There’s a Right Way to Put Your Dog to Sleep (GQ)

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The author (in black), his brother and Cutty, circa 1991, judging by our oversized Ocean Pacific shirts, probably

 

.GQ — Despite the name they gave my dog, my parents were not alcoholics. Far from it. I’m not sure we actually had any booze in the house when I was a kid, and if we did it was probably in a Notre Dame commemorative placekicker bottle, purchased from Service Merchandise with a coupon. We did have a Scotch terrier mix though, and her name was Cutty. Cutty Sark. Like the Scotch.

Cutty was an adorable and slobbery wet mop known for her thick black fur, dragon breath, and scant bladder control. (Seriously, best dog ever, but if you’d brought one of those hotel-room black lights to our carpet, you would have seen nothing but a minefield of long-dried puddles. If I’d had girls over, it would have been a problem. It was not a problem.)

There was a lot to like about Cutty: She could smile on command (though it might have been a growl; dog expressions kind of all run together), she could catch mice (which came in handy when you live in a 400-year-old house on some county road in Indiana), and she could consume an entire box of twelve chocolate Santas in one sitting, although the subsequent 24 hours are something I’d like to forget. And without going all Charlie Brown-and-his-Snoopy on you she was a loyal and often damp friend to me for nearly 15 years, which is probably why it fell to me to put her down.

Read the full story here.

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The Seven Worst Ways to Lose Weight in 2015 (GQ)

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Pictured: Not me.

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GQ – There are lots of ways to lose weight these days. You could clamp off part of your stomach, take up ultra-marathoning, or sample any number of chemical shakes, cocktails, medications, injections, pudding cups, synthetic meals or genetically modified livestock. You could also burn off more calories than you consume, but who has time for that noise when we live in the future?

Yes, we are an endlessly inventive and profoundly lazy species, one that—in defiance of hundreds of years of science and medical analysis—believes it’s possible to stand motionless on a vibrating plate and become Chris Hemsworth. But this year, we’re resolving not to try these preposterously trendy weight-loss methods.

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The 10 Worst Couples You’ll See at the Gym (GQ)

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GQ — Welcome to January! If you’re like us, you spent the entire last month alternating between platefuls of Honey Baked Ham and a forest’s worth of peppermint bark—which now means ’tis the season for panic-stricken exercise.  And with that newfound motivation comes the temptation to bring your significant other along for a good public workout. That’s fine in theory, but it can go wrong in so many different ways. Next time you’re at the weight-bench, running-trail, cardio-mambo class or whatever, look around and see how many of these gross generalizations are sweatin’ to the oldies next to you. And then make sure you’re not one of them yourself.


12 Kids’ Book Characters Who Are Not To Be Trusted (NickMom)

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NickMom — Yeah, don’t act like you haven’t thought about it.

The full version over at NickMom.

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12-Month Tuneup: Home Sweet Disgusting Home (GQ)

cleanhomeGQ — Don’t panic, but right now, in your own cozy house, you’re probably breathing polluted air, eating off bacteria-laced dishes, and sleeping in an invisible pile of dust-mite crap. It’s gross, and it may be hurting your health—but it’s also easy enough to fix, once you know how. 

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Also in the 12-Month Body Tuneup series:

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I Make My Junior High Band Debut at Age 39

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This thing is harder than it looks, man.

Island Packet — I don’t want to make a big deal of this, but I performed at my first-ever junior high band concert last week. Stage and spotlight and my mom in the audience taking pictures and everything. It was a pretty big milestone, especially since it was a concert for fifth-graders and I’m actually 39 years old.

See, I never participated in band in junior high or high school for one very simple reason: I didn’t have to. (To be fair, I also possess the approximate musical talent of a sack full of jelly donuts, but it was mostly that first one.) I wasn’t just going to go “joining the band,” man, I had important demands on my time, such as getting really into pro wrestling for three years, learning to beat Super Mario Bros. 3 using only muscle memory and thinking very hard about maybe possibly one day asking a girl out. Band for me was not mandatory. Band at my son’s school is mandatory.

That’s pretty great, of course. Schools across the country are slicing away everything from band to PE to art to textbooks with evolution and climate change in them, so we’re incredibly lucky to have the 10-year-old enrolled in a place that not only prizes music education but also punches you in the face with it.

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Photography Turns My Generally Pleasant Son Into a Sobbing Red-Faced Mess

This is actually a pretty good one.

This is actually a pretty good one.

Island Packet — My younger son, 3, is a delightful little potato of a child. Where his older brother was cautious, he’s unguarded and impulsive. Where his older brother was quiet and thoughtful, he’s boisterous and shouty. Where his brother can subsist for weeks on Clif bars, microwaved bacon and blue Gatorade, he’ll shovel down three slices of pizza in one sitting and then, upon being put to bed, report with precious sincerity, “I need to eat a Pop-Tart.”

He’s a physical, external, gregarious little Weeble person, except in pictures. In pictures he’s a sobbing red-faced mess who, according to the photographic record I’m establishing anyway, lives the approximate life of a Dickens sweatshop orphan, only without all the whistling and hope.

I cannot figure out why this is, if for no other reason than the sheer volume of pictures that exist of him. I take a lot of pictures. A lot of pictures. Whenever the Apple people upgrade their iCloud storage, they check with me first. There are a couple of buildings on the Google campus named after me. This guy from Life magazine called once to be like, “Dude, is everything OK?” It’s a lot of pictures, is what I’m saying.

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The Secret Fast-Food Menu Items OF THE DAMNED (GQ)

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GQ — As if we needed further evidence that the whole secret menu craze at fast-food restaurants has jumped the shark, yesterday a latte enthusiast named William E. Lewis Jr. ordered himself a very much off-the-menu XXXXL cup of coffee including 101 shots of espresso and 17 pumps of vanilla syrup.

What’s next? We got to guessing. Below, the eight next secret-menu items we expect to see:

Burger King: America Burger. It’s just a regular burger, but every time you take a bite an air horn goes off and the chorus of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” starts playing.

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Read the full list here.

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Embiggened: Here’s a Look at “Simpsons World” From A-Z (GQ)

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GQ — There are TV shows, and there are apps about TV shows. And then there is “Simpsons World,” which isn’t even an app—it’s a portal, a wormhole, a passage into the 25-year-old Simpsons universe that, if you are a fan, will probably ruin your life. “Simpsons World” takes all five-hundred-and-fifty-freaking-two episodes and makes them accessible to you, in your couch ass groove or Spinemelter 2000 vibrating chair, all at once, right now. And that’s not even the best part: It cross-references those episodes by character, quotes, scenes, guest stars, songs, everything. It lets you create playlists of all the Bumblebee Man episodes, look up all the Albert Brooks appearances and read full episode scripts. It’s not watching the show, it’s HOOKING IT TO YOUR VEINS. (If you bought the DVD box sets, just throw them out the window like they were Grammys.)

Check out the full A-Z list at GQ.com.

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Here’s Basically What It Would Look Like if the Cubs Raised a Son

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When we get to Fall Ball, will you tell me the guys’ names on the team, so when I go to see them in that Fall Ball ballpark, I’ll be able to know those fellas?

Island Packet — Fall Ball is a form of baseball, and baseball is a form of sports, which means that my Little Man’s DNA is not configured to excel at it. Athletics do not come easy to this particular wing of the family tree, and by that I mean in high school, I lettered in stats keeping and that was about that. At some terrible day in the reasonably near future, my son will discover that, through no fault of his own, his cellular structure will seem to exist for the sole purpose of making him foul up athletic activities in as public a setting as possible, like in first-hour P.E. or in front of the entire girls’ basketball team, somehow.

He’ll learn that because his dad has some problems with the sports, something will happen when he picks up a football or basketball — his cells will immediately reconfigure themselves into a stew of bumbling, fumbling chaos. When my brain told my arm, “Throw the football with your right hand,” my left hand began moving for some reason. When my brain told my leg, “Take this football you’ve been handed and run like the devil, boy!” my legs began moving in completely separate directions. And when my brain said, “Just shoot the bad-word-ing free throw already, how is it possible that in 16 years on this planet no one has taught you to shoot a free throw without looking like someone just plugged a very old microwave into your nervous system and why are you thinking about this now just shoot, shoot, shoot,” the ball would careen off the backboard with a great and terrible CLANG.

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