It’s Time to End the Stigma Against Shorts

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It’s summer. One could even say it’s the Dog Days of Summer. That means it’s hot. Real hot. Sweltering, in fact. Just the thought of leaving the comfort of my home and facing the unbearable city streets makes me want to puke. I’m already sweating. I’m sure glad I can wear shorts to make it all a little easier to deal with. Wait, what’s that? “Grown men can’t wear shorts?” Oh, right. I forgot.

What a load of horseshit. I’m not a big genocide guy, but if you sincerely believe men should not be allowed to wear shorts I hope you die. Painfully. It’s so stupid that we still have a stigma against comfort in the year 2018. If you Google “men shorts” you’ll get countless thinkpieces with titles like “Why Some Men Won’t Wear Shorts,” or “Is It Okay for Men to Wear Shorts?” or “Why the 50s Were Great for Absolutely Everyone in America, All Because Men Wore PANTS LIKE MEN!!!!” and I’m sick of it. Like, who cares???????? I’m legitimately asking because I want to know the type of person who gets triggered by seeing *gasp* a man’s calves. Imagine body shaming someone in 2018? And body shaming calves, in general? Talk about an inoffensive body part. You’re going to get bent out of shape because you saw some dude’s calves when it’s 98° with 80% humidity? Please tell me more. Not to be this guy, but women can wear whatever they want, whenever they want. Let’s bring men’s fashion standards into the 21st century, please.

If your gripe with shorts is that pants look better, I won’t really fight you on that. I run very hot and need shorts to survive, but I’m willing to concede the wrong pair of shorts with the wrong outfit can look rough. But if it’s some philosophical thing? You can go to hell. “It makes you look like a little kid!” So? You know who enjoys their lives more than 99.99999% of adults? Little kids. Maybe emulating them isn’t the worst thing ever? Just throwing it out there. “It isn’t professional.” This really triggers me. Doesn’t look professional according to who, exactly? The tastemakers who set men’s fashion trends 200 years ago that, for some reason, have never been updated? Really applicable today. People think suits look professional because society has told them suits look professional. Suits aren’t inherently better for business, or anything. Really, they’re quite impractical. It shouldn’t take more than a minute to put clothes on, and jackets in this heat have to take 20 years off your life. If some aristocrat in Edwardian England said shorts are the best thing to wear to your noon HR meeting, guess what you’d be wearing to work everyday? Shorts! I don’t understand why more people don’t realize how fake and arbitrary the majority of our societal norms really are (as a side note, and I realize I’m probably outing myself as a non-successful poor person, but who cares about looking professional. Like, do you really think you’re so important that you have to wear a suit and tie 100% of the time or else someone might think you don’t mean business? Make your own reputation, don’t let your clothes make it for you. Whoa, just got pretty deep, there). Why can’t you wear shorts in the club (talk about taking yourself too seriously)? Why can’t you wear shorts to work? Why can’t you wear shorts to GO GOLFING?!?!?!? I’m so tired of it. It’s 2018, wear what you want (as long as it’s not a knit hat).

Listen, I know people that never wear shorts. Jean/pants in summer guys. And I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Why would you willingly make yourself more uncomfortable? Are you that self-conscious about your legs (I hate the anti-men’s legs crowd. They’re just legs, bro. Everyone’s got ’em)? In that case I’d say grow up and that no one cares about your legs. Or are you afraid of what society will think of you because of the stigma currently surrounding shorts? Because then I blame all of you people. So intent on keeping all the men of the world down that you make them think having sweaty-ass legs is the manly thing to do. SMH. It’s time to end the discrimination. #FreetheCalf2018. Spread the word. Big changes start with the smallest thoughts.

The Burning Questions Mailbag, pt. 3

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Welcome back to the Burning Questions Mailbag. Everyone’s favorite recurring segment has returned with a vengeance, and this is the biggest one yet. The people didn’t disappoint and submitted more Burning Questions than ever before, and I’m more than happy to answer all some of them. Let’s dive right in.

Jerry S. asks: What’s the deal with math?

I’ll be honest, this was my question, not Jerry’s. This is what prompted me to revive the BQMB. What’s up with math? Why do all these complex equations and formulas exist? Every single one of them is an arbitrary human construct designed to solve a problem that humans created. It’s all fake. What real world application does calculus have? When’s the last time algebra helped anyone? What’s the point of any mathematical function outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? Who decided what pi is and who decided it’s infinite? Sine and cosine are the fakest, most pointless things ever. Like who gives a shit what the area of an isosceles triangle is? Why do we still teach our children this crap? If you want to spend the rest of your life playing make believe with all the other mathematicians, you should have to declare yourself a math loser in like, fourth grade so everyone else doesn’t have to waste valuable education time on such a nonsensical and impractical discipline. Like the math problem from Good Will Hunting? Why does that even exist? Why are there unsolvable math problems if math itself is 100000000% man-made? Why did we create something we couldn’t solve? Just proves my point that advanced math is illegitimate and clearly something that should be kept in Neverland where it belongs.

pestooneverything asks: Why would Tory Lanez use a stage name when his real name is Daystar Peterson and what would your stage name be?

That’s a great question. As for the first part, you’d have to ask Tory Lanez himself. I tried contacting him, but he’s not returning my calls at the moment. It’s a long story. As for my stage name, I’m not quite sure. It’s have to be something catchy, and probably short. Maybe I’ll just be Brian. I don’t know, needs workshopping. One thing I know for certain, though, is that my nickname would be Mr. Mistoffelees. The nickname to the nickname is arguably more important, and I need to let people know what I’m all about. I think Mr. Mistoffelees gets the point across.

WhiteKong asks: What’s the worst city in America?

There are a lot, and I mean a LOT, of contenders for this. There’s my hometown of Rutland, Vermont. There’s good ol’ St. Louis. There’s my new home of New York City. There’s probably ten thousand terrible cities across this great country. But, in my mind, the big three of terrible American cities are Reno, Nevada, Detroit, Michigan, and Tampa, Florida. Detroit is obvious and kind of sad, but Reno and Tampa are living monuments to the most reviled sect of the American population: white trash. Nevada opened itself up to cities like Reno getting so bad by making the entire state a lawless commune. If you have the opportunity to trick people into thinking you’re just like Vegas, you’re gonna do it. It’s just when you don’t have any of the allure and panache you’re left with a hellhole of epic proportions. And Tampa is like if every stereotype you have of white people in Florida was a city.

ConfusedReader asks: Can someone focus on their career and have a family without compromising on either end?

Welcome to the Dear Abby portion of the program. Friend, I don’t know if you’ve ever read this website before, but I’m about as close to having a family or fulfilling career as I am to curing cancer, and I can assure you I’m not particularly close to curing cancer.

Out of goodwill, though, I must answer. I’d say yes, because people have been wondering this since the dawn of time and nothing about the way we structure professional lives has ever changed, so I’m guessing people figure it out? If you’re super dedicated to your work, a workaholic, or just plain old obsessed with your career, good luck finding someone that puts up with that longterm, but if you’ve got a regular 40-hour-a-week position, I don’t see why not. As long as you make it to little Jimmy’s baseball games so he doesn’t resent you for not being there, I think you can, at the very least, trick your family into thinking you care more about them than that nice promotion on the horizon.

movieman asks: I’m a little late, but I should totally get MoviePass, right?

Totally. Love MoviePass. It’s how I can afford to see all these movies and live in New York at the same time. Really, if you go like, ten times in a year it pays for itself. Wait, what’s that? MoviePass literally ran out of money and had to get a $5 million loan and is now raising prices and restricting access to blockbusters? Yiiiiiiikeessssss. R.I.P. MoviePass. It was a good run that seemed too good to be true every time I used it. Turns out it was. A free tip for every fledgling business owner out there: make sure you have a way to make money. Hard to stick around if you don’t.

Brian asks: Who was the first underwear manufacturer to account for erections?

Wonderful question, Brian. I’m not sure the answer to that, but I do know who has the most comfortable underwear. That’s right, it’s MeUndies! Right now, my readers can get 10% off their first purchase. Just go to meundies.com and enter the promo code: Brian.

DesperateLover asks: What’s the most polite way to ask for nudes?

“Excuse me, can I please have some nudes?”

BlacktopLebron asks: What’s your current All-White NBA Team?

Don’t know if you mean American white or Euros included, but I’m gonna include Euros just because.

Starters

G- Luka Doncic

G- Evan Fornier

F- Gordan Hayward

F- Kevin Love

C- Kristaps Porzingis

Bench

F- Dirk Nowitzki

F- Doug McDermott

G- Kyle Korver

C- Marc Gasol

C- Pau Gasol

G- Matthew Dellavedova

G- JJ Redick

We’re scoring a lot of points, buttttttt defense might be a bit of an issue.

X asks: Now that Dad Hats are back, what will be the next cool hat?

Cycling hats. Trust me, these things are gonna be huge.

AngryPerson asks: Why did you love Mamma Mia 2 so much? I hated it and loved the first one.

Well, you have my condolences. Being born with no taste must have been very hard for you. Mamma Mia 2 is better because it takes the best part about the first one (the music) and puts it front and center. Mamma Mia tried to have a real storyline, when, in reality, this is quite possibly the most far-fetched franchise plot-wise in history. Mamma Mia 2 embraces the absurdity and just gives the audience banger after banger, while Mamma Mia was caught trying to be both Les Mis and Grease, which didn’t work. 2 knows what it is, 1 didn’t. Both are still fire movies, though.

GuythatworksforXboxandisalegitimateInsiderwhothinksIhaveactualanswers asks: What’s going to be the next big technology that changes gaming? Better AI? 8K? Cloud computing?

Just going off my gut instinct, here, but the next big shift in gaming technology is going to be physical gaming. Imagine this- you have a representation of the game’s world in front of you (let’s call it a board), and a piece (or two, or three, etc.) that acts as a stand-in for the avatar, and, using things like random number generators and games of chance, you move your piece across the game board, fulfilling objectives, collecting loot, and competing against other players. I just think that’s where games are going.

Joseph asks: What’s the most annoying fan base?

I feel like I’ve touched on this before, but the five most annoying fan bases are 5. Patriots (I concede we can be very annoying and easily #triggered at times, but when the entire world makes it their mission to #trigger you, I’m sorry if I have a short fuse) 4. Star Wars (they hardcore fans that complain about everything and make me like the movies less) 3. St. Louis Cardinals (like Yankee fans but midwest) 2. Kobe (Kobe is not a top ten player of all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time) and, of course, 1. Yankees. I’m admittedly biased. But that stupid candle-light vigil for Aaron Judge (who hasn’t even Earned his Pinstripes, IMO) is why the entire country hates every single one of those mongoloid losers. There isn’t a more self-serious and self-aggrandizing group of people on the planet. Please @ me so I can tell you how stupid and detestable you all are.

DP asks: Why are you so soft on Kevin Durant?

Because everyone is so hard on him, and it makes me feel smart to go against public opinion, especially when the basis of most people’s argument is the imaginary concept of “loyalty.” Yes, it completely shattered the competitive balance of the league, but, I don’t know. I just don’t care.

FootballJunkie asks: Who’s your top ten skill position (non-QB) in the NFL?

God, just seeing the word football has me fiending something fierce. This is summer is last in my seasonal power rankings- training camp is the longest period of time ever. I just want some regular season action. Feed me Bengals-Colts on Thursday night. Anyway, top ten skill guys, non-QB.

  1. Healthy Rob Gronkowsi
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Odell Beckham, Jr.
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Le’veon Bell
  6. A.J. Green
  7. Todd Gurley
  8. DeAndre Hopkins
  9. Travis Kelce
  10. David Johnson

Mr. Thoughtful asks: What’s a good first anniversary gift to give my girlfriend? She likes adventures and traveling but I have no money 😦

Ahh, the age old question. How to keep my significant other appeased despite the fact that I don’t have the necessary funds to shower them in lavish gifts? A true dilemma, if I’ve ever heard one. A love of adventures and traveling, you say? Hmmm. I think I know just the thing! How about a trip to lovely Reno, Nevada! It’s all some of the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas at half the price! It’s an adventure because you won’t know if you’ll get sick from the used needles on the side of the road or the extreme second-hand smoke inhalation, and it’s traveling because I’m assuming you’re a real person and don’t live in Nevada. It’s a win-win! Or, you could make a bunch of artistic renderings of the two of you in all the places you’d like to go and hide them throughout the house. She might appreciate the effort.

BlacktopGriffey asks: Who’s your top ten current MLB players?

A lot of lists this time, but I’m always game to give definitive player rankings that no one can possibly dispute. I’ll do top ten position players and top ten pitchers.

Position Players

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Mookie Betts
  3. Jose Ramirez
  4. Nolan Arenado
  5. J.D. Martinez
  6. Francisco Lindor
  7. Manny Machado
  8. Jose Altuve
  9. Aaron Judge
  10. Joey Votto

Pitchers

  1. Chris Sale
  2. Max Scherzer
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Jacob deGrom
  5. Justin Verlander
  6. Aaron Nola
  7. Gerrit Cole
  8. Corey Kluber
  9. Luis Severino
  10. Zack Greinke

Briansden69 asks: Remember when you went to the Denver Airport and became indoctrinated by the Illuminati? Whatever happe-

Well, I think that’ll about do it for this edition of the Burning Questions Mailbag. Always good to hear from readers and ease their troubled minds. I’ll keep my brain churning to come up with some more Burning Questions as long as you all do, too. Remember, if you have a question, I have the answer.

 

Welcome to the Brian’s Den Newsroom

Introducing a new feature here at https://www.briansden69.com, the Newsroom. Since there’s going to (hopefully) be a lot going on in my life soon, I think this is a good way to kind of cover a lot of the stories I may not get the chance to talk about, particularly in the sports world. I’m thinking about doing these a few times a week. Let me know your thoughts- good, bad, never do it again? Either way, there’s some good stuff coming up in the near future.

Happy One Year Anniversary to Me

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Wow. As of today, it’s officially been a full year since I started The Brian’s Den. I know, I know. Congratulations to me and all that. Hard to believe it’s been 365 days since, a day after George Michael’s death, I decided to start this website. There’s been a lot of ups and a couple downs, but hopefully it was never boring. The world takeover hasn’t quite happened yet, but I still appreciate everyone who comes here to waste a few minutes every day. You’re all part of the the most exclusive club in the world, so don’t be afraid to puff out your chest a little bit and act like you’re better than everyone. You read the most educational website in the world, after all.

Now, were I a true professional, I’d have something special planned for my one year anniversary. Unfortunately, I’m not, so I don’t. So instead of forcing some content to materialize that undoubtedly won’t be good, I figured I’d just run back some posts that I know are good. That’s right, it’s the Official Brian’s Den clip show!

The Videos

Coors Field Concession Review

Denver Airport Conspiracy

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Episode 1 of my short lived cooking show (RIP)

How I Saved New York City

Can’t go too long without mentioning my (sort of) signature series, Burning Questions

Burning Questions Hub

The Food Takes

Which Fast Food Place Has the Worst Dressed Customers?

Fast Food Sauces Stink

Halloween Candy Power Ranking

Crab > Lobster

Why I Hate Lunch

The Grocery Store Rules

Best Pizza Chain

The Best #sports Talk

What’s up with JJ Redick’s tattoos?

The NBA’s Hidden Crime Syndicate

This is probably problematic but I still think it’s funny

Is Aaron Judge a True Yankee?

Pats Won the Super Bowl if you hadn’t heard

Entertainment News

Best Action Movie Characters

Stop Calling Die Hard a Christmas Movie

The Greatest Video Ever Made

Is The Weeknd a Virgin?

The Next Oscar Winner

The comprehensive list of Yu-Gi-Oh! takes

The Special Occasions

Countdown to 2017

Valentine’s Day

Eclipse 2017

Thanksgiving

Christmas (including Hawaiian Christmas)

So, what’s your favorite post? Did it show up here? Or do I have so many good ones that I overlooked some? What was my worst one (trick question, of course)? Let me know what you liked and would like to see more of. It was a good year one, and hopefully year two will be a big one.

Unpopular Opinion: Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red is the Best Christmas Album of the Last 33 Years

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As many of you certainly know by now, we’re smack dab in the middle of Christmas SZN, which means it’s prime time for Christmas music. There’s a lot of great Christmas music out there, and, if you’re somehow new to the genre, it can be a little overwhelming. The market is pretty darn saturated (it’s still one of my biggest dreams to record a Christmas album. That’s how I’ll know I’ve made it. Just imagine the cover of Brian’s Den Home for the Holidays), and it’s very easy to go down the wrong path. Luckily, I’m a bit of a Christmas music expert, and, in the spirit of the season, I’ll gladly give my two cents on what kind of Christmas music you should be listening to. Now, you can go anywhere on the Internet and find Christmas album rankings, and all of them will have the same five ones and it’ll just be the most famous ones and all that. But here’s a little tip you can only get here: Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red is the greatest Christmas album of the last 33 years. Why 33 years? Well, 33 years ago, this was released:

Enough said. With some notable exceptions, the majority of Christmas music was written before “Last Christmas” came out. So, for the most part, it was an even playing field for everyone who released a Christmas album afterwards, unless they felt like experimenting and releasing a new song. Some of these new songs worked. Most don’t. So, in the interest of creating the biggest pool from which to draw inspiration, only albums released after 1984 should be considered for the true connoisseur. Sure, there are some high quality pre-Wham! Christmas albums, but if half the songs you know and love haven’t even been written yet, what’s the point? I’d feel like I was cheating you, Christmas music neophyte, if I suggested a Johnny Mathis album that didn’t have a cover of “Santa Baby” included. Feel free to listen and enjoy, but some of the older albums have a much purer, more concentrated Christmas feel to them. Most of the time, only the more seasoned Christmas music listeners can handle the hopeful, more innocent, less cynical sounds of Bing Crosby and the like. We all know better than to feel optimistic about stuff these days, right? Every day was sunshine and rainbows for the folks in the 50s, and their Christmas music reflects that. So, modern=better.

I know what you’re thinking. “There must be a million Christmas albums released since 1984. What makes Kelly Clarkson’s the best?” Well, I’ll get to that shortly, but first I need to give out some honorable mentions, because there’s a lot of good Christmas albums out there. Two things to remember: 1. This is albums, not songs. I’m sorry I didn’t touch on your favorite song even though it’s really popular. That just means the rest of the album stunk. 2. This is non-religious only. There’s some hot, hot religious-only albums out there, but I figured I’d stick with the mainstream, mall soundtrack fare (for posterity’s sake, my top five religious Christmas songs: 1. O Holy Night 2. Oh Come, All Ye Faithful 3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 4. Angels We Have Heard On High 5. The First Noel). Most Christmas albums worth their salt have at least one religious song, anyway, so the singer can show off their range. It goes without saying, but if you like “Dominick the Donkey,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” or “Do They Know It’s Christmas” you should be euthanized.

Honorable Mention

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Mariah Carey-Merry Christmas

Need to give a shoutout to Mariah for the unquestioned GOAT secular Christmas song. “All I Want for Christmas is You” is somehow both the most overplayed song of all time and the one song in the world that never gets old. It’s a musical triumph. I’ll be totally honest, I’ve never listened to the rest of the album, so it could either be horrible or I could have picked the wrong album to base this whole post around. I’m gonna assume it’s just okay outside AIWFCIY, so I think it’s fine putting it here.

Best Song:

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Leona Lewis- Christmas, with Love

Man, I thought Leona Lewis had next in 2007. She’s got some serious pipes and I have no idea why she’s not the biggest star in the world now. Oh, well, at least she released a great Christmas album. Three original songs seems like a little much when two of them aren’t great (“One More Sleep” is my jam), but the rest of it is pure heat to warm up even the coldest of winter nights.

Best Song:

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*NSYNC- Home for Christmas

If you don’t like “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” you can go ahead and stop reading this right now.

Best Song:

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Michael Bublé- Christmas

I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t mention the unofficial voice of Christmas, Michael Bublé. Somehow he only has one Christmas album despite the fact that you can find a Bublé cover of essentially every Christmas song ever made somewhere online. Pretty sure 90% of the Bub-god’s salary is made in late-November and December, and for good reason. This is a classy album that perfectly serves as inoffensive background music, but definitely lacks the kind of spiciness other albums have.

Best Song:

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Various Artists- A Very Special Christmas 2

This kind of represents the entire Very Special Christmas franchise. Despite my hatred of of “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” I’m a sucker for star-studded ensembles. Very Special Christmas is essentially just a Christmas music greatest hits album, so it’s kind of cheating a little bit, but it’s still great. Very Special Christmas 1 is disqualified for having “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” on it, but 3 is also excellent.

Best Song:

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Michael Bolton- This is the Time

Michael Bolton is a god who came to Earth to give soulful, sultry ballads to the masses.

Best Song:

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Various Artists- Christmas on Death Row

Just the album cover alone gets this a mention.

Best Song:

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NewSong- Sheltering Tree

Just kidding.

Best Song:

Alright, enough of the also-rans. Let’s get to the reason you’re here: Kelly Clarkson Wrapped in Red. What sets it apart? Why is it so great? Well, for starters, it’s a prime time name. Wrapped in Red just screams Christmas. It’s a miracle it hadn’t been taken before 2013. Next, the album cover is perfect (see top of page): simple, elegant, festive. That’s all you need. The back cover brings it too:

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Before purchasing this Christmas album, I wasn’t really in the spirit of things, but now that I’ve seen this picture of Kelly Clarkson playfully blowing snow in my face, I’m definitely ready for Santa to come down my chimney! But what really matters is the music, and folks, it doesn’t disappoint. Full disclosure: I’m a huge Kelly Clarkson fan and am almost definitely overrating this album, but I trust my own objectivity to know good music when I hear it. And there’s a lot of good music here. The title song isn’t great, which, admittedly, kind of throws a wrench in things, but it quickly picks up. “Underneath the Tree” is criminally underrated. Sure, it’s only four years old, but it has to be put in the same category as the modern classics.

So good. Then, if your spirits are riding too high, you can slow things down with another good original, “Winter Dreams.”

Just makes me want to cuddle up with that special someone (theoretically, of course). I like my Christmas songs to either get my toes tappin’ or to be slow and a little melancholy-but-not-really-since-everything’s-happy-during-Christmas. Wrapped in Red does that throughout. When it comes to covering the classics, it’s really just about song selection. At this level, everyone can sing, so as long as you just pick good songs and don’t try to “make them your own” (see: Christina Aguilera “O Holy Night”) you should be good. “White Christmas,” “Silent Night,” Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” are all elite Christmas songs. Kelly Clarkson could smoke a hundred packs a day, never sleep, and drink a gallon of coffee a day for the next year and still have a dominant voice, so when she gets ahold of your favorite Christmas hits good things happen. No, not every song is perfect. But the bad songs are like 6s or 7s out of 10. Still decent, and it just makes the great ones stand out more. I think I’ve made a pretty convincing argument, but if you still don’t believe me, go and sit by your Christmas tree. I don’t care what you do. Read, watch TV, just look at your phone, whatever. Just as long you put this album on. If the combination of Kelly Clarkson and Christmas trees doesn’t get you in the most festive mood you’ve ever been in, you’re a bigger grinch than the Grinch himself. Wrapped in Red is the perfect Christmas album. Kelly Clarkson: GOAT of American Idol, and now, GOAT of Winter.

I’m Sick of the Fast Food Dipping Sauce Armsrace

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I’m a big fast food guy. Everyone knows it. If I had the finances and the willpower to ever actually exercise (and if I wasn’t such a good cook), I’d be fine eating fast food every day. But there’s been a recent, troubling trend that I can’t get behind. Ever since the fiasco that was the Szechuan Sauce release, every fast food place is scrambling to come out with their own signature, surely limited edition sauce that people will be pining for 20 years from now. And frankly, it’s making my smh every time I see a new one. I’m constantly amazed how such incompetent people wind up in prominent marketing positions. Every new sauce is just a liquid version of the dictionary definition of signature sauce. None are memorable, none are all that good, and they’re all just passing around the same sauces and changing one ingredient.

McDonald’s is, by far, the biggest offender. Not satisfied with causing a national stir with their last signature sauce and HAVING THE UR-SIGNATURE SAUCE ON THEIR ARSENAL (Mac Sauce), decided to trot out yet another “signature sauce” to pair with their new chicken selects tenders, aptly named Signature Sauce.

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It’s okay. McDonald’s claims it takes inspiration from Mac Sauce and lists the key flavors as sweet and tangy. Remember that description. Because, not to be outdone, Wendy’s release their own chicken tenders (which are better than McDonald’s, imo) with their own “signature” dipping sauce, S’Awesome Sauce (someone get me in a fast food boardroom, ASAP) like a week later.

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Boy, that sauce sure looks familiar. Where have I seen it before? A real head-scratcher. Wonder what Wendy’s official description of the sauce is? “Tangy, sweet and smoky into one savory flavor.” Hmmm, that’s odd. That sounds like the new McDonald’s sauce. They couldn’t be using the same thing, right? It must be a coincidence. Burger King didn’t come out with a new sauce, did they? They did?

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Creamy signature sauce? And it’s that same shade of orange? It couldn’t possibly be sweet and tangy, could it? It is? WHAT A SURPRISE! Did all these companies just get together and develop one sauce they all could use? And do they really think any of these things are super memorable and will make a big enough splash to get brought back years from now? I just keep thinking about sweet and tangy. Sweet, tangy, maybe a little smoky. Where have I heard that combination of flavors before? God, I know I’ve had it somewhere…

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Are….are these companies just trying to pass Chick-fil-a sauce off as their own invention? Are you kidding me? Chick-fil-a sauce is one of the pillars upon which this great country was built, and you think you can take the perfect mix of sweet, tangy, and smokey, add some red food coloring, put your own logo on it, call it Signature Awesome Cool sauce or some other bullshit, and think no one will notice? Not in here. Not on my watch. You don’t come at the Fast Food Watchdog with some weak sauce and expect to get out unscathed. I’m onto Big Fast Food. They’re so far behind the elites they think they can just steal the keys to the kingdom. I understand that, much like the NFL, fast food is a copycat league, but have some pride. Have some competitive spirit. Hey, BK, you know what was cool? When you had green apple dipping sauce and weren’t just copying everyone trying to ride coattails. Hey, Wendy’s, you don’t need a signature sauce because your food is so much better than the other members of the Big 3. McDonald’s, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. You invented the signature sauce game. Every fast food place has their own sauce, and all of them that aren’t stealing from Chick-fil-a base their sauce on Mac Sauce. And you think you have to stoop to Burger King’s level of imitation? For shame. Look, I get it. You do what you can to stay relevant. But you know what people remember? The originals. The ones that burned convention to the ground and built a new standard from the ashes. Not the people who just rip everyone off. Be better.

Still the GOAT fast food imitation. Can’t believe anyone was ever this shameless.

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If You Ever Catch Me Watching Young Sheldon, Please Just Euthanize Me

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I know everyone’s focused on football and the nonsensical storyline in NBA 2K18‘s MyCareer, but I can’t get this thought out of my head: If you ever see me watching CBS’s new sitcom Young Sheldon please just put a bullet in my head. Believe me, I’ll understand.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched any trailers or anything. I’ve avoided any Young Sheldon media like the plague. But I already feel the hatred flowing through my veins any time I see this little piece of shit adjusting his bow tie. Besides the immediate turn off of being a Big Bang Theory spin-off, it somehow manages to combine almost all of my least favorite things: Big Bang Theory, sitcom spin-offs, any comedy with a child as the main character, any show/movie/commercial/book/anything about annoying and unrealistically brilliant child geniuses, CBS sitcoms, and Big Bang Theory again. Big Bang Theory is terrible and if you like it you have horrible taste. I know why it got a spin-off (it rhymes with schmoney), but if you’re excited for it, I don’t really want to be associated with you.

There’s a larger rant to go on here about the cynical nature of the entertainment industry and how they’ll do anything for money, and it’d be easy to call September 25th the End of the Golden Age of Television and the death of whatever amount of inspiration and creativity we have left as a society, but for now I’ll just say that Young Sheldon is going to be the worst show ever made and you shouldn’t watch it. Ever.

I am Upset and I Don’t Care Who Knows It

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I’m typically a pretty level-headed person. As all of you know, I try to stay measured and don’t commit too far one way or the other. I go with the flow. I don’t let the little things bother me. I block out all the really annoying things people do so that it doesn’t completely consume my life and fill me with a never-ending rage. But, lately, the offenses have begun to mount. I have been faced with countless indiscretions in the span of like, two weeks, and it’s too much to ignore. I need to vent. I need to rant. I need the offenders to feel shame equal to the amount of anger they caused. What are all these mysterious problems? Well, I’m glad you asked.

  • I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not. I feel like I probably have. But why do people put bread in the fridge? Why would someone take up valuable refrigerator space for an entire loaf of bread? Why would someone take up valuable refrigerator space for an entire loaf of bread? Why would you put something that doesn’t need to be refrigerated in a refrigerator? Why would you want cold bread all the time? Why did anyone do this when refrigerators were invented, and why did those same people pass the practice down to their progeny? Why why why? I went to my friend’s house and needed to put something in the fridge, but there was no room because there was a big loaf of bread in there. I started questioning the entire friendship. Bread doesn’t go in the fridge. It’s pretty simple stuff. If you put bread in the fridge, you deserve to eat moldy bread for the rest of your life.
  • So I’m on a seemingly never ending quest right now. Around the middle of July, it was announced that Cinnamon Toast Crunch was releasing a new frozen delicacy, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites: 2fbca93aba6d96ee_cinnamon_toast_crunch_bitesThose of you who follow my Instagram account know that I primarily just reviews for all the new releases in junk and fast food I can get my hands on, and these things are easily my most personally anticipated item ever. I don’t even really need to do a review because I know they’re going to be a 10 out of 10. But, as you can tell, I don’t have them yet. Every press release has stated that they’d be out by the end of the month. Well, July ended, and no Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites have been seen. Believe me, I’ve looked. I’ve pretty much been to the grocery store every day for the last ten days or so, and every time I’ve been empty handed. But that’s not what I’m really upset about, though. Spending all that time in grocery stores has made me think back to my Grocery Store Rules and realize how often people violate them. Old ladies put their carts in the dead center of every aisle, go 2 miles per hour, and stop and random times in front of the thing you need. Old people jamming up the express checkout by taking too many thing with them. Old people jamming up the self-checkout because they don’t know how to use them. Old people in general not understanding how to conduct themselves in a grocery store, really. But one thing really took the cake. One incident that is forever seared into my subconscious. One memory that will probably take multiple years off my life, because I’m shaking with fury just thinking about it. This goddamn old man was walking around with a cup of soup he hadn’t paid for yet and sipping it. He had a spoon in his hand but he was still drinking it like it was a glass of lemonade. I couldn’t really fathom what I was watching at first. How could anyone behave this way? How could he think this was okay? He had a family with him. He kept straying away and asking literally every single employee he saw some stupid question, but he had a family. How did they let it happen. I’m not sure you understand yet: HE HAD A SPOON IN HIS HAND AND WAS STILL DRINKING HIS SOUP! WHY?????? It wasn’t tomato soup or anything, he had to chew! Why was he drinking it? I really almost killed him. I was this close to strangling him. Or taking the rest of the vat of soup he drew from and pouring it on his head. HE HADN’T EVEN PAID FOR THE SOUP YET! I feel like this is something only I care about, but you don’t eat something before you buy it. I bet he just threw the cup out and got some free soup, because clearly if he cares so little for etiquette and the well being of others that he’s sipping on some soup while walking around a grocery store, odds are he’s not too concerned about paying up, either. It’s clearly time for this old timer to be put out to pasture, but that’s not enough. Not for this crime. His possessions need to be seized. His life’s work erased. His family name needs to be wiped from the annals of history. Everything he’s ever loved needs to be destroyed in front of him. Maybe then he’ll think twice about doing something really annoying in a grocery store.
  • If you thought that was all the adversity I’ve had to face lately, you’d be wrong. In the process of going to Saratoga this weekend, I had to do a lot of driving. And I kept running into people who were going like 60 in the left lane. Why does anyone think it’s okay to do this? If you don’t feel like driving fast, don’t be in the left lane. That’s literally the entire point of having multiple lanes. Honestly, when there’s two lanes and the guy in the right lane is going 66 and the guy in the left lane is going 67, but I’m going 75 what am I supposed to do? Slow down? My travel plans shouldn’t be dictated by cowards who are too afraid to commit one way or another. If you want to go at a more leisurely pace, stay in the right lane. It can’t possibly get any simpler. I hate the highway. I want to get my highway experience over and done with as fast as possible. Don’t be the tough guy who thinks that making other people slow down will make up for the fact that you were picked on in high school. You don’t need to go fast. If you like the highway experience and want to savor it, more power to you. But don’t force me to spend any more time on it than I have to.
  • Now that I’m thinking about cars, this isn’t really a recent thing but people still do it on my street all the time. How can you look yourself in the mirror every morning if you knew you parked you car facing the wrong direction on a street? It’s really not that hard. I see this stuff all the time: This was literally taken two seconds ago outside my house. My street is not, I repeat, IS NOT a one way street. See anything wrong here? Maybe look at the pickup truck, for starters. And it’s every day with this asshole. He has literally never noticed that all the cars parked on his side of the street face the other way. I can’t understand it. Am I the only person with enough awareness of my surroundings to ever pick up on the fact that maybe, just maybe, what I’m doing is wrong? That maybe other people might get annoyed with my extreme ignorance? I guess that’s just my cross to bear.
  • There needs to be some kind of legal ramifications for mowing the lawn/weed whacking outside the hours of 12pm-7pm. I don’t think anything else needs to be said.

End of rants. I feel better now. I needed to get all of that off my chest. It just boggles my mind how people can be so oblivious sometimes all the time. Maybe martial law wouldn’t be the worst thing, after all.

I’d Rather be Totally Toothless than be an Adult with Braces

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I know this is going to seem like it’s coming out of nowhere, but believe me, it’s not. I’m pretty #triggered right now, and Twitter is to blame. I was just minding my own business, scrolling the timeline, when I see a video retweeted by my guy (and fellow UConn alum classmate (yeah, we had a class together, nbd) (ask him about it, I’m sure he remembers me)) Andre Drummond (by saying Drummond retweeted it, I’m clearly showing that I don’t follow TMZ. Or do I? Hmmm)

Andre, come on, man! What are you doing? How can you walk around with your mouth looking like that and expect to be taken seriously? You’re in the NBA, who cares what your teeth look like? Did you not have a booster you could have extorted into paying for these before you turned pro? Seeing this jarring image brought up all my thoughts about Adults with Braces, mainly that I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever be one. Now, this is like the king saying he’d never be caught dead working the fields. Every dentist I’ve ever had has told me how great my teeth are. I’ve never had braces, cavities, or (save for one nasty gymnastics incident) any other kind of serious dental procedure. So, I understand I might not be the ideal messenger. But still, you’d catch me looking like old Jafar before you saw me looking like our pal Andre.

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I’d say Adults with Braces are probably embarrassed every time they open their mouths, but judging by how often they flash their metallic teeth, I don’t think they have the same time of healthy shame the non-Peter Pan members of society have. Seriously, if you don’t have you braces put in before your junior year of high school, don’t even bother anymore. It’s just not worth it. No matter what, you’ll probably get teased by your classmates because kids and teenagers are horrible people. Don’t add to your misery by having to deal with being the Braces Guy at college or, God forbid, in the workforce. You’ll forever be viewed as lesser. You’ll be a modern day leper. Cursed to be labeled as the weird guy who never grew up. If, for some reason, all of my teeth started shifting position at my advanced age and the dentist said you need braces, I’d just tell him to take them all out so I can go dentures. I solemnly swear that I will never, even if someone has a gun to my head, even if someone has a gun to the head of everyone I’ve ever cared about, even if someone had the launch codes for every nuclear weapon on earth and said he’d fire them all unless I got braces, I’d resist. I will never be an Adult with Braces.

Seeing Drummond also made me more steadfast in my belief that, when (not if) I become an MLB/NBA/NFL GM, I will have a hard rule against athletes with braces. I will not have a team orthodontist, and I will do everything in my power to run all the orthodontists in my city out of town. I don’t even want my fans to look stupid, let alone my players. Who was the last Athlete with Braces who ever won anything? Brett Favre? Look at some of the more recent examples and tell me how you want all of these guys on your team:

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Has there ever been a less surprising thing in the history of America that Dwight Howard wore braces?

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Hey, remember when Nelson Cruz came through in the World Series and then didn’t get busted for steroids? Oh, wait, the opposite happened.

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Sure Willie Cauley-Stein is lifelong friends with Drake, but his braces look bad and the Kings stink.

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Leonard Fournette proves that even the most intimidating people look foolish with braces. And he got drafted by the Jaguars.

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I know he technically won a title while wearing braces, but you can’t tell me Pau Gasol isn’t the most “Braces Guy” guy of all time.

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Larry Donnell suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckssssss.

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You probably think Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest case against #teamnobraces, and you’d be right. But, you know what they say. The exception proves the rule.

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Giants punter Brad Wing. Yes, the punter has braces. You can’t get any more stereotypical. Makes me wonder if the Giants actually have a scouting department.

The defense rests. Keep the athletes with braces off my team, please.

Why Do People Wear Shoes in their Own Homes?

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I barely slept at all last night. I couldn’t, really. How was I supposed to get any peace of mind after seeing what I had seen? Not even Rip van Winkle would be able to fall asleep with all the neurotic, existential dread running around in my head. As I was going through Instagram, I was presented with a truly horrifying image: a person was wearing sneakers in their own house. They were alone. They weren’t exercising. They were just wearing shoes inside. I know, I was disgusted, too.

I really can’t wrap my head around this move. How can you wear shoes in your own house? The whole point of having a house is so you don’t have to wear shoes. I love shoes as much as the next guy, but I hate wearing them. Any chance I get to go socks or barefoot, you better believe I’m jumping at the opportunity. How can you wear shoes on your own couch? On your own bed? If you think your floors are too dirty to go socks or barefoot on them, maybe it’s time to, I don’t know, clean them? How are people comfortable wearing shoes in their own home? Leave the outside world at the door, man. Your house is your castle.

I know plenty of people who are “shoes inside” people. Some of my best friends have come in to my house, kept their shoes on, and proceeded rub the bottom of their shoes all over my couch. I never said anything because I figured it was common decency and that, eventually, they would see the error of their ways and take their shoes off. Invariably, they didn’t and I (my mom) was stuck cleaning up after them. I tried to understand the mindset. I took myself to a dark, dark place mentally. I walked the dreary, never-ending wasteland of a shoes-inside guy’s mind, and brother, let me tell you it’s not somewhere I’m looking to go ever again. Going through life with no etiquette, no sense of how to function in society. Even worse, going through life with no idea that what you were doing was wrong. Ignorance may be bliss, but it also pisses off everyone around you who wasn’t raised by grizzly bears. It’s a simple solution, too. If you’re in a house and there isn’t a high school/college party going on, take your shoes off. If you’re a germaphobe, wear socks and grow up. Don’t wear shoes in houses, period.

I’m sort of afraid to throw this out there, but I kind of think you should be able to go sans-shoes everywhere you go. Obviously, there’s exceptions. I wouldn’t go to a bar or a fast food place without a thick layer of sole between my skin and whatever’s living on the floor. But random office buildings? Nicer stores? Airports? Why can’t I just go socks? They clean those floors 24/7. I think everyone should be as comfortable as possible at all times. Not wearing shoes is more comfortable than wearing shoes. Ipso facto, people shouldn’t be shamed for not wearing shoes while in a clean room that has a roof (that includes airplanes). Now, this isn’t #nomorenoonmeals. I know that there’s tons of pushback against this idea, and, at some point, you have to pick your battles. So I’m not going all out with this. I’m just trying to give people something to think about. Carpet isn’t meant to be trampled on by shoes. It’s meant to be experienced by bare feet. You’re denying one of mankind’s most ancient industries its true purpose by wearing shoes in your house. That makes you a bad person.