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Are Slow Jams Dead?

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FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

Before we dive into the Funbag, a quick programming note: I’m on vacation next week. So there won’t be a Funbag next Tuesday. I’m sure you’ll be able to deal.

Now, time for your letters!


What the hell happened to slow songs? I’m a high school teacher and I occasionally chaperone dances, and not a single song during a three-hour dance is something anyone could slow dance to. When I was in high school in the late-‘80s, the whole point of going to a dance was to ask a girl to dance to Air Supply or Keith Sweat. Will our kids (I have a 15-year old) never have the pulse-quickening pleasure of asking a boy or girl to dance?


Slow songs haven’t died. Adele is still alive, right? Adele built a fucking castle out of power ballads. Every major pop star still keeps a slow jam in the quiver so that you can play it on a rainy day and bawl your eyes out while drinking from a mug of hot soup. If they aren’t playing that shit at your local eighth grade dance, it’s probably because the parents are all lawyers and school officials are terrified of the kids coming into contact with one another.

Frankly, this is for the best. I’ve told this story before, but I’m at the point in life where I’ve told pretty much every story of mine before anyway, so here it is. Back in seventh or eighth grade, we had a school dance and the DJ played “Janie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith, which is a VERY weird song to dance to, but was still power ballad-y enough to merit slow dancing. So I ask this one girl to dance and we do the hands-on-hips deal. Easily a foot of distance between us. No funny business. But I tell my friends after the dance that I had a boner the whole time, which is a huge unforced error on my part. For about a month after that, they serenade me with “Drew Has Got A Boner,” to the tune of that song. So yeah, I think I would have been better off if the DJ had played “Batdance” instead.


I’m gonna make one last point that’s almost certainly a hilariously wrong generalization. Asking a girl to dance is awkward and terrifying, and I bet it’s even more daunting if you’re a teenager growing up in the internet age, where so many of your emotions are outsourced to the internet and where that same internet is always watching you. Imagine if you fuck up a slow dance and your friend gets it on camera. You’re fucked! The “Drew Has Got A Boner” song parody would get 20,000 hits on YouTube! You would die. Much better to curl up into a ball and never physically interact with humanity ever again. You can always listen to “Stay” by Rihanna on your own time.


Would you watch a Stormy Daniels and Trump sex tape?

Fuck yeah, I would. I hope they project that thing onto a side of the fucking Empire State Building when it comes out. Anyone who says they wouldn’t watch that tape is either a liar or a traitor.


It is downright un-American to avoid watching Trump lying on a hotel bed like a corpse while a porn star is grinding away on top of him. I hope it’s filmed in HD and I hope Trump begs her to stick a cucumber in his ass. I’d watch it all. And I would absolutely take a gander at Trump’s dick to note any imperfections. Maybe it’s splotchy. Maybe it juts out at a right angle. Maybe he’s got red pubes. That is extremely newsworthy content, and it would openly please me to watch something that Trump spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress because it makes him—the most vain and repulsive man of this century—look like a fool. He’d be fucking livid. I say we build a memorial to the sex tape along the National Mall and play it on a loop inside.

Frankly, I’m angry that Trump has been President for 14 months now and I have yet to see a dong shot, pee tape, or sex tape surface. It’s disappointing, frankly. All through my adulthood, I’ve thought to myself, “Man, what if the President made a sex tape? That’d be nutty!” Lo and behold, we elected the ONE asshole most likely to have a Presidential sex tape, and yet it remains hidden from public view. 60 Minutes has held that Stormy Daniels interview in dry dock for over two weeks now. Sure, they’ve done this because JOURNALISM, but if that interview doesn’t include footage of Trump in a fucking gimp mask, I will be let down.


I bet CBS execs are sitting around a table right now, hemming and hawing over whether or not it’s tasteful to let Stormy talk about Trump’s dick on broadcast television, as if it’ll shatter out national innocence. What a bunch of fucking prudes. Let’s get to the good stuff. The sooner we see Trump naked, the sooner his spell over America is broken.


Assume that at some point the NCAA decides to allow schools to pay athletes. Is there some school that would drastically benefit from this to become a powerhouse in either football or basketball? Would all the tech bros vault Stanford/Cal to the elite of the elite? Would some Ivy school get a bump from all the wealthy old money donors? Or would everything stay the same since I can only assume the good teams already have these channels in place and now they just come out in the open instead of shady back channels?


I think the latter is the most likely scenario, because college sports already has an insane wealth gap, and because boosters are already paying athletes under the table anyway. I think there would be a few wrinkles, though. First off, I think a particularly rich school like Harvard might go ahead and build up a hefty payroll, just because they can. Harvard’s current endowment is $36 billion (NOTE: Maybe donate your money to other places?), so they can afford to splurge on a team of ringers to blow through the Ivy League and win every game 81-0.

Also, if you think university presidents, ADs, and coaches won’t figure out a way to manipulate the new system to preserve their current salaries, you don’t know the American college scam. They will absolutely cut 35 other sports on campus and then say, “You see? We told you paying players would have consequences!” Never underestimate a grifter’s ability to adjust and maintain his grift. They would much rather liquidate an entire athletic department than spread the wealth out. Within five years, SEC football and ACC basketball would be the only things left standing.


By the way, I am truly and utterly baffled by the existence of boosters. Imagine you have a million dollars. Would you spend ANY of that money stuffing it into an envelope and slipping it to some dipshit freshman basketball player, or to pitch in for Les Miles’s salary? That’s insane to me. You could go to Paris with that money! Like, I get it if Jim Bob Haskell has a car dealership and he’s skimming from the petty cash to pay off Cam Newton Jr. because he has a sponsorship agreement with Auburn football. That kind of small-time action makes sense to me. But to spend your own money on, like, a weight room? Fuck that. That’s insane. The amount of money people will pay just to see their name on shit will always puzzle me. We’re all still dead in the end.


If you could only play commercial jingles while getting it on, what would be your go-to to create the sexiest vibes?


So it has to be a jingle, right? Like, it can’t be a real song licensed for an ad, like that super dancey track from the iPhone commercial? Because I could get freaky to that no problem.

Anyway, I was gonna get all jokey and offer the Subway five-dollar footlong jingle as my answer, because nothing makes me hornier than THE TRUTH. But then I remembered… BAIN DE SOLEIL.

Oh hell yeah. “Bain de Soleil, for the Saint-Tropez taaaaaaan.” That is smooth as balls. Back in 1983, people didn’t buy sunblock. They bought sun attractant. Bain De Soleil was definitely the classiest of the bunch. One listen to that jingle and I am in the South of FrAHnce, the warm sun caressing my body, the sweat gleaming off my bronze skin. Turns me on just thinking about it! LET’S GET NASTY, EVERYONE.



Was Nick Saban aware that Alabama was in the NCAA Tournament? Seems like knowing how the basketball team is doing would take time away from recruiting/eating tape.


Oh yeah. I think Saban is, like, five percent more human than Belichick. He knows the general goings on at Bama, if only so he can analyze how those things might affect his football team. He probably had a two-way mirror installed in every common room to make sure his football players didn’t jump too high celebrating Collin Sexton nailing jumpers against Virginia Tech. SAVE THAT FOR SPRING BAW, GENTLEMEN.



Why don’t stadiums and arenas have convenience stands/stores to sell various sundries you may want or need over a 2-4 hour period? Gum/mints, chapstick, bandages, sunscreen, etc.


Well I don’t know if ALL stadiums lack an in-house CVS, but I assume it’s because stadium operations are run by a single vendors like Legends, and Legends isn’t terribly interested in selling you a pack of gum for two bucks when it can sell you a tub of popcorn for nine (NOTE: I actually paid this price for popcorn at a basketball game, and that’s on me). There is only so much space inside the concourse for concessions, and the average fan is gonna stick to a relatively small area during the game to go on runs for beer, nachos, and hot dogs. That reduces the available space even further because you need to have beer vendors basically everywhere. Those concessions have a higher priority, because people are guaranteed to buy them, and because you can really fuck them over on the price.

I mean, they’ll fuck you over on virtually anything else anyway. But how many fans are gonna need a Band-Aid during the game? Most of the fans are so drunk they won’t even know they’re bleeding. You make more money selling those people a Negra Modelo than Neosporin. Besides, stadium law dictates that if you are looking for a relatively rare concession item, it will be located on the opposite side of the stadium, eight levels up, hidden behind an Auntie Anne’s. And it will be guarded by a dragon. Gangrene will set in and your finger will fall off before you ever find the Kaiser Permanente bandage stand.


Now, I’m gonna take a moment here to tell you a story. This past weekend, I took my sons to the “home” opener of D.C. United. That team’s new stadium won’t be ready until July. So, for this game, they played out in suburban Maryland at what is essentially a glorified intramural field. Because this was a temporary setup, they only had two concession stands, and only two sets of bathrooms.

At some point during the game, my older son has to piss. If you have kids, you know that they NEVER take a pre-emptive piss at home and that they NEVER tell you they have to piss until it’s a full-on, Global Thermonuclear Piss emergency. So we all get up and run to the bathroom line, only it’s a good 30 minutes long and not moving. So we hit the other line and it’s the same deal. So we start to leave the stadium so he can piss on a tree, only the guard says there’s a no re-entry policy. CRIMINY.


At this point, the boy has tears in his eyes. He’s gonna fucking explode with piss if he doesn’t relieve himself. So we all leave and he whizzes on a tree in front of God and everyone. And I go back to the guard and I beg her, with puppy dog eyes, to let us back in. I even said, literally, “I’m asking you as a parent.” She rolls her eyes and opens the gate, and then we watch United come back from 2-0 down and salvage a tie with a goal in the very last minute of stoppage time. Good game! I tell you that story for two reasons:

1) Never assume any stadium is gonna have a certain amenity right when you need that amenity.


2) Never take children anywhere.



When presented with a stick of butter on a butter dish, do you cut a piece off the end of the stick or do you scrape butter off the top of the stick? I come from a long line of end cutters, but we had friends over for dinner recently and I observed them scraping butter off the top of the stick for their bread. I was appalled, and now think slightly less of our guests, who are otherwise lovely people. So, end butter or top butter?


Yeah your friends are lunatics. They should be jailed. You take a pat from the end. You don’t scrape away the top like it’s a can of WisPride. We must have ORDER in this land, by God. The best way to take butter is with a knife, at the end, and at a perfect right angle so it looks as if the stick has been utterly undisturbed. This way, no one can tell that you took some butter and put it in on your breakfast sausages. THE PERFECT CRIME.

But I’m a hypocrite here, because I have absolutely mangled butter in the butter dish. You will disown me forever when I tell you what I’m about to tell you: sometimes, when I make scrambled eggs, I use a fork to cut off a pat of butter, and then use that same fork to scramble eggs (but a different fork to eat them). That way, I save myself from having to use (and wash) a knife. The end result is that the butter stick looks like it got into a fight with an alley cat. I have no excuse for this. It is the purest of savageries. I’ve even used a spoon to cut away some butter. Again, this is so I avoid washing a knife, even though I own a dishwasher. I’ve even cut from the butter stick lengthwise! If you would like to come perform a citizen’s arrest on me, I won’t put up a struggle.



I was recently at my parents’ house and they told me they went to see Tim Allen’s standup act over the weekend. It wasn’t even a planned outing; my Dad saw an ad for his show on the day of the event and thought it sounded like fun. If my Dad is the type of man who not only finds Tim Allen’s standup comedy funny but will drop everything on a whim to go see him, do I need to reconsider all prior advice he’s given me?


Nah, it just means he’s an old man who likes old Tim Allen jokes. Do you really want your old man trying to be cutting edge and only attending UCB improv sessions when he needs his live comedy fix? Let your dad be a dad. If he needs a dose of tool time to break up the weekend, that’s fine.

I grew up during Tim Allen’s rise to prominence, and I will gladly confess that I enjoyed his old Showtime special and watched it at least a dozen times. It’s the one where he just does the caveman grunt all the way through. Does he make a joke complaining about the old ball and chain forcing him to wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? You know he does. “Why don’t I just wipe my ass and then go take a shit?” You will not find a more ‘90s repository of stand-up material.


Allen has since become an unconditional wingnut and shitbag, which seems to be the endgame of virtually every ‘90s metal icon and stand-up comic I’ve ever known. I guess it’s the most lucrative career shift to make when people are tired of watching you do the shit that made you famous to begin with. But I promise you that if I went to a live Tim Allen show in 2018 and he told a bunch of Sears jokes and did the caveman grunt, I would probably let out an audible chuckle and then hate myself for it. The man is a professional, after all.


What are the odds Donald Trump knows a single person’s birthday?

I think he probably remembered a few birthdays back in the day, when he was a raconteur and had some semblance of “charm,” or at least whatever Donald Trump considers to be charm. When you’re a conman plying your trade in real estate, you usually know factoids like that so that you can offer some fake niceties to people. I’m sure Trump sent a card to Carl Icahn once that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY! LET’S DO A DEAL! If it benefits him in some way to acknowledge your birthday, he’ll do it.


That said, I also think Trump is in cognitive decline and probably needs an online tutorial to wipe his ass every morning. He performs a bit of mental triage every day, saving his rapidly diminishing brain power for what he deems the most critical matters: watching television, screaming, planning golf cheats, grabbing asses, finding his name in places, and planning big wars. There’s no room left for Barron’s birthday (today!) in there. My man’s plate is full.



I am an elementary school teacher and work with another teacher who has decided to wax his mustache every day. I’ve always assumed that waxed mustaches were for Rollie Fingers and 19th century villains who like to tie up damsels in distress on train tracks. I didn’t think they were for the guy teaching third grade. When is it acceptable to wax your mustache?


I think you can do it if you’re in a band, or you fly antique war planes, or you’re a carny weightlifter from the year 1905. I think it’s weird for a third grade teacher to do it and I would have that man put on some sort of community watch.

Because in 2018, the average Rollie Fingers ‘stache exists for ironic reasons. It’s a novelty, right? You run some bar in Portland and you rock a waxed van dyke with your flannel shirt and raw denim jeans and ear gauges, because it’s kinda funny and customers will be like LOL THAT’S A COOL ‘STACHE, BRO!


No third grader is gonna appreciate that novelty. In fact, students probably make fun of Weird Mister Whiplash every chance they get. If this guy is willing to endure taunts from his own students about his dumb ‘stache, or he thinks kids will think of him as The Cool Teacher because of it, then he takes that mustache far too seriously and must be put under surveillance.


Which do you think has the better chance of taking over its predecessor: Crypto-currency or driverless cars?


Well, if crypto-currency takes over, that means that pretty much every major government has failed, and that the world has descended into full-on anarchy, with endless war and every last human forced to fend for his or her self. I LIKE THOSE ODDS, MY FRIEND! I should really get ahead of the game and load up on BronyCoin. It’s fun to make winning financial bets on human suffering!

As for driverless cars, they should take over eventually… but a driverless car just killed a person and everyone is gonna freak out over it. There’s a certain human irrationality involved here. Forty thousand Americans died in car accidents last year alone, but virtually none of those fatalities are gonna get as much attention as the Uber that killed a woman. Why? Because people are scared shitless of being killed by something they can’t control. If I’m dying in a car accident, it better be because I went the Full Dick Trickle and hit 110 mph going off a highway overpass. If I die because Google Auto experienced a 404 error, I’m gonna be pissed. It’s the same as air travel, which is the safest mode of travel on Earth while simultaneously being the most feared.


It is very hard to get people over such hang-ups, and having a bunch of Silicon Valley shitlords presiding over the potential transition to driverless cars isn’t gonna make it go smoother. Arianna Huffington will probably send a bunch of sleeping manuals to the victim’s family.

One more thing about crypto-currency: it should probably be illegal, given how much energy is being used to mine it. It’s just like humanity to answer a full-blown energy crisis with an industry of imaginary money that somehow consumes fossil fuels at an even more frenetic pace than ever before.



What the fuck am I supposed to do with an immersion blender? Maybe this is a question for Marchman, but I feel like it’s in his top five kitchen tools and I have no idea where to begin.


It’s for soup. Sautee some vegetables in a pot, add some broth, then whizz that shit up. It makes me feel like a scientist. Be careful because if you mishandle that bad boy, it’ll kick up a spray of hot, pureed butternut squash that will ruin your shit. But if you keep it steady, you’ll end up with a nice soup and just one little thing to wash instead of a whole goddamn blender. Blender parts fit in the dishwasher about as well as I fit into leather pants. It’s annoying. There shouldn’t be such a hefty labor cost to making margaritas, man.

Email of the week!


The flu was going around a few weeks back, and I started to feel a little sick, so I took a Nyquil just to make sure I’d be able to sleep. I actually fell asleep quickly, and slept very well until I woke up around 4:15. I was feeling sicker and my stomach was churning to let me know I had some diarrhea brewing that I needed to expel quickly. As I rolled out of bed, I realized I had already expelled quite a bit of my own poop while I was sleeping.

I went to the bathroom, hoping it had been mostly contained, and I pooped out whatever was left in me. I took off my underwear whilst sitting, and of course my cat decided to investigate and try to nose his way into my excrement. At this point, I realized I had covered the toilet seat with diarrhea, as it was covering my entire butt, and it seeped out of my boxer briefs and onto the bed. Luckily, none of it had gotten onto my wife’s side.

After spending about 20 minutes trying to clean up the warzone in the bathroom, and deciding I’d have to risk waking my wife by taking a shower, I looked at the bed to see how bad it was. There was one major smear, and a few other streak marks, but nothing seemed to be seeping. I didn’t want to wake my wife, so I ended up putting a towel down just in case, and after she left for work I had to wash all the sheets, as the poop went through the duvet cover to the duvet, and almost all the way to the mattress (thank you cheap IKEA mattress protector).

Anyway, I got better a few days later, but every time I’ve woken up since, I grab my butt in a panic to make sure I’m not leaking sewage. Will this fear ever go away?



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About the author

Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.