Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering trash cans, baked potatoes, cocktail sauce, friendship, and more.

Your letters!

Jack:

Was Odor’s punch a sucker punch!?!?

No. No way. Bautista was A) facing him and B) Odor gave him a nasty shove first. The shove should let you know that further aggression is in store, and you should be on guard. Shoving is the gateway drug to punching. If someone shoves you and then decks you with a roundhouse you can’t be like, “Whoa hey! THAT PUNCH CAME OUT OF NOWHERE, GUY!”

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Joey Bats claims he was surprised by the punch. The fuck did he expect after that slide? A candy gram in response? Odor followed proper fight protocol. It was a brutal punch, and he’ll rightfully be suspended for a zillion games. But it wasn’t a cheap shot. In fact, I salute him for actually punching the guy instead of doing the standard “hold me back” move that’s epidemic among baseball player standoffs. That’s probably the only reason Bautista was surprised. “Whoa, this guy actually punches you! THAT’S NOT IN THE UNWRITTEN RULES!”

If you really want to sucker-punch a guy (I do not recommend it), you have to catch him completely by surprise. He needs to be facing away from you. Or, if he IS facing you, there can be no prior sign of incoming violence. Like if you’re just having a coffee together and you get up and deliver a harsh uppercut to his jaw? Sucker punch. And you better have a good reason for the ambush. The guy better have slain your parents or something.

Tom:

When I was in undergrad, I lived in a house with 4 or 5 other roommates. We were all generally law-abiding people (other than the usual college stuff like pot), but one guy was a full-on cheese kleptomaniac. I mean, every single time he went to the grocery store, he stole some cheese. And not just plain old Kraft - I’m talking about the fancy stuff. It wasn’t because he was poor or starving or anything - he just hated paying so much money for cheese. And when you think about it, if you’re going to steal food from the grocery store, cheese is pretty much the perfect item. It’s 1) delicious, 2) expensive, and 3) compact. So what do you think the most-stolen food item is?

Your friend was right! It’s cheese! I’m actually shocked by this because I figured the winner was bread. Bread is the go-to stolen food item in every hypothetical situation involving hunger, as noted by Fat Tony here. If you’re starving, you’re expected to steal bread. Why? I assume because it’s easy to carry.* And bread is filling. You could use the carbs. Why, you’re practically skin and bones! Steal a loaf of bread and you’ll be able to feed yourself for a MONTH, or so I would assume.

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Anyway, that’s all apparently an urban myth, because starving people DON’T make bread a priority. They steal cheese and meat instead, because they are delicious and packed with muscle-building protein. Besides, ripping off some two-foot baguette makes you look conspicuous. You can’t hide it in your pants or anything. It would get all smushed, and there’s nothing worse than smushed bread. Even a starving man demands some measure of sponginess from his stolen peasant loaf.

The time has come to end these stereotypes about stolen food. They’re statistically inaccurate, AND they’re what cause people to loot the bread aisle every time there’s a goddamn storm. The rain sweeps through and then your family is left with five uneaten bags of Wonder Bread. Go for the cheese and meat instead. And if you have a tragic story of your Russian grandfather being hauled away to prison for petty theft, be sure to replace “loaf of bread” with “delicious five-pound chuck roast” instead.

(*Also, bread is annoying to make at home. The whole goddamn place smells like yeast whenever I try. I have no interest is standing around for an hour trying to make sourdough starter by dumping a cup of water into a flour volcano.)

James:

Why don’t cars have trash cans?

That’s what the ashtray is for. What used to house cigarette butts is now responsible for candy wrappers, chip bags, old magazines, entire chicken carcasses, and whatever else you leave in there.

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But seriously, the real reason there isn’t a full waste bin in your average automobile is because A) It takes up too much space, B) It would get disgusting and you would get dried ketchup crust all over the upholstery, because you are a pig, and C) Automakers probably assume you will take your trash with you every time you exit the car, which is a hilarious bit of blind faith in the American public.

HOWEVER, there is a fix for this. Instead of leaving your garbage all over the goddamn floor or stuffing it into a single, pathetic plastic bag… you can actually buy a little fold-up trash basket for your car. My wife bought one of these ages ago and it’s a game-changer. I actually have a place to put my boogery tissues now! Whole new world. I can’t recommend it enough. And it’s not PART of the car, so it’s easy to take out and empty out or wipe off. My van still looks like an army of elephants rampaged over a truckload of saltines, but at least I have a designated wastebasket now. That makes it 99.9 percent cleaner than your average family minivan.

Ben:

What food is much better with the addition of sour cream? It has to be a baked potato right? Without sour cream it is so dry it’s awful. Or is it some sort of Mexican dish?

Yeah it’s a baked potato because, on its own, a baked potato is garbage. Frankly, I don’t even know why people order them. Even if you top it with a stick of butter and twelve slices of bacon, you’re still gonna end up eating a dozen forkfuls of plain potato mush at the bottom. With a baked potato, you’re adding all this unhealthy shit just so you can tolerate a base vegetable that isn’t even healthy for you to begin with. What’s the goddamn point? Order cheese fries instead.

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After a baked potato, I would say that sour cream improves the following foods, in order:

1. Nachos

2. Fajitas

3. Burritos

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4. Chili

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5. Tacos

6. Dip

7. Scrambled eggs (I added them once after seeing Joe Pantoliano do it on The Sopranos. I’m highly suggestible.)

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8. Berries (mix the sour cream with brown sugar and then top the berries with it)

9. Banana bread (you add it to the batter to moisten it)

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By the way, I would pay good money (at least two dollars) to own the sour cream gun used by Chipotle. I suck at spreading sour cream. I need the gun so that I can extrude it at a consistent rate.

Cory:

What’s the best fan involved contest that a sport can have? My personal favorite is when hockey teams have the little kids playing in front of the crowd, especially when there’s a totally uncalled for hit that gets the crowd pumped up. Honorable mention to the half-court shot, because you never know if LeBron might get so excited and come tackle you.

It’s the half-court shot because, no matter how many times you’ve seen or made a half-court shot, it’s still a HOLY SHIT moment. It’s the easiest, commonest miracle there is. Like, if you go to a gym and you spend an hour heaving up half-court shots, you’re probably gonna drain one or two. And when you do, it feels AWESOME. So if I’m watching halftime and some college kid nails a half-court shot that wins him a 2 percent reduction in his student loan interest rate, I go nuts. It’s the perfect little feel-good moment.

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The secret to a good halftime contest is having people win. I don’t wanna see these people fail. I really don’t. There’s no schaudenfreude to be had from a 19-year-old girl airballing her dreams away. That’s why shot contests are wonderful and Dr. Pepper field goal contests are horrific.

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Eric:

I need you to settle a debate that I had with my weird ass roommate. He LIVES by dipping his mozzarella sticks in cocktail sauce and won’t budge one bit from it. I feel like I am normal and dip my mozzarella sticks in marinara sauce, like any other person. What is your opinion on this?

I’ll allow it. If he wants a little kick with his mozzarella sticks, then let him live. You could even blow his mind by suggesting he add horseradish to Ragu sauce. He’d shit a brick. Real paradigm shift.

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When you think about it, it’s odd that cocktail sauce is used for shrimp cocktail, oysters, and virtually nothing else. Americans love ketchup, and they love proving their manhood by adding spicy shit to everything. So really… SHOULDN’T cocktail sauce be more ubiquitous? I’m surprised McDonald’s doesn’t dress their salads with it. My brother-in-law makes cocktail sauce and he makes it 50 percent horseradish. You could blind a child with it. I can’t get enough.

Anyway, never shut someone down when they decide to break free of cultural norms and test out bold new flavors: cocktail sauce with cheese curds, beer in cereal, ground beef-flavored yogurt, and such and such. Open your mind to the idea of pizza soup. You never know how it will change your life.

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By the way, marinara sauce is the go-to tomato dip for mozzarella sticks and fried calamari, but NOT french fries and chicken tenders. Like dipping a french fry in marinara sauce would be fucking weird, as would dipping a calamari tentacle in cold ketchup. But WHY?! How did society develop this condiment binary? I demand a federal study be commissioned.

Ben:

Say that instead of being sober all the time, you were hammered by default and alcohol sobered you up. In this scenario, alcohol would have all the same negative physiological effects (alcohol poisoning, calories, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc.). For me, I would only take shots right before driving, because being sober is terrible. When would you drink to sober up? Would you ever want to sober up?

Oh yeah. I’d have to. There have plenty instances in my personal history where I was drunk and desperately wanted to not be drunk. I don’t wanna be drunk at 9 a.m. on a Monday. Jesus, that would be a real problem.

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In fact, in your scenario, I bet the government would have to recommend (or perhaps mandate) routine alcohol consumption in order to prevent freeway accidents and prevent mass deaths due to alcoholism. BIG GUBMINT AT WORK! Otherwise, the population would decrease dramatically and the only guy left would be that one old guy at your neighborhood dive bar who gets blind drunk alone every night and somehow won’t die.

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One other thing that might happen is that sober would become drunk and drunk would become sober. The reason people drink is to feel different, so if sober became the new different, then maybe it would be treated the same as being drunk is now. Oh God, my wife left me and the collection agency took all my furniture. I need to escape all my problems by seeing straight and going on a light jog. GOING TO A REAL DARK PLACE, YOU GUYS.

Kevin:

Let’s say that, tomorrow, you get a call from a college roughly at the level of UNLV, offering you their head coach of the men’s basketball team. They guarantee you a full season, and the contract is for $3 million. Is the $3 million worth the national embarrassment, as you’ll likely be the worst coach in the history of televised sports?

Fuck yeah! That’s three million dollars to coach UNLV, which has basically been an invisible program ever since Tark left. You should never be afraid to fail, especially when there’s a sweet payday in it for you. I’d gladly take $3 million a year to suck. That’s Lovie Smith’s career in a nutshell HEY-OOOOOOOOOOOO.

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Also, Dickie V would slob my knob anyway. “Hey baby, go easy on Coach Magary… he’s just trying to guide these diaper dandies, baby! PTPER DIPSY DOO DUNKAROO SPORF URGLE BURGLE SHART SHART!” He’s easy to win over.

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HALFTIME!

Nick:

Do you have a hot washcloth take? Mine is that they are only used by disgusting deviants. Apply the soap directly to your body and wash the lather away. Are people afraid of touching their own buttholes with a soapy hand? Is that the problem? And then leaving a mildewy washcloth in the shower for future use is just horrific.

The washcloth was invented to do a job that is now occupied by loofahs and shower poofs, which are both better vehicles for the creation and application of delicious, bubbly lather. A soaped-up washcloth has all the lather rinse off after six seconds. And then what are you left with? Your thumb up your butt, that’s what.

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You don’t really need a washcloth for washing anymore. It’s a rag, used for cleaning up repulsive messes that a paper towel is too weak to handle. You should use them to wipe down lawnmower parts, and mop up blood, and clean up after orgasming. I bet every hotel worker shudders at picking up used washcloths, as well they should.

By the way, when I was a kid I used to take baths with a washcloth and, while I was lying there, I would carefully drape the washcloth over my junk and then pretend I was Tarzan. And then I would start to feel weird and sexy. So there you go: EROTIC WASHCLOTHS. That’s all they’re good for these days.

Daniel:

I recently got married and had a pretty big wedding. Had a great time, except for best man speech, which was delivered by my longtime best friend. This speech really shit on me hard. Not just your average embarrassing drunken antics story of most best man speeches, but brought up some pretty deep dark moments from my life. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder ever sense, but nothing I can really do about it now. Is this something I should just let slide?

No, you should tell your friend it bothered you. I know it’s easy to say “let it slide,” but that’s not always feasible. Sometimes shit will gnaw at you whether you like it or not. In fact, the more you try to put it out of mind, the more it grates on you. I CAN’T BELIEVE BILLY TALKED ABOUT ME POOPING IN THAT TENT. The only way you’ll be able to find peace is to tell your friend that he legitimately hurt your feelings. Ninety-nine times out of hundred, a good friend gonna apologize to you and your friendship will be better for it. And if he’s like “WELL THEN YOU’RE A PUSS BRO! GO PATRIOTS!,” maybe he’s not such a good friend after all.

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I’m older now, so my friends and I don’t really bust each other’s balls the way we used to. Back in college, the average male friendship is 99 percent ball-busting. “Like I’m a clown, I amuse you?!” But that percentage goes down once you get married and have kids and Dave really needs a shoulder to cry on because Mary left him. You can’t be like, “LOL your old lady ran off with the pool boy. WAY TO GO, DIPSHIT.” That’s poor friending. I don’t goof on my friends much anymore. Except for Marchman. And Craggs. And the entire Deadspin staff. Oh, and Leitch! God, nothing beats taking a big steaming dump on Leitch. You should see how mad he gets!

James:

It’s fly season. I have a two- and a four-year-old. They absolutely adore leaving the door open. Today alone, I have hunted down and killed fifteen flies and more are buzzing around my head right now. I should probably just burn my house down, right? Flies are worse than Hitler and mayo.

No, flies are fine. I can deal with a fly in the house. They’re annoying but at least they don’t bite or sting. The other day I crushed one barehanded and felt like a beast. BEHOLD MY SAVAGERY.

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No, it’s BEES that are the problem. If a fly invades the house, I’m ready for the hunt. If a bee sneaks in, I’m ready to pull the fire alarm. I forget about bees every year. The snow melts, the flowers bloom, and I walk outside ready to take in spring. And I say to myself, “My God, this world is so lovely and beautiful. I can’t wait to be outside and OH GOD BEES! NOT THE BEES! WHO INVITED THE GODDAMN BEES!” And then I barricade myself in the house until fall. Bees ruin everything, and they know it. They’ll just fly around my head for minutes at a time, KNOWING that they’re giving me a nervous breakdown. They have a whole sky to fly around in, and yet they choose to buzz my face again and again. That’s no accident. We must build a wall to keep out the bees. Fuck bees.

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Chris:

What if the winner of Survivor wasn’t determined by votes, but by who is willing to stay on the island the longest? How long would you be willing to live there for a million dollars (pre-taxes)? Would there still be people from season one on that island today?

It would suck if the show was like that. I know your way sounds a lot more brutal and cutthroat, and I’m sure there are any number of desperate people who would be willing to stay there until everyone else died off 30 years from now, but that wouldn’t make for good television. You have to goose the competition so that you aren’t just filming people waiting around on an island for years at a time. You have to make them run obstacle courses and slap each other in the tits for a jar of grape jelly and what not.

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By the way, if I were part of that kind of competition, I would leave on the first day. I would show up to the island, have a swim, eat a coconut, and then flip double birds at the rest of the cast and scream, “I’m going home! ENJOY YOUR TROPICAL HELL, FUCKBALLS!” And then everyone would be like, “Who was THAT idiot?” It’s a solid exit strategy. If you’re gonna lose, lose early.

David:

I understand I am in an extreme minority here, but Game of Thrones is stupid. When I tell people I don’t watch the show, I get the reaction as if I killed their pet. Is there a term for the minority of GOT detractors such as myself?

I actually don’t watch it either, mostly because I’m too cheap to spring for HBO. But I tried reading the first book in the series and couldn’t make it past fifty pages. And I like fantasy shit. I played D&D when I was a kid. I loved all of Harry Potter. Frankly, I’m a little ashamed I could never get into GoT. But I started reading the book and I was like, “Quicksword? Direwolf? Why, he’s just mashing words together, he is!” And that was that. I should have given it more of a chance.

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But I’ve actually enjoyed watching the whole phenomenon unfold from afar, with Westeros fanboys alternating between loving Games of Thrones and fucking despising it. Why did Throki have to rape Gwynellys’ pet bird? And is Zhark The White ever gonna escape from that fucking jail cloud? OMG BIG JIM JUST KILLED BABY THYERINN! THIS SHOW HAS TOTALLY REDEEMED ITSELF.

In general, you should never ever ever experience FOMO over a TV show. There are far too many TV shows to keep track of now, so you’re bound to miss out on a few must-see things. It’s unavoidable. Only people with Santa Claus powers, like Alan Sepinwall, are able to keep up with all of it. You can forgive yourself. Frankly, the pop culture needs a certain number of people to remain outsiders, to monitor fanboy behavior and viciously mock fanboys to keep them in line. It’s a vital duty.

Devin:

What would happen if every jail in America let everyone go? Would we turn into full-on purge? Would people have to hide their kids hide their wives? Or would nothing really happen? I don’t think we’d be full-on purge mode but there would def be some hell broken lose.

I think hell would break loose in parts of the country that, frankly, are already neglected and crime-ridden. If you’re a criminal, you’re more likely to commit crimes in areas where it’s easier to commit crimes. So you’d have these pockets of mayhem in bad areas, and then people living in fancy areas would freak the fuck out and demand extra police presence, and so the police would A) Cloister in wealthy areas and B) Shoot everything they see. So the net effect would be like… uh… America right now. But think of the tax savings!

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The bigger problem is that you’d be turning all these convicts loose with no support system to help reintegrate them back into the general population. We already jail way too many fucking people, and jail usually ends up ruining people instead of rehabilitating them. So shit would only deteriorate from there. It wouldn’t be a purge. It would just be mass paranoia and despair gradually eating away at the country until it was a total shithole. But again, we could use those tax savings to fund an ill-conceived $12 billion fighter jet project instead. Pretty sweet!

Personally speaking, I’d be huddled behind my couch for decades, terrified of Charles Manson busting down the door. I read the first part of Helter Skelter. I ain’t walking out my door if he’s out there.

Email of the week!

Jason:

I had this really weird deal happen to me in Vegas in 2004, and to this day 12 years later it still bothers me. I took my wife (then girlfriend) to Vegas, our first vacation really as a couple. So we wonder into the gift shop on the 2nd floor of the Excalibur our first day. We were staying at a different hotel. We did not buy anything in this shop and at this time we were 24 years old and never called each other by our first names in general conversation. We had nicknames for each other, you know like when you first start dating someone before marriage and kids and you have nick names and no real responsibilities and shit.

We split up when we entered the store and didn’t really talk to each other while in the shop anyway. We were in the store for maybe 3-4 minutes, just enough to make a sweep around the store and realize there was nothing in there we wanted. We were the only two customers in the shop at the time and the only other person was this lady who worked there, and she remained behind the checkout counter the whole time and did not talk to us.

We start to leave, our backs turned as we are walking out and this lady’s voice booms out plain as day, “GOODBYE JASON!”. We both slowly turn around and the store clerk lady is now standing in front of the counter just staring me down. No expression. Just a blank creepy stare, she was probably 55-60 years old. AGAIN we never bought anything or spoke to her.

We sprinted out of the store and did not look back. We ran passed some other people who were about to enter the shop on the way out full speed and probably thought we were insane.

How did this lady know my name? My wife and I are still baffled about this. I doubt the casino would be tracking me or anything... I was basically broke as a mofo at this time right out of college and did not gamble on anything yet and we were not staying at this hotel. I have never been prone to supernatural stuff but damn this was fucking strange.

Obviously, we’ll need to build an entire jail just to house this woman.