History has a history of shaming men.
Walk the plank, matey. Don the orange jumpsuit, inmate. Ride a scooter, ye of the DWI.
Few are as painful - or universal - as when we're left holding the bag. You know, your lady's purse. Or pocket book, for you Southerners. What in the name of Chewbacca is in those things, lady?
Things would be different if the fellas carried around handbags.
We fellas jam what we can into our wallet, until they're lousy with receipts and shopping lists. Some men stuff their dashboards with everything from Big Mac boxes to boatloads of invoices. And don't even look in our trunks.
But If I had to carry a bag - and I don't, and I won't - but if I did, it'd be svelte and efficient. And I'll tell you just what would go in it. This doesn't mean I have any desire to know what's in yours.
Beyond chapstick and used tissue, that is.
Keys, mobile phones and wallet belong in a man's pockets. Why else do men wear cargo pants? If I swim against the tide and place these items in my bag, I'll just induce the famous panic grab.
You've seen it: It's when a man spontaneously pats every pocket he has to locate keys, phone and wallet. It's like an inner swat team, dispatched to find the essentials his wife will yell at him for losing.
Behold, my list. I've included justification, although, aren't they self-explanatory?
Deck of cards
Got caught holding a purse for 45 minutes or more? Induce a mind-numbing game of go-fish with the kids. Or play war with another unsuspecting chap trapped in the Today's Woman section at Kohl's.
Stranded in a broken elevator, traffic jam or poetry reading? Snap into a Slim Jim. It's not as tasty as homemade jerky, but the packaged stuff if perfect for survivalists.
Baseball (with a sharpie)
You never know if you'll meet someone autograph worthy. I saw former US soccer star Danielle Fotopoulos in a pizza joint in Greensboro once. I asked her to sign my baseball.
Danielle: "You want a soccer player to sign a baseball?"
Me: "Yes. This way, you'll never forget me."
Danielle: "Yeah - as the freak who asked me to sign a baseball!"
*-she was smiling when she said this.
Such a fixture of my blog. I would carry my trio - the original, the Hoth trim, and Endor fatigues. You never know when a photo op will break out. A 42-year-old man carrying Star Wars figures is normal. My mom says so.
I won these beauts in a giveaway on Work in Sweats Mama blog. This from the man who splurges on dollar-store glasses. These make me feel pretty like Ponch. So I keep them in their sheath and case like a good boy.
This satisfies not only my sodium requirements, but also my kids' need to spit. It's a lot of work to get a little seed out of a little shell with just your mouth stuff. But we men specialize in all things hard work and limited reward.
Notebook and pen
Handy for those fleeting Go Ask Daddy questions that pop up at inopportune times. You know, like during illegal traffic maneuvers and weed-infested searches for lost golf discs. It will make you look official as a coach if you don't have a clipboard handy, too.
Would a vegetarian eat animal crackers? It doesn't matter in my family. These are life-giving, and I could do much worse. A boxful of these critters staves off post-practice hunger until I can get the kidlets home for apples.
Cords. lots of cords.
Everything needs charging, you know? And nothing gets a fella in hot water quicker than letting your cell battery die. Unless you come home late with glitter all over your shirt. In which case, you'd better grab your bag.
You'll need the beef jerky and animal crackers while you sleep out in the yard.
# # #When he's not rounding up stellar sentences for the 6 Words challenge or answer the kids' questions, Eli Pacheco writes a blog called Coach Daddy. You can find him on Google Plus, Twitter and even Pinterest, where he feels as comfortable as a window-shopper in Victoria's Secret.