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A Titch of, Like, Frito Feet and Christmas…Too Soon?

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By Dawn Bright


Dear Dawn,

Why do so many people say “like” so much? I think it’s really annoying, plus it makes them sound as if they don’t know what they’re talking about.

– Gordon R. from WaterColor



Interestingly enough, saying “like” is sometimes an indicator that the speaker actually does not know what they’re talking about. They use the word “like” as a filler, the way some people use “uh” or “you know.” If the person speaking is unsure of what they’re about to say, they may also use the filler “like” so they can think of what’s coming next.


Personally, it bothers me to no end, and I typically call them out on it. If, for instance, someone says, “What is it, like, hot?” my answer is, “Are you asking if it is hot or if it’s ‘like, hot,’ because I don’t know what like hot is.” At least that makes them stop and think about what they’re saying for a second. That whole “like” thing seems to have exploded. It’s as if the intelligence level of our entire population has, like, dropped.

Dear Dawn,

Recently, I’ve noticed my dog’s feet smell like Frito’s corn chips. Should I be concerned?

Mike O. from Mossy Head



It may or may not be something to be concerned about, Mike. Normally bacteria and fungi live on the skin of healthy animals, and feet in particular may have more of an odor than the rest of the body because they are in touch with microbes as they walk on the ground. They also lick their feet with tongues full of additional microbes. This bacteria gives off a kind of yeasty odor which is often described as smelling like popcorn or corn chips.


But don’t whip up a pot of chili just yet! If you notice flakiness, redness, lumps, bumps or anything else unusual on your dog’s feet, make an appointment with your vet to get those feet in walking order!

Dear Dawn,

It’s not even Halloween yet, and I’ve noticed many of the area shops are full of Christmas decorations and merchandise. I don’t mean to come off like Scrooge McGrinch, but that’s a titch too soon, don’t you think?

– Jackson from Santa Rosa Beach



First, I love your use of the word “titch.” Now that’s a word! It’s used in one of my favorite movies, Something to Talk About, when the older aunt is having her glass filled with champagne. “Just a titch more, just a titch…” until it’s filled to the brim. Classic!


But back to your question. The practice of stocking store shelves with holiday merchandise well before the holiday is called “Christmas Creep.” It originated back in the ‘80s when retailers started sneaking their holiday merchandise onto shelves in small amounts early in the year. Instead of putting everything out in large quantities, stores slowly but surely started adding holiday goodies to their shelves and allowed it to “creep” into our shopping experience.


Is this a good thing? It can be. Prices tend to be more competitive between stores who are moving this merchandise into stores for early purchases. I also read an article claiming people who decorate for Christmas early are happier than people who don’t.


Apparently, in a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate with things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations seem to do this. So deck the halls, trim the trees, fill that glass with a titch more champagne and be happy!

Dawn Bright is an eternal optimist. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about her. Email your questions to


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