Best Of 2016: LETTUCE

Let’s face it: America’s love affair with lettuce isn’t ending anytime soon.

Our humble, leafy green friend is always there for us — through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, doing its duty, a devoted servant to our nutritional desires. Simply put, lettuce is America’s favorite food and probably one of our main crops. And we’re all the better for this simple fact.

bestof2016_lettuceIs it any wonder lettuce is known as “The Queen of Vegetables?” Far from it: It’s no wonder at all.

And when it comes to lettuce, 2016 was no different. From chic salads to humble piles of lettuce, if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that lettuce is always terrific. In this crazy, mixed up salad we call life, the winner is always lettuce. Every time.

And if you disagree? Well, you’ve got another “lettuce thing” coming.

So let’s take a moment to celebrate the best of lettuce. Here are the TOP TEN LETTUCES OF 2016.

10. Salad lettuces

9. Boutique lettuces

8. Amazing lettuces

7. “Let us” enjoy some fresh lettuce

6. Lettuce that speaks to the way we live now

5. Mmm, lettuce

4. Some of the freshest lettuce

3. Modern lettuces

2. (TIE) Crispy, ice-cold lettuce / Colorful lettuce

1. Lettuce that brings out the best in all of us

 

 

Best Of 2016: RESTAURANTS

Restaurants are the backbone of the American food economy, and a crucial element to our shared love of eating out. It seems you can’t walk (or drive) more than two blocks before running into a restaurant — I mean, literally running through the doors of a restaurant — and shouting, “OOH I’m so hungry, let me order some food from you, restaurant!” And then? Menu in hand, you make your choices … the server brings you the food … you eat it … MISSION ACCOMPLISHED … you pay your bill … and then the food passes through your body and comes out the hole in your bottom.

That, my friends, is the “restaurant lifestyle.” It’s a rush unlike anything else, and you can only find it … at the restaurant you went to just then.

Here are the TOP TEN RESTAURANTS OF 2016:

10. Indian restaurants

9. French restaurants

8. New restaurants

7. (TIE) Cutting-edge restaurants / Tiny restaurants

6. Restaurants that have never been better

5. All-you-can-eat restaurants

4. My favorite restaurants

3. “I’ll meet you at the restaurant”

2. Restaurants where the chefs look like Hell’s Angels but they know all about where their carrots were grown, like anybody gives a shit

1. Restaurants that are the greatest restaurants the world has ever seen

Best Of 2016: Television

If it’s true, as the critics say, that we’re in the Golden Age of Television, then 2016 was the jewel in the crown. From cutting-edge comedies to edge-of-your-seat procedurals, from limited-run premium TV events to what-the-hell-is-this clusterfarts streaming on Netflix, 2016 was the year television truly swung for the fences … and hit a home run every single time.

Hispanic couple watching television

Is television an art form? It’s too soon to tell. But for now, let’s pretend it is — and celebrate these achievements in the medium.

Here are the BEST TELEVISION SHOWS OF 2016:

10. Pretty good television shows

9. Non-boring television shows

8. The television shows everyone is talking about

7. Television shows only the COOL and SMART people are talking about

6. Women and men are friends on television

5. Shows you can watch on your new widescreen TV

4. “Did you hear?” “About what?” “The new show.” “Oh, yeah — I DID.”

3. Shows about robots or alien creatures with fifty things happening at once and also there’s a parallel universe inside an old shed with ghosts or androids or who knows what and you can’t understand anything but you have to pretend to understand so your friends don’t think you’re a T.V.D.F.T.T. (Television Dummy From Toilet Town)

2. Television stories that pass the highest standards of quality

1. The finest television shows ever made

 

My Year-End Lists

Although 2016 has been one of the most dispiriting, disorienting, and disgusting years in modern history, there has been one bright spot: The knowledge that my year-end lists are coming. At first, I was so disgusted with this year I thought I wouldn’t make my lists. But then, I used my intelligence to determine that my lists have never been needed more.

They say it’s always darkest before dawn, which means my lists will be the bright new dawn. (Because it’s so dark right now it’s insane.) DO NOT DESPAIR. These lists will be the greatest lists we have ever seen — in fact, some say they will be the greatest lists ever conceived by humanity — and so I will share them with you so that you will remember not to give up hope, and that some things are worth fighting for: My lists.

My lists will begin soon.

Sincerely,

David Rees

a.k.a. “The King of Lists, Now and Forever”

Best of 2015: PALINDROMES

Palindromes are words and phrases that look the same on the page and in a mirror. They are one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to have fun with our language, which is why they spark our imaginations and make us smile. And when it comes to palindromes, 2015 was definitely a year for the record books, Scooby-Doo! (Almost a palindrome!)

After all, we’re in a cultural moment where up is down and black is the new white, so it should come as no surprise that forwards is the new backwards. It’s all about changing perspective and seeing the same old thing. The comforts of home, hidden in the energy of the new. This year was custom-made for palindromes, so let’s celebrate!

Here are the TOP TEN PALINDROMES OF 2015:

10. Jeb! !Bej

9. Antarctic ice melted — delete mice cantata.

8. Derrida, Drake’s e-card arrived!

7. Attention: Marco Rubio buried O.C. ram? No. It never.

6. Ho! Sepp Blatter, FIFA cad, has a cassette of Right Said Fred! Oh …

5. (TIE) We listened to “Serial” — liars’ O.T. denial, ew! / Zuckerberg grabs truck nutz

4. Star Wars sucks rats

3. Volkswagen fuel probs, bro! Le uf-neg wawa, uh-huh.

2. ISIS is sissies

1. Toyota Yogurt

Best of 2015: CORPORATE SLOGANS

best_of_2015_slogans

It’s no secret that 2015 was a great year for corporations. From record profits to extraordinary innovations, this was a year when our friends in the corporate world were able to put their best foot forward and light up the sky.

It has been long established that corporations are people. So it should come as no surprise that, just like our favorite people on TV, corporations have catchphrases: Pithy sayings that reveal everything about their brands’ personality, sense of humor, and values.

Simply put, these corporate catchphrases are called SLOGANS.

Slogans define the best qualities of corporations. If future historians ever want to know what life was like in 2015, all they need do is collect the year’s corporate slogans and read them one after another, like a grand novel of sweeping ambition … a litany of greatness … an ode to excellence itself … an epic tale of American business like no other.

It’s time to take a stand, look corporations in the eye, and say “Thank you for being a friend.” Here are THE TOP TEN CORPORATE SLOGANS OF 2015:

10. “It’s not just an integrated network, it’s an IBM integrated network” (IBM Integrated Networks)

9. “Live your best life now” (Yves St. Laurent)

8. “Say hello to friends and family using our web site, it’s Facebook-time” (Facebook)

7. “You can pretend to live in Mexico while you eat our food. Taco Bell … for all your fantasies” (Taco Bell)

6. “A long time ago, from a galaxy far away, we’re back” (Star Wars: The Force, Part VII)

5. (TIE) “Coors is really great” (Coors Brewing Co.) / “From nails to bath mats, we have everything you need to build a house, step inside, Daddy’s home” (Home Depot)

4. “If music be the food of love, play on — Shakespeare for Spotify” (Spotify.com)

3. “American Napkins … need we say more? Let’s make a mess together, united we stand.” (American Napkin Alliance)

2. “Bow down before your master and lick his shoes and throw all your money at him” (Apple)

1.  “Wally’s Cement for president” (Wally’s Cement)

Best of 2015: JOKES

Sometimes, during a year like 2015, it can be hard to remember to keep your sense of humor. With so much unhappiness in the world, we often forget to slow down and smell the roses — or should I say, laugh at the roses? Because when God was handing out noses, you thought He said “roses” and asked for a big red one, and that’s why your nose is so fat and ugly, you stupid ding-dong! (An example of humor making a tough situation a little easier.)

Americans love to laugh at themselves; that’s one of the things that makes us different. And 2015 was no different. So put on your party hat, hitch up your laughing pants, and laugh along to the BEST JOKES OF 2015:

10. What did Bernie Sanders say when his home burned down? “Feel the bern!” (But he pronounced ‘bern’ like ‘barn’ because his home is a barn because he’s an old goat and he eats straw and tin cans all day, “Nom nom ooh this old rusty can is delicious” — Bernie Sanders restaurant review.)

9. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m afraid of Syrian refugees, but when I dressed up as the Joker (from Batman) for Halloween, I said, “WHY SO SYRIA’S?” as my catchphrase (pronounced like “Why so serious”).

8. So, did you hear that Kanye West and Kim Kirkdashian had a new baby? That’s right, and they give him the perfect name: ‘LITTLE EGOMANIAC (America, when did we lose our way?)’. “Wait — that’s all the same name?” Yes it is! I told you we live in interesting times …

7. Why didn’t Donald Trump participate in the Paris Climate Accord? Because his mouth is full of hot air, which is now illegal in France!

6. I found someone who liked the second season of True Detective so much, they named their son after it: His name is Ivan the TERRIBLE

5. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer GIRLS GONE WILD to P.C. CULTURE GONE WILD!

4. (TIE) What’s the difference between the economy and the election? “One is IN the toilet, and the other is broadcast on a TOILET” / “Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?” “Benghazi.” “Benghazi who?” “Ben Ghazi, and speak up if you please, I’m hard of HEARINGS”

3. There’s a new movie about a guy trapped on Mars all by himself. It’s called PRESIDENT OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATINGS

2. Jeb Bush put an exclamation point on his campaign logo. Maybe he should’ve chosen a question mark instead!

1. Did you hear about the group of rebels in outer space wearing funny clothes and fighting an evil empire with laser swords? It’s called MSNBC and FOX NEWS!

Best of 2015: PASTEURIZATION

America has been called “the Land of Milk and Honey,” but since our bees are dying and we’re about to run out of honey (America when did we lose our way), perhaps it’s time to focus the national conversation on milk. And where would our milk be without an amazing technology called pasteurization?

best_of_2015_pasteurization

Simply put, pasteurization is what makes American milk the envy of the world. And we happen to be living in a golden age of pasteurization. Whether your interest lies with innovations or general aspects of the practice, if you counted yourself a citizen of “Pasteurization Nation” you were rewarded beyond your wildest dreams in 2015. It’s the same old song, with a contemporary twist: We heat our milk to kill germs and improve the taste and vitamins and that’s why 2015 was better than ever when it came to milk and pasteurization —  i.e., this year and every year, it always comes down to one simple thing: Pasteurization of milk in 2015.

Without any further ado, let’s get right to the point: Here are the TOP TEN PASTEURIZATION INNOVATIONS AND ASPECTS OF 2015:

10. Standard pasteurization with a twist

9. Really good pasteurization

8. Scientists working with pasteurization for the benefit of all

7. (TIE) Marvelous pasteurization / All-American pasteurization, the pride of our nation

6. Milky fun (pasteurization)

5. (TIE) Premium cable dramas about the history of pasteurization that help us realize old-timey people were just like us: They dreamed, they drank, they agonized over the development of PASTEURIZATION / Mechanical pasteurization

4. FDA-compliant pasteurization

3. When bae gets you a new pasteurization array for your anniversary

2. Some of the best pasteurization

1. The greatest pasteurization of all time, bar none

BONUS NUMBER ONE, NEVER BEFORE SEEN ON MY LISTS:

B1. Pastures

Best of 2015: SOCIAL MEDIA

1-woman-laughing-computer-lgn

What a year for social media! Facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, whatsapp, slack, vonage, and paypal all continued to show record gains in usernames and integration. If you want to socialize online, the best choice is as clear as day: Social media. After all, to be human is to be social!

Here are the TOP TEN BEST SOCIAL MEDIA OF 2015:

10. Online social media

9. Getting into social media in 2015

8. The top five social media sites

7. New things to do on social media

6. Clicking “like” on social media

5. Having a political argument on social media, and then the person you were arguing with writes you a personal note to thank you for changing his or her mind about the issue.

4. (TIE) “Mommy, I’m bored!” “Go play on social media.” / “Boss, how should we increase sales?” “Let’s use social media.”

3. Getting things done on social media

2. Elements of social media

1. Connecting with fellow humans on social media

Best of 2015: CELERY

Celery-Stalks

Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce) is a plant variety in the family Apiaceae. Back in 2014, it seemed celery was yesterday’s news and on its way out. We didn’t care about celery. Nobody wanted what celery was selling. In a word, it seemed celery was toast. What a difference a year makes! From celery juice to uncooked celery, from celery-based diets to celery-based culture, if 2015 is remembered as anything, it will be remembered as “The Year America Fell In Love With Celery All Over Again (And Not A Moment Too Soon, If I May Speak Freely Regarding This Matter).”

sb10063433v-001-man-holding-and-smelling-celery-gettyimages

Think we’re exaggerating? Seven different short stories in the New Yorker magazine featured celery as a plot device in 2015. Three top-ten rap songs mentioned celery in their lyrics. And just about every famous celebrity was photographed enjoying a piece of celery within the past four months alone. If that’s not proof of a profound celery renaissance, then put me in a padded cell, because “I must-a be-a goin’ crazy” (I wrote this in an Italian accent because celery is from Rome probably).

celery

 

ALSO I MUST SAY ONE THING: When you think about it, we should’ve seen the Great Celery Comeback of 2015 from miles away. After all, we live in a culture that is obsessed with celebrity. And what is “celebrity,” but the word “celery” with a few letters added? And those letters — b, r, and i — when rearranged, spell rib. And who was borne of Adam’s rib? That’s right: Eve, the first woman and the original bad-girl celebrity! So you see, it’s always been celery. Every single time … it was celery. Morning, noon, and night … ever celery. Always celery. In fact, celery is standing right behind you. Turn around and embrace celery and close your eyes and let its black tendrils consume your innocence as you sigh with pleasure and dread.

young woman having her breakfast with water and celery

Here are the TOP TEN CELERY OF 2015:

10. Nice celery

9. Tasty celery

8. Watery celery

7. Fibrous celery

6. Local celery

5. “Hennnnry! Did you remember to pick up some celery?” “Yes, dear.”

4. Restaurant celery

3. (TIE) A man got a tattoo of celery / Celery salt

2. “Ants on a log” (celery snack with peanut butter and raisins, were we ever so young, America when did we lose our way)

1. The world’s greatest piece of celery