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 Russian roulette, souvenirs, middle names, and more.

Your letters:

Advertisement

Nate:

What if during the Presidential Debate, Hillary gets Donald really riled up, and because of his inability to stop his thoughts from coming out his mouth, calls Hillary a bitch or cunt. Would they keep going after that? And would that be the final nail in Donald’s coffin?

Yes, they would keep going. Your average politician, like Hillary Clinton, is trained to campaign through everything: insults, death threats, scandal, unrelenting clinical depression, etc. That’s why political debates are so awkward and uncomfortable to watch. These people want to claw each other’s skin off, but they stand there and pretend to be civil instead, even when they’re saying awful things about one another. It’s why Ted Cruz looks like a serial killer every time he attempts to smile. You kind of HAVE to be that way, because once you’re elected, you still have to do business with all of your enemies, some of whom are the sleaziest bags of shit to walk the Earth.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trump is different because he’s just a big stupid orange butt, and he doesn’t even bother to hide his contempt. He’s not nice to anyone because he’s never ever ever ever had to be. That’s why it was amusing to watch the GOP debates, where Trump was going way over the line every five minutes, and all his rivals were such trained political animals that they would either try to rebut him with facts (as if Trump cared) or laugh it off. “I am not mad. This is all actually very funny to me.” Meanwhile, Trump was cleaning up among the surprisingly robust “People who enjoyed the church scene in Bulworth a just a bit TOO much” demographic.

So yeah, if he called Hillary a bitch to her face during these debates, they’d just keep going. And he wouldn’t pay for it. Why would he pay for anything at this point? Every time Trump does something abominable, the press points it out, and then what happens? His lunatic supporters bitch out the press for pointing it out. They don’t give a shit. They’re not gonna be swayed by some CNN talking head expressing surprise or disgust at yet another awful Trump thing. Horrifying people is his selling point. There’s a non-zero chance he’ll just punch Hillary in the face at one of these things. Curt Schilling would start a petition to make a statue of the moment.

Michael:

What is the correct etiquette for flying with co-workers on a business trip? Normally when I travel, it’s put the headphones on and shut my eyes to relax or get some sleep. Is this allowed if you are sitting next to a co-worker or are you obligated to chat with them for the duration of the flight? What if you are not sitting next to them, does this change anything? Does it change if you are coming home off a long business trip to Vegas and everyone is dog tired and hungover?

No, you’re allowed to put on the cans or crack open a book. Like, maybe you make small talk for a bit, and then you whip out the laptop and you say to them, “I’m gonna do a little work,” and they’ll gladly take your cue because they’re probably just as tired of talking to them as they are to you. 90% of people just wanna skip to the part where they can stare at their phones in peace and quiet.

Advertisement

I took a business trip with our own Albert Burneko this week. On the way up, we sat together on the train and periodically yapped, and then we did some work, and then we yakked again. I didn’t even yell at him about his shitty Return of the Jedi takes. We had an organic, unspoken rhythm when it came to abandoning small talk.

And then, on the ride home, we got separated at Penn Station, so I grabbed a seat and saved one for him and texted him that I was saving one, but then HE texted that he had already found a seat and was cool there. So we rode separately, which was fine because sometimes you just want some time alone. I’m not mad at all. Nope. Not a bit. WHY DIDN’T YOU COME SIT WITH ME, YOU MONSTER?

Jake:

Which would you rather be the only person in the world to have: 2 sets of eyebrows or 2 rows of teeth? You cannot shave your eyebrows.

The teeth. Those are easier to hide, plus it would be a fun party trick to open wide and scare everyone shitless with my shark jaw. Cheek bites would be a real problem, but it’s still not worth walking around with a couple of equal signs on your face. “I have these eyebrows because I believe in social justice.”

Advertisement

Advertisement

Tim:

How many more times over a lifetime do you think an NFL player stands up off the ground than a normal human? From sitting down to stretch, getting up after being tackled, and all the sex on kitchen/living room/funky indoor nightclub floors, it has to be 10,000+ more times, right?

No way. They don’t fall down EVERY play. They’d get cut within an hour if they did. The worst place you can be in football is on the ground, because A) People will step on you and B) Everyone will think you’re a puss. Carson Wentz got lit up last night on the sideline and he jumped back up right away because he was like DURRRR IN NORTH DAKOTA WE LIKE STANDIN’ DURRRRR. NFL players don’t lie down on the ground significantly more than some asshole taking a yoga class or whatever.

Advertisement

Kyle:

So we’re camping and have been drinking and no one wants to get up to go to the bathroom. This got me thinking....a drinking game where everyone wears extra absorbent adult diapers and drinks, eats, etc. like normal, but has to go in the diaper. You’re out when you want the diaper off. Great idea, or terrible? I Googled it and it’s not a thing yet.

It’s terrible but I will play your game with the Deadspin staff and then report back to confirm.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Jesse:

My kids are always taking my phone charger. Can I superglue the white box to an electrical outlet, or will my house burn down when the box heats up and the glue seeps into the outlet, runs behind the wall, then (maybe) catches fire? Superglue smells like its flammable, so I could see this scenario happening.

Yeah, don’t do that. Just buy a second charger (Amazon Basics sells replica lightning cables for pretty cheap) and keep that charger as your own. Be sure to store it somewhere private, so that those little fuckers don’t go stealing THAT one, too. Because they will. My oldest kid will blithely disconnect my phone from the charger just because her shit fell under 80 percent. It’s monstrous.

Advertisement

I have full-on battery angst now. When I leave the house for a trip, I frantically check to make sure I packed my charger. If I’m heading out for a long evening, I gotta charge my phone beforehand to make sure I have full juice capacity, so that I can fire off spicy hot tweets from the restaurant shitter. Sometimes I don’t have time to charge it all the way, and then I gotta think about how long I’m willing to stand there, doing nothing, dicking around with a plugged-in phone until it has enough juice for me to leave. I’ll even switch to Low Power Mode when it’s at 75 percent, to extend the juice for 40 more seconds. I have problems. I need to go camping or something.

Chad:

Which NFL head coaches watch porn at work? After Rex the list gets difficult, but I’d look first at the doughy nervous ones: Gruden, McAdoo, McCarthy.

I assume Rex splices porn directly into the game tape. Judging by the Jets game, the defense studied NOTHING but boobs and butts in the film room all week long.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Anyway, the answer to your question is that ALL coaches look at porn while “sleeping on a cot” in the office. These are insane men, with insane amounts of pressure on them, working insane hours. They need a release valve. Those conditions are ripe for deviancy. Coaches must drink and watch porn and sext their local dominatrix in a very short time window. They get their rocks off, and then get right back to business. That’s why Pitino was boning waitresses at the Ground Round. He’s got no time for a hotel room. I bet Saban has a whole scheme he designed to help him achieve orgasm in a tidy 35 seconds.

Paul:

Imagine you’re given a 100-round capacity revolver and 100 bullets and forced to play Russian Roulette. You can load however many rounds you’d like in whichever chambers you’d like and spin the cylinder. For every round you load, you’re given $1 million dollars when you pull the trigger. If you end up dead, the money will still go to your family.

3 Questions:

1. How many rounds do you choose to load?

2. Do you load them all in row or space them out randomly throughout the cylinder?

3. If this were a TV show would you watch it?

Okay, the obvious answer is that I only load ONE chamber, because that gives me the best odds of survival, and I walk away with a cool million regardless. I’m fine with that. I’m not gonna get greedy and load ten bullets in there just because I want a beach house. My #1 goal is to not die. After that comes the money.

Advertisement

Advertisement

As for televising Ultimate Russian Roulette, no. I’m not watching that and neither are you. I like watching boxing matches and football games, but I don’t want anyone to actually DIE. That would make me feel guilty for watching it, and that would be a real buzzkill. Oh, and I’d feel bad for the dead guy too, I guess. The only acceptable time to enjoy Russian Roulette is when you’re watching The Deer Hunter. NO ONE DENIES THIS.

Alex:

How much more instructive would home improvement and cooking shows be if they depicted real life: their young kids (i.e. hyper boys) are the in the room with them and they have to build or cook without blowing up? Try replacing a ceiling fan with my 7- and 8-year-old boys picking up all the parts and saying how they look like something from Star Wars.

Yeah, those shows LIE. Cooking shows and cookbooks grossly underestimate the cooking time and simplicity of nearly every recipe. On TV, your average chef is working in a spacious, spotless kitchen, with all necessary tools nearby (no busting out the blender from the attic because there’s no cabinet space), and every onion and clove of garlic pre-chopped. In real life, the kitchen is a shithole, every cutting board is already dirty, two ingredients are missing, the oven is 400 degrees in one spot and 275 degrees in another, and the four-year-old wants to help by grabbing a butcher knife and waving it around. That alone doubles the prep time.

Advertisement

One of the hardest things about being a parent is letting kids help. I want my kids to help with everything. I need them to. It’s essential to them becoming responsible and self-reliant citizens. By, by god, they fuck up EVERYTHING. It’s exhausting. I was installing blinds and my son wanted to pitch in, so he got a box of toy tools and wanted to stand on the chair with me and bang on the window with a plastic hammer while I was carefully trying to drill pilot holes. And then I had to lie. “You are being such a good helper!” All you can do is let them help for a BIT, and then commandeer the job and be like, “Okay, Daddy is just gonna do a couple extra things (does entire job), but thank you so much!”

Advertisement

HALFTIME!

Matt:

Is it weird that I have a natural distrust for people who go by their middle name? I know they are there for a reason (although I forgot what that reason is), but I just feel like all people who go by their middle name are pretentious douche bags or are trying to hide something.

Aren’t most of them Juniors? I assume you go by your middle name because your parents named you after your old man (such vanity) and then called you by your middle name to prevent confusion in the house. That’s how you end up becoming J. Wellington Beaversworth or whatever. It’s a quality rich guy move. Everyone who goes by their middle name should own two pairs of boat shoes and a whale belt. So don’t shun someone who goes by their middle name. If you do, you won’t get invited to any Kentucky Derby parties.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Dave:

Suppose through tanking and trades, an NFL team gets the first 20 picks of the first round. Can you build a Super Bowl team off that?

You sure can. Look at the 2011 draft class. A team comprised of the top of that draft would have Cam Newton, AJ Green, Patrick Peterson, Tyron Smith, Von Miller, and JJ Watt. That’s a Super Bowl team. Every draft varies in quality but, generally speaking, the top 20 guys are usually pretty good. That whole “the draft is a crapshoot!” take is vastly overstated. Yes, that 2011 top 20 also included Christian Ponder, but in general your top-20 pick has been thoroughly scouted and is more likely to be good than not.

Advertisement

The only thing that would fuck you would be the salary cap, because all of those contracts would expire at the same time, so you’d have three or four years to win your title before getting raided like a spilled piñata. In the NFL, you literally cannot have nice things. Dan Snyder flies in on his jet and steals them from you, and then brings them to Washington to personally ruin them.

Connor:

Recently, my parents and siblings went to NYC and because I’m now chained to a cube for 8 hours a day I couldn’t attend. To make up for this they brought me back a souvenir. That’s right, it’s a mug from the 9/11 memorial! Now I can heap a hefty load of depression on top of my morning coffee. Anyways, this has me wondering what is the least appropriate place to bring someone a trivial souvenir from? Like an Auschwitz commemorative pin or something.

A mug is bad because it’s an everyday object. You don’t wanna Never Forget 9/11 EVERY day, and not with your morning bagel. That’s your one brief moment of pleasure before starting in on those TPS reports. I would bury that mug in the back of my cabinet and only see it again on moving day.

Advertisement

Advertisement

In general, all souvenirs are garbage. They don’t do anything except accumulate dust. They’re cheaply made but expensively priced. The only reason to buy them is because you went a trip without your kids/mom/nana/BFF and you feel bad about coming back to them empty-handed. They are planetary litter, especially now that everyone has a phone. You can enshrine that trip to Dachau in your Photo Stream now, alongside 5,000 screengrabs of tweets and 600 photos of your own dick. Don’t buy souvenirs, UNLESS it’s one of those boot-shaped shotglasses. Those never get old.

Ben:

Fever vs. chills: who ya got? When you’re deathly ill (as I was last night), they’re both unbearable. But chills would have to be slightly less objectionable - you can rug up and get through it, while with a fever you can really only lie on a cold tile floor (if you have one), and fever often brings on more vomiting. Thoughts?

Oh, chills. That’s easy. Whenever I get the chills, I get to pretend like I’m dying. I pull the covers up to my chin and shiver like a helpless puppy. It’s great. I feel so dramatic. Come, children. Come say goodbye to your father before God takes him home. It’s very cozy.

Advertisement

Fuck fevers. Fevers are miserable. It’s like swampass for your whole body. When I get one, I sweat through EVERYTHING: the pillow case, the pillow, the fitted sheet, the mattress pad. The whole bed is yellow and wrinkled and smells like wallpaper glue the next morning. It’s awful. I spend every fever praying for it to break so that the chills phase of the flu can then begin. They should make some kind of ice pill that cools you down whenever you have a fever. I don’t know why this would be hard to develop. Ice is cold. Ergo, a pill with super ice crystals in it would help the fever go away. That’s just science.

Advertisement

Cody:

Do you think fired/retired coaches still watch a zillion hours of film and whatnot?

Fired? Yes. Greg Roman is lying curled up in a film room somewhere as we speak, unshaven and filthy… in desperate need of trips formations to draw up for anyone out there who might have him.

Advertisement

In addition to being a compulsive freak, your average fired coach wants a new job as quickly as possible. That means boning up on your all-22 so that you can CRUSH IT in interviews. “Ah! I’m glad you asked about how I would use Josh Norman, Coach Gruden! During my unemployment, I designed an 86-point plan that would allow him to cover the GOOD receiver. Do you have a projector? I’ve made a slideshow for this.”

As for retired coaches, I think most of them stop watching tape and then just wither. They die of boredom. This is a problem for old guys in general: they retire, then they realize there’s nothing to do, and then they either die of boredom, or they double back and start working again (Joe Gibbs) or become obsessed with some other, extremely time-consuming pursuit, like running a local condo board, or collecting Lionel trains and polishing them all day, or creating racist Skittle memes to spread online. People like being useful.

Advertisement

Ben:

Was talking to a friend of mine and Yankees hatred came up. He was insulted that I, a Phillies fan, would list the Yankees as my most hated team. His line of thinking is that you can’t hate the Yankees more than teams in your division. Is he right?

No. Fuck the Yankees and fuck him. This is America and I’ll hate who I wanna hate. Why else live here? Most of the time, you’re gonna hate your team’s closest rival, which is usually in the same division. But sometimes, a team will come along (Yankees, Patriots, the cast of Suicide Squad) that is so loathsome, so despicable, that they transcend divisional boundaries. They transcend ALL of sport. Look at me. I only watch baseball in October, but I’d like the entire Boston Red Sox organization to drive into the Grand Canyon. That’s the proper level of hatred for that team and its fans.

Advertisement

Ryan:

Every time I download a new app or game, the very first thing that I do is look for settings to turn off all sounds and music. People that willingly leave all sound on games and apps are monsters right?

Most of them time, yes. If you’re in public and you’re playing a game with the sound and the music on (without headphones), you should be designated an enemy combatant. Any time my children start playing a game and don’t use headphones (and they will do this, because they don’t care if eight devices in a single room are playing eight different sounds simultaneously), I sprint to mute that shit. No one wants to hear that. Most game music is crap.

Advertisement

Advertisement

There are games like The Room that have lots of fancy sound design, so you can be IMMERSED in the action. I’ve seen a bunch of dipshit reviews in the App store that will mention this first. “Oh my god, the music was so beautiful!” Really? That’s what grabbed you? Try turning the sound off and playing along to Slayer instead. See if that improves the world-building experience for you. I bet it does. If you really want to go deep into a game and leave the sound on, fine. But don’t go bragging about how much you respect the foley artist or whatever. You just liked shooting stuff.

Patrick:

Next year I am getting married. This is great, but I am not sure what all to do. My fiancee has The Knot, Pintrest and girlfriends and years of mental prep for it. I’ve done a few bachelor parties but never been in a wedding before, and I don’t know what I’m meant to do aside from say Yes at the end. I’d feel at a loss if I don’t contribute, or be aware of SOMETHING that I should do/plan for. What am I not thinking of?

The DJ. Put yourself in charge of the DJ or the band. Don’t ask your future wife, “How can I help?” Women hate that. They have a lot of shit to do, and managing you is just one more headache. Instead, they want you to magically figure out the task they want you to do on your own, which is fun! Anyway, tell her you’ll take care of booking the DJ or the band. This will make you look like a REAL MAN who likes to take the initiative. And then you’ll find a DJ, and then she’ll reject it, and then she’ll take over the task entirely. Then you go drink. Job well done.

Advertisement

Mark:

In a few weeks I’ll be flying to Hawaii, but the last 3 long flights I’ve taken (5+ hours) I’ve fucked up my back some way or another soon after landing. What should I do so that it doesn’t happen again? Do I have to be the weird guy on the airplane who’s always walking around and sometimes stands by the flight attendants for periods of time making small talk?

You’ve come to the right place. Yes, it helps to be the weird guy who’s always walking around, yakking with the flight attendants while they’re trying to pour Dasani into very small cups. But you don’t have to be that conspicuous. Here are a couple of ways to survive that flight:

  1. Book an aisle seat. You need this so you can at least get up and walk to the john every 40 minutes or so. Ideally, you would get up every 20 minutes and stretch, but then everyone will stare at you and it sucks.
  2. Bring lumbar support. Most airplane seats have shitty back support. So I bring a t-shirt with me and then roll it up and wedge it behind my lower back. That usually does the trick.
  3. Board the plane as late as possible. You can save yourself an extra 20 minutes of sitting down if you do this. The only downside is overhead bin angst.
  4. Have a beer. It’ll relax your muscles!
  5. Stretch. Pump your ankles. Reach for the ceiling. Do a couple old man trunk twists. Anything that keeps your body loose is good. If you just sit in one spot all flight long, you’ll freeze in place. One time, I was flying on a redeye somewhere and the airline put on a little stretching video for people waking up. And it felt silly to do yoga crap while sitting with 200 other people, but EVERYONE did it. It works.

Email of the week!

Advertisement

Advertisement

Aaron:

We had a puke and piss bush growing outside my house in college which allowed us to puke or piss off the front porch while at least partially obscured from the street. It received extensive use. One night on the way home from the bar I stopped to piss on the bush from ground level and ended up passing out underneath it. At my ten-year reunion, I was pleased to see the puke and piss bush was still flourishing and I relieved myself on it for old time’s sake. Fortunately, since I’m very mature now I maintained consciousness this time.

Good man. Love a good piss bush.