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img_3046It started off simply enough. I was on my way to a Super Bowl party and called the host to see if they needed anything.

“Glad you called. Turns out we got a bunch of cheese, but no crackers.”

“I’m on it,” I replied. “I’ll bring some crackers.”

Simple enough it seemed. There were two minor hitches it turned out.

First, the entire town was at the local grocery store picking up last minute items, wings, pizza, chips and beer, lots and lots of beer.

Second, there was nearly an entire aisle of the store devoted to crackers. See cover photo. Who knew?
There were more than just Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Ritz and good old fashioned Saltines.

There were toasted crackers, water crackers, baked crackers, wheat crackers, wheat free crackers, rice crackers, matzo crackers, ground pepper crackers, whole grain crackers, no grain crackers, pretzel crackers and pita crackers.

Then the aberration crackers, Chikin in a basket, Cheeze its, Cheese Nips, Goldfish Crackers, Animal Crackers, Oyster Crackers and Graham Crackers.

I quickly ruled out the Graham family of crackers but my mind was boggled at the selection.

I called the host. “Hey, uh, I’m having trouble finding the crackers,” I lied.

“Not to worry,” he replied. “Just pick up some brew. Billy Bob bopped by with a big box of crackers. That’s what he does. He was just late. Cracker Billy is always good for the crackers on Super Bowl Sunday. “

Now, “Cracker Billy” was a term of endearment for our southern friend. He took the nickname as a source of pride for his long time roots in the Georgia south.

Indeed, before the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965, the minor league baseball team of the Southern Association was actually called the Atlanta Crackers. The Negro League team was likewise known as the Atlanta Black Crackers. (This is not to be confused with the Chiropractic Society of Atlanta known as the Atlanta Back Crackers. OK, I made that one up. The other names are entirely true.)

In any event, the term “Cracker” as applied to a group of people is tricky. Some, like Billy Bob find it OK. Others find the term offensive. Polly may wanna cracker, but Polly don’t want you to call her a cracker if you get my drift. So, it’s wise to stay away from the term.

So, I was looking in the craft beer aisle which was JUST as mind boggling as the cracker aisle. And there I saw it. Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale.

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Crackers and beer all in a can. Doesn’t get any better. Billy Bob loved it.

img_3027Wedwand comes alive again tonight.

OK I’m totally freaked at four things.

ONE: It’s 2017. I have things in my refrigerator with an expiration date marked “0417Beelzebubgobad” and I’m thinking “well that mustard is good for a few more years” when BANG it hits me. It IS 2017! I gotta be eating more hot dogs and brats cause damn, its 2017! That mustard’s going bad.

TWO: Groundhog Day is this week. Thursday as a matter of fact. I haven’t done ANY shopping at all yet.

THREE: Going into this year’s baseball season, the Chicago Cubs are the defending World Champions! Hell yeah they are. Never gets old.

FOUR: The President of America is a former Game Show host. Now I don’t exactly recollect how Alex Trebek got to this office, but it’s a fair assumption that the electorate prefers responses in the form of a question than actual answers.

That said. There’s required homework to continue further. Back to a simpler time. 1968.

You must watch this video. Tommy Boyce. Bobby Hart. “I wonder what she’s doing tonight.”

Great song, obvious lip synch. Odd ruffled sleeves. Orange and Green velvet suits. The tambourine gets dropped unceremoniously at 20 seconds. Not a trumpet to be seen in the brass interlude.

Simpler times. Yet struggles existed. Maybe they weren’t so simple. 1968 was a rough year. Maybe ruffled sleeves weren’t the answer.

The past seems simpler since we lived through it and survived. But it wasn’t all that simple when it was “going down”. Stop children what’s that sound.

These days we perceive as harder times, yet struggles still exist, not unlike struggles survived in the past. I wonder what we’re doing tonight. Whatever it is …

We will survive.

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Time for Wedwand’s 4th annual Thanksgiving Eve address to the nation, or at least the nation of Wedwand supporters. I thank you.

I willingly profess Thanksgiving to be my favorite holiday. It has no pretense. It has no hype. And every year it reminds me to be thankful for what I have.

After speaking with some of you out there, I found that the actual Thanksgiving meal may have some awkward moments when seeing family and friends that you possibly only see once or twice a year, maybe by choice, maybe due to geography.

As a Public Service reminder, this week’s Wedwand, will again provide some valuable tidbits to help you through your Thanksgiving celebration dinner.

Given the current state of affairs, and to keep the peace, it is advisable to avoid certain conversation topics as religion, politics and ‘boy this turkey is really dry’.

If things get dicey, and if it doesn’t involve the diced ingredients of the stuffing, here’s an old “go to” line. “How bout those Cubs?”

Just shout it out and interrupt Uncle Bill’s tirade. For the FIRST time in 108 years this is bound to elicit positive conversation (unless of course some of the guests are from the south side of Chicago or Cleveland). If that’s the case, just humbly acknowledge their differences and act like you knew it would happen. Don’t gloat. Nobody likes a gloater, just like nobody likes a floater in their gravy.

You can add, “You know, this WAS the Year of the Reckoning in sports.”

– in 2016, Leicester City won the English Premier League Soccer Championship for the first time EVER against 5,000-1 odds.
– Ireland’s Rugby team stunned the New Zealand All Blacks 40-29 in Chicago no less on November 6, 2016 for the first win for Ireland over the All Blacks in its 111-year history.
– And just last week, the University of Kansas defeated the Texas Longhorns in football for the first time since 1938. The score was 24-21.

If that fails, you can just mutter, “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

That is bound to prompt some happy chuckles as those who remember reminisce on the 1978 “Turkey Drop” episode from the TV show WKRP. In case you missed the source of that:

Uncle Bill may interject, “Turkeys CAN fly, Goddammit.”

You kindly repond, “Yes, Uncle Bill wild turkeys CAN fly in short bursts at up to 55 MPH.“ Then subtly whisper to Aunt June, “Psst, hide the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Uncle Bill himself is flying right now. And, Aunt June. How DID you get the turkey to come out so juicy.”

So, enjoy the relish and relish the day. And please say “thanks” once or a hundred times and reflect on ALL the things to be THANKFUL for.

Signing off with the Wedwand Thanksgiving Anthem.

FOOTNOTE:
In case you missed or may have forgotten the Wedwand posts from the three previous years, here they are:

https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/tales-of-the-giving/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/the-393rd/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/on-the-eve-of-thanks-give-it/

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