Daily Archives: May 30, 2008

Dorman Downer or Smilin’ Todd?

I received this e-mail from reader Jim Mead Thursday morning:

I finally figured out why I so often skip your column. It’s your picture! I look at your face and think oh, it’s going to be a column about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing we can do about it. And then I’m pleasantly surprised when I do read a column that you do have a sense of humor and a sense of proportion. You need a new picture, one in which you look happy, or mildly amused, or something. You’ll figure it out.
Jim Mead

I can’t say I disagree, Jim. Although clearly, judging by the sheer size of my large head, proportion has been a lifelong problem. But thanks, I think.

It’s true, my column photo does look a bit dour, as if I’ve just watched someone kick my dog or thoughtlessly grab my last beer. Perhaps I do need a more positive, sunny image, a la John Tesh.

It’s a conundrum. I’m interested in feedback from you, the reader. Does my photo depress you? Would your life be just a little brighter if Smilin’ Todd replaced Dorman Downer?

I’m waiting for your verdict.



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Go for the Gusto

Rich Lyle\'s Proud Colors

Reader Rich Lyle, who is among many great folks who told me how to quench my thirst for Grain Belt Premium around these parts, sent me this proud rendition of his tailgating flag. Rarely have I seen such pride and dedication on the part of a Schlitz aficionado, but I understand completely. It’s a great American brewing icon.

These colors won’t run. Belch, maybe, but there’s no shame in that.

Two thoughts occur to me. First, why has the word ‘gusto’ fallen out of favor? It’s fun to say, for one thing, and if there’s something this nation needs right now, it’s a tall, cold shot of gusto.

Second, why haven’t I designed my own tailgate flag? Now that I live 70 miles closer to Kinnick, I will have plenty of extra time to put together a much more elaborate spread. What could be better than to top it off than a boisterous banner of my own crafting?

If I ever get around to it, I will owe Rich and Schlitz much for the inspiration. And I will look for his flag as I march toward Kinnick next fall.


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