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 eating aliens, identity crises, bandwagon fans, and more. 

Time for your letters!

Mike:

What do you think is the most “fucked to” show on TV/Netflix? I’m inclined to say SNL because it’s on late Saturday night (obvs biggest sex night) and has multi-generational appeal, everyone from fornicating teens to sexually active geriatrics will use it as background noise for the nasty. However, my girlfriend says it’s Orange Is The New Black, because it also has multi-generational appeal, works with “Netflix and Chill” and is available 24/7.

It’s not Orange Is The New Black, which is appointment TV for five million TV critics and seven actual viewers. You’re not interrupting your prestige TV for intercourse, especially when you can just pause it now. If you played it through, you would have to go back and watch the parts you missed all over again. That’s a needless pain in the ass. If I’m having sex with the TV on, it’s not gonna be prestige TV. It’s gonna be something completely disposable and worthless, or it’s gonna be a movie I’ve already seen before (putting on an old movie you don’t REALLY need to watch again is a standard horny guy date move). So that leaves us with…

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1. The Tonight Show. Every late night show has a built-in advantage when it comes to fucking because it’s on, uh, late, and because it’s on five a nights a week. It’s also very light programming, so you’re not gonna kill the mood, even if it’s Jimmy Fallon playing Operation with Betty White or something.

The Tonight Show has been around forever and has been forgettable for much of its existence. So it’s good to have it on in the background while you fuck, because it’s disposable. Plus, a lot of people like fucking with the TV on, because you want to see each other naked but don’t want the lights to be TOO bright.

2. SNL. You’re right about SNL because you can come home from a night out, put it on, watch the cold open, and then openly fuck once the show goes into garbage time. You know you’re not missing anything after that. By the time you’re done, you’re probably just in time to watch Weekend Update, or to be let down by the musical act.

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3. Sports. Sports are the default TV programming for most men, and they’ll gladly turn away from it to squeeze in a round of fucking. Every beer ad and porn movie is based on this stereotype, and it’s accurate! Besides, I already know how the Vikings game will end. I’m not missing anything. I remember, back in the day, I would do all the sex math in my brain before agreeing to turn away from the game. “If we have sex NOW, there should be eight minutes left by the time we’re done! I’M IN.” I am a living joke.

4. Seinfeld. It’s getting long in the tooth but it’s still on all the time, and everyone has seen every episode anyway. Also, comedy makes people hornier than drama. Take it from a guy who had a makeout session snuffed out by a viewing of Dead Man Walking.

5. The local news. As evidenced here by The Kentucky Fried Movie (NSFW!). Once you know the forecast, it’s business time.

6. Law & Order. But NOT SVU. That would be really weird.

7. Wheel of Fortune. It takes a bit more concentration to watch Jeopardy!. With Wheel, you can be locked in a reverse cowgirl and still solve the puzzle before most of the contestants can.

8. The O’Reilly Factor. SO HAWT.

I know there’s distinct lack of erotic shows on this list like Red Shoe Diaries. But come on, those shows are for jerking off. No couple REALLY cues up an episode of Real Sex to get in the mood.

By the way, if we wanna go back before the advent of DVR and look for some all-time shows that people fucked to, I bet The Dukes Of Hazzard would be up there. All that rebellion and short shorts…THAT JUST REVS MY ENGINE, GIRL.

Linda:

My husband became a Blackhawks fan during/after their drought-ending 2009-2010 season. Classic bandwagoning situation: we’re native Chicagoans, but he was 100% indifferent to hockey (and all sports) before then. Flash forward seven years, he’s still INTO IT. Watches nearly every game, reads hockey blogs, follows drafts, the whole nine. Is seven years of fandom enough to retroactively cancel the stigma of initial bandwagoning?

Yeah, I think so. I mean, if he’s following the NHL Draft, for shit’s sake, he’s established his TRUE FAN cred. Even NHL executives don’t watch the NHL Draft. Also, he’s from Chicago and never had another hockey team before casually jumping aboard. All of that that gets taken into consideration. If he was like this guy…

…then fuck him blind. But if he’s just a late bloomer, he’s entitled to his fandom so long as he doesn’t pretend that he was a fan going back to childhood or whatever. SUCH DAHHHHHK TIMES BACK THEN.

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I’ve said this before, but most casual and/or bandwagon fans are fine. Sports become transcendent when they attract people who would never normally be into sports. And bandwagoning is how a lot of people get into sports in the first place. Kids get into local teams when they start winning crap, or they’ll gravitate toward some other franchise that wins a lot. I can almost forgive some little shit who decides to be a Seahawks fan even though he doesn’t live anywhere near Seattle. You can graduate from bandwagon fandom after that...once the delirium subsides and it turns out that your chosen team is actually an underachieving shitwreck. There are really only a few unforgivable things you can do if you’re bandwagoning:

  1. Drop your old favorite team for a new one
  2. Pick a team from the Axis Of Evil (Yankees, Cowboys, Lakers, Patriots, Notre Dame, etc.)
  3. Wallow in any past losses that pre-date your fandom

I’ll use myself as an example. I’ve lived in the DC area for over a decade, and I’m rooting for the Wizards in the playoffs. I was never really a huge Timberwolves fan, so I feel like that’s okay. HOWEVER, I also kinda like the Nationals, even though I grew up a big Twins fan. But the Twins don’t win fuck all anymore, so I barely pay attention to them. That is shameless on my part. That makes me a bad person. I should be dropped into an acid spring.

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For real though, the Twins have sucked for decades now. The fuck happened, man? I’m not even sure I could name a Twin right now. Is Joe Mauer still there? He used to be pretty solid.

Larry:

If you’re trying to “make something” of yourself online, how important is it to turn yourself into a well thought-out character? It seems too hard to stand out when you’re just trying to be yourself, even if you are a genuinely interesting person. Is everyone just faking it to some degree?

If you’re trying to become a Famous Twitter Person (and what a prestigious title to hold), you obviously need a voice that’s funny and distinctive. But there are a lot of different ways to achieve that voice, whether you’re doing an act, or hewing closer to your own personality. There are great “characters” online like PFTCommenter, and then there are awesome people like Vince Mancini who are “themselves” on Twitter. It doesn’t really matter so long as you feel like you’re offering people something they haven’t heard before. It doesn’t have to be tied to your identity.

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However, it’s real easy to be “yourself” online and have an identity crisis as a result. When you’re online, you get to present yourself to the masses in a way that you really can’t in the real world. Here, you don’t get to swap out your current head with your preferred profile photo. You don’t get to edit the stupid shit that may or may not come out of your mouth. You can’t hide the grease stains on your crotch. Online, people only see what you want them to see of you, and so that automatically creates a barrier between the “real” you and the “online” you.

Conversely, there are things you’d NEVER say in the real world that you might feel freer to say to a bunch of strangers on the Internet. How many seemingly nice people have you met out there who turn out to be deranged loons on Facebook? That happens all the time, because people (like me) are more than happy to empty the contents of their head out into the internet because there’s no physical person standing right there in judgment to be like, “Oh, so that’s what you think of our Vice President, do you?” And so there’s a real push-pull between which “real” elements of you are part of your everyday personality, and which elements are part of your online voice. There’s a completely insane Whitlock take out there about this sort of thing, and it would be a worthwhile take if it didn’t come from a deranged, custard-swilling narcissist.

It’s very easy, natural even, to have your internet voice influenced by other internet voices, and then have that virtual influence seep into your actual personality. There are also clearly people out there now who feel like they are “realer” online and would prefer to live inside that world more than the actual world. And it’s not just gamers (HEY-OOOOOOOOO!). It’s a legitimate existential crisis for everyone, especially when you’ve got people like me turning away from their kids to eyebang a smartphone, and the kids doing likewise.

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There are also people out there who think that their internet persona perfectly matches their real-life persona, even though that’s not true at all, and they have NO awareness of it. I know this because when I meet Deadspin readers in real life, they’re like, “Your voice shouldn’t sound like that,” or “I thought you would have a beard.” I thought I sounded like me, man. Turns out I’m a goddamn fraud.

Brendan:

I just ate a mouthful of Pringles after first trying just one, and the stack of 10 that I crammed in my mouth was a better experience. Why are bigger bites more satisfying? Also, what’s the best food to have an unreasonable mouthful of?

NOODLES! God, I love stuffing noodles into my face. When my kid leaves half a Cup Noodles on the counter, I eat the rest in one bite. SO MUCH MOUTHFEEL. Feel like I’m eating the entire world. And can you blame me? Imagine eating one noodle. Imagine how fucking absurd that would be. You gotta eat all the noodles at once. Once the pile of noodles gets smaller, I get actively sad, because there aren’t enough noodles on the plate to gorge myself.

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Anyway, the reason that certain foods are more satisfying to eat in bulk is because you’re amplifying all the sensory elements involved: texture, taste, smell, feel. Eating a stack of Pringles is satisfying because it’s like your mouth is chopping through twelve stacked cinder blocks. So much oral destruction! I am conditioned as an American to want more of everything—to the point where no amount of anything will ever satisfy me—and so it’s my both my instinct and my patriotic duty to fist my face with piles of food. Also recommend for big mouthfuls:

  • M&Ms
  • Pepperoni
  • Peanuts
  • Bacon
  • Fresh fries
  • Chocolate chips
  • Onion strings
  • Human liver

By the way, as much as I love Kettle Chips, don’t eat them by the mouthful. Kettle Chips will punish you for that. I’ve got the mouth scars to prove it. SO SHARP.

HALFTIME!

Luke:

Which do you think is the best type of hanger? There’s such a wide variety and they’re all so different and I can’t seem to find out which is best?

The best hanger is the varnished wooden one they give you at fancypants joints like Brooks Brothers, which support the shoulders of a jacket/shirt AND has the little clasped dowel going across that can support your pants, too. I like these dual-purpose hangers even though I am terminally incapable of putting pants in them. Often, I will fuck up the crease, or I will secure the dowel only to see the pants slip and fall to the ground anyway. Annoying. This is why I only have leisurewear. There are also thick plastic hangers with rounded shoulders, and those are good if, like me, you still plan on acquiring Sonny Crockett’s wardrobe one day.

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But you don’t have those hangers in your closet now, do you? No, those good hangers are few and far between. What you have, en masse, are fucking wire hangers. Wire hangers are closet vermin. If you throw away 50 wire hangers (such an awkward fit in the trash!), a hundred appear in your closet INSTANTLY. Those wooden hangers I like? I think I have two of them. I think I used to have more, but a group of tree nymphs came in the middle of the night and replaced those with wire hangers, too. They’re the worst.

Mario:

You have unlimited tries to either:

a) pole vault 10 feet

or

b) land an F-14 on an aircraft carrier.

Which one takes fewer attempts? Assume you don’t die when you screw up the landing.

I guess it’s B because I am physically incapable of pole vaulting ten feet. There’s a baseline of speed and agility needed to do that and I don’t have it. We had a track in high school and it was always fun to walk out onto the field and jump into the high jump mat (so squishy!), or pretend to throw a discus at my friend’s head. And it was also fun to pick up that pole vault stick and CONSIDER attempting a vault. But even at 16—flush with youthful arrogance—I instinctively knew to NOT do that. I knew I would impale my own heart with that thing.

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As for the F-14, I would almost certainly miss the carrier on the first 9,867 attempts, beheading thousands of sailors in the process. But surely, after having air traffic control guide me through it over and over again, I could luck my way into sticking it at some point, right? Especially given upgrades in carrier landing tech? Or maybe not. Maybe I would be stuck in a perpetual time loop of sliding into the sea and meeting a watery demise. Don’t you have to be under four feet tall to pilot one of those jets anyway? I can’t do anything right.

Matt:

If I’m in a designated turn lane, do I have a moral/social obligation to use my turn signal? On one hand, it’s not like I have any option to do anything but turn, but on the other, what does it hurt to use the indicator? This is a serious point of contention within my social group.

What I do is go into the lane and leave it off. Then, when the arrow comes up, I put the signal on, both out of habit and to alert my fellow drivers that yes, I do intend to turn. I did not end up in this turning lane by mistake, and will not try to awkwardly move back into the right lane like a complete shit. I am keeping my promises. Feels good!

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So I am in favor of using the signal, even in obvious turning instances, and even when no one else is around. Because you know what happens when people don’t signal there? They get lazy. They stop signaling for other things, like a lane merge. And that what happens? ANARCHY, that’s what. You got cars floating all over the goddamn place. Take it from someone who lives among Maryland drivers. There are better drivers in Cairo. I’d rather over-use the signal and be cautious than under-use it and be an asshole.

Christian:

I was watching Star Wars this weekend and a thought dawned on me: Why don’t Jedi fly? They can control objects, including very heavy things, so why can’t they move themselves? Magneto uses his ability to control metal to move himself, shouldn’t Jedi be able to do the same?

No, because using the Force is supposed to take an immense amount of concentration, like when Yoda lifts the ship out of the swamp in Empire and then collapses in exhaustion afterward. The Force is meant to take work. The prequels ruined all this when Lucas decided that Yoda was fucking Sonic the Hedgehog, but the idea is that mastering the Force means you can manage SOME temporary manipulation of the energy field around you, but not in total. Otherwise, every podunk Jedi out there would be Superman, and come on, are we really to BELIEVE that Jedi can just fly and do whatever they want? PFFT. That’s not real. What’s real is Kylo Ren stopping a fucking laser in midair because it looks way badass.

Jason:

How long after First Contact would it take before an alien got eaten? And would we be talking a full-on Illuminati conclave where Thomas Keller, Mario Batali and Joel Robuchon are summoned to expertly prepare Roast Predator for a Eyes Wide Shut-style bloodfuck orgy? Or would it be a Xeno Dahmer who goes rogue? Or even just a couple of backwoods types who accidentally plow over ALF in their F-150 and decide it’s a kill-it-n-grill-it situation?

Almost anything that comes from space will be blasted with enough cosmic radiation to ruin your shit, so you gotta be real careful even touching aliens, much less braising them in a white wine sauce and serving them with fingerling potatoes. You’d have to boil the gamma rays out of them, maybe even strain them through a cheesecloth.

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Anyway, in order for an alien to get eaten, there would have to be MANY of them, enough for some to escape 24/7 government surveillance. And then you’d have to have some psycho (a Dahmer type, like you said), that wants to kill and eat a Phluzzmorph just to be the first to do it. My guess is that this would take years after first contact, if not longer. Chances are, we will fuck up First Contact so badly that we won’t even get a chance to eat Phluzzmorph thyroid, which is a shame given that it’s considered a delicacy in the Bryxxfurp System.

Claire:

I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my first child. Thus far, my only craving has been for guacamole, which I’ve made on a weekly basis from scratch. Before I pop this baby out, do I need to send my husband out for ridiculous cravings at odd hours of the night? I feel like we are missing an important part of pregnancy here.

Every pregnancy is different, so some women crave pickles and yogurt, and some women crave nothing at all, and some women crave winning the goddamn Aussie Open. I don’t think you should worry too much about whether or not your pregnancy is living up to the expectations set by an episode of Modern Family or whatever. In my case, my wife experienced REVULSION much more than cravings. Everything made her sick and disgusted: certain foods, certain everyday scents, the sight of her husband, etc. It was a fun twist in the process.

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Of course, if you just feel like trolling your husband, feel free to tell him you need precisely six orange Tic Tacs and a professional ankle massage. Then tell him the baby belongs to Nick Saban. By law, the husband has to do whatever you say. He still gets to drink, so it’s a fair deal.

Chris:

One thing that has always pissed me off about baseball is that you can’t turn a double play with two outs. Shouldn’t that be allowed? The other team just starts the next inning with one out already.

It’s fine the way it is. I actually like it when there’s no pressure to turn the double play, so they just soft toss the ball to second to close out the inning. It’s very relaxing. I bet the second baseman feels like a hundred dollars when that happens. Also, if you carry over out to the next inning, what else gets carried over? Do you play the bottom of the ninth even with the home team up, and let them carry runs over into the next game, too? Of course not. What happens in the inning should stay in the inning.

Mike:

My friend and I got into an argument over whether or not Kevin Durant could beat my friend in a one-on-one game of basketball with just one leg. We’re talking full amputation, no prosthetic. I claim that he could score in a game to 10 but that in the end, KD would easily prevail. Couldn’t he just stand by the basket and still block every shot with his 7-foot frame?

Oh, I think Durant wins. He can just shoot one-legged threes over your friend and then play no defense at all. I know that having one leg would affect Durant’s shooting motion (not to mention his general outlook on life), but he’s still gonna make a lot of those shots. This is a man who has had various feet and knee injuries over his career. He’s used to, figuratively speaking, playing on one leg. He probably does drills to prepare for this exact scenario. That’s what ELITE athletes do.

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Your friend might get in a layup or two (there’s no point in Durant standing by the basket and blocking him, because what if he has to go hopping like a rabbit to chase the ball down afterward?), but pegleg Durant is more reliable from beyond the arc than your boy is shooting uncontested and at point blank range. THE BLACK KNIGHT ALWAYS TRIUMPHS!!! Now make it a 100-yard dash and we’ve got some suspense.

Email of the week!

Mark:

My wife and I like to watch Jeopardy! when we can, it’s usually after dinner If I don’t have work to do, or we don’t have to help the kids with homework, or we don’t have a meeting or sports or scouts to run to. We have been married 20+ years, and we would always shout out answers, and claim who got it first or who got it wrong... fun times, so recently we have been doing it more (twice a week) and now my son insists on keeping score (it helps with math so sort of tough to say no). Here is the problem: I DEMOLISH her, absolutely 100% CRUSH her score, like she will be negative at the start of double Jeopardy, over the last month or so ONCE she was with in 1000 dollars of me. And she plays mean, so I would say an answer, and if it’s wrong she laughs at me, and gloats when she gets a tough one right, so I get incentivized to get the next one right, and sure enough by 7:25pm, she is mad at me for winning. I would rather not do it then end like this EVERY TIME. So how to I change this dynamic? Have the kid not score? Refuse to play? Let her win?

Watch Wheel instead, and then bone to it.