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.”

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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.

What Are Your Responsibilities When Sitting in an Unoccupied Lifeguard Chair?

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I’m on vacation, walking along the beach at about 7:00 a.m.

Best time to be at the beach.

There isn’t a soul for miles. It’s just you, the salty air, and the beautiful views with no one to share it. It’s like getting extra credit from Mother Nature.

I walk past an unoccupied lifeguard chair. At first glance this seems like the perfect place to sit. Elevated height. No other seats around. It’s a laid back version of the Iron Throne. I can totally see why lifeguards would enjoy sitting in a place like this when not having to save lives.

You get to feel like a king. A king who probably makes $12 an hour, but a king nonetheless.

I climbed up to sit in it, but then I paused.

What are my responsibilities here?

What if someone actually needs help and looks towards the chair? Are they going to expect me to be able to save a life?

Because if you do, I’ve got some bad news: you’re going to be very disappointed in this fake lifeguard.

“Hey, sorry, no. That’s not me. I’m not even wearing the red shorts and carrying the buoy. Just an Under Armour shirt and some orange Tommy Hilfiger trunks. Even if I wanted to save you, I don’t have the uniform to do it. Okay? Hello? Oh shit, he drowned.”

I opted to keep walking. I don’t need that type of pressure. Not that I wouldn’t help someone in need, but I don’t want to be expected to do it.

There’s a world of difference between, “That random guy walking by couldn’t save Uncle Albert. At least he tried!” and “Hey that lifeguard whiffed on the mouth-to-mouth! Let’s sue him!”

The flip side to this scenario: what if sitting in the lifeguard chair is a Green Lantern’s ring type of situation? Where just sitting in the chair imbues me with the power to automatically become a lifeguard?

Gotta be honest: not sure I want that responsibility either.

Assuming this magic lifeguard’s chair gives me superhuman lifeguarding abilities, now I HAVE to save lives. It’s like Spider-Man, man. With great power comes great responsibility. I can’t go back to regular life, knowing somewhere out there at the Outer Banks of North Carolina there’s a kid about to get nabbed by the undertow.

Can you imagine the headlines? “Magic Lifeguard Decides to Let Beachgoers Drown for a 7th Consecutive Week.” “Is He Really Going to Wait Until Next Year’s Vacation To Save People Again?” “Another Shark Attack NOT Thwarted by Lifeguard Man.”

There’s a third possibility here. Let’s say I get the magic lifeguard ability. Let’s say I save some people that day, but then go back to my normal everyday life, not pulling people out of the ocean despite my freakish ability to do so at a heightened level. Then let’s say I come back next year for vacation. I’ll definitely feel a lot of pressure to save people then.

And that means I’ll spend my entire vacation just saving lives.

Worthy cause and all but c’mon…can’t a guy relax for a few days?

I come to the beach to unwind, not get thanked by tearful parents who stopped watching their idiot kids for ten minutes.

I’ll spend the entire week running up and down the beach. Probably some kid and some old lady tucked under either arm. I’m going up to people out of breath: “Are you drowning? No, just playing around? Okay well no horseplay. I don’t have a lot of time to waste here. What’s that over there? Is that a shark or is it riptide? Is anyone going to answer me? Oh, so you’re just going to ignore me until you need savin’. You know what, screw this, I’m going back to the lifeguard’s chair to see if sitting in it again will negate my earlier gain in powers.”

The ultimate lesson here: if you enjoy your vacation as it is, stay away from empty lifeguard chairs.

The Time I Was Non-Sexually Catcalled

I’ve never been catcalled before, at least in the traditional sense. But yesterday I’d say I was non-sexually catcalled.

I’m at an intersection, waiting on a walk signal. It’s a shade under 60 degrees. A little cold, a little windy. I’m wearing an Under Armour t-shirt and khaki shorts. These details will matter later.

A guy approaches me on my left. “Yeah, spring isn’t here yet.” He nods towards my shorts. “It’s just not happening.”

I’m taken aback by this. I look at the guy and after the briefest of mental scans realize I don’t know him.  Then I examine his statement. “Spring isn’t here yet.” I’m confused at first, but realize he’s commenting on my choice of attire. I can’t figure out why anyone would comment on a stranger’s clothes, but whatever. It seemed innocuous enough.

“Yeah,” I chuckle. I then say, “Well, hopefully soon!” in that tone of voice you use to be friendly yet also give the impression that you want this interaction to conclude as quickly as possible.

“Nah,” he replied, “It’s just not happening yet.” Then he followed me, pace for pace, through the intersection. I had to invent a reason in my head to justify ducking into a Duane Reade to lose him.

What’s going on here? I like to think the best of people, but I can’t come up with a logical reasoning for him saying this to me then being emphatic about it. The best I could come up with is that he is in fact a pants salesmen out looking for shivering marks in shorts. “Mike I can tell by the item covering your legs you thought it was going to be warm today, but guess again! You’re in luck though, as I’m offering a special on these custom made pants that go ALL THE WAY DOWN to your leg! It’s a bogo deal! The brand name is ‘Weird Guy Who Talks to Strangers’ Jeans!”

Also I didn’t get why he had such a condescending tone. Almost accusatory. He seems like the type of prick to go up to people without umbrellas in a thunderstorm. “Hey bro? So this ‘not having rain’ weather? NOT HAPPENING. You are stupid for not being prepared and deserve to be made to feel stupid. Luckily for you, along with the pants I sell, ‘Weird Guy Who Talks to Strangers’ Jeans has expanded its brand to include umbrellas as well. I’m offering a deal: buy one pair of jeans, get an umbrella half off.”

Then he hands the guy a hard with his company’s tagline:

“Weird Guy Who Talks to Strangers Jeans: We Figure Out What Item of Clothing You Need and Don’t Have, Ridicule You For Not Having It, Then Try to Sell it to You!”

Oh and to close the loop on the whole “inventing a reason to duck into Duane Read: I ended up trying the new white chocolate M&M’s, which were a revelation. So I guess I owe the weird weather-shorts-comment guy a debt of gratitude. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t know how the 20th-released off-brand M&M flavor would taste.

Why Do You Have To Be 25 To Rent a Car?

Seems like a rather arbitrary age, doesn’t it?

I get that 18 is also an arbitrary age to buy cigarettes. There’s nothing inherently more adult about a 21 year old that makes them fit to drink alcohol. But at least those ages guard against dangerous activities.

What is it about renting a car that only the 25-plus crowd is uniquely qualified to do?

My theory: the guy who came up with the rule was trying to stop his 24 year old ex-girlfriend from renting a car.

That’s the only possible explanation that makes sense. Can’t you see him now, a jilted lover behind the reception desk at Enterprise? Wearing a rumpled, short sleeve white button down and a look of disgust as the woman who used to love him avoids eye contact. “I can just go to Avis Jared, really…”

“No, no, no. It’s fine. It’s just you have to be 25 years old. I’m sorry, but the rental agreement is clear. It says you need to be 25 years old, you need a valid driver’s license, and you specifically can’t take the car to Brad’s house, Denise. That’s literally the wording from the contract we give everyone.”

“Also, if you look under ‘Terms and Conditions,’ you’ll see it clearly states that the driver is required to buy insurance if driver does not currently own an insured vehicle. It also states that I still love you, D. I still love you, and we can make this thing work. How about we rip up this paperwork and I’ll just give you my car and we can forget Brad ever existed?”

Next time you rent a car, read your agreement. It’s all in there.