The Situational: Week 13

By Ramzy Nasrallah on November 22, 2012 at 4:00p

It's Thanksgiving Day, you're in a house filled with relatives and/or other acquaintances and yet here you are...on the Internet. T

The Situational is humbled to be your escape from all that fun family chatter.

You've been extra thankful for the better part of the day, which means you did your part as an American (or expatriate – we see you, burgeoning overseas site traffic).

smoochy poochy
Adorable. Ohio ladies love Brutus..

The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys show up every year on this day to remind of us of how the pilgrims dropped anchor off the Atlantic Coast, made nice with some of the locals, kindly introduced their venereal diseases and ultimately evicted them from the premises.

There are varying theories about Thanksgiving, but that's basically how it originally went down. And to think that this storied meeting directly led to your consumption of 10,000 creamy calories today. You are a true patriot of gluttony.

Tomorrow you will graciously contribute to our economy with Christmas and holiday shopping for some of those relatives and acquaintances you're currently ignoring, and Saturday provides a bountiful day of college football that is without peer.

It's a Thanksgiving Edition of The Situational, you guys. Let's get to it!


We celebrated Michigan's only POTUS seven Situationals ago because Gerald Ford was actually born in Nebraska, and that's who the Buckeyes were playing then. So instead we're stuck, once again, recognizing yet another dead guy who hailed from the Buckeye State.

MOAR LASANYA PLZ JON ARBUCKLEThe President, gazing at his dog Odie (not pictured)

James A. Garfield had nothing to do with the passive aggressive cartoon cat who likes lasagna, but that's probably what you first thought when you learned his name. We had a president named Garfield? Like the orange cat in the funnies!

Garfield was from Cuyahoga, where the same-name-as-the-cat thing is obviously less common. He served with the Union army for a bit during the Civil War before being elected to Congress in Ohio's 19th district.

He was one of those anti-slavery Republicans who didn't like Abraham Lincoln for not being hawkish enough with the Confederacy (going to war just wasn't enough). Go ahead, digest that. Pretend it's a pan of lasagna if you must. 

How hawkish? Garfield wanted all Confederate leaders and organizers kicked out of America or executed, believing they had permanently forfeited their Constitutional rights with the act of secession.

Besides, the only way to permanently eradicate slavery – in his mind – would be to permanently eradicate the slaveholders themselves, literally. He was also vehemently opposed to the idea of paper money.

So between that and slavery, he batted a politically respectable .500. [slides dead president into soda machine] [soda machine rejects it]

Following several terms in Congress, Garfield was elected to the Senate and before we was able to serve in that capacity was elected POTUS, which means he was a Congressman, Senator-Elect and President-Elect at the same time!

But he was never a cat. And he was assassinated 200 days into his presidency by a deranged stalker. Oh, Garfield.


THE TOILET BOWL: TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (-14) against Kentucky. Talented team with fired coach > untalented team with fired coach.

THE PENDING ADOPTION: RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS  (+2) at Pittsburgh, because the Panthers are only 25-58-2 against B1G teams. Good timing, Rutgers.

THE SCRAMBLED EGG: MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (even) against Ole Miss. Coffee is for closers, Hugh Freeze.

THE SPARTY YES: SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (-4.5) against Louisiana Tech, which began its decline the second it took notice of its altitude.


LAST WEEK: 4-1 | SEASON: 27-33


Thanksgiving is the most routine celebration of all the American holidays. Your family probably has an established, conventional protocol for how this day is supposed to go, and at its core you're putting more thought and planning into food than you do on any other day.

There's likely a turkey involved as the centerpiece. Perhaps some customary side dishes, including your personal favorite. Let's check in with our fellow citizens and see how they're doing it up today:

Whether you're low-carbing it, avoid gluten altogether, a vegetarian or simply a voracious carnivore – Thanksgiving allows everyone to be picky. Or not picky – some of us eat everything including the plate and napkin.

Assuming Alejandra has a firm grasp on punctuation, and that this is an awesomely flavored vodka I can't find in liquor stores anywhere. Her Thanksgiving > your Thanksgiving. Obviously.

Are you feeling bad for Taritaa™ for suffering through pizza, cheese sticks and employment on Thanksgiving? Go to a Somalian village and tell the children the tragic tale of the American with a steady paycheck who ate pizza and cheese sticks and it was a bad thing. They'll swim here. They'll show you some thankfulness.

Maybe it is next Thursday. Maybe every Thursday should be Thanksgiving. WAIT WHY ISN'T IT?

This seems like another American Pie sequel. Cramel cake, you nasty!


The Mojave. Bring a sweater!

Literally? Figuratively? Doesn't matter. Good call.

That's the beauty of Thanksgiving: You can plan it for weeks and eat a ton of food, or you can wake up and suddenly OMG IT'S THANKSGIVING TODAY and eat a ton of food. Potato, potato. Or potahto, potahto. Regardless: Potatoes.

Okay, let's do this. Next week – Thanksgiving II: Thanksgiving Reloaded

Well, not always. But yes, setting it on fire would be fun. Hey, let's do that on Independence Day!


There is a bourbon for every situation. Sometimes the spirits and the events overlap, which means that where bourbon is concerned there is typically more than one worthy choice.

Panty melter. You're welcome.Pappy Van Winkle 20-year. It's the tops, man.

I'm often asked what my favorite bourbon is, and the answer is always the one I'm holding at that moment – because I don't want that bourbon to feel bad.

The best-tasting bourbon is subjective. Pappy Van Winkle is fairly renown on account of its scarcity, but hype aside – the entire portfolio of products is damn near perfect. 

Choosing among the Pappy varieties is an exercise you want to have. It's like deciding between denominations of currency at the cashier following a triumphant run at the craps table. A Pappy tasting is the pinnacle of the bourbon experience, and having had that glorious opportunity – my palate decided on my behalf that the 20-year is superior.

What separates the 20 from the others is how ridiculously elegant it is. You taste vanilla, honey, the barrel itself, cloves, leather, your childhood, your first kiss, your last kiss, your best kiss, an orange peel and the inside of one of those fancy boxes bros give their groomsmen to house cufflinks they'll never wear. In a single, perfect sip.

The 15-year is a little more pungent while the extra three years of solitude that go into the 23-year sacrifices a little too much to the angels. So the 20 is the baby bear's porridge, chair and bed all in one glass. It's just so right. 

If you actually find this phantom bourbon (all of the Pappys are hard to find) you have buy it. The cost difference between the 15 and the 20 is justified; the delta to purchase the 23 is harder. You want the 20.

But by all means – if you can easily afford all three, don't decide. Just share your craps mastery with the rest of us so we can all join your awesome club.


When Appetite for Destruction came out I bought the cassette at Buzzard's Nest on Bethel Road and played it in my Sony Walkman on repeat. It would reach the end of the first side, auto-reverse to side B (that was a cool new Walkman feature at the time) and then repeat and repeat and repeat.

Eventually the music was siphoned off of the tape by overuse and it sounded like loud hiss. You could only faintly make out Mr. Brownstone but that was about it. A compact disc replaced the exhausted tape.

Two decades later I was in Indianapolis on business and informed that I had to go see this two-man band play at a restaurant called Agio. I arrived, sat at the bar and ordered some olives and a bourbon. Two guys dressed as accountants showed up, set up a keyboard, and then went to the bathroom to change out of their work clothes.

They emerged in leisure suits. Then they played this, exactly like this:


They also performed Kenny G's Songbird, with a kazoo solo and lyrics. No hip-hop, disco or jazz song was safe from their profanity-laden lounge upgrade. 

I started scheduling my business trips to Indianapolis to include Wednesday evenings so I could go to Agio and see the Leisure Kings do their weekly thing, from GNR to a polka version of You Shook Me All Night Long in broken German. And they always seemed to offend at least one person who would storm out in classic idonotgetthejoke.gif fashion.

I don't really make it to Indy as much as I used to, but if I did I'd still slide Wednesday nights into the trip and attend Leisure Kings shows until their sweet music faded into just hiss. And then I'd listen to the hiss, and laugh about the morons who stormed out of a free show incapable of grasping their brilliance.

Happy Thanksgiving – see you next week for The Situational Season Finale. Beat Michigan.


Comments Show All Comments

bleedscarletpissmaize's picture

Im a huge fan of that first photo.

Menexenus's picture

Love that handle, BSPM!  :-)

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Geraffi's picture

But please remove the Brutus head, or at least relocate it to the corner. 

bukyze's picture

I would give thanks, on Thanksgiving, if this were to happen.

Idaho Helga's picture

Personally I could have done without the 1st photo.  Ugh.  But found the rest very, very funny.  Yes, I am cooking PHOOD including turkey  (nobody here likes it) but yummy other stuff which will ensure that I will have lots of unwanted turkey leftovers and all the desserts, etc eaten up.  They will, as will I, have that obligatory slice or 2 of the turkey then the rest of the turkey shall be safe on the platter, awaiting the tupperware party soon to be.
I have my Buckeyes Flag out with the 7 championships proudly at the bottom. I'm thinking of adding after Saturdays win an "UNDEFEATED! STICK IT NCAA" poster attached.  Am I WRONG?

Menexenus's picture

Helga, if you're wrong, I don't want to be right!  :-)

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Personally I could have done without the 1st photo.  Ugh.

I deliberately censored the photo to ensure that everyone else could hate it with you. Just wanted to unite 11W readers today. Happy Thanksgiving!

btalbert25's picture

+1 sir. Your actions definitely make me hate this picture Ramzy!  

Menexenus's picture

It's like deciding between denominations of currency at the cashier following a triumphant run at the craps table.

I had an experience like that my last night in Vegas.  It was 2-and-a-half years ago at Casino Royale (yes, for those playing at home, that officially makes me a "little fish"), and it was glorious!  The whole table was running hot and I personally rolled 5 points in a row.  An experience like that makes it easy to understand how a person can get addicted to gambling...

Real fans stay for Carmen.

CALPOPPY's picture

I've spent Thanksgiving weekend in the Mojave Desert during my dissertation research so I can relate to some of these tweets. Ramzy, you are correct- the Mojave is the best and bring a sweater at this of year.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

btalbert25's picture

My sister lived in Twenty-nine Palms for a couple of years while her husband was stationed out there.  It was 125 in July and August, and in January the same year they had 6 inches of snow.  It's a pretty harsh climate out there.

CALPOPPY's picture

Yeah, I used to romanticize the desert and think how wonderful it would be to live in a town like Borrego Springs (south of Joshua Tree NP) because I was always there in the winter and spring. Then I went down in July to collect some seeds, was fine in the morning, and then went out just after lunch...Holy Hell was it hot! Amazing. Most of the Mojave is a bit better due to elevation, but it is never super-pleasant in summer. Now maybe it's not so much better than the Sacramento area in the summer either, and I was fine with that for the time I was there. But it's really different from most temperate parts of the world.
But mostly I liked it because there was nobody out there. And Twenty-Nine Palms is fun. It's fun to count the number of barber shops and tatoo parlors. There were about 8 of each.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

btalbert25's picture

I dont' think my sister hated leaving there, but she did make some friends. She is terrified of spiders and kept seeing tarantulas off base.  One day she had just saw 2 near her car and was all freaked out.  The MP's at the gate saw she was bothered and asked what was wrong.  She said oh it's stupid, but I'm terrified of those tarantulas.  One of the MP's said oh yeah you have to be careful they can get in your car through the A/C (he was totally messing with her).  So she goes home and keeps my brother in law up all night obsessing about it.  He was the captain who basically oversaw all the MP's.  He went to work the next day and said WHO STOPPED MY WIFE YESTERDAY AND TOLD HER ABOUT TARANTULAS GETTING IN CARS THROUGH THE A/C.  He is pretty easy going but he said the oh shit look on the guy's face was priceless.  
Anytime I think of the Mojave or I hear of 29 Palms I think about that story and laugh. 

CALPOPPY's picture

That's pretty funny. The only time I have seen a tarantula in the wild was in Joshua Tree. But the black widows were everywhere. Down there and up in the Central Valley. (and the damn rattle snakes I've almost stepped on while out by myself, hours from the closest town)
29 Palms did seem like a close-knit community...although I'm not surprised as it's mostly military. I'd often stay at the Motel 6 and head to the BBQ joint at night. It was fun to see the officers in there introducing their families to some of the grunts. When I'm at a place like that I always felt like a heel for not serving. Here I am just "wasting" taxpayer money looking at plants in the desert and I think that these fine individuals are often shipped out away from their family not long after I am there. Pass my thanks to your sister's family.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

xtremebuckeye's picture

All I saw was a photo at the top & BEAT michigan tsun at the bottom.

O H I O is the Buckeye State

btalbert25's picture

I was going to buy a bottle of Pappy 20 off of Ebay.  Ebay used to be an awesome place to find rare liquors, anyone could sell them as long as they put a disclaimer saying value of the item you are bidding on is the collectible container and not the contents inside the bottle, seller verifies that the buyer is of legal age.  Now they have put the kabash on that, and you can no longer find it on Ebay. 
I've tried to find it at local stores.  The few places here in NKY that I thought may have had it deny that they carry it lol.  So, I don't know where to find the stuff.  I don't want to pay all the extra money for the 23 year when I everything I've read and heard says the 20 year is superior.  

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

What I really want to know Ramzy is this: why is Pappy Van Winkle not available in OH-IO? They have distributorships in 43 (if I counted right) states, but not their friendly neighbor to the north? Drunken blasphemy to be sure... As an amateur conneseur of all things bourbon and scotch, I need some PVW...

btalbert25's picture

The stuff is made in Kentucky and is almost impossible to find.  I guess folks in the know can find it, but on their website they only show 2 or 3 stores in NKY that carry it.  When you call or email folks at those stores they don't have much information to share at all.  There is a spot on the wall with a pricetag for Pappy at the Cork and Bottle in Covington, KY, but again, ask about it and they really don't have a clue what you are talking about.  
I'm sure in Louisville or Lexington there are some places that may carry it.  I also found a website for a liquor store in Frankfort that has a huge selection of bourbons and they are on the Pappy site as well.  I may make a trek down there one day just to check it out.  
It's funny, you can find bottles of congac or wine that are hundreds or even thousands of dollars with now problem, but a bottle that's not nearly as expensive, Pappy 20, is impossible to find.  I know it's part of their marketing strategy, but still it's frustrating!

Ashtabula's picture

Pictures like that first one and the one of the Oregon cheerleaders a few weeks ago are the reason my wife doesn't believe this is a legitimate site.  Don't be afraid to show more!

coloradobuckeye's picture

One of the reason this is one of my favorite sites is because there is usually no pics like the first one.  There are plenty of places people can go for that stuff... I just love the Buckeyes!  Go Bucks!

Let your hobbies and interests supplement your life, not be the main course.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Agio on Mass Ave closed down last year. Sorry man...

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

osu07asu10's picture

Lol I'm about 90℅ sure that one of those girls is an ex

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

baz's picture

Those should be tTUN girls kissing Brutus' behind. 

RBuck's picture

Thanks for the Leisure Kings video. For some reason, I love that kind of act.

Long live the southend.

osubuckeye4life's picture

You should check out this group then:


osubuckeye4life's picture

Congrats Ramzy on going 4-1 in wagers last week!