Your name is Richard: A thought experiment

Let’s say that, like me, your name is Richard.

There are several nicknames that float around for Richard: Rich, Rick, Ricky, Richie, multiple variations on those based on vowel preferences, Ditch (if you saw Terminal Velocity), and, finally, Dick.

Maybe I’m wrong here, but it’s generally an acceptable practice to designate your own nickname in new introductions. You know, unless you choose something ambitious and most-likely unachievable like “Snake” or “The Viceroy.”

So, you introduce yourself as Rick. Or Rich. Or maybe you’re eight-years-old or a very well-paid Dominican baseball player, so you call yourself Ricky.

The other person responds, “Pleased to meet you, Dick.”

“Please, call me [Rick/Rich/Ricky],” you respond politely. Maybe they misheard you.

“Yeah, sure. Look, Dick, I nee …” he continues, nonplussed.

“No, not Dick. Rrrrick.”

(Or "Di-tch," you courageous Charlie Sheen fan, you.)
(Or “Di-tch,” you courageous Charlie Sheen fan, you.)

“Uh-huh. So as I was saying, Dick …” he resumes, annoyed that you interrupted him while speaking.

“Look, you’re not listening to me. I said my name is Rick. Not Dick. Don’t call me Dick.”

“Woah, calm down now,” he says, raising his hands. “There’s no need to get offended. My great-grandfather was a Dick. That makes me a-sixteenth Dick. I’m just trying to honor you.”

“I don’t care if you’re a full-blooded Dick. I don’t like to be called Dick because I can never tell if someone’s calling me Dick or a dick.”

“Well, that’s your problem, Dick,” he says, getting angry. “I know lots of Richards who call themselves Dick. In fact, 90 percent of the Richards I asked said they were unoffended by the term ‘dick.'”

“Good for them. I, however, don’t want to be called Dick.”

“Do you even know the history behind ‘Dick?'” he says, turning red. “Well, I do. The first person to use the term was a Richard to introduce himself. It wasn’t even a slur back then.”

“I don’t call myself Dick. And it’s a slur right now, especially the way you keep saying it.”

“OK, fine, Richard, since you want to get all politically correct about it,” he says, rolling his eyes. “So, anyway, I need your approval to continue calling a sports team in your honor the Washington Dickskins. Do I have it?”

"And if you don't play ball, I'm moving the Dickskins to Maryland!"
“And if you don’t play ball, I’m moving the Dickskins to Maryland!”

Your Talk Like A Pirate Day Reminder

Do ye have th’ guts to raise ye colors in th’ workplace?
Do ye have th’ guts to raise ye colors in th’ workplace?

If it’s still Wednesday and you’re reading this, then tomorrow (Thursday) is Talk Like A Pirate Day. If it’s Thursday morning, then it’s not too late to pretend you swallowed a bug or had a stroke and start celebrating post-haste.

The Guys have a long history with TLAPD. In fact, one of us may secretly even be a ghost pirate! (It’s Chugs. The ghost pirate guy is Chugs.)

It’s because of this intimacy with what may very well be our favorite holiday — yes, even more so than Slutoween — that gives us pause this year. What if TLAPD happens, and nobody talks like a pirate?

“I worked from home yesterday so some contractorrrs could overhaul m’bunghole.”
“I worked from home yesterday so some contractorrrs could overhaul m’bunghole.”

Consider the scenario: you walk into work, make a beeline for the coffee pot and see that guy from Contracts who told you his name once, like, a year ago, but you forgot it. Do you say to him in Buccanese, “If ye took the last cup o’ bilge, ye better be makin’ another pot?” Or do you wait for him to growl first?

But, what if he’s waiting for your cue? And what if you both decide — because you both failed — that TLAPD just isn’t a thing anymore, even though you really wanted to?

And what if everyone does that tomorrow? All it takes is just one missed chance in the morning for everyone in your social and professional circles to decide, “You know what? I’ll just talk like an ordinary jerk off today instead of having a good time.”

It’s not enough to “talk” like a pirate online. That’s just typing. I’m typing right now. (Well, I was.) It’s not that big a deal. And it’s not Talk Like A Pirate Day if you don’t talk.

Crossbones Pete says, “Don’t be fergettin’ th’ reason fer the season, mateys! Talk like a pirate!“
Crossbones Pete says, “Don’t be fergettin’ th’ reason fer the season, mateys! Talk like a pirate!

That’s why it’s up to you (yes, you, the one reading this) to make it not weird. Take the first step. Be a communicator. I’m not advocating jumping out from behind stationary objects to yell “YARRRRRGH!” in people’s faces, but if that’s how your Jolly Roger hangs, then so be it.

And if you’re not sure how to do it, then don’t worry: we wrote the How To.

Do it in the name of pirates who didn’t just rob people, but also explored, really got out there, met new people and then robbed them. Be a hero like Francis Drake who, sure, only circumnavigated the world to elude the Spanish Armada while hitting up all their colonies, but still circumnavigated the whole freaking world.

Make tomorrow the one day it sounds kind of cool to say, “Carrrpe diem.”
Make tomorrow the one day it sounds kind of cool to say, “Carrrpe diem.”

Who knows? Maybe it’ll get you some booty. Or, better yet, some sweet ass loot that people had lying around, waiting for some stranger to call them “matey.”

Ye’ll be right glad ye did, m’hearties!


This post originally appeared on SeriouslyGuys.

Is the pope ironically Catholic?

The other cardinals elected Pope Lando because someone must have told them all about his little maneuver at the battle of Taanab. Also: because he came with his own gold cape.
The other cardinals elected Pope Lando because someone must have told them all about his little maneuver at the battle of Taanab. Also: because he came with his own gold cape.

People just can’t get enough of the new pope. Not since Pope Benedict the XVI retired and the Vatican rebooted the papacy with Francis, the first originally named pope since — I shit you not — Pope Lando in 913 A.D. (John Paul I doesn’t count because his name was just combined his two direct predecessors.’)

But they didn’t just give him a fancy unnumbered title and lens flare. With each news story, Francis acts a little more how each of us, Catholic and non, would like to see a pope act, which is usually not like any pope we’ve known in our lifetimes.

In fact, he’s so un-pope-like that … well, what if he’s being pope ironically? I’m not confident enough in my afterlife to outright call the holy see a hipster, but here’s evidence that, were it anyone else, would cause even the juicer at Whole Foods to throw their douche flag. (It’s dry quinoa wrapped in a keffiyeh, bound with old timey packaging twine.)

Judge for yourself … y’know, unless ye be judged first or whatever.

And he only wears those because you can’t go to church in Crocs.
And he only wears those because you can’t go to church in Crocs.

Going back to the beginning, the first headlines were about how he refuses to wear the designer red shoes that traditionally come with his office. Instead, he wears simple black dress shoes — basically the kind you look for at Payless before that big court date or second wedding.

When it comes to humility, this guy has it all the way down to his sole, amiright? (I have just been told that I am right, but also an ass.)

Or … did he spend hours picking out the exact shoes that say, “I’m the kind of guy who looks like he doesn’t care about what he wears on his feet?”

And then there’s his car.

First, he refused to ride around in the bulletproof Popemobile while visiting Brazil. Is it that he doesn’t believe in putting up barriers between people and their spiritual leaders … or, did he worry that looking at Rio through bulletproof glass wouldn’t be “authentic” enough?

Fortunately, this glass isn't bulletproof. Yet.
Fortunately, this glass isn’t bulletproof. Yet.
It's fuel-efficient, American and vintage.
It’s fuel-efficient, American and vintage.

Then, back in July, he gave priests grief for driving “latest model cars.” Could it be that he wants priests to adopt a more humble lifestyle …

Or, is he just jelly because he drives a 1983 Chevy Renault? Either way, he comes up smelling like roses, except when he smells like gasoline, but who knows if that’s from working on his car or dabbing some behind his ears so that he smells like a tinkerer?

He’s also big into the internet, granting some of his more participatory followers shorter times in purgatory, making retweeting the official new “Hail Mary.”

He’s also really big into some liberal issues. Well, big for a Catholic leader, anyway. And he’s not just liberal, he’s indifferent. Gay? Pfft, not for him to judge. Atheist? Meh, you’ll probably still get into heaven, but you’ll have to stand in line behind the Protestants. He cares and yet doesn’t at the same time!

But there are two liberal issues that he’s willing to dispense with irony for: poor people and being anti-war. Coupled with his modest apartment in Vatican City, and it’s clear that Pope Frank’s Occupying Apostolic Palace.

He even does the Occupiers' weird sign language up and down voting.
He even does the Occupiers’ weird sign language up and down voting.

OK, so maybe I’m grasping at straws here. After all, hipsters pretty much subverted genuineness by putting a silly fedora on it and making it walk backwards because that’s the opposite of what people expect.

But, there’s still one more piece of evidence.

Recently, people reported receiving phone calls from the pope in response to letters they wrote.

In one case, he called a divorced woman whose married boyfriend got her pregnant and tried to pressure her into an abortion. (The boyfriend, not the pope, obvs.) When she said she was worried about “running afoul of the Church,” Pope Francis said he would personally baptize her child when he or she is born.

In another, he called an Argentinian woman who had been raped by police, asking her to try to have faith in the justice system.

He even called a guy whose brother had been killed in a gas station robbery, just to tell him that his letter had made him cry.

That’s right: the pope uses his phone for talking. Isn’t that so retro?!

If the nerd frame glasses fit ...
If the nerd frame glasses fit …

Talk to your parents about drugs

“Why don’t I get the check, and then we can inject heroin into one of my testicles. Ladies’ choice.”
“Why don’t I get the check, and then we can inject heroin into one of my testicles. Ladies’ choice.”

Parents. According to conventional wisdom, they know best. But, as you move out — be it for school, work or marriage — ask yourself this: do you know where they are and what they’re doing right now?

Maybe they’re knitting. Or gardening. Or doing it to DVDs full of people with pubic hair. Or — as it’s turning out to be the case — marijuana.

And if you think it’s not your parents, think again. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), illicit drug use among 50- to 64-year-olds has doubled since 2002.

So, what are you going to do to make sure your parents don’t turn on, tune in and drop out … again?

Learn the signs

The first step to pointing out others’ problems is knowing that they have one and then admitting it to them. People aged 50 and above won’t make this easy for you.

Called the Baby Boomers, this set of precocious young elderly people have devised their own lingo for the drugs we take for granted today. They might use strange terms like “grass,” “weed” or “doobies.” Or even refer to it in archaic measurements like “dimes” from a time when people used solid metal coins for currency.

Is this photo from 1973 or 2013? Thanks to Instagram, who knows?
Is this photo from 1973 or 2013? Thanks to Instagram, who knows?

If you think monitoring them online will help you keep tabs on their activities, forget about it. While Boomers may set up Facebook or Twitter accounts, many of them eat meals — or mushroomswithout posting a single picture online. No, not even on Snapchat.

Instead, you’ll have to watch what they do in a space called “offline.” Keep a watch for strange smells emanating from the garage and Frank Zappa music. Or long, aimless car trips when they “just need to drive.” And if they mention that they’re thinking about trying a “B&B,” that is code for “blunts and Beelzebub,” which is when they smoke marijuana and worship lesser Satanic demons.

What to do

“I’m not mad, mom and dad. Just … disappointed.”
“I’m not mad, mom and dad. Just … disappointed.”

The important thing is to remain calm. Loud emotional outbursts — like sob-yelling, “Hypocrites!” — is exactly the kind of thing that triggers the giggles if they’ve just “baked.”

Wait until your parents have suitably mellowed out, and then calmly explain that you know what they’ve been doing and that, when you were your age, you tried marijuana and other drugs, too.

While you can’t outright forbid your parents from taking drugs, you can make sure they know how to do them safely. Ask to meet their dealer, or if medical marijuana is legal in your state, take them to a medical dispensary so that they can learn the safest ways to obtain and use it.

And then, once that’s over, go visit your grandparents and talk to them about chlamydia.

And maybe their pill addiction, too.
And maybe their pill addiction, too.

This post originally appeared on SeriouslyGuys.

Just three more weeks of this nonsense

Unless the race of handsome aliens finally rescues Tom Brady from this world, this is the only chance you’ll get to see Tebow hold the football sideways like he did in those plays about gangs during Youth Group.
Unless the race of handsome aliens finally rescues Tom Brady from this world, this is the only chance you’ll get to see Tebow hold the football sideways like he did in those plays about gangs during Youth Group.

Last week heralded the return of football. Unfortunately, it’s preseason, which looks a lot like college ball: a parade of players in the final stage of their tryouts, while guaranteed performers are kept on the back burner to prevent injuries. (Or, as Dan Snyder calls them: “unapproved Paid Time Off.”)

Preseason football is the handjob you endure for now because you know there will be sex in a couple of weeks. You just have to put your time in first, get to really know your team, first string and last. And then, POW! Bangin’ all the way until February, when you f**k things up by dropping the ball on Valentine’s. (And after that division championship she got you for Steak and a Blowjob Day? For shame.)

My wife’s lackluster handjob was Tim Tebow because she’s one of those people who thinks the city of Boston walks on water.

Technicalities.
Technicalities.

But, that’s not to say you can’t enjoy preseason football. It is, after all, not college football, which sucks, no matter what people from Alabama try to tell you.*

For example: last week, I had to endure three quarters of Rex Grossman, a player that even the Bears got tired of. And that was a team that, before Grossman, hadn’t been to a Super Bowl since 1985 and hasn’t been back since.

To be honest, I couldn’t pick Sexy Rexy out of a lineup with his helmet off, so here’s Rex Manning.
To be honest, I couldn’t pick Sexy Rexy out of a lineup with his helmet off, so here’s Rex Manning.

However, what happened that fourth quarter — just when I was about to cue up Star Trek — made it all worthwhile: watching Pat White, the fourth stringer, earn Grossman’s third string spot the way Brian Griese had taken it from Sexy Rexy in 2007 and Kyle Orton after him.

Also, watching fans take a preseason win as a sign of this being “their year.” The 2008 Detroit Lions, who won all four of their preseason games before embarking on what would be the first imperfect NFL season since Baltimore’s first football team, would laugh at your hubris if it didn’t bring back so many sad, painful memories.

So, while, yes, preseason football is mostly a fight between second and third stringers, at least you know that your team will be alright should the bus accident from Beetlejuice happen. (Something similar happened to Lynyrd Skynyrd, which means that fans don’t ever have to put up with hearing “one from our new album.”)

“What do you mean ‘Kirk Cousins is starting tonight?’”
“What do you mean ‘Kirk Cousins is starting tonight?’”

Or, at the very least, a glorious start to what could very well turn out to be a mediocre year.


*Yes, yes: some college players transition naturally into the pros their rookie year. Strangely enough, though, the top 3 rookie performers last year — Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and RG III — were not from the SEC, indicating that even college football rankings (just like your degree) don’t matter in the real world. (The 4th, Casey Hayward, came from Vanderbilt. Let me reiterate: Vanderbilt.)


This post originally appeared on SeriouslyGuys.

The pee is for pliability

The difference between low-brow and high-brow is based on who's lobby it's being displayed in.
The difference between low-brow and high-brow is based on who’s lobby it’s being displayed in.

As SeriouslyGuys reported earlier today, you can grow teeth from your urine. OK, so technically, they’re grown from the stem cells found in your urine. But, still. If every debate about stem cells has proven anything, it’s that we’re a lot more concerned with where stem cells come from (looking your way, readers who exist solely because of botched abortions) than what they can actually do.

But, an article from National Geographic lists four other uses for that liquid gold we mistakenly flush or deposit on bar exteriors, including as fuel, medication, compost and a source of potable water. So, that’s one way to use what PBR made in your car and three other ways to get into your mouth, directly or indirectly.

But, those are just the uses that science has approved. Here’s what those researchers missed, just like the guy who managed to whiz all over the toilet seat.

Marking your stuff

If you’re a pet owner — and, no, fish don’t count because that’s just an underwater ant farm — then you’ve already witnessed the precedent for marking things that don’t really belong to you.

Dogs do it to trees on public ground because they don’t understand how taxes and our park system work. Cats do it to everything you own because they’re all secretly reincarnated ex-wives. Jack Nicholson did it once in a movie because he was becoming a werewolf, but that was probably ad-libbed because he really wanted James Spader’s shoes.

“Thanks anyway for the Italian loafers, James, but I threw them away because they smelled like piss.”
“Thanks anyway for the Italian loafers, James, but I threw them away because they smelled like piss.”

So, if you’re tired of being pissed on, trying pissing everyone else off … by pissing on their stuff. I just took back two comforters, a hat and — just to really prove who’s boss — a litter box from my cats.

Winning an Oscar

It’s basically assumed that if you’re a male actor and cry convincingly on-screen, then you’re practically guaranteed an Oscar nomination. And if Daniel Day-Lewis didn’t cry that year, then there’s a solid chance you’ll win. (And Peter O’Toole will go back home winless, yet again.)

But, what if there’s a sneakier way to win with another liquid? Despite their best efforts, Day-Lewis and Nicholson can’t win every year. That’s the niche Tom Hanks carved out for himself like peeing the icicles off an outhouse seat, garnering five nominations for either best lead or supporting actor (and winning twice), several of which were for movies where he peed on-screen. (Seriously, Jack O’Brien broke this down already on Cracked.)

Fan Theory: Tom Hanks stored up his own pee for days during shooting just so his World’s Longest Piss performance would be more convincing.
Fan Theory: Tom Hanks stored up his own pee for days during shooting just so his World’s Longest Piss performance would be more convincing.

He won Best Actor in Forrest Gump, a film where he tells JFK that he has to pee after drinking too many Dr. Peppers, followed by a less necessary shot where he’s looking at pictures in the Oval Office bathroom while peeing.

Apollo 13 was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two. It also featured Hanks as Mission Commander Jim Lovell peeing into a tube and then venting that pee into space.

Hanks was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Saving Private Ryan, which included telling his platoon about a kid back home that “used to piss V’s on everyone’s jackets.”

And in The Green Mile, Hanks plays a character who spends half the movie grimacing while attempting to pee through the galaxy’s biggest field of kidney stones outside of the asteroid belt between Hoth and the Anoat system. Don’t worry, it ends with him finally being able to do it and his look of orgasmic relief. (Oh. Um, spoiler alert.) The entire movie, peeing and all, was nominated for four Oscars, but the 15 total minutes of peeing time was a bridge too far for Academy members, actually winning none.

Secret revenge

For some reason, people are convinced that urine can cure athlete’s foot, jellyfish stings, acne and a stale sex life. Of course it can’t. But, chances are pretty good that, if somebody you know believes in the healing powers of pee-pee, then their stupidity has probably offended you in other ways as well.

So, if they happen to stumble into foot fungus or tangle with a Portuguese man o’ war and demand your hot, steamy genital juice, let them have it. It’s not every day you get revenge and the victim thanks you for it. That’s some Salieri s**t right there.

S**tting is how Salieri prefers to avenge affronts to his life’s work, but peeing works for minor slights.
S**tting is how Salieri prefers to avenge affronts to his life’s work, but peeing works for minor slights.

(If you think that’s low-brow, you should read some of Mozart’s personal letters. Let’s just agree that all geniuses truck in poop jokes.)

And if the person you’re looking to secretly chastise hasn’t run either afoul of cnidocysts or enough to get athlete’s foot, then may I suggest serving them a Boilertaker.

Unless you angle the glass right, you’ll make a lot more foam than you want.
Unless you angle the glass right, you’ll make a lot more foam than you want.

The Boilertaker

A cocktail based on what the boilermaker took after Happy Hour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 ounces of whiskey poured in a shot glass
  • A tall pint glass full of your urine

Serve the two glasses to your guest, instructing them to drop the shot into what they believe is beer — but is actually Fosters — and then chug the whole thing. You will do the same, only with actual beer. Or wait. Was that the Fosters? S**t.


This post originally appeared on SeriouslyGuys.

And you thought the Internet was no good

Just like with the printing press and television, we knew that the Internet was going to change the way the world works. And by change, we meant destroy the very fabric of society, leaving those unfortunate souls who remain shambling around alone into signposts, staring into their pamphlet/portable TV/iPhone.

Good grief, I can barely drink and drive in a straight line as it is.
Good grief, I can barely drink and drive in a straight line as it is.

And, for the most, part, yeah, that’s the way things turned out. In fact, I’m writing this very post while I’m driving. (Calm down, I’m dictating it to my secretary. I can’t write, steer and hold this wine glass. That would be irresponsible — everyone knows how easily Chateau Lafite bruises.)

But, here’s the thing: while, yes, the Internet is a distraction at best and providing a platform to the worst people at worst, it’s also changed some of the old ways we do things for the better.

So, let’s ignore that I am, in fact, one of those worst people from the previous sentence and give thanks for what the Information Superhighway (remember that shit?) has done for us lately.

Settled bets/shut up assholes

Some of you readers may not be old enough to have gone to a bar without the Internet in your pocket. If this was the case, then might I suggest queuing up Cheers on your Netflix account? I’ll wait.

OK, so you know how everyone rolls their eyes whenever John Ratzenberger opens his mouth the way we do when John Ratzenberger opens his mouth on Fox News?

“And you know what really grinds my gears? That nobody cared that my rutabagas looked like Richard Nixon.”
“And you know what really grinds my gears? That nobody cared that my rutabagas looked like Richard Nixon.”

That was every bar. In fact, the producers of Cheers weren’t even going to cast Ratzenberger until he suggested that the show was missing a know-it-all jackass.

The reason why he was able to turn what was probably a decent enough audition (he’s not a bad person or unfunny actor, just, c’mon, he’s not gonna beat out George Wendt for Norm) is because that guy exists, often in multiples, in every bar. And until you could pull out a newspaper, dictionary, IMDB page or Wikipedia or Snopes entry from your pocket, they could steamroll you into agreeing to disagree because they sounded authoritative enough.

That’s not to say that you’re going to convince a drunk, terminally- and chronically-factually deficient person that they were wrong. Just that you can have the satisfaction of saying, “Shut the hell up, Kevin,” and not wondering if you maybe fell asleep in civics class when they covered Reagan’s stated tax policies and what he really did.

Simplified giving away private information that no one cares about

“And, although this was the first year in a very long time that none of us won the Super Bowl, we were in several commercials that Tivo viewers forgot to fast-forward through.”
“And, although this was the first year in a very long time that none of us won the Super Bowl, we were in several commercials that Tivo viewers forgot to fast-forward through.”

Chances are that, if you still receive a Christmas letter, it’s from someone old enough to have considered switching to fax in the ’80s and then deciding that the grainy photo results meant that no technology could ever replace the U.S. Postal Service.

Thanks to the Internet — Facebook, in particular — you may still get the Christmas letter, but it’s already old news. You’ve already cried into a homemade mojito that you’re still childless and a career barista whereas the Komeski’s kid has a doctorate, twins and negotiates mergers in Japan — all in one year after graduating from Harvard. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit and the usual holiday depression around Christmas.

And now that we know that the government is already collecting and storing that info for you, whether it’s your tweets in the Library of Congress or your Tumblr posts expressing terrorist sympathies in the Utah Data Center, your trivial personal bullshit is already being examined by top men (top. men.) and being disseminated to people who actually give a shit.

Shortened your time in purgatory

When the Catholic Church isn’t inventing new ways to keep poor people up to their eyes in babies — and then molesting them when they get a little older — it’s also cranking out favors for the few people who lack the intellectual curiosity to ask why men who vowed never to marry are worried about gay people ruining it.

They did it for Irish Americans, allowing them to eat corned beef if St. Patrick’s Day occurs on a Friday during Lent. Or the Spanish on any Friday. And now they’re granting indulgences to Internet Catholics for following the pope on Twitter.

So, if you’re Bill Donohue, and your choices are to either leave your chat forum argument over Piss Christ or go to mass, now you can do both. This is the Internet that Jesus wanted. And it raises Pope Frank’s Klout score, making him more influential than McBournie, which is the ultimate Catholic good work.

“For forwarding that cute email about David not being stoned off his ass, you win one free sherbert in the kingdom of our lord.”
“For forwarding that cute email about David not being stoned off his ass, you win one free sherbert in the kingdom of our lord.”

And you thought the Internet was no good. For shame.

A Dr. Snee Special Report: Cleansing Diets

Dietitians have worked out the slowest, sexiest ways to get you out of your pants.
Dietitians have worked out the slowest, sexiest ways to get you out of your pants. And then there’s juice fasting.

As part of a special summer series, I’m putting my stethoscope to this season’s popular diets. While they’re not all terrible, they are all products of our own conflicted, misinformed era. To put this report in its proper historical context for future scientists and world leaders reading this blog:

  • In the U.S.’s 10 fattest states, nearly a full third of the population is obese. Even in our thinnest state, Colorado, nearly one-fifth are obese, so Donner parties will either have to make do with less or import midnight snacks.
  • On the other hand, even the average male model is expected to have a body fat percentage of six or less. (And that’s the gender with less body issues.)

So, we’re a little crazed when it comes to weight loss because (a) on average, we’re failing at it, and (b) according to our current aesthetic standards, nearly everybody has to drop a few pounds before being eligible for gene-swapping.

And that — along with an interest in science, but not in reading in-depth about it — has led to some … questionable diet choices becoming very popular, even among those who don’t need to lose much weight.

This week’s trendy diet is cleansing or, as it’s known in other circles, juice fasting.

What is cleansing?

Cleansing is a means to “detoxify” or remove toxins (that have yet to be defined by any licensed medical group) from the body. Typically, this involves ingesting very little food, and what food that is ingested is for its fiber content or diuretic properties. The purpose of this is, in layman’s terms, to piss, s**t and vomit until your insides are as pristine as tropical island after a tsunami.

The most common (and easiest to market) way to “detox” — because most dieters don’t have enough energy to get off the toilet, much less say an entire made-up word — is through juice fasting.

I sad juice fasting. Calm down, chief.
I sad juice fasting. Calm down, chief.

Some cleansers (the people, not the human douche they’re consuming) believe that you can speed up the detoxification process by going up the other end with colonics and by removing metal fillings and using magnetic pads to leach out any possible heavy metal toxins.

The idea is that, when it’s all over, you are spiritually and physically cleaned out and ready to be healthy. Also, you’ve jump-started your way to a set of rocking abs by trying not to secrete liquid s**t in your work cubicle.

Why cleansing is bulls**t

If you read all the above without noticing any of the reasons why cleansing is bulls**t, then may I interest you in one of my patented Dr. Snee Juicers? It’s no coincidence that, when somebody says they’re on a juice cleanse right now, everyone in earshot automatically thinks either (a) “You’re so hot,” or (b) “You are so stupid.”

Look, nobody is disputing that you shouldn’t eat poison or heavy metal. And yes, pooping is very healthy. But, so is not pooping sometimes, too. And the bulls**t behind cleansing is an intentional hodgepodge of pseudo-science and pseudo-religion.

And believe you me, I know a thing or two about fake doctors.
And believe you me, I know a thing or two about fake doctors.

Cleansing is presented as a scientific means to flush the lifetime of garbage you’ve eaten out your assh*le like President Roslin solving Galactica’s Cylon problem. The cholesterol from every Happy Meal you ate isn’t in your large intestine, waiting for a long enough broom from either end to sweep out. It’s in your arteries. And if it were that simple to remove, then cardiologists could just tickle you until you peed.

Even if this idea were sound, it won’t work because juice fasting doesn’t even “clean” you out. It actually constipates you because fruit juice doesn’t contain fiber. Most of the juice cleanses sold on the market contain psyllium husks, which are nearly undetectable when drinking them, but greatly expand in your body, dredging your loose insides out like a vending machine dinosaur.

“I am never going to let you forget this any time you step on a Lego!”
“I am never going to let you forget this any time you step on a Lego!”

But, cleansing is also presented as the modern-day fast one begins before going on a life-altering spiritual journey, like visiting a sweat lodge to go on a vision quest, fasting for Ramadan or drinking a lot of wine in a hot tub. It’s no coincidence that, when starving and dehydrated, you sound an awful lot like Joseph Smith planning a road trip to Utah.

This creates a weird sort of bonding between fellow sufferers, which is why everyone who cleanses wants to share their experience with you. Much of this is because New Age practitioners love to adopt “Eastern” religious ceremonies and tools, but can only understand them from the viewpoint of Western mysticism. So, pain becomes some sort of achievement, like crucifixion and the way mothers get smug about child-birth.

The Verdict

Maybe we should congratulate people who stop cleansing the way we celebrate when people recover from bulimia.
Maybe we should congratulate people who stop cleansing the way we celebrate when people recover from bulimia.

Cleansing is bulimia sans fingers. For weight loss, yes, it works. Unfortunately, you’ve just experienced famine, which triggers your body to hoard everything you eat now.

But, we don’t chose diets based merely on weight loss. We chose them out of convenience, like not having to eat vegetables, or because we think our choices are more grounded in evolutionary science or moral. Or that, as juicing and fasting advocates claim, you can cure chronic pain, cancer, depression, arthritis, severe infections that resisted antibiotics and autoimmune diseases, so it’s a twofer.

Diets that come in a box usually have the bigger list of promises. Because why plan out a balanced diet of many foods for every nutrient your body needs when there’s a multivitamin you can take in the morning? And if they don’t work, that’s OK, because none of the other diets you’ve been on worked either.

But, to be fair, cleansing isn’t the absolute dumbest diet/life-changing experience you can try. So long as you haven’t intentionally eaten tapeworm eggs, you still haven’t hit rock bottom. (Yes, that’s really a thing, and no, you actually gain weight from a tapeworm.)


Rick Snee is not, in any way, a licensed medical professional or an actor that plays one on television. His only qualifications are high school and college biology (101 and 102), reading Men’s Health (2001-2003), and a systematic exposure to almost all health hazards (1981-present), but no medical training whatsoever. He’s just really opinionated, which is good enough for blogging. To submit yer own questions to Dr. Snee, Guynecologist, post comments below or email the good doctor.

A Dr. Snee Special Report: The Keto Diet

T-shirt Idea: “Nutritionists take it by the pound!”
T-shirt Idea: “Nutritionists take it by the pound!”

As an online doctor,* I get a lot of questions about diet, especially this time of year when everyone’s trying to lose weight in time for wearing wedding formal wear and swimsuits. Which diet works best, which one’s healthiest for you, which one requires the least math, which one lets me eat the same s**t that made me fat in the first place, etc.

So, rather than answer every single letter, I’m going to devote the next several Dr. Snee columns to reviewing fad diets. Together, we (but mostly I) will explore a trendy diet:

  • What it claims to do.
  • What it really does.
  • How you’re probably being mislead with — what we call in the medial community — bullshit.

This week’s fancy diet is the Keto Diet.

Before we begin, let me just say outright that you can pretty much lose weight on any diet, so long as you have either consumed fewer calories than required for daily sustenance or burned enough calories to meet that threshold through exercise. Case in point: the guy who lost 27 pounds by eating nothing but junk food just by controlling how much he ate.

Not pictured: health
Not pictured: health

The real question is whether your diet is just a means to lose weight or if you’re changing your eating habits to become healthier. And believe it or not, those two criteria can be different goals. Yes, healthier people generally aren’t overweight, but not being overweight doesn’t mean you’re healthy.

So, if your goal is to lose weight, then congratulations: chances are that, if you follow your trendy diet and somehow reduced your caloric intake, then your trendy diet worked. But if you think your trendy diet also makes you healthier than a boring old diet from Health class? Then it’s time to evaluate what you’re really eating, in today’s case, as part of a balanced keto diet.

What is the Keto Diet?

Technically, it is nutrition, in that it provides some of the necessary food material to support life.
Technically, it is nutrition, in that it provides some of the necessary food material to support life.

The ketogenic or, when there aren’t enough carbs in your system to power through the whole word, keto diet is an actual medical diet … that manages epileptic seizures.

Basically, you eat a high fat, adequate protein and low carb diet, which causes the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Normally, you need carbs to produce glucose, which is what the brain uses for energy. The lack of carbs on this diet forces your liver to work with what it’s given, producing fatty acids and ketone bodies (the namesake of the diet) to fuel the brain instead. And when you have enough ketone bodies in your blood, you’ve achieved ketosis, which is a state where science demonstrates you will have fewer seizures.

Also, one of the side effects just happens to be weight loss.

Why the keto diet is bullshit

Don’t kid yourself. You’re this guy.
Don’t kid yourself. You’re this guy.

It’s the Atkins diet, wrapped in low-carb science-y justification. Anyone who says otherwise is just embarrassed to admit they’re on Atkins, and it isn’t 2002.

That’s not to say it doesn’t work. The Atkins diet works, just as almost any other diet works, too, when it comes to weight loss. But, since the weight loss is a side effect of ketosis, then it’s probably not good for you.

You see, scientists discovered the keto diet in the 1920s while trying to figure out why fasting seemed to prevent or reduce seizures in epileptics. Once medications were invented, they stopped using the diet because it caused retarded growth, bone fractures and kidney stones in kids — the ones most likely to be on the diet in the first place. Oh, and they have a 60 percent higher concentration of lipids in their blood and 30 percent higher cholesterol. In other words, it turns kids into Season 8 Dan from Roseanne.

It’s the most difficult job in the world … other than spending a lifetime learning medicine so as not to kill people.
It’s the most difficult job in the world … other than spending a lifetime learning medicine so as not to kill people.

The diet only came back because, later in 1994, anticonvulsant drugs weren’t working on a Hollywood producer’s kid. He discovered a reference to keto in a medical guide for parents, and found the only hospital in America still using it: Johns Hopkins. The diet worked, and the whole affair became a Meryl Streep movie called … First Do No Harm because, if there’s anything Lifetime Movie of the Week viewers love, it’s to be proven smarter than doctors just by being moms.

While most of those side effects don’t affect adults who are done growing, there’s still the factor of higher blood lipids and cholesterol, along with constipation and — get ready to cross your legs — kidney stones. That’s right: you’re losing weight despite the calcifications amassing in your urinary tract, getting ready to be birthed into the world through a hole that’s about one-third of an inch wide. And hardened poop.

Verdict

It’s a hard diet to maintain even for epileptics because people keep sticking high carb pencils in their mouths every seizure. (Seriously, though, don’t do that.)
It’s a hard diet to maintain even for epileptics because people keep sticking high carb pencils in their mouths every seizure. (Seriously, though, don’t do that.)

Unlike other low carb diets, the keto diet is pretty difficult to maintain. The daily carb counts are so low that it requires massive substitution with cheese- and meat-based products. And those just contribute more to the negative side effects. (Along with some pretty ripe body odor and farts so dense that they wear hats at the dinner table.)

In fact, the actual diet is so bad for you that, when done properly and not off of some web site with questionable before and after pictures, it requires the assistance of a dietician, a neurologist and a registered nurse to make sure it works properly and doesn’t kill you.

Again, the keto diet works when it comes to weight loss. But, Jesus, man: at what cost? Even the people who actually need to be on a ketogenic diet are only doing it because they don’t have any working alternatives. There are other diets. Maybe try any of those.


*Rick Snee is not, in any way, a licensed medical professional or an actor that plays one on television. His only qualifications are high school and college biology (101 and 102), reading Men’s Health (2001-2003), and a systematic exposure to almost all health hazards (1981-present), but no medical training whatsoever. He’s just really opinionated, which is good enough for blogging. To submit yer own questions to Dr. Snee, Guynecologist, post comments below or email the good doctor.

A Dr. Snee Special Report: The Paleo Diet

Unlike those so-called “nutritionists,” I’m not going to just hand you a bowl of dick-and-ball-shaped fruits and call it a day.
Unlike those so-called “nutritionists,” I’m not going to just hand you a bowl of dick-and-ball-shaped fruits and call it a day.

As an online doctor,* I get a lot of questions about diet, especially this time of year when everyone’s trying to lose weight in time for wearing wedding formal wear and swimsuits. Which diet works best, which one’s healthiest for you, which one requires the least math, which one lets me eat the same shit that made me fat in the first place, etc.

So, rather than answer every single letter, I’m going to devote the next several Dr. Snee columns to reviewing fad diets. Together, we (but mostly I) will explore a trendy diet:

  • What it claims to do.
  • What it really does.
  • How you’re probably being mislead with — what we call in the medial community — bullshit.

This week’s fancy diet is the Paleo Diet.

Before we begin, let me just say outright that you can pretty much lose weight on any diet, so long as you have either consumed fewer calories than required for daily sustenance or burned enough calories to meet that threshold through exercise. Case in point: the guy who lost 27 pounds by eating nothing but junk food just by controlling how much he ate.

Not pictured: health
Not pictured: health

The real question is whether your diet is just a means to lose weight or if you’re changing your eating habits to become healthier. And believe it or not, those two criteria can be different goals. Yes, healthier people generally aren’t overweight, but not being overweight doesn’t mean you’re healthy.

So, if your goal is to lose weight, then congratulations: chances are that, if you follow your trendy diet and somehow reduced your caloric intake, then your trendy diet worked. But if you think your trendy diet also makes you healthier than a boring old Health-class diet? Then it’s time to evaluate what you’re really eating, in today’s case, as part of a balanced Paleo diet.

What is the Paleo Diet?

“Did you read my WOD status on every single social media app that hasn’t flagged me for spam?!”
“Did you read my WOD status on every single social media app that hasn’t flagged me for spam?!”

If you know somebody training for a Tough Mudder, then you’ve probably endured countless lectures about how everything we eat and do is wrong based on what humans ate and did 10,000 years ago.

Short for “paleolithic” (you’ll find that most diet names are shortened, probably because the advocate’s blood pressure is too low to say whole words), this diet focuses on eating and exercising as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. That means you can’t eat anything that’s been processed in an agrarian sense or even grain-fed animals. Also, you have to work out like everything in existence is trying to kill you from all angles.

The Paleo diet is kind of a diet family, in that — like vegetarianism — there are many variations on it depending on which other diet trends you happen to believe in. So, there are high- and low-carb Paleo diets where, in the high-carb version, you can eat some of root vegetables like potatoes. There are also those who prescribe to a raw version where even changing a food’s chemistry with cooking is considered too new for your ancient mammalian digestive system.

Of all the diets, this one is probably the most accessible, provided you can find stores that stock meat from grass-fed livestock. But, it can’t hurt to only eat all natural foods, right?

Why the Paleo Diet is Bullshit

As soon as a diet bases its health claims on cave art and museum mannequins, you know you’re diving into the shallow end of nutrition.

1. The idea that hunter-gatherers had this long healthy life-thing figured out is pretty ridiculous when you consider that the average life span was 33 years old. Even in modern hunter-gatherer societies, you can make it to 54 … so long as you survive to 15 first. You know what we say at people’s funerals when they die at 54 of natural causes? “Well, at least they outlived John Candy by 10 years.”

The other difference is that we all miss John Candy.
The other difference is that we all miss John Candy.

2. Early hominids did get cancer. So did dinosaurs, and they didn’t even have fire to inhale smoke from.

Technically, eating shaved vag isn’t Paleo.
Technically, eating shaved vag isn’t Paleo.

3. As for deciding what is original Human Chow and what isn’t, choosing the Paleolithic era as the cutoff, while understandable, is still arbitrary. Considering that we aren’t the same animals we were 10,000 years ago (and neither are the plants and animals that we eat), why not go back to an earlier ancestor? Why not the mostly-plant based diet of our pre-hunting ancestors? Probably because being a gatherer-gatherer isn’t as sexy as wearing animal skins and running obstacle courses.

4a. We have no evidence that there weren’t fat cavepeople, anyway. While the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum has many great and educational exhibits, focusing on the models is probably the only way to walk through it without learning anything useful. Besides, who did we get our fat genes from?

Even if they were skinny, some of them definitely had thunder thighs.
Even if they were skinny, some of them definitely had thunder thighs.

4b. As for cave paintings, you know how we hate it when magazines airbrush muffin tops off of our favorite actresses and models? That’s not a new trend.

The Greeks loved the idealized human form so much that they even gave their male models smaller baby dicks because those was more aesthetically pleasing than old man veiny cocks with bristly pubes. (And the classically-obsessed Renaissance artists brought it back.)

If anything, the idea of not editorializing the human form in art is a relatively new idea that, when practiced, has hardly won any fans because it turns out we’re not that into ourselves. It’s kind of the basis to all cosmetics and self-improvement.

So, for a diet that’s supposed to be rooted in science and human history, it’s mostly the kind of science and history you hear when your drunk racist uncle starts working out in his garage again.

The other problem is that the Paleo diet is very high in meat (65 percent) and low on everything else (35 percent). So, if you fall off the workout wagon, you will die of congestive heart failure by, oh, 54 years old. But, at least you’re not eating Twinkies or hamburgers.

Or, the Paleo diet in a nutshell. Provided the nutshell isn’t a that of a peanut.
Or, the Paleo diet in a nutshell. Provided the nutshell isn’t a that of a peanut.

Oh, and did I mention that you’re not supposed to drink alcohol? I guess could have skipped all of that previous analysis, because that alone makes this whole lifestyle bullshit.

Verdict

This guy may be an asshole, but he’s closer to being a hunter-gatherer than you will ever be. And he doesn’t even do burpees.
This guy may be an asshole, but he’s closer to being a hunter-gatherer than you will ever be. And he doesn’t even do burpees.

The Paleo Diet is a new idea masquerading as an old idea. It’s part and parcel of the latest white-people-getting-back-to-their-roots fitness craze along with running barefoot, eating only organically-grown food and pretending that breeding plants isn’t genetic modification.

As a weight loss plan, this diet is probably the most likely to keep you fat because its entire focus is on what you eat, not how much. And while certain foods are healthier than others, believing that one of them will make you skinny is like believing in magic. Hey, just like our ancient, inbred, slave-keeping ancestors!

But, health-wise? Because it focuses on eating natural foods, it’s probably the most nutritious of all the latest dietary fads. So, while the Crossfit program it comes with is a cult, it’s a cult full of toned sexy people with stupid ideas about evolution. And that never goes poorly, right?


*Rick Snee is not, in any way, a licensed medical professional or an actor that plays one on television. His only qualifications are high school and college biology (101 and 102), reading Men’s Health (2001-2003), and a systematic exposure to almost all health hazards (1981-present), but no medical training whatsoever. He’s just really opinionated, which is good enough for blogging. To submit yer own questions to Dr. Snee, Guynecologist, post comments below or email the good doctor.