The Hoosierist Answers a Burning Question

Hot sauce, hoarders, and displaced bail bondsmen.
Hoosierist - HoosierStat, September 2014

Q: The St. Elmo shrimp cocktail sauce is always hot, but I swear that some days it’s hotter than others. Is that possible? 
Sheila W., Carmel
A: A query with a St. Elmo server revealed that this isn’t all in diners’ heads—or their inflamed sinuses. The sauce gets its oomph from horseradish root shipped from three different suppliers. For reasons not even the steakhouse understands, some batches are stronger than others. In case you’re wondering, horseradish (which, in a Twilight Zone–like twist, is poisonous to horses) gets its burn from chemicals that irritate the mucous membranes around the eyes. Just like mustard gas. So when you shell out $16.95 for a shrimp cocktail, you’re basically paying to consume something that would be a war crime on a battlefield. Bon appetit!
Q: I think my neighbor is a hoarder. What can I do about that?
Owen M., Indianapolis
A: Anyone who has watched the cable-TV series Hoarding: Buried Alive understands that hoarding (keeping mounds of crap at your house for no good reason) is a complex psychological disorder best addressed with empathy, patience, and other mushy feelings that The Hoosierist long ago banished from his cold, flinty heart. Fortunately, this task can be delegated to the Marion County Public Health Department. If your neighbor’s collection of empty margarine tubs and old newspapers gets out of hand, give these folks a call. And you needn’t wait until the detritus spills onto the yard. Even if the mess stays behind closed doors, the Health Department can still investigate and take some sort of dumpster-related remedial action. Because when it comes to homes that pose a health or fire hazard, the “out of sight, out of mind” rule gets tossed out the broken, dirt-encrusted window.
Q: With the creation of the Market East district, how long until the bail bondsmen relocate from the City-County Building area? 
Daisy P., Indianapolis  
A: If the plan to move the jail and a large portion of the county’s legal apparatus to the site of the old General Motors stamping plant actually happens, it won’t be long until the bondsmen follow their shackled, orange-suited clientele to the new digs. But Delaware Street won’t become a bunch of empty storefronts overnight. As you may have noticed, government tends to move pretty slowly. It will take years to transform a gigantic stretch of brownfield into a massive legal complex, so those bail bondsmen don’t need to break out the boxes and shipping tape just yet.

The HoosierStat

Number of Indiana dog-bite claims in 2013:
Man’s best friend? Don’t tell that to your insurance agent. According to the Insurance Information Institute, feisty Indiana Fidos forced insurers to pay out $12.8 million last year. And when someone takes a bite out of their bottom line, you know who pays for it.
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Illustration by Shane Harrison