Illustration by Jim Cooke.

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering movie cameos, barn fights, Duke fuckfaces, and more. 

Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day! They actually banned candy from valentines at my kid’s school this year. I assume this is because at least one child in the class has a deadly LOVE allergy. Regardless, the candy ban instantly rendered Valentine’s Day meaningless to every student. They’re now as indifferent to the holiday as I am, which is highly amusing. Take away candy hearts and your kids turn into full-blown nihilists in five seconds flat.

Okay, here are your letters:

Derek:

How many squares of toilet paper do you use on an average wipe? My brother and I got in an argument when I found out he used about 10 squares per wipe. I said 3-4 works fine.

Three to four? Is your toilet paper made out of beach towels? That’s way too low, especially for the first wipe. That first wipe could be a full Category 5 cleanup job, and you’re going in with just four squares of flimsy toilet paper? I’ve never heard of such recklessness. All you can do with four squares is DAB. You can’t fully till a buttcrack with so little paper.

Advertisement

Anyway, I took a shit just now and counted squares to get to the… BOTTOM… of Derek’s question. I never count squares when gathering up TP to wipe. I just grab a bunch and then do my business. So, for this study, I pulled what I would consider a standard wad from the roll and then counted the number of squares I was using. For the first time, I used 26. Please note that we buy Target brand TP, which is very cheap and very thin, despite being two-ply. That means I always grab a little extra off the roll for insurance against the stinkfinger, even though you probably think I’m a TP-hogging GLORY BOY regardless. I’m the guy who usually blames excessive TP usage in the house on any woman who happens to be nearby, and yet it is I who is the true high-maintenance diva. No wonder I clogged a rental house toilet last month.

For the followup wipe, I counted 13 squares. Again, I’m sure I’m single-handedly destroying the Earth with my toilet paper gluttony. I should be more mindful of my usage, but I am a large man, and I enjoy a great many processed foods. I deserve a bit more leeway than some delicate, L.A. waif who subsists on nothing but seeds and charcoal tea all day. I say you get 20 squares for the first wipe, then 10 for every followup wipe. Quintuple all of those numbers for gas station bathroom tissue.

Andrew:

My brother just made an incredibly bold statement in which he declared the Matt Damon cameo in EuroTrip to be the best cameo ever. Cameos can be ranked by so many things: shock, context, absurdity, etc. What’s the all time best?

I’m not sure it counts as a cameo, but I always thought the best unbilled performance was by Kevin Spacey in Seven. That movie came out in 1995, a few years before the Internet really blew up. So I had no clue he was in it, much less that he would ship Gwynnie’s head in a box to Brad Pitt at the end. Talk about being surprised!

Advertisement

Most cameos are shitty. They were fun back in the ‘80s, when they were relatively rare and used sparingly, like with Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World or Kurt Vonnegut in Back to School. But now there are comedies out there that consist almost entirely of cameos, like I’m watching a fucking award show. They’re usually gratuitous, and unfunny, and distract from the story, and exist now only so that people go, “Oooh! That’s Liam Neeson!” like it’s some special fucking occasion to see a famous person work for scale as a lark. You’re just watching one actor do another actor a favor when you see one. OMG HE CURSED IN THAT SCENE! I LIKE HOW HE PLAYED AGAINST MY EXPECTATIONS! If you’re gonna put a cameo in your stupid movie, there better be a good reason. And the person doing the cameo better be playing an actual character, instead of himself or herself. That’s why Spacey’s appearance at the end of Seven worked.

You know what was another good cameo? Sean Connery at the end of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Now that movie hasn’t aged well AT ALL. But I remember Connery riding in at the end and the whole audience being like, “Oh fuck! Connery is the king!” And he was. He was like, “Lemme ride in and bless this shitty movie with my noble presence.” I was spellbound. The theater I saw it in erupted into spontaneous cheers. My man got $250,000 for that scene. Being an abusive Scottish dickhead has its perks.

Also, I’m a big fan of directors not named M. Night Shyamalan randomly appearing in their own movies. Like Roman Polanski in Chinatown. He’s fucking TERRIFYING in that movie. We saw Chinatown when I was a little kid and I’m still scarred by seeing Polanski cut Jack Nicholson’s nose open. What the fuck, Roman? You are such a sick man in so many different ways.

Stu:

Why is it still called mac and cheese when made with different noodles?

Because it’s easier. There are seven million different pasta shapes out there. Do you really expect me to tweak my vernacular any time they swap cavatappi in for macaroni instead? (HOT TAKE: Cavatappi is better for that dish.) Half the time, I couldn’t even tell you the proper name of the noodle I’m looking at. So I say you just roll with it.

By the way, I’m already on record as saying that lobster mac and cheese is a waste of lobster, but I went to a big restaurant with my extended family for Thanksgiving and we ordered lobster mac and cheese and, due to poor service, we waited two hours for our food. And when that lobster mac finally hit the table, I pounced on it like a starving lion. It was unreal, with whole claw pieces in it and everything. There must have been a thousand calories in every bite. I regret nothing. Never go out for Thanksgiving.

Mark:

Is a bag of ice the most annoying thing in the world to carry? Your only options are grabbing it by the bottom which will give you frostbite, or by the .25 inches at the top which will slip out of your hand almost immediately.

You mean the big bags you buy at the grocery store, right? Yes, those are awful. Every single one of them has a tear in the bottom, not to mention the thing gets slick with ice-cold condensation within five seconds of being out of the freezer. I’m getting excited for a big RAGER of a party, and now I got water dripping on my crotch and a terrible backache instead. The fucking bag gets water over EVERYTHING: the car, the food, the beer cartons, the baby. It’s not right.

Randy:

If you’re a defense lawyer and you get someone off who is for sure guilty of a heinous crime, is that a point of pride or is a moment of shame you always live with?

Oh, the former. Are you kidding me? If I was one of the guys who got O.J. off, I’d never shut up about it. I’d put it on a fucking billboard. That’s why Carl Douglas is my personal hero.

Advertisement

It’s not like some shitty David E. Kelley show where the lawyer is just so CONFLICTED because he got that kiddie murderer off. Fuck that. Getting the guy off is your job, and doing it well means you get even more jobs, which means you get to buy a fucking yacht. I see no moral dilemma. Also, a good lawyer can justify springing pretty much any sociopath if they believe the justice system failed somewhere along the way. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, did my client knowingly break into that old folks home with a machete and conduct a ritualistic slaughter? MAYBE. But what I DO know, is that the state did NOT use latex gloves when investigating his hard drive full of murder plans. Now, does that strike you as JUST?”

Jimmy:

So my buddy started renting out a barn on his property for wedding receptions this past summer. I was talking to him about it recently and it came up that three of the seven weddings he had this year featured fistfights, two of which were big enough that it took cops to break it up. Does this seem like way too high a number for somewhere outside Florida? What percentage of wedding receptions do you think include someone getting decked in the head?

That does seem like a high number, although we ARE talking about a barn here. I assume you rent that barn so you can have a real country wedding, with moonshine and fiddles and people fucking in the hay. That sort of atmosphere lends itself to Jimmy Bob and Bobby Jim taking it outside to see who has the right to fuck cousin Darlene once and for all.

Advertisement

Otherwise, I think you’re much more likely to see a fight break out at a wedding afterparty, when everyone is sloshed and determined to get even more sloshed. I used to work weddings and I don’t think I ever saw a fight break out, mostly because the room was packed with old folks and nervous parents who didn’t want to lose their security deposit on the ballroom rental. Also, there were endless toasts. You can’t fight if you gotta sit through Uncle Hank’s 10-minute soliloquy about the time the bride peed on his coat.

By the way, as a card-carrying WASP, I can tell you that I love me a good barn party. Like if you gather up a bunch of preppy, country club dipshits like me and dress them in jeans and plaid shirts and lay out a bunch of gussied-up Southern food for us to eat? That’s quality slummin’. I’m sure Vineyard Vines sells whale-festooned jorts just for this sort of occasion.

Mike:

With Bruce Harper saying he wants a $400 million dollar contract when he hits free agency in a few years, it got me thinking, will we ever see a player in our lifetimes sign a billion-dollar deal? Considering A-Rod got $252 million back in the year 2000, it seems plausible. What are your thoughts on when/if we’ll see a 10-figure deal?

We won’t. You may see a player amass a billion dollars in career earnings, but not in a single contract. There’s already compelling evidence that we’re living in the peak of a sports rights bubble, and if that bubble breaks and networks decide that they don’t want to pay billions of dollars for this shit, you can bet that owners will turn to player salaries as the first place to recoup some of that money. And even if revenue keeps growing, most players don’t want to be locked into the sort of long-term commitment that a billion-dollar deal would probably demand, not when you’re betting that the market will just keep inflating into infinity.

Advertisement

Also, I think owners would throw a colossal hissy fit over a billion-dollar contract. I don’t think they’d react too kindly to being on the same financial level as they players they so delight in pushing around. “Why, these salaries are out of control, I do declare!” These people did not become billionaires by spending money. If Harper ever signed a ten-figure deal, you can be sure MLB owners would try to transmute their outrage to your local sports columnist. A billion dollars! TO PLAY A CHILD’S GAME! Unacceptable. Jerry Richardson would kill your children before offering you a billion-dollar contract.

HALFTIME!

Mike:

With all the shenanigans at Baylor and Louisville, it got me wondering, what has been the most morally bankrupt college athletics program in modern NCAA history?

I think it’s awfully hard to argue with Penn State as the standard-bearer in this category from now into eternity. Unless you’re a Penn State truther, in which case here’s your tinfoil hat and a lifetime pass to Joe Posnanski’s Twitter feed.

Advertisement

BUT… I mean, Baylor has to be up there now, right? This was already a school where the basketball coach framed one of his own players as a drug dealer after he was murdered by ANOTHER player. Holy shit! And now you’re talking about 52 alleged rapes in four years, many of them allegedly covered up by coaches and administrators who believe they’re servants of God? That’s definitely a horrific milestone of some kind.

The worst part is that the school doesn’t seem to have learned anything from this. All the Big 12 did to sanction them was withhold a bit of TV money, which is ineffective at best and outright pickpocketing at worst. This is a school located in a complete shithole that already had to recruit suspect players just to keep up with their moneyed conference brethren. Now Baylor’s got even less money at their disposal, but with the same pressure to compete and a bunch of holier-than-thou shitbags still in charge. The most evil programs are never the standard outlaw hookers-and-bribes joints. They’re the ones that insist that they are NOBLE. That’s where you find the real scum. I bet Baylor becomes even MORE evil now. I bet we’re five years away from Baylor running an immigrant blood-smuggling operation.

Also, let’s add Notre Dame to this list, because fuck Notre Dame.

Darrel:

Isn’t it weird that the kicking team is penalized for a kick going out of bounds, even if it initially lands inbounds first? Why is this rule different between kickoffs and punts? If the kickoff landed in bounds, then the receiving team had a chance to field it, so if a kicker wants to coffin corner the kickoff, why isn’t that encouraged? And why is it OK to kick out of bounds as long as the kick goes through the back of the end zone? It makes no sense!

I think the obvious reason that kicking off out of bounds is illegal is because it’s boring, and the NFL would rather force you to return that kickoff, even if they have a supposed hard-on for making that particular play safer. If they really gave a shit about safety, they’d make kicking it out legal (much to my chagrin; nothing amuses me more than a kicker shanking a kickoff and then watching the head coach give that kicker the stinkeye, like he ruined Christmas). But they won’t, because it’s been illegal for so long that few people have questioned the rationale.

Advertisement

One way you could make it consistent is to make punting the ball out of bounds ALSO illegal, which would increase overall comedy in the game by a good 20 percent. Then, in order to increase “safety” (world’s biggest eyeroll), you add college football’s halo rule to protect returners. That means you can’t be within two yards of the dude when he catches the ball. Once he catches it, you can throttle his ass.

By the way, I still think a kickoff that goes through the uprights should get you a point or something. You kicked it 75+ goddamn yards. You deserve a little treat for it. Or maybe the receiving team has to start at their own one if you pull off that kick.

Erix:

What is a more annoying take: that good shit is bad or that bad shit is good?

The former. Take it from someone who has to share an online chatroom every day with certain staffers who think Martin Scorsese is a bad director and/or that Return of the Jedi is a bad movie. I’m one to talk, given that I have a public track record of complaining about things that are universally beloved. But, as a reader, I am far more likely to get pissed off about someone ripping on something I find indisputable (come on, who the fuck hates pie?) than someone confessing that they secretly adore Fifty Shades Darker.

Advertisement

The biggest problem with your standard “Actually, (Classic Good Thing) Is Bad” take is that the taker usually treats this as some kind of revelation, like he and he alone knows that pie is bad and is enlightening YOU, the pathetic sheep going along with the crowd, in order to correct the historical record. This is Armond White’s career in its entirety, and it gets old very quick. Now, let me talk to you about my long-gestating belief that the Beach Boys were fucking stupid…

Cody:

Who had better food in their childhood? People who are in the sunset of their lives, or current children? Older people had home-cooked meals made by stay-at-home moms, full country breakfasts, etc. Or current kids, who rarely get home-cooked meals but have access to countless restaurants and items in supermarkets?

Current kids. Trust me. I know it sounds like fun to go back to a time when people didn’t know eating a slab of bacon a day would kill you. And I know that chefs today have a massive fetish for unearthing some fucking lamb brain stew recipe from 1508 and serving it to people as haute comfort food. But food in the old days SUCKED. It sucked so, so badly. For every timeless dish like Eggs Benedict that you were served, there were nine hundred other horrifying dishes you were forced to confront, featuring brown meats, and aspic, and soggy vegetables, and various unidentifiable gruels.

Advertisement

We are currently living through the coming of the Antichrist, but food has never been better for you or for your picky asshole kids. Never take it for granted. I ate tuna casserole back in the ‘80s and I’m not going back to that. No way. This is Peak Food.

Tom:

My wife and I got into a heated debate about whether or not gifts from Santa should be wrapped. I don’t understand how this is even up for discussion. Are you telling me that in some households kids run down the stairs, see all of their unwrapped gifts at once and then what - Christmas is adjourned? I put the question out to my Facebook friends and after reviewing close to 200 heated comments the results are coming back split. I can’t believe how many sociopaths are out there. Please put this one to bed so we can have a normal human Christmas.

Sorry man, but I don’t wrap gifts from Santa. Santa’s a busy man, making toys and delivering them to all the good boys and girls in a single night. Now he’s supposed to wrap them, too? Fuck that. The point of Christmas morning is walking downstairs and seeing at least one or two money gifts sitting right there under the tree, bare and ready to go. That’s a real dick-shitter of a moment for kids.

Advertisement

I got news for you: Kids are gonna tear through gifts in five seconds regardless. They don’t look at a wrapped gift and go, “Oh wow, this is a really nice wrapping job!” They give no fucks. They’ll break the gift inside in order to get that paper off as quickly as possible. So you may as well leave a couple of big-ticket items unwrapped to excite them (maybe a bow stuck on there for added effect), then have some wrapped stuff under the tree to balance things out. They’ve waited all year for that one stupid morning. It’s okay to give them a little instant gratification.

Stephen:

When are they going to switch the Madden games to Gruden?

Never. I keep hearing this like it’s some kind of grand plan over at EA. But why would they change the Madden brand name if it’s still worth hundreds of millions of dollars? You don’t see them changing the name of the Heisman Trophy just because that guy’s dead, do you?

Advertisement

Jon Gruden isn’t John Madden and won’t ever be John Madden. I don’t care if Madden kicks the bucket a year from now. His name, and voice, will always be synonymous with football, even to people who don’t know him. Jon Gruden, by contrast, is a fucking stooge for the league who spends every telecast salivating over random coaches and quarterbacks like a dog staring at a Milkbone. He’s the highest paid person at ESPN and I still have no clue as to why. He should be calling American Ninja Warrior tryouts instead.

Mike:

So, I walked into the bathroom at work and I notice a guy peeing at a urinal while what looked like petting the wall or something. As I got closer and chose my urinal, I realize that he’s using the tile grout to file his fingernails! Is this really gross, or is this guy a resourceful genius?

No, that’s genuinely gross, and I don’t get grossed out by much because I’m such a gross person myself. That grout is a haven for mildew, dried urine, and petrified herpes cells. And this guy is buffing his nail with it? That’s fucked up. A nail file costs, like, fifty cents. I give this man no credit for his ingenuity. Would you salute someone for plucking a stray pube out of the urinal and flossing with it? No, you would not. This man should live in a barn.

On the other hand…

Aaron:

Thoughts on using the same paper towels to blow your nose that you just dried your hands with? I’m pro. Softens them up. Saves trees. The reverse direction? Not acceptable.

I do it. I’m far too lasseiz-faire about what kind of paper I use to blow my nose with. If I’m dripping snot, and there’s a napkin I just used right there, guess who isn’t gonna go walk over to the tissue box? THIS GUY. By the second week of January, my nose has basically been skinned raw, like I took a potato peeler to it. I really gotta invest the time and money in using Kleenex with aloe.

Pat:

Where the fuck does Duke find these fuckface whiteboys with talent? Are they fuckfaces in high school? Does Duke instantly transform them into fuckfaces? As much as I hate Duke, I actually don’t believe the latter is true. Do they become fuckfaces on their own because everyone despises their fackin’ Woodhead levels of grit and is out to get them, thus creating comical levels of cheap play on their end as an “I don’t back down!” mechanism? I NEED ANSWERS! I must know why they are so despicable.

You’ve come to the right place, because we have two(!) Dook alumni on staff here. So I asked our Emma Baccellieri and Nick Martin whether Duke’s fuckface epidemic is a nature or a nurture sort of thing:

Advertisement

EMMA: “I think part of it is just that this kind of stuff is everywhere in the program. Like, you’re literally walking past signs about the ‘integrity’ and ‘honor’ of Duke athletics as you go the gym every day. So even if you’re not much of a fuckface to start, I think the environment is ripe to turn you into one.”

NICK: “Lots of Duke inspirational posters (not unique to Duke, but they do love it), lots of talk about ‘The Duke Way,’ and also Coach K is the coach, so it’s happening one way or the other.”

I have some theories of my own about this, by the way. I think that anyone going to Duke knows about their reputation already, so they’re already predisposed to embrace some measure of villainy. Also, Coach K needs to believe you are a GOOD FIT for his shitty little program, which means he goes out of his way to find All-American floor slappers. Then, once they’re in the fold, he teaches them the kind of tenacious gameplay that’s totally dirty, and he instills a bunker mentality in players that playing dirty is gritty and scrappy and BLUE COLLAR, which takes their shitbaggery to a whole new level. You’re at Duke, which means you are special, and therefore hated for being special. Ugh. Repulsive. Drop this program into an acid bath.

Email of the week!

Jeremy:

The other day my kid went out to play and left the garage door open. I open the door and look out, and find a god damn hawk sitting in my driveway going to town on a pigeon. Just ripping hunks of feathers off and eating it. (The ripping and tearing sounds were kind of nasty, but also kind of cool.) The hawk looked up at me, but didn’t move, even when I walked out into the garage to move a few things so I could get a better view. He just looked at me with a look of “come at me, bro, this is my pigeon.” Then a car drove by and the hawk didn’t move. He wasn’t going to fly away from that meal for some little disturbance.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just got the video camera and recorded the proceedings. Seemed like something I needed to show the kid later. Kind of like a nature show in our own driveway.

So, after a while, the hawk flies off, and I go out there to check on the state of the corpse. Damn hawk ate like a quarter of the pigeon (including the entire head!), leaving the rest of the bloody corpse behind. This pigeon had just eaten, too. Which was kind of gross since there were whole bloody kernels of corn falling out of where its neck and chest cavity had been.

So, not knowing how to dispose of a bloody pigeon carcass, I just grabbed a snow shovel, and scooped it up, dumped it into a garbage bag and threw it in the trash. Unfortunately, the line in my hose was frozen, so now I have a bloody clump of feathers stuck to the driveway.

My kid came home and told him what he’d missed. Nonchalantly, he said “I know”. I said “how?” And he said “I saw the bloody feathers in the driveway.” Then he went and played Minecraft.

The whole thing was very weird.

Indeed.