M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Tuesday, August 27, 2002  

Since I’m leaving town early tomorrow morning, Reader Mail is early this month. That’s right, I’m inconveniencing all of you to accommodate my vacation. You’ll just have to deal. I know it’s unfair, especially considering how many of you e-mailed me with such great suggestions for making the most of that very vacation. Therefore, full refunds are available at the door.

Some of the wonderful people who took the time (in some cases, a lot of time) to send me ideas are Fran, Emily, Jennifer, Sundry, Lacrosse Dude, Kate, Ty, FishDreamer, and Matt, as well as a couple of personal friends. I wish I had the time to include all of their e-mails in their entirety, but I will try to distill their essence by culling the most important phrases from each message:

Dear M. Giant,

Chuckanut flat bluff cute heads Rainier yummy yummy yummy fish-throwers paraphernalia DON’T GO THERE 3-inch tall stack of napkins Gasworks drool Ballard Locks kerflopping Boeing (monorail…monorail…monorail) Prawn burritos incredibly cheap Campers dirty don’t bother going up the Needle I Love Sushi Hooters thugs Russian sub silly pretentious college students Troll.

Don’t worry. It makes sense to me. My sincere thanks to all of you who wrote in.

In other e-mail, Regan pointed out that there are forty quarters in a roll. According to my admittedly shaky calculations, that’s approximately ten dollars, give or take. Multiply that by fifty states and you’ve got, like, a third of my monthly car insurance bill. Suddenly this isn’t just a collection or a hobby; it’s an investment. Which I guess is good, because I’ve been meaning to start investing in something anyway.

Dawn elaborates:

If you get rolls of all 50 states, your grandkids will be able to do laundry forever... unless, of course by then, laundry has inflated beyond requiring quarters and is using the newly-released $5 coins.

True. I was the one who brought up the laundry thing, but it later occurred to me that by that point, everyone will be wearing one-piece plastic coveralls that you can clean with a moist towelette. Either that, or people will be getting their entire wardrobes from replicators, like on Star Trek. I mean, heck, it’s going to be the year two-thousand-something. That’s the twenty-first century, people! That’s the future!

Yeah, whatever. By the way, if those fiver coins have Richard Nixon on them, my grandkids are leaving the country with Alec Baldwin’s grandkids.

Remember when I drank all that water last week? I said it wasn’t a Jackass-level stunt, but Zen Viking doesn’t entirely agree:

Stop drinking!

Ya poor bastard, you're gonna blow a kidney right out the side of your chair.

Now that would suck, because then I’d never be able to get my seat adjustments back the way I want them.

Sweet zombie Jesus, man. 96 ounces!… The term is "hyponatremia." If one drinks a ludicrous amount of water, one can reduce the sodium level of the blood so much, it screws up the functioning of cells.

Well, that explains why I felt that irresistible urge to stop off at the grocery store to pick up a snack in the form of a forty-pound sack of water softener pellets. By the way, if you’re having a salt craving, always go with the Morton’s System Saver™ in the yellow bag. That’s what the best pretzel carts use, you know.

Anyway, the overall message (here I go again with the reckless over-editing) was that while it’s good to stay hydrated, especially when sick, that amount of water in that short a time was probably too much of a good thing. Ten to twenty liters in a few hours can be fatal. For real. If I’d kept at it, I could have messed myself up something fierce, up to and including anoptic hydrous toxaemia, which is what it’s called when your irises are all but rinsed clear away. Weird (but not for real). So, you know, don’t try this at home, kids. And if you do, don’t sue me.

That’s it for this month. By this time tomorrow I’ll be in Seattle. I’d give my flight info here, but then we’d be looking at a scene like when the Beatles landed at JFK in 1964, and nobody wants that. I’ll be back the Tuesday after Labor Day, which means I’m missing the offical last day of summer here, which means I’m returning home just in time to be crushed beneath the merciless heel of winter’s icy boot. That’s Minnesota for you.

posted by M. Giant 3:27 PM 0 comments


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