John Key

Prime Minister of New Zealand
by Kate

NOTE: As part of our ongoing effort to monetize this web site so we can quit our jobs and travel around the country solving mysteries, we are thrilled to offer an exciting new way for heads of state and government to improve their reputations by generating positive buzz online.

Good publicity is priceless, and yet we have managed to put a surprisingly affordable price on it. For only a fraction of your country’s GDP, you can commission a Sponsored Post™ that is guaranteed to increase your popularity with the several people who read this web site, not to mention the thousands and thousands who stumble upon it after googling “Mark Rutte Shirtless.”

But don’t take my word for it—here is a sample Sponsored Post™ that I’ve written for John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand. (This one is on the house, Johnbut if you’d like you could send me a heartfelt thank-you in the form of a pet kiwi.*)


You know who is really great? I’ll give you a second to think about it.

OK, time’s up! No, it’s not your dad…he’s the worst. The answer is New Zealand Prime Minister John Key!

John Key


John Key is a rock star in every sense of the word, except in the literal sense of being a musician. (But I consider that a plus, because musicians are terrible.) And you don’t need to know anything about New Zealand politics in order to become a fan of John Key. In fact, it’s kind of easier that way.

Now that I’ve (a) introduced you to John Key and (b) insulted all musicians, we’ve reached the point in the Sponsored Post in which I tell you a personal anecdote. Just the other morning I was reading the newspaper, and I came across a critical article about John Key. Instead of reading it, I tore the entire newspaper into tiny bits and put the pieces down the garbage disposal. And then I called the plumber and demanded that he come over and replace my garbage disposal, because it is dead to me now.

(Have you ever destroyed YOUR garbage disposal in the course of defending John Key’s honor? Share your stories in the Comments!)

Next let’s review some of the great things about John Key in a series of easy-to-read bullet points:

  • John Key is handsome.
    He has kind of a George-Clooney-Wearing-a-John-Key-Mask thing going on.

Finally, I want you to know that even though this was a Sponsored Post, my exaggerated praise of John Key comes completely from the heart. I would never try to mislead you about my feelings on John Key (unless it was for profit. Which technically this wasn’t! Unless you count the dream of owning a kiwi.)

*To be clear, when I say “kiwi” I am referring to the fruit and not the bird. I am terrible at taking care of birds. I am great at taking of fruit!

Amazing Poll Results

Thanks to everyone who voted in our election for the Hottest Head of State (or government) of the Internet. I hope you all made little “I voted” stickers and wore them around, because that’s a fun way to make your friends and coworkers feel confused and ashamed.

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck


Halloween Special: World Leaders Share Their Real-Life Horror Stories

Just in time for Halloween, we asked some of our favorite world leaders what they are most afraid of. We received some great responses (in our imaginations), so settle in with a blanket and a bowl of candy apples while you read these spine-tingling tales of head-of-state horror.

We asked: “What is your greatest fear?”

Dmitry Medvedev

“I fear that this winter, our esteemed and beloved President Putin will make me go back inside the box until spring. I am not claustrophobic but it is hard to spend the winter inside a small box, especially with our long Russian winters.”

—Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia

Anibal Cavaco Silva

“When you get to be my age, sometimes the scariest thing is just laying down to go to sleep and wondering if you’ll wake up again. I try not to think about it. But who knows? One of these days, some adventurer might manage to get past all of the booby traps, pry open my coffin, and drive a stake through my heart. But I suppose when it’s your time, it’s your time.”

—Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal

Malcolm Turnball

“Once a month, on the first night of the new moon, the Beast comes to Parliament House and chooses one employee of the Australian government to drag back to its lair. On one such night I was hiding under my desk, and the Beast came right into my office. It was so close, I could hear its mandibles clicking. I was sure I was a goner, but then it grabbed my secretary Gemma from her hiding place behind the curtain and dragged her away, her screams echoing down the empty hallways. I’ll never forget that night. Although…now that I stop to think about it, I don’t know why we don’t just work from home on the first night of the new moon. I can’t believe I only now thought of that!”

—Malcolm Turnball, Prime Minister of Australia

John Dramani Mahama

“One time a cashier handed me a bottle of Coke that had my name on it. Right there in large, white letters, it said “John.” I was shaken to my core. Ever since then, I won’t step foot inside of an Au Bon Pain.”

—John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana

Viktor Orban

“Refugees. Can you think of anything more terrifying than a teeming horde of refugees? Whew, I’m getting shivers up my spine just talking about it. I tell you what, here’s some free advice: don’t watch a movie or read a book about refugees when you’re alone in the house at night!”

—Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary

Queen Elizabeth

“One day I came home and there was a strange man sitting in my kitchen. He said he was my husband, and he looked just like my husband, but I could tell that something was off. Somehow, I just knew he wasn’t my husband. So, you know, I had to have him killed. But anyway, where was I? Oh yes, fears. My greatest fear is spiders.”

—Elizabeth II, Queen regnant of the United Kingdom

Alexis Tsipras

“For a while there I was being stalked by a clown marionette that Angela Merkel gave me for my birthday. Luckily, I managed to throw him off my trail. See, the trick was to OH MY GOD THERE HE IS UNDER THE [indistinct screaming]”

—Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece

Alexander Lukashenko

“I have a pretty scary stalker. It started off simple—I would get an email every now and then, congratulating me about something or other and signed ‘Your biggest fan, Kate, xxoo.’ But things escalated from there. Flowers, perfumed letters, clippings of hair in tiny heart-shaped boxes. Then the security detail caught this American woman, ‘Kate,’ trying to scale the fence outside my presidential palace with chloroform and a giant sack labeled “Alexander Lukashenko.” So. I guess what I’m saying is that if I ever disappear, you’ll know what happened.”

—Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus

Erna Solberg

“My greatest fear is trolls. We have big problems with trolls in Norway. And I’m not talking about adorable Frozen-type trolls who sing songs about being love experts. My predecessor was eaten by a troll after driving through the mountains with too light of a security detail. It peeled open his SUV like a can of sardines and ate him in one bite. True story.”

—Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

Mark Rutte

“I am not in danger. I am the danger. I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS.”

—Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Barack Obama

“Living in the White House…it isn’t always easy. But I’ve figured out that if the ghost starts coming at you, you just shout “Go away, Chester A. Arthur!” and throw pieces of china at him until he slinks back to his lair inside of the elevator shaft. That’s why, whenever I’m at home, I carry a stack of Lincoln’s salad plates around with me.”

—Barack Obama, President of the United States

You Decide: WHO IS THE HOTTEST HEAD OF STATE (or government)?

In what will definitely be the most important election to take place in all of 2015, this is your chance to vote for who gets the title of HOTTEST HEAD OF STATE (or government) IN THE WORLD.

You can probably sense what a tremendous responsibility this is by the way I am using all of this unnecessary boldface. I am trusting you to put aside your nationalist sentiments (I’m talking to you, creepily loyal citizens of Bhutan!) and cast your vote based on an impartial evaluation of the hotness of each nominee.

The poll will remain open until 11:59 pm (EST) on Tuesday, November 3. After that, we’ll stop accepting votes and update the list according to the results. Here are the candidates:

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan

Jigme Khesar Wangchuck, King of Bhutan

A few points to consider:
• His official title is “Dragon King.” Hot!
• Last year he landed a spot on Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List. You have to admit, he does have a pretty sweet yellow scarf.
• Bhutan is consistently ranked one of the happiest countries in the world. I don’t know if you should count this for or against him though. Depends on how bitter and you are.

Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico

Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico

• I think that, if we are being honest with ourselves, the President of Mexico has the most classically handsome features of all of the nominees.
• On the other hand, when he smiles it is terrifying.
• On the other hand, maybe you’re into that!

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

• Perhaps you, like me, are tired of everyone in Canada being mad at me.
• Personally, there is nothing I find more attractive than an extremely attractive man holding a baby. And for some reason, Justin Trudeau is always holding babies.
• Finally, there’s this.

Now here is the part where you get to vote! You can also campaign for your favorite candidate by sharing this poll with your friends(I’m assuming that your friends are pretty easy to boss around.)

Vladimir Putin, Part 2

by Kate

Because three (!) people asked for it, here it is: another chapter of my amazing Vladimir Putin fan fiction novel.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s Chapter 1. If you’ve read that and still don’t know what I’m talking about, then there’s nothing more I can do to help you. Best to cut your losses and move on.

Vladimir Putin and a Lada Kalina

Chapter 2: Putin the Pedal to the Medal

You are perched in the passenger seat of a canary yellow Lada Kalina, speeding down the M4 highway so fast it feels as if you are flying. Every muscle in your body is tense and alert, but no matter how much you try, you can’t seem to make yourself relax. That’s because, sitting only an arm’s reach away, is Russian president Vladimir Putin.  (more…)

Tonight: Live-Tweeting the Republican Presidential Debate

GOP debate

Here is what tonight’s debate will look like if everyone decides to wear the same thing they wore last time.

Because we want to trick you into following us on Twitter, tonight we will be live-tweeting the CNN Republican Presidential Debate (8pm EST) from @HotHeadofState.

If you’re not on Twitter, now a great opportunity for you to open 70 accounts and use all of them to follow us. Thanks in advance!