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 grocery store aisles, stealing magazines, sleeping on the floor, and more. 

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I was tired and sore the other day so I took a bath for the first time in, like, 20 years. It was a bad idea. There’s no way for a man my age to sit down in a bathtub without pulling eight different muscle groups. Once I finally lowered myself down, I didn’t fit in it at all. I had to do a kind of body part triage, because there was no way to submerge my entire body unless I wanted to turn sideways and go fetal like I was in some really bad Tool video. When I sat up, my torso was freezing, so I slid down and put my heels up against the wall. I looked like I was about to give birth. If anyone had walked in on me, they would have been scarred for life. A bathtub is just a failed hot tub. Never again.

Your letters:

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Eric:

So I’m dating this girl and so far she is pretty much awesome. Everything is going well. Then she told me basketball was too “squeaky.” I opened my mouth to retort and realized, yeah. Basketball is squeaky.

Bullshit. Those are the SOUNDS OF THE GAME. They put mics by the floor specifically so you can hear the shoes squeaking and farting. It’s like you’re really there! I can never get enough of ambient sport sounds, even if they’re things that would hugely irritate me in normal life (like my kid bouncing a basketball in the kitchen, which is grounds for filicide). All those squeaks and bounces and thuds get grafted right onto your cortex, so that one day you’ll bust out a typewriter and start writing, “I remember… the shoes.” Then you will drink some brandy and sniff your own farts and congratulate yourself for your attention to nostalgic detail.

While we’re here, let’s rank sports sounds, shall we?

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  1. Home run smack
  2. Swish
  3. Clean tennis shot
  4. Bowling strike
  5. Pro wrestler landing on the canvas
  6. Figure skater scraping the ice
  7. Horses galloping down the stretch
  8. Football uprights DOINK
  9. Football helmets crashing
  10. Pool balls hitting each other
  11. Race cars going past the TV camera
  12. Catcher catching a pitch
  13. Clean boxing punch
  14. Basketball dribbling
  15. Golf ball getting crushed
  16. Slap shot
  17. Hockey goal horn
  18. Shoes squeaking
  19. Football kickoff
  20. Swimming race beep
  21. Slow death
  22. Ref’s whistle

Frankly, I wouldn’t complain if they started using Foley artists to incorporate more noises into the game. Someone gets tackled and you hear a SPLAT. That would be fun.

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Ben:

How and when do kids today learn about global warming? Are they totally crushed? I remember being sad when my 6th grade teacher explained that the sun would die, and that isn’t going to happen for billions of years. Just seems like such a depressing subject that previous generations didn’t have to deal with.

They actually start off learning about how to take care of the environment first, before you break the news to them that all our efforts will be in vain, and that our home planet will be a boiling lava pit within the next decade. You teach them not to litter, and to recycle properly, and all that. We usually tell the kids, “Hey, don’t do that. That’s bad for the Earth,” and then they stop trying to feed Starburst wrappers to birds.

None of this is new, by the way. They taught us about global warming back when I was in middle school. We had a whole big assembly and the vice principal told us we needed to read 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth. I think I spent a solid week cutting up six-pack rings to save the birds before going back to throwing them out uncut again. It’s a hard thing for a kid (or an adult, really) to comprehend that the world is a fragile place when it’s so goddamn huge, and so very solid. Stomp the ground right now. That’s is some solid fucking ground. Hard to believe it’s going anywhere.

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But 21st-century kids pick those lessons up pretty quick. Sometimes my kids will spot a plastic bag floating down a creek and they’ll do the full Crying Indian Ad face. It’s a nice moment to witness when you’re a parent, until you get home and realize they’ve been stuffing trash between the couch cushions because they’re too lazy to get up and throw shit away. For them, I still treat global warming as a problem that can be solved. I’ve told them about rising sea levels and melting ice caps, and I told them that they can help prevent all that by recycling Twinkie boxes. You and I know this isn’t true, but it’s still worth spinning all this in a positive light to a child, because A) Maybe they’ll be inspired to come up with new and important ways to be energy efficient and B) Being mindful of waste is, at this point, just a common courtesy. Even if they could litter, they shouldn’t, because that’s asshole behavior.

In general, kids are a lot more thoughtful about things like death and the end of the world than adults are. I’m old enough now to know that I NEVER EVER EVER want to think about any of that shit, and I usually have enough alcohol and/or paperwork to keep me busy so that I don’t have to. But kids happily luxuriate in death talk. They wanna hear all about it, to the point where I have to be like, “Hey man, you’re bringing me down with this,” and then I distract them with candy. But now is really the age where you should level with them and tell them the truth about what’s going on, because now is when they’re most open to it. They’re not gonna give a shit about any of that by the time they’re old enough to date and score a fake ID. You don’t have to be all goth about it, either. You can still spin the news in a positive way, so that they feel compelled to take action instead of sit around in despair.

Jack:

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I want a new version of basketball in which points can only be scored by either long 3s or dunks. No one denies this is the best part of basketball, so no more mid-range 2s, teams would only be composed of small shooters and big men duking it out in the paint. I see no problem with my newly created Dunkball.

Yeah, but the midrange 2s are what make those dunks and three-pointers possible. If you took them away, the spacing would be all fucked up and no one would have room to make cool threes or throw down a nasty fucking tomahawk jam on Rudy Gobert’s head.

I know I indulge in a LOT of hypothetical rule changes here. But in real life, you’re better off not fucking with sports. That new intentional walk rule they just implemented? Stupid. The draft-style Pro Bowl? Stupid. Replay? Fucking unbearable now. In general, you‘re better off leaving shit alone or making VERY modest changes, instead of panicking and adding some gimmicky shit.

Look at the NBA, where team scoring has increased by 14 points PER GAME since 1999. That’s mostly because they put in some new hand checking rules, enforced them, and the game naturally evolved from there. When they got too extreme and moved in the three-point line, it failed and they had to move it back. The on-court product is pretty entertaining now. There’s a natural ebb and flow to sports history, and it’s usually better to ride with it and see if players and coaches can figure out, on their own, how to play it as effectively and entertainingly as possible. When you fuck with it too much, you end up like the NFL, where no one knows what the fuck is going on.

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Adam:

I was in the waiting room at my dentist last week and was really into an article in a magazine. They called me before I finished the article and I was going to steal the magazine. I checked the date and realized it was only one week old. Had it been a few more weeks, I would have taken it. My question: at what point is it okay to steal magazines from waiting rooms? Two weeks? Three weeks? A month?

I have stolen magazines from waiting rooms, but I don’t advise it. If you look at the address in the subscription bar and it really belongs to the practice, you should probably put it back, because then everyone will feel free to steal them, and you’ll be left with nothing but issues of National Geographic to peruse the next time you go to get your toenails bleached. One day, I will answer to God for those back issues of Newsweek I lifted from Dr. Burger’s office. He will be most displeased.

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That said, if someone ELSE left a magazine somewhere for you to enjoy (like they do at the gym), then you can take it. That shit is free, imho. There are people at the gym who are so reliable about leaving magazines around that I actually get indignant when a new issue doesn’t turn up in the bin on schedule. “Where is this month’s People? Was Franny Grimes on vacation this week?!”

Kevin:

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This is a question I have been asking for years: Are there any direct comedy sequels that are funnier than the original movie? A lot of my friends try to argue that Christmas Vacation is funnier than the original Vacation, but that’s not a direct sequel as it follows the very mediocre European Vacation. I’m talking a straight up sequel like Ghostbusters 2, Anchorman 2 or Zoolander 2. My answer is no.

Yeah, it’s hard because great comedies usually take you by surprise, and it’s damn near impossible for a sequel to recreate that kind of surprise, especially when they can just rehash the same characters and jokes and still make a goddamn fortune.

However, there are some exceptions. Virtually every Pink Panther sequel is better than the first film, which is endless and barely features Peter Sellers at all. In fact, the whole thing became a franchise specifically because people watched the first one and said, “This blows, but Peter Sellers is funny!”, so they had all the sequels feature Sellers making horribly dated jokes about Asians. VAST IMPROVEMENT.

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The other notable example is probably the Toy Story movies. I think I still like the first one the best, but a lot of people like 2 and 3 better, apparently because they like crying until all the fluid has been drained from their bodies. God, that Sarah McLachlan song. Throw me in a frozen river, why don’t you?

One last thing: there is a very small category of sequels that are comedies even though the original movie was NOT. Star Trek IV is a comedy, and a pretty good one. “Nuclear wessels”! LOL. Never gets old.

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Nicholas:

My wife and I play a game every time we end up shopping at a new grocery store. The idea is to guess which corner of the store the bakery is in. Basically every decent sized grocery store has that little corner filled with bread and cupcakes and breadsticks and cookies and other delicious things. If one of us guesses correctly which corner it’s in, we get to buy any one baked good for the hell of it as a treat. Anyway we have probably done this upwards of 40 times and I have NOT ONCE guessed correctly. She has at least 20 times. How is this possible? I want my damn six-pack of cupcakes.

You got hustled. Never try to outsniff a woman. They are bloodhounds. My wife can hear me letting out a fart from eight miles away. Meanwhile, I can’t smell a goddamn thing because my nostrils are all gummed up with snot and old man hair. It’s the worst. Of course you were gonna lose that bet, especially when supermarkets deliberately pipe in phony bakery scents from that corner of the store. They may as well leave a trail of bread crumbs for her to outwit you.

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By the way, I think that bakery might be my favorite part of the store (in part because major grocery stores in my state can’t sell beer or wine). All the sticky buns and frosted sugar cookies… I’m in partially hydrogenated soybean oil heaven, by God. In fact, let’s rank areas of the grocery store right now!

  1. Beer aisle (if they have it)
  2. Bakery
  3. Cereal aisle
  4. Meat counter
  5. International foods
  6. The deli, unless it’s all crowded and shit
  7. Chips/crackers/cookies aisle
  8. Seafood counter
  9. Spices/Baking stuff
  10. Frozen food aisle
  11. Pasta/Sauces
  12. Magazines and random crap aisle
  13. Dairy. So cold!
  14. Drug aisle
  15. Household goods
  16. Checkout
  17. Help counter
  18. Nipples torched off
  19. Produce aisle

HALFTIME!

Marvin:

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Can you really just shove a handgun into the back of your pants, and walk around like nothing’s going on back there, the way they do in movies/TV all the time. I haven’t held a handgun since I was a kid, but they seemed heavier than they looked, and it seems like even if you walked carefully, it’d always be falling out of or into your pants.

Well, you CAN shove it back there if you feel like it. This is Trump’s America, and if you want to shoot your buttcheeks off, BIG GUBMINT isn’t gonna stop you. Also, the safety on a gun usually takes some effort to click off, as it should. It wouldn’t be much of a safety if you could switch to FIRE just by breathing on it.

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I’m being presumptuous here, but I don’t think any self-respecting gun owner walks around with a gun in the back of their pants. That’s jayvee shit, and it’s a likely sign to other gun owners that you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. It’s like shooting with your hand sideways. You may see it a lot in the movies, but in real life it’s the sort of thing that makes everyone else roll their eyes. Real men use a holster when they’re going to shoot up a picnic.

Carter:

Better Seahawks running back - Marshawn Lynch or Shaun Alexander? Lynch remains a cult hero, but Alexander’s numbers have aged quite well.

Marshawn. I know that Shaun Alexander rushed for more yards in fewer seasons and scored more career touchdowns, but fuck all that. He couldn’t do this:

When Marshawn was on, Marshawn was special, dammit. [Wilbon voice] I DON’T NEED A BUNCH OF FANCY STATS TO KNOW THAT. THAT IS JUST A BUNCH OF JUNK. GET THAT METRIC JUNK OUT OF MY FACE. ON THE MEANS STREETS OF NORTHWESTERN USING MATH COULD GET YOU KILLED.

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Jeff:

There is a mute button on a TV, but not a quick way to dim the screen. At night, I want to sometimes listen to the end of a game, but not have to subject myself or wife to the glow of a 42 incher. Remotes should come with a quick “picture muting” button that turns contrast down to 0 without fumbling through 50 menu options. Right??

Yeah! What the fuck, man? I’ve had that moment where I can’t sleep, so I turn the TV on, and there’s that little pause between turning it on and the picture appearing where I KNOW that my eyes are about to get murdered. That little pause is the WORST. They need some kind of Late Night button where you push it and the picture slowly fades in over the course of five minutes so that your poor eyes can adjust. Let’s patent it. We’ll be thousandaires for sure.

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Also, while your iPhone does have a lovely swipe-up menu so you can instantly adjust the brightness (which could stand to have an even less bright setting; I want that screen darker than a confession booth), the powerup screen is blank fucking white. You may as well be staring into the sun. Stop trying to welcome me to the afterlife, Apple. No one deserves to have their retinas seared at 2 a.m. when they can’t sleep and want to look at naked people.

Thomas:

If someone asked you to make them a peanut butter sandwich and you couldn’t ask any follow-up questions AND you genuinely wanted to give them what they want, would you put jelly on that sandwich?

NO. A peanut butter sandwich is clearly its own thing and I would only put jelly on it if someone specifically asked for a PB&J. This is especially important when serving children food, because if one goddamn thing about the sandwich is different from what they asked, they react like they just had their hands chopped off. So annoying. If you want a peanut butter sandwich because you enjoy the sensation of nearly dying of thirst before getting your hands on a glass of milk, that’s what I’m giving you.

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Also, I wouldn’t know WHICH jelly to use, and people are picky about that sort of thing. My default jelly for a PB&J isn’t even jelly at all. It’s strawberry jam. I know grape jelly is the default jelly for most people there, but I like strawberry better. FIGHT ME.

Mike:

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I have spent the last 20 years in HR roles for various companies and at this point I thought I had heard it all. But last week the janitor came down to my office to tell me that someone had taken a dump in the urinal and despite his best efforts he could not get it unclogged. He requested that I send out a “memo” to curb this behavior. I am pretty sure that most people over the age of 7 know how to use a toilet correctly and I am by no means a professional writer so I am really at a loss for words. How would you write this memo?

“To whom it may concern,

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Someone took a dump in the urinal last week. Don’t do that. This is not a hostel. If you get caught taking a dump in the urinal again, you will be fired and/or prosecuted. And yes, please post this note on the Internet so that it goes viral and people can yell ‘FAKE!’ down in the comments.

By the way, I was once on the receiving end of a stern office memo. We all got shitfaced in a conference room one night and left the place a mess, and there was an email from HR later in the week that was like, “We’re locking conference rooms at 6 p.m., you pigs.” I still feel awful about it. Getting shamed by HR totally works. Your urinal bandit will read your memo and feel eyes all over him.

Ryan:

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I just started a new gig at a small law office (yes, I’m an attorney). I took over for another attorney who left, and I was given his old office/desk. I’ve been here exactly one week and on my third day I discovered the previous attorney had maintained a special collection under the desk:

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Christ. Oh, Christ almighty. FUCK. What is wrong with people? ALERT HR. I’m gonna go puke in a trash can. Leaving that many boogers in one place is only cute when I do it.

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Patrick:

Recently, my girlfriend and I were debating what constitutes a nickname at dinner. My friends have a habit of calling me by last name since there are two Patricks in the group and she told me that my last name was my nickname. I was insistent that a nickname does not contain any part of the person’s original name yet still manages to capture their essence or flavor. Who you got here?

Somehow you’re both wrong. I don’t think a last name is a nickname, but I definitely think a nickname can contain parts of your given name. “Pat” is, technically speaking, a nickname. It’s not the wildest nickname in the world, but it does the job a nickname is supposed to do, which is to make your name shorter and punchier, and take away some of the formality of addressing you. You don’t need to go by Cobra or something to have a true nickname. You can be Patty, or P, or P-Funk, or P-Sauce, or whatever the fuck. It can be an alternate name or a shortened name or initials or anything else where you can tell a girl, “Yes, my name is Eugene but my friends call me PISTOL.”

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MAC:

When I have a cold (like I do right now) I have the urge to sleep on the floor. Does this make me weird?

No. If you’re in bed and you’re still miserable, it’s only natural to think of alternatives while you’re desperate for comfort. I’ve had that happen, where I’m like, “Maybe if I lie on the floor, I won’t want to throw up so much.” And then I move one inch and NOPE. No, it turns out that this is about as un-miserable as I’m going to get. It’s not a good moment. If the bed isn’t working, that’s when you know you’re fucked.

It’s also fun to sleep on the floor just for the sheer drama of it. “Why, I’m just so exhausted, I’ll sleep right here on the floor of this bus station.” I had to sleep on the floor of the nursery a few times when we were new parents. You really get to act out all your Tomsula-approved hobo fantasies when you do that. I liked to shiver, just so anyone who stumbled upon my body would know how sad and pathetic I felt sleeping on a goddamn choo-choo rug.

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J:

I’m a cop for a very large midwestern city police department and today my partner and I responded to a call by a woman who claimed that someone tried to kill her by cutting her brake lines. She seemed very nice and very concerned so we took her information and gave her the proper report. As I was leaving, I wondered if there could be a less efficient method with even less chance of success to kill someone, than cutting a car’s brake lines. How fast could you be going before you first use the brakes? 5mph while backing out of your driveway? Even then, a car crash would most likely end up with bumps and bruises. Do modern cars even have brake lines? I think I saw someone kill somebody that way on an episode of Hart to Hart when I was a kid but I’m not sure.

I Googled this, which I immediately regretted because that’s not something you want people to discover in your search history. Anyway, the results are hilarious because you got people on Quora who are like, “Can you really cut the brakes on a car? ASKING FOR A FRIEND.” And yes, apparently you can cut a car’s brake lines, but it requires a whole lot of effort, with a whole lot of potential variables gumming up the works (what if the butler decides to take the car out that night instead of your intended target?). If you cut someone’s brakes, it’s not because you necessarily want to kill them, but because you want them to KNOW that you want to kill them. See the difference? It’s a mind game. This is why Bill Parcells would cut your brakes if you fucked up a passing drill. Really gets in your head and stays there.

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Email of the week!

Luke:

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I had a sad realization today that our country will now be run much like the NFL. A few examples: influencing/controlling media coverage, pretending to care about women, inconsistent fines/penalties for violations (aka, a clown making up shit as he goes along), in the pocket of a few old rich white dudes with oil money, mostly impervious to scandals, too much year-round news coverage, and something like denying healthcare/health problems exist. I’m not sure there is a question here other than: we’re fucked, right?

We are. Although, after reading that, it kinda sounds like how America has ALWAYS been run. So yay!