Ask Wessel

Ask Wessel: What are your March Madness predictions?

Every Friday on GoMN.com Dana Wessel answers your questions. Music, sports, pop culture, whatever you want. Have a question? You can tweet them to @DanaWessel or email him at DWessel@Gomn.com.

Q: Was the punishment for the Surdyk’s guy fair? – Mike

For the owner? Yeah, for sure. The employees who ring up the millions of dollars of booze and smelly cheese that go through those doors? Nah. I feel for them.

The smart thing would have been to shut down his stunt midway through the day when he was told to knock it off. At that point he got all the buzz on social media and could have gotten away with just a fine. But he sort of sealed his fate by keeping the store open all day even after the city told him to shut it down (Jon Taffer voice!!). It is one thing to poke the hornet’s nest. It is another thing to smack it with a flaming baseball bat.

July cannot come soon enough so we can just be done with nonsense like this and buy booze on Sundays like the degenerates we are.

Q: Top ten things you never want someone to tell you about. 1. NCAA Bracket 2. Fantasy Football loss 3. Bad poker beat… – Sean

I think you nailed the top three pretty well. I’ll round out the top ten for you.

1. NCAA bracket – Nobody cares.
2. Fantasy football loss – Nobody cares.
3. Bad poker beat – Poker was cool for six months 10 years ago.
4. Sex life – Gross.
5. Political beliefs – Keep it to yourself.
6. Religious beliefs – Keep it to yourself.
7. Why they don’t like something you like – Oh, you think the Fast and Furious movies suck? Congratulations you unique cherub angel. Thank you for enlightening me! I have now had a total change of heart thanks to your hackneyed take!
8. Travel horror story – Things didn’t work out perfectly with the coach seat you booked on a discount airline?! Join the club and shut up.
9. Relationship/friendship drama – Go be an adult and talk it out with whomever it involves.
10. Bad service stories – 10 times out of 10 when someone tells me a story complaining about a bartender or server, I end up siding with the bartender or server.

Q: How long after you send a text message without getting a response is it acceptable to send the single question mark (“?”) follow-up text? – Sarah

Some people may say it is never acceptable, but I disagree.

Say you are driving alone in the mountains during a snowstorm somewhere when a pack of mountain lions wander into the road causing you to veer off through the guardrail and plunge about 50 feet into a ditch. You are badly hurt, but able to make an emergency call. However, by the time the ambulance gets to you the storm has worsened and they also go plunging through the guardrail to a near-certain death. You are running out of phone battery and the increased severity of the storm has made getting a cell signal strong enough for a second call all but impossible. You are able to send off a text message to a nearby friend explaining the situation and asking for help. If your phone reaches 1 percent battery life and they still haven’t responded then — AND ONLY THEN — should you send the single question mark follow-up text message.

That is it. That is the only time you should ever do that BS. If it has been a few hours or days and you haven’t gotten a response then just take the L and come to terms with the fact they don’t want to talk to you.

Q: Question for Ask Wessel. What’s your most irrational fear? Mine is dropping my keys down a sewer grate or that little space between an elevator and the elevator door. – Tim

Not to freak you out, Tim, but I have seen more than one person drop their phone between the space in the elevator door. Now, both times came in college when unsafe amounts of alcohol were involved but it can still happen. Better be safe than sorry, and keep your phone in your pockets in the elevator.

My fear of condiments has been well-established in this space so I will just skip right over that one. I have another odd fear/phobia about where I sit in a movie theater or a restaurant/bar. I hate having my back to a lot of people. It freaks me out and I get uncomfortable. I like to sit with my back against the wall in a restaurant or the last row in the movie theater so I can always see anybody coming toward me.

Also, geese. Screw geese. I don’t trust them. They weird me out.

Q: What’s your favorite real space mission? What’s your favorite fictional one? – Dylan

Real space mission: When Harry Stamper led his crew of oil riggers into space to to destroy an asteroid roughly the size of Texas to save the world from armageddon.

Fake space mission: When NASA filmed the six manned “moon landings” in the 1960s and ’70s on a TV set in California.

Q: Any big March Madness predictions? – Jim

Yeah, tons!

  • There will be some upsets.
  • Some annoying people you know will brag to you that they called those upsets, as if they stayed up all night grinding away at film, when in reality they just took a wild guess like everybody else.
  • You’ll get really sick of that opening CBS jingle they play coming into and out of each break.
  • Some kid will cry after his team loses on a buzzer beater, and I won’t be able to help but laugh.
  • The Gophers will win their first game but lose their second game.
  • It will be as satisfying as ever when Duke craps their stupid blue shorts and Coach K pouts off the court.
  • A lot of your co-workers are going to knock out early on Thursday and Friday to go watch from a bar.
  • You should definitely join them.
  • If you do join them, you should tell me where you go.
  • I’ll come join you as well.
  • Just don’t tell me about your bracket.

Q: What is the worst part about a friend or coworker going on a spring break trip? Social media pictures, their tan, or the stories they insist on telling you? – Heidi

The tan doesn’t bother me all that much. That will fade in a few days and could be acquired by anybody willing to lather up in baby oil and take a 20-minute nap at Darque Tan.

The stories can be pretty annoying, mostly because nobody is ever interested in hearing them and they always fall flat with that awkward “I guess you just had to be there!”

But the one that bugs me the most are the obnoxious social media photos. You know the kind I am talking about. The picture of the feet by the pool with the dumb “I guess this will do!” caption. Or the picture of the first tee box of a golf course with the stupid “My office for the day!” Or another of my personal favorites, a picture of the beautiful ocean with a derpy sarcastic “Well this weather certainly sucks!”

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against posting photos on vacation. Just don’t be a braggadocious douche about it all.

Q: Favorite ’90s action movie that’s so bad it’s good (from following): Demolition Man, Face/Off, Speed, True Lies? – Cory

Confession time! I have never seen Demolition Man. I am sure it is gloriously awful and I will get to it one day. But I haven’t seen it yet.

So of the remaining three I obviously have to go with my guy Cage in Face/Off. Any time a question gets posed and a Cage flick is an option, I’ll always go Cage. Especially when that option is Face/Off. You have Cage and Travolta in their peak ’90s weirdness. This was a once-in-a-generation movie. I love it more and more with every cable rewatch.

That isn’t a knock on Speed and True Lies, either. I think Keanu takes knocks on the internet unfairly. He is good. Speed is fun. Also, True Lies has one of the quintessential cheesy action lines ever. When that terrorist is hanging on a missile from the fighter jet and Arnold looks at him and goes “Yaahh fihhhhahd” before blasting the missile. Classic ’90s action cheese.

Q: How many luxury apartment complexes are too many luxury apartment complexes in Minneapolis? – Angela

I thought we reached our peak about two or three years ago, but every time I look up into the sky I see another monstrosity with a rooftop pool going up somewhere in Minneapolis.

You would hope that maybe with so many of them popping up that the prices would go down, but that doesn’t seem to be the case either. I looked up the price for one the other day just out of curiosity and it caused me to casually take a sip of water so I could spit it out in shock.

Q: How do you feel about people who don’t use their turn signal? I personally think repeat offenders should be subject to a heavy fine or limited jail time. IT’S IN YOUR CAR FOR A REASON! – Ross

There is one circumstance where it really, really bugs me. When I am behind a car at a red light in a left-hand turn lane. They haven’t signaled so I know I don’t have to worry about their jank-ass having to yield as cars drive by. But once the light turns green THEN they flip on the signal and I am stuck behind them while 90 cars fly by on Hennepin. Makes me so angry. If a cop ever sees someone pull that BS they should have their license revoked for life.

Q: Why are the City Slickers movies never on TV? I realize I could probably buy them but I feel like they’d be a great addition to the weekend movie lineup on FX or USA or something. Am I the only one who likes them? – Katie

I did some research on this, and Katie is absolutely right. I checked TVListings.com and there are no scheduled airings for City Slickers in the next 28 days. I definitely have fond memories of the original City Slickers. It appears other people do too. It got 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. They should definitely be in the weekend zone-out cable TV mix. Nothing wrong with some Billy Crystal.

You also hit another really big point. Intentionally putting a DVD in or firing up a movie on Netflix is FAR less satisfying than just stumbling upon it on cable. There should be a word for this phenomenon. There is just something great about catching the last 45 minutes of a flick on TV. It is like you earned it somehow. Like the universe is rewarding you for being a lazy pile of crap on a Saturday by gifting you the back-half of Forgetting Sarah Marshall on FX.

Q: Most pizza buffets overestimate how much people enjoy supreme/combo pizzas. Those kinds are always the only slices left. – Clarence

I am glad you pointed out this major problem, Clarence. Why do pizza buffets try to get cute by putting out crazy combinations and gross supreme pizzas? People want cheese, pepperoni and sausage.

The worst is when there is only the disgusting supreme or some other effed-up combination left under the warmers. That leaves you with just two options. Either eat the disgusting pizza because you are hungry. Or be one of the many people sitting in their booth, plate in hand, eyeing the kitchen door like a GD hawk waiting for a fresh ‘roni. The first option forces you to eat crappy pizza. The second option forces you to join a stampede to the fresh ‘roni where you may get a single piece if you are lucky. Both options suck.

Also, as long as we are on the topic, pizza buffet places should take those garbage dessert pizzas and throw them outside for the dogs. Those things are disgusting and just take up room where actual pizza could be sitting.

Q: Wanna go to Up-Down? – Jimmy

Yes. Always. If anyone ever goes to Up-Down and doesn’t invite me I cut them out of my life.

Alright, that’ll do it for this week. Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend! 50 degrees and a ton of good sports on this weekend. Crack the windows, pour a beer, and keep the dream alive, you guys.

Keep your questions coming to @DanaWessel on Twitter, in the comments section below or email them to DWessel@gomn.com.

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