Most people will probably say that big nips are not a problem in their eyes but that’s not what I want to talk about today. Nips, for anybody (likely Irish) who doesn’t know, are 50 ml bottles of alcohol that you’ve probably been served on an airplane (remember those? Airplanes, I mean) at some point when you decided to splurge. Well, those wee bastards are at every counter of every beer store all across America and are popular among people with drinking problems or anyone trying to sneak alcohol somewhere, be it on a school trip or their place of work. The one place that I accept them as a necessity is at a major sporting event or concert where you spend a small fortune on a plastic cup of warm piss, and you spend all of your time either queueing for the beer or the toilet. Nips might even be a necessity here.

Temperature: 66 f | Wind Speed: 8 mph | Miles this month: 60.5m | Miles this year: 208.31m (1,812.69m to go)

I know when I worked a retail job at a nationwide chain, I regularly found nips tossed in the flower pots or behind the replacement lawnmower parts. You would want to have a fairly serious problem if you can’t go and buy a replacement spool for your weed whacker without a shot of Fireball so it was likely one of my esteemed colleagues. Say what you want about the Irish but we are loud and proud about our alcoholism while other countries just hide it better and with a greater sense of shame.

The big problem I have with nips is they are fucking everywhere. I don’t mean in beer stores where people can buy them for a buck a pop. I mean after that. You will find them on the ground literally anywhere people have been. Outside the beer store door, on the sidewalk anywhere near town, on the roadside, at the park, outside the library, on the cycle trails. They are just everywhere and it is awful. On my last ride, for the first time I saw someone discarding one and he was in no way subtle about it. Walking through Wakefield with his (presumably) spiked coffee in one hand, he swung his arm back like a relief pitcher about the close out game 7 of the World Series and fired the nip into a nearby bush with all the strength of an 11 month old baby tossing a toy out of her stroller. It dribbled pathetically off the mulch and on to the sidewalk. I’m not the confrontational type but this made me sad. I’m not trying to ban nips or shame alcoholics, I just think it’s very easy to not be an asshole.

Today cycling through a parking lot by Lake Quannapowitt, I saw 8 nips of Fireball discarded in a pile with a carton of a presumed mixer laying strewn beside it. I did six laps of the Lake so had to pass this travesty six times. I would normally have picked them up but didn’t have a bag with me. I would love to know the story behind this one – or why someone might even need a mixer for Fireball. The fact that I did six laps of the Lake also meant that I passed Fred’s Franks six times so if you’ll excuse me, I am off to use my grill for the first time this year.

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