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 Many Different Ways of Attracting Cardinals Can There Be?

Saw this magazine cover. A couple questions:

  • 39 is way too high a number for this activity. How many possible things can you do to attract cardinals? I could see having 10 or 11….but 39? By 27 you’ll be saying, “Create a sexy mannequin of a girl cardinal, with a blonde wig and a bow on her head”?
  • Who’s that obsessed with birdwatching and cardinals in general that they’re looking for strategies on how to get more in their yard? “It’s not enough to see a cardinal every once in awhile…I need to actively get them here.” Forget looking at the Arizona football teams uniforms, I need the real thing to satiate my cardinal-watching needs.
  • “Attract” is a troubling verb to use here. What’s one of the tips, “Wear that type of cologne lady cardinals like.”
  • Someone’s relieved to see this cover. What else did they do to get cardinals in the yard before this? Were they going to cardinal pickup artist training seminars? “Today we’re going to focus on bird negging. Basically give them backhanded compliments about their feathers. They’ll be eating out of your hand! Only if you have seed in it, though.
  • Didn’t read the byline on this, but really hoping it’s, “Written by a lonely cardinal.”
  • The cardinal in the picture looks way too cocky, like he or she is going to play hard to get for sure. “You’re going to use all 39 ways to win me over, baby.”

The Condescending Pricks at Bumblebee Tuna Don’t Even Trust You to Have Your Own Silverware

Today I picked up a few packets of tuna at the grocery store. Why, you ask? 14 grams of protein, only 60 calories baby. Your boy is trying to eat healthier. Plus they found a way to make one of the world’s most convenient foods (a can of tuna) even more convenient. As a tuna fan, I’ve got to reward ingenuity like that. My can opener holds no real sentimental value to me, so using it less isn’t a giant loss.

I do have a problem with this, though, and it has nothing to do with the packet. It’s the fact that the packet comes with a tiny, plastic spoon.

Here is a numbered list of my issues with the good people at Bumblebee Tuna regarding said spoon:

1. What, you think I can’t afford my own spoon? I’ve got a DRAWER full of spoons, Chico. Years’ worth of spoons. Spoons I bought, spoons I stole from my Mom’s kitchen, I think one of them I even stole from my college dining hall. I’m not a man who lacks resourcefulness when it comes to acquiring spoons.

It almost made me want to go out, steal many spoons from a variety of establishments, and email a picture to packetdivision@bumbleebeetuna.com. Just to show ’em I don’t need ’em.

2. Who eats tuna with a spoon? Not once in my life have I used a spoon to consume tuna. It’s a fork food. Save your spoons for your Bumblebee Cereal, or Bumblebee Soup.

3. This isn’t really an issue with your spoon inclusion, but what’s up with that mascot? Based on the available information, I’m guessing it’s a bee chef/tuna boat captain. How the hell is a bee going to master both those trades? I can accept one, but not the other. No bee is working hard to get out of the hive, become a chef…only to go get on some fishing boat after all that. You know how pissed his parents would be? “Do you realize how much we paid for culinary school? You not making honey cost us literally THOUSANDS of dollars. Whatever. Enjoy being on the bee version of Deadliest Catch. I have no son.”

4. Coming back to the mascot, why doesn’t it look like a bee? It’s too cute and it only has two eyes. It looks more like if Mickey Mouse got caught in that machine from The Fly, only this time a bee was in it with him. Now you have this weird cartoon mouse/bee hybrid, angering God.

5. Last thing: why does the mascot look like he’s really pushing the spoon hard? Like he knows it’s a mistake? You get the feeling Bumblebee Tuna made a bad financing deal with a plastic spoon company, now this is their way of getting out of it. Next up they’re going to have cans of pink salmon that all come with a spork.

Work on your mascot and cutlery game, Bumbleebee Tuna. Until then, I’ll be getting all my vacuum pouched fish from Starkist.

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All the Perfectly Logical Reasons Why You’d Rob a Preschool

Read about two guys in my neighborhood who tried to rob a preschool. Predictably, they were unsuccessful. I’ve tried to come up with why they did it, and here are some possible explanations: They really wanted milk, cookies, and the petty cash of poorly paid preschool teachers.

* They’re master bank robbers who have robbed everything else you can possibly rob and they’re looking for a new challenge. “Steve, we’ve done banks, armored trucks, convenience stores….hear me out: preschools.”

“Do they even have safes?”

“Only one way to find out, brother.”

* One of them has a kid there, and due to a nasty custody battle this is the only way he can see him. Like Mrs. Doubtfire, but replacing a man dressing up like an old woman for robbing a store.

* They wanted to teach the kids there a valuable lesson about pursuing criminal enterprises. Nothing hammers home the point that crime doesn’t pay like awkwardly asking an art teacher for her pocket change while waiting on a bunch of cops to inevitably bust you.

* They want to be preschool teachers and they went to the school as a way to break I but robbing stuff is all they know. The second they got in there, they reverted to the life of crime.

* They thought they were in a bank. “Hey man….do you remember Bank of America having finger paintings on the wall?”

* They felt like the cops in the area had worked hard lately and needed a much easier crime to bust. And really, what’s easier than walking into a preschool and nabbing the two criminals? “I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s the two men in here taller than 3 feet.”

* Finally: it was a bit of viral marketing to promote their one act play about two guys who knock over a preschool-themed bank. No better way to show people how entertaining a preschool robbery would be than by actually doing it. After they realizzed it actually wasn’t that entertaining, they probably had a good laugh in jail about how they should cancel their show.

My Favorite Street Name Will Always Be “English Muffin Way”

There’s a street in Frederick, Maryland called “English Muffin Way.”

Don’t know why. Don’t much care. In fact, I don’t really want to know the real reason. I’d rather speculate.

Is it a street entirely made of English muffins? 
Forget pavement, forget cobblestone. Imagine a road made out of Thomas’ English muffins. That’s what I’m thinking of when I hear English Muffin Way. Then at the end of it there’s a giant toaster and stick of butter.

Was it named by a guy who was really into English muffins?
Maybe Thomas himself  decided to buy himself a road. What better way to honor his meal ticket than

Was it named by a guy who’s reassuring another guy that the thing he’s looking at is in fact an English muffin? 
“What am I looking at here?”

“An English muffin.”

“No way.”

“Way. English Muffin Way.”

Maybe it was named by a guy who wanted to name a street after a toasted breakfast item but all the other ones were taken.
Unfortunately, Toast Avenue, Bagel Street, and Biscuit Crossing were all snatched up real quick.

Which one of these are true? Who knows. Could be none. Could be all of them. I’ll never investigate, as I really want the first one where it’s a street made of English muffins to be true.

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My Mom and Her Pet Hawk


Today is my Mom’s birthday. I’ve written here before about her penchant for helping animals. Today I’m going to tell you another one of those stories.

This past December I was visiting my folks around Christmas time. Mom and I are out on the back deck talking. They have a few dozen feet worth of forest on their property behind the house. As we’re talking we hear an ungodly loud squawk up above us. I look up, alarmed.

Mom, nonplussed, says, “Oh that’s just my pet hawk.”

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A Comprehensive List of Movies or TV Shows People Will Get Mad At You for Not Seeing

Despite being a big movie fan, it’s true that I haven’t seen EVERY movie over the years. That includes some classics – movies that if you tell someone you haven’t seen them, they’ll actually get mad at you. I’ve even made a list of them, from my own personal experience:

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