Canzano: Mailbag deals with football, predictions, expansion... and donuts
Your questions, my answers.
Early this summer I was buying a dozen donuts. Before the baker closed the box he paused and offered me a 13th donut.
“It’s a baker’s dozen,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
He shrugged and put the extra donut in the box.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the phrase “Baker’s Dozen” goes back to the 16th century. But the practice started in medieval times as bakers in England were obligated to sell goods at a specific weight.
Trouble is, few people had scales.
Bakers were dealing with variances in temperature, altitude, ingredients and conditions. If they sold a dozen units of bread and failed to meet the minimum weight standard there were stiff penalties. It could be a fine. It could be flogging. To avoid being punished, bakers began to include an extra loaf of bread to make sure they weren’t selling the customer short.
Turns out nobody likes a cheat.
Or a surprise flogging.
I got a pile of terrific mailbag questions again this week. Readers are locked into college football, television, season predictions, realignment, rugby, soccer and more.