Reader Mail (3 February 2003)
Hey, just writing to let you know that my family did the grapes and
at New Years. Its a spanish/south american catholic custom (usually..
some white people do it too, I think). Sparking white wines are also
involved, along with new shirts and something we call "a countdown",
which pretty involved and I don't want to get into it here. I don't
really understand how all these things go together myself, but maybe
you'll come up with something on your own. Good luck with that.
I didn't want to revisit the grape/chair issue,
but I'm trying to figure out how a New Year's countdown becomes
complicated. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Start with ten,
subtract one, keep it up until you hear gunshots. Do you do it in hexadecimal or something?
Nice work on the 'quarters' ratings. While we here in Australia don't
have quarters, we've got more lame coinage than you can poke a stick at.
And the lamest ones win awards. A spot of research (god knows why)
reveals that in 2001 the 'international minting community' awarded an
Australian coin which commemorated a British royal visit 'Coin of the
What a privilege!
Apparently this coin was so good because, in addition to its exceedingly
inventive image of a piece of our Parliament House's scaffolding,
Australian flag and -- get this for an original representation of royalty
-- a royal crown, it also included a never before seen image of the Queen
of England ... which looks exactly the same as all the other images of
the Queen of England on all the rest of our goddamn coinage!
Aw, it's not that bad. I like the pointy bits around
the edges, it looks like it'd make a good oyster scoop in a pinch.
And the scaffolding/flag combo looks like something from a strategy-based
computer game, especially with the "50" below which obviously indicates
the additional resource points you get by capturing that particular fort.
I don't know if it deserves an award, but I haven't seen the competition,
either. Maybe the other coins all had wheat on them or something.
When they come out with the Texas quarter I think that you should rate it
You and all Texans worth their oversized
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