Ridiculum

Attire Emoji

Posted in Ridiculum on April 12th, 2016 by Nathan – 1 Comment
Attire Emoji

Clearly I'm not a great attire emoji designer…

Weddings, Birthdays, Special Events: I'm at a point in my life where I'm increasingly receiving invitations that have the same basic format: who/what/when/where/attire. That last one being the newcomer, and a confusing newcomer at that. "Cocktail attire," "semi-formal," "business casual," and many other descriptions all serve the same purpose: to very loosely and confusingly tell me something that my latest idea, attire emoji, could have told me better.

What, for example, is meant by "cocktail attire"? Wikipedia ignores this concept altogether and redirects directly to the article on "Semi-formal." The only picture on that page, however, is decidedly formal: a Canadian historian in black tie. Indeed, the same article lists black tie as a suggestion, though that is also listed on the page for formal. Most other sources (sorry, Wiki, I usually turn to you first) provide a wide range of options for cocktail attire: slacks with a jacket, suit with no tie, and suit with tie are all considered options, though this is a fairly wide spectrum.

Or take, for example, "business casual," which in some parts of America means jeans with an untucked button-up are acceptable but in other parts implies French cuffs and slacks. And in both of these examples, I'm only touching on men's fashion; where women are concerned, these labels are even more cryptic.

My solution is simple: when you create an invitation, do away with the complex gibberish phrases that normally adorn the bottom right, and replace them with attire emojis. If men are expected to wear a suit and tie and women would be comfortable in a little black dress, you can try to get that across through age-old code-words like "evening informal" (as apparently that's what that means), or you can instead provide a set of two emoji that accomplish the same task.

I should clarify here that I don't intend to suggest a specific set of emoji; any custom images will do as long as they serve the emoji purpose of conveying information in a single simple character. These pictographs or hieroglyphics (which is really all emoji are) can get across a lot more information, perhaps a thousand times as much, as the old adage suggests, as the words we use today.

I Demand More Potato Chip Flavors!

Posted in Ridiculum on November 3rd, 2015 by Nathan – Be the first to comment

Oh how I wish we had the Walker's flavors in the USOn a recent trip to London, I consumed more than my fair share of Kettle Sweet Chilli [sic.] & Sour Cream crisps, as they were plentiful at several bars I visited after work. The sweet chili was quite nice, as were other flavors I managed to try, including Walker's Prawn Cocktail. Years ago, on a visit to Canada, I enjoyed many interesting flavors of Lay's potato chips, including Dill Pickle and Ketchup, both of which eventually made it to the US years later, but not without some delay. The Dill Pickle flavored potato chip was by far, at that point in my life, the best chip I'd ever had, and I still mourn the loss of them in the US after a short-lived chip career.

All of this is to say: America, we are being cheated, bamboozled, and robbed, by BIG CHIP, in their withholding of amazing flavors. Most Americans probably cannot fathom that another country could beat the US in the realm of gluttony, but this certainly appears to be the case. Not only are we being beaten by our neighbors to the north and our former oppressors across the pond, but also by other countries unrelated to American history or geography at all! This is a travesty of epic proportions. And worst of all, the greatest offender is Frito-Lay, a company headquartered right here in the US. Frito-Lay, of course, owns Lay's, which are marketed in the US and Canada as such, but elsewhere under slightly different names with the same logo.

Though we have been blessed in recent years to see an insurgence of Lay's flavors in the US, including such specialties as Greektown Gyro, Chicken & Waffles, and even, though I never saw this anywhere,  Cappuccino, there is a serious potato chip-flavor gap between the US and other countries. This is an abomination, and I hope you'll join me in demanding that Frito-Lay bring some of their interesting flavors from other countries to the US. We should not stand idly by while other countries get to enjoy these amazing flavors, while our American taste buds remain unsatisfied. Here's just a small sample of what we are missing out on:

  • Belgium: Indian Curry, Hamburger w/Mayo & Onions & Pickles, and Cucumber & Goats (what an amazing combination)
  • Canada: Tzatziki, Bacon Poutine, Montreal Smoked Meat, Grilled Cheese & Ketchup, Perogy Platter, and Cinnamon Bun (!!)
  • China: Cucumber, Kiwi, Blueberry, Cherry Tomato, Italian Red Meat, Mexican Tomato Chicken, Texas Grilled BBQ, Black Pepper Rib Eye Steak, Hot & Sour Fish Soup, Finger Licking Braised Pork, Seafood Barbecue, Spicy Seafood, and Numb & Spicy Hot Pot (again, !!)
  • India: Magic Masala, Spanish Tomato Tango, Swiss Grilled Cheese, Macho Chilli, and Sunkissed Tomato (incredible naming over there)
  • Netherlands: Bolognese, Bell Pepper, French Fries w/Joppiesaus, and Stokbroodje Kruidenboter Smaak (Dutch is so awesome – this is a baguette with garlic butter)
  • Russia: Mushroom & Sour Cream, Crab, Red Caviar, and Salted Cucumber (though I bet that last one is just Dill Pickle)
  • Thailand: French Mayonnaise, Garlic Soft Shelled Crab, Soy Sauce, Salmon Teriyaki, Lobster, Bacon & Cheese, Tom Yum, and Thai Seafood Dip (seriously, Asia is KILLING it in the potato chip flavor game)
  • The UK: Lamb & Mint, Worcester Sauce, Beef & Onion, English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding, Sizzling Steak Fajita, Australian BBQ Kangaroo, and Ranch Raccoon (wut)

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! There's seriously tons of potato chip flavors denied to Americans, and I say it's enough. Frito-Lay, I demand more potato chip flavors!