7 Things Better Than a Debate.

Tonight is the first presidential debate.

I know, right.

Approximately 55% of the country moans in desperation, crying out to God, asking “Is this the judgment we’ve read about in Revelation??”

Apocalyptic or not, a debate between Trump and Clinton is perhaps the last thing I want to watch, especially since they’re not even letting any third party candidates in to chop up the madness into more palatable bites.

But watch I will. Or at least sit in the room while Chris watches it and I stare at my phone.

However, I do wish that the Beings in Charge would have conferred with me as to the setup of this debate. Because I have a few ideas. A few million ideas possibly, but definitely a few ideas that would make this whole showdown less nauseating.

After all, we live in a Media-Crazed Reality-Show world, which is partially to blame for the situation we find ourselves in now. So why not utilize those setups and make the whole catastrophe at least more interesting, and possibly even more informative?

Let me present a few of my ideas to you, since no one else has asked for them.

1. A dinner at Downton Abbey.


I think the IDEAL way to truly grasp the candidate’s ability to handle such a high-stress job would be to have Mrs. and Mr. Clinton, along with Mr. and Mrs. Trump, attend a dinner party with the Crawleys. The Dowager Countess, of course, would be in charge of questioning the candidates. After leaving them both at a loss for words with her endlessly witty smackdowns, she would concisely pass her judgment.

About Trump,

“Is this an instrument of communication or torture?”

And About Hillary,

“She is like a homing pigeon. She finds our underbelly every time… Dreadful woman!”

Then she would throw up her hands and say “Why does everyday involve a fight with an American?”

I agree, Violet. I agree.

But if Downton Abbey didn’t work out…

2. Hunger Games.

I think the important skills of avoiding the sting of Tracker Jackers, the jaws of Wolf Muttations, and no matter how hungry you are, not tasting those delicious looking Nightlock berries would be a good judge of ability to be the President of the United States of America.

And hey. If a face full of Tracker Jacker stings left one or two opponents unable to run for office anymore, I think America would be able to recover from their loss….eventually.

3. Naked and Afraid.

You know what, no.

That’s a horrible idea.

4. A Day of Alabama Football practice.

They don’t even have to practice football. Really any situation where Saban can yell at them for a solid eight hours and then have a press conference where he talks about how vastly disappointed he is in the both of them would make me blissfully happy.


5. Swimming with Michael Phelps.

That’s just because I want to see any mortal swim next to Michael Phelps. But Hillary and Donald would be especially amusing – most notably watching the orange hair (and orange chest hair) flap about in the pool and seeing that pantsswimsuit.

6. The Apprentice – Presidential Edition.

In this hit show, both contestants would serve in a one month trial presidency under Barack Obama. They would compete in important presidential skills, such as negotiating peace treaties, wrestling with massive lose-lose policy decisions, rolling Easter eggs on the White House lawn, and eating monkey brains with the King of that country in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Who can eat it with a straight face and presidential flair? Who hears “You’re Fired!”?

7. Liar Liar


Find that fantastic kid Max who wished his Dad couldn’t lie for 24 hours, and then pay him a million dollars to wish the same about Hill and Don. Then ask them each a question per minute for the entire 24 hours.

OH. MY. GOODNESS. The glory.

What would you create to replace the presidential debates? Make it good. Give me something to read and laugh about during the torture tonight.

Questionably The Most Intelligent Creature.

A giraffe calf can stand up and walk within an hour of its birth.

…Yet we’re wiping butts for at least four years.

Baby dolphins have spines on the sides of their tongue that zip up to make a straw so that they can drink milk without getting salt water in it.

…Yet we’re cleaning out blasted sippy cup mold until they’re three (or until they’re eleven if they’re exceptionally spilly variety of kid.)

When puppies play fight, boy puppies will often let girl puppies win.

…Yet our kids look at us with wonder and confusion when we suggest the horror of sharing.

Baby Elephants will suck their own trunks for comfort.

…Yet we have to sneak into our infant’s rooms and replace their pacifiers 25 times a night. And then when they’re toddlers, we get at least a dozen callbacks a night. “My feet are cold I can’t close my eyes I just thought about elephants sucking on their trunks can I have a drink of water I think I heard a ladybug the curtains are SCARY!!”

Ducklings can leave the nest after only a couple of hours.

…Yet we’re not promised our house back even after our children have Bachelor’s Degrees. And maybe even MBAs.

Baby Japanese Macaques make snowballs. Not for any actual purpose – just for fun.

…Yet human children beg us to entertain them and whine continuously of boredom and are certain that no game will work without Mommy being an integral part of it.

When baby sea otters are born, they’re too fluffy to sink.

…Yet without us, our babies are completely and 100% helpless and unable to survive. UNTIL THEY’RE TWENTY-FIVE.

Young horses will be able to walk side-by-side with their parents within hours after birth.

…Yet we will push those awkward, clunky jogging strollers until our six-year-old’s feet are dragging the ground.

Baby hyenas begin to learn to hunt for themselves at 12 months old.

…Yet our precious offspring, the ones with fully functional opposable thumbs, assume we’ve been sent here by God to serve them. It is our greatest purpose. (And also when they open the fridge they see nothing there to eat.)

Hippo babies are weaned and fully ready to take care of themselves at eight months old.

…Yet at eight months, our babies can still only get around via Mommy’s left hip. And assume baby food is for smearing all over their face and throwing at the wall. And also find their own poop useful for the same purpose.

Sharks have fully developed teeth and eyes when they’re born, and are immediately self-sustainable.

…Yet “clean your own room and no I will not help you” is met with bewilderment and frightened exclamations of certain impossibility and death if attempted.

So what exactly makes humans the top of the food chain?

I Have No Idea

Baby animal facts learned from here, here, here, here, and here, and presented with enough grains of salt to spell out “I found this on the internet, y’all. It has to be true!”

The 2015 Trendiness Index.


Grab a calculator (okay let’s be real – pull up the calculator on your iPhone.) Be prepared to add up your trendiness.

+100 if you CrossFit. It’s more than an exercise group – it’s a religion.
+10 if you’re also Paleo.
+20 if you actually IronTribe – because everyone knows they’re the only one that interpret the holy scriptures of WOD correctly.
+25 if you’ve recruited your spouse to CrossFit.
+200 if you have your children or your dog doing CrossFit.


+65 if you self-identify as a hipster.
+10 if you live in a coffee shop. Like, literally live there and they either haven’t noticed or don’t care because you buy enough dirty chai to pay for rent.
+15 if you wear glasses that once belonged to Woody Allen.
+20 if you wear flannel that once belonged to Tim Allen.
+25 if you have a naturally unpleasant odor that you don’t even have to work for.
+30 if you sleep on a pillow you bought at the Thrift Store – pillowcase and all.


+60 if you use Essential Oils to heal your family of all their ails.
+10 if you’re an Oil Sword Drill master and can correctly name the oil treatment for any ailment in less than 5 seconds.
+20 if you can work a mention or hashtag about oils into any Instagram or Facebook caption.
+250 if your oil MLM of choice had to create a new echelon of achievement to describe you. (“I’m so thrilled to announce that I am now a Double Black Diamond Platinum Tiara Bonanza Lamborghini Director! Thank you Jesus for my oils!”)


+55 if you’re a downtown dweller. The suburbs are out and urbanity is in, people.
+20 if you live in a historical loft.
+25 if your historical loft boasts of original asbestos.
+30 if your historical loft contains vintage dead bodies of former squatters.
+100 if you can convincingly act like you’ve never heard of it when a large suburb of your city is mentioned.


+50 if you’re adopting or have adopted.
+10 if you’re adopting or have adopted internationally.
+50 if this is your second adoption.
+75 if you’ve adopted from multiple countries.
+1,000 if you’re adopting while pregnant with naturally-conceived triplets.


+50 if you derive the majority of your caffeine intake from iced coffee.
+10 if you Instagram a picture of your coffee order every time – even if it’s the same. Every time.
+15 if your Instagram largely consists of coffee memes.
+20 if you celebrate “Fall Cups Day” and “Winter Cups Day.”
+50 if you have considered getting a separate cell phone for your Starbucks account so you don’t have to hand the drive-thru barista your good phone to scan.


+45 if you believe live tweeting is your civic duty.
+5 if you live tweet award shows and/or pageants.
+15 if you live tweet sporting events and/or political debates.
+25 if you live tweet funerals and/or arguments with your spouse.


+40 if you have an iPhone.
+10 if you have an iPad.
+15 if you have a MacBook Pro.
+25 if you beg your friends to get an iPhone so their texts won’t be green.
+40 if you have a nickname for non-iPhone friends who ruin texting groups. (i.e. “Kayla is so The Green Ruiner of my friends group.”)
+1,500 if you have a MacBook Pro but take an old PC to Starbucks just to be different.


+40 if you have religiously strong ethical principals about local economy.
+10 if you eat/buy local.
+20 if you only eat at restaurants within walking distance of your home.
+650 if you subsist only on micro-greens (weeds) grown in your front yard and insects harvested from inside your home.


+40 if you’re a homeschooler.
+35 if you attend Classical Conversations. Because we all know it’s The Homeschool Cult.
+10 if you homeschooled before it was cool.
+20 if you’re a second-generation homeschooler.
+15 if you started your own co-op like a bomb.
+140 if your high schooler is earning dual credits for high school and college.
+1,000 if your junior higher is earning dual credits for high school and college.


+35 if you’re a Trader Joe’s superfan.
+10 if your Instagrams of your Trader Joe’s purchases actually show at least one item that doesn’t have “Pumpkin” in the title.
+30 if you have driven 2+ states to get to a Trader Joe’s.
+20 if you have considered working at Trader Joe’s for better access to high demand inventory.


+30 if you have or have had a Tinder account.
+20 if you met your spouse on Tinder.
+200 if you met your ex-spouse on Tinder.


+30 if you’re a runner.
+10 if you’re a trail runner.
+15 if you’re an ultra runner.
+25 if you’re an ultra trail runner.
+30 if you’re a barefoot runner.
+35 if you’re a barefoot ultra trail runner.
+200 if you’re female and you can run in those tiny tight short thingies and actually look good doing it.


+25 if you have special dietary needs.
+10 if you’re gluten free.
+15 if you’re dairy free.
+20 if you’re vegan.
+25 if you eat meats, milk and cheese but not eggs because when you sit and think about what eggs are it makes you gag a little.
+250 if you subsist entirely on a juice cleanse.


+15 if you consider yourself a Photographer.
+10 if you use actual film.
+15 if you use a polaroid.
+20 if you don’t believe in Instagram.
+10 if you frequently post photos of the sunset.
+20 if you tag meteorologist celebrities in your photos of the sunset.


+10 if you eat out of a food truck at least once a week.
+30 if you buy a daily artisan popsicle from a cart.
+50 if you love food truck culture so much that you’ve considered starting one.
+500 if you sell fake marijuana popsicles in New York City while sporting Alabama license plates.


+5 if you’re a music aficionado.
+10 if you only listen to Spotify.
+15 if you reach your max cell phone data by the 5th of the month solely due Spotify.
+35 if you send small checks to your favorite artists each month out of guilt over their miniscule streaming royalties.
+300 if you installed a record player in your Prius.


Miscellaneous Additions:
+10 if you’re a YouTube celebrity (+20 if no one in your real life knows it.)
+15 if your favorite season is fall.
+20 if you’re not on Facebook on principle.
+30 if you’re still personally researching Adnan Syed’s innocence.
+40 if you’ve posted a photo of yourself riding a hybrid rental bicycle.


Miscellaneous Deductions
-10 if you eat at Ruby Tuesday or Applebee’s.
-20 if you’ve ever left Facebook on principle, only to return a week later, head hanging in shame.
-15 if you regularly Instagram your food. That’s so 2013.
-10 if you take selfies with duck lips. That’s so 2012.
-10 if you still drink Pumpkin Spiced anything. That’s so 2011.
-20 if you’re a blogger. That’s so 2010.


Additions from ideas from Readers:
+30 if you had a baby via natural labor.
+10 if you had that baby at home.
+20 if you had that baby in a kiddie pool.
+300 if you had a non-medicated emergency c-section at home in that kiddie pool.

+20 if you adopt a dog.
+10 if the dog is a rescue.
+10 if the rescue dog is a mutt.
+20 if you have sad pre-resue pictures of your dog.
+25 if you hashtag that the dog is a rescue on every picture.
+30 if you use the term “furbaby.”
+20 if your dog has their own hashtag.

+30 if you have attempted a Whole30 diet.
+50 if you actually finished it, with 100% integrity.
+10 if your stomach was never the same again. In very unpleasant ways.


Understanding Your Score:

0 – 100: You’re so untrendy that you’re actually the trendiest. You’re most likely a hipster who is totally into things that aren’t at all cool now but will be what everyone is talking about next week.

105 – 200: You’re actually just untrendy. You have a flip phone and may not have even heard of social media yet. You’re that mom that says to her teenage daughter, “I just discovered the coolest new flavor – have you ever tried anything that was Pumpkin Spice??”

205 – 300: You’re mildly trendy. You are that person that starts doing things a year or two after everyone else, but you always get around to it. You’re still enjoying Facebook and see no need in checking out Snapchat, and your iPhone 4S is still working just fine, thankyouverymuch.

305 – 400: You’re trendy, but you keep your own personal style. You like Starbucks, but you don’t feel the need to talk about it. You listen to Taylor Swift, but you resent her for it.

405 – 500: You are seriously trendy. You shop at Anthropologie, never leave home without smelling like an oil, and ‘gram your life away.

505 – 600: You trend like Miley twerks. Frantically and a bit awkward to watch, but surprisingly well-done.

605+: You are so trendy that it’s trendy to be you. In fact, you may not be human – you may be a walking trend. Get tested immediately.

Report your score below for crucial research purposes.