Illustration by Sam Woolley

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering top secret information, wheelchairs, cosplay, orgies, and more.

Your letters!

Ben:

Right now I’m falling asleep watching the 13th inning of a 1-1 Cubs-Brewers game. Why doesn’t baseball do something to increase scoring in extra innings, similar to hockey or college football? I think after the 10th inning, every inning you should start with a runner on second base.

Oh, that’s brilliant. I support that idea and would gladly march on the National Mall for it. I mean, what percentage of people at a baseball are happy to see a game go to extra innings, besides Will Leitch? Two percent? Every time the announcer is like, “And we go to the 13th!” I can hear people groaning from the upper deck. At that point, everyone wants to just go the fuck home. The fans are tired. The players are tired. The mascot is on the verge of heat stroke. It’s like being trapped in a seminar.

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I used to joke that they should replace extra innings with a home run derby, but that’s cheap and stupid. They should start with a free baserunner in the 10th (this would be a pinch runner who is still eligible to bat or field later on), two in the 11th, and then go with the bases loaded at the start of the 12th and every inning onward. The whole reason to watch extra innings is because of the prospect of a walkoff victory, so this helps nudge the game in that direction without changing the game entirely. Besides, it’s horrible to sit there and watch a scoreless extra inning, or watch the visiting team slap in a run in the top of the 12th and then have the home team go three up/three down to bow out meekly. What a fucking letdown. Visiting teams should be forbidden from winning in extra innings.

Also, this tweak would help reduce the workload of middle relievers and closers. Pitchers are already overburdened as is. Nothing worse than some 18-inning game in the middle of July that results in four Tommy John surgeries. Pitchers are too important to piss away like that. We have to protect them by adding free baserunners and subbing in a JUGGS machine after the 14th. That’s better for everyone involved.

JJ:

Which president had the most confidential material destroyed? I figure Kennedy asked people to shred photos of him with other women; Nixon wanted everything recorded and then got rid of the unimportant stuff; and Bush had to junk all the memos saying not to invade Iraq. So who is our Commander in Delete?

I was gonna say Nixon, but that’s wrong because he bugged his own office like a paranoid, insane person; and thus produced as much confidential material as he destroyed. No, the answer is Obama, because the amount of confidential material increases exponentially with every successive President, regardless of his party affiliation and mental instability. Literally trillions of pages of material are classified every year, even mundane shit like paper clip orders. And it’s much easier to produce that material in the modern age, thanks to computers and mass surveillance transcripts. Back in Nixon’s day, you had TYPE all that shit. Do you know how tedious that is? I’m not writing down every word of that secret ballistic missile pact. I’m paraphrasing it. The Russians will get the gist.

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The real shame of this is that top secret information has now been watered down to the point of being meaningless. If I get a classified dossier, it better be juicy. It better be written in olde timey telegraph language and say ALIENS SECURED AT ROSWELL, STOP. PERMISSION TO PROCEED WITH PLAN “Z,” STOP. WILL SALVAGE LASER CANNONS AND AWAIT FURTHER ORDERS, STOP. To classify any other information is pointless and stupid. I’m not reading the Snowden documents. Just gimme the top line info about secret government satellites watching me masturbate and spare me the boring parts.

Andrew:

A coworker just came up to me this morning (the day of Ali’s funeral, no less) and spent a solid five minutes describing to me how Muhammad Ali was “an asshole and a racist,” and shouldn’t be remembered the way he has been since he passed away. I chose to firmly, but respectfully, disagree, rather than leap out of my chair and start screaming. My questions to you: did his take warrant a stronger response? And what’s the best way to respond to these kinds of situations at work?

Don’t bother arguing with him. Everyone runs into a human Twitter egg at some point. Online, you’re free to beef as you please. But if we’re talking about someone you gotta look in the eye every day, there’s no point. It’ll only create animosity and make you miserable. It’s not like you’re gonna get him to admit, “Oh wow, you’re right! He was a real hero and I’m just a mouth-breathing imbecile.” That’ll never happen. Just ignore his scorching hot Ali takes and change the subject and/or find a way to politely snuff out the conversation. “Oh, well I’m going to go stare at the coffee machine now.” Don’t give him any more fuel to continue his diatribe.

I know I rant and rave online all day long. But in the real world, it pays to operate under a guise of phony politeness and thinly veiled passive aggression. That’s the proper Minnesotan way of going about your business. “Oh, so you think women who dye their hair are all practicing witches? Well, that’s certainly an interesting perspective! More potato salad?”

Jim:

I bought a wheelchair about 10 years ago from a Goodwill store to use as a video game chair. It was actually my ex-wife’s idea. I tried to give it away to someone years ago who actually needed it, but it lacks foot rests, so they declined. It was cheap (20 bucks). I feel bad for owning something that people could actually use, but I tried to give it away. It’s cool to keep it, right?

It’s fine. You bought it! You didn’t steal it from a cancer ward. Some handicapped guy isn’t lying helpless on a floor somewhere just because you purchased a defunct wheelchair and there’s some kind of mass medical supply shortage. Without footrests, it’s worthless anyway. Every time I see a wheelchair, I wanna sit down and play murderball with it. So I salute you for living out your fantasy.

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That said, I would use that thing sparingly. Wheelchairs aren’t known for their lumbar support, nor were they designed for you to just lounge around in. Your legs will wither after sitting in it for more than an hour. Also, people will judge you if you’re sitting around in a wheelchair despite not being sick. “Fuck is wrong with THAT guy?” It’s not worth it. Get yourself a proper recliner so that you can kick back while playing Overwatch and leave the wheelchair for drunken sidewalk racing.

Matthew:

Is wearing a sports jersey a form of cosplay? It’s easy to jump to “no” because cosplayers are NERDS and sports fans are JOCKS and pop culture tells us that there can be nothing in common with those groups. But it seems like dressing up as your favorite character from Lord of Thrones Trek or putting on a jersey of your favorite player from the New Carolina Wild Sox is done using the same motivation. It’s just an excuse for adults to play dress-up.

If it’s just a jersey, I say no. The point of cosplay is for you to become that particular character. If you’re some drunken Masshole walking around in a Tom Brady jersey, you’re not inhibiting the character of Tom Brady. You’re still Tommy from Quinzee, and everyone fucking hates you. You have to go a step further by wearing a full uniform, with eye black, and rocking Brady’s current seasonal hairstyle. Maybe you carry a partially deflated football with you as well. THAT would be cosplay. Like those Raiders fans in the Black Hole who dress up as Darth Vader and shit? That counts as cosplay. Those are full-body costumes.

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But a jersey alone isn’t enough. If I wear a jersey, I’m still me. I’m wearing that jersey to let people know that I love FOOTBAW and that my favorite player is cool and awesome, and you should think that I too am awesome for supporting him. And yeah, it helps me pretend I look like a real player, but deep down I know I’m not fooling anyone. The ketchup stains don’t help, either.

Austen:

What is the minimum number of people for an orgy?

Four! Three is just a threesome. But with four, you can trade partners, and everyone is penetrating or is penetrated by more than one body part. That’s the passing grade. That’s the D-minus orgy. Sure, it would be nice to have thirty people and a buffet of sex toys and flavored rubbers, but you take what the orgy gives you. Not every orgy can be Eyes Wide Shut.

Jack:

What’s the best way to talk about art at a museum without sounding like a pretentious ass? I enjoy going to art museums and genuinely discussing the pieces with friends. However, whenever I overhear other people analyzing the art, I automatically think they’re snobby, annoying, art people. I feel like it’s impossible to genuinely talk about art without sounding like a dick. Is it?

I think you can pull it off so long as you’re being sincere, and not talking about art out loud as a way of impressing those around you. Like, I enjoy looking at Vincent Van Gogh paintings in part because he used bold colors (Welcome to Colortown!) and because he used a SHITLOAD of paint in every brushstroke—thick dabs that dried in place and stick out from the canvas, which makes the painting feel three-dimensional. I’m not trying to dazzle you with that analysis (indeed, whenever I talk about art I sound like a teenager on a date. “He makes those flowers look so pretty!”). That’s how I genuinely feel when I look at The Starry Night or one of his other masterworks. I applaud his textural elements!

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So if you’re talking honestly (if a bit clumsily) about what you admire about the painting and how it makes you feel, that’s fine. What’s NOT fine is when you decide to play Mr. Art Professor and start spewing a bunch of art takes to make yourself sound cultured. “Mmm. Yes. Indeed. I find his use of watercolor here to be a distinct comment on the repressive nature of the Victorian era ***smokes pipe***” No one’s buying that. You came to the gallery in your Tom Brady jersey. You’re not impressing anyone.

By the way, I was at some gallery once with my wife and there was an old couple looking at a painting by William Glackens. And the old lady started shaking her head and said to her husband, “No no no! That is NOT a good Glackens!” Just openly trashing the painting in front of everyone, which was both obnoxious and highly amusing. So now, whenever my wife and I see something we don’t like, we turn to each other and say THAT IS NOT A GOOD GLACKENS! Never gets old.

Ryan:

We’ve all heard those radio spots in which the pitchman says, “And tell ‘em [insert name here] sent ya!” at the end. What percentage of people actually do that, though? You think anyone goes into a Nissan dealership hoping that one name drop gets them $3,000 off a new Altima? Has to be fewer than 1%, right?

Well, in some cases, it’s a legitimate promo code. Like you say the DJ’s name and they give you 5% off of the Valentine’s Day chocolate sampler as part of the promotion. In that case, you’d be a fool NOT to namedrop Crazy Ira & The Douche. That’s free money.

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Also, businesses love to stockpile research on how you heard about them. It’s in every form you fill out at a bank or car dealership. “How did you hear about our pinata outlet?” I always answer this question honestly, even though I shouldn’t. I should just write SATAN in the blank. That would give them something to think about.

HALFTIME!

Mike:

What if your testicles growled when you were horny, in the same way that your stomach does when you are hungry?

That would be bad. An erection is embarrassing enough on its own. Like, it’s already very difficult to disguise your horniness. Your dick pops up. Your face gets red. You give off scented pheromones. Your hips start gyrating of their own accord. It’s hard to keep all that under control in the middle of a social studies class, or when your girlfriend’s hot mom walks by. Bad enough being man and being horny seventeen hours a day. Adding an audible cue would be the end of all of us. Imagine your balls growling in the middle of Christmas dinner. Or in the middle of a date:

YOU: I heard this is a good movie.

HER: Me, too.

YOU: Well listen, I’m really glad you decided to go out with me.

HER: (smiles warmly) Me too.

YOUR BALLS: GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

HER: ERMAHGERD, what was that?

YOU: No, you don’t understand! See, I have no control over…

HER: You’re a fucking creep and I’m gonna tell four million other women that you’re a creep and then they’re gonna tell four million other women the same thing and then you’re gonna die a virgin!

YOU: No, please! Please, don’t! Don’t do it! (throws self off cliff)

That’s what would happen. ‘Twould be a curse!

Bradley:

The other day I had a poppy seed stuck in between two of my top teeth and that sucker was not moving. I didn’t have a toothpick so I adapted a receipt into a toothpick by folding it a few times and creating a semi-sharp pointed end. With this, I thought, which non-toothpick item makes the best toothpick?

A business card! I used to have a box of business cards back when I had a desk job, and I never actually handed them out to people. I used them strictly for emergency tooth-picking. You get four corners to get that hunk of meat out of your molars, and they wear down fast. It’s like a game! PRETTY EXCITING SHIT. The feeling you get when you successfully extract a piece of bagel garlic without the help of a toothpick is easily on par with winning the Super Bowl (or so I would assume). Anyway, here’s how I would rank the toothpick alternatives:

  1. Floss
  2. Business card
  3. Your fingernail (n/a if you happen to bite your nails; just one more reason to break the habit)
  4. Your tongue
  5. A very small bone left on your plate

Whatever you do, don’t use a pencil. I learned the hard way!

Asher:

I was eating a deli sandwich that came with a pickle on the side and I was wondering what the rules on that were. Do you eat the pickle first as a small appetizer before the sandwich, do you start the pickle and then, like me, pause from the sandwich every few bites for another bite of pickle to keep it varied, or do you save the pickle for a slightly salty desert after your belt is feeling a little tighter?

I have no idea. Pickle etiquette is lost on me. I never eat the thing, frankly. I usually pick it up and throw it at my children instead. If I want pickles with my sandwich, I want them IN the sandwich, to give me that hit of acidity I so desperately need. I don’t want a giant log of a pickle as a palate cleanser. You could host a cruise on some of those things.

Clint:

Is it called pee because it comes out of a penis?

No. I Googled “why is pee called pee,” and the standard, unverified answer is that it’s short for “piss” and NOT because it comes out of the penis. Make sure to clarify this with your children.

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While we’re here, let’s go ahead and rank the formal and slang terms for urination. For this exercise, I’m gonna stick to the main terms for it, and not get into all the colorful phrases that you probably never bother using:

  1. Piss
  2. Leak
  3. Whizz
  4. Pee (NOTE: This is the #1 term of use for children under 10)
  5. Go #1
  6. Tinkle
  7. Peepee
  8. Weewee
  9. Make water (NOTE: People never use this term anymore but it’s fucking hilarious)
  10. Urinate
  11. Empty out
  12. Void

“Void” is the worst. Void is what they use in hospitals. If someone orders you to void, it’s because you just woke up from having your gall bladder removed. That is not fun at all. Now PISSING… there’s a good time for you. Everyone loves a good piss.

Dan:

How do you carry sunglasses when you’re not wearing them on your face? In my mind there’s no acceptable solution. These are what I’ve seen people do:

- Tilted up on your forehead.

- Tucked into the collar of your shirt.

- Carried in your hand.

- Backwards on your head.

- Shoved into your pocket.

- Never take them off.

What about Croakies? Get some sweet Croakies and let them hang, baby! Everyone will think you’re a water skiing instructor. Think of all the cold Coors Light you can drink with a pair of neon orange Croakies dangling from your sunburned neck.

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In all seriousness, I just tuck them into my collar if I’m not wearing them. It’s convenient, so long as you don’t bend over to tie your shoe or unclog a toilet. Then all hell breaks loose. Plus, sticking them in your shirt lets people know you’re a dashing man of leisure who has sunglasses ready to deploy at any moment, should a yacht orgy break out.

If you have a shirt pocket, you can stick them in there as well. It’s bulky, and it makes you look like you have a lone boob, but it still does the job. Whatever you do, do NOT leave your sunglasses somewhere and then assume that you will remember to pick them back up. Because you won’t. You will forget them, or you will sit on them and break them. No pair of Ray Bans is safe from my descending anus.

By the way, this is the whole reason that cargo shorts and cargo pants will never die off completely. They look atrocious, but the pocket factor is SO crucial. I can fit fifty pounds of candy in my cargo shorts, which is useful in a pinch. It’s worth looking like a complete fucking dork. Only a full suit has more pockets, and those things are expensive and hot.

Steve:

When you’re saying you’re a fan of a team, is it proper to say the plural or the singular? Yankees Fan or Yankee Fan? I’ve always said plural. Which do you think is better?

The Deadspin style guide says to make it plural, even though I get confused about this a lot. All I know is that, in everyday conversation, I tell people I am a “Vikings fan,” and then they say, “LOL BLAIR WALSH MISSED THE KICK. EAT SHIT, YOU FUCK.” And then I cry. So, yeah, use the plural.

Ben:

The other day I’m taking online training for work. One of the online classes requires me to sign up for an account through a Federal Government Agency so I can take an online class through them. So I’m signing up for the account and setting up my password reset questions. One of the questions (which was pre-selected) was, “Where were you on 9/11?” I know it has been 15 years but isn’t it still too soon?

It’s a trap! I know a planted security question when I see one. They’re hoping you answer honestly and say, “Celebrating with my terrorist brethren MWAHAHAHA” so that they can then detain you. Oldest trick in the book for catching evildoers.

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Also, note that your question was pre-selected. Usually, you get to pick your security questions (which is a problem for me because, as it turns out, I don’t remember much of anything about my life). The fact that they deliberately stuck it there is clearly a hidden test of your patriotism. You better say you were washing your pickup truck that morning, and then stick to your story.

By the way, I keep hearing that security questions and passwords are outdated, and that we’ll switch over to fingerprint and retinal identification one day. Well… WHERE is that day? Only my phone has the thumbprint thing, and it’s a bitch to set up, and I still gotta have a password. I’ve had enough of this. You Silicon Valley asswipes need to stop suing my company and get busy collecting my facial recognition data and then selling it.

Andrew:

Does Obama carry a wallet? If so, what’s in it? Clearly not any money. I’m assuming a picture of Bo and a classically embarrassing family photo from ‘92.

No. No way. What if some other world leader picks his pocket and makes off with his ID? Obama wouldn’t be able to get back into the White House after that. No, he has an aide carry all that garbage for him. I bet he was more than happy to ditch the wallet. No more cargo shorts for him! And I bet he can just hand his sunglasses to some lackey and never have to worry about losing them. LUXURY.

Sam:

How many belt loops do you think is standard for a pair of pants? I was putting a belt on the other day and noticed that a pair of pants I own has 11 (!) loops. That has to be way too many right? I did some looking and it appears most of my pants have around 7 which seems less insane.

Seven is the standard: two on your hipbones, two on the side, two over your buttcheeks, and then one at the back. That’s enough to prevent your waistband from sagging below the belt and making you look like a homeless clown. If your pants have than seven or eight loops, that’s just the designer being a GLORY BOY and making you do lots of needless threading. I don’t approve.

Email of the week!

Charles:

I was probably around 12, peak age of being able to get embarrassed in front of people. I was at the local pizza parlor/arcade and all of the cool games were off to the side, down a hallway that was designed to look like the corridor of a spaceship (it was a long round tunnel with all kinds of lights running along the walls). The entire wall at the end of the corridor was a mirror. I was walking down the hallway, impressed with how many games they had, when I noticed someone walking towards me. I was too busy deciding where I should spend my tokens to really pay too much attention to the guy heading towards me, I just kind of saw him out of the corner of my eye. I kept walking and didn’t notice him until right before I was going to bump into him, so I didn’t have time to stop, just to quickly step to the side to let him pass. I then smacked nose first into the mirror – I didn’t even get a chance to put up my hand to brace for impact. It was then that I realized the reason it seemed like they had so many games is they were doubled in the reflection. Most embarrassingly, this wasn’t even my first time at this place so I couldn’t even claim ignorance.

It made a rather loud smacking sound, and everyone at that end of the hallway immediately turned to look at me. There was nothing I could do but walk back down with a throbbing headache realizing that I looked like an idiot. People pointed and laughed and I had to play it off like I did it as a joke. Can you start a support group for us?

I can.