101 Extremely Niche and Special Things You’re an Expert On

Seventy-five years ago last summer, we put out a call for new writers and over 650 people applied and while it nearly killed me (would’ve been a wonderful way to go, thank you all very much!), it also filled me with wonder and glee, because everyone is just so fucking fascinating! We asked applicants to list their areas of expertise and let me just say upfront that there are a lot more birdwatchers out there than you’d probably guess.

Here are some other niche topics that people were ready to write about at the drop of a hat.

  1. what people are fighting about on Twitter
  2. falconer
  3. sensitive, white girl Ikea decor
  4. being in the Midwest (cheese)
  5. which craft stores are ethically sourcing their wool
  6. why pie charts suck
  7. Having multiple conflicting feelings at the same time
  8. Mitski’s right hand in the Geyser music video
  9. Nora Ephron
  10. trying not to be a U-Haul Lesbian and also being a U-Haul Lesbian
  11. Bottle-feeding kittens
  12. my dog & her various doggy woes
  13. being Very Online™
  14. homophobic 80s-90s action/horror movies
  15. Cate Blanchett
  16. large appliances
  17. screaming and crying in socially inappropriate spheres
  18. Sandra Bullock’s entire filmography
  19. Vermicomposting
  20. unlikely instances of near death experiences
  21. the neopets stock market
  22. animals that look like people
  23. Kristen Stewart’s facial expressions
  24. Apocalypse prepping
  25. Satanic philosophy and history
  26. why queers love My Chemical Romance so dang much
  27. casseroles
  28. cultivating hobbies in your 20’s to feel alive again
  29. a fascination with straight people’s behavior
  30. I also am extremely into bees. Like, my dudes, you have — I swear to you, on my mom, that this is an absolute fact — never, ever met someone who knows or cares about bees as much as I do. Everybody says, “Oh, I love bees; hell yeah, save the bees!”… but they’re only ever talking about the European honeybee, apis mellifera, a species transplanted from its original endemic territory to support large-scale agriculture, a practice that has had a purely negative impact on the earth and upon ourselves ever since humanity’s shift to agrarian society from hunter-gatherer culture circa 3000 BCE. Have any of these people who “love bees” even HEARD of solitary species? Do they know about thyreus nitidulus, the neon cuckoo bee? It’s blue! It’s beautiful!
  31. intersectional Satanic feminism
  32. boobs??!
  33. eating a 1lb bag of Sour Patch Kids in under an hour
  34. MILFs
  35. Cringey mid-2000s teen dramas that had too few lesbians
  36. Paul Giamatti’s film and music career
  37. baseball caps worn backwards
  38. Amish romance novels
  39. everything about donuts
  40. wholesome thirst trapping
  41. the Venn diagram of Janelle Monae and Carly Rae Jepsen fandom
  42. insulting men who say gross stuff to me in my DMs
  43. …cooking pasta?
  44. saying embarrassing things that make me want to die in a hole
  45. going on 100 first dates without ever getting a second
  46. Committing to a bit that was never that funny to start with, but now that I’ve started you can pry it from my cold dead hands
  47. knitting penis-shaped pillows
  48. identifying what episode of The Nanny it is based on C.C. Babcock’s hair
  49. running long distances very slowly
  50. puppets, just all types of puppets
  51. communications cables and antennas
  52. girl groups of the ’60s
  53. moss
  54. The Devil Wears Prada Cerulean Monologue
  55. telling people to quit things they should quit
  56. power tools one can rent from Home Depot
  57. Hayley Kiyoko (I’m a three-time award winner of the “Most Likely to Mention Hayley Kiyoko in a Piece Not About Hayley Kiyoko” award at [redacted publication])
  58. Irish country singer Daniel O’Donnell
  59. golden retrievers
  60. geology, specifically volcanoes
  61. Fyre Festival
  62. The Boys Are Back In Town
  63. Film bros and how to shut them down
  64. ruining vegan cakes by accident
  65. having two straight women as best friends
  66. loud eyeshadow
  67. horses, Jodie Foster
  68. Which Lana Del Rey Song to Make Out To
  69. Mid 2000’s MySpace/Emo Culture
  70. lesbian weddings (not my own)
  71. Charcuterie Boards
  72. the perils of being Very Tall Indeed
  73. media to watch while stoned
  74. escape rooms
  75. 18th century satire
  76. basket-weaving, I am not kidding do you want to see a picture of my basket
  77. Hannibal Lecter
  78. History of the ball-point pen
  79. swords
  80. old dyke stuff
  81. I’m not a sex toy expert, but I’m sure I could learn
  82. drawing ugly stick figures
  83. 70’s soft rock
  84. A-Camp
  85. Big Little Lies, the audiobook of Big Little Lies
  86. middle aged actresses
  87. Bath and Body Works candles
  88. consuming popular media years after everyone else and letting people enjoy it again vicariously through you
  89. how to take care of a backyard above-ground pool impulsively purchased at Target in Denver, a place with no water and weird weather (an ongoing investigation)
  90. spending money I don’t have to support women on Kickstarter
  91. a deep knowledge of 1800s British literature that I did not ask for
  92. treating your plants as your children
  93. HORSES
  94. Should a Duggar ever come out, I am READY to write that article yesterday
  95. aggressive inline skating
  96. Barbra Streisand; circus history
  97. identifying British birds
  98. being an Appalachian in New York during the Year of Our Dumpster Lord 2019 when the New York Times seems determined to profile everyone I’ve ever been to Walmart with
  99. being friends with theater people
  100. how to make couples fall in love with you even when they totally thought they were just going to “try” a threesome “once” lol
  101. Linoleum
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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


    • Oh, good, I’m not the only one who looks at a teensitty tinesitty hole in the ground wondering if that’s the domicile of a solitary bee neighbor.

  1. Can whoever said they’d write about the Janelle Monae/Carly Rae Jepson fandom overlap please give me a quick thesis? I am fascinated, if only because those two artists are an outsized part of almost any playlist I make.

  2. At least two (2) people mentioned horses so clearly there’s a thirst for more queer horse content and I support that.

  3. Statistically one of those Duggars at LEAST is going to come out someday. There are too many for it not to happen. Whichever one (or more) of them it is, I hope they are okay right now and know that we’re out here waiting for them. We got you, queer or trans Duggar! There is life outside your family’s compound!

  4. Please commission articles on
    20. Unlikely instances of near death experiences and
    65. Having two straight women as best friends

    • My near death* experience was when I was in Switzerland and went on a pedalo with a slide on it, slid down the slide and then realised that where they normally have a couple of steps so you can climb back on and there were no steps.
      I kept trying to pull myself back on but I had zero arm strength so just couldn’t do it. My (now ex) wife tried to pull me back on but couldn’t. She then suggested she would get in the water to help me back on, but I vetoed that as a very bad idea.
      Then I was going to hold on whilst she pedalled back, but in the end I decided to swim back to the shore of the lake. I swam literally about five strokes and I was in water shallow enough to stand.
      We had the whole time only been about 20 or so metres from shore (on a calm lake) but I hadn’t processed that and was convinced that I could potentially drown if I couldn’t get back on the pedalo.

      *It felt like near death even though I am sure I must have been at greater risk of dying on other occasions.

  5. Who is the basket weaving person? I think we could be friends. I’m tired of always showing my latest (historic) craft projects to my not really interested friends.

    • Is this where I weave in another “Hell in a hand basket” reference ?

      Because I’m thinking about hand baskets more and more these days, like how to make mine more comfy and what snacks to bring for that final ride. @hooloovoo and @lesbionic , do you take commissions ?

  6. Please can you commission an article from #49 this is the content I want and need!

    Also #76 I too would like to see your basket!

  7. let me just say upfront that there are a lot more birdwatchers out there than you’d probably guess.


  8. Wait Paul Giamatti has a music career? On the other hand, I’d be interested in Barbra Streisand circus history.

  9. “72 -the perils of being Very Tall Indeed”

    I can see the peril below, as I gaze off into the distance from atop my ludicrously high heels

  10. 48. identifying what episode of The Nanny it is based on C.C. Babcock’s hair

    I need to know this person because they likely love The Nanny just as much as me.

  11. I completely forgot about the neopets stock market but I’d like to personally thank whoever that person is for reminding me and also do you want to talk neopets sometime because I was o b s e s s e d at one point.

  12. Hello i hope you hired #30, and if not i need a good reason why a bee column isn’t being commissioned bc this is absolutely the content i need in my life

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