Image: Jim Cooke. Photos: Getty.

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering accidental deaths, elbows, poop, pizza scissors, and more.

Your letters:

Joe:

In a hypothetical future presidential election, would you rather vote for an alien or A.I.?

I was gonna say the robot initially because it’s a robot, and therefore there would be humans controlling that robot, making sure it doesn’t turn against us. The humans would keep the robot in line, and hone its messaging down to the last word, and alert the robot when damage control is needed. Only the most important decisions would come across the robot’s desk, and from there it would make bloodless choices that could potentially affect thousands, if not millions, of lives, all with the stroke of a pen. It would be very efficient and TOTALLY different from how the Presidency currently operates.

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But then I realized that I was being hopelessly naïve. Those handlers can’t control that robot. The robot is controlling THEM. The robot could do anything it wanted and its handlers would be too chickenshit to defy the robot, because the robot would kill any dissenters with its laser eyes. Then the chief of staff would say, “Guys, just let Robot be Robot,” and President Robot would like that. Then Robot and purge the world of everyone except its most coveted yes men. Again, totally different from the current global political climate.

Anyway, a mecha president would possess near-infinite intelligence, which is both dangerous and alluring. In theory, I would love to have Robot sweep in as a third-party candidate and rescue this election with its winning combination of levelheadedness and advanced calculation. It would know the EXACT number of votes needed to pass that Hot Dog Is A Sandwich Act, and it would already have a data set on every Congressmen needed to flip votes. Robot would get some serious shit done.

And I’ve already turned so much of my life over to The Machines. They give me directions. They help raise my kids. They order food for me. They send my mail. They keep me glued to my recliner as I wait to die. Soon, they will drive my car. Humans are flawed, and therefore unreliable, and so I dream of the day when machines handle everything flawlessly and I can sit there like a giant tub of shit while they optimize my life for me.

But, of course, that’s the great con of technology. At the elemental level, it cannot make your life better. Only other people can do that. So while I’d like to DISRUPT the Presidential paradigm by voting ThielBot6000 into office, that fucker would end up pulling an Ultron and launching all the nukes to begin the Great Cleansing. I’m no idiot.

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So that means I’m voting for the alien president. Huge blow for the progressive cause if we finally elect the first Zermagothan to the highest office in the land. Imagine if aliens land, and they have kickass ships, and super advanced tech, and they speak perfect English and dress like Star Trek Federation elders. I would worship those aliens like Christ himself. I’d get down on my knees and grovel at their feet, begging them to whisk me and my family away to the Borpboxx Nebulae and off this trash heap of a planet for good. SAVE US, PRESIDENT LYRGAX 5! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF 2498!

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Jeff:

Now that the NFL extra point is a 33-yarder, doesn’t it seem kind of stupid that a team can kick a FG inside of that distance for 3 points during play? I officially submit my vote for a rule change that if you want to kick a FG from inside the XP distance, you have to go back to that yardage. I don’t ever want to see a 25-yard FG again. You?

I think the last few weeks have proven that no field goal is guaranteed anymore, so I can’t ride with your idea. The whole reason field goals aren’t at a set distance is because you want to reward an offense the closer they get to the end zone with a greater chance of getting three points. I know you think that making all field goals a minimum of 33 yards would encourage coaches to go for it in the red zone more often, but in fact the opposite would happen. Mike McCarthy would be his usual conservative self, only he would begin the process of letting you down 14 yards sooner. Teams would settle for the minimum field goal instead of attacking the end zone from far out, and it would suck. Never ever ever count on coaches to do the right thing.

And, like I said, there’s just enough uncertainty now for EVERY field goal to be interesting. As much as I like trashing Roger Goodell, the PAT rule change is easily the best thing he’s ever done. It’s one of those seemingly innocuous rule changes that ends up having a butterfly effect across the sport. Along with PATs being down five percent, regular field goal percentages are at their lowest point in the past five years. Teams are going for two more often. One missed chip shot is enough to destroy a player’s psyche (Hi, Blair) and add a whole other layer of angst and strategy to the game. So I’m fine keeping things the way they are until Jetpack Football becomes a reality.

James:

My wife cuts pizza with scissors. Is she a monster?

No, that’s a standard thing now. They even sell designated pizza shears for this, because pizza cutters are unreliable. I say this despite loving pizza cutters. It’s a rolling blade! So badass. I feel like an assassin cutting open a witness whenever I use one.

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The problem is that you need a really sharp pizza cutter, and even then it’s likely that your first pass won’t go all the way through the crust. Then you gotta make another pass, only you stray from the line, and now you’ve fucked up the whole pizza. You gotta really press that fucker down until it crunches through the crust and then splits open the box below and scratches your fine Corinthian marble countertop. CRIMINY!

With pizza scissors, it’s a guarantee that you’ll cut through the bottom every time, which is nice except for the fact that you now have an 80% greater chance of burning the fuck out of your hand because you touched hot cheese and tomato sauce right out of the oven. Why must it burn so? All you wanted was a tasty slice. One tomato spatter and you’re blinded for life.

Kevin:

If you had the ability to guarantee your favorite sports team won a championship, but the trade off is that a creepy, Pennywise-style clown would appear in any picture or video of you or taken by you in the next ten years, do you do it?

Hell yeah. You’re telling me that I’m off the hook for camera duty for the next decade? Sign my ass up. I have spent the past 10 years trying to photograph my children in the wild, only to fail. Who even knows if my kids actually exist? I certainly have no evidence of it. Taking pictures sucks, and posing for pictures is even worse. Every time Apple puts out some syrupy ad featuring the iPhone camera, I want to trade mine in. I’d gladly let my wife handle all picture-taking and the Super Bowl title to go with it. All photography is dumb and should be banned.

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Bryan:

Should coleslaw be free?

Isn’t it already? You get coleslaw with your barbecue whether you want it or not (I DO NOT). They don’t even give mention it on the menu. It’s just THERE, bleeding mayo into the rest of your food. God, I fucking hate coleslaw. I’ve thrown away enough coleslaw to fill the Pacific Ocean. Anyone who pays for coleslaw is a sucker and a moron. Every other potential side dish is superior. I want President Robot to jail all the coleslaw makers.

Jim:

What’s the protocol for friends crashing on your couch when traveling as you get older? In college, and then for a couple years after that, everyone seemed to assume you will crash with friends when you visit. My wife and I live in a big city where a lot of people come to visit. So we often invite people to stay with us when they hint at it. Do we have to wait until we have kids to have a good excuse of not having people crash with us?

No, you don’t have to wait that long. As far as I’m concerned, you can start turning houseguests away the second you move in with a woman. If you know that Johnny wants to crash but you ALSO know that Johnny is a pantshitting drunk and may mooch off of you for three weeks, you’re free to be like, “Aw man! Sorry! Tina’s great aunt is visiting that week (NOTE: She has no great aunt).” Not only can you throw your wife/girlfriend under the bus, but she’ll ENCOURAGE you do it. She has no problem being the bad guy to keep your KRAYZEE BUDDIES from moving in and breaking the toilet.

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By the way, here’s a story. When I was single, a friend of mine had no place to stay. So I let him crash on my sofa bed for a few months. And, in an ironic twist, my friend was so disgusted by my apartment that he REFUSED to shit in it. If he had to shit, he would hold it in until he went to work, and then shit there. That’s how gross I was as a single person. Do not invite me to crash for a weekend. My fluids will haunt you.

Joel:

I’m a huge Eagles and have been in the market for a new jersey ever since Chip decided to cut DeSean Jackson. I’m very excited about how Carson Wentz has played for us so far and I think it may be time to pull the trigger. My wife says I’m crazy to even be thinking about it at this point and that I need to at least wait a year or two to see how he’s going to pan out for us. How soon is too soon to buy a new player’s jersey? I imagine many Washington fans with RG3 jerseys wish they had waited a couple of years.

No, go ahead and buy it now. I’ve said this before, but you should never buy a jersey if you’re worried about its future value. There’s always the risk that your current favorite player will get hurt, or traded, or caught exposing himself to a KFC security camera. If you wait until your man is above reproach, he’ll already have retired. Just buy it, and whatever happens, happens. No one will fault you for wearing the jersey of a has-been, because jerseys are expensive, and because everyone understands that the NFL is transient by nature. That jersey will have retro/ironic value soon enough either way. Just wear it and remember the pleasant six-week stretch where your favorite player was good, before he started fisting puppies. My kid owns a Skins RG3 jersey (I know, I know), and she still wears it even though RG3 is a flaky dipshit with bones made of thin ice whose career is deader than Aaron Hernandez’s. It’s fine. Get the Wentz jersey.

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Phil:

Bean pillows suck, right? I know some people like them, because I have met some, but they are wrong and they suck.

They suck. Unless you have an allergy, there’s no reason for grown adult to have one, unless you think they induce dreams about cornhole.

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Also, beanbag chairs are worthless. I remember being a kid and thinking beanbag chairs were the best thing ever. OMG IT’S A BIG BAG, AND YOU CAN PLAY NINTENDO ON IT! They really help accentuate your teenage laziness. Then you grow up and realize that beanbag chairs are for people who cannot afford actual chairs. Why not just sit on a pile of garbage while you’re at it?

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HALFTIME!

Kevin:

I have TSA Pre-check and many of my co-workers and family don’t. What is protocol in this situation? Do I get in line with them and wait in the sea of humanity? Or leave their asses and hit the bar?

All you have to do is pretend you’re doing people a favor when you leave them behind. “Why don’t I go ahead and save us a spot in the boarding line?” PRESTO. You’ve managed to ditch your family and make yourself a hero all at once. Pretty sweet deal. And if you’re with co-workers, it’s not like they’ll begrudge time away from you and your fantasy football takes. Everyone could use a break.

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I got that security pass earlier this year, and it’s worth the $85 fee just to feel like a god when you bypass the plebian security line—those chumps gotta take their laptops out of the bag!—for the festival of khakis parading through the scanner with their shoes still on. LOOK AT ME! I AM A SERIOUS BUSINESS TRAVELER! I strut through that line ready to cut deals and drink brandy. It’s gratifying in a completely disgusting and needless way. Even if we rid the world of terrorism, they’re gonna keep that TSA line, because BIG GUBMINT likes the bonus revenue stream, and they’re not giving it back. The entire airport security apparatus is now designed to fuck you over so that you’ll pony up.

John:

Which Pacino role is the Pacinoiest? I’d go deep-cut and say that Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice from Dick Tracy is where we find Peak Pacino.

It’s still Scent of a Woman, because he won an Oscar for it and because he shouts virtually every line. In Dick Tracy, Pacino is buried under a shitload of makeup. In Scent of a Woman, you get the pure, unadorned ham. Scarface is when Pacino realized how much he liked yelling, and Scent of a Woman is when he decided to make it his full-time occupation. And really, I can’t blame him. This man has made a lot terrible movies lately, but he’s still one of the greatest actors of all time, and he gets paid bank to scream at people on camera. I bet it’s a blast. I can’t knock the guy for wanting to enjoy himself.

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Also, I still like that movie. As someone who attended prep school, I’ll gladly watch any movie where a grown man threatens to burn a prep school down. The only good prep school in movie history is Hogwarts. The rest are havens of despicable evil. I’D TAKE A FLAMETHROWAH TO THOSE PLACES!

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Sean:

If humans did not have flexible elbows (meaning straight arms from your shoulder to your wrists), what would become the easiest/hardest sports to play?

Soccer would obviously be the easiest. In fact, it would be improved because goalies would be less effective, and they would look hilarious waving their pretzel rod arms around in a futile attempt to thwart any shot.

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Virtually every other sport would be compromised. You wouldn’t be able to play golf, or tennis, or football, or baseball, or basketball, or much of anything else. Even basic running would be compromised because your running gait is affected by how you swing your arms. Everyone would look like a moron. Gymnasts would snap their arms on vault attempts. Every wedding dance would be The Robot. The world would plunge into mass depression. I just walked around with straight arms for two minutes and wanted to kill myself. Whoever wins the election next week needs to take active measures to ensure that we keep our elbows.

Seth:

I need some advice. I’m going to visit a girl this weekend in college. She’s in a sorority and shares an apartment with six other sorority girls. It should be a wild fucking weekend, but there are only two bathrooms. What’s the call on shitting for the 48 hours I’m there? If I go to the bathroom for more than a minute all the girls will know what I’m doing. Do I just take a bunch of Imodium so I don’t have to go all weekend? Do I just turn the shower on, go quickly, and then jump in the shower? What would you do?

Just shit when you need to shit. In my opinion, people are way too upright about where they will and won’t take a shit (like my old apartment). We ALL poop. It’s no secret, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t drug yourself or attempt to hold out for an extended period. That’s how you end up with anal fissures. Just go and then wipe and then wash your hands. If it smells, it’ll go away. If some girl is like “Ewwwwww! Tammy’s new boyfriend went poopy! PARTY FOUL!”, fuck ‘em.

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I know I’ve contributed my fair share of horrifying fecal stories to this site, but the reality is that most bowel movements go without incident. You’ll be fine so long as you aren’t mainlining straight Tabasco before your little visit. “I’m here for Fawn Leibowitz ******MASSIVE PEPPER SHART******”

Fran:

What’s the sport that’s the most fun to play but least fun to watch?

Any rec sport, like pool or ping pong or even pinball (Yes, there is such as thing as professional pinball… and no, no deaf dumb and blind kids are good at it). Nobody’s watching any of that shit. I’d rather watch Aroldis Chapman hold 19 consecutive meetings on the pitcher’s mound than watch billiards on television. Even if it’s the Black Widow doing the MASSE, I’m out.

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By the way, special mention here to Ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate Frisbee is fun to play and whenever I make a particularly neat catch, I think to myself, “I COULD PLAY THIS GAME PROFESSIONALLY. I am the OBJ of Ultimate!” Only no one would give a shit, because grown people chasing Frisbees around like little doggies looks ridiculous. There is a staggering gulf between how seriously Ultimate players take their sport and how un-seriously spectators do. (By the way, our own Kevin Draper played ultimate in college because he’s a LOSER.)

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John:

Instead of a new pro spring football league, why can’t we have the junior college teams play during that time instead?

Because you’d never watch it. No one really wants spring football, not even diehard fans. There’s a time and a place for football, and April isn’t it. I don’t care if they cloned Tom Brady and Von Miller and made a springtime clone league. It wouldn’t matter, because spring is when I take a break to focus on the draft, grill meat and be horny. Football is already overexposed thanks to weekday primetime games. Nothing they do could would make America pine for XFL 2. It’s a losing cause.

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Joseph:

Once a team reaches the “enemy” 45 or so, is there any reason why the longsnapper doesn’t snap to a “middle man” of sorts, who could then lateral to the punter for a coffin corner? The punter then has more time to set up and drop the kick, ideally inside the 5. The extra distance shouldn’t matter, since most every NFL punter can clear the end zone from midfield. There’s also considerably less risk of it being blocked, since the punter could essentially have twice the distance between himself and the line of scrimmage, and the special teams guys generally only make it to where the punter usually stands under normal circumstances.

It’s not worth the risk. Not only are you adding one more chance for disaster to strike when exchanging the ball, but you’re also giving the punt rush more time AND making yourself vulnerable on the edges. Those are world class athletes out there. If you give them an extra 0.3 seconds to reach the punter, they’ll succeed, no matter where the punter is positioned. The margin for error is already so, so thin… even if it’s hard to tell watching on TV at home. Pretty much every sports play is a miraculous feat of athleticism and precision timing, unless you’re watching the Browns HEY-OOOOOOOOO!

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From time to time, you will see a punter scramble to the left or right to get closer to the edge for a coffin kick, but even that’s a risk. The longer a punter handles the ball, the greater the odds of that play devolving into a Three Stooges short.

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Ryan:

You know it was a good poop when your back hurts a little less when you’re done.

He’s right! That’s a real thing that happens! It’s like there was a turd literally inside your spinal canal. How’d it get in there? Gonna need science to explain that one.

Anyway, if you’ve got a backache, take Ryan’s advice and go take a shit. Preferably in a sorority house.

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Tim:

Let’s say you gave all the spectators behind the end zone those folding handheld fans. If everyone were to wave them in unison, do you think they could keep a long field goal — say a 55-yard attempt — from reaching the goalposts?

No. Your little fan-made breeze dies out after traveling eight inches. It would not coalesce with other mini-breezes and repel a football rocketing through the air 30 yards in front of you. It would be like trying to turn back a wave out in the ocean. The force of nature is roughly 12 trillion times stronger than you and a few thousand other people.

Now, if you threw a DILDO from the stands, and that dildo hit the ball just as it was about to travel through the uprights… now you got yourself some effective gamesmanship.

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Paul:

Why would pirates want to bury their treasure on deserted islands? It doesn’t exactly make their loot very easy to get at.

That’s the point! You’re not thinking like a pirate!

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Anon:

What’s a better word than “content”? Like if you work, hypothetically, for a media company, and they insist on calling all your output “content.” Stories, videos, blog posts, what the fuck ever—it is all “content.” That is simply the worst word! What’s a better way to phrase shit than “content”? There has to be one.

It’s a fine word on its own, in case you need some catch-all term for all the creative shit you post on a website. The problem comes when fartsniffing media types and tech bros start rhapsodizing about THE FUTURE OF CONTENT and WHAT DRIVES CONTENT. “Mobile is disrupting how we consume content!” Just put some things on your site and leave the rest of us alone.

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Email of the week!

Jeff:

Got a (morbid) hypothetical for you. Say a husband and wife are at home enjoying an evening together. The husband spent the afternoon at the gun range doing some target practice and is now preparing to clean his pistol. He doesn’t realize that there’s still a round in the chamber and so when he goes to begin disassembly the gun goes off, hitting his wife in the head and instantly killing her.

The husband is so shocked and overcome by grief that he immediately uses the gun to take his own life. No one else witnesses the event and it isn’t discovered until someone comes to the house to see why the couple hasn’t been heard from. When police arrive to investigate, do you think they can piece things together and determine that it was an accident followed by a grief-stricken suicide or do they just rule it a murder-suicide with no clear reason? Do you think the scenario has ever occurred?

They could definitely piece it together. You got the cleaning products out. You got no clear motive. You could get away with it no problem! WAIT…

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For real though, I do spend an unreasonable amount of time every day worried that I will accidentally kill someone. Like, what if I’m driving along and some teen on a skateboard cuts right across me and I kill him? What then? This is the shit that really concerns me when I’m singing along to John Newman.