Down With Old Kids In Strollers

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Your letters:


At what age do you make your kid walk on his own? Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing perfectly capable kids of a certain age getting escorted around in strollers, or worse, carried. Aren’t you just conditioning your kid to use a Rascal Scooter for fats later in life?

Once they can walk on their own—which happens at around age one—you need to start weaning them off the stroller. By age two or three, you should only use the stroller for situations where you know there’s gonna be a shitload of walking (like if you go on a long trip or something), and you need the stroller to extend the day and prevent a meltdown. Otherwise, burn that fucking stroller. I’m always amused that kids seem to have boundless amounts of energy until you ask them to walk more than 500 feet. Then they turn into 80-year-old men. OH MY ACHING LEGS!


Anyway, you have to get them accustomed to being out of the stroller and walking around so that they don’t turn into passengers from the Buy ‘N’ Large spaceship in Wall*E. It’s a rough habit to break, though, because strollers a) keep children contained, and b) eliminate the need to keep track of at least one child if you are tooting around with multiple kids. Knowing my youngest child is bolted into a five-point harness with no means of escape is a legitimate comfort to me.

But the gravy train has to end at some point. Even though strollers have their advantages, the better ones are heavy as hell and bulky, and carrying one through the New York subway system will make you want to plant a hydrogen bomb in the city’s catacombs.


We keep a stroller in the trunk of our car, and I curse its presence daily. That fucking thing is never not in the way. I can’t wait to sell it for three bucks on Craigslist and be rid of it forever. Every time we bust it out for the youngest kid, the two older kids demand a ride. That’s bullshit. NEITHER JAMES HARRISON NOR I WILL RAISE ANY SOFT CHILDREN.


Imagine if America could trade with other countries, city for city. What type of value do you think we could get back from Europe for a dirthole like St. Louis or Cleveland? I think we could turn St. Louis for a place like Dublin.


You’re crazy. Why would Ireland trade Dublin for St. Louis? They’d want at least Portland in the deal to even consider it. Our roster of cities has NO depth, and it’s aging rapidly. And, apart from maybe Austin, our minor-league-city farm system is a goddamn embarrassment. Where are our scouts? Why can’t we develop talented towns? Every promising metropolis gets run through the system and ends up being a strip of Banana Republic outlets. Our front office doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing.

No other country is taking Cleveland off our hands. Forget it. We’d be lucky to get Basra in return for it. If cities became tradable assets, I promise you that our country would somehow send New York and San Francisco away for pennies on the dollar just to clear cap room. We’d get Leicester, Kiev, Harbin, and Darwin in the five-country deal, and fans would be livid.


By the way, if I were the GM of trading cities, I offer the entire list of American heartland cities just to get Paris or London here in the States. I’d pull a full Ricky Williams trade to have London here domestically.


I walked onto a plane the other day, found my seat, and waited for a pleasant flight into Midway Chicago. Then, I smelled it. A man walked down the aisle with a bag of fried chicken and sat a few rows back. The entire plane smelled delicious. Was I in the wrong to be angry at this man? I thought it was a dick move. And who brings fried chicken onto plane?


HATE THE GAME. That man had the foresight to bring a box of Popeye’s onto the plane. You have to give him his due. Also: Be thankful he didn’t bring anything that smelled bad onto the plane. I’d rather be tortured by a chicken drumstick than suffocate from someone bringing a whole microwaved salmon on board.

Sometimes you have a connecting flight, and there’s no time to get food, and you’re stuck with the choice of either a) starving or b) ordering the $9 box of crackers and salami. Meanwhile, the dude in 18A is in Flavortown. It’s not a fair situation, but the CLASSY move is to be happy for that guy. Any time I board a plane, I scan for what kinda food other people brought on board, just to torture myself. Damn, that lady brought an Italian sub. I could really go for that. There will come a day, I promise you, when airlines ban outside foods on board, like a movie theater or a pro sports team. It’s coming. They will make the ultimate FUCK YOU move and ban your Potbelly wreck sammich. I’m already outraged.


By the way, never bring coffee onto a plane. There is no effective way to board a plane while simultaneously carrying a huge cup of scalding hot liquid. There’s nowhere to put it down if you gotta put your suitcase in the overhead bin. You’re more dangerous than a man carrying a Bowie knife on board.


If you can only have one, are you choosing a toaster or a toaster oven? That is assuming, of course, you have a stove, oven, and microwave.


I’ve come around on toaster ovens, because toasters always break, and because toasters toast blind. I can’t tell if my shit is toasting properly or not, which often results in premature ejection. That’s the worst. With a toaster oven, I get a good, long look at that Pop Tart toasting up. So sweet. So warm. So fruity. I MUST HAVE IT. I can rescue it from burning (so long as I don’t check my phone and end up forgetting about the toasting food until it’s burning, which is always what happens), or add a little extra toasting to it if need be. Plus I can cook a small chicken inside it. I never do, but I COULD. Can’t roast a chicken in a toaster, kids. Can’t do a slice of pizza in there, either.


Would it ever work to put your most athletic offensive lineman as a defensive back on the other team’s most skilled WR? Sure, if the WR got past them, they’d be gone, but couldn’t they jam the shit out of them for a while at the line within the first five yards (giving your DL enough time to get to the QB)?


No, because the wideout would deke out the lineman and avoid the jam. “Just jam the fucker!” is a standard defensive strategy thrown out by fans like me, screaming at the TV. Jamming isn’t as easy as it sounds. The wideout won’t just let you walk up and shove him to the ground. He can, like, move and stuff. You need an agile DB or LB to get that jam in. J-J-J-J-J-JAMMIN’ ON THE ONE! J-J-J-J-J-J-AMMIN’ ON THE ONE!

Also: if you put a lineman in to knock the receiver off the line, the offense will just audible to a run and run right at the guy. An o-lineman isn’t terribly useful in run support. Every o-coordinator not named Norv Turner would take note. This sucks because I remain firmly in favor of pro athletes playing out of position. When JJ Watt lines up at tight end, little angels sing out in harmony. Every time I watch an NFL game, I pray for the emergency QB to take the field.


By the way, in other innovative football news, that one Arkansas football coach who never punts is testing out a system of rugby-style laterals for his offense.

When he calls out “Rugby!” before an offensive series, his wide receivers change their assignment. Rather than blocking downfield, they rush toward the receiver who catches the ball. If they’re open, they yell the receiver’s name and which side they’re on. He tells his players only to pitch the ball when they’re sure it’s safe.

Essentially, Kelley’s offense will run the option—after a completed pass down the field.


I want to marry this man. I say we hire him to coach the Eagles.


In college, my fraternity house had a volleyball court outside, so whenever we could, we’d all drink beers and play. I get that some people are just better athletes than others, but it blew my mind how terrible some of the guys were. They couldn’t get the ball over the net and into the GIANT square(ish) area without screwing up. I think of all the sports, volleyball is the easiest to be generally not terrible at despite experience and athletic ability. Can you please rank sports in terms of easiest to initially pick up to hardest? Obviously golf is the hardest.


Volleyball is fucking hard! You never know where that stupid ball is gonna go. Not only do I have to properly gauge where the ball will land, but I then must position my arms to get the ball high enough and far enough to make it back to the other court. I’d be a volleyball master if that stupid net wasn’t in the way. Why must there be a net? Fuck that net. Anyway, here are the easiest leisure sports to pick up for any novice to pick up, regardless of athletic ability:

1. Soccer. Kick ball. Ball goes in net.

2. Street hockey. Soccer, but with a stick.

3. Stickball/Wiffle ball.

4. Ultimate Frisbee. Do I try to look cool by throwing the Frisbee with a forehand, whipping it off my index finger? I do. Does the Frisbee then go into the bushes? It does.


5. Touch football.

6. Squash/racquetball. There’s a reason office drones play these sports. Thanks to the enclosed walls, you can’t really miss. It’s remedial tennis.


7. Croquet. What are the rules again? I have to hit the stick, right? Croquet is stupid.


If you went back in time, say to the 1950s or ‘60s, how long would it take you to thoroughly explain what hashtags are and how they work on social media to the average adult (assuming you can’t show them on your phone, you can only explain it)?


I’d never be able to do it. I could draw it out for Hill Valley residents and all that, and they still wouldn’t understand. I know this because I have kids, and I can’t explain hashtags to them. They go around all day saying shit like, “Hashtag FART” because they heard people say it “hashtag” online. And then I say to them, “Actually, hashtags are a user-sourced feature of Twitter that allow you to search for tweets by subject,” and I’ve only served to confuse them further. All they wanna do is say “hashtag FART” all day long because they think that’s cool. And it is. It totally is. #FART



Do you think we’ll ever see more corporate sponsorship at weddings? You’ve got a captive audience of 200-plus people to market to over a period of several hours, and a married couple that desperately needs to offset the cost of this whole shindig. And if Uncle Bruce already thinks that SCOTUS ruined the sanctity of marriage, is he really going to feel it’s cheapened any further by Bud Light promo girls passing out Mixx Tail shots at the reception?


A lot of celebrity weddings already have corporate-sponsored goodie bags and pre-arranged magazine coverage, but you’ll never see a plain old wedding get Toyota signage or anything like that because the audience is too small. Even if you’re one of those weird Southern people who HAS to get married by age 21 and invite 500 guests to your church-basement-picnic wedding, it’s still not worth the sponsor expense to erect a billboard behind the justice of the peace advertising a 12-piece KFC value meal. The entire wedding industry is designed to TAKE your money, not to give you any money back. That would violate the spirit of the marriage racket.

The only cost-effective way to do it would be through native advertising. For example, if you paid the bride and groom to mention your product in the vows. “I, Kaylynn, take you, Jayyydyn, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, even if we run out of delicious Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (cue audience laughter).” That could work, especially with a captive audience. Let’s start a business that ruins weddings that way.



Nothing makes me angrier while driving than to slow down when I see a police car, only to find out that it is no longer in commission.


I’ll go one step further and say that any car that looks like a police car but is NOT a police car should be banned from the fucking road. Like if you have a weird antennae on the back of your car that makes it look like an unmarked cop car? Banned. Or if you’re some bumblefuck security guy with a yellow siren on top of your car for no good reason? Banned. Ski racks at night? Banned. Do you know how annoying it is to look in the rearview, see a suspicious car, and then slow down for 800 feet before realizing it was just a stupid Ford with a bike rack? I lost five whole seconds of time for your shitty car. I should wipe you off the road for good. You made me all nervous for NOTHING.


I was driving today thinking about Roger Goodell and how he got away with being a lying douchebag. Can you remind us again why the world should hate him?


No. The horse has been beaten to death. It’s become an echo chamber. At this point, everyone who should hate Roger Goodell already hates him. Poor Bill Simmons is still out here acting like Sam Spade, determined to get to the BOTTOM of Roger Goodell’s nefarious deeds:


Nothing you can say about Goodell is gonna get him fired. Nothing you can say about him will cause owners to be like, “Gee whiz, maybe we’ve got this guy all wrong!” Even if you got rid of Goodell, the owners would just replace him with some more palatable but equally corrupt asshole. It’s wasted energy at this point. I hate Goodell so much, I’ve started to hallucinate. HE WAS IN THE NORTH TOWER THAT DAY I SWEAR IT.

There is a baseline level of corruption to humanity that will never, ever go away, no matter how much you rage against it. Eventually, you just learn to live with it. Football is great, but Roger Goodell blows, and that’s just the way it is. Now, excuse me while I go plant some heroin in his glove compartment.



I went to college with this guy. One night we were sitting around a campfire, and he had a little too much to drink. He told a story about when he was 13 and he heard Christian music playing upstairs. He thought he was home alone, so he went upstairs to investigate. He went into his parents’ bedroom, and found them mid-bang to the Christian song “Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord.”


Oh, man.


Do you ever start singing some mid-’90s R&B to your youngest kids, and the lyrics will be really sweet, like “I’ll love you for eternity” or something, and then it’ll hit the obligatory REALLY sexual line (“I wanna lick you up and down”), and you have to cut yourself off, and then it’s just silent and awkward for a minute until you can start singing again? I feel like that happens way too much.


I mumble my way through the sexual/cursing parts. Or I just hum the bars. In the car, I do my best to talk over any ribald lyrics that happen to be on the radio. Right when Pitbull yells out FACE DOWN BOOTY UP is when I point out a choochoo to my son. SLICKER THAN AN OIL SPILL/SAYS SHE WON’T BUT I BET SHE WILL. “So, how was school today?!”

Sometimes I put Spotify on in the car, and Spotify will have uncensored tracks. You should see my reaction when an uncensored version of “Payphone” comes up on the streaming radio. I instantly turn into Tipper Gore. Why, this Adam Levine has a potty mouth, he does! I’m scandalized.


By the way, my oldest kid looked me up online the other day. “I read your thing about Justin Bieber. You basically said the f-word a million times.” She’s got me nailed.


What is the minimum amount to give to a homeless person when doing so?

A dollar. Unless it’s a busker and he’s got a guitar case open to throw some loose change into. If we’re talking about a straight-up give-to-the-homeless transaction, you have to give the poor guy paper money. Giving him coins is worse than giving him nothing at all. Why not throw a handful of pennies at his dick while you’re at it?



I just started a new job. I was told that at the end of week two, there’s going to be a summer potluck. Am I obligated to bring something?


Yes, if only so that you will have something at the picnic that you know you’ll want to eat. Like Popeye’s! Bring a box of Popeye’s, set it down, and then eat half of it. You’ve “contributed” to the potluck while really just acting in your own self-interest. That’s what being a good employee is all about.


Would you rather eat nothing but canned dog food for the next two years, or take a bullet to the kneecap today? Let’s assume the canned dog food contains all the necessary nutrients to keep you perfectly healthy. Also, assume rehab for the knee takes only six months, and there are no permanently damaging effects.


Christ. Can’t I just walk in on my parents boning to Christian rock?

Anyway, I’ll take the bullet to the kneecap and then likely regret it. I have no choice. Dog food is that repulsive. Sometimes I’ll feed my in-laws’ dog, and he gets this wet dog food out of a can that is just … god, even thinking about it makes me gag. You gotta cut it up with a knife, and it’s so brown and chunky and GUHHHHHHHHHH … I can’t. I’d shoot myself if I had to eat it. Dog food is formulated to smell rotten because dogs are natural scavengers. You wouldn’t be able to tolerate it for a year. Your body would revolt and kill you.



OK Cupid has questions online daters like me (judge away) use to determine compatibility, and there are a number of questions on there that I feel are clear “traps” for determining terrible human beings, which I appreciate. One of the questions is, ‘Which bothers you more: starving children or starving animals?” I feel like the obvious answer is starving children due to the loss of potential that comes with a human life before it has reached adulthood. However, a common answer I have seen from women is starving animals. I can wrap my head around the answer “Both,” but isn’t starving children the obvious, logical answer?


What the fuck kinda question is that? There’s no good answer to that. You’re either letting a baby starve or a puppy starve. OK Cupid can go to hell for asking you that. You just wanted a date. Instead, you get a mental image of dead babies. What can you possibly glean from a potential mate in that answer?

Anyway, my answer is “starving children,” because humans are important and animals are dumb. The ladies at OkCupid answered “starving animals” only because they want to make it sound like they care the most about the most innocent, defense creatures possible. But they’re lying. Hand them a pistol and tell them to kill either a baby or little Fido, and Fido will get his.



I was just outside walking to get lunch near my office, and discovered a woman giving away free samples outside this new pita place. Much to my delight, they weren’t giving away tiny meatballs or little cups of taboule, as one might expect. No, I literally got handed an ENTIRE FUCKING SKEWER OF CHICKEN WRAPPED IN BACON. I challenge you to come up with a better “free sample” experience than that. It felt like someone had just handed me 50 bucks.


My local grocery store was handing out free pepperoni Stromboli earlier this year. Big pieces, too. You could have made a full lunch of it. Ever since, I have returned to the store every week, praying that the Stromboli samples are back. And they haven’t come back. I am grief-stricken.


At what point after you make your arrangements are you allowed to be pissed off at your drug dealer? He told me he would meet me somewhere at 2 p.m. He keeps me on the hook by saying he will be there in 15 min … and keeps saying it. He finally shows up at 4 p.m., and is mad at me when I call him out. My point was that he could just be honest and I would have no problem with him being two hours late. That’s perfect errand running time. He also said it wasn’t a business meeting and I shouldn’t “expect much service, it’s not like you tip me.”


Yeah, he’s got all the leverage on you. You need drugs. He has drugs. He knows you’ll wait forever for the drugs if necessary. He’s got you, man. Besides, I would never get pissed at a drug dealer. What if he shoots me? Drug dealers do shit like that. I’m not risking it.

Also, your drug dealer is probably high. You’re lucky he didn’t take your dimebag and just smoke it himself while watching cartoons. These are not reliable people.


Email of the week!


I have had this weird habit since I was a kid, and Googling has turned up nothing, so I can’t figure out if I’m the only one. I figure, with seven billion people on earth, there must be someone else. When I bite my nails, I bite them off whole_I’m left with a little crescent moon in my mouth. Then, I store it behind my upper lip. Right now I’ve only got one up there, but there can be up to four or five at times all packed up together. I take them down during the day and play with them in my mouth. I find it totally relaxing and get a little stressed when they aren’t there. The “best part” (read, this is how I make myself feel better about this) is that although I’m an inveterate nail-biter, you wouldn’t know, because they have to get to a certain length before I can bite them, so I don’t have those raggedy nails that most nail-biters have. My wife thinks it is totally disgusting, and just once I forgot to take them out before going to the dentist and I was so embarrassed I had to change dentists. I’m sure he could have told me if there were others but ... how do you ask that question?

Anyhow, ever heard of this before?

Nope. You’re a monster.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He’s also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at You can also order Drew’s book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.


Lead image by Sam Woolley.