Welcome To Michigan Week

For Buckeye Nation, this is one of the most important weeks of the year.  It is Michigan Week — seven days of nervous anticipation and intense mental preparation for the Buckeyes’ biggest game of the year.  The week will come to an end at noon on Saturday, when Ohio State and Michigan square off in The Game, for another edition of the greatest single-game rivalry in sports.

On the OSU campus, Michigan Week is a great week for charitable activities.  Michigan and Ohio State compete to see who can donate the most blood to the American Red Cross.  Goodwill runs a clothing drive.  There will be pep rallies, and banner contests, and the traditional Mirror Lake jump on Friday.  (The Mirror Lake dip might be a bit bracing — the forecast is for snow flurries on Friday, and a crisp, clear conditions come game time.)

It’s weird to have Thanksgiving during Michigan Week; usually the game is played the preceding Saturday.  The upcoming game will give a lot of Columbus families something to debate while gobbling down their turkey.

I’ll have some thoughts about The Game later this week.  For now, I’ll just enjoy the long-awaited arrival of one of the greatest weeks of the year.

Like Living With Mice

The other day I opened the refrigerator and witnessed the scene captured in the accompanying photo.  In their zeal for a skinned baby carrot, someone had bypassed the zip-lock opening and punched directly through the middle of the plastic bag to get to the bright orange veggies.  It looked like something you might find in a mouse’s burrow.

This is a not-uncommon occurrence in our home.  If a member of the Webner household needs sustenance, the niceties of modern American product design are casually ignored.  The evidence of this is everywhere.  When the desire for a Triscuit becomes overpowering, the box will be ripped open at the bottom so that it cannot be closed up.  The impulse for immediate Honey Bunches of Oats gratification will cause a hungry Webner to eviscerate the internal plastic bagging, leaving tattered remnants so that the cereal cannot thereafter be poured into a bowl without the contents scattering over counter top.  And parched Webners always bypass the roll-down design of a soft drink 12-pack.   Rather than carefully opening the container as intended, so that the next can flops down when a can is removed, they tear open the carton through the hand-hold opening at the top.

American product designers spend billions on the design of food packaging to promote freshness, allow simple resealing, and permit ready extraction.  As far as our family is concerned, they needn’t have bothered.