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While installing my rather elaborate holiday light display I decided to test the last string of lights by licking it and gave myself a rather nasty electrical shock, and the Favorite Brands section of my brain was fried worse than the bacon at Pepe’s, so I called an UberX and went to the store, listicle in hand, with a blank slate for a brain.

It was a short list: eggs, cheese, soda, mustard, bread and Oreos. (You guessed it: I was making my world-renowned Dr. Ned’s Guaranteed New Year’s Hangover Cure Soufflé.)


Six hours later, I returned home.


Do you realize how many choices you have to make when you are starting from scratch? First the eggs, luckily they were all grade A – how is it that all the eggs are above average? Medium, large, extra large, jumbo, Haloti-sized, white, brown, cage free, slightly cagey, 50 shades of caged, omega 3 or maybe eggbeaters in a box… Settled on extra large, brunette, shackled and chained.


Nuts! Mixed, salted, unsalted, honey crusted, wasabi crusted, scabies crusted, in the shell, in a can, in a jar, in a tube, in a godda da vida (really unbearable), buttered, cracked, crushed, grinded into submission, whole, slivered, real, imaginary … that took another hour.



Twenty-nine kinds of mustard?! Can someone give me a clue? Which one was on that soft pretzel I had at summer camp, the time I snuck out to the lake with my salty sweet summer honey, Crystal Meth; whatever became of her? But I digress. French’s yellow, brown, black…. small, medium or large…? I’ll just steal the packets from Haute Dog.

Soda, well this will be easy, I remember I like Coke. Uh oh…


And cheese? Holy Jarlsberg, Batman!


Finally, the last item on my list: Oreos. Thank God I had a specific brand of cookie on this list. I’ll just pick up a pack and …. Wait! Are you kidding me? There are seriously, I counted, 19 different types of Oreos here! Double stuffed, mint, fudge, golden, mini, birthday cake, WINTER Oreo’s, Old Bay, habanero, vodka-infused.  The heck with it – one of each.


Friends, I have come face to face with the tyranny of choice, and I want to help you avoid this black hole of consumer indecision. First off I am opening a minimalist market. I’m thinking of calling it “Uncle Ned’s Indentured Servant Farms.”  We have ONE brand of everything, from prune juice to toilet paper. And Fried Chicken.


In addition, I’m developing a four-part course on how to decide which four-part course you should take. Also, I’m offering a full day spiritual retreat focused on determining which spiritual retreat you should visit. My four-part course is a prerequisite.


Then I am launching Siriusly/NED radio for people without the will to choose, where you will listen to what I tell you is good and you will like it. One station; lots of cat music.


Now don’t forget to floss. Waxed, unwaxed, mint, cinnamon, cotton candy, bacon-flavored …