Big Wednesday #6
Mysterious fishing content, phishing, for the love of Mildred, update on the Ford Fiesta recall
If fictional detectives like Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins and The Dude have taught me anything about solving mysteries, it’s this: there’s no such thing as a coincidence. I think fictional LAPD detective Harry Bosch put it best when he said, “I don’t believe in coincidences; I never have, and I never will.”
Of course, Harry Bosch doesn’t believe in work/life balance, taking vacations days, or communicating with his partner. That’s because Harry Bosch exists only to clear cases and shout-out his favorite Los Angeles restaurants. He is a mystery-solving machine, with a side of chilaquiles.
Anyway, I’ve been pondering a mystery that’s been sitting on my desk for nearly a week. Reader Tab emailed to say, “You wrote about charcuterie and now it is showing up in my news app. Coincidence???” For proof, Tab shared a link to an article titled People Are Turning Tackle Boxes Into Portable Charcuterie Boards Called a ‘Snackle Box’.
First, let’s just take a moment to applaud the innovation that disrupted the humble tackle box and turned it into mobile charcuterie carrier. I’m not saying that kind of innovation will get us to Mars, but I am saying that when we do colonize the Red Planet, we’ll be bringing the finest meats and cheese in all the galaxy.
As for the mystery, we’ve already established that there are no coincidences. So that answers that question, Tab. But what’s happening here? Did reading my story ensnare Tab in a web of thinly-disguised advertorial content? I don’t have access to Tab’s digital profile, so I can’t say for sure. Like Bob Seger, I’m working on mysteries without any clues. But I’ve got a few theories:
The commercial internet promises to connect you with friends and supply you with an endless content feed. But in reality, the internet is a vast surveillance network that took Tab’s passing interest in a Situation Normal story about cheese and turned it into a targeted campaign of never-ending charcuterie content that won’t stop until Tab transforms every item they own into a vessel for meats and cheeses.
Charcuterie is a having a moment, and the tackle box is proof that we’re about to hit peak charcuterie.
Situation Normal isn’t really a humor newsletter. In actuality, this whole thing is a stealth marketing campaign for Big Charcuterie.
Do any of these theories hold water? It’s too early say. But I promise you this: I’m prepared to follow the facts wherever they go, and I’ll stay on this charcuterie case until it’s solved.
Crime doesn’t pay, but democracy does
Last week, I shared an email exchange with George, a man who wants to monetize Situation Normal and fight disinformation. In a poll, I asked YOU how I should respond to George. Turns out, 62 percent of you are keen to run an email phishing scam. While I’m reluctant to commit a crime, I’m vehemently pro-democracy. So vehemently pro-democracy, in fact, that I followed the will of the people by asking George for his banking information. Here’s what I wrote:
I’ll let you know if George writes back. With any luck, there’s enough money in George’s account to buy charcuterie tackle boxes for every single Situation Normal subscriber.
Everyone loved Mildred
Reader E.O. Connors sent in a curious photograph of a park bench dedicated to the loving memory of Mildred C. Jones (1905 - 1999). At first glance, the bench looks like a typical memorial. There’s a plaque with some basic information and a bench. I don’t know why we remember loved ones by inviting strangers to sit on a memorial bench, but that’s a question for another day. The question E.O. Connors and I want answered is about Mildred’s spouses. How many spouses did she have? And what’s the story behind her partners putting aside their rivalry for Mildred’s affections to collaborate on this fine memorial? I don’t know about you, but I’m getting strong There’s Something About Mary vibes from the Mildred C. Jones memorial bench.
By the way, E.O. Connors writes Where’s the Bathroom?!, a funny Substack with travel humor, memoir, and advice for people on the move. Check it out!
I wrote about leasing a Ford Fiesta, aka the worst car ever. Our lease ended in 2015, but Ford still sends us recall notices. In fact, it was an errant recall notice that prompted me to write about our terrible decision to lease a Ford Fiesta. Well, I have some more information on the current recall. Here’s what Ford wrote about the nature of the recall:
Stick around and chat!
You know the drill. I’ve got questions, you may or may not have answers.
Do you believe in coincidences, or has your favorite fictional detective cured you of your need to oversimplify the impenetrable mysteries of everyday life?
Do you own a “snackle box,” or are you interested in purchasing one?
Assuming George writes back with his bank information, what should we do with the money (aside from buying every Situation Normal subscriber a snackle box)?
Mildred’s bench reminds us that we’re mortal. Assuming you have unlimited funds, what would your memorial be?
Do you know anyone who drives a Ford Fiesta? If so, would you please warn them that their doors may open unexpectedly while driving?
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