City Desk

Michael Phelps’ Wet Chin and the Sweet Vindication Thereof

When I first moved to New York and got a job at Spin in 1995, my best friend in the office (and one of my closest friends now) was a guy named Jeff Rotter. Jeff had a trick he called "The Wet Chin"—he'd go into the bathroom, put enough water on his chin so it was dripping a little, then walk around and talk to people as if everything was just so.

It was really unnerving. Our managing editor at the time finally asked him to knock it off, and that was the end of the Wet Chin.

But check out this week's Sports Illustrated, with a picture of superstar swimming star Michael Phelps, sporting...the Wet Chin.

It's almost impossible to look at the cover of this magazine, even if you don't share the memory of Jeff's wide-eyed terror campaigns against his officemates. Here's that chin up close.

I was never sure whether Jeff was ahead of his time or not, but I think this settles it. And I think I should probably mention that Jeff is a very good writer, and his first novel, The Unknown Knowns, is coming out next March. There's an excerpt from it on the Hunter College M.F.A. site. The passage is about water.

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  • KCinDC

    Um, the Phelps cover is an example of the Wet Whole Body (you know, like someone who's been swimming), not just the Wet Chin, so I think your nightmares about your coworker are irrelevant.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Wow, you're right, that totally explains the water all over the rest of him. Thanks.

  • Reid

    I see that Phelps also keeps playing the "Disturbingly Small Teeth" trick too.

  • Chickenbot

    Yeah, Andrew, you're totally irrelevant.

    As usual.

  • nodonuts

    Wow KCinDC you have a great sense of humor

  • KCinDC

    Senses of humor differ. Mine obviously doesn't match Andrew's, so it doesn't meet nodonuts' standards. I'll have to live with that, but I maintain that the humor value of this post is greatly reduced for the 99.9% of the audience who unlike the author have no memories of Jeff Rotter's no doubt hilarious and horrifying office antics.

  • Spintake

    I'm so glad KCinDC was brave enough to mention his sense of humor in the comments section of this blog, even though his/her sense of humor doesn't match with Andrew's. Its going to be though to live with that but accepting the truth is the first step in what will surely be a long road to recovery. Bravo KCinDC