Photo: Sam Woolley (GMG)

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Drew’s gone! We have guest hosts. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re talking about decorative pillows, office poop etiquette, and more.

Hello and welcome to the Funbag! The last time I filled in for Drew, I took over the sex and fantasy football mailbag that he started for Kissing Suzy Kolber, a poorly named blog of a bygone era. I am presently unemployed, so if Drew turns up dead and I’m writing this column again next week, I didn’t do it. I submit my preemptive statement of innocence as an alibi. Case dismissed! I know the law!

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Mike:

What’s the deal with all of the decorative pillows that are supposed to go on my bed? My wife is updating our bedroom and my bed is filled with 6-8 pillows that we just throw to the side every night so we can go to sleep, and are a huge pain in the ass when I make it. Is this a conspiracy from BIG PILLOW?

“Looks nice!” / “Not functional!” is basically that meme where the American Chopper guys are arguing, except it’s a husband and wife. Both sides have valid viewpoints, but there’s no middle ground to be met: The decorative pillows are almost never comfortable, because they are riddled with tassels and packed tightly with, I dunno, cardboard or styrofoam to hold their shape. And because they reside on the bed, there’s no sensible place to put them when you sleep, so you wake up to islands of stupid uncomfortable pillows with fringe all over the floor.

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However: they DO make the bed look nicer. And you want your wife to see the bed as an inviting place, a place she WANTS to be, because that will make her four percent more inclined to have sex with you, which is three pleasant minutes that you’re not spending arguing about throw pillows.

Here’s what I did when my wife and I started living together: Every time I took a decorative pillow off the bed, I would say, “This pillow is a SHAM!” and throw it on the floor. We don’t have decorative pillows any more. Bow to my Peak Dad-ness.

Andrew:

What’s the worst sauce?

The All-Knowing Internet Guy answer is ketchup. “You mustn’t put ketchup on a hot dog! I demand only the finest sauces for nitrate-packed assholes!” The anti-ketchup crowd can jam a barrel of coarse mustard up their ass. Ketchup is the people’s condiment.

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Look, I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum. People have different tastes, and somebody eating a foodstuff I don’t like doesn’t infringe on my liberties. Besides, most sauces have SOME kind of utility. Hoisin sauce isn’t going to win any awards for versatility, but it’s sublime with duck. Tartar sauce is semen with chopped pickles, but I’m happy to dip fried fish in it. How about Thousand Island dressing? That’s not even a sauce, until some idiot put it on a reuben and it tasted delicious. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by not cleaning out his petri dishes; who am I to argue with results?

And mayo. We must address the mayo in the room. Like Drew and most right-thinking people, I’m repulsed by mayo. You could tell me that mayonnaise is food lube used by perverts and Midwesterners to throat-fuck themselves with sandwiches, and I wouldn’t disagree. But it still has a place in my fridge because I need something to hold tuna salad together.

And before y’all go rushing to the comments or my godforsaken Twitter replies: I know that there are people out there thinking “mayo is a condiment, not a sauce!” I welcome you to not be that person.

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Casey:

I was recently at my college roommates wedding and they played ‘Runaround Sue’ at the reception. Me and a friend exchanged odd looks when the song came on. Afterwards, we discussed how, although it’s a decent dance song for the Baby Boomers, the content of the lyrics is fucking terrible for a wedding. Here’s my question, are songs that are good to dance to at wedding receptions exempt from judgement if the lyrical content is trash?

Strictly from a musical perspective, “Runaround Sue” is fine to dance to, if you want to do the Twist and bullshit doo-wop moves. It’s not like 1961 was littered with bangers you can dance to in the 21st century, so if the happy couple wanted to throw a bone to the geriatrics in attendance, good for them. I’m sure “Shout” was played that evening, too.

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As you noted, the lyrics to “Runaround Sue” don’t hold up well. The singer (Dion, in his only No. 1 hit) complains about a girl he dated who—GASP!—now dates other men! Chill out, Dion. Let Sue live her life. If the song were released today, it would only go to No. 1 on the men’s rights subreddit. (In this light, G-Eazy’s 2003 cover looks and sounds even worse.)

But I’m not gonna turn this into a Slate article about how “Runaround Sue” is a symbol of toxic masculinity, and playing it at weddings reinforces the idea of a man owning a woman, et cetera. There’s some truth there, but I don’t find the song any more offensive than Will.I.Am saying “Mazel Tov!” to ensure that “I Gotta Feeling” gets played at every Jewish wedding. Who establishes the line for what’s “appropriate” for a wedding? “Y.M.C.A.” is most definitely not about long-term commitment, and that doesn’t stop it from being played at boring-ass straight weddings.

All of this is to say it’s a matter of taste, and a wedding should be the party that the bride and groom want: The location, food, decor, and music should reflect their love and the kind of people they are, even if it’s people with boring, outdated musical taste. And as a guest, it’s your right to judge the shit out of it, making the case for why your wedding was (or will be) superior. In that regard, well done!

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Eric:

How many times have Mr. and Mrs. Trump engaged in sexual intercourse, aside from the 1 time she did it to get with him, and the 1 time she did it to have a kid. Aside from those 2 times I’m guessing it can’t be any more than 3, what do you think?

I was horrified by everything in this email even before I considered the possibility that it was written by Eric Trump.

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Don:

The men’s room at my office has three stalls. I assumed it was common knowledge that when these stalls are empty, one should choose an outside stall to avoid ​close proximity to a fellow dumper. However, there is a guy who routinely chooses the middle stall - regardless of situation. This offended me at first because it puts me mere inches away from another man with his pants around his ankles.

But, after more reflection, maybe it’s genius? By choosing the middle stall, the taboo stall, this guy basically has a personal toilet. Sure it’s a bit awkward at times, but he gets to do his business knowing that the fewest butts have indirectly touched his butt.

So, is he a psycho or a genius? Should I adopt this technique?

Bonus question: I’ve also figured out who this person is by shoe identification. I want to know what’s inside his mind. Am I a psycho if I ask?

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I say go for it! Be the Guy Who Asks Coworkers About Their Poop Philosophies! Even better, wait for him in the bathroom and ask him as he exits the stall. You will undoubtedly rocket to the top of your company’s org chart.

Look, I enjoy a pristine toilet and privacy as much as the next person, and occupying the middle stall goes against the grain of traditionally accepted (although mostly unspoken) bathroom mores. But I think you are perhaps caring about this 700 percent too much. Bathrooms are mostly dirty regardless of how many butts they service, and also mostly fine with regular maintenance.

Here’s a fun thing you don’t want to know: At Marine OCS in Quantico, the toilets in the chow hall don’t have doors, and the partitions, if I recall correctly, only go to about shoulder height when you sit down. And there are toilets attached to the opposite wall, so officer candidates end up facing each other as they poop. You ever look another man in the eye while pooping, Don? NOT A GREAT EXPERIENCE.

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Andrew:

As an expat, you tend to meet other well-traveled individuals. Inevitably, as you get to know them, a question always comes up: “How many different countries’ citizens have you had sex with?”

We’ve always agreed that nationality is the factor in question here. But some debate came up when I mentioned having had sex with someone with dual citizenship. I argue she counts as two points. Most of my friends have agreed, but likely because it also benefited their point totals.

The lone dissenter maintained you could be born in a country, get citizenship, and never actually live there. “One girl one point” was his retort.

Settle this please.

Thanks for your question, Andrew! I will happily settle this for you: Women are not objects to be collected and tallied up. And women of different nationalities are not flavors at an ice cream shop to be sampled; they are individuals with agency and free will, and it would be infinitely less shitty of you to not reduce them to a checkmark on your sexual map.

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Please, please do this for me: As you travel the world, however unlikely you are to ever see your conquests again, call them by their names, and not their nationalities; remember them as specific, distinct humans; show them gratitude for harboring your stupid expat dick. Your brain will release some serotonin into your body, and something deep inside your chest—a weight you had never even noticed—will lighten and bloom. That’s empathy, my dude, and the more you show it to other people, THE MORE HOT INTERNATIONAL TANG YOU CAN GET WOOO UP TOP BRO!

(The irony with this, though, is that you will be more likely to develop actual feelings for another person, and thus choose intimacy with one sexual partner over cruising the international buffet in a vain attempt to fill the ravenous, negative space of emotional need inside you.)

I am sorry that this was not the fun answer you sought. Once I wrest control of this column from Drew and/or he dies an unexpected, tragic death later this month, I will rename it the Respectbag and only answer emails sent by people with their shirts tucked in.

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Brian:

I love to cook, and I do my share of unusual/difficult meals, but is there a more ubiquitous food that I’m just Not Going To Make At Home than sushi? I feel like the odds of me making gravlax are worse, sure, but as far as common foods go, I can’t think of anything I’m less likely to fuck with.

The bar to making decent sushi isn’t THAT high. For boring white dudes like me, the limiting factor is familiarity with ingredients—like, where do I get nori? Is it at Trader Joe’s? Do I need to go to a specialty store? I’ve never considered it until this moment, because, like you, I’ve never really had a desire to make sushi at home. But it CAN be done with relative ease; the salmon roll recipe here looks perfectly manageable, and I’m not even a “Chopped” champion.

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The food I’m not about to fuck with in my kitchen is Thai. One of my best friends teaches cooking classes and works as a private caterer. She’s completely fearless about trying new recipes from anywhere in the world, and she claims that the work that goes into it is staggering, and simply not worth it when you can get killer pad see yue delivered for twelve bucks.

Bill:

I like to microwave my ice cream for 15 seconds before enjoying it. I feel like it ends up being more flavorful, and you immediately get a small pool of melted heaven at the bottom of the bowl. My wife thinks I’m insane. Am I insane?

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No. You eat your ice cream in an unusual fashion, but to my knowledge that is not a sign of mental illness. Own your pleasure! Like what you like; it harms neither your wife nor anyone else. As Patrick Henry once said, “I disagree with how you eat ice cream, but I will defend to the death your right to eat it that way.”

(Note: I will not defend it to the death.)

Jennifer:

Say you’re out of plain ol’ beer and gotta keep going, but slim pickins on anything that goes together. What are the concoctions you’ve come up with that were the worst, the most embarrassing, and the oh! gotta remember this one!? (Straight booze on rocks or watered down don’t count, but you can include stale wine)

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Finally, a mailbag question in my wheelhouse! I have a very small wheelhouse, and it is “drunk by myself at midnight with four potable liquids in the apartment.” I once spent an entire month trying to find ways to drink St-Germain, AMA.

On the stale wine front, you can enliven it with soda water. Now it’s a spritzer! Ahhhh, refreshing! Soda water is a cure-all for bad drinks you don’t want to dump in the sink for economic purposes, because it waters down your awful drink while adding bubbles, which lets you say things like, “This is the champagne of [X].” Example: “This is the champagne of failed Cynar experiments! I definitely don’t regret buying a giant bottle of artichoke liqueur!” Soda water is the budget drunkard’s best friend.

When it comes to mixed drinks, the well-drink bar classics are easy and effective: rum and Coke, Jack & Coke, whiskey & ginger ale, vodka soda, screwdriver, et cetera. For what it’s worth, I maintain that the perfect two-ingredient drink is bourbon and apple cider. However, as a Certified Old, I try to avoid sugar (the hangover enhancer!), which rules out most soda and juice.

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One of my favorite drinks is mid-shelf rum and coconut water, which is naturally but not excessively sweet, and hydrates me as it destroys my hand-eye coordination. BONUS: drop in a piece of frozen mango or pineapple—I live in a smoothie household—to help keep it cold, and finish the drink with rum-soaked fruit. Ahhhhh, it reminds me of that vacation my wife and I took to Jamaica before we got married. If only I didn’t have to wake up with my kids in five hours.

Bruce:

I had the occasion to hang out recently with some college kids (ahem, much younger than myself) and the subject turned to Super Bowl ads. It quickly became apparent that they had never heard of the Bud Bowl!! (Slaps forehead.) Ponder that for a moment—a significant percentage of your fellow humans have never seen the Bud Bowl. No wonder we lament a lack of social cohesion! But I digress.

Then my mind flashed forward to the rampant commercialism that has flooded all sports. And then to what perhaps is the most outlandish example—-Phil Simms shouting “I’m going to Disney World!!” after winning Super Bowl XXI.

But the genius of America is innovation. Surely, we can top this. Yes. We. Can.

Recall how Peyton Manning used to yell “Oklahoma!” and all that shit before he snapped the ball.

Which quarterbacks should be paid to yell slogans before the snap? And what would be the most likely brands? I’m guessing Nick Foles and Viagra.

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Foles is too human. The quarterback to break the sponsored audible barrier will have to be both marketable to the public and shamelessly capitalist. Peyton, actually, would have been the best at this; the fact that he never had a “PAPA JOHN” call at the line is a huge missed opportunity.

Tom Brady’s my choice, because he’ll use it to shill his own products. TB12! TB12! PERFORMANCE SLEEPWEAR, HIKE! Other possibilities: Drew Brees (already shills for a pyramid scheme); Russell Wilson (brand-friendly goober); and Alex Smith (mandated by Dan Snyder to promote his side ventures).

Mike:

I have a Kanye theory. Kris Jenner is behind all of this. She planted all the goofy alt-right stuff in Kanye’s head as part of a PR strategy for Kim’s eventual divorce, and rebranding as “woke” and socially conscious.

Explanation: Kim wants to divorce Kanye. Kanye of course has millions of loyal fans, so the potential split may be messy for Kim’s brand. Kris sees a way to not only handle this, but come out ahead.

Kris arranges for cleansed, laundered alt-right media to be strategically placed for Kanye’s consumption. He is also encouraged to get back on Twitter. Kanye is a simpleton with an enormous ego, who lives in an impenetrable bubble of self-aggrandizement; these people are not hard to manipulate.

So phase one is near-complete: many, many fans have already disowned or are disillusioned with Kanye. Look through Twitter, and you’ll start to see phase two coming together: people tweeting along the lines of “ Whoda thunk, Kim Kardashian is the sensible/smart one” etc.

So six months from now (right after Dems take the House), Kim Kardashian divorces Kanye, with the narrative being that she too could not stand his idiotic, Poli-Sci 201 rantings. She is viewed among the American public as far and away the more sympathetic and relatable one, and pivots her brand accordingly, gaining more followers and exposure with her newfound credibility.

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The problem with conspiracy theories is that they always, always assume that a power player has more control over outcomes than they actually do. Like, I’ll grant that Kris Jenner is a savvy businesswoman who capitalized on her daughters’ flirtations with fame to catapult her family from D-list to A-list. But arranging “for cleansed, laundered alt-right media to be strategically placed for Kanye’s consumption”? Even if we accept that Kanye is a “simpleton”—not how I would describe a groundbreaking hip-hop artist, by the way—how the fuck is that realistically happening? He may be divorced from reality, but he’s not the Manchurian Candidate.

Anyway, my hope—not belief, but hope—is that this is an act of performance art, the reasons for which are neatly laid out in this Twitter thread. I’m not sure if it’s right, but it’s a little easier to swallow than reality as it presently seems.

2018 rules. I love our dystopian media nightmare.

Sarah:

I live in an apartment and share a wall with a very loud neighbour. Every single day (no joke), he listens to the same songs very loudly*.

Daniel Powter - Bad Day

Imagine Dragons - Thunder

Dido - White Flag

What’s the worst song to be forced to listen to on repeat forever?

*I’m a cowardly young woman who lives alone, so I’ve never told him to turn it down because A.) he once said to me, “I hope I don’t make you nervous” and B.) we don’t need to open up a dialogue about who can hear what from each other’s apartment.

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Yeah, the less you say to this guy, the better. That’s a murderer’s row of songs for murderers.

Your question is clearly a matter of taste, and so my response will not be universal, although it should be. “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John is plodding, arrhythmic garbage, and its staying power positively befuddles me. Like, I get that it was the 1970s and everyone was into Quaaludes and sequins and songs about fictional bands, but that particular song should have been relegated to the dustbin of history. I shouldn’t have had to hear Elton screech “BENNIE! BENNIE!” on my classic rock radio station in the ‘90s. And I like Elton John! Elton John is great! But if a neighbor blasted that plonking piano track on repeat every day, I’d have homicide detectives banging on my door by the end of the week.

Cody:

Would you rather be a fan of a team knowing they will be very good for 80 years but will never win a championship or a fan of a team that is absolutely terrible for 80 years but will win one championship during that span?

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The latter, AKA “the Leicester City Special.” As a Seahawks fan (sorry), I very much appreciate the Super Bowl victory, but I’m also maxed out on patience for fuck-ups on a huge stage. Ever hear a 42-year-old bitch about a hangover after a night that wouldn’t faze a 25-year-old? That’s like me with sports. I can’t bounce back the way I used to. If my team’s not gonna win a championship, I’d rather they suck so I can (A) not pay attention for most of the season and (B) get cheap tickets with no expectations for success when I go to a game.

As a parent, I am ALL ABOUT eliminating shit that sucks up my attention. I run a cost-benefit analysis of all the media I consume. “Will this movie be worth getting a babysitter? Or should I watch it on demand in four months?” “Should I watch this zeitgeisty TV show to talk to other adults, or is it going to feel like work?” “Do I give a fuck how this book ends?” “Fuck this podcast.” I’ve got maybe three hours a day that aren’t dedicated to work, housework, kids, or sleep, and my entire day will be ruined if those three hours end with Boston fans high-fiving. I could have just watched the new Queer Eye!

Dave:

Can I ever forgive my wife for telling me, “We’ll see Avengers, Infinity War in a week when there’s less people” when it is impossible to avoid spoilers for a week and a half on the biggest movie to ever be released? (and for those that say if it’s that important to me I should go on my own that is impossible for various reasons I am choosing to not disclose).

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No, you can never forgive this wrong. You must divorce her. All that bullshit from your wedding vows about “good times and bad” does not apply to comic book movies. Bros before hos and Marvel over marriage, that’s what I and all my happily married friends say.

I will discount, for the moment, that I agree with your wife, as the idea of being in a theater filled to the gills with hardcore fanboys makes me want to wander the Alaska wilderness until I die of exposure. The more germane issue is that you are married now, which means that you have a partner, which means that for the rest of your life you will compromise on all matters of things that used to be simple, easy decisions. Here’s a spoiler, Dave: The world isn’t all about YOU getting do what YOU want to do when YOU want to do it. You’re not special! You want it your way, go to fucking Burger King.

Also: Can we all, please, as a barely functioning society, try to chill the fuck out about spoilers JUST THE TINIEST AMOUNT? No one can watch everything exactly the moment it’s released, and no one should be expected to stay silent about the media they consume, and apparently no one—especially not Dave here—can successfully pull off a social media blackout. As an exhausted parent who watches every third Marvel movie on demand six to 24 months after its theatrical release, the constant hysteria about spoilers exhausts me. We will be consumed by lava and rising waters while arguing about spoilers. This goes for Star Wars people and Game of Thrones fans on the West Coast, too. Relax, all of you.

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P.S. I went a week and a half without reading an Avengers spoiler, Dave, so it CAN be done, you liar!

Devin:

What are your thoughts on blowing your nose while showering, my girlfriend finds it repulsive and continually shames me for it. I find it perfectly acceptable and a great place to blow your nose. Saves money on tissue IMO.

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At Wal-Mart, three boxes of Kleenex tissues cost $4.44. There are 160 tissues in each box. That is 480 tissues. Click on that link and buy those tissues. Then, before you get in the shower with your girlfriend, blow your nose. It will cost you LESS THAN A PENNY to NOT repulse the woman you live with. You love her, right? You want her to want to have sex with you? Is that more important than using nine-tenths of a cent of tissue when you shower? Do you really wanna fight for Shower Snot Rocket Hill?

Am I going mad? Are the basics of cohabitation seriously this hard for so many people? Let’s say you pee in the shower. That’s not unusual! It is also reasonable for a partner to maybe not want to get peed on when they shower with you! If that’s a problem for you, shower separately! Why would you need to ask a stranger on the internet about this?!? What’s next, “Honey, now that we live together, can we buy an actual bed frame?” “MY LAUNDRY-COVERED MATTRESS IS A MODEL OF EFFICIENCY!!!”

STOP IT. GROW UP, YOU GODDAMN BABIES.

Email of the week!

Daniel:

My mom insists on listening to our favorite teams on radio, even when I have it on TV. We’re in a small house and despite her efforts, I can’t help but hear a timely curse or cheer giving away the nature of what I’m about to see, since the radio is a solid 10 seconds before tv. Sometimes if its a big home run or goal she’ll run in to get the chance to watch it “live.” This completely ruins the viewing experience for me but she refuses to turn the radio off or remain emotionless. She’s 100% in the wrong, right? Her actions are deserving of a verbal lashing the kind of which only you can truly give. Please help me out.

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We’re missing some pertinent information here. Is this YOUR house that your mom is living in? If that’s the case, it probably means that your mother is old and infirm, in which case I applaud your loving generosity to provide her a home in her later years. She’ll be dead soon; let her listen to the fucking game. One day, a year or many years from now, you’ll hear sports on the radio while driving home, and you will pull over to sob at the loss of the woman who gave you life.

I guessed that your elderly mother lived in your home because surely—SURELY, Daniel—you would not waste everyone’s time by demanding that your mother follow YOUR rules as you lived under HER roof. I cannot fathom a world in which you lived rent-free thanks to your mother, yet demanded that she turn her radio off because you don’t want exciting plays tipped as you watch the TV that belongs to her. Please tell me that’s not the case. Tell me that your mother is infirm and close to death.

Watch the game somewhere else. Your mother gave you life, man! Now let her live hers.

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Matt Ufford is a freelance writer and video host. Hire him and/or follow him on Twitter.