Why Sharing the Bed With Your Dog Is a Terrible Idea

otis bed3

Last week, my girlfriend and I got into a small disagreement (that ended with her throwing furniture at me while I hid in the corner tapping the button on my Life Alert) about whether the dog should be allowed to sleep with us in the bed. I hate sharing the bed with anyone, especially when they aren’t even human. And double especially when I’m not even attracted to them. (He’s a boy dog).

But since hating something isn’t a sufficient reason to make it stop, I had to support my displeasure with hard facts. I referenced an article that I either read or had a dream about reading a few years ago explaining all of the reasons why it’s bad for your dog to sleep in the bed with you. Later that week, I scoured Google for an article that would prove me right. I found more than a few disturbing reasons why sharing the pillow with your four-legged beast-pet is a bad idea:

Your dog will think he owns you

According to several articles from official-sounding websites, allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you can cause the dog to believe that he’s the pack leader. Apparently, a dog’s social hierarchy is largely associated with the elevation at which they sleep, meaning that spending every night at an elevation equal to yours can cause your dog to think that he runs shit around the house. (I imagine that midgets with larger dogs cannot avoid this problem, but that’s research for another day).

Armed with this new information, I began to see her five-pound yorkie in a new light – a much darker light. The way he struts around the house like he owns the place just doesn’t seem quite as cute. Or how he barks nonstop until you feed him and he never says thank you afterwards. Or how he never flushes the toilet. Or how he never bothers using the toilet and instead pisses on a chair leg, which is actually more difficult than going in the toilet. Now that I think of it, he pees on a lot of things – because he’s the pack leader, and a lot of things are his.

I also have a suspicion that he’s trying to put the moves on my girlfriend. The other day, I walked into the living room and found them snuggled up on the couch – paws all over her legs and chest – looking at me like “how about you give us some privacy and stop blocking the TV when it’s a Red Light Challenge.” (He’s really into Cash Cab. One time he even answered a question correctly when Ben asked what Santa lands on – “roof!”)

Your dog will become a stage 5

I found a ton of research explaining how sleeping alongside your dog can give him a terrible case of separation anxiety, rendering him incapable of being away from your presence at all times. Fantastic. So not only does your dog think he’s your superior and that he owns the house and everything in it, but he also doesn’t ever want you to leave. Sounds like the worst UNSUB in Criminal Minds history.

evil dogs

Your dog will give you the plague

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I came across more articles that warned of instances where sleeping with your dog can cause you to contract illnesses like rabies, antibiotic-resistant infections, meningitis, cat-scratch fever (ironically), ringworm, the plague, and intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites? Is cuddling with your dog really worth inviting microscopic poo-eating creatures to live inside of your butt-hose? If you just shouted “of course not!” then you’re absolutely correct and also could use a few pointers on identifying rhetorical questions.

I’ve weighed my options here, and I think the only way to get myself out of this is to pee in the bed and blame it on the dog. He won’t be able to pin it on me until he learns English, which should give me at least two weeks to come up with a better plan and also to buy a new mattress.

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5 Wine Tasting Mistakes That Are Making You Look Like a Stupid Idiot

LLoyd wine 2

With so many people in the wine tasting game these days, even the smallest mistake could cause all of your friends to abandon you, not only in real life, but on social media too. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid making them.

1. You aren’t buying the right wine

You can’t expect to be a successful wine connoisseur if you haven’t tried the best wines – just like you wouldn’t trust a movie critic who hasn’t even seen all of the Fast and Furiouses. The most common mistake people make when selecting a wine is accepting advice from the “experienced” liquor store employees. If they’re so knowledgeable, how did they end up working at a liquor store? These people will always try to get you to buy the expensive stuff in the regular-sized bottles. They’ll try to sell you wine from all of these foreign countries you’ve never heard of like “France” and “Napa Valley”. Don’t fall for this gimmick. Instead, head to the back of the store where they’re hiding the good stuff. Back there, the shelves are stocked with the finest two-gallon bottles that Nebraskan wine country has to offer, usually for 10, or sometimes even 8 dollars.

2. You aren’t drinking out of the right thing

What you sip your wine from is just as important as the wine itself. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when leftover dishwashing detergent gets stuck to a wine glass, it can really spoil the wine. It can also kill you. Even worse, people will make fun of you.

To avoid these problems, you should always sample wine from a solo cup. This will ensure that you’re tasting the wine in its purest state. And as a bonus, using hundreds of disposable containers every week can reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on your detergent use.

Another under-utilized drinking technique is what the wine experts refer to as “skipping the middle man” – that is, enjoying wine directly from the bottle, which eliminates any chance that the flavor will be tainted by cup residue. Also, drinking straight from the bottle will make you look very refined at weddings and could lead to you picking up several dates, especially if you can hold two bottles at once. But just as a warning, don’t ever try this with bottles of champagne. That’s called “Diddy Boppin'” – which is not only classless but is also dangerous because you’d be wearing sunglasses inside and might trip over something at Target while running from the employees telling you to get the hell out of Target with that champagne you asshole.

3. You aren’t pairing it with the right food

Because a wine’s flavor is largely reflective of the region where it was made, you should exclusively pair it with food from the same region. That way, you can trick your palette into experiencing a wine just as its makers intended. For example, Italian wine should always be enjoyed with pizza or spaghetti. French wine tastes most appropriate after you’ve eaten some fries or a French Bulldog. And if you happen to come across a rare bottle from an African vineyard, you should avoid eating anything for at least 4 days prior to sampling the wine and also avoid sampling the wine.

Squirting cheese on top of your wine - the "Vino Quesoccino" - is a great way to bring some sophistication to your multitasking

Squirting cheese on top of your wine – the “Vino Quesoccino” – is a great way to bring some sophistication to your multitasking

4. You aren’t paying attention to the right flavors

You can never appreciate the full spectrum of flavor a wine has to offer until you understand the process of wine-making. Everyone knows that wine is a combination of grapes and vodka, but what most people don’t know is how the the grapes are turned into liquid – by having barefooted hippies trample on them. This is important because the majority of a wine’s flavor comes directly from the feet of these grape-stomping maniacs. For example, wine from California tastes sandy, because a typical Californian’s day consists of aimlessly walking down the beach while the rest of America stays indoors watching reality TV shows about people from California. Wine from France, on the other hand, usually tastes like créme brûlée. That’s because French people eat créme brûlée non-stop, and they’re also in to sucking each other’s toes. So the chances are high that right before a French person stomped on some grapes they’d just had their toes sucked by someone who’d just had some créme brûlée.

5. You aren’t using the right lingo to describe the taste

Terminology is extremely important when describing a wine’s taste. It doesn’t matter how talented your palette is if you can’t describe what your mouth is experiencing. Luckily, finding the right adjective isn’t too difficult. You can sound like a seasoned connoisseur by simply adding an “ey” to the end of whatever you think the wine tastes like. For example, if you think a wine tastes like grapes, you should describe it as “grapey,” because saying “this shit tastes like grapes” won’t earn you any respect from the other members in your Applebee’s wine tasting club.

Once you’ve chosen an adjective, it’s important to know what the word actually means. After all, it’s impossible to declare a wine “earthy” unless you actually know what the earth tastes like. To avoid looking like a stupid idiot, I’d recommend spending some time outdoors putting some twigs and dirt in your mouth.

If all of this starts to seem overwhelming, just remember why you chose this hobby in the first place – to impress people with more money than you and to trick women into thinking you’re interesting so you never get dumped for another clown again. A real clown. Who’s not even that good of a balloon artist. (I’ll never forgive you, Claire.)

If America’s Best Athletes Played Soccer, We’d Still Suck

LeBron Soccer

If you’ve ventured outside this week, you’ve probably noticed something peculiar – Americans paying attention to soccer. And we’re not just watching soccer; we’re losing our patriotic minds over it. What’s going on out there? Have the terrorists found a way to mess with our brains? Were this year’s NBA Finals so terrible that we had no choice but to find a new sport? Or, could it be, that the time has finally come for Americans to join the rest of the world in loving soccer?

No. America still hates soccer. (If you don’t believe me, give it another month.) But one thing we don’t hate is watching America compete against any country that isn’t America in any sport that isn’t cross-country skiing. (Cross-country skiing is unwatchable, regardless of how many Americans are competing). So, we aren’t so much freaking out about the World Cup as we are about Team USA competing in it.

And if you’ve ventured out to a bar to watch our national team play, you’ve likely heard one of these temporary American fans utter the question that has puzzled Americans for years:

Why, in a nation of over 300 million people, have we not produced a single world-class soccer player?

For most, the answer is obvious. Because all of our best athletes play other sports, duh. And how can that not be the answer when the logic behind it seems so legit? While every other country obsesses over kicking a ball, we’re busy kicking every other country’s ass in real sports like football, basketball, and baseball. So it makes sense that all of our best athletes flock to our most popular sports at a young age, leaving soccer to the kids who were too short and slow to make the basketball team.

Obviously, the only reason we aren’t the best at soccer is because we simply don’t care to be. If the best American athletes wanted to play soccer, our national team would destroy every one of those skinny, metrosexual nations. Just imagine Megatron going up for a header and nodding it over to LeBron for him to kick into the net. I mean have you seen LeBron James? No doubt that a properly trained LeBron could kick the ever-loving shit out of a ball. Even if a goalkeeper did manage to save one of LeBron’s shots without dying, he’d spend the next half hour shaking his hands off like he just pulled out a hot casserole with no oven mitts on.

So yes, if we took all of our best athletes and trained them to be great soccer players, we’d field soccer’s version of the Dream Team. Right?

Wrong. It’s unlikely that we’d be much better at all. Here are some reasons why. . .

Soccer isn’t basketball

Or football. Or baseball. Pure athleticism doesn’t make a great soccer player. Spain is a shining example of this. Before their poor showing at this World Cup, Spain dominated international soccer for almost a decade, and they weren’t even close to being the most athletic team on the field. Most of their players could have a second career as jockeys. And have you seen Lionel Messi? The consensus best player in the world has to call his wife into the kitchen every morning so she can get the cereal down from the top shelf. (I’m only kidding. He stands on a chair.) Sure, Messi is unbelievably quick, but he’s a far cry from our country’s definition of an athlete.

This picture, taken at a charity game last year, shows the height disparity between Messi and Megatron Johnson. The latter went for 8 touchdowns and 792 receiving yards, largely due to the fact that he was being covered by Messi.

This picture, taken at a charity game last year, shows the height disparity between Messi and Megatron Johnson. The latter went for 8 touchdowns and 792 receiving yards, largely due to the fact that he was being covered by Messi.

Unlike the NBA, where you either have to be a seven-footer or an athletic freak-show to succeed, soccer doesn’t really have a prototypical body type. In addition to small, quick guys like Messi, there’s speed-players like Christiano Ronaldo, lanky guys like Yaya Toure, and players like Brazilian forward Hulk, who any NFL team would be willing to try out at tail back (his name is Hulk for God’s sake). The assumption that the best American athletes would excel at soccer simply because of their superior physicality is simply unfounded. The skill set is completely different. It’s not football, people.

Well, maybe it is kind of like football

More specifically, the quarterback position. At least that’s the closest comparison I can make to an American sport. While some quarterbacks are great athletes (Michael Vick), others manage to thrive at the position while possessing far less athletic ability (Brady, the Manning brothers).

If you had no idea who Peyton Manning was and you saw him walking down the beach shirtless, you’d never guess he’s the greatest commercial-star-turned-quarterback of all time. (Though I’m not sure Peyton would go shirtless at the beach. He strikes me as more of a white t-shirt, not rubbing the sunscreen all the way into his nose type of guy.) You’d probably take one look at Peyton and think: Now there’s a guy with a great 401(k). Yep, that guy doesn’t work out at all – probably because he’s too busy taking care of his Down’s brother.

But despite there being thousands of quarterbacks who are more athletic than Manning, few, if any, are better. That’s where the QB position parallels with soccer. Being a great athlete is a plus, but lumbering onto the field with a set of man boobs and a gigantic forehead doesn’t preclude you from greatness either. That’s because quarterbacking, like soccering, relies less on raw athleticism and more on a player’s decision making, speed of thought, and technique.

Our youth system is broken

This is the primary reason why America doesn’t produce elite talent. In other countries, young players with the most potential are identified at an early age and signed on to a professional team’s youth academy. The coaches at the academies are extremely well-trained, most having played at soccer’s highest level. The goal for every kid taken in by the academy, even at twelve years of age, is to make the professional team. They train with other elite kids daily and if one player excels beyond his peers, he gets moved up to a higher age group where the competition is bigger and faster. The player then must adapt to the heightened competition.

But unlike in American Football, he doesn’t improve his game by additional work-out sessions or an extra scoop of creatine or steroids or breast milk or whatever kids are doing to get an edge these days. Players improve because in order to survive at a higher level, their touch has to get better, decisions must be quicker, and a level of creativity and deception must be learned. In soccer, players can make vast improvements without getting any bigger, faster, or stronger.

But here in America, when one kid is better than the others, we refuse to move him up an age group. The best 14-year-old doesn’t get better if he’s not regularly playing with the 16-year-olds. He gets cocky – doesn’t improve his game because he doesn’t have to. Players can’t develop if they’re competing against inferior competition. What if LeBron would have been forced to play college hoops for 4 years? Or Rafa Nadal’s coaches only let him play ping-pong? Or Kobayashi’s diet was limited to Vienna sausages? Or the management at Sonic told Scott Hamilton he could only skate in quads?

That’s the same thing we’re doing to our young soccer talent – hindering their development because it’s easier to organize the carpool when everyone’s kept in their own age group.

Our priorities are too straight

As a well-educated and economically advanced culture, we emphasize providing our kids with a well-rounded education. Not only do we want them to have multiple athletic experiences, but we also want them to do well in school, and sometimes even participate in after school plays or join charitable organizations – yuk. All of this focus on a diverse and well-enriched upbringing is taking away from what really matters – breeding superior athletes. Do you think Luis Suarez’s parents were forcing him to take piano lessons when he was growing up? Hell no they weren’t. I doubt the guy even knows how to read. But with all the money he’s made from being awesome at soccer he can afford to have Morgan Freeman come over to his house and read for him if he wanted to.

In America, when a young player has great potential, we tell him that his ability might just get him an athletic scholarship. You’re so good at this soccer thing, we say, that you should use all that talent to focus on something you’re not very good at – like school. That way he can grow up and use his soccer talent to become a professional player college degree and average GPA to sit in an office and stare at a computer for fifty hours a week while Luis Suarez is busy using all the money he made from being awesome at soccer to pay someone to sit in an office and stare at a computer for fifty hours a week.

And if you think I’m crazy to suggest that we should abandon education so our elite players can focus on their game, apparently you aren’t familiar with how the major college football and basketball programs work in this country. How many classes do you think Johnny Football went to last year? Do you think Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid were sitting Indian style in their Kansas dorm room going over flash cards for the Spanish quiz? Spanish? Are you kidding me? Those guys can barely speak English. And who cares? They’re both going to make millions this year playing basketball. We don’t expect the future doctors to become better athletes, so why should we force the future pros to know any more Spanish than what’s necessary to place an order at Taco Bell?

Until we rearrange our priorities, we’ll never create a world-class soccer talent, even if the next LeBron James decides to take his talents to the pitch instead of the hardwood, the diamond, or the gridiron.