Sean in Tucson, Arizona, writes:
Loved the new list [11 Accidentally Racist Product and Company Names]. It reminded me of this picture I took a few weeks ago, when I got that new Asian Chicken thing at Wendy's. I feel like they should've made space for an extra word or two on the receipt...
Sam responds: I like that, just to rub it in, they didn't just go with Asian... but Small Asian. That's all sorts of wrong.
Also, to tangent for a sec, it also reminds me of something we discovered back when we had cell phones with T9 predictive text instead of keyboards. We had a friend named Brian and when we'd type Brian the phone would first assume we typed Asian. And it just so happened that our friend Brian was half Japanese. It's one of the greatest T9 switches ever.
If T9 were still relevant I might do an 11 Points on the best T9 mix-ups. (Anal and cock is another one, by the way.)
Just wanted to let you know of something, call it "life imitating art".
You wrote in the list of the old video game habits, and one of them involved "fixing" the old Nintendo cartridges by blowing into them.
Well...a few days ago, I had just gotten an iPod Shuffle, and I was plugging the charger into one of my USB ports, and without thinking anything, I instinctively blew into the USB plug itself.
I'm 30... [and] yes! It's true! At least that ONE will never be erased from our newly forged instinctive rationale!!
Sam responds: I feel like I should shoot an Internet video where people from our generation go around trying to fix things by blowing on them. It would start simple, like fixing a broken vase by blowing on it then escalate... a gardener blows on a leaf blower to make it work... a doctor blows on a patient's open chest to fix his clogged arteries... a priest blows on a girl's backwards head to exorcise her demon. For the final shot, a guy is in bed with his wife, showing her his empty prescription bottle of Viagra and says, helpfully, "You could try blowing on it."
Josh in Sweden writes:
I have read your (I don't really know if you can call 11 points a blog...) blog and have been wondering, why do you hate Gingers so much? I know they look freakish, but most aren't that evil.
Sam responds: Josh is most likely referring to the numerous, numerous times I've wailed on gingers (here, here, here, here and here).
I don't really know why I have beef with gingers, Josh -- I guess it comes from the "South Park" episode about gingers, a general lack of sexual attraction on my part to ginger-looking girls and because they're the only group that it's totally acceptable to discriminate against.
That and the lack-of-a-soul thing. It always comes back to that.
@11pointswhy do you still number your tweets? Sorry dear but you're not very good at making it to 11 a day :)
Sam responds: You're right, Helena. When I first signed up for Twitter I assumed I was going to be able to post 11 amazing Tweets every day. That quickly became a false assumption when (1) I stopped Twittering while at work and (2) I realized I didn't have 11 amazing, or even semi-interesting, things to say every day.
I still number them out of habit, and because I believe that one day I will start hitting 11 daily tweets with regularity... but for now, I think there will be many more nights ending around five or six.
[Here's] a classically offensive product name. I'm a newly graduated engineer, and I was pretty shocked when I got my first assignment and I found these bad boys on the job site. Apparently, according to the blue collar guys, they're pretty common, an industry standard even. I attached a pic I took, showing a blurry 4 liter Fag Pump 1000.
When I googled Fag Hand Pump, the first site that popped up surprisingly wasn't gay porn. Is that evidence that the internet is becoming a more civilized place and less of a cesspool for strange sexual fetishes... probably not, but I have hope.
Sam responds: First of all, no, the Internet is not becoming more civilized.
Second of all, I went to fag.com, the site of the company that makes that hand pump. They're owned by the Schaeffler Group, which owns two other acronymed companies. On their corporate page the logos are arranged to read: "LUK INA FAG." I mean... REALLY?!
I've been suggesting that everyone I know check out [11Points], although I'm not quite sure what you gain from more hits. Money? Fame? Women? All three? Well, good on you.
Sam responds: People often ask me what I get from more people checking out my site. But it's oh-for-three on those...
Money - I have a lot of friends in the Internet advertising world. When I tell them my traffic numbers and ask if they think I'm at the point where I can make any real money, all of their faces curl up into the kind of look you give to a five-year-old who asks if his dead dog is up playing frisbee and eating treats in heaven.
Fame - My picture has been sitting on the sidebar of this website since day one. And somehow I'm still able to go to the grocery store without some ones that's clean and a shirt with a team.
Women - I asked my girlfriend, and apparently she frowns upon me holding sexual congress with other women. Typical.
But... I do get the fulfillment that comes with entertaining people and getting my writing out there... I get to unload all of the weird, weird thoughts that circle around in my head, rather than keep them internal where they could interact with each other with potentially insane results... I get enough money to pay for the site's hosting with a little left over... I get to talk and debate and even develop friendships with people all over the world... and I get to wake up excited every day to check my inbox, never knowing what the site is going to bring me that day.
Oh, and I also have a super-easy crutch now for all birthday cards, wedding reception guestbooks, Evites, and other places where I need to write something funny on demand -- I just knock out a quick 11 and we are good to go.
I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for mass amounts of people from all over the country to feel the need to donate money to a ballot initiative that is happening in a completely different state. The fear of whatever is going to happen if two consenting adults who happen to be of the same sex fall in love and choose to make a life together astounds me (Because by not allowing them to marry a magic fairy is going to visit them and instantly make them attracted to the opposite sex - sarcasm). However, I don't think that people who did donate money to protect the right of all people should be criticized. They are supporting the right cause. More people need to step up, not with just money, but also with services and time to fight this. Even if they have more to give in your eyes, they did take the time to give something and by criticize them it may encourage them not to give next time......and next time is going to be really important!
Sam responds: Almost... ALMOST... fooled me. Lull me to sleep with some generic, boilerplate anti-Prop 8 stuff... then, once I've zoned out, completely switch gears into an anti-gay marriage call to arms. Sneakiest comment to date (even sneaker than all the 10,000-word comments about 11 Things The Bible Bans, But You Do Anyway all of which had at least some mention of how Jews are all damned.)
[ETA: A few people have pointed out that maybe my old, jaded ass misinterpreted this and it didn't switch gears like I thought. Which, in retrospect, seems more likely. Oops!]
Laura from Grand Rapids, MI, writes:
I'll throw in a suggestion for [a list]: "underestimated/misunderstood pets" (millipedes, rats, cockroaches?), or "pet fads" (ferrets, dalmatians, bunnies or chickens around Easter?), just because I like to try to promote pet rats any way I can.
Especially around my birthday, I think about rats. I got my first pet rat for my 8th birthday, and have not been without any ever since. I've had upwards of 60 by now (they only live a few years, and I had up to 16 at once before). They're friendly, smart, and even affectionate. I've only been bitten a few times in all these years, and mainly it's been from trying to break up fights between rats. People really don't give them enough credit.
Sam responds: I've never thought of doing a list on pets like that, Laura -- I definitely don't have enough experience with non-traditional pets and, honestly, I'd write the entire list mainly so I could make a "Where's my elephant?" "Simpsons" reference.
But I'm happy to give you a venue to promote your pro-rat agenda. And, as I was thinking about it, there are a lot of fictional mice and rats who are pretty badass --Stuart Little, Master Splinter, Itchy, Pinky and the Brain, Speedy Gonzales. But not Fievel. I hated "American Tale" as a kid and stand by that as an adult.
Svenja from Hamburg, Germany, posted this comment:
I love Beck's. You know, i come from a town near Bremen, where Beck's is made and i drink it all the time in all its flavors but .. Beck's Light? What the hell? This never came across my way even once and i doubt that this is sold on the germen market :D ..i would love to drink it, though not atl east since i am a girl and i love stuff with the brand "LITE" on it.
Sam responds: I just don't understand how America remains the poster child of obesity when people from other countries haven't even heard of light beer. When I get e-mails from people overseas, by far and away the number one American institution they pick on is light beer.
Sam responds: This wins the award for "best response from a company I've called out." I mean... when the guy who wrote "Flipping Houses For Dummies" found out his book was the punchline of this list (11 For Dummies Books That Are Actually For Dummies), all he did was add me as a friend on Facebook.