O'BRIEN: Tea, tattoos and mushrooms are bound to remain mysteri - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

O'BRIEN: Tea, tattoos and mushrooms are bound to remain mysteries forever

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By now, I should have everything figured out.

I'm making the turn right now to the back nine of life -- at least I hope I've reached the halfway point or so at age 43. Still, plenty of things leave me scratching my balding head.

Here are things that I don't know I'll ever understand:

Mushroom hunting: Not sure that I've ever knowingly eaten a mushroom in my life. They just don't look appealing. For the last week or so, mushroom hunters have proudly posted photos of their finds to their Facebook pages. One guy is selling his haul for $30 a pound. If you really love the morels, you can get five pounds from him for $100. I have no idea if those are good prices or not. Those who are doing all of that hunting look like they're having fun. They're getting outside and many are spending time with their kids, which is always a good thing. It's just not something that I could ever see myself doing.

Game of Thrones: I'm sure this is a really good show. Many people whose opinion I respect love the HBO show. I have never seen a second of it and probably never will. Even thought I've had DirecTV for 16 years, I've never subscribed to HBO, so I've never seen a second of "The Sopranos" or "Boardwalk Empire" either. Why dish out $17.99 a month for HBO when you can spend $9.99 to watch years worth of fake fighting on the WWE Network?

The National Hockey League: Some around here live and die with what happens on the ice, especially during the playoffs. This is primarily St. Louis Blues territory with a few Chicago Blackhawks backers. The teams just met in the first round of the NHL playoffs, with the Blackhawks winning in six games. My lack of hockey knowledge has to do with my upbringing. Hockey was never on TV in the 1970s and 1980s, and no rinks were anywhere close to where I lived. The first hockey game I can remember watching was the 1980 U.S. Olympic team's upset of Russia. Not even that game could suck me into the sport. Tried skating once. There is no arguing that hockey players are some of the toughest athletes around. Their ability to play a fast-paced, physical game on skates is impressive.

Tea: According to the Tea Association of America, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. Americans drank more than 79 billion servings of tea in 2012. I made up 0 percent of that consumption. My wife loves tea. My mother loves tea. My grandmothers loved tea. I can't stand the stuff -- hot or iced. Don't know what it is, but I'll pass. I do like lemonade, so I tried an Arnold Palmer last week. The half iced tea/half lemonade drink was 100 percent awful.

Tattoos: This has to be a generational thing. Tattoos were taboo when I grew up. Only convicts and sailors had them. It seems like more people have tattoos these days than those who don't. Maybe it's a fear of needles, but the chances of me ever getting a tattoo are slim. It's too bad more people don't think about the future when they're getting their ink. Is that barbed wire tattoo around your right biceps really going to look that good when you're 80? Doubt it.

-- dobrien@whig.com/221-3370

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