“That Got Me To Thinkin’…?” “Life’s Dilemmas” Chapter 41
By Bruce Williams
This country is so divided between Democrats and Republicans (though the fastest growing political affiliation is Independent), I started pondering some of the other great divides that separate us. While only barely scratching the surface, here are a few seminal topics submitted for your dinner table fist poundings.
Crunchy vs. Creamy. My wife and I are twenty years in on this back-and forth—me, always a crunchy guy and she, creamy. She’ll cross over occasionally now when in the mood for something thicker and heartier, and I will imbibe some creamy only when in the form of peanut butter cookies (hers are the best). While most of our mutual products have merged over the years (I ridiculed the watery blueness of her non-fat milk for years until she reluctantly became a two percenter), this is one sticking point that we’ve agreed to disagree upon.
TP Over vs. Under. This one is far simpler, but I’ll sometimes enter a household with the psychotic under dispense method and shake my head in disbelief. Who does that? The paper often sticks to the curvature of the metal in the back causing you to repeatedly grab for it in vain, while the over delivery is simple, neat, and visible—really quite elegant in its ease of use. This one is by no means a 50/50 split, but the “Unders” still lurk out there with their convoluted logic and sadistic machinations.
Bon Scott vs. Brian Johnson. Okay, this one could easily be an entire book, but you have to pick one and I’m a Bon Scotter. While Back In Black has been ballyhooed before in this column as my favorite album of all time (a Johnson—his first), the band’s early, comically lurid bent with Bon remains my favorite. Songs like “Little Lover”, “Big Balls” and “Squealer” show Bon in his element—barefoot and shirtless, unapologetically leering and swiveling his hips. While Johnson’s thumpers like “Thunderstruck”, “For Those About to Rock…” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” might get more volume out in the truck, Bon’s offerings get more wry smiles.
Butter vs. Margarine. This seems so obvious to me. Yes, butter clogs your arteries and separates into fatty and clear liquids in the microwave, but what exactly that crap in the tub is, I couldn’t tell you. Much like Velveeta ain’t cheese, margarine ain’t dairy. Some combination of oil and chemicals and your grandfather’s gently cascading eyebrow dandruff.
Dog vs. Cat. I’m a dog guy. When I’m scrolling Facebook, rarely will I “like” a cat pic. After all…it’s just a dumb cat. But show me your dog, and it’s, “Who’s a guuud boyyy?!” You might even get a rare “love” out of me. Cats could care less about us, but dogs undying devotion is God-like. Some people do like cats, though—the same ones who like their toilet paper underneath, I suspect.
FaceTime vs. text vs. phone. I hate FaceTime, but that’s the only thing my kids will respond to when dinner’s ready. Conversely, my mom only speaks on the phone—no texts. I also hate talking on the phone unless I’m driving and it’s coming in over the system—for some reason that’s not as nuisance-ridden. Texts are best, but my wife claims that you can’t detect tone through a text (“She only used three exclamation points for something that obviously required at least four!!!!”)
Coke vs. Pepsi. Again, I use my wife because her peculiarities fascinate me. “I’ll have a Diet Coke” “Is Pepsi okay?” “Ummm…just an ice water then.” It’s like telling the waitperson to take their Diet Pepsi and shove it—only politely. I prefer (Diet) Coke, but can deal with Pepsi as long as it’s ice cold and the fountain mix is right. Don’t get me started on Dr. Pepper or (heaven forbid) Mr. Pibb. Who orders a Mr. Pibb, anyway? Really, I usually just order iced tea and call it good.
Well there’s a handful of topics equally as divisive as today’s political climate. It reminds me of those old Miller Lite commercials where the ever growing contingents of ex-players would bark across the bar, “Tastes Great!” and be parroted back with, “Less Filling!” And if you looked at all those categories and shrugged and thought, “I could fall on either side of any of those fences”—you might want to tamp down the milquetoast and go ahead and start standing for something.