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 washing down food, jeans, shitty appliances, and more.

Before we get into the Funbag, are you going to New York Comic Con? Of course you are! All the best nerds are gonna be there: Lewis, Gilbert, Booger, Wormser, etc. And I’ll be there tomorrow, too. So come on by the Penguin booth at 10:00 am and get a ticket for a free copy of The Hike (I’ll sign it at 10:45). Or come sit in on this esteemed panel and listen to me pontificate like an asshat.

Your letters:

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John:

What percentage of assholes are oblivious to their true nature?

Virtually all of them. In fact, that’s one of the things that MAKES you an asshole. If I say something rude to you and I KNOW it’s rude (“Hey Gary, your mom is a cow.”), that’s a big symptom of assholism.

It’s one thing to stick your foot in your mouth. Everyone has done that, and a normal person usually retreats if someone calls them out for being an insensitive idiot. “Oh my God! I didn’t realize you didn’t want me to use your bedroom for a bondage porn shoot. My bad!” That’s standard etiquette. You should see me apologize when I’ve been a dick. I turn into a groveling mess. You’d kick me right in the face.

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If you really don’t know that you’re being a dick, there’s some possibility of redemption. There’s some hint that you might be willing to correct your behavior. Purging your inner asshole is part of the male maturation process. You start off loud and crude and thinking every joke you tell is HILARIOUS, and then you hopefully grow, and, over time, learn to not be so much of an asshole.

The key to being an asshole is to issue NO apology, and double down on whatever shitty thing you did or said. It’s someone pointing out that you’re being an asshole, and then you going, “YOU GOT THAT RIGHT! AND I’M DAMN PROUD OF IT!” And then you drive off in your pickup truck.

In fact, I don’t even think most guys take “asshole” as an insult anymore. It’s a badge of honor for your average wingnut. Assholes are LEADERS. They tell it like it is. They’re not gonna let you cry just because they ran over your dog. SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN, LOSER. Assholes are strong and everyone else is a pussy who can’t take a joke. That’s the pervading ethos of your average internet commenter. I’ve seen enough bumper stickers out there to know that the problem is getting worse, not better. As you see from this election, there’s no stigma in being a dick anymore. Those people just think of themselves as the last of a dying breed. We’re doing a bad job of shaming our asshole population.

I know this to be true because I still have a job. I’ve been an asshole. I still do dickish things even though I tell myself I’m trying to get better avoiding it. But am I really getting better? It’s not like I’ve stopped insulting people on Twitter. I simply justify it by thinking that I’m calling out the RIGHT people, even though I could easily be wrong. I am an asshole because I believe I’m assholing the Right Way, which is perhaps the greatest lie of all. If you’re a really talented asshole, you can go past self-awareness and delude yourself into thinking you’re speaking truth to power by telling Peter King he has a saggy butt.

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Tom:

If Hillary wins, do you think she and Bill will bone on Election Night?

No. I think Bill and Hillary are good friends who are courteous enough to not go prying into one another’s sex lives. If Hillary wins, those two will celebrate with a glass of champagne and a marathon viewing of House of Cards in separate bedrooms. Also, if Trump willingly concedes (not bloody likely), there won’t be any need for intercourse because they’ll both orgasm spontaneously. I know I will!

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Volunteer:

Any recommendations on a diaper bag that still makes me look like I can perform a root canal on a grizzly bear while still carrying my newborn?

No. They do make diaper bags for men, all of which are designed to look like toolboxes you lug on your way to building a skyscraper. But those things aren’t fooling anyone. People see the Dr. Brown’s nipple sticking out of the side pocket and they know what’s up. Once you’re a dad, there’s no hiding it. The damage is done. You may as well buy a pair of Merrells and buy the new Springsteen memoir to finish the job.

There’s a whole cottage industry of supposedly girly products that have been man-ified: diaper bags, skin care products, etc. I have purchased these products, including AXE. That’s right. I’ve experienced the AXE effect firsthand (it is minimal). The truth is that material goods don’t make you masculine. YOU make you masculine. If Clive Owen walks around carrying a paisley carry-all, he’s still Clive Owen, the suavest motherfucker on Earth. Conversely, if you’re just some schlub, all the body spray and steel-plated messenger bags in the world aren’t gonna hide it. So don’t bother with the manly diaper bag. Just use the wife’s and wear it with CONFIDENCE. That way, no one will fuck with you and your goldfish snack packs.

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Steve:

I think my dad is a freak. For my entire life he’s been taking full swigs of his drink immediately after taking a bite of food with the food still being chewed. I mean he’ll literally take a bite, then take a huge swig of soda/milk/water, then continue chewing. I’m not talking about the understandable milk with cereal/cookies or something, but any and every meal. Huge bite of steak? Wash it down with milk. Spaghetti? Ya, soda while it’s still in his mouth makes that better. His reasoning of “It’s all going to the same place” is asinine at best. I can’t imagine taking a huge bite of pizza then a sip of beer and chewing them all together in one bite. I’m gagging just thinking about it. I’m not the weirdo here, right? My dad is just crazy?

I don’t think he’s crazy so much as stuck in a bad habit. What’s the number one reason people combine their food and drink in a single mouthful? Because the food is too fucking hot. So your old man probably washed down something hot with milk when he was a kid and then just kept doing it in perpetuity. It’s learned behavior. And he’s been at it for so long that he’s rationalized it as a superior eating technique. You’re gonna need years to break him down and build him back up again.

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To be fair, some foods really are fun with intermingle with whatever you’re drinking. For example, I kinda like washing down Doritos with Coke, which is revolting. Or milkshakes and fast food! I don’t mind getting a little sweet and savory action mixing in there. It’s okay to chase your food in spots. But yeah, it’s a little odd if you make a point to chug Faygo and chew macaroni at the same time. Only someone who has a proper chef’s palate like ME knows the right time to combine flavor profiles.

Eric:

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What percentage of the music ever made has been good? I know “good” is a subjective term, but considering the thousands of years humans have been making music, and how many artists throughout history have been plain garbage, and how much shitty music GOOD artists have put out during the course of their careers, it has to be less than one percent, right?

The old Theodore Sturgeon quote was that 90% of everything is crap (books, movies, guitar solos, etc). But that’s a generous estimate in the Internet Age because everyone on Earth now has access to basic recording equipment. The amount of pure shit being produced—by bad garage bands, children dicking around, and your mom accidentally butt-recording herself while humming in the car—has increased exponentially, year by year. Professional recordings only account for a fraction of that pile, and obviously not all of those professional recordings are good. I know this because I’ve heard 5 Seconds Of Summer. So we’re talking about less than one percent of all music being listenable, and less than one percent of THAT one percent being enjoyable.

That said, even though I’ve gotten pickier as I slide into middle age, I think I’m now a lot more appreciative of art that’s been professionally made, good or bad. Listening to your friend’s cousin’s demo tape will make you ACHE for a P!nk track. And think about movies that don’t make it into film festivals. I swear I would rather watch Uwe Boll’s entire filmography before sitting through one movie from the Toronto discard pile. There is a primal instinct within you that outright rejects another person’s home movie within 30 seconds of viewing it, unless that home movie includes someone getting hit in the balls.

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Jesse:

Is a sunroof a window?

Yes, but cut it out.

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Alex:

How would the Golden State Warriors fare if the NBA forced only them to play in a t-shirt and jeans?

They’d lose a lot. You ever try to work out or play sports in jeans? It’s the fucking worst. Jeans are comfortable only when you’re perfectly still. The moment you break into any kind of vigorous motion, they become hot, sweaty, and constricting. They fill up with ass juice like a fucking diaper. No way Draymond is pulling down 20-10 every game with a load in his pants. They’d miss the playoffs.

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And the hotter the jeans get, the more self-conscious you are about wearing them. I’ve been the kid who forgot to bring workout clothes to his first day of PE and had to play dodgeball in husky Wranglers while all the other kids are whizzing around in Umbros. It’s not a good feeling to stick out like that (literally, in the case of my baby love handles).

Also, you can always tell if a man is a psychopath if he shows up at the weight room or the basketball court in jeans. On purpose. Vinny from Bensonhurst thinks rolling into the pick-up game in a pair of Levi’s and a weight belt looks pretty fuckin’ sweet, you guys.

Brian:

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If the NFL instituted a rule that required all kickers to participate in at least five non-kicking snaps per game, how would you play it? Would you train a regular contributing player to kick, or put real kickers in the lineup and waste a position for 5 plays a game? In this scenario, I suppose if the player didn’t participate in at least 5 plays by the end of regulation, the team would forfeit all points scored via kick by that player.

You could probably get away with carrying a real kicker on the roster and then putting him at wideout for five plays a game to stalk block on running plays and quick passes. That’s the easiest way to hide him because a) You can keep the ball out of his vicinity and b) stalk blocking is something a kicker could do effectively. (Your job is to get in the defender’s way and stick to him, like you’re guarding him in basketball.) And then you could actually THROW to the kicker on trick plays to keep the defense honest. Kickers are real athletes, after all. It’s not like you’re putting a drunk fan out there on an island.

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The other option, as you said, is to teach a position player to kick, which sounds like an easy solution until you see it in action. Either way, you’re diminishing one aspect of the game by having a player play out of position, and that’s a bad thing. I think that moving the PAT back has actually been a pretty good solution to the NFL’s kicking issues. It’s fucked with kickers’ heads just enough to make every field goal and PAT tense, especially when the kicker in question is Blair Walsh.

HALFTIME!

Steve:

As I was using my shitty broke down vacuum cleaner yesterday and contemplating buying a new one, it got me to thinking. Is buying a vacuum the least liked household appliance purchase? I HATE having to buy a new vacuum every year or two!

As much as I despise vacuums, I can’t agree. The answer is replacing a furnace or a hot water heater or any other utility room appliance. A furnace is much more expensive than a vacuum and somehow even less exciting. And the consequences of it breaking are far more dire. You’re paying thousands of dollars just to not die of frost exposure. It’s horseshit. Remember A Christmas Story, when the furnace goes on the fritz and the old man won’t stop cursing? That’s every dad. If you have to pay your furnace a visit, things are already shitty. I expect my HVAC system to work properly. And when it doesn’t, I want the world torn in half.

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Again, I’m not letting vacuums off the hook here. Apart from the Roomba—which costs too much—vacuums are bullshit. They’re loud, and bulky, and you have to drag them around the house like an angry toddler. I fucking loathe our vacuum. The mere sound of it enrages me. WHO IS RUNNING THE VACUUM? HOW DARE THEY INTERRUPT MY FOOTBALL GAME FOR SIX SECONDS JUST TO RID THIS HOUSE OF DISCARDED CHEESE RINDS?! I can’t wait for it to break so that I can stomp it to death and replace it with something that’s just as bad.

Ahmed:

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Who, in your opinion, is the most handsome o-lineman of all time?

What about Kyle Turley? Kyle Turley was handsome. Remember when he angrily chucked that other dude’s helmet? SUCH A REBELLIOUS DREAMBOAT. He didn’t care about nuthin’, that guy! In general, I like any lineman who looks and acts like Boris from True Romance.

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It is genuinely jarring to see a handsome o-lineman flash by on the screen during the SNF intros. Your average o-lineman is a 300-pound guy with a hobo beard and pockets of strange back fat. But once in a while, you come across guys who are handsome and well-proportioned, but huge … like they were normal-sized and then got hit with a laser that increased their body mass by 20%. Like Kevin Mawae! Kevin Mawae was a nice-looking dude. I would play golf with him.

Marcus:

What if breaking news comes out that Trump and Hillary and sex in a Red Roof Inn and Hillary becomes pregnant?

That would be a neat trick given that Hillary Clinton is due to turn 69 this month (NOTE: Nice.). The truther squads would be out in full force to prove that the baby is Chelsea’s, or it’s a Nazi space alien, or something else. I think this election has already proven that people will gladly ignore facts in order to believe what they want to believe. So for a certain percentage of the population, nothing that happens will mean anything. I think Infowars is absurd, but I have greatly underestimated the number of people who live in a bubble where shit like Infowars is their ONLY source of information. You can see the effect in this article. It’s like a long-term sociology experiment, with Trump’s candidacy as its end result. This woman trusts Brietbart the way I trust something that’s been confirmed by six different major media outlets.

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And yeah, media outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times get a LOT of shit wrong, all the time. But the fact that they occasionally get shit wrong has given some people license to trust places that willfully get EVERYTHING wrong, where denial is a form of intellectual independence. So the Trillary love child would just be one more outlandish news item fed into the truther mill.

The rest of us sane people would simply quit on democracy altogether. No one would vote. Everyone would go drink and think about moving to New Zealand. I hear it’s pretty there. People walk around barefoot a lot. Seems pleasant.

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Mitch:

I would like something hilarious for the epitaph on my tombstone. It seems like this might be tricky, I don’t want it to be eyeroll material forever. Do you think this can be pulled off? p.s. Not currently dying, just trying to be proactive.

Don’t do it. You know how WC Fields said he would mark his tombstone with “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”? He never actually did that. His tombstone just has his name and lifespan on it, which is kind of a letdown. There’s a time to make jokes, and the moment you pass into the ethereal plane and discover the secret of existence isn’t one of them. Mel Blanc’s tombstone reads “That’s All, Folks,” which is just about perfect (it’s funny because he’s dead now!), but even he tempered that with serious shit underneath: “Beloved husband, etc.”

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Besides, the average joke has a half-life of seven seconds. You better have a damn good one-liner ready if you want it to withstand immortality. My suggestion is to hide a foot pad in front of your tombstone, and then when people step on it, they hear a giant farting noise. I’m sure no cemetery would have a problem with this kind of eternal setup.

Charles:

I lucked into a little house right on the ocean a few years ago (thanks grandma!). Not one of those beach houses on stilts, but one that is “safely” behind a man-made sand dune. Assuming all goes as planned with global warming, how soon do I have to sell it?

There are sites like this one that will let you dial in on a map and project how future sea level will affect the coastline. For example, here’s the New York area 80* years from now:

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Anyway, you can use this tool to guesstimate when your grandma’s beach house will become a manmade coral reef. Now, there’s a certain amount of denial built into the market. Miami is already sinking but real estate prices there remain sky high, because no one wants to believe their $5 million condo is on the verge of being worthless, and because the ocean is pretty. So you could conceivably hang on until the flood waters have arrived and still divest. I, on the other hand, would get rid of it well beforehand. Ever seen someone who is trying to sell a house, but can’t? They look they’ve been kidnapped. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHEN THIS NIGHTMARE WILL BE OVER. I’d rather have my dick pulled off than watch a house sit on the market for over a year.

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One thing about climate change is that it’s gradual. Not in geologic terms, of course. But in terms of day-to-day living, it’s far more insidious. So it’s not like Manhattan will become fully submerged over the course of a single day. What will happen is that the water will creep up and up, and people will adjust and retreat, reinventing new coastal properties along the way, and THOSE properties will skyrocket in value as former tenants are priced out and forced to move further inland. We’ll all be gradually squeezed to death without realizing it, fighting for space and resources as the oceans reclaim us. Should be fun!

Zach:

I teach 8th grade history and with the election coming up, it’s obviously going to be a topic we cover in class. This will be the third election I’ll be in the classroom for and with the first two, it was easy to play the middle during discussions. I have my own opinion on matters, but I can’t let that get through to the kids. So my question is, how the hell do I play devil’s advocate in discussions when Trump is involved? I don’t know how I can make sane, logical arguments in his defense. Would the kids notice if I just pretended the election isn’t happening?

Fuck that. Go all in. Play the whole first debate for them. That’ll get them talking. I’ve never taught any class, but I assume the hardest thing about being a teacher is when students aren’t responsive … when they just sit there stone-faced and you’re BEGGING them to at least ask one lousy question, no matter how dumb that question might be.

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That wouldn’t be a problem if you exposed the class to the full lunacy of this election: rally fistfights and sex tapes and insane conspiracy theories and dick jokes and all that shit. They’ll never shut up after they see all that. Also, you can find out which kids like Trump and then fail them. I’m sure there would be no professional repercussions from it.

For real though, I assume your school has a 50-page policy on how to talk to the kids about the election. Every school policy is overwrought with legalese and is based on a 15-year psychological study from the University of Blaupunkt. But, ideally, you should be able to just tell the kids what you honestly think about all this, and why. I don’t want my kid’s teacher to just be a vessel for testing methods and ever-shifting curricula. I want that teacher to have distinctive views and ideas that my kid can absorb and even disagree with. But I know that can’t always be the case now, because Muffy’s mom will sue the school if Teacher says something nice about vaccines or something.

Mark:

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I was recently in my local Subway and veggies were being added to my sandwich when I asked for lots of pickles only to hear the dreaded words, “We are out of pickles.” I decisively stated I didn’t want the sandwich in that case, and she looks at me as if I am the crazy one in this transaction. Was my response unreasonable?

You gotta apologize to the Sandwich Artist. You don’t have to mean it, but you have to meekly say, “Oh sorry, in that case I don’t want it,” and then flee the premises while he stands there holding the salt shaker in befuddlement. “The fuck was wrong with that guy?” That’s the proper, dipshit way of handling the situation if you REALLY need four tons of pickles on your sandwich. Maybe leave a tip in the tip jar, too.

It’s the equivalent of taking a table in a restaurant and then bailing before you order anything. You ever do that? Sometimes I’ll walk into a restaurant, check the menu, sit down, and then immediately regret my choice of dining establishment (“These chairs suck!”). So then I have to wrestle with whether or not I want to deal with the embarrassment of leaving (especially if there’s water already on the table). And then, if I do choose to leave, I gotta inform the maitre’d, and that’s a terrible moment. “Oh sorry. Turns out this place sucks and I never want to come back.” You gotta apologize for being weird.

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Email of the week!

Casey:

Let me set the scene: My apartment building hallway after work. A girl is walking toward me with her laundry basket. I smile at her and notice a piece of clothing on the floor behind her, so I say, politely, “You dropped something,” because we’ve all known the anguish of losing our favorite socks on laundry day.

I’m past her at this point and decide I’ll be neighborly and pick it up for her since she’s got her hands full and...it’s a pair of panties. I’ve already started bending over, so now I’m panicking on how to proceed. Do I pick up this stranger’s underwear? That’s super weird, right!? I can’t do that! Just walk away, just walk away, abort! The apartment door is right there, I’m almost home!

...I picked them up. And then I dropped them on top of her basket while shrugging and saying, “sorry...” To which she responds, “Thanks...” through a beet-red face. Obviously, the question is: Did I make the right decision?

I think you already know that you didn’t.

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Correction: This FUNBAG originally included a map that supposedly showed what the New York City-area will look like in 60 years because of global warming; it actually showed what the New York City-area would look like if sea levels rose 60 meters. Sea levels are projected to rise by one to four feet by 2100; a new map has been inserted that better reflects this projection. Thanks Jay.