The Non-Expert

Flying Babies

Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we dive into the great button fly vs. zipper fly debate, and give advice to a man whose wife is addicted to children.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: My girlfriend and I went shopping this weekend and at the Banana Republic we both had to choose between button flies and zip flies on our jeans. So we were wondering, what’s the big difference? Why isn’t there just one option, or more? As a guy I like zipper flies for obvious reasons when I’ve had a couple too many, but are there other concerns I’m not aware of? Thanks kind folks. —J.D.

Answer: Buttons go on boys, and zippers go on girls, because for straight folks, girls prefer to take their time getting into your pants, while boys want to dive right in. And gay men prefer buttons because they require a little extra muscle to undo and make that popping sound as they’re undone, while lesbians like zippers because they’re functional.

Gross stereotypes aside? Fine. The button fly was included with the first pair of Levi’s, presumably for the same type of sturdiness provided by the rivets that made jeans last longer than other pants. At some point zipper flies were introduced, and the confusion began. But did you know there are other flies available?

Velcro Fly: Useful for attaching remote controls to your crotch.

Safety-pins Fly: Punky Avril-style, dangerous major-hemorrhage style.

Tiny-children’s-fingers Fly: Made abroad.

Mutton Fly: But how does it work? you wonder. Who cares when all the chicks want your digits?

Super Fly: A really great fly.

No Fly: Also known as “No Friends, Pant-pisser Fly.”

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Question: My wife and I accidentally had our first kid kind of early, and followed that up by inadvertently having another kid two years later. Now at 27, she wants to have a third, whereas I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than anything. But I don’t want anymore. How do I convince my wife, who wants to increase production that we really ought to shut down operations?—M.S.

Answer: A few ideas.

1) Castration. Effective, efficient, but expensive, so go DIY.

2) Put either of your first kids up for adoption. You may love them more than anything—for the moment—but nothing is loved more than a newborn. If it’s such a big deal, name the new baby after the old, worn-out one, but add “Junior” for bonus psychological damage.

3) Ejaculate. Inwards.

4) Make a PowerPoint presentation to explain why you don’t want another child. If she’s still unconvinced, try a puppet show. Using a sock to represent your new son or daughter, stick your hand into a burning fire, or run over it with your car. Accidents do happen.

5) Buy her cigarettes. Because if hypnosis can get convince people to quit smoking, then maybe smoking will make your wife quit this crazy baby voodoo!

6) Move to China. Or set up your own two-kid system and demand exorbitant taxes until you, or the new child, perishes. Use your earnings to buy really good weed—even a screaming trio of brats can be ignored with really good weed.

7) Wear button-fly jeans.

8) Impregnate one of your wife’s relatives. No matter what happens in the fallout, it’s pretty unlikely that your wife will want to sleep with you.

9) Turn her children against her. Do your kids know how less likely they are to attend college once competition arrives? How much less affection there will be to go around? How they’ll have to sleep in the dryer once baby arrives?

Also popular: The next time your wife picks them up at school, make sure a wild tiger is hidden in the backseat. They won’t make the connection, but no one forgets a tiger attack.

10) Have you seen The Stepford Wives? Has your wife seen Rosemary’s Baby? Rent both for a double feature. Make popcorn, not love.


Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at More by Rosecrans Baldwin