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Ask Wessel: Is the food truck craze winding down?

Plus Legos, Jolly Ranchers, and American Gladiator inquiries.
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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: Now that liquor stores will be open on Sunday, what is the most asinine law in Minnesota? - Adam

The fireworks thing is pretty ridiculous. I don’t really get that one at all. If some dork wants to blow his hand off with a Roman Candle he should be more than entitled to do so, especially when they are perfectly legal in our neighboring states.

They might as well make marijuana legal in this state too. I don’t smoke weed, but I have no problem if other people want to blaze. There is no question that alcohol is far more dangerous and harmful than weed and yet we sell booze seven days a week (wooo!) on every street corner in this state. If somebody wants to hit a bong and watch Uncle Grandpa reruns on Cartoon Network on a Friday night, who am I to judge? Make it legal and tax it. If nothing else, it might help our sports teams land free agents.

Q: Following the high school (The College Years cannot and do not count) character trajectories, what is the ranking of net worth within the Saved by the Bell group and how did they earn or inherit their wealth? - Pat

This might be my favorite question I have ever gotten in over two years of doing these.

  1. Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers, inventor of Facebook - He would have gotten the jump on Zucks and invented Facebook before him. Think about it: Screech was a brilliant kid capable of going to an Ivy League school. He’d be lonely as all hell since Zack wouldn’t be around to be his buddy. He would have started Facebook for the same reasons Zuckerberg did.
  2. Zack Morris, drug dealing and gun smuggling - It is obvious from his high school days that this scheming sociopath would turn to a life of crime. He’d turn into the campus drug dealer before dropping out once he became successful. Zack would make it all the way to the top, Scarface-style, and be rich beyond his wildest dreams. But like every drug movie ever made, he wouldn’t know when to stop and would wind up in jail, effectively moving him to the bottom of this list.
  3. Lisa Turtle, fashion mogul - She would use a large inheritance from her rich father that is mentioned throughout the show to start a fashion line that eventually takes off. She would make even more money because she’d sweet talk Screech into gifting her an early ownership stake on Facebook just before it takes off.
  4. Jessie Spano, POTUS - Jessie would become a lawyer before seeking a role in politics, eventually becoming our first female president. That is, of course, if rumors of her high school caffeine pill addiction don't surface during the election.
  5. Kelly Kapowski, corporate America - Kelly would get her four-year degree in marketing or something similar before working her way up the ladder. She was smart, charming, and pretty, and she’d easily find success out there.
  6. Albert Clifford ‘AC’ Slater - High school wrestling coach living in a one-bedroom apartment.

Q: Would an American Gladiators tournament (with the original games) be a great bachelor party or the greatest bachelor party? - Ben

This is a fantastic idea. The bachelor party concept really could use an overhaul. I mean, for how much longer will it still be fun to go to a random city with your friends and get drunk? OK, it will always be fun. But the addition of an American Gladiators showdown would be awesome.

Wouldn’t just have to be for bachelor parties either. Could be for any number of things. Have a friendly rivalry with a buddy? Settle it with some Joust. Need some team-building at work? Get everybody out on the Powerball court. You and your spouse can’t decide which couch to get? Go head-to-head in The Eliminator.

I actually did some digging on the various obstacle courses used in TV shows from back in the day and sadly it sounds like a lot of them were destroyed once the shows went off the air. That’s a real shame. How great would a giant warehouse with American Gladiators, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare, etc. all set up for people to play? Somebody win the lottery and make this happen.

Q: I grew up with Legos and was really hoping my son would be into them as well. I have bought him a bunch of different sets and he really has shown no interest. But I just keep buying them because I love to put them together and I am hoping he comes around on them. Does that make a bad father? - Brian

Not at all. It makes him a bad son. What kind of kid doesn’t want to play with Legos? I loved Legos as a kid. I still love Legos. This is infuriating to me. Have you taken him to the doctor? Are we sure he isn’t an alien? This is deeply concerning.

Actually, you know what? Stop giving him Legos. Give me the Legos instead. We can hang out, have beers, and play with Legos like the two well-adjusted, grown-ass men we are, Brian.

Q: What's the weirdest thing you've ever gambled on? Did you win? - Phil

Oh, gosh. Lots of stuff. I was in an XFL fantasy football league. I've gambled on simulated games of Madden played by the computer. I've lost money in Vegas playing high card.

But the one that really comes to mind was when a friend in college bet me $20 I couldn't finish the rest of a tequila bottle in one pull. There less less than a quarter of it left. I won the bet...but ultimately lost the night.

Q: I have a coworker in the cube next to me that chews on Jolly Ranchers. Can I press charges? - Michelle

Not only can you press charges on the person chewing the Jolly Ranchers but you should also have your boss arrested for hiring them.

Jolly Ranchers? The thought of biting one of those makes me cringe. That asshat’s dentist must have made a fortune off of them. They might as well just hit themselves in the teeth with a hammer to speed up the process.

My suggestion would be go to full Jim Halpert on their ass. Every prank you can think of. This Jolly Rancher-related aggression will not stand.

Q: Is it just me or does it seem like the food truck craze is winding down? I saw another food truck is opening an actual location. Has this thing peaked? - Erin

I would say that things have probably leveled off, yeah. I don’t think they are going anywhere, though. But the “OMG IT IS A TRUCK! WITH FOOD! WE HAVE TO GO NOW!” level of excitement has subsided. We sure as hell have enough breweries in this damn state to justify the amount of grub trucks rolling around.

One thing I wish food trucks did more of is utilize the truck aspect of their business. They just drive to one location and park and sit there all day. How much more excited would you be if you saw the taco truck cruising down your street ringing a bell like the ice cream man back in the day? I’d eat them even if I wasn’t hungry, just because I felt like I hit the lottery by catching the taco truck.

Rather than always going to the food trucks, I’d love it if the food trucks cruised around to the people. I realize that is probably a logistical nightmare for the owners of the truck, but a guy can dream, right?

Q: Need a ruling: waiter or waitress grabbing an empty seat in the booth while they take your order. Charming or obnoxious? - Molly

Ehhh, if it is that kinda place, like say a dive bar or something, or if I am a regular at a place and know the particular server, then yeah, no big deal. But other than that it is pretty obnoxious. It isn’t like the bartender ever jumps over the bar and sits in the stool next to you while taking your drink order.

Q: When is the worst time to get bubble guts? - Ryan

I may be out of touch and showing my age by saying this, but I have no idea what the hell “bubble guts” are. Let me consult Urban Dictionary and get back to you.

Ah, our good friends over at the Urban Dic’ define bubble guts as follows: “The noises made in your stomach when your ass is about to burst due to a case of explosive diarrhea.” Gotcha. Thanks. Points for wording it so eloquently.

Getting the bubble guts is awful for a couple reasons. Not only is it embarrassing when someone around you notices, but it is also a sign of impending doom. Such a bad feeling, especially when you are anywhere but the safety of your own home.

Here are a few I thought of off the top of my head. All of these are assuming the people around you can in fact hear your stomach producing a big batch of the black death.

  • Job interview
  • First date
  • Road trip with anyone else besides your best friends
  • During a massage
  • Haircut
  • An airplane, especially if the seatbelt sign is on and you are sitting window
  • Live TV
  • Stuck in a broken elevator with a coworker

Q: We know Chelsea and US Soccer are 1A and 1B in your sporting fandom. So, which is the A and which is the B? - Chad

US Soccer. I have loved them longer. I have their crest tattooed on my body. Sure, I probably talk about Chelsea more often but that is just because they play about 60 games a season compared to 10 or 12 for the Yanks.

Q: The honey locust is an underutilized landscape tree. It's opaque, & its texture provides contrast to most commonly used species. - Clarence

I don’t know what a honey locust is or what opaque means but I'll go ahead and agree with you here. You sound confident. That is the key.

Important lesson, everyone. As long as you sound like you know exactly what you are talking about, people will always believe you. Everybody is so afraid of being wrong or sounding dumb that they will nod along and agree anytime somebody delivers a statement with any semblance of confidence.


Do you like apples? Yeah, well I had to cheat through the one and only math class I was required to take in college and don’t know the answer to that question. How do ya like dem apples?!

Alright, that’ll do it for this week. Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend. Tweet me if you are gonna be at the Minnesota United FC MLS home opener on Sunday and want to meet up beforehand for a beer and/or a hug to try to keep warm.

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

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