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Ask Jer: Average Jer Answers Your Questions

Hello everybody. My name is Jer and this is where you ask me something. My credentials for this are simple: I'm an expert at nothing. Good luck and thanks for asking.

Credit GDG
Credit GDG

Let's jump right into the questions.


Long-time caller, first-time listener.

Some people think the WNBA’s popularity would increase if they moved the hoop to nine feet. Do you agree?

(I’ll take my answer on the air, so that I can breathe heavily into the phone while you respond, and the audience will be treated to the ambient noise around me)

The Annual Cycle of the Sports Fan

1. Hope 
2. Reality 
3. Disappointment 

Dear PoorDick,

To be honest I find it destressing to some extent that this is even a question, but since it's been asked I'll answer it with a resounding no. I do not think the WNBA should lower the rim and, even if they did, I'm not sure that this would increase the popularity if the league.

There are several reasons that it would be a mistake to make the rim lower for women's / girl's basketball than it is for men's / boy's. First of all there is no evidence that this would make the product more enticing. I assume this proposal is rooted in the idea that access to slam dunks and increased shooting percentages would improve the game. Why would this be the case? Slam dunks are exciting to be sure but they are far from the most interesting or even exciting part of the sport we all love. As for shooting percentage, would lowering the rim even help? Is this even a thing? Did I make it up?

The next reason has to do with logistics and access. There are currently millions of basketball hoops in backyards, parks, schools, and gyms all around the world that are configured to be 10 feet high. These are meant to be enjoyed by players of either gender and also to offer an opportunity for everybody to learn the game. Are we really going to build an equal number of courts with nine foot rims world wide so that 50% of the population has the same opportunity to play basketball? Of course not.

Last I offer an example from our rival sport Hockey. Some may remember a time when girls in Minnesota were not allowed to play hockey but instead were forced to play a demoralizing sport called Ringo. Or at least it was called something like this. The sport was so ridiculous that I can't even find reference to it on the internet but trust me, I'm not creative enough to have made it up, this atrocity against girl's athletics happened.

Besides, there are a good many sports fans who are simply unwilling to enjoy woman's sports. It's a sad commentary on something deeper than the intent of this column but it's true. People can be pretty awful when it comes to this kind of thing. Keep the rim where it is, enjoy the sport on the level at which it is played, and go Lynx!

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer,

I wanted to start you off with something light so my question is about religion. I was raised Catholic and my wife converted and we were going to church religiously (heh). Then one day our second son did NOT want to go to Sunday school and even though I knew he was just being a pain in the ass, my first thought was, my God, I hope he wasn’t touched inappropriately.

It occurred to me that I would never, under any other circumstances, be in a place where that would be my first thought. I don’t even let the kids have Subway anymore. So, we left. We now attend a nice Lutheran church that treats gay people and women with a lot more respect. But, I feel like a tourist. I just can’t get into it. It does not feel comfortable.

I guess I just have an unreasonable loyalty to an organization that has made horrible decisions for a long time. What do I do? I have a follow up question about the Timberwolves…


Catalina’s question inspired me to also ask a Catholic related question.

I was raised in the Catholic Church, attending 13 years of Catholic school (K-High School) as part of a devote Catholic family. My wife was also raise in the Catholic Church, attending 9 years of Catholic school (K-8th) as part of a less devote Catholic family.

I am now a man of Science who as abandoned almost all ties to believe in a higher power. I am slightly agnostic, but you can consider me an atheist for all practical purposes.

My wife is aware of this and my parents know that I do not believe in institutionalized religion, but do not know I have minimal faith in a higher power.

How should I approach family gatherings that revolve around the Christian Holiday (Easter / Christmas) when the entire family goes to mass?

If I do find myself at a Catholic mass (weddings/funerals/holiday mass) should I take communion? If not, how do I explain that to my family and my wife’s family?

Thanks in advance for you help!
-Struggling through life as a pretend Catholic

Dear Catalinawinmixer and Getting Started to Just a Forehead,

I have decided to lump these two questions together because it amounts to less work for me and also because the meat and potatoes of my answer applies to both. In order to understand what is going on here it's important to separate the spiritual and cultural aspects Catholicism. I myself was raised in the Catholic church and, like others, tuned my back on the spiritual aspects of the religion as a young man. For many years I struggled with the idea of having no connection to the institution that had educated me and instilled me with fear and shame during my youth. Then I was introduced to the concept of being "culturally Catholic." This instantly resonated with me and helped me better understand why I was still fascinated with the church despite no longer subscribing to the doctrine (actually I was informally kicked out by the priest when I was in 6th grade but that's a story for a different day).

Anyway, as for CWM's issue, I think the above paragraph will help him better understand why he still misses the Catholic church even though he moved on for good reasons. Loyalty also plays in. I know I still feel like I'm cheating on Target whenever I go to Kmart or Shopco. (Walmart evokes entirely different emotions such as terror and confusion). In time I suspect CWM will feel more comfortable with his new faith but there may always be a sense of loss associated with the change. Accept this loss as part of the process or look for a more inclusive Catholic church to attend. They have always existed on the fringes and perhaps are increasing now that the Vatican is home to a seemingly more progressive Pope.

GSTJAF's issue is, perhaps, more complex and, perhaps not, depending on his families reaction. The choice, it seems, is between going through familiar but personally meaningless motions several times a year so as to avoid an awkward family encounter or just having that encounter and moving on. I suspect that even as you asked this question you knew which of these would be easier. Many Catholic churches do not allow non practicing members to engage in the ritual of communion and I personally always feel as if I am trespassing on the beliefs of others when I partake in rituals that hold no significance for me. For my part, I have mostly stopped taking communion but I did make an exception at my grandmother's funeral because I wanted to stand with my family in that particular moment. In the end I would suggest doing what feels comfortable, knowing that it could shift situationally. If you do decide to stop altogether, and want to be upfront with it, just tell your family that you are no longer a practicing Catholic and, therefore, don't feel comfortable taking part a ritual that is so important to people who are.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hi Jer

here is my question, while I sip my coffee, is M. Teodosic still elegible for the NBA draft and if he is not. What NBA team has his rights already.

excuse my english I’m Panamenian.

Dear cberraz,

Ah, I see you too have fallen under the spell of Milos Teodosic. It's easy to do. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for a preseason Timberwolves game against Teodosic's Russian team. He was the best player on the floor that night and it wasn't particularly close. Absolutely fantastic.

Anyway, every summer there are rumors that he is going to come to the NBA and every summer he doesn't. My sense is that had he come over a few years ago he could have been a contributor as a bench player but he has chosen, and reasonably so, to stay in Europe where he can make more money and be a star.

I believe that, if he wanted to come over, he could do so as a free agent similar to the way Alexy Shved signed in the NBA. I could be wrong of course but this is the conclusion I came to after doing a little "light" googling. Maybe one day Teodosic will come to the NBA but it's possible that his window of opportunity has closed- or at least that he views it that way. In the meantime let's just enjoy knowing that there are excellent and entertaining high level basketball players in professional leagues besides the NBA. Also, your english is wonderful.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hello Jer,

Do you think Donald Trump has any reasonable shot at still being a serious candidate 8 months from now? I don’t think so, but I’m a little worried that the possibility is just so unthinkable that I’m blocking out rational thought on the matter. So is he the same clown sideshow he’s always been, or is there something different about this year that makes him a more serious threat?

As a followup, were Trump actually elected president of these United States of America, what’s the over/under on amount of time between his inauguration and the end times? Would it be measured in months, or years?

I’ll take my answer off the air, thanks.

Dear Michelobius,

Personally I really hope not but this world we live in is a crazy place and more and more I subscribe to the "anything can happen at any time" philosophy. Unfortunately, I think the most compelling argument for Trump actually winning the presidency is that none of the currently named candidates on either side seem like they can actually win and someone has to win eventually. I suppose it could be Trump but, if I had to guess, I'd guess it won't be. Right now I think the US electorate is flirting with Trump because he's bonkers in just the right way but in the end I have to believe voters will ask someone else to the dance.

As for your follow up question: I suspect that if somehow Donald Trump does become the President of these United States he will not be effective enough to trigger  Armageddon.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer,

Is it ok to stretch before drinking craft beer?

In naam van al mijn landgenoten, draag ik deze verenigde staten over aan onze Belgische overheersers. Regeer over ons met genade, goed bier, en mayonaisse.

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Dear Nate in St. Paul,

Probably. Who cares really.

This question does give me an opportunity to discuss my personal displeasure with the overuse of the word "craft." We really let this one get away from us and now we have, "craft bike seats", "craft bacon", "craft guitar strings" (probably) and "craft beard wax." Hell, pretty soon we will be on this website arguing which local artisan makes the best "craft toilet paper" or writes the best "craft advice column." Rein it in people. This is why Trump might become president.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer,

Big fan of the show. Thanks for taking my call today!

I’m wondering … if you were stuck on a deserted island and could choose one Wolves player to suddenly appear out of thin air to help you survive, who would you pick and why?

Thanks again. I’ll hang up and listen.

Lorenzo Brown called me John Mayer once. We've been friends ever since.

Dear John Meyer,

After giving this much thought I've decided the best choice would be Andre Miller because he is old enough to understand my cultural references and seems like the kind of a guy who could figure out how to build a boat out of natural materials.

Good luck and thanks for asking.


I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo, but don’t really have the body to have a tattoo. I’m too fat and hairy. Should I still get one? If so what?


Dear running with Twolves (and scissors),

Unlike religion, getting a tattoo is a deeply personal decision so I feel uncomfortable giving anyone advice on this.

Just kidding, I have a lot of opinions on tattoo acquisition and I will be happy to share them.

The human body is a unique artistic canvas in which each individual person brings his or her own traits to the table. Of course your body will accept a tattoo so when you say you are "too fat and hairy" to get a tattoo what you are really saying is you are "too fat and hairy" to feel comfortable displaying art on your skin publicly. This is, of course, a reasonable stance and one you will have to factor into your eventual decision. Some people choose to get tattoos that they intend to keep mostly hidden and other people choose to decorate their body with beautiful tattoos as a way to feel better about whatever version of "too fat and hairy" they personally grapple with.

As for what tattoo to get. My guess is that if this is to be your first tattoo you are struggling to imagine what kind of tattoo will hold enough meaning throughout your life for you to get it embedded into your skin. This is a common way to go about it and there is nothing wrong with it. Something that represents your family, or something that is classically beautiful, are both good solutions to this dilemma. I suggest going with a traditional American style that will age well and caries a timeless look. Think big black outlines and bright bold colors. Traditional Japanese style is also a good option. Personally, I recommend avoiding text tattoos but in the end you will be the one wearing it so get the tattoo you want.

Another issue you might not be thinking about has to do with placement. Make sure you get a tattoo that fits the space. For example, I would warn you against getting a silver dollar sized tattoo on your shoulder because it will end up looking overwhelmed by the skin around it and also because someday you might want that valuable "real estate" for a large dragon tattoo.  Talk to the artist at a reputable tattoo shop and they can help you decide what is the right tattoo for you and remember that, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Good tattoos aren't cheap but they are worth it.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer,

When does Tyus take over as starting PG, end of training camp or after the All Star break?

Airete and Jae Crowder FOREVER

Dear handshakes,

I can't even....

Ok, fine, I'll try. Tyus Jones was a nice value pick and he seems like a swell young man but all of the paths towards him becoming the Minnesota Timberwolves starting point guard this season start with disaster. I'm hopeful that Jones will one day become a good back up NBA point guard, maybe even a league average starter, but that's not going to happen right away. If for some reason Ricky Rubio can't play this season than I expect Andre Miller will start and finish games with a healthy dose of Lorenzo Brown or a player not currently on the team in the middle. Go Wolves!

Good luck and thanks for asking.


The best potato salad recipe calls for:
A) Eggs
B) No eggs

Dear ProfessionalCrastinator,

If I am eating a traditional American potato salad (mayo, mustard...)  I'm one of those people who digs around in the the serving dish for spoonfuls in which eggs are disproportionally represented because they are the best part. However, recently I have run across potato salads that are more vinegar based and that include ingredients such as bacon, gorgonzola cheese, blanched asparagus tips, and roasted red pepper. Delicious, but eggs would not go well in this recipe. Hmm, it's a more difficult question that I originally thought. I guess if I had to choose one potato salad to eat for the rest of my life I would go with the aforementioned American style because it's the only one that can scratch the right itch at a certain kind of outdoor cookout. The best potato salad recipe calls for eggs.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer,

If I were to be sent back in time and wake up naked with no possessions in New York city on September 11, 2001 at 6:00 a.m. What would be the best way for me to save as many lives as possible that day?

Dear Suspicious Sal,

Wow, this is a doozy of a question. My first instinct is that you should call in a bomb threat and some how make it seem creditable enough that they evacuate the two World Trade Center towers. You will need to steal a phone from someone in order to do this but, of course, from a strictly utilitarian point of view, this poses no moral problem. The biggest issue with this approach is how to make the bomb threat credible enough to get the desired reaction and also, when is the perfect time to call it in. If you call too soon they will clear the building allowing employees back in before the plane attacks and if you call too late many people will already be there and could be difficult to fully evacuate.

Another option might be to cause some kind commotion outside of the towers and hope that somehow this disrupts people from going inside the buildings. Already being naked should help but I'm not sure how this would work as you would probably just be immediately arrested.

Unfortunately, I think the lesson from the classic story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" applies in this situation. There are simply too many alarmists and false reports for something of the magnitude you would be describing to be taken seriously enough for authorities to take the kinds of action needed to achieve the goal of your question. I guess I'd stick with stealing a phone from someone and calling in repeated bomb threats in the hopes that the buildings are evacuated but even then I'm not sure how well it would work. Sorry, I wish I had a better answer.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Dear Jer

My olfactory sensors have detected an unusually high concentration of hydrogen sulfide in my flatulence as of late which has made my recent olfactic actions somewhat unpleasant. Since I do not have any changes planned in my olfactory usage in the foreseeable future, what would you recommend to reduce my hydrogen sulfide levels so my future olfactic endeavors are more enjoyable?

Thank you in advance.

Dear Burpy McFartsmeller,

Communication, in both verbal and written forms, can be difficult enough as it is, so making up crazy sounding words doesn't help. Next time, I suggest asking your question using real words.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Dear Jer

What is your favorite color combination? I’ve always been partial towards the red and black look myself.

"I think the way that I describe my approach, which probably goes back to the Marine Corps, is "Be agressive, with good judgment." - Sandy Alderson

Follow me on twitter @SadMetsfan

Dear Joel Hernandez,

Funny you should ask. Just recently I came to the realization that purple is the only major color that doesn't pair well with black. Weird. I should also mention that my wife has taught me that color pairs do well to include a third accent color that helps bring them out. Anyway, to your question: the one that comes immediately to mind is a nice forrest green with a deep and classic brown. Sky blue would be a good accent third, don't you think? I have also always liked blue and yellow, blue and red, green and yellow, brown and blue. Anything and blue... I'm actually convinced that deep down blue is everyone's favorite color.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Dear Jer

Does a squatty potty actually work? I’ve toyed with the idea of getting one but, man of science that I am, I feel as if I need more proof regarding the actual level of ease it will provide in my daily quest for total bowel evacuation and I’m too lazy to look it up on google.

We're all in it together now, as we all fall apart.

Dear Xand1,

One of the sad truths of human existence is that once a man reaches the age of 40 he will pee more often and poop less often than he did when he was younger. This might be true of women also but the ones I know tend not to talk about these kinds of things. Anyway, I had not heard of a Squatty Potty before but I can say that I've used a small bench in this way and have found it useful. In fact, I would consider purchasing this product but I fear my wife would laugh at me and I'm kind of sensitive so I think I will just continue to use what I can find around the house when I need a little extra traction.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hello Mr. Jer

Long time listener, first time caller.

Yesterday I beat the Rockets on phone 2k on a Wiggins buzzer-beater and proceeded to jump around in joy for a good 5 minutes. It definitely made my day. How alone am I?

When I tell someone I follow the Timberwolves, they ask why. I just say its cause im trying to be hipster and like things no one has ever heard of.

Dear scocorel,

On an existenial level we are all alone. We are born alone and we die alone. That's just how it is. Sorry. As for your reaction to the Wiggins buzzer beater: that sounds appropriate actually and many others would have done the same so you are not alone there.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer

Its been almost 24 hours since we last saw the remote for the TV. We’ve looked for at least 3 minutes now. Should we just buy a new one?

Dear domesticllama,

Absolutely. But be warned that this is what will happen: As soon as you program your new remote you will find the other remote. You will then have two remotes, and your once tranquil domestic life will be fraught with conflict, so you will need a contingency plan for this unavoidable new reality.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Dear Jer

Regardless of politics or religion, gender or sexuality, location on the map or family of origin, there is still violence in this world that is needlessly killing, injuring, and preventing people from enjoying life. Geological processes are violent enough and out of humans control. There is no proof that we live beyond our physical experience on earth. My question is why do people still participate in and promote and perpetuate violence when life is so fragile and relatively short as it is?

I guess I’ll wait for your book that wins you the Nobel Peace Prize to get an answer instead of waiting on the line.


The monk handed him $10 
The vendor said "thanks" 
The monk said "where is my change?" 
The vendor replied, "change comes from within." 
by eshold on Jul 27, 2015 | 7:32 PM

Dear NihilistDoge,

Whew, finally an easy one. We humans are, at our core, very insecure beings. We tend to view life as a zero sum game in which every inch of ground gained by someone else is an inch lost to us. We form alliances and cling to them fanatically as a way to address this insecurity but in the end this just makes our capacity for violence that much more effective. The best thing we can do is to focus on that which is possible and to truly dedicate ourselves to the notion that we want not only ourselves, but everyone, to live lives of peaceful contentment. Either that or we should all take Jim Morrison's lead and try to get our kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames.
Good luck and thanks for asking.

Hey Jer,

I am a frugal guy, but sometimes the cheap stuff just doesn’t last. When should I go cheap, and when should I buy for quality?

The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care, right? Yeah.

Dear Waucckhewww,

I think the key here is to know when to be frugal and when not to. Don't buy cheap shoes but a cheap flashlight will probably work fine depending on your level of need. One word of warning- beware of items that are priced in the middle. I'll give you and example of what I mean. If you are buying a guitar you will find good value around $300 and $1000 but you could be disappointed if you buy a $600 guitar.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Dear Jer,

Canis made me think comment sections were places for productive and nuanced civil discussions. After being on Facebook and yahoo today I now want to burn down the Internet, hide from all humans, and definitely avoid something called Texas.

What should I do?

Mana from Senegal 

Dear Gorgui Porgui,

I hear you. Anonymous comment sections have always been a cesspool of human interaction. I'll never forget an early internet expereince I had on AOL when some random guy wanted to come beat me up because I said that Gary Payton was my favorite NBA point guard. Can you imagine? Facebook is especially curious because in most cases the posters real names are associated with whatever nonsense is being said. The bad news is that I kind of think the internet gives forum for people to say things they really believe but  know better than to say out loud. In fact, this realization has led me to adjust my view of humanity somewhat (see my answer to an earlier question by NihilistDoge). Despite this, the internet also remains a beacon of hope for humankind as it has given strength and voice to ideas that otherwise may have been silenced in so called "polite society." The internet has also allowed people with niche interests to find other like minded individuals with whom they can build real relationships. This last point can be especially important for people from smaller communities who might otherwise be entirely isolated because of their interests or beliefs. Don't turn your back on the internet just yet Gorgui, but feel free to regard it with an air of caution because, as with everything, shit can turn dark in a hurry sometimes.

Good luck and thanks for asking.

Dear Jer

Fitting (somewhat) with the theme of the day:

I’m about to enter into a potentially (nay, likely) serious relationship with essentially my best friend. We get along like gangbusters, have similar interests and preferences, are quite attracted to each other, and she is undoubtedly the smartest and kindest person I know. Even though all these more proximate indicators of romantic success are great, we have very different long-term life goals: she resolutely wants kids, I vehemently don’t; she is devoutly Catholic, I’m a lapsed Unitarian; she is destined for and driven by immense career success/prestige, whereas professional mediocrity is the best-case scenario for me.

Should I let these long-term portents of relationship doom stop me from risking an immensely rewarding and valuable friendship in order to enjoy the short-term fruits of this relationship?

Dear The Indefatigable Charlie Holmes,

This question is pretty epic in scope when you boil it down and my guess is that, once you parse out the various nuances within, few amongst us are unable to relate to some of it. First I have a question about your chosen wording at the top. You say you are "about to enter" a serious relationship. I'm confused by this part, although I'll aknowledge I could be misreading you. To me, this makes it sound as if you are somehow scheduled to fall in love on some agreed upon date in the near future. Now, I'm as off put by the bullshit Walt Disney version of love that has been crammed down the throats of Americans for the last half century as anyone, and I'm no great believer in the notion of soul mates, but still this seemingly scheduled relationship doesn't exactly jive with my own notion of love either. I get that there are cultures still in existence in which relationships can be arranged on a familial level but I don't think that's what's going on here. Like I said, it could be me that is misinterpreting this but I felt it was at least worth thinking about the way your wording came off.

Now that we have put semantics behind us I'll get to what I think is the major thrust of you question which has to do with whether or not two people can find lasting happiness together when they have wildly different life goals. The short answer is, of course, that they can but that it's also possible that these issues will eventually prove to be to divisive to overcome. My honest suggestion is to talk to this woman honestly, openly, and often about exactly what you have written here. Find out if the religious differences will be a problem and, if so, how serious and how she want's to approach it. Talk about your concerns regarding her career/status goals and make sure you have interpreted her correctly. Does she have specific career goals for her potential life partner or does she simply want to be allowed to fulfill her own personal goals? Both of these issues seem imminently solvable through open communication or, at the very least, such communication will allow you to understand the ways in which they are not solvable problems.

The baby issue, to me at least, seems more concerning. This is one of those things that for some people is an immediate deal breaker. Are you 100% certain you don't want kids and 100% certain that she will be miserable without them? People on both sides of this issue change their mind and live happily ever after but, of course, the opposite is also true. Talk about it with her openly and honestly. Find out if she is thinking she can change you and self assess the extent to which you are changeable. Be honest about if you are thinking you can change her. Find out if there are compromises that make sense for both of you, adopting older kids later in life for example. I'm not suggesting that route for you, as that is a decision you need to come to on your own, but I throw it out as a reminder that there are many differing and amazing ways to create family.

In the end your answer lies in the answer you and this prospective mate arrive at together. If you can't have the kinds of conversations needed to do this then perhaps your question is already answered. On a more generic level I will also leave you with this. Life if brutish and short. It's also lonely, so go for it when you can relationship wise. If it's meant to be (whatever the hell that means) it will work and if not at least you tried. As for concerns that you are ruining a friendship consider this: you have no current evidence that in this specific case the friendship will end if you attempt to advance the relationship. Maybe you will date for six months and go back to being the most important plutonic friends in each others lives for the next 50 years. Much stranger things have happened. Have this conversation with her and see where it goes. That's my honest advice despite the fact that I didn't always follow it in my younger days and I still don't. People are super complicated and a little insecure. That's just how we were built.

Good luck and thanks for asking.


W.S. Game 6 or Game 7 from 1991?

I’ll hang up and listen.

by fanslaststand on Sep 18, 2015 | 10:12 AM

Dear Fanslaststand,

It hard to imagine that this is even a question considering that game seven is widely considered one of the greatest games in MLB history. The amazing pitching performance from Jack Morris, unforgettable base running shenanigans, blatant cheating from Kent Hrbek. The game had it all. Still, for the Minnesota sports fan, it's the call of sportscaster Jack Buck on Kirby's walk off home run in game six that stands out as the defining moment of the series and perhaps in all of the Minnesota sports landscape. Game six by a nose.
Good luck and thanks for asking.

Thanks Everyone for the wonderful questions. I hope I was able to be helpful. My apologies to the thoughtful readers who's questions I was not able to answer. There is only so much time in the day and the lawn ain't going to mow itself. Until next time, good luck and thanks for asking!

Let's end with a song: