Geographic Oddities

Geographic Oddities

I live in a geographic oddity. A baseball Bermuda Triangle if you will. Indianapolis does not have a Major League Baseball team and hasn’t had one since pre-television. The closest teams are in Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis. That’s two, three, and four hours away, respectively. And that’s what makes this a geographic oddity: Cubs, Reds, and some Cardinals games are regularly blacked out by MLB.TV. It doesn’t matter that I have paid $130 for their premium package. It doesn’t matter that these three teams are hours away.

This doesn’t impact me as much as the rest of my family. I see almost all the Padres games I want. But every time their Cardinals play the Cubs or Reds, they are out of luck. What’s more ridiculous, is that we often can’t get any of these games on cable. Of course, I have a solution to this. If MLB teams want to claim the viewing rights to a city that is more than an hour’s drive from their location, they should be forced to play at least three games per year in that city! Think about that: the Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals playing games in Indianapolis!

Here are a few other geographic oddities for you to ponder:

El Paso, TX is closer to San Diego, CA than it is to Houston, TX.

From City Hall in Samford, CT, you can go due East, due West, due North, or due South, and eventually reach New York.

If you go far enough due South of Buffalo, NY, you will reach the Pacific Ocean.

The “Northwest Angle” of Minnesota can only be reached by land via Canada.

Bolivia maintains a navy, despite having no coastline.

The hotel Arbez Franco Suisse sits directly on the border of Switzerland and France. The line runs through the kitchen, dining room, gift shop, and some of the guest rooms. Pick the right room, and when you go to bed your feet will be in France while your head will be in Switzerland.

Carry on, Citizens!

Crossing Japan Off My List

Crossing Japan Off My List

Do you have a list on countries you would like to visit before you die? You might want to cross Japan off your list. I just did. I can handle the crowds. I can navigate around my dislike of sushi. I can adapt to the customs of the Japanese people.

Except one.

The one I discovered within the last hour.

And it’s a thing. A real thing. Confirmed by literally minutes of internet research.

The name of this bizarre custom is Kancho.

Kancho is the practice of making your hand into the shape of a gun (see above) and then poking it into someone’s bum. The booty. The butt. The derriere.  Apparently it is a common practice in Japanese schools —sometimes as old as middle school! And it’s perfectly normal and acceptable!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can probably name off a half dozen people I went to school with that never quite grew out of childhood. It happens in every culture. So, I’m pretty certain that there are more than a few people running around an island of 127.3 million people that are still not out of their Kancho phase. Don’t believe me? Japan’s version of ComicCon attracts over a half million attendees! If you’re still dressing up as your favorite comic book player (not that there is anything wrong with that), you might still be attached to some other things you learned to love as a child.

So go to Japan if you must. Just beware of people making their hands into a gun shape. They’re not playing cops and robbers…

Carry on, Citizens!


A Tradition of Giving

A Tradition of Giving

When you go to a dinner party, the proper thing to do is bring a gift. I’m not sure who started this tradition, but I’m assured by my wife that this is indeed a proper tradition that society expects of us. And I want to be part of society. I think.

It’s not that I’m stingy. It’s just that I’ve had my share of gift giving faux pas over the years. Like the time I was told to bring wine to a dinner party. I’m not a wine guy. I can’t tell you which wine goes with fish or pork or spam. I know that some are red and some are white. I know that the stuff that comes out of a box is supposedly not as marvelous as the stuff you can’t pronounce and costs $100 per bottle.