Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column glad to be back in the ol’ U.S. of A., where a body can -MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: You were gone? When? We look at the paper everyday, and you haven’t gone anywhere (except possibly “too far”).Well, yes, the show did go on, but some of us just returned from yet another Summit Up Field Expedition.MSUR: Is this going to be another blasé anecdote about airline food or aboriginal cures for athlete’s foot that also taste a lot like licorice?You wish we were that predictable.No, as we were saying, it’s good to be back in this here country, where it’s safe to pet dogs without contracting leprosy and napkins come in sizes bigger than your lips.You’d like to think we’re exaggerating, but those who have traveled in Mexico (where our chupacabra-hunting mission led us) will vouch: There are more dogs roaming the streets of Mexico than there are little children selling Chiclets gum (that’s a lot, trust us), and the only thing that outnumbers the dogs is the fleas jumping off them. Oh, they look cute – just don’t be surprised if large chunks of fur just fall off when you try to pet them.We looked high and low for the mythological, vampiric beasts that supposedly slaughter livestock and defile lost souls in the woods, but the chupacabra is a tricky prey. Every day of the trip, we spent at least 10 to 15 back-breaking, brow-beating, soul-wrenching minutes searching for the creatures – under our hotel bed, in the back seat of the taxis, at the taco stands – but had no luck. Consequently, we had to a lot of recuperating at streetside cafes and little bars we found in town plazas. This is what led us to notice the napkins.Apparently, the U.S. has cornered the market on paper napkins. You go to any fast food place here in the states, and your carry out order is likely to be accompanied by a stack of napkins that resembles a telephone book. Not in Mexico. There shortage of napkins is so bad that, although they still give them to you in gracious hospitality, what they give you is three or four napkins which appear to be quartered sections of the larger napkins you find so prevalent at home. It’s either a severe shortage of Depression-era proportions, or Americans are just much bigger slobs than Mexicans, who must not require a mouth-wiping very often.We know that last part is hard to believe, so we can only arrive at the former conclusion.We have a raft of information to share with you, the results of hard traveling science and observation by a crew of unbiased professionals, so you can look forward to a week of tid-bits and musings.MSUR: Great. Are you sure you had to come back so soon?***It’s Wednesday, according to our Aztec sundial. Come out and play, won’t you? Make your playdates at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just tell us how your mom grounded you on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.We’re out wiping drool off the dog’s mouth with these super-sized value napkins …
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