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Why Do Most College Football Kickers Suck? Chris Kluwe Explains.

FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

So Drew asked me to fill in for him on this week's Funbag, because apparently as an unemployed former punter I'm supposed to have oodles of free time to do his job while he goes off and teaches his kids how to cook meth with his neighbor Chad, or whatever the fuck it is parenting entails in Yonkers. (Full disclosure: I'm more of a SO CAL SURF SLACKER than an UPTIGHT EAST COAST WASP, so save your teeth-gnashings, Yonkerites; I'm just gonna ignore them.)

Anyway, I immediately said yes. I mean, this is a discerning audience of at least a hundred people now that the site's current iteration has banished the Funbag to East Mordor, and I figure I should do one more guest post before Nick Denton ends up selling all the writers as sex slaves to fund Kinja 18.39437pi-1 and the opportunity's gone. (I'm a history major, I know how these things work. It's how the Ottoman Empire fell.)


A couple hours later, Drew sent me a bunch of your emails, and told me to answer the ones I found interesting, and that also he usually does around 4,000 words, but I could do whatever I felt comfortable with.

Answer some of the emails?! Only 4,000 words?! Let me tell you, when I saw that follow-up missive, the writing gods were truly NOT propitiated. Their tumescent word-members were NOT throbbing in veiny anticipation of run-on sentence followed by run-on sentence, and this humble scribe knows you deserve more. Drew may be content to put in minimal effort for you poor schmucks because he thinks he can skate by on natural talent, but I am a SCRAPPY, HIGH MOTOR, EFFORT writer. We are answering ALL of these emails, because, frankly, I'm adrift in a vast sea of loneliness and failed dreams, and it's either that or knock my wife out on an elevator in Vegas.


Your letters:


I want a Deadspin I-team exclusive, in-depth, undercover, ground-breaking, gonzo expose into why college teams, even really good ones (I'm looking at you, Saban) have shitty kickers. Anytime these guys are more than 20 yards out, it's totally a game of fuck-up roulette. There really are not enough soccer castoffs out there to make sure Mammoth State U's football team has a reasonable shot at getting at least three points every time they cross the opponent's 35 yard line?


Let me preface this one by saying, yes, this is an actual email Drew sent me, and not my subconscious creating an opportunity to rant and rave about the overwhelming ignorance of college (and professional!) football fandom regarding kicking. Thanks, George!

Want to know why your team has a shitty kicker? Because your team has a shitty coach who doesn't know the first thing about the basic fundamentals of kicking and punting, but figures that a soccer castoff will do just fine so long as he gets screamed at loudly enough.


In my five years of college ball, and eight years in the NFL, I did not have a single special teams coach or head coach who had the faintest idea how it is that I did my job, and that is how it is EVERYWHERE. (I was lucky that early on in high school, I found a couple coaches who did know a thing or two so I could teach myself later). Now a lot of this is due to the fact that people just don't care about kicking, because it's only nine or 10 plays out of the game (whereas the offense and defense GLOREEEEE BOYZ get 35 to 40), but can you imagine if your linebacker coach had no idea how to teach the fundamentals of tackling and assignment responsibility? Or if your quarterbacks coach didn't know what proper throwing mechanics were? [Insert Tebow/Jets joke here.] The fan base for that team would lose its shit, and for good reason, but somehow when it comes to kicking, it's perfectly fine to regard an eminently understandable series of motions as some sort of witchcraft.

The reason for this is because people are fucking lazy, and secretly believe that "BOY GOLLY IF I STEPPED OUT ON THAT FIELD I COULD SHOW THOSE NAMBY-ASS KICKERS JUST HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE A GULDARNED FIELD GOAL," like some sort of chorus-line action hero. Then they eat another log of Velveeta and yell at the TV when their team loses by two in the Fuddrucker's Futtbucker Bowl Brought to You by Mark Emmert's Lack of Basic Human Conscience.


If you want your team to stop trotting out Shanky McWideleft, then you need to get on the coaching staff's collective asses and force them to actually learn the fundamentals of kicking, and not just regard the special teams coordinator as the bottom rung on the ladder toward head coach.

Until then, yeah, good luck with those 35-yarders.


How long do you suppose you could live on condiments you get from fast-food restaurants?


Well, Paul, as long as you had access to relatively clean water from the bathroom (make sure no one's pooping, otherwise it'll taste like fast-food coffee), the average human being can survive anywhere from two weeks to the eventual heat death of the universe, according to Yahoo Answers. I'm gonna guess, though, that a steady diet of ketchup and Taco Bell Anal Hemorrhage Sauce would cause acute liver and kidney failure within a week or so, and you'd die curled up near the deep fryer several days later—so a week and a half to two weeks, depending on if you actually eat the condiments or not.

Fun fact: My wife had a roommate in college that got scurvy because all she ate was top ramen for a month, and Top Ramen has AT LEAST 573 percent more nutrients than your average ketchup packet.



What is the protocol for when you need to get a condiment and there is a long fast-food line? Do you go to the front and interrupt the person ordering? It seems to be the standard, but I hate doing it.


Matt, I don't know what kind of fast-food places you're frequenting that you have to actually ask for condiments as opposed to grabbing a grubby fistful from the bins lying out on top of the counter, but I would agree that it's perfectly okay to interrupt the person ordering in order to get the Heinz 69 Worschesterereshirhsiere sauce required to hide the taste of tears seasoning your meat "patty." I mean, it's not like the grotesquely overweight Hell's Angel ordering 15 Sphincter Slurries even has food in his hands at the moment, and your needs clearly outweigh his needs according to Maslow's Hierarchy of Pink Goop Accoutrements, so butt right in and treat yo'self. There's only about a 23 percent chance he'll stab you (unless you're in Oakland, in which case you better wait your turn no matter who's ordering).

Also, if you help clear Paul's corpse away from the deep fryer, they'll probably give you a bucketful of whatever condiment you need.


Chris (clearly not me):

So when the wife and I are passing a typical Friday night at home with some beverages, we sometimes mix in the shot of whiskey and imagine we are actually out somewhere fun. Our issue is the two-year-old has seen this and now insists on joining in and having her own glass (with water!). She then cheers along with us, slugging it down. Because she is two, some days she also demands to drink from her shot glass just because. We can't decide if this is cute, or if we are creating a future alcoholic who will be on Girls Gone Wild when she's 15. I'd send along the photo evidence that we find endearing, but we're afraid to show people lest Children Services come knocking.


Kids are just the worst at noticing things you wish they wouldn't notice. My wife was in the supermarket the other day, perusing the wine aisle, and our three-year-old loudly announced to everyone nearby that "Mommy needs her medicine," because, well, yeah, you're three, and your sister is five, and sometimes Mommy really DOES need her medicine to keep from drowning the both of you, but Ralph's probably isn't the best place to share that, okay kiddo? Just let Mommy get her wine, and Daddy grab his tequila, and then you can watch Magic School Bus on Netflix for another nine hours while we talk about cheap inland properties we can move to because we've fucked up the world's climate so badly our house will literally be underwater in 50 years.

Regardless, our kids are totally screwed, and it's all our fault, but you're not alone, Chris. For the next generation, being on Girls Gone Wild is basically gonna be the same thing as talking to your friends on Twitter, but with less nipple shots. I wouldn't worry about it. It'll all be robot porn at that point anyway.



Ryan Clark can't play in Mile High because of a sickle-cell issue. What would the league do if Tom Brady or Andrew Luck had that same issue?


We'd all like to believe that the Ginger Hammer would immediately deploy a money crane to relocate Mile High somewhere closer to sea level, but I think he'd pretty much say, "Fuck it, not my problem, figure it out Mr. Kraft." Goodell is employed by the owners, but there's 32 of those guys (no, Green Bay, your sham of a "public stock offering" does not mean you actually run the team), and I guarantee you the other 31 have zero fucks to give about Tom Brady's Wasting Goat disease that won't let him play against their team. They'll all make appropriately vague statements about pondering the severity of the issue, but inside their heads they're secretly thinking, "Suck it, Bill." Plus, if it's Luck, Jim Irsay already knows about doing stuff while super high, so he's not even worried about it.



Skip Bayless has a throbbing erection this very second fantasizing about that exact scenario.


Why do 30+ pro teams show up for a top college player's pro days when they have absolutely no chance of drafting that player?

Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowny have 30+ teams going to these athletes' pro days. Why show up when you don't have a decent chance of drafting them (i.e. the Broncos, the Seahawks). If you wanted to see a player's pro day and you were a team with very little chance of drafting that player or you don't really need that player on your roster, wouldn't you rather watch it on the NFL Network and save that waste of time?


Here's the thing, Matt. (You don't mind if I call you Matt, right?) The NFL Draft is the biggest clusterfuck to ever clusterfuck (surpassing even Debbie Does Dallas V: The Vagining). No one ever knows what's going to happen. You have scouts and GMs and coaches who think they can identify what they're looking for in a player, but secretly, deep down, they know it's the world's biggest crapshoot, and they're terrified of looking like fools. They concoct these ridiculous Draft Day scenarios ("What if other teams pass on Manziel due to recently published cowhumping selfies, and we get a shot at him?!") to cover their own asses in case something does happen, and they have to decide whether or not to take Jadeveon Clowney after he loses a leg in a thresher accident. ("We saw him work out personally, and even with one leg he's got a thirst for the game! JUST STRAP MJD TO THE STUMP AND HE'LL BE FINE.") Then they talk themselves into thinking that MJ Clowney is a good idea, or that it'll confuse the other teams, and the next thing you know, JaMarcus Russell is your quarterback.

Four years down the line, when it's patently obvious that Pirate Jadeveon just isn't working out (primarily because MJD left to pursue a more lucrative career in fantasy football), and they have to justify it to the owner, they'll point out that time they saw Jadeveon work out "personally," and that the "intangibles" were there, but he never fully materialized as a player due to circumstances "out of their control." Cover-your-ass office politics are just as much a part of the NFL as anyplace else, and I'd argue they're probably even more prevalent due to the sheer amount of money involved. No one wants to take the fall because their draft choice didn't pan out, which is why you see high-drafted guys get chance after chance even when it's clear they can't play, and you see the same merry-go-round of idiot coaches and GMs fuck things up at stop after stop.


The other reason all those guys show up is because after the workout, they all get to go out and get blasted on the company dime, and really, who doesn't enjoy that?


Is there any doubt whatsoever that this Kevin Costner atrocity about the Draft will be one of the worst movies ever?


Absolutely none. It's gonna be the Air Bud of sports movies. You really think a group of 32 billionaires are going to let the average sports fan see just how stupid some of the decisions they make are? Goodell was probably sitting outside Costner's window each night with a machete, making sure Costner got a good look at him licking the blade before going to sleep.


The other day I was at a party with my wife's work friends, and I saw a guy there holding his beer with a napkin. So the condensation doesn't get his hands wet? No way this is cool for a guy to do, right?


I'd say, look at it this way. Being a man means being efficient with your time. Having to dry off the annoying spots of wetness on your fingers each time you take a drink by reaching down to your napkin is ultimately costing you around 15 seconds of your life per drink (because science). Over the course of a typical evening party, say four beers long, that's an entire minute that could've been spent scratching your crotch, or eyeballing your wife's hot work friend when you think your wife isn't looking because she's talking to Gary in Accounting (who's secretly checking out your wife's ass when she turns around). Get your own wife, Gary.


Say you're with a girl who's a big Disney fan (not hard to imagine), and she asks you what your favorite Disney movie is. My question is, what answer are you most likely to get sex out of? Would a romantic classic like Beauty and the Beast sway her feelings the most? Or a modern classic like Tangled? Do you go completely rogue and say something like Mulan? Or completely give no shits, lie, and just say Cars 2?


Aladdin. You've got a strong female character in Jasmine, and the plot is a mix of romance and comedy. Mix that with Robin Williams' voice (hairy ape that he is), and you'll get those panties off in a hot second because she'll think you're a lovable jokester, but also insecure enough to not make her feel threatened. Then all you have to do is hit her with "Oh, and I loved him in Patch Adams," and it's off to the races. And by races, obviously I mean you're both making decisions you will immediately regret the next morning.


How many people that are not the president, do you think have had sex in the Oval Office?


Has to be at least in the thousands. Think of all the Congressmen working after hours, diligently crafting pork with the help of nubile young interns who're easily impressed by wrinkly, dead Cryptkeeper flesh and the ephemeral promise of power. One thing leads to another, he says he knows a guy on the Secret Service who can get them into the Oval Office as long as they're quiet, and boom—now he's desperately trying to remember where he left the Viagra while she tries to convince herself this will totally launch her career. I bet the Secret Service guys even have a name for it, like the Clinton, or the Kennedy.

"Hey Chip, looks like 'ol Strom Thurmond's pulling another Jefferson tonight. Make sure his walker's outside the door in about three minutes."


"Greeeaat, I'll let the cleaning staff know it's gonna be another late one."



Which simple kitchen tool causes the most agony when it breaks or goes missing? My vote is CAN OPENER. I'm in the middle of cooking and my fucking can opener just fell apart in my hands. Now I have to turn off all the burners, refrigerate several ingredients, and walk to Duane Reade to drop nine bucks on a new one before resuming this culinary adventure.


You were cooking one of Burneko's dishes that requires crap like "essence of koala pouch" weren't you, Sarah? It's okay, I'm not judging. Losing your can opener sucks, but as long as your tetanus shots are up to date and you don't mind gashing a finger or two, I've found that whacking the can a couple times with the bottom corner of a heavy knife and then grabbing some needle nose pliers generally does the trick, and also avoids the heartache of stopping mid-cook (because you know it's just not going to taste the same if the process gets interrupted).

Losing your melon-baller, though? Tragedy.


What's worse, the trash can with a one-minute-old poopie diaper (because you'll change the bag immediately) or the trash can with a couple of several-days-old piss diapers? That smell will take you by surprise.


Poopie diaper, no question. I can pass off the piss diapers as fond memories of being under the stands at the Metrodome, waiting to run out of the tunnel, but baby poop needs to be regulated by the EPA. I am thankful every day that our daughters are old enough where I'll never have to change another diaper, because some of the things I saw/smelled... well... they were pretty awful. Like, "I wish I could bleach my mind" awful. Those memories never go away.



I have wondered silently for years about this for fear of sounding racist or ignorant. Have you ever seen a Native American with facial hair? (Mustache, goatee, or full Duck Dynasty bush) I've seen my share of Hollywood movies with lots of Indians and never ONCE seen anyone sporting any facial hair. Is it genetic? By choice? Please enlighten me. Also, photographic evidence would be nice.


Upon Googling "Native American facial hair," I am pleased to report that four of the first five pictures are, indeed, of Native Americans with facial hair—primarily short mustache/beard combos—so it appears what you've seen is merely a stylistic Hollywood choice. The fifth, old-timey photo is of what looks to be the original hipster from 1820, wearing an expression that makes me want to punch him right in the face, and now it's all I can picture when I think of "Native American facial hair," so once again, everything interesting about the indigenous population of this country has been completely ruined by white people.



Where is it appropriate to smoke the reefer now that I'm a father? In the past I would step onto my back deck for evening joints, and retire to my basement for daytime ones. On the weekend, I received a complaint from my breastfeeding wife that it stank up in the nursery because the furnace kicked on, sending the sweet stench through the duct work. I'm not so hot on stepping outside at 12:50 every Sunday to greet my dear old neighbours and light up a fatty. At least under the cover of darkness I can pretend they think it's some teenagers in the park behind our houses. Do I buy a vaporizer? That would make me feel like an addict.


Clearly, as a professional football player, I have absolutely no knowledge of your devil weed, because the NFL is filled with righteously moral, handsomely rugged pillars of society who abide by all codes of conduct required of the role models that we are.


IF I were one of those deviant thugs who knew the NFL only tested for street drugs once a year, and they told you when you would be tested, and as long as you tested clean then you knew you would be safe until the next year, I would advise you to bite the bullet and get the vaporizer. It'll be easier on your lungs, and more importantly, it'll be safer around your kid. Just because it's second-hand weed smoke doesn't mean it still doesn't contain carcinogens (though much less than cigarettes), and you don't really want your child growing up to be one of those mesothelioma-commercial actors. Just try to ignore the shame of being a vaper as best you can.



I don't know jack about the game cricket, but I'm wondering if some of the best major-league hitters like Miguel Cabrera would just dominate the sport.


Highly likely, but only if they grew up playing the game. We all like to think our AMERICAN BOYS (from Cuba and Puerto Rico) could dominate the hitting aspect of anything requiring a bat, but there's a huge difference between seeing a fastball come out of a pitcher's hand versus seeing a sticky wicket caroom off the grundle, or whatever the fuck cricket lingo is.

If Miguel Cabrera practices playing cricket from a young age? Dominant. If he tries to transfer straight over from the MLB? Torn apart by an angry Indian mob.



As a frequent showerer, I feel like I have a good handle on when it's time to change washcloths. Generally after four or five showers, it's time to make a move, because there's only so much soap scum, noodle hairs, and fecal funk one man can take.

Or is there? What would be the longest one could go without swapping in a fresh washcloth?


Theoretically, I guess there's really no upper limit to how long you could go with a single washcloth. At some point, sure, it's gonna be more of a sweat-lodge scraping device than an actual cloth, but if that's your choice in personal hygiene, I'm not gonna judge (unless I have to touch your scabies-encrusted skin).

Practically though, it depends on how comfortable you are washing in the accumulated filth from previous days. I, personally, don't use a washcloth, because it seems like a really nice incubator for all sorts of disgusting bacteria, but I would imagine three to five days is probably the accepted length of time. If the washcloth starts walking out of the shower on its own after you're done, though, you've probably gone a little too long.



Each and every day, I am forced to walk across the palatial indoor football stadium that is Grand Central Station in New York City. For anyone who has never been during daylight hours, it is a virtual flash mob of tourists taking pictures of friends, family, themselves, NYPD cops, the clock, the floor, trash cans, little bits of string - EVERYTHING. Given the fact that I am constantly crossing back and forth and stand a full head above everyone around me, I am convinced that my face must randomly appear in what must be thousands of random photos taken by people from all over the world. I can see my somewhat blurred head appearing in Facebook posts in Kazakhstan, family albums in Taiwan or even glossy photos pinned to those fuzzy cubicle walls in Paraguay (do they use cubicles there?). I can't fully explain why, but this realization has shaken me to my core. Should I feel violated or honored that my image has (potentially) traversed the globe?


Generally, when most people take pictures, they really only care about the object in the center of the frame, unless it's something amazingly distracting in the background (like a really good photobomb or an accidental nipple). The other thing about photos is that 99 percent of the people who look at them will look at them once and then banish them forever from their minds. They have lots of other stuff they have to try and remember, and some tall dude's head in the blurred background is way less important than finding potable drinking water, or not getting shot for having the wrong last name. I think you can be fairly safe in assuming that you haven't been violated, and that Paraguayan llama farmers have much more pressing matters on their hands.

Also, it's just a picture. I've had tons of pictures taken of me. All you lose is a tiny piece of your soul each time.



If the receivers are covered and a quarterback is outside of the pocket, he can throw the ball back to the line of scrimmage without incurring an intentional grounding penalty. My question is: Why don't running backs ever do the same thing?

Every week, I see a broken run play which leads to a running back stepping out of bounds six yards behind the line of scrimmage. If this back is outside of the tackle box, couldn't he save those yards by tossing a pass out of bounds (assuming the pass got back to the line of scrimmage). Is there are rule that prevents a runner from throwing the ball away?


Most running backs are "me first" GLOREEEE BOYZ who need the ball at every possible opportunity in order to showcase their skills, and the thought of voluntarily giving it up is anathema to them. They literally cannot consider the possibility, so from a mental standpoint, that's why you never see it happen.

From an actual rules standpoint, running plays are designed to release interior linemen downfield to block players on the second and third levels, and if you throw the ball with an ineligible receiver (like an interior lineman) downfield it's a penalty, so it really doesn't make much sense to possibly turn the ball over to the other team when you're not going to get anything out of throwing the ball anyway. At least, that's how I would explain it to a GLOREEEE BOY running back if I were a coach.



If humans evolved so that women had the biological urge to kill whoever impregnated them, how different do you think society would be?


What makes you think they don't already have that urge? Most women lack the means or have enough impulse control to not follow through on it, but I promise you, when it's month eight and her back is spasming and morning sickness is something to be planned around, she would gleefully take a shovel to the back of your head if she thought she could get away with it.


Every Friday is Casual Friday in my office, and I wear the same jeans every Friday. I mean, they're clean, obviously, they're just the only jeans I'm comfortable in for 8+ hours. Do you think my coworkers notice I have the same jeans on every Friday?


On Casual Friday, your coworkers give absolutely no shits if the jeans you're wearing are the same jeans from last week. All they're thinking about is that sweet, sweet happy hour at the end of the day, with a Saturday morning to sleep in afterwards. Frankly, if they even remember your name, I'm impressed; there's no way they care about your clothing selection.

In ranked order, the things your coworkers care about on Casual Friday are:

1. Not getting caught in a meeting at 4:58

2. Alcohol

3. Going home and watching Office Space for the 300th time while polishing a rifle


4. TPS reports

5. Making sure Gary from Accounting thinks they're meeting at Chili's instead of Applebee's


6. Spam (both in a tin and Nigerian Prince)

7. What category of Redtube they're browsing tonight

8. Internet cat gifs

9. The proper pronunciation of "gif" (correct answer is hard g, NOT soft j)




1035. Your jeans


I'm getting married in a few months, and lately I keep having dreams where I'm having sex with a girl that's not my future wife. I never had these dreams until recently, and now they're happening at least twice a week. The girl is usually someone different from dream to dream. Sometimes it'll be one of my exes, and other times someone I don't recognize. In my dream, I'm always fully aware that I'm cheating on my fiancee, and I always feel guilty. I don't read into dreams, so I'm not worried about actually cheating, and I don't feel guilty in real life. I'm just wondering if this is unique, or if you and the readers have had recurring dreams like this leading up to a wedding as well?


This is a perfectly natural dream to have leading up to a wedding, because it's your subconscious telling you, "Hey man, you're gonna be stuck with just this girl for the rest of your life, are you sure you wanna do that? Look at all these other options you could be humping, spreading that genetic code everywhere. SUBMIT TO THE NATURAL IMPERATIVES OF 200,000 YEARS OF EVOLUTION OR I'LL MAKE YOU SHIT YOURSELF ON THE SUBWAY."

Thankfully, most of us have learned how to ignore our primal subconscious, so as long as you're not going around willy-nilly poking everything that moves while awake, I think you should be okay. Just try to make it to the wedding without stressing out too much and/or catching a venereal disease from a stripper named Candi at your bachelor party. Wives hate that.



Would you rather your mouth constantly burn from jalapeños or your butthole constantly burn from jalapeño poo?


Definitely mouth. You can drink some milk or something to ease the burn, especially if you're out in public, but there's no way to moderate the fiery anguish of a three-alarm salsa after it's passed through your colon other than waiting it out.

Fun fact: The cells in your mouth and your ass are essentially the same thing, which is why it feels so similar coming and going.



So say an NFL team was able to figure out a single running play that went for exactly 3.34 yards on every carry. That is, they always ran the same play and it always resulted in a first down on three attempts and, therefore, they scored on every possession. Obviously this team would go undefeated so long as they could stop an opposing offense once. My question is twofold. First, after the first season, do you think the NFL would make the play illegal simply because it worked so well? Second, do you think the team would get more fans for going undefeated or less because the games would be so boring to watch?


First off, there's a couple flaws in your assumption that they would automatically win every time as long as their defense stopped the other team once. You have to take into account turnovers on kickoffs (which I assume they would mitigate by simply downing the ball as soon as they got it), and more importantly, the fact every team would onside kick every time once they figured out what was happening. This is ultimately what would get the play banned, because onside kicks are pretty dangerous for those involved in them, and to have multiple onside kicks in a game would send Goodell into a frothing rage.

Secondly, you're also assuming none of the players involved in said play ever get injured over the course of the season, which is highly unlikely to happen. Plays that work great with one set of personnel tend to fail miserably with a different set, so you're also banking on eleven superhuman athletes in order to get that undefeated season, or an entire team of Adrian Petersons who can all fill in interchangeably, at which point it doesn't matter what plays you run.


For the sake of arguing hypotheticals, however, let's assume that this team does go undefeated running the same boring play game after game. I think they get more fans, because everyone loves a winner, and those that hate what they're doing will tune in every week in the hopes that this is the game they finally lose.

Case in point: the Yankees. There's Yankee fans that have never been to New York, and there's Yankee haters who don't know the first thing about baseball. They just know it's a franchise that consistently buys its way to victory, and for some people that's awesome, and for others it makes them bloodvomit. They all watch regardless.



One morning, you wake up with the ability to float 12 inches above the ground, no higher. You can hover around, but only as fast as you could normally walk, and floating takes the same amount of physical exertion as walking. Your ability does not work over water deeper than 3 inches. What is the most lucrative career you could pursue with this ability? Could you parlay it into billions somehow, or would you end up relegated to a Vegas show?


Here's exactly how that scenario plays out. You discover you have this ability, show it to some friends and family, maybe put it up on YouTube where it goes slightly viral. The NSA catches wind, blackbags your sleeping form one night, and then they vivisect you to isolate whatever it was that gave you your power so they can implement it into U.S. soldiers to make them immune to land mines, as well as save money on carpet-cleaning bills. Sadly, you do not survive this process, you do not make billions, you do not even get the all-you-can-eat steak breakfast buffet in Vegas. Your best bet is to never show anyone you have this power, because there will be someone in BIG GUBMINT somewhere that wants to exploit you, and they will not care in the slightest if it ruins your life.

Stick to dusting the high shelves at home for your wife. You'll live longer.

Letter of the week!


Yesterday evening I take my son out (he's two), just us. We go to an amusement park. As we get there, another single dad is with a son roughly the same age. His boy is wearing an Arsenal jersey, and I'm an Arsenal fan, so I compliment the jersey as we are all walking towards the front gate. It's a long walk and we start talking about that day's game, about where we each watched it, which leads to finding out what we do for a living, him telling me he's got friends in North London, about how he became a soccer fan (it's a LONG walk...). We get to the security point and go through lines next to each other, we're still talking, it's been five or so minutes at this point, and then, right as we pass through security (with still a good walk to go to the front gate), his son just loses it. One of those random drop-the-ground-and-throw-a-fit-for-no-reason kinda things. We're within sight of amusement park fun. Guy keeps talking to me even as his kid is rolling around on the ground, but I can't really just stop and wait out a tantrum with him, right? So the guy keeps talking and after like a brief stutter-step hesitation I just look at his son and say, "Good luck, have a good night."

This guy and I had hit it off. Am I an idiot for not making a bigger effort to make a friend? Am I an asshole for abandoning him mid-conversation? I'm the asshole, right?


Kids are just the worst. It's a wonder our species still exists.

Illustration by Jim Cooke.

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