This is Your Moment, Feral Cats

I have something like 18 alley cats in my neighborhood.

I’m not sure of the exacty number as it always seems to be growing.

I don’t like cats, but as far as cats go, these are good cats. I don’t bother them. They don’t bother me.

Yesterday I walked past a dead mouse on the street. Sad, but I wasn’t going to move it.

I walked outside about an hour after my initial encounter with the deceased rodent. It was still there.

If ever someone needed a Bill Belichick in their life to drop a “Do your job” on them, it was my neighborhood’s cats.

What is this, your off day? You taking PTO? I see you literally begging every human who walks by for food. You’ve conned that poor woman at the end of the block into scooping tuna out her window onto the street. Thanks for that smell, by the way.

A dead mouse on the street is the feral cat Super Bowl. It’s what they train their whole lives for.

Someone on this block – not me as like I said, I hate cats – needs to hire the cat version of Tony Robbins to come in and pump these guys up.


If You’re Going to Haunt Me, At Least Be Helpful

There’s a hand truck in front of my building. It’s been there for two nights. No idea where it came from and no one has claimed it.

The likely explanation? It’s garbage.

My explanation? Much more fun. Here’s what I like to think happened:

My apartment is haunted. Whatever spirit resides here wants me out.

Sounds scary, right?

But it’s not. You see, this apparition doesn’t just want me out…it’s bringing me moving equipment to help the transition.

You’ve got to appreciate a ghost who gives you the tools you need to make their desired reality come alive. By next week I’m expecting a stack of Home Depot boxes. Maybe a Post-It with the words “Take Your Time” written in spooky lettering.

And finally, the piece de reistance: a spectral U-Haul hovering above my bed at night, with yet another note reading, “Seriously, get out. I’ve given you plenty of notice. Don’t cost me the deposit for this Ghost U-Haul, or as we ghosts call it, the Undead-Haul.”

Why I Wake Up Early Every Day (But Not Too Early)

I like getting a jump start to my day. I work out, I write jokes, I get alert before the start of business hours so I can take care of what I need to take care of before anyone can bother me.

But it is possible to wake up TOO early.

Take Mark Wahlberg. He wakes up every morning at 2:30 a.m.

That’s not early in the morning. That’s late from the day before.

That’s so early that even your alarm isn’t up then. Try to set it on your phone. It will most likekly come right back with, “What’s this for? Early flight? You need a reminder for when half hour last call is? I can’t just set an alarm for that time, buddy. I need a valid excuse. That’s an insane time to want this service I offer. Tell you what, I’ll set it for 5:30 and I’ll see you then.”

I’m almost positive that’s what your iPhone would tell you.

I get that it’s different for someone who’s rich and famous. He has a private gym he can work out in. But a normal person? You can’t go the gym at 2:30 in the morning. You’ll be on the streets with either the people still out from the night before or the other psychopaths up this early. Bad combo.

2:30 a.m. are prime burgling hours. In fact, it’s actually RUDE to the burglars out there, working hard to make a dishonest living. Imagine power-walking past some poor joker picking the lock on someone’s back door. “Do you mind? I’m trying to make a living over here!’

Finally, let’s say you want to get up at 2:30 a.m. to do work. Assuming you’re not working with people overseas, do you really want to communicate with people who are ALSO emailing you at 2:30 in the morning?

That’s the “text from a jilted lover” time frame for communication.

If I get an email at 2:30 in the morning, I don’t care how many spreadsheets or documents are in it for my review. I’m going to assume you’re mad about a bad date or something.

A Word on Why Egg Whites Suck

Egg whites are bullshit.

Do they have less calories than whole eggs? Yes.

But it’s like an egg without the flavor. Without the character.

Compared to regular eggs, egg whites feel like an egg that didn’t take a gap year to travel abroad and find itself.

If there was a party with all the breakfast foods, who’s the last one you’d want to be stuck in a corner talking to? Who would be the one prattling on about how much protein they have, checking their pulse every few seconds, probably talking about getting a quick jog in?

Undoubtedly: egg whites.

Egg whites are what you order to make everyone else at brunch feel guilty. “Yeah, I’ll have the healther version of what all these pigs are getting? Can I also get a crown that says, ‘Healthiest Boy in the Land’ on the front of it?”

The true sign you know egg whites suck: buy a carton of egg whites some time. You’ll notice that on the side of it, there are a list of ways you can use egg whites.

You know a food sucks when the box has to convince you to eat it.

The brand name of it may as well be, “Egg Whites: Before You Put Us Down, Hear Us Out!”

Think about it. Ice cream doesn’t have to do that. It doesn’t need a side hustle. You’ve never seen an ice cream container that says, “Breyer’s French Vanilla: PERFECT if you have a bruise and you need the swelling to go down.”

On the Flexibility of Security Coasters

I’m at a bar watching a Yankees game. The guy sitting next to me gets up to use the bathroom. He puts a coaster over his drink and walks away. Where does he go? I don’t know. Maybe the bathroom.

Maybe he’s a spy on a mission, there to assassinate the barback. The second one sounds more fun, but what I’m more concerned with is his seat-saving method.

Again: he put his coaster over top of his drink. Somehow, this has become the international signal for, “I’m still sitting here.” I have no idea who came up with that, but I’m guessing it wasn’t a coaster.

That’s a lot of responsibility for a coaster. Protecting the bar from getting a ring is one thing. But protecting a seat? Now you’ve got this thing outside its comfort zone.

You’re asking it to go outside its comfort zone. What’s the next step in the progression? You going to have it out front in a black polo, checking IDs and bouncing drunks? Is it going to be escorting the nightly deposit to the bank?

An inanimate object cannot have humanly properties, but every time I walk past a coaster guarding a drink I can’t help but think it looks proud.

Think about it from the coaster’s perspective: it just DOUBLED its number of marketable skills. Gone are the days when they were just a barrier between glass and finished wooden countertop. Now they can add, “security consultant” to its list of skills. You can practically see the coaster rushing back to its laptop after its shift to update its resume.

Coasters owe a debt of gratitude to everyone using them to guard drinks. They just enable that coaster to write a blog about the experience on the coaster version of LinkedIn.

How Would You Even Abet a Known Felon

I’m no lawyer but I’ve watched countless TV shows featuring lawyers.

One crime referenced in TV and movies I’ve always been confused by?

Aiding and abetting a known felon.

This crime TERRIFIES me for the simple reason that I have no idea whether or not I’ve ever committed it.

Aiding a felon? That I can confidently say I’ve never done. There’s no chance you’ve seen Mike Eltringham administering any type of aid to a felon. No band aid, no first aid. I wouldn’t even tell a felon directions if he asked me for them.

But abetting?

No idea.

The reason why I have no idea whether or not I’ve abetted a known felon is that I have no idea what the hell abetting even means.

I’m not going to look it up because that would ruin this post. I am going to take a stab at it though.

I think “abetting” was a term constructed by the authorities to make “aiding and abetting a known felon” sound even worse than it was.

Think about it. It’s longer. It keeps the judge talking longer when he’s saying exactly what the felon aid-er did.

And you could sympathize with someone who just AIDED a known felon. Maybe they’re just a nice guy. “Oh man. He gave the known felon a granola bar. Can’t fault him for that.”

But aiding AND abetting?

THAT sounds way more heinous.

“Your honor, the court asks we sentence the defendant to 8 years. After all, he did aid AND abet.”

“No kidding? Well I was all set to cut him loose but as soon as you said, “..and abet” I knew my worst suspicions were confirmed. Let’s give him the chair.”

Here’s how I really know the term is bullshit. And you can tell I’m talking myself into this as I write, because again, I could easily just look this up. But what would be the fun in that? Here’s how you really know the term is bullshit: no one’s ever been charged with just abetting a known felon. Aiding’s always thrown in there.

It’s a package deal. No one’s ever aided without abetting. No one’s ever abetted without aiding. You’ve never heard a jury say, “Well your honor, we’re with you on the aiding, guilty there…but abetting? We couldn’t see it. So, I guess he’s half guilty.”

I’m setting a Google alert to figure out the first time someone’s convicted of just abetting a known felon. I won’t hold my breath figuring it out.

And before you email me, yes, I know I could easily Google it and find out if it’s happened. Bu see my earlier point above. I’d rather ride this one out. Just abet in my continued ignorance on this one.

“Will You Watch My Beer?”

I was at a baseball game last week. Nationls versus Mets. Citi Field. I like to get there a little early so the crowd was still thin. I’m not sure why I find watching baseball players do mindless stretching so peaceful, but I enjoy it.

My row is empty until a guy gripping a 25 oz. can of Bud Light enters and sits about five seats away from me.

A few minutes pass. I eat some popcorn. He drinks his beer. On the field, Bryce Harper pretends to care about preparing for a game he probably cares even less about.

It’s a peaceful coexistence.

Bud Light Guy finally breaks the silence. He stands up, looks at me, and utters a sentence I’v enever heard from a stranger before.

“Will you watch my beer?”

Of course I say yes. Why not? Not like I’ve got anything else going on. “Oh man. I totally would but I uh…I’ve actually got plans for the next ten minutes. Supposed to get drinks with that hot dog vendor walking by. I’d bail but I’ve already bailed on him like, three times.”

It made me stop and think. Has anyone ever asked me to watch their beer before? A friend? Probably. Girlfriend? Maybe not in so many words, but it was probably implied. But never before has a person I didn’t previously know trust me with beverage protection.

Is it possible this could go wrong?

I started running through the possible scenarios in my head. Here’s what I came up with:

He leaves for a few minutes then returns without incident, thanking me for my service
The most likely outcome.

He never returns
Much like the ill-prepared parent leaving their baby in a basket on the front step of a fire station, it was also possible I had just adopted myself a Bud Light.

Someone comes by and drinks his Bud Light
Unlikely. Who’s going to trust a random beer, just sitting there? I know beers at sporting events are expensive. But if you can afford a ticket for a seat, you can afford a beer that contains zero percent of someone else’s backwash. This scenario does raise the possibility of another one:

Someone mugs me then drinks his Bud Light
This is my first trip to Citi Field. Who knows if there are roving gangs of hooligans, patrolling Section 123 right behind the visitor’s dugout?

I drink his Bud Light
If he’s only gone for 5-10 minutes? This one isn’t happening. But a half hour? Hour? I’m going to assume something’s gone horribly wrong then toast in your honor.

I pick up his Bud Light to drink it, decide not to, and am then rewarded for my integrity by the Budweiser Corporation’s version of Willy Wonka
Maybe the whole thing is a morality test, organized by an eccentric benefactor? Let’s call him Buddy Budweiser. He pops up behind me wearing a red suit with a red top hat. The words KING OF BEERS sewn into the back of his jacket. After giving me the keys to the factory and saying I’ll inherit it when he dies, we then leave the stadium in a glass elevator ship. That was how Willy Wonka ended, right? It’s been years.

The actual ending of this story was a scenario I hadn’t even considered:

He came back without incident about ten minutes later, sat down, and didn’t thank me
Hey man. I was responsible for the safety of your beverage. Anything happens to that thing? You’re down $11.50 with nothing to show for it. Not even a buzz.

I almost leaned over and said to him, “You’re welcome. And if Buddy Budweiser is listening, I want it noted for the record no attempt to drink the beer was made” just to see him get confused.