MNB reader Gil Harmon had thoughts about a new law in London prohibiting fast food restaurants opening within a certain proximity of schools:

This is frustrating.  Mandating that fast food restaurants not be near schools is government overreach.  It is treating the symptom and not the disease.  The disease in this case is education.  How about mandating nutrition classes in those schools to the children so they understand why they should not eat it.  Why don’t they treat their menu with a rating system…  like the Motion Picture Association of America.  G – anyone can buy it;  PG – parental guidance is suggested; PG-13 no one under the age of 13 can purchase; R- no one under 18 can purchase without a parent present; and NC-17 – Stay the hell away from that Big Mac.

I have no conceptual problem with your ratings proposal, though I’m sure that some would see even that as government overreach. But nutrition classes? I think that’s low hanging fruit … but constricting local education budgets will, I’d guess, make that hard to achieve in many places.

MNB reader Mitch Hill had a criticism of Campbell’s new test of a service that goes consumer-direct with soup deliveries:

What is the incentive for a grocer to support Campbell’s if the soup maker competes directly against them and bypasses the store altogether?  As companies such as Gillett, Campbell’s etc., take their business directly to consumers certainly their worth to grocers is diminished.


On another subject, from MNB reader Peter Talbott:

Thanks for the update “for young MNB readers” about “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” being a Capote novella and a film starring Audrey Hepburn.

Here’s an additional update “for old MNB readers”:  "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is also a 1995 song recorded by American alternative rock band Deep Blue Something.. It was the band's only hit, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.    I’d guess that to pretty much anyone under *** years , that’s their primary reference.  But the film should be required viewing for all.

Just listened to it on iTunes, and liked it so much that I bought it.

Thanks for the musical education.

Got several emails from people weighing in on my response yesterday to readers who thought I was over the top in my criticism of a t-shirt sold at Walmart that said:

"Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.”

MNB reader Carla A. Girten wrote:

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you get emails denigrating journalists, equating them with KKK and implying your industry commentary is tainted.  I can only pray that these were the more extreme comments, and that you really don’t get many like this.  Thank you for injecting your bias and opinion when it matters.  To think it can be totally separate from business commentary is not reasonable.

From another reader:

I'm very interested in the comments people are making regarding your commentary on the T-shirt story.

Whatever happened to civil discourse in this country?

I'm all in favor of a rousing debate but am disappointed to see that we seem to have arrived at "If you don't agree with me, then you are wrong".

No one person has all of the answers and I'm quite suspicious of anyone who says they do.

Please keep up the great work and commentary...I look forward to it every morning.

And from another reader, Lance Hollis McMillan:L

Rest easy, Mr. C.

If you're going to perform in the circus you've got to play with the clowns…

You remind me of one of my father’s favorite jokes, about the guy who worked at the circus and who had the job of cleaning up after the elephants. And I mean really cleaning up … after the elephants went to the bathroom, it was his job to get out a broom and take care of it.

One time, a friend of his was watching as the guy cleaned up a particularly large and odorous pile of elephant dung. The friend said, “Good lord, man. Haven’t you ever thought about another line of work?”

The guy was surprised, and responded: “What? And leave show business?”

That’s the thing about my job. Sometimes it is a three-ring circus. Sometimes it is a high-wire act. Sometimes I act like a clown. And sometimes I have to get out the broom…

But quit show business? I don’t think so.