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Ask Wessel: Acceptable ingredients for a grilled cheese sandwich?

Also, WTF is up with email unsubscribe confirmations?
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Every Friday on Dana Wessel answers your questions. Music, sports, pop culture, whatever you want. Have a question? You can tweet them to @DanaWessel or email him at

Q: You are a picky eater so I am excited to get your opinion on something my wife and I were fighting about. Is a grilled cheese just cheese and bread? That’s what I say. But my wife is one of those that puts tomatoes, onions, etc. What do you say? - Brendan

I think you’re both kind of right. Cheese, butter and bread is always good in any form. Adding a tomato to it isn’t going to kill you. Bacon is another great option. Jalapenos? Hell, I am not driving. Crank it up. I was even at a place once that put sunflowers inside the grilled cheese. I wasn’t mad.

Where I draw the line though is getting over-the-top fancy cheese. Don’t try to fancy that up. I get so mad whenever I watch The Devil Wears Prada and Vinny Chase makes Anne Hathaway that garbage grilled cheese with fancy cheese and gets pissed when she doesn’t want to eat it. Of course she doesn’t, Vinny. Make her a grilled chee’ with some American or pepperjack and she would have scarfed it. I am glad she dumped his ass.

Anyway, a simple grilled cheese is one of those things that is hard to screw up. Get cocky with extra toppings or don’t, it’s still good. Unless you are one of those monsters that put ketchup on your grilled cheese. Then you are dead to me.

Q: Why do so many local guys on dating websites post pics with fish? Does that actually "reel in" any ladies? - Tracy

I have heard from a lot of friends that this is actually a thing. I don’t get that. I understand there are women who love fishing and might appreciate some dude holding a fish. But how many women are honestly gonna be “OH MY GOD DID HE LAND A LUNKER THERE OR WHAT?!? SUPER LIKE!!! I AM CALLING MY MOM AND TELLING HER I MET MY HUSBAND!” You gotta play the odds here, fellas.

I guess the only upside about the fish pic is at least the woman knows she is getting herself into when swiping. You’re gonna get a guy who has more Rapala lures than he has dress shirts. So at least there is that. I can respect just being honest with who you are and what you’re into.

I met my wife before dating apps took off so I was never on them. But had I been single and gotten on those apps I would have posted pictures that really demonstrated who I am. So a picture of me with buffalo wing sauce all over my face, a picture of me watching soccer at Brits Pub with beer spilled all over my jersey, and a picture of me with my back turned playing Donkey Kong at the arcade.

Q: I know you don’t talk much politics on here but how about that president Trump? - Kristina

Seriously. How about that?

Q: What celebrity would be a worse President than Trump? - Jessica

The guy who played Jeff in Saved by the Bell and stole Kelly from Zack. I am still mad at that as*hole.

Q: If you could be granted the athletic ability to pull off one of these in old man sports leagues right now what would you want -- to be able to dunk in pickup hoops games or to average three homers a game in beer league softball? - Dan

It was my lifelong dream to dunk as a kid. I tried like hell and I am still bummed I could only (barely) get rim at the peak of my athleticism. So a big part of me wants to say the ability to dunk.

But come on, I wanna crank some dingers, baby! The fact this is a question about old man’s league makes this a no-brainer. Pounding brewskis and mashin’ sloppy softball taters over the fence sounds much more appealing than dunking in basketball.

The problem with old man pickup basketball is… you have to play basketball. That’s a non-starter. There is no chance I wouldn’t horrifically injure myself. Plus, if I was that jackass that was dunking all the time then nobody would ever call me again to play. I’d just be some sad dude dunking in the park by myself. Oh, that and the lack of beer drinking during the game hurts too.

Q: Why do companies send unsubscribe email confirmations? - Molly

Just the worst. What is the strategy behind that? All the confirmation I need that I unsubscribed from your sh*tty email subscription is that I NEVER SEE ANOTHER EMAIL FROM YOU.

Do they really think somebody is going to say, “Ah, ya know what? I miss you guys already just six seconds after clicking unsubscribe. I think I am gonna go ahead and re-up for more pointless emails I delete without opening.”

Q: Someone enlightened me to an idea called the Four Horseman bar crawl this weekend, which consists of TGI Friday's, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, and Chili's. First, is this a good idea or great idea? Also, which other venues should potentially be included? - Jimmy

Is this a good idea? I almost stopped writing this and Ubered to the nearest ‘bees to get this thing started. Who was the genius sorcerer who gave you this idea? Did you offer him all your possessions and first born in exchange for his infinite wisdom?

I definitely want to do this, especially if a party bus was involved. It is perfect for a brawl crawl set-up because, for those of you who have never been cut off at an Applebee's, chain restaurants can be pretty strict about over-serving. They are pretty quick to pull the trigger the second you so much as slur a word. Think Pam Beesley in The Office at Chili's. So I say that gets added to the agenda. You don’t leave for the next bar until the group gets cut off at the current bar.

If we really wanted to add some fuel to this top-shelf marg/appetizer fire then we could change it from the Four Horseman and make it a Magnificent Seven. Plenty of other options. Red Lobster, Hooters, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc. Hell, we could really class it up and go have a nightcap at the bar in Olive Garden. The world is your nacho plate when you’re on a casual restaurant chain party bus!

I am serious. Hit me up if you want to help get the ball rolling on this.

Q: What even IS the Internet? - Jenna

I believe you meant to submit this question this website:

Q: Which Fast and Furious film is fastest and which is most furious? - Pat

I think the fastest Fast and Furious would probably be either the first or the second one, right?. Those were the only two in the franchise that focused on actual street racing. Tokyo Drift did a bit, too. But that was more guys getting their cars to drift in parking garages. The rest of the series shifted (smartly) to heist/action movies.

I don’t think there is any arguing what the most furious Fast and Furious has been so far. It has to be the latest incarnation Furious 7. A house blew up, Rock took off his full-arm cast by flexing, they dropped cars from planes and landed right on the road, they drove cars from one Abu Dhabi skyscraper to another, there was a helicopter vs. car chase in downtown Los Angeles, Vin Diesel and Jason Statham caused an entire parking ramp to collapse by fighting, and Vin blew an entire helicopter up by driving a car off that collapsing parking ramp and placing a bag of bombs on the landing skids.

The Fate of the Furious has a lot furiousness to live up to! Only 48 days to go! Expect plenty of Fast and Furious questions and answers in this space in the coming weeks. Well, let’s just be honest, expect a lot of Fast and Furious questions and answers in this space for as long as this column exists.

Q: How do you live with yourself? - Jess

Comfortably with a beautiful wife and an NES Classic, sir.

Q: If you were to do a 3 Ninjas re-make today who would best play the roles of Rocky, Colt, Tum Tum, and most importantly Emily, while still maintaining the artistic genius of the early '90s epic trilogy? - Tim

I hate to WELL ACTUALLY you here, Tim. But 3 Ninjas was not a trilogy. Must I remind you of the cinematic masterpiece that was 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain? I actually don’t blame you for forgetting. That movie was a pile of trash.

I thought about this for a while and I just don’t know enough young actors to cast this important flick. They will probably just put in whatever Disney Channel dweebs with bad haircuts who are popular these days.

So I am going to take this one a different direction. What are Rocky, Colt and Tum Tum doing in 2017? Let’s get the band back together!!

I say Rocky is a successful businessmen. Colt is a failed cage fighter that now works as a bouncer at a strip club. Tum Tum is a weed dealer that has trouble making rent payments because he is prone to smoke his own stash.

The brothers are a bit estranged and don’t keep in touch that often. There is some tension between Rocky and the two burnout brothers due to their different life paths. But some family reunion involving the grandpa brings them back together. Then... I dunno, bad guys, ninja stuff, blah blah blah we’ll sort the details out later. But the 3 Ninjas are forced to reunite to save the day.
Rather than get creative with the casting I say we just grab three guys from This is the End and turn it into a raunchy comedy. Just spitballing here but let's go James Franco as Rocky, Dave Franco as Colt and then either Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill as Tum Tum. Emily? Emma Stone if we can get her. Otherwise Brittany Snow.

Q: The Industrial Revolution changed the face of the modern novel forever. Discuss, citing specific examples. - Z

Knibb High Football rules!!!!

Q: It's going to be 50 degrees this weekend, so I'm thinking about grabbing my rollerblades and replicating the route Charlie Conway went to round up the Ducks in D2, you in? - Sam

Ohhhh, hell yes. This is the best idea ever. Meet me at the Mall of America and meet me at high noon. I'll be listening for the sound of your duck call, Captain Duck.

All right, that’ll do it for this week! Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend. As Sam just mentioned, it is going to be beautiful this weekend. Get out and do something you’ve never done in February before. I plan on smoking ribs shirtless on my deck.

Keep your questions coming to @DanaWessel on Twitter, in the comments section below or email them to

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