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Grocery Store Check-Out Etiquette, the New After-School Job and the Legacy of the ‘Shocker’

I think a lot of people have the fantasy of quitting their job and making money off of Instagram. Thing is, not all of us are hot enough, well-dressed enough or lead interesting enough lives to do so. Which leaves just one option: Reposting. Reposting is so popular, in fact, that teens across the globe are profiting from their Instagram accounts comprised entirely of content they didn’t make.

It works as you might expect: Download videos of things like food, makeup tutorials and “slime” from established accounts, and then repost them. If these reposting accounts garner enough likes and followers, brands start turning to them for advertising. While the practice is questionable, it’s a pretty solid after-school business. Frankly, I’m jealous that I hadn’t thought of it first. Instead, I’m here regurgitating the day’s MEL content for you here — in case you missed it — which almost makes me a repost account, no?

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“The Super Market Divider Stick Is Actually Super Divisive”
There are two types of people: Those who love using the grocery divider stick at checkout, and those who hate it. You see, some folks think using the stick is rude, as though its users want to separate themselves from those around them, or are afraid their fellow shoppers’ food might mix with theirs. Meanwhile, fans of the divider consider it a practical tool, and most cashiers feel the same. Welcome to yet another divisive hellscape of our time. READ MORE

Your Classmate, the Narc

Psst — who’s that new kid with a full beard?”

“Looks like a narc.”

It’s a common joke that somebody in high school might be a “narc,” i.e., an undercover narcotics officer posing as a student. But stop laughing, because narcs really do exist on campus, part of a complex and often deceitful practice employed by police departments across the U.S. Though some high school narcs might be doing some actual good by preventing teens from becoming addicted to drugs, some of these cops will do anything to get an arrest — even exploiting students with special needs.

Olfactory Horror at 35,000 feet

Just yesterday we explained the subtle racial dynamics of “smelly” food, and why it can be insensitive to complain about the odor of your coworker’s microwaved lunch. There is, however, one place where it’s perfectly acceptable to be irritated by the food choices of those around you: On an airplane. After all, fliers are trapped in a literal tube of recycled air at 35,000 feet, and not everyone wants to suffer the stank of their fellow traveler’s lukewarm tostada. Here then are three tips to be a more courteous co-passenger:

  • Ask the people around you if it’s okay to open up the meal you brought aboard.
  • Don’t bring/order anything fishy, garlicky or oniony (sorry, foodies, I know onions and garlic are the best).
  • Avoid fast food. You might think it’s a safe bet so long as you didn’t order a Filet-O-Fish, but that grease smell can easily waft through the whole cabin.

My Father, The Hero

“Dad reflexes,” i.e., the instinctual spidey sense dads employ when their doofus kid is about to take a digger, are exhilarating to witness in action — which is probably why there are countless online videos dedicated to them. In fact, feel free to zen out to this compilation right now — and afterward, be sure to check out Madeleine Holden’s explanation of why we can’t get enough of such dad heroics:

The Truth Behind the Virginity Myth

Society and religion have both long built up the state of virginity as if it holds a certain value. They’ve also made it seem as though you’re completely fucked (pun obviously intended) if you lose it too early or too late. But new research and sex researchers are pushing back on that narrative, believing it is yet another victim of our sex-negative ancestors.

Mother of Dirtbags

When your sons are deeply racist fanatics and some of the biggest criminals in the country, it would be fair for people to question your mothering skills. Such is the case with Zerelda Cole James Samuel, whose sons — including notorious outlaw Jesse James, and his brother Frank — became some of the most infamous bank robbers of the 19th century. To her credit, she was hyper loyal to her sons and her land, getting her arm blown off when she refused to flee her home while detectives searched for the bandits. Then again, her stubbornness got her four-year-old child killed, whose grave she then made into a tourist attraction. So yeah, on the whole, she was still pretty terrible.

Two in the Pink, One in the Stink

In the Age of Ass, there’s still one move that some people find too embarrassing to talk about: The Shocker. A common punchline for middle-school jokes, the Shocker seemed to really only to exist in the minds of horny tweens. But in reality, a lot of women love it: “My husband does [it] to me on a regular basis, I can knock out an orgasm fast that way,” wrote one woman on Reddit. Which begs the question: Can the Shocker ever be redeemed?