Q: Best time to open presents: Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? – Patrick
I always hear this debate — most famously from Kevin Costner in Bull Durham — but I have yet to meet anybody who actually opens their presents on Christmas Eve. Who are these hooligans? Show yourselves now so we can shun you from society like we should have whenever your weird-ass tradition began.
Do you open your birthday presents the night before your birthday? Do you eat Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night?
Q: Is this the greatest December weather of all time or what? – Jessica
Honestly? No, I don’t like it that much. It isn’t like I am MAD or anything, but I am one of those sappy weirdos that wants snow at Christmas. Between Thanksgiving and January 1, I think snow is the greatest thing in the world. It gets you in the holiday spirit. Watching Home Alone for the 9,000th time with some Bailey’s in your hot chocolate just isn’t the same when you look outside and all you see is that disgusting wet, dead grass.
Q: What’s proper fortune cookie etiquette? My husband and I disagree on this. I say you have to eat the whole cookie before reading the fortune. He doesn’t even eat the cookie. Infuriating. – Kortney
I gotta say, I side with your husband here. I usually smash the thing over my head, which brings good luck, and then read the fortune. I rarely eat the cookie. In fact, I know this has been addressed, but it is an insult to the cookie that we even refer to it by that name. It is second only the atrocity that is “boneless wings.”
But where was I? Oh yeah, fortune cookies are pretty gross. They always taste like they have been sitting there for years. Eating the thing with the plastic wrapper on would actually improve the taste. The fortune is the real prize here.
I also firmly believe that we should spice up the fortunes a bit. It would really make the ceremonious grabbing of the pile of cookies in the middle of the table a lot more exciting if “A giant gorilla holding a barb wire baseball bat is waiting to challenge you to a duel in the parking lot” was inside one of those cardboard cookies.
Also, as long as I am fixing the Chinese restaurant industry, how about this idea? Chew on this one. Maybe you can win stuff from the fortune cookies. I’d much rather get “Free order of egg rolls on your next visit!” than “Take some time to reconnect with old friends.” Screw old friends. I want free egg rolls on my next visit.
Q: You thinking about reactivating your landline at all? – Stuart
Oh, how I want to. Comcast sold us on a landline number by telling us it would make our monthly bill cheaper. That of course was totall bullsh*t. So we got rid of it. But those were a glorious few months. Having a landline was fun. It’s always a surprise when it rings. You never know who it will be. It was especially fun calling my friends on it since nobody under the age of 30 is comfortable answering their phones.
Q: Would you have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids? – Pat
This question actually got me thinking about Scooby Doo and I looked some things up. Did you know there have been 12 different Scooby Doo TV series’ spanning 390 episodes and 44 movies? Those kids have solved A LOT of mysteries. Shouldn’t we have put Shaggy and his screw on bin Laden? Or at least had them assist the FBI with some stuff? Kids were pros.
Q: Need X-Mas present ideas for my girlfriend. How much do you spend ? What gift? – Matt
This came up a few weeks ago about birthdays. It isn’t about how much you spend, it’s about how much thought you put into it. Most women would much rather get something thoughtful and nice than just something expensive you grabbed at the mall.
Q: What song do you know all the lyrics to that would most embarrass you if people knew it? – Phil
Lee Ann Womack – “I Hope You Dance.”
I know a lot of you are judging me right now, but just know this, when you get the chance to sit it or dance, I hope you daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaance.
Q: How long would they have to shut down The Price Is Right if somebody died spinning the Big Wheel? – Mark
Interesting and morbid question, Mark!
I think it would all depend on the cause of death. If somebody had a heart attack from trying to spin the thing? Then I think just a few days. Three maximum. Enough time to show some respect to the family and for the lawyers to tighten up whatever waiver they make you sign before appearing on the show.
But if the thing came unhinged and just mowed down like four or five people? That’s probably when you’d see it shut down for a few weeks. It would probably be the death of the Big Wheel I bet. CBS would have been sued so badly that they’d have to have a digital version when the show came back. Some dumb thing like a slot machine where you pull a lever and graphics just spin around. Bummer. I really hope The Big Wheel doesn’t kill anybody.
But when you think about it, getting crushed by the Big Wheel wouldn’t be all that bad of a way to go. How many people can say they died doing what they truly loved?
Q: Best Christmas movie? – Tracy
I am going with traditional Christmas movies here. Yes, internet, I know that Die Hard and Rocky IV take place on Christmas but no need to go with that tired angle here. I love those movies year round, not just Christmas.
I have a top three in no particular order.
- Christmas Story: The marathon on Christmas Day is the best, even if I seem to only catch the same scenes over and over again. It’s just nice to have on in the background on Christmas. Wouldn’t be the same without it.
- Christmas Vacation: “Sh*tter was full!”
- Home Alone: I don’t know how, but I seem to enjoy this movie more and more every year. I think my favorite part is just how absurd the whole premise is and it only gets funnier and funnier as I get older. I wrote about the years and years of therapy Kevin McCallister would need — along with a lot of other kids in 90s movies — a while back.
My fiance and I do this dumb bit whenever it comes on where I ask questions about the movie as if I have never seen it.
Me: Oh, so this poor kid got left home alone while his parents ran to the store? That’s scary.
Heather: No, his parents forgot him at home on their way to the airport.
Me: Wait, what? Well, holiday traveling can be stressful. Good thing they realized their mistake and turned back to get him, right?
Heather: No, actually the mom didn’t realize until their flight was in the air to Paris. In fact, she tries to remember if she turned off the coffee pot before wondering if she has her son on the flight with her.
Me: Wow. What an awful mistake. Surely the parents learned a valuable lesson here and never let the kid out of their sight from then on.
Heather: Well, actually…
Anyway, you get the idea. Dumb, but cracks me up everytime. Pointing out the flaws of logic in Home Alone is a Christmas tradition unlike any other.
Q: Dear Ask Wessel, remember when we went to the mall for the unveiling of Mountain Dew Code Red? – Patch
I remember it the way people in the 1960s remember the moon landing, me boy. And I am reminded of it every time I look at my resume.
Q: Does Jar Jar Binks get a shout out in the new Star Wars trilogy? Is he the most embarrassing part of the series? Mesa think so. – Andy
I highly doubt it. If he does it will be very, very subtle that only the fanliest of fanboys will get. It just doesn’t seem like something JJ will even bother addressing because he knows how agitated the mere mention of ol’ Double J-B makes Star Wars fans.
As far as being the most embarrassing parts of the series… I guess? He really didn’t bug me all that much until the internet told me I had to hate him. Was he annoying? Definitely. But there were tons of annoying things in the prequels. I think he just became the poster child for everyone’s venom. People were so angry and upset the prequels didn’t make them feel like the original trilogy did when they were kids so they took it out on the weird CGI dinosaur-looking thing.
I think people often lose sight of the fact that this is a movie series where a group of teddy bears living in the woods play a crucial role in our heroes being victorious.
I say the most embarrassing part by far is the dialogue in some of the prequels. “Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo”? You could give one of those chimps that know how to type a laptop and a 40 of Olde English and you’d have better dialogue.
Q: Would you rather win an Oscar, an Emmy, or a Grammy? – Kristen
I’d say Oscar for sure. It holds the most prestige. But it would all depend on the category. Like, I’d obviously much rather win a best rapper Grammy than one of those non-televised Oscars.
I would then obviously use my speech to fit as many obscure inside jokes in as I possibly could.
“Thank you so much! I remember getting the inspiration for this script one day when I found a box of purple tennis balls in the garage. So many people helped make this movie. I want to thank Joel, Tommy Melrose, Derek from Brooklyn Center. Absolutely nobody can cheapen this for me!”
Q: Why are farts so funny? – Michael
This is a question that has plagued scientists and researchers for years. But I honestly don’t think it’s that complicated.
They are funny because it is the perfect combination of the sound they make and where they come from. Both elements are crucially important to why they are so funny. Think about it. A burp is a similar sound to a fart but it isn’t nearly as funny. That’s because it comes from your mouth and not your butt. On that same token, if a fart sounded like a cough it wouldn’t be nearly as funny as the farts that we know and love today. Does that make sense?
Now will someone please email that paragraph to all my college journalism professors? Thanks.
That’ll do it for this week! Everybody raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend! Thanks for reading and thank you for listening to Ben and myself every weekday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. on Go 96.3.