11 Points

11 Points Inbox-O-Rama, Number 10
written by Sam Greenspan

For this week's Inbox-O-Rama, I won't be posting anything about two recent lists: Last Friday's 11 Ingenious Signs On The Simpsons and Monday's 11 Mediocre TV Shows With Awesome Theme Songs. Both got so many good responses that they need entire follow-up 11 points lists... not just Inbox-O-Rama shoutouts.

Each week, the 11Points.com Inbox-O-Rama features 11 thoughts and questions from reader e-mails, site comments, tweets and Facebook messages.

People who have a comment featured in an Inbox-O-Rama are entitled to an 11Points sticker! But that's pending three things: (1) You can wait patiently while I get my shit together and send them out (it's a one-man operation over here)... (2) You send me your mailing address... and (3) You live in the U.S., where I know how to work the postage situation.

But... that third caveat may be changing. Let's focus on that in point number one.

1. Postage outside the U.S.
To send mail outside of the U.S. you still get to use American stamps. Currently, postage to Canada is $0.75, to Mexico $0.79, and to other places $0.98. The stamp you might use to send a sticker to say, me, in Germany, currently has Grand Teton National Park. It's in Wyoming. I looked it up. You can also combine stamps featuring Navajo necklaces, Tiffany lamps, and Mary Lasker. Exciting, I know. But no obscure monarchs. No famous monarchs either.

So I've done the ground work - any chance you'll change your policy?

--Laura in Germany
Honestly, I've sent no more than two letters from the U.S. to a foreign country in my entire life.

Maybe if they had a Moe stamp I'd buy these.
I remember sending my friend Bruce a letter when he was in Hong Kong for 9th grade... and I can't think of a second example. So I don't really know what it entails. I just figured it'd require talking to someone at the post office, and I would do anything for sticker love but I won't do that.

No I won't do that.

But Laura has opened my eyes. I went to the U.S. Postal Service website and looked up the postage rates for different foreign countries. It does seem like a pretty reasonable endeavor.

So, retroactively, I'm going to change the policy that I will *try* to send stickers to non-Americans who have something posted in the Inbox-O-Rama. However, if I end up having to go to the post office and getting a bunch of sass I'm probably going to change my mind. It really all hinges on sass. That, or me suddenly falling into a bunch of money, allowing me to get a personal assistant.

2. Frankly, this sounded made up.

Several people sent me this photo, a great follow-up to my 11 Businesses Selling Two Hilariously Unconnected Items list. As I do in those circumstances, I'm posting the e-mail from the first person who sent it along...
Speaking of selling unrelated items. How about a beauty parlor, chainsaw repair, and night club?

[This] also happens to be Denton Texas's only gay bar. At least by the info i can find on Google... A combination only a little town in Texas could come up with.

Those really are some wildly unconnected items. I researched it a little but I'm kinda suspicious that Mable just gave her gay bar a clever name... there really isn't any chainsaw repair going on inside. Then again, if I were a gay guy in Denton, Texas, I might just keep a chainsaw handy. Being that they have a Confederate monument in the center of town, the only thing liberal in Denton might be their use of Tuna Helper.

The Confederate monument in Denton. Is it too cynical of me to suggest it has two separate water fountains built in for a reason?

3. I've let the "Basketball" community down.

Got this comment on a line from last week's Inbox-O-Rama, when I was making a little joke by listing celebrities with similar names...
"Luke Perry or Katy Perry or Tyler Perry or Dr. Cox"

I see what you did there...

But I realize now that I was so focused on getting that Dr. Cox "joke" in there (on "Scrubs", the character's name is Dr. Perry Cox, which is why I did that) that I neglected to put in Steve Perry.

And I totally could have, because we agreed that we COULD continue to use Journey psyche-outs on this website.

Hula hoops, Dan Fogelberg records...

4. 11 questions from Australia.

I got this list of 11 questions from a reader in Australia. And seeing as my popularity in Australia is growing as if I'm the International Drainage Commissioner, I felt I had to answer.

My answers are woven in below (his questions are italicized, my responses are regular type).
G'day Sam!

love this site came across it purely by chance... i was searching something on the net and came across your 11 most profound quotes from the simpsons list. I came across that list at about ironically 11pm and did not leave your site until about 3am after i had read what i reckon is about %70 of your lists, excluding the american sports ones as i live in australia!

anywho to my questions

1. Do you like the show scrubs?

After making a Dr. Cox reference last week, a few people asked me this. And my answer on "Do you like 'Scrubs'?" is like my answer on that question regarding so, so many shows: I used to love it, then gave up on it.

I think "Scrubs" basically outlived all the stories it had to tell. As a result, it started relying WAY too much on the "zany" people around the hospital (the guy with the hook, the old lady intern, Snoop Dogg intern, Ted, etc.), and that was a bad, bad turn of events. I gave up on it about two years ago.

But... I'm happy it's still on the air. As a writer living in L.A., from time to time I write these things called spec scripts. It's like a professional version of fan fiction -- you take a current TV show and write an episode, which shows agents/managers/producers/etc. that you could hop right onto a show's writing staff and assimilate into writing their characters in the proper voice and style.

Of all the sitcom specs I've written, my "Scrubs" spec is by FAR my best. So as long as it stays on the air, I won't look *too* outdated showing high-powered types that script.

2. If so would you consider an 11 best janitor moments list?

Ya know, the Janitor NEVER did it for me. Scrubs, for whatever reason, decided to have the three older males be three different kinds of mean: Dr. Cox as an asshole who, deep down, cares too much; Dr. Kelso as an over-it-all, bureaucratic, hardcore asshole; and the Janitor as a childish prank, irritant asshole. That's my least favorite kind of asshole.

3. What were your favourite cartoons growing up?

I loved He-Man first. Then M.A.S.K. (which I wrote about in Monday's 11 Mediocre TV Shows With Awesome Theme Songs list). Then it got a little more crowded with the New Ghostbusters, Smurfs, Gummi Bears, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, C.O.P.S., Tiny Toon Adventures, Duck Tales, and a variety of after school shows whose names I can't seem to remember.

I got on board with The Simpsons from the beginning. Loved Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. South Park. Liked Family Guy after it was canceled and was only on Cartoon Network... got soured on it once it came back to FOX.

I've never gotten into the Adult Swim stuff, Japanimation frightens and confuses me and, no, I never watched Thundercats, G.I. Joe or Transformers.

4. What is YOUR favourite list on 11points.com?

It's a tough, tough call. My favorite lists tend to be the ones that are SO far outside the box that they polarize the readership. (11 Things Julia Stiles Hates About Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, 11 of Ludacris's Sexual Fantasies That Are Just Too Damn Unrealistic and 11 Occasions To Expose Your Breasts in Public, In Order of Classiness all come to mind.

5. Do you think the simpsons will ever end?

Yes, I think one day it will end. I think they'll probably bow out after 25 seasons. Not that it has to... I just think, eventually, it would be good to put it to rest and let the legacy grow postmortem.

7. Who are your 11 favourite non main characters on tv?

Do you mind telling me why there's Hamburger Helper in my coffee?
On current TV shows (that I watched or used to watch), I like the following minor characters: Moe, Lenny and Carl on "The Simpsons", Creed and Oscar on "The Office", Mac's mom on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", Lutz on "30 Rock", Leon on "Curb Your Enthusiasm", Butters' Dad and Craig on "South Park" and Bill Hader's Keith Morrison on "Saturday Night Live".

Sorry if the answers are narrow, I just don't watch all that many shows anymore. And I would've put someone from "Entourage" on there except that I violently despise every character that has ever appeared on that show (except Ari and Lloyd)... with Sloan being the worst of the worst.

8. Have you ever travelled to Australia?

I have not, but it's near the top of places I'd love to go to. I'm going to wait one more year though. Because at the rate that 11 Points is invading the country of Australia, by 2011 I think I'll be able to go there and have people to hang out with in every city. AND who will tell me the proper way to behave so I don't get sentenced to the boot.

9. Have you ever watched Australian Rules football?

Yes! A few weeks back, my girlfriend, my friend JD and I wanted to go out and have a few drinks somewhere within walking distance, so we wandered into this little pub a few blocks from my house. Well... we got there just as the second half of the championship AFL game was starting.

None of us had ever seen it before. We even had to ask a person in the bar to definitively find out what the sport was. But... we absolutely loved it. Amazing sport to watch. Absolutely amazing.

I Twittered about my experience that night and asked people for recommendations on a team to follow next season. I got a bunch and I'm still narrowing it down... but, yes, I'm totally and completely on board with Australian Rules Football.

10. You write a lot of lists about american Football, Did you ever play during high school or college?

I did not. I have the build of a linebacker -- I'm pretty broad-shouldered and have frighteningly powerful legs -- but I'm way too short and way too pain-averse to have ever really competed in football. Despite my height, my sport of choice while growing up was basketball.

11. Can you PLEASE work out international postage as i really want an 11points sticker!?!?!

I'm working on it! Worst case, I'll personally deliver one when I visit Australia in 2011.

keep up the good listage

I realized after I'd answered all these that Paul left out a sixth question, so I inadvertently filled out a top 10 list. So cowardly of me.

5. Fountain soda versus can/bottle soda

In last week's Inbox-O-Rama I listed my favorite sodas, and differentiated between fountain Diet Coke and can/bottle Diet Coke. I didn't give any explanation.
People think I'm crazy when I tell them there is a difference between Diet Coke from the fountain and DC from the bottle...

It may be crazy that I will purposefully seek out a fountain at a gas station or a drive thru that I know has good fountain diet coke, but it's totally worth it.

I'm so glad somebody else publicly acknowledges this amazing un-bottled experience

Absolutely. I'd even start a coalition of people who recognize that there's a significant taste difference.

In general, my preferred order for any soda goes as follows:
  1. Soda out of a fountain, with ice, drank with a straw
  2. Soda out of a fountain, refrigerated, no ice, straw or no straw
  3. Soda out of a fountain, with ice, no straw
  4. Soda out of a refrigerated freshly-opened 20-ounce or two liter bottle
  5. Soda out of a refrigerated can
  6. Soda out of a non-refrigerated, freshly-opened 20-ounce bottle or two liter bottle, put into a cup with ice, no straw
  7. Soda out of a non-refrigerated can, put into a cup with ice, no straw
  8. Soda out of a non-refrigerated, freshly-opened 20-ounce bottle or two liter bottle, put into a cup with ice, straw
  9. Soda out of a non-refrigerated can, put into a cup with ice, straw
  10. Soda out of a refrigerated can, with straw
  11. Drinking something healthy

That all operated under the principles that (1) fountain is better than bottle is better than can (2) carbonated is better than flat (3) I don't like ice banging into my teeth (4) straws are for restaurant use only.

And yes, even with all this neurotic hyperanalyzing of minutiae I somehow have a girlfriend.

6. Another great business selling unconnected things
From a trip my parents took 10 years ago through mississippi and louisiana

Also they want me to tell you they say hi and read the site regularly.

That is a great multitasking business. It's like the Costco of strange back-country general stores.

Oh... and, for reference, Nathan's a friend of mine and I know his parents (and have stayed at their house a few times), so it makes more sense for his parents to say hi than, for example, a stranger telling me "my parents say hi." (Though I have gotten a few e-mails over the past six months or so with that message.)

7. South American Taco Bell does what???

Got this e-mail in response to my 11 Obscure Taco Bell Trivia Facts list... particularly the part where I note that Taco Bells in foreign countries are marketed as American food, not Mexican food, so they serve fries and ice cream...
So, I'm from Costa Rica. Taco Bell is hugely popular here, mostly among the college-highschool ppl.

A few things: Taco Bell doesn't sell fries in the US? The best thing about Taco Bell are the fries... I actually go there mostly to eat these fries with beans, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

We don't use the "Think outside the bun" slogan. That's coz that would be "Piensa fuera del bollo" which 1-makes no sense and 2-I think, but I'm not sure, bollo is a slang for penis. Think outside the penis... not a good slang.

So what do they do? they need a new slogan. They came up with this jewel: "Man does not live by bread alone". A biblical quote. In a deeply catholic country. let's just say it didn't go very well. Tried to ban them and all. In the end I think they won, coz they still use that slogan.

And that's all, from the international Taco Bell corner!

I don't know... I feel like "Think Outside the Penis" would be the marketing shot-in-the-arm that Taco Bell needs. Way better than these terrible commercials for some black taco they're currently running over here in the U.S.

8. The Mighty Ducks.
If you're gonna do an ugly sports jersey list, this needs to be on there.

It looks straight out of Ducktales. Also, Ducktales had the greatest theme song ever.

The spooky part... he sent this before I published... but after I'd started writing... Monday's 11 Mediocre TV Shows With Awesome Theme Songs list -- a list where I give lots of dap to the brilliant "DuckTales" theme song.

And yes, the Ducks hockey franchise has had some seriously awful jerseys and growing pains... especially in that weird phase where they evolved from the Mighty Ducks to simply the Ducks.

I'd currently rank them the 5th most popular sports team in Los Angeles (it goes Lakers, Dodgers, USC, Angels, Ducks ... 400 or so other teams ... then, finally, the Clippers.)

The Dodgers are only ahead of SC for now, though... as soon as the Phillies eliminate them the fair weather winds will blow people right back to Pete Carroll.

9. It was all a dream...
so i had a totally weird 11 points influenced dream the other night....You made this list that was the 11 places i would like to vacation least. but it didnt have 11 points. and you really wanted to go to the anaconda river, which was i think a substitute for the amazon. reasons: who wouldnt like floating down a river all day?

so in dream world i was transported to floating down the river, though not on a raft, just kinda chillin. then as i was floating the whole lots-of-dangerous-animals-and-cannibalistic-tribes-along-the-coast thing came to mind and i was like "dammit 11 points! even though you said the arctic would suck more because it was cold and polar bears would eat you, at least i wouldn't be wet, being shot at by naked people, and have no clue where i am!" but then i swam to shore and found myself right next to my bank.

i needed money so i went into the bank. then i remembered another list that youd done: 11 ways to avoid long lines at the bank. one of those ways was to bring a lot of ping pong balls to the bank. i dont know how you used them, but suddenly i had like, 13 ping pong balls in my hands. so i got to the front, presumably because i had the ping pong balls, and i took out my bank card to get money, but then i realized that i only had my school id card. bummer.

but then you were there! smiling like you do in that picture with your bio. you saw the ping pong balls and were like "hey, you read my website!" and then you and i talked about your website and the ping pong balls for a while. i was surprised because you were very short.

then you left the bank and i stood there very confused with my handful of ping pong balls and school id and no way to actually get out of the amazon. then i woke up.

If I ever did decide to write a list called 11 Ways To Avoid Long Lines At the Bank (which, odds are, I won't), I'm not sure it would include bringing ping pong balls. Unless you were going to use them to create a diversion, or lure the other bank customers into a game of beer pong.

However, I would definitely say that the Arctic is a worse vacation spot than the Amazon (or Anaconda) River.

And for reference, I'm 5'8. That's not tall... but it's definitely not the kind of height that leaves people speechless at my shortness. (Especially not if we're in a South American bank talking about the merits of ping pong balls.)

10. The most obvious Simpsons reference I've ever overlooked.
According to Ned Flanders, corn starch is used for "keepin' down the urges."

That's right: Somehow, on my recent list of 11 Foods That Just Might Kill Your Sex Drive, I completely managed to forget that Flanders quote. (From the Pictionary game where the Van Houtens decide to get divorced.)

Not very smrt of me.

11. Even apple?

This one's in reference to my list 11 Best Photos of Spelling Mistakes...
Another great photo you'll need...

--Elizabeth in Wisconsin
Do you think one day science will find that the part of the brain that makes someone filled with pure hate is also connected to poor spelling?

This post was originally published on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 10:15:00 AM under the category Misc.

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