I am a science and technology journalist at Motherboard, VICE Magazine's science and tech site. I do not think that I have Ebola. I did, however, go bowling at The Gutter in Brooklyn on Wednesday with Craig Spencer, the Doctors Without Border Doctor who just got diagnosed with Ebola in NYC. As I said, I know I don't have Ebola, but the way people I was with have reacted and the way people have treated me since I've told them has been really weird. I wrote this about the experience:


Proof: I'm on "The Astronauts," a team that bowls every Wednesday at The Gutter. I am not a good bowler.


Comments: 145 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

trigunned110 karma

have you considered printing a T-Shirt with the word eBowla written in bold capital letters?

EDIT: This post got me the most upvotes/karma in my reddit career. I feel deflowered. Thanks guys!

jkoebler3 karma

yeah, capitalized just like that

CleveNoWin52 karma

Are you going to be monitoring your temperature over the next week and if so will you be using a rectal thermometer?

jkoebler77 karma

only if you do it for me

BaseActionBastard48 karma

Dude, this is Smokey. Look, I don't want to be a hard-on about this, and I know it wasn't your fault, but I just thought it was fair to tell you that Gilbert and I will be submitting this to the league and asking them to set aside the round, I don't know, maybe forfeit it to us. So, like I say, just thought, you know, fair warning. Tell Craig. I'm sorry?

jkoebler23 karma

I'm also bad at movies but good at Googling

willowswitch32 karma

Let's get these out of the way:

Do you have 8-pound balls?

How did you not know you were bowling?

jkoebler24 karma

I am embarrassed about my grammar

zwartt18 karma

Why did you decide to tell everyone that you were at the bowling alley? Wouldn't you have not been treated weirdly if you'd just kept silent?

jkoebler38 karma

There's no reason to keep silent, all I did was go bowling. If I did in fact get Ebola in my eye or something, staying quiet is the worst thing you can do.

Also, I was wondering what people would say.

12INCHVOICES17 karma

I feel for you. I recognize this isn't the exact same situation, but my partner is HIV+ and even though we are always safe and I rationally know that I haven't put myself at risk, that routine blood test is still a little nerve wracking each time. I can imagine it's stressful having to wait to "know your fate," so to speak, especially with so much conflicting information out there.

Anyway, just my $.02 for whatever it's worth. Here's hoping you'll be okay.

And so Question Bot doesn't get mad at me...what was the best game you ever bowled?

jkoebler8 karma

Thanks for reading and sorry to hear about your situation but sounds like you're both doing well, so that's good.

I went a couple years ago with a my best friend who has since died. She randomly bowled a 155ish out of nowhere (she was very bad) and I got two strikes on the last frame to get a 165 and CRUSH her. It was awesome and that day is a memory I like very much because she beat me at lots of things and it's way more fun to remember her getting SUPER PISSED at something like that than seeing her at the hospital.


The_Write_Stuff11 karma

What was your score?

jkoebler23 karma

109 ... I have gotten steadily worse as the season has gone on

Laglassey10 karma

Can you please tell the webmaster at Motherboard to turn off the autoplay on your site? I've never successfully looked at any of the cool articles you guys have because I just escape, full of rage, whenever I can't find those infuriating videos and turn them off.

jkoebler3 karma

ads or video posts?

thefoolofemmaus7 karma

Did you touch his feces, blood, urine, or other bodily fluid? You know, for science?

jkoebler10 karma

No, but one time I inadvertently grew a biohazard in my office and a few weeks ago I ordered a brain zapping device from a random person on Reddit. But yeah—avoided bodily fluids



jkoebler7 karma

Also I knocked over a glass of water while eating the stranger's pie

frzz7 karma

Have you been contacted by anyone from the city?

jkoebler19 karma

Nope. I don't think they're going to contact anyone, either. The guy wasn't showing symptoms at the alley, so as far as the city is concerned, no one is at risk. I agree with them that no one is at risk, but a lot of the people I was there with have been trying to contact someone / anyone to get some more information. Would be nice if they were a bit proactive about it or had opened up a call line or something.

Dept of Health was closed last night when my friends were calling looking for information. I can only imagine the hell the people who work there are going through right now.

didyouseetheturtles6 karma

How many high fives would you say you and your teammates give out on a typical night of bowling? Who is the most prolific high-fiver on your team?

in_a_morata10 karma

Finally something I know. The most prolific high-fiver, Zachary Bubnick, gives about 260 high-fives a night. I don't have high-five data on the whole team.

jkoebler8 karma

can confirm that this is our current best estimate

BorisTheButcher5 karma

I hurt my elbow last week , I'm pretty sure I have elbowla. How much time do I have left?

I asked my wife but she keeps telling me to shut up

Btw I love VICE, you guys are awesome

jkoebler3 karma

thankya for reading. check out motherboard specifically if you haven't yet. elbowla i hear is not deadly but is highly contagious

TotallyHappyCustomer5 karma

Hello, my question is entirely unrelated to both Ebola and Bowling. My last name is Koehler, which is what brought my attention to this post. My only question is: How do you pronounce your last name?

Koehler: Kay-ler

jkoebler3 karma


Kebler, short e. I don't think that's necessarily correct but it's how we've always said it

stone_cold_bubs5 karma


jkoebler7 karma

for you, anything


casualgardener4 karma

What do you think of the practice of highly publicizing the background stories of all the people who contract Ebola and all the things they did or didn't do? (public transportation, bowling, etc.)

jkoebler5 karma

I get it, because people are scared, and I think transparency is important. Lots of no comments and stuff like that is not helpful from public officials. We saw that in Dallas, and it's important to be real with people. Lots of confusion there over what actually happened in the first few days, and I think that was a mistake.

At the same time, it definitely spreads fear pretty quickly. Seeing lots of moms sending scared texts to their kids and that sort of thing. "He rode the subway" isn't really helpful to anyone, and you've got millions and millions of people who ride each day, a fraction of a percent of whom happened to be on his car at the right time. It's a tricky question, for sure.


-Lilly_Satou-4 karma

I read that you aren't fearful you have the disease, but do you think you'll either get tested or self quarantine?

jkoebler3 karma

I guess if I get at all sick I will get checked out right away. But AFAIK you wouldn't test positive until you have symptoms, anyway

ruffyen3 karma

Why the fuck do you share so much food? Pizza and soup? Wtf

jkoebler1 karma

Pecan pie and soup. I dunno, I'm not scared of germs. The soup had mushrooms in it and I don't like mushrooms so I pawned it off

irishfight3 karma

Do you like working for Vice? Have you met Shane Smith? What does he smell like?

jkoebler7 karma

It's great. I've met him very briefly, I dunno what he smells like, I have frequent stuffy noses.

ANYWAYS, writing for Vice is wonderful and I think we do very good work very often. I get a little annoyed with people who will write off a story simply because it's from Vice, but I think that perception is changing. We have a lot of very talented people doing very serious work. I think that's especially true for Motherboard, where we try to shy away from participating in the internet echo chamber all day and do original, insightful stuff.

IAMA_old_man1 karma

Have you been quarantined?

jkoebler4 karma

Nah I'm at work doing work stuff like tweeting and talking to people on reddit

zosorose1 karma

Are you gonna be pissed at Craig when he gets better?

jkoebler1 karma

of course not

noisylettuce-12 karma


jkoebler23 karma

I wish you would read my article before you say stupid shit like this. But yes, I get paid for my job.