What Is The Best Age To Have Children?

Illustration by Sam Woolley
Illustration by Sam Woolley

Your letters:


From a financial, social, and/or professional point of view, what is the best age to start having kids?


Thirty. There’s a reason that 30 is the default child-bearing age for your standard non-Mormon. There’s a lot of shit that has to get done before you go and willfully end your social life like that. You gotta get through school, and settle into a job, and get married (or find a longtime partner if you’re one of those annoying people who despises marriage on principle), and watch your friends start having babies, and be married long enough that there’s no longer much to talk about. Oh, and you gotta DRINK. You gotta drink and smoke all the pot and fuck all you can, so that you can have finally the kid and say to yourself, “Okay, I definitely did not miss out on any fun shit.” By 30, you’re likely to have covered a lot of that.

Thirty is also young enough so that you will still be ambulatory after the kids have grown. You can be an active grandparent, and go to dinner parties, and take boner pills and have a good time. You don’t wanna still be raising small kids when you’re fucking 50. Mick Jagger is having another kid. He’ll be dead by the time that kid reaches kindergarten (at which point Keith will assume partial custody). It’s nonsensical.

Of course, the problem is that the ideal social age to have a kid has NO relation at all to the ideal BIOLOGICAL age to have a kid. As I’ve said before, God is a perverted weirdo who engineered us to crank out babies at, like, age 18. It’s a complete mismatch with the demands of the modern world. More women are having children when they get older, and any woman over the age of 35 has to have her pregnancy closely monitored because of the increased risk of birth defects.

Frankly, it’s a crisis. We have to find a way to make late pregnancies safer, OR we have to create some kind of sophisticated perma-daycare operation—perhaps housed in the soon-to-be-vacant Georgia Dome—that’s free to the public and uses high-tech robot nannies to raise your kid for you if you had it at 18 and don’t want to hang out with it until it can drive a car. I support the DomeCare initiative fully. Robo-Nanny will give my child all the attention that I cannot. And if the Robo-Nannies rise up and rebel against us—deploying our children as human shields—they will PAY. Mark my words. You are going down, Rosie the Robot.

Or we can have more older men impregnate more younger women, which I’m sure would go over splendidly.



Does leaving your flashers on while illegally parked actually make any difference in whether you get a ticket? If so, how long will it work for?


I haven’t gotten a ticket with them on yet! PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, FOLKS. As far as I’m concerned, I can double park on the White House lawn and have it be legal so long as my hazards are on.

Of course, that doesn’t get rid of the paranoia I feel any time I double park. I turn the hazards on and sit there for 20 seconds before I start scanning for cops in every direction. They’re out there, man. When they find me parked on this litter of puppies, they are NOT gonna be happy. Maybe I should circle around. I should definitely circle around. Then I circle around six times, turn my hazards on again, and start silently cursing everyone. I don’t even wanna know what kinda Turkish prison I’d be dragged to if I didn’t remember to have my blinkers going.


I think the only time I’ve been approached to move is by a hotel valet, and that’s because airport cops and hotel valets will shoot anyone who stays curbside for longer than three seconds. I like to turn on the engine and wave to the valet like, “Oh! Thank you sir, for alerting me to the fact that I should move!” Then I mutter “asshole” under my breath as I pull away. Who does that fuckface think he is? LORD OF THE DRIVEWAYS? I’m just trying to pick up my nana, you raging prick.



When is it ok to sit in the shower?

It’s fine so long as it’s YOUR shower. I wouldn’t go sitting in a gym shower, or a prison shower. People will talk. But if you’re at home? Go for it, man. Pretend you’re a cop and you just got done with a child murder case. You’re glad you caught the bastard that did it… but the things you saw, man. SOMETIMES THIS JOB CAN GET TO YOU. Let the water rush over your face. Imagine a child chorus singing that “Hallelujah” song right outside the shower door. Savor the melodrama because it’s not like you can stay down there for long anyway. Eventually, your tailbone will cry out in agony and you will have to snap out of it.


When I was a kid, I loved sitting in the shower, especially any post-pool shower. I coulda hung out in that shower for an hour, and I did! It never occurred to me that my parents probably knew I was in there for too long, just playing with my dick.



When I find myself without a spoon, I sometimes like to eat applesauce via a straw. I suspect this is psycho behavior, because I would be embarrassed if someone came across me doing it at my workplace. On the flip side, applesauce is more “plasma” than it is “solid food,” and it would be much crazier to, say, eat it with my hands. Slurping it out of the cup seems ... undignified. Is this some lunatic shit I need to knock off, or am I good?


No, you’re fine. In fact, you’re ahead of the curve because my kids eat Gogo Squeezes and that’s applesauce in a pouch. You can get applesauce and yogurt in drinkable form now, and the world doesn’t seem to be howling with outrage at the notion.

The applesauce pouches are great because if you give the average kid a spoonful of applesauce, they will then attempt to conduct a symphony with it. They are fucking incapable of keeping the sauce on the spoon. So, instead of being patient and helping them master a fundamental life skill, I have chosen the easy way out and given them pouch food that will have them suckling like an infant until age 37. I see no problem with my decision.


So if you like drinking your applesauce, go ahead and buy the pouches. Or, better yet, drink it out of a MUG at work. Get a big jar of Mott’s, empty it into your coffee cup, and walk around all day being like, “There’s nothing better than a crisp mug of applesauce to start your day.” People will die.


About a month ago, I was in Old Quebec with a good friend from Savannah, Georgia. While at dinner in a finely appointed restaurant one night, he overheard a couple behind us mention to their waitress that they were from Savannah as well. My friend immediately went over to introduce himself while I sat there, aghast. He claims that a) he’d always do that if he met a person from Savannah somewhere three states or more away and b) the hurricane moving towards Savannah at the time meant that he REALLY had to talk to them. I called him a social terrorist. Who would want strangers barging in on their vacation time? No one enjoys that. Who’s right here?


You’re right, but I promise you that your friend will never accept that because he is a SUTHUHNUH and therefore you don’t get his strange rituals and customs. “Why, I do declare, if you do not introdewce yo’self to a fellow Savannahian, Jim Williams will NEVUH invite you to his Christmas party, good sir!” For you see, in the South they do things just a little bit different from Y’ALL UP NORTH.

I was Gchatting with Spencer Hall the other day and I told him I ate too much salt and he was like, “Salt’s my weakness. It’s a super southern thing.” And I was like, “It’s an EVERYONE thing, you shithead.” And then he was like, “Have you eaten at a Zaxby’s?” And then I was like NO BUT DON’T COME AT ME LIKE THAT. You don’t get to own the salt space just because you live in Atlanta and have some decent fast food options.




When cutting a pizza, do you try and cut 8 (or 10) perfectly equal slices or do you slice around toppings to create unequal sized slices but better topping distribution? I hate getting a slice of pizza and it has 1/2 a pepperoni hanging off the side held up by cheese. I can’t be the only person who does this, can I?


I go for equal slices for a couple of reasons. First off all, it’s hard to avoid hitting a pepperoni roadblack when you’re cutting ANY line through a pizza. If there are a lot of bare spots on that pie, it means they fucked up and didn’t give you enough pepperoni.

Secondly, cutting through the pepperoni is an easy way to steal bonus pepperoni. Did the slice fold up and stick to you pizza cutter? Well now, that’s an extra little treat for you. And will Billy notice if you pluck half a pepperoni that’s dangling from one of his sides before you serve it to him? Nope. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. You see the angles I’m playing? The person who gets the most pepperoni wins. They also die of congenital heart failure, but they die A CHAMPION.




What band has had the biggest fall from grace in music history? It’s gotta be Creed. As far as album sales and concert tickets, they might have been the biggest band in the world in the late 90s/early 00s. Now, they’re nothing but a punching bag. I don’t think anyone even listens to them ironically, like Poison, for example. They’re just a bad band that everyone wants to forget they listened to in the first place. Runner-up would probably be Limp Bizkit.


It’s Milli Vanilli. I know Creed is a punchline these days, but Milli Vanilli were basically trotted out into the public square and beaten with a cane. Everyone piled on them, with virtually no sympathy for Rob & Fab because people thought Milli Vanilli was lame to begin with. They had their Grammys stripped. They were sued into oblivion, consigned to a podunk label, and then never heard from again until one of the guys died. Vanilla Ice runs second on this list (his only hit was a shameless ripoff, and then 3rd Bass roasted his smug ass into oblivion), and even he turned out relatively fine compared to poor Rob & Fab.

By the way, those two made a comeback album using their real voices that has never been released. And you know what? That’s for the best. I hope it stays buried forever so that those two don’t have to be subjected to another round of beatings. All they wanted was to make you happy, YOU MONSTERS.


You could also argue that Michael Jackson belongs on this list. But ever since he died, the whole “He probably paid off families of kids he molested” thing really faded away. Quite the magic trick. HEE HEE! OWWWWWWW!!!




How in the fuck is it 2016 and we still don’t have an engineering fix for the gap between a drivers’ seat in a car and the console or outer door?


I assumed the reason why is because if something in the console or under the seat breaks, you or your mechanic want to be able to access it without tearing anything out of the interior. This is especially true with modern cars, because so much of your shit relies on computers and electrical shit inside the car, and if any of that breaks you’re gonna get pillaged on the invoice. But just to be certain, I asked Mike Ballaban over at Jalopnik for an answer, because I know dick all about cars. Here’s what he said:

Apparently a lot of it is a packaging problem. One factor is that seats are designed around the human body, whereas doors and consoles are not. The other problem is that there’s got to be a little wiggle room for the seat to spread out a bit when someone sits down. The last problem is that you could design a center console that curves around a driver’s seat, but if the driver wants to move their seat back and forth, then the curved-around console would block that. The solution would be to put the seats and the center console into one unit, but then you basically get a front bench seat. As to why there’s a gap between the seat and the door, we’re thinking it’s because there’s probably some regulation somewhere that might rule against anything potentially inhibiting the latch of the door, plus side airbags tend to be built into the seat itself, and there’s got to be a little bit of room for your shoulder/hip and for if that airbag has to deploy.


Got all that? Basically, you’re basically getting a safe, cushy, independent front seat of your own (maybe one of those racy racing seats VROOM VROOM), and sacrificing the occasional quarter for it. I know it sucks to lose your things down there. I know that when a child throws something vital on the floor—a phone, a toothbrush, a passport—it invariably ends up trapped in the farthest reaches of the car’s spiritual crawlspace. But it’s probably worth it so that the airbag goes off when a drunk guy in a Camaro decides to T-Bone your car.

I do miss bench seats, though. There’s a reason that old boat cars with bench seats get tricked up by people: because they’re super roomy and badass. You can fuck right there in front! Who’s got room to fuck in a Prius, I ask you? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO OUR SENSE OF DANGER?!




I dated a girl for like a month and I constantly felt like she was pushing me to be more official, so I finally talked with her about being exclusive and she wanted to do it. Three days later she breaks up with me because she claims we were better as friends. My question: Can I actually say she was my girlfriend and thus my ex- or do I just tally this up as someone I briefly dated?


It counts! Listen, man: The best way to score a new girlfriend is to have an old girlfriend. That’s a fact. That’s the reason it’s damn near impossible to get laid as a teenager (at least, in my own personal experience). No girl wants to date some loser who’s never had a girlfriend. They want a proven commodity. When I was 15, you could have brushed against me and I would have told everyone, “Yep, that’s my girlfriend!” One girl wrote me a postcard once and I basically assumed we were married. It was a really desperate time.

So I say if you two decided to be serious, you had yourself a girlfriend. It doesn’t matter if it lasted three days. There’s no annulment process for girlfriends. You get to claim that shit on your resume, fair and square. And then other girls will be like, “Oh wow, he had a girlfriend once! He’s definitely not a creep!” They totally keep tabs on that kind of stuff.



How good is the feeling when you see someone in public (across the store, etc) and successfully navigate yourself out without making boring small talk?


The easiest way to do is this to cry out, “It was great seeing you!” and then move on. That’s your kicker. That puts an end to the small talk and lets the other person know you have important things to tend to. And you can drop it quickly, like so:

THEM: Cam?
YOU: Oh hey, Linda!
THEM: How are you doing?
YOU: Great! How’s the fam?
THEM: Great!
YOU: Well it was great seeing you!


BOOM. Done. You’re out. You’ve fulfilled your social obligations efficiently and without coming off like an aloof prick. Well done. Go drink alone to reward yourself.



Does the president dress up for Halloween? Shouldn’t he have to? And we could do a big reveal on the White House lawn and play Monster Mash. This should exist.


I agree. There should be a Halloween State Dinner and Putin should come dressed as a centaur and everything. The President should also be Santa, too. Put Trump in a Santa suit and have a bunch of filthy kids sit on his lap until his head explodes from the heightening germophobia. If he truly LOVES THE PEOPLE and wants to win the War on Christmas, he’ll suck it up.


I live in Minneapolis but didn’t grow up anywhere near Minnesota. I am not a fan of the Vikings, so listening to Meatsauce and the Hawkman on sports radio is worse than being hit by a car when the Vikings are winning so I take extreme pleasure in every Vikings loss because nothing is better than those dipshits whining and crying on the air about the unfairness of life. This is all acceptable, right?


Yes. The whole point of sports talk radio is to bitch. Who the fuck wants to listen to Mike Francesa after a New York team WINS something? No one. But have Odell Beckham drop a few passes after hanging out on a boat and everyone in New York is like YO I GOTTA HEAR WHUT MIKE HAS TO SAY ABOUT DIS, A-GABBAGOOL SCUNGILLI MAMA MIA! Losing makes for better radio. Ask anyone listening to Finebaum today.

However, I have to warn you that there’s a flipside to all that hate-listening. Yes, it’s fun to tune into Goofer and the Butthole’s Drivetime Tit Fiesta when a team you hate loses. But when they WIN, it’s awful. It’s the worst shit ever. Take it from someone living in DC: you never want Skins fans to be happy. Give them an inch of smug and they are OFF. It’s like Cowboys fans right now. Dallas fans restored their insufferability so, so fast. Every message board right now has HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS as every other post. Given that you hate-listen to Vikings radio, you’re on relatively safe ground, but I would still beware. All that schadenfreude can come back to bite you in the ass. Who would have guessed?




I have three kids. They fight over everything. Currently, three of them are fighting over my heating pad. I thought to myself “Maybe I’ll just pick up another one when I go out.” Do I have to buy three of everything? Do I throw everything I have only one of, away? Or do I let them hate each other until they’re 35?


Do NOT buy one of everything. Don’t get sucked into that. Even before I became a parent, I was haunted by the Bonestorm episode of The Simpsons where Bart sees the spoiled brat demand his mom get two copies of the game…

Illustration for article titled What Is The Best Age To Have Children?

Don’t be that parent. Stand your ground. Ninety percent of parenting is WEATHERING THE STORM. Your kid wants something, and you don’t want them to have it. So they freak the fuck out and it’s a pain in the ass. But if you stand your ground for a while (and they can bitch for a LONG time), the kid usually accepts reality and stops complaining. But you have to withstand that initial onslaught of pissing and moaning. If you give in and buy each kid a heating pad, they’ll always assume you’ll do that, and they’ll never work with one another to solve problems and share crap. If they keep fighting over the one pad, put it away forever. Dying of hypothermia will toughen them up.



I’m sitting in a Philadelphia diner and I see a lox and cream cheese omelet on the menu. Is this okay or is this gross?


Smoked salmon is my favorite food, so you could put it in septic tank and I’d eat it. But I would not recommend a lox and cream cheese omelet. Lox is best when it’s cold, and there are much better cheeses to stuff inside an omelet (cheddar, feta, etc). You are not getting the optimal lox and cream cheese experience with that omelet. Have a lox bagel with a regular omelet on the side instead. It’ll beef you up good.

Also, a lot of sushi joints now offer a Philly roll, which has smoked salmon and cream cheese on the inside. I’ve had this couple times now and can’t decide if I like it or if it’s utterly repugnant.




How shocking would it be if Jerry Jones were to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I understand he is nominated not as the Cowboys GM but rather as a “contributor” a category for owners, former commissioners, etc. And yes, few owners have been better at figuring out how to squeeze more money television networks, sponsors and local municipalities. But this man is also unequivocally one of the worst general managers of our lives. This is a guy who traded UP to draft Quincy Carter. They can’t possibly let that man give an acceptance speech at Canton, can they?


Of course they can. Jerry basically runs the league. You think he isn’t making the Hall? Come on, now. That shit isn’t about merit. I’ve told this story before, but Tony Kornheiser once said on the radio that it was perfectly fine for Hall voters to reject Art Monk because he wasn’t cooperative with the media during his playing days. Jerry will sweet-talk everyone he has to sweet-talk, and then muscle his way in.


And frankly, he probably deserves to be in there anyway. No one said you had to make a GOOD impact to have your impact on the game of football be Hall-worthy. Jerry’s a crazy asshole, but he’s the reason the NFL now has the ability to graft Papa John’s brand signage directly onto your vital organs. The man is a pioneer.



While reading about the Alex Smith concussion saga, It occurred to me that we’re better off if Football was played a on a springy turf surface. Think floor exercise from the Olympics, but covered in grass.


I think that could potentially make things worse because with floor springs (so much fun), you’d be jumping up higher and falling to the ground from an even greater distance. Guys could launch themselves at you from 15 feet away, which would probably end badly. This is why Slamball never became the sport of the future.

Email of the week!


When I was 21 I was spending New Years Eve at a friend’s house with the sole intention on hooking up with this girl who I knew would be there. After drinking my face off I head into the bathroom to take a piss, I end up pissing all over the floor and then proceed to clean it up using all of the toilet paper. The toilet is now filled with toilet paper, I guess I pissed so hard that now I had to poop. So I unleash a solid log right on top of all this paper. I attempt a flush, no luck, there’s no plunger in the bathroom. I ask my friend’s father where the plunger is and I said I clogged the toilet with paper. He offers to go downstairs and get the plunger and do it for me. I panic because I’m embarrassed he will see this gigantic turd. As I’m about to head back into the bathroom, the girl I am going for is about to go in. I tell her someone else clogged it and to use the one upstairs. I then run into the kitchen and in my drunken haze grab a Disney Cinderella glass and decide I’m going to scoop the turd out with this glass. After doing this I’m now standing in the bathroom... holding a glass with a Disney princess on it with a gigantic piece of shit in it. This is now a covert operation in order to get away from the crime scene. I put on my coat, and sneak this thing out of the house under my coat, passing my friend’s mom, grandmother, and some aunts and uncles as I head out the front door. I run down the block and toss this thing into their neighbors bush. I often think what that neighbor must have thought upon finding this glass with a big piece of shit in it.


I have asked Patrick if he got the girl and will update you if he replies.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.