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 spilled beer, stairs, food names, and more.

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Your letters:

Peter:

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What is the worst bodily fluid of another person to clean up? If you’re a parent or a good college roommate we have all cleaned up puke, poop and piss. Blood seems to make everyone the most squeamish (a college guy I knew put his arm through a window and cut an artery; he lived but holy cow with the blood) but my vote still goes to poop. The smell makes it the worst. I can barely pick up my dog’s droppings sometimes.

Poop and/or diarrhea is the obvious gut answer to this question—especially if you’ve ever cleaned up an exploded infant diaper. We used to put our kid in a little “sleep sack”—which is like a sleeping bag with arm and neck holes—and sometimes the kid would shit through the diaper and the onesie and we would open the sack to find GALLONS of shit all over.

But I’ll say this for poop: sometimes it’s a) small and b) solid. My dog dropped anchor on the carpet when we were training him, and that shit came right off the floor. A little spritz of Resolve and the carpet was good as new (NOTE: Don’t come hang at my house). All grownup poop accident are the same: you see it, you register the horror of it, and then you quickly bundle it up and throw it away. It’s terrible, but it’s over quickly.

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Now, let me tell you about cleaning up puke, because I’ve been doing it for 11 FUCKING YEARS now. I have spent the majority of parenthood AWASH in vomit. I have now cleaned up every form of child emesis: spit-up, milk barf, bile, chunks, all of it. We had to trash the baby rocking chair because it had so many eggshell-colored puke stains on it. It fucking sucks. A barfing child is like a broken fire hydrant. The four-year-old got sick the other night and booted over the side of his bed. It got on the pillow, the blanket, the fitted sheet, the mattress pad, the mattress itself, the floor, the carpet, the drawer, a bookcase, UNDER the bookcase, and inside the fucking bedframe. At two in the morning. There are earthquakes that are easier to clean up. I had to lift up the mattress and reach under the oaken plank supports to get at the puke, and even then it was still trapped in the corners. I had to rent a fucking Rug Doctor for $30, and then roll up the rug and steam clean it a dozen times in the basement. We had to do a billion loads of laundry.

And do you know what happened two hours after he puked everywhere and we cleaned it up? HE DID AGAIN. All over all the clean, replacement sheets and wiped-down floor. Even though we gave his ass a bowl, he painted the room with a second coat. I was so mad. I would have much preferred he dropped a big ol’ Cleveland Steamer right in his jammies. I’m sick of all this puke. When is Trump banning puke? I’m done with puke. DONE.

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Also, I will take a moment here to again remind any expecting parents out there that cleaning up a child’s nose is one of the awful things they never tell you about. At some point, your baby will sneeze and a RIVER of lumpy green mucus will come flying out, like webs from Spider-Man’s wrist. You will gag. It’s a lock. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Andrew:

My friends and I like to come up with the worst possible hypothetical championship games for the major sports leagues, here is what we have come to believe would be the worst:

NFL - Bengals vs. Buccaneers, originally had Browns in there but they are laughable losers so some intrigue there.

MLB - Padres vs. Rays.

NBA - Magic vs. Pelicans, also in the running was Bucks-Nuggets.

I’m right there with you on the Bucs, who won the worst Super Bowl of my adulthood. But I’d be excited to the Bengals in the Super Bowl if only to see how Andy Dalton would throw the game away.

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It’s real easy to make like Colin Cowherd and grade a team’s Q Rating based simply on the size of their home market, but the truth is that a town has far less to do with a team’s general appeal than the players on it. Take the Falcons, for example. I’m biased, but that ’98 Falcons team was a turgid bore that ruined the Super Bowl with its underwhelming presence. Fucking Chris Chandler. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE DENNY GREEN EVEN IN DEATH.

But THIS Falcons team … this is a genuinely exciting, likable outfit. I’ll be happy to watch them on Sunday. Players and coaches and style can all have a remarkable influence on your national reputation. It’s like the Rams-Titans Super Bowl. Those were two relocated teams without much recent history going for them prior to that matchup. But then it BECAME one of the best Super Bowls ever thanks to Kurt Warner and Steve McNair and other players who transcended whatever superficial indifference there was to be had.

That can happen. Players can make a team. There’s a reason the Cleveland Cavaliers are huge right now, and it’s not because of the rich legacy of Cavs basketball. And there’s a reason the Panthers, who play in college basketball territory and have a Dickens villain for an owner, were a fascinating Super Bowl entrant a year ago. What makes a title game alluring is the distinct presence of STAR POWER, especially at key positions. I don’t know anyone on the Padres or Rays—because I am a shitty sports fan—and so you can bet I would react to that World Series matchup with the kind of performative indifference that makes Twitter such a wonderful place. Ditto a Bucs/Texans Super Bowl. Fuck the Texans.

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As for the NBA, Milwaukee has that Giannis guy now, so they’re kinda fun. I’d much rather see them in the Finals than, like, the fucking Hawks. The Hawks are the control group for any pro franchise with atomically limited appeal. In Hell, they just run video of Hawks scrimmages all day.

Emily:

What’s the proper etiquette when you accidentally spill beer on someone at a sporting event? I was at a baseball game over the summer when the home team hit a three-run homer to take the lead. I jumped up with the crowd, and in the process sloshed beer on shoulder of the woman in front of me (more than a tablespoon, less than a 1/4 cup). I immediately felt terrible and apologized profusely, but she had none of it. Refused to respond to my apology, gossiped loudly about what a bitch I was, and then dramatically removed her jersey and put it in her bag. I felt like I’d done my duty by apologizing, but she seemed to think it wasn’t enough. Am I supposed to offer dry cleaning or something? That seems excessive.

You did the right thing. Fuck that lady. When you purchase your ticket, you have already assumed the risk of getting a little beerkakke on you and/or taking a foul ball right in the eye. That’s the deal. It would be one thing if you spilled your whole beer on the lady and then said “Tough shit” or something else like a drunken prick. But you apologized and were genuine about it and that should have been the end of it. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can buy her a round. But what if she takes that round deliberately spills it BACK on you? Now you’re in a spilling arms race that will only end when one of you is drenched and stabbed to death. People need to chill out.

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Erik:

While talking about the upcoming Super Bowl, my grandpa mentioned that’s it been a while since he’s talked to ‘little Billy’. When I asked him what he meant, I found out that he and Steve Belichick were coaches together at the Naval Academy. Steve’s son Billy would come around to practice, and he and my grandpa kept in touch for a long time. I asked my grandpa, a kind, gentle, old man why he still calls him Billy, when everyone else now calls him Bill. “Oh, he hates that name so much, I just do it to piss him off!”

Well, now I’m calling him Billy until he finds me and personally punches me in the face. OL’ BILLY BOY. BILLY THE KID. BILLY BELLY! That’s it. I bet all the kids in school made fun of him by calling him Billy Belly, before he murdered them in cold blood and banged their moms.

By the way, Brady did his standard fancy-poodle deflection when he got asked about Trump last night. You know what? Fuck him. Fuck him 80 times. They should have shined a big hot light on him and asked him 70 more Trump questions. ANSWER FOR YOUR CRIMES, THOMAS. Don’t put a MAGA hat in your locker and then play coy. Your boss sent a pen pal note to Creamsicle Hitler and you think you can skate by? I’m annoyed already.

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Dougie:

What’s the furthest you’ve physically ever been from the next closest human? Even when I’ve been far away from populations of people (wilderness hiking), I’ve been with at least another person because I’m a baby. I think the closest I can get is like when I took a jet ski far out in the water, as sad as that sounds.

I actually think the time you’re potentially the farthest from another living human is out on the road. There are a lot of conditions to that: You have to be driving through a rural area (not even rural, but straight wilderness), and you have to be virtually the only car on the road. When I drove to college up in Maine, there would be stretches where I was dead alone on the road, with nothing but trees on either side of I-95. I could have been a mile away from the nearest person.

You can feel how alone you are sometimes. You can feel the void of other people nowhere nearby. If a deranged cannibalistic redneck had swooped by in a pickup and cut me off and run me off the road, and then kidnapped me and taken me to his Torture Cabin deep in the Acadia pines, there would have been no one to help me. No one to hear me scream as the madman cut me open and gave me bad directions in a funny Maine accent. My point is that you should go to college somewhere warm.

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Anyway, I’m probably being generous about that mile-wide buffer, because I’m soft. I mean, I wrote a whole stupid book once about how scared shitless I got just walking behind a fucking hotel. In Pennsylvania. The second I find myself alone with no one in sight, I curl into a fetal ball and cry out for a chopper rescue. What if no one finds me? What if I eat the wrong berries like Chris McCandless did?! BEARS. THERE ARE BEARS OUT THERE.

Mike:

At what height are you expected to do two-steps at a time when going up stairs? I’m 5'11” and I’m still going one by one. It feels like I get some looks/sighs from people because of it.

There’s no way anyone expects you to go two steps at a time, regardless of your height. If anything, I cast a suspicious eye on someone who IS doing it. What the fuck is THAT guy in such a hurry for? Thinks he’s so important that he has to show off and bound up the steps two at a time in front of the rest of us, does he? FUCKING GLORY STEPPER. If you’re gonna commit to skipping steps, you better be hurrying for a subway or rushing to catch a dropped baby. Otherwise, you’re gonna trip and fall like a moron.

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HALFTIME!

RJ:

So you wake up one morning and it’s suddenly one year earlier, and everything is happening exactly as it happened before. Knowing what you know now, what would you do to change the course of election? Would you try to convince others to take Trump more seriously earlier? Use Funbag as some sort of bully pulpit? Go canvassing in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan? Or would you just say fuck it, bet a shit-ton on the Broncos on the Super Bowl, and spend your winnings on numbing alcohol?

There’s nothing I could do. Nothing. I could call every swing voter and stand outside Clinton HQ dousing myself in chicken blood to warn of impending doom, but none of it would work. The entirety of 2016 was people warning, “Huh, this whole thing has a real Hitler feel to it” and then Trump voters being like, “OH FUCK YEAH, BABY. GIVE US SOME OF THAT HITLER ACTION.” Every dire warning was met with either indifference or IMMENSE enthusiasm. “If candyass liberal Drew is so worried about this guy, then he must really be onto something!” That’s how the whole campaign went. Hysteria was an attraction, not a deterrent. So no, I would just bet on the Broncos, fill out a perfect NCAA bracket, and then buy a fucking island.

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Tom:

My wife insists that we keep ketchup, maple syrup, and spaghetti sauce in the refrigerator after they’re opened. I prefer it in the pantry so that my french fries and pancakes don’t get cold. Who’s right here?

All three of those items are supposed to be refrigerated after opening. Sorry, man. Even when I stick spaghetti sauce in the fridge, I’ve opened up an old jar to find a layer of blue fur awaiting me. It’s not a good moment. Also, there are sound aesthetic reasons to keep your ketchup cold, since it helps to cool down any fries that are the temperature of molten steel. And I like my maple syrup bottle crusted over and frigid so that I get to pretend I’m King Arthur trying to open the fucker back up again. Those real syrup bottles are sealed tighter than a tomb.

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There are a great many food items that you do NOT have to refrigerate in theory, particularly butter and/or whole milk. I have spent the past five years CONSIDERING leaving the butter out, but I still haven’t had the balls to do it yet. I’m pathetic. Given how much of a premium I place on fridge real estate (“Who put this goddamn whole watermelon in the crisper?!”), I should pull the trigger.

Owen:

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Last week, I decided that Friday night would be Philly cheesesteak night. I went to the store the day before, got my onions, peppers, buns, cheese, and even had the butcher slice a good sirloin for the meat. I spent the majority my day sitting at work, salivating over how great this sandwich would be, and at the fact that I would get to use my cast iron skillet (LIKE A MAN!) “I’m going to listen to some metal, and slice up some shit with giant knives,” I thought. When I go home, my wife was already cooking said Philly cheese steaks, because she wanted me to relax after a long week. Am I an asshole if I’m mad about this?

“Mad” is the wrong word. It’s fine to be disappointed. You were looking forward to cooking some shit and doing the whole Salt Bae routine, and now you won’t be able to. It’s fine to be a little bit crushed inside by that. But, whatever you do, don’t EXPRESS that disappointment. You will get a steak knife to the face if you do that. Thank your wife for the lovely dinner (even if she didn’t toast the buns as much as you would have toasted them for you are the TRUE SANDWICH ARTIST), get drunk, and forget about it. And then, when you plan another night of hot cooking action, make sure you let your wife know. Just say, “Hey, mind if I cook tonight?” That’s it. Don’t be like, “Hey, can I cook because you make cheesesteaks like a fucking amateur?” You’ve learned your lesson now. Stake your claim beforehand and then you’ll be the meat god for a night.

I’ve had this happen, by the way. I’ve spent all morning working or doing errands and getting ready to make myself a kickass lunch. Then I get home and my old lady is like, “I made us a salad!” And I gotta be like, “Oh thanks!”, while inside I am SEETHING. Salad. For a meal. With no meat in it! What kind of cruel joke is this shit? Anyway I usually eat it and then take down a package of salami to make up for my losses.

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Eric:

I don’t throw away just the very end pieces of a bread loaf. I also throw away the penultimate slices that leave one side of the slice with severely diminished surface area while the other side is normal. Am I a monster?

Knock it off. There are children starving in India, you know. They’d be perfectly happy with a lameass dwarf sandwich. I for one enjoy the angled slope of the crust. It’s so steep! I match the two big faces on the side of the sandwich and then I feel like I’m eating a spaceship.

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David:

What is the scariest, but actually non-dangerous, creature? I found an enormous cave cricket in my basement, and it may as well have been a black widow spider.

It’s the cockroach. I hate cave crickets as much as the next man [You wrote a whole stupid book about how scared you are of cave crickets.—Ed.], but I’ve battled enough of them now to allay my fears somewhat. They’re fucking disgusting little shits, and yet I have to respect their hops.

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I am still not over cockroaches. If I see one, I fucking freak. Now, cockroaches are “dangerous” in that they are vermin and carriers for disease (they are also symptomatic of a greater lack of cleanliness all around you, too). But I assume you’re talking about creatures that pose an immediate danger of biting you and/or mauling you, like a shark or some shit. I know, inherently, that a cockroach can’t eat me. Chances are, it just wants to skitter away. And yet… what if, like, flies into my face? MY FACE. Jesus. I’d rather be eaten by a tiger.

Please note that tarantulas could also be included here because, while they DO bite, their bites are fairly benign and not fatal. This does not comfort me. If you put a tarantula on my balls, I wouldn’t be like, “Well, he can only do so much damage.” No no, I would leap on you like a drowning man and crush your ribs in fright.

Also, you know those fish that live way down in the dark ocean and have big jaws and clear skin and shit? Fuck those fish. Ban those fish from entering the country.

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Pat:

How far back in time would we have to go where you, Drew Magary, with your own 2016 knowledge and skills, would know more about medicine and biology than the world’s best doctor? Obviously you’d know more than a doctor from like the caveman days. But how recently is that still true for? Civil War-era?

I don’t think I could compete with a Civil War-era doctor. Remember, those doctors were confronted with a host of maladies that, thanks to vaccines and other preventive methods, don’t really exist anymore. Those guys knew their way around a siffy outbreak. I’d be at a loss. I’d take one look at a set of pubic lesions and go running for the hills.

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Also, what good would I be without modern medicines to prescribe? Whenever confronted with a sick child, my two responses are a) “You’re fine,” or b) “Motrin.” Motrin is my tussin. Without it, my skills as a medical provider are virtually extinguished. I may have an edge when it comes to, like, washing my hands before operating on a man. But otherwise, I don’t think I’d even able to compete with doctors from ancient times. There was probably a Chinese healer back in 6000 BC who could help out your flu with some special herbs and roots. Without precious ibuprofen, he’d have me beat.

I’d be a good nurse though. I could hold down a leg while the doc amputates it. I’m a good helper and I still think blood is kinda cool.

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Evan:

There’s a Pancake Thomas on Western Kentucky’s basketball team and a Taco Charlton on Michigan’s football team. Those are both strong food first names. What’s the best food first name you could think of?

Taco Charlton is not the first Taco to grace the football field. I think we all remember the glory days of Taco Wallace:

FUCK YEAH. What happens when Taco crunches YOU?! Anyway, I heartily welcome the age of food-related baby names. Beats Utah baby names. I checked the Social Security database and searched for various potential food names given in 2015, including Burrito (nope), Chalupa (nope), Apple (14 of them), Burger (none), Kale (175, plus plenty of names with a Kale- stem, like Kaleiyah), Porkchop (0), Juice (0), Dorito (0), and Scotch (0). We have too many SHITTY food names and not enough cool, meaty ones. We need more Ribeyes and Bladechops out there. Apple is a fucking stupid name.

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Eric:

What if a millionaire wanted to pursue the rights of a free agent to stop him from going to a certain team? For example, if player A was rumored to be in contact with the Red Sox and a millionaire in New York had connections to his agent, could the millionaire give the player money to stop all conversations with the Sox?

I scoured through the baseball CBA looking for language that expressly forbade this kind of thing, only to be confronted with a SHITLOAD of dense legalese that may as well have been in Mandarin. Suffice it to say, there is probably some rule in there with regard to under-the-table payments. And owners would make very large frowny faces if Marky Mark paid some pitcher a secret bonus in the form of Wahlburgers coupons to sign with Boston.

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But none of that is easy to enforce. Plenty of free agents choose to play in large markets like New York or Los Angeles because they know that they can reap additional sponsorship money from it, which is its own kind of side deal. And what’s to stop this millionaire from paying you in the guise of some wink-wink speaker’s fee, or another no-show gig? My guess is that there’s a fairly sizable underground economy in any pro sport, with “boosters” supplying local sports heroes various incentives to stick around: money, cars, drugs, etc. If I could bet on Tom Brady getting “gifted” five percent of Pats ownership a decade after he retires for being such a positive person, I would.

Rocky:

What would the world do if Serena and Venus were busted for PED use?

Nothing. Other tennis players would cry foul and then I, as an American, would laugh in their face. AW, POOR YVJENI KOLKOVOKSKYA is bitter because Serena got all the good Wistrol! Tough shit, HATERZZZZZZ. I don’t give a shit if Serena had horse muscles grafted onto her bones. She’s the GOAT and I have no interest in seeing her relinquish it.

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Email of the week!

Andy:

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I work in an office tower on the 9th floor. In my office, the dress code is that every male must wear a button-up shirt with dress pants, always tucked in. Often, when returning from lunch, my shirt has come untucked from my pants. This leads to a little game I like to play in the elevator. I timed the elevator when I am on it alone going up and it takes between 15-20 seconds to get from the ground floor to the 9th floor where I work. Therefore, in less than 20 seconds, I often attempt to tuck my shirt back in. It’s harder than you think to get a proper tuck. You have to unbuckle the belt, open the button on the pants, undo the zipper, tuck the shirt, redo the button and zipper, and rebuckle the belt. And the thrill when I get it done before the elevator doors open is intoxicating. The only downside is that the elevator could stop at any floor on the way up and I would look like a total perv with my pants down in an office building elevator. Am I insane?

Only if you get caught.