The 10 Commandments of Tod


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

81 Responses

  1. Avatar Steve S. says:

    So Velveeta in a box is okay?Report

  2. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I’m just starting to get back into vodka, so the timing is good. As for reality shows, I’ve never met anyone who likes them- have you? They must make them for somebody.Report

  3. Avatar Jonathan says:

    You would deny Christmas Carols to those celebrating Epiphany? Thou art a cruel and vengeful Tod.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Commandment #1 is inherently inviolable, in that “cheese” that comes from a can isn’t cheese; it’s artificial lard with artificial cheese flavoring.Report

  5. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    The imperative form in the antique second person familiar would read : “Call thy mother.”    “Callest thou” would form the rhetorical interrogative, as in “Callest thou thy mother an old bat?”Report

  6. And lo, a great cry went forth from the congregation, and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    For verily, wherefore doth a drink made with vodka call itself a martini? Such libation is surely an abomination. Substituteth the word “gin” into the received words of Tod, and all shalt be hunky-dory, as well gin is meet and proper when mixed with cheap tonic but doth grieve the palate when served in chilled, slanty glasses.

    And consider the Project Runway of the Lifetime network. Though yea, lousy knock-offs doth offend the eye and bore the soul, truly I say unto you that the original version deserveth mercy. All other Reality programming shalt be cast into outer darkness.

    Tennis shalt thou revere, as the menfolk doth please the eye, and the leaping and lunging of both man and woman doth impress the indolent and athletically unblessed.

    Though it trouble the soul and cast down the eye, yea the time hast come to proclaim that “The Simpsons” hath leaped Leviathan.

    And thus didst the people quibble pettily with the words of Tod.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      this reminds me entirely too much of Tex Murphy. Precious potations indeed!

      (tonic and vodka is an awful idea. they only put the tonic in to make the gin potable)Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Oh tempura, o morels, that the vodka martini should be the target of such slings and arrows of outrageous opinion.   Good gin needeth not the benefit of digestif, especially not that gin which cometh to us from Scotland in the dark Hendrick’s bottle.

      Cheap vodka is the curse of the world, fit for naught but to fuel certain old Soviet-era fighter jets.  Good vodka is another matter entirely, well-suited to the mild application of certain vermouths, for the best vodkas lack any appreciable aroma.

      Yet we must admit to the catholicity of tastes in these things.  There are gins and there are gins, some appropriate to martinification.  Others ought not be polluted with vermouth of any sort.   For lo, are such gins not complex enough to jollify the nostrils and taste buds of mortal man?Report

      • Hendrick’s is like unto mead.  So, too, that gin named for jewels of the East.  The merest drop of digestif, like unto the morning dew, is enough for such as these.  Though, truly, Hendrick’s is also nice with tonic and a nice slice of cucumber.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

          Oh thou that tellest good tidings to Zion.   I shall now tell thee a tale of gin.

          In a conference room, high in the then-titled Sears Tower, I asked a simple and obvious enough question:  “Who’s actually going to run this system?”   You would have thought I’d thrown a hand grenade into the center of the table.  Loud and coarse utterances were heard, fingers were pointed, until at last all fingers pointed at a middle-aged paralegal.   She crooked her finger at me and I followed her meekly to her office, where she began to unburden herself of even more coarse and profane utterances.

          I was then a young man and hunkered down, silently repeating to myself “I’m getting paid for this.  I’m getting paid for this.”   Finally, somewhat enervated by her tirade, she settled down, wiped her brow and sat in exhausted misery.

          “Are you quite done yet?”  I asked.   She nodded weakly.  “Now you and I and God in heaven know the existing system cannot be saved and must be rewritten.”   Again she nodded.   “And that’s what we’re going to do.   But you will say it’s just a rewrite, nu?”   Her eyes narrowed and she grudgingly nodded yet again.

          “Is there anyone else here you trust to keep this secret, for we will need to re-enter all the data for at least five years. I will call it Data Verification and you will keep these corporate lawyers off my back.”   She thought a while and chose one of her clerks.   We re-entered all that data, I wrote the new system around it and three months later, the head of Corporate Law was thrilled by how well the “rewrite” had gone.

          That paralegal became one of my best friends in life.   Every Christmas since, she has received a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin as a token of that friendship.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Russell Saunders says:

          A three course meal:


    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      As any Russian knows, vodka is best partaken straight from the freezer, poured into shot glasses, and followed by a dill pickle chaser. Martinis require gin.Report

  7. Avatar Pinky says:

    I don’t want to be accused of legalism, but could the Fourth Commandment be more broadly understood to include a condemnation of Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”?Report

  8. Christmas goes until January 6th.Report

  9. Avatar sidereal says:


  10. Avatar Sam M says:

    What of the Cheetoh? Is is spawned of the forbidden spray?

    Why hast thow forsaken the Cheetoh?

    What of baked in cheez, as in the Cheez-it.? Or the extruded cheese of the blessed Combo?Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Sam M says:

      Charles de Gaulle once said “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?”  == How can one govern a country with two hundred forty six varieties of cheese?

      I might reply, “How can one govern a country where the children are raised upon the vile excrescences of robotic cattle, baked into little puffy turdlets and wrapped in plastic?”   Bad as it was for de Gaulle, surely the ingredients of Cheezy Snaks were never derived from any of his two hundred and forty six varieties, nor yet from anything Germanic or points east.   These were made in Dark Satanic Mills.Report

  11. Avatar Steven Donegal says:

    Vodka?  Domestic Vodkas are defined by U.S. government regulation as “neutral spirits, so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.”

    Now I’m sure that in a nice libertarian blog such as this one people are sure to be dismissive of government regulations.  But in your hearts, you know they’re right.


  12. Avatar Jeff says:

    re Reality Shows:  Amazing Race, Sing-Off and The Voice are exempt.  This is not disputable.Report

  13. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Humbug!  Basketball is an opiate of the masses — and there are several more.  Fencing is the One True Sport (and epee the One True Weapon), where it requires years of study and practice simply to be able to see and understand what two Masters are doing when they meet.  Not to mention that we can simply take off the blunt tips and revert to the ultimate rule: “First one that dies, loses!”

    Additionally,  this is (mostly) the US.  You vodka and Scotch snobs can go somewhere else, and leave it to us bourbon snobs.  Which Grandpa turned me into one summer when I was 14.  After more than 40 years, I’m still looking for something to match what that moonshiner brought out of a limestone cave in Missouri (reputedly laid down by the moonshiner’s Grandpa) to pay off the load of groceries we were delivering…Report

  14. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Each distilled spirit has its proper place in the pantheon of human activity.  Thus spake PADRAIG.Report

    • This.  PADRAIG speaks most wisely.

      Theologians have long pointed out that the exact quote in the Book of Jeriniah is “Vodka is a Holy Water,” not “Vodka is the Holy Water.”

      Many scholars believe this commandment exists only to note the special rules for drinking vodka, noting that in any circumstances you would not want to order the cheapest scotch, beer, wine or gin.Report

  15. Avatar aaron says:

    Tod is my co-pilotReport

  16. Avatar Meaghan says:


  17. Avatar Renee says:

    Oh Tod!
    What about pat’s cheese steak?? For Tod’s sake please say that the whiz wit is acceptable in your eyes. Else I am bound for eternal damnation. And it will have been worth it.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Renee says:

      A few months ago, I had some friends over for the Buffalo-Philly football game.  The Wife was represented by pretzels (bought) and homemade cheesesteaks; I was represented by beef on weck and wings (both homemade).  In any event, one of our friends is from Provence by way of Paris, one of New Jersey’s surprisingly large contingent of French chemists.

      She was preparing a cheesesteak for her own consumption and was at the stage where it was time to put the cheese on.  The Wife cajoled her to put Cheez Whiz on her steak, claiming falsely that it is the best and only way to enjoy a cheesesteak, as if Provie didn’t exist.

      Our friend looked at The Wife as if she had three heads and pronounced, “I am French.  Cheese in a jar? That eez a bridge too far!”

      My (already reasonably high) estimation of the French immediately grew three sizes that day.  In the immortal words of Detective Bunk, “A man (or woman) must have a code.”

      In Tod We Trust.Report

      • Two thoughts:

        1. This story makes me want you guys to show up in May just that much more.

        2. Beef on weck?  What the hell is beef on weck?Report

        • 1.  I’m hoping to have a firm commitment in the next few days.  Right now, I put the odds at 2-1 in favor and trending favorably.

          2. Beef on weck is my personal favorite Official Buffalo Food.  Wings are surely better when made in the B-lo (where a soggy wing is unheard of) or by a B-lonian, but few foods get me more excited than a good Beef on Weck (or even a bad one, for that matter).  It is in some ways a very basic and simple sandwich – roast beef with au jus.  The key lies in the toasted Kummelweck roll, plus of course the fresh horseradish spread thereon.  A Kummelweck roll is essentially a Kaiser roll topped with butter, coarse salt, and caraway seeds.  Outside of Western New York, few are aware of it, though Wegman’s has been known to sell a bastardized cold cut version at its deli counter outside of WNY.

          Also, too – Crystal Beach Loganberry Juice.  Yum.Report

      • Avatar Renee in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        I have tried to make a cheesesteak at home with Cheese Whiz from a can.  And it was horrible.  Truly horrible.  The meat was great, the onions were great, I had spent days scoping out the right roll . . . and the cheese from a jar killed it.  There don’t exist many meals that I won’t finish, but this sandwich had to die a painful death in the garbage can.

        And yet, and yet . . .

        The Whiz Wit cheesesteak at Pat’s is, IMHO, a miracle of the first order.  Do they do something with their Whiz (initiate jokes here)?  Did I do something wrong?  This is truly something I don’t comprehend.  Mark – if your wife has any insight on this, I would be forever grateful.Report

        • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Renee says:

          The Whiz Wit cheesesteak at Pat’s is, IMHO, a miracle of the first order.

          Pat’s is an inferior cheesesteak, though perhaps superior to its cross-street rival.  Jim’s on South Street is where the good stuff lies.  😉

          Anyhow, according to my wife, the secret to a truly good Philly cheesesteak is: 1. the Amoroso roll; and 2. the grease that goes therein alongside the meat and cheese.  Only an Amoroso roll will do, and to my knowledge such rolls are available only in the Greater Philadelphia Area.  This last point has been repeatedly emphasized to me.Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Mark Thompson says:

            Amaroso’s rolls are now flown all over the country to righteous cheesesteakeries.  It’s theoretically possible to get a great cheesesteak outside of Philly now.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mark Thompson says:

            Mark:  Exactly.  Having grown up near Philadelphia, I can say that there’s nothing that Pat’s or Geno’s does that the local hole-in-the-wall steak shop doesn’t do, except maybe marketing. 

            And there’s about a fifty-mile radius around Philadelphia where you can get a proper cheesesteak, and outside of that it’s just…not.  Like the places that put tomatoes and lettuce and mayo on it, and make it with provolone cheese.  Like, uh, wha?


            The fun part is when you get a place that imports Tastykakes along with the rolls.  It’s really funny to see cheesesteaks and Jelly Krimpets being presented as exotic foreign imported food!Report

          • Avatar Renee in reply to Mark Thompson says:

            I’ll admit to have only ever been a visitor to the city of brotherly love.  I did not visit Gino’s for fear that one of my friends from Philly never would speak with me again.  He warned me that that would be a consequence of my crossing the threshold.  I did have Pat’s and Jim’s and I have to say that I thought Jim’s components were better, but there is something about Pat’s that is better than the sum of its parts.  Could it be that the people who work there seem to have been assembled from central casting for Philly?  I don’t know.

            I knew the importance of the roll and admit to approximating the Amoroso to the best of my ability in Norfolk, VA.  The grease.  I think it may have to do with the grease.  Homemade cheesesteak, we will meet again . . .   (Thanks)Report

      • You’re all using Cheese Whiz wrong, that’s why you don’t get it.  The proper ingredients are three kids, a van, and a four hour drive.  Then, and only then, will you understand the uniquely American genius of Cheese Whiz.Report

  18. Avatar Matty says:

    Sprayable cheese, dear Tod, what do you people have over there?

    Tell me you can at least get stilton.Report

  19. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Okay, Tod, I’m with you on the martinis. However, I would simply add that you should not order one on New Years Eve after having spent the last four hours drinking beer. Doing this will cause you to pass out on your couch and wake up with a wicked hangover only a couple hours before the kids have to get up and then proceed to spend the rest of the morning throwing up and lying miserably on the couch while the kids get babysitting from the TV. Not that I would know anything about this…sReport

  20. Avatar Katherine says:

    I tell you the truth, I did not know that cheese came in cans.

    Why?  Whyyyyyyyyy?Report