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How To Line Up Groceries On A Conveyor Belt

Illustration for article titled How To Line Up Groceries On A Conveyor Belt
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

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When I unload my groceries to be rung up at the checkout, I make a point to put the most expensive items (deli meat, almonds, etc.) up front, so they’re scanned first. For some reason, having these items at the beginning makes me feel better. Do you ever do this? Would having them added last be better? Paying for groceries is terrible.


I always put the heaviest items at the front of the belt, because you want the bag boy to put all the heavy shit in the BOTTOM of the bag. You also want the heaviest bags to go in the grocery cart first, because then you can rest the lighter bags on top of them. If you put the eggs at the front of the belt, then the bag boy will drop a gallon of milk on top of them and ruin your day.

Also, a lot of grocery stores have a second conveyor belt between the clerk and the bag boy, but the bag boy is often absent and/or not quick enough to gather everything coming at him on that second belt. So what happens EVERY FUCKING TIME? I’ll tell you: the heavy shit gets to the end of the belt, topples over, and smashes everything in its way. I do not support the existence of this second conveyor belt. If you are not a self-checkout wizard like me, here is how you should arrange items on the belt for proper bagging. If you have lighter items already sticking out of the top of the cart, leave them on the metal shelf behind the belt and then dig down for the heavy crap.


1. Large cans/bottles. If you buy two-liter bottles, make sure to place them close together for structural support. Because what happens is the conveyor belt stops and starts, and then the bottles fall and roll around all over the goddamn place. This is because two-liter bottles SUCK. You got five pounds of fluid resting on a tapered bottom. I say we jail the person responsible for designing this bottle.

2. The milk. Why is milk so heavy? They should invent a lighter form of milk. I am not crazy.

3. Flour and sugar. Frankly, it doesn’t matter where you put the flour, because you will NOT stop the bag from tearing. All flour bags come pre-torn. I grab the bag off the shelf, and it’s already dusty. As a country, we are very bad at flour containment. If we handled biochemicals as poorly as we handle flour, there wouldn’t BE an America anymore.

4. Small cans/bottles. We’re talking about soup cans, ketchup bottles, oil and vinegar, peanut butter jars, and shit like that. Nothing worse than a can of beef broth rolling around at the top of a bag.


5. Heavy produce. I hate everything about the produce section, mostly because I hate fruits and vegetables. But I also hate that produce varies wildly in weight and fragility. I got a watermelon and a box of raspberries here, but hey can’t be seen in the same bag. So you gotta put the melon and apples and other anchor fruits at the front of the belt, with the herbs and berries bringing up the rear. Blackberry cartons are specifically designed to blow open at the merest touch, resulting in a juicekakke all over your bag. They need to go on top. Alternately, never buy them.

Also, SUPER-fuck vegetables with long, ridiculous stems. Like beets. Ever buy beets? Beet stems are nine feet long, and beets don’t even taste good after you’ve made them.


6. Meat. Precious meat. Everything else in the cart can rot and leak, but the meat must be protected at all costs.

7. Cereal. Everyone puts cereal at the front of the belt because it’s the most exciting thing in the cart, and people are very proud of their economy boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. LOOGIT ME! I’M EATIN’ WELL TONIGHT, GANG!


8. Chips. I need the chips visible from the bag so that I can open them while on the go. Perfectly safe to do while driving.

9. Bread. I need my Wonder bread to stay light and fluffy. If someone jams a tub of yogurt on top of the loaf, it reduces it in size by 58 percent. I have literally taken slices of smushed bread out of the bag and attempted to stretch them back into proper shape. It’s awful.


10. Eggs. Apart from raw chicken, eggs are the worst things to have leak, so they get treated like exposed uranium samples. Sometimes I even get a separate bag just for the egg carton. I don’t fuck around with egg security.

11. TP/Paper towels. Fuck these items. They take up so much goddamn room that I either have to layer them over the entire cart or stick them on the bottom rack, where the chances of leaving them behind in the parking lot increase threefold. God damn you, Bounty.


As for the rest, there’s no point in saving expensive stuff for the back of the belt, because your heart will sink when you look at the register tally up your shit, thinking you’ve saved a bundle, only to have a $10 bottle of Advil ruin you at the tail end.


Do you think in your life, you’ve seen every minute on the clock? I know that I’ve been awake for every single minute, but I can’t confirm if I happened to look at my watch at 3:31 a.m. to see it.


I have many times over, because a) I have attended school, and b) I own an alarm clock. Anyone who has graduated from high school has spent at least 10 percent of his or her educational career eye-fucking a clock. And if, by some miracle, you make it through that without having seen it hit the 43-minute mark, an alarm clock will fill that hole with relative ease. I don’t even wanna know much time I’ve spent staring at an alarm clock in my life. There’s nothing more depressing than being wide awake at 3:12 a.m. and looking at those red digits, feeling like you’re the only person awake on the fucking planet. Even God is sound asleep. It makes me want to kill myself. I should really get rid of that thing.


How many people throughout history do you think have had sex in Antarctica? I want to say zero. Sex in Antarctica has to be considered a major accomplishment. Way more exclusive than the Mile High Club.


Zero? No way. Antarctica has settlements! There are lots of scientists and penguin fetishists who live there for extended periods, and those people be fuckin’. What else is there to do? It’s the best way to stay warm. I bet per-capita fucking in Antarctica is shockingly high. Everyone’s boning everyone. It’s like a Navy ship! I’d hump a seal if I had to live in Antarctica for three months.

Also, Antarctica has a large tourist industry, including cruise ships that visit for long stretches. Those cruise ships have perfectly nice living quarters for sleeping and drinking and fucking. And who isn’t gonna have sex when they get to Antarctica, if only so they can say they did it? We should all take a field trip to Villa Las Estrellas, eat some molly, and have a big ol’ sex party. It would be just like one of those old Snow videos. Way hot.


(By the way, I bet it’s awesome to live somewhere formally designated as a “settlement.” Makes you feel like a conquistador.)


If Donald Trump ever bought a NBA franchise, would his team wear the Latin Nights uniform? Like Los Clippers or Los Toros (or Los Letsbuildawallbetweenourcountriesos) kind of stuff?


Oh, totally. TRUMP LOVES THE LATINS. His signature move is saying that he loves all the people he wants to fuck over. “Excuse me. Excuse me. I LOVE the women. I’m gonna be so good to the women, it’s gonna be AMAZING. But we’re gonna have to jail the ones that menstruate during road races. CAN’T HAVE THAT, I’M SORRY.”

So just because he wants to send all the Mexicans back home via catapult doesn’t mean he wouldn’t gladly participate in a transparent scheme to sell them more NBA-branded merchandise. He loves the Mexicans and wants them here and buying those jerseys LEEG-LEE.



A married couple we know recently got pregnant, and sent my wife and me an online survey to rank potential baby names. This is insanity, right? Do I play along and do their dumb survey?


Hell yeah. There’s nothing I desire more than the power to name other people’s children. If I could go to Utah and undo all the damage done to baby names in that state, I’d do it instantly. Every Aunistee would be FREED. I’ve only named three children in my lifetime, and I would like to name more, without the added burden of having to raise them.

So if your friend was dumb enough to ask you for your input on a baby name—seriously, never ask anyone their opinion on names, because you’ll only end up more confused and annoyed—go ahead and give it to them. And don’t troll them by deliberately putting the worst name—I LOVE LAYKZYN FOR A BOY OR A GIRL—at the top. Fill it out with 100 percent sincerity and then see if they obey your wishes. Because if they do, you get bragging rights for eternity. Any time you see the child, you can point at it and go I NAMED IT. That’s a great feeling.


In general, naming things is fun as hell: babies, bands, books, new brands of candy, etc. This is why I get really mad when people name things poorly and/or without effort. Like Led Zeppelin just numbering their first four albums. That’s boring. They should have named Led Zeppelin II something like Bloodied Stool instead.


True Story: in an effort to get more into soccer this year, I randomly picked an EPL team as “my team” to follow throughout the season. I ruled out most teams known as perennial contenders (so no Arsenal, Man City/U, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham) to avoid the dreaded bandwagon. I picked Leicester. Now that they could win it all my first year as a fan, am I required to change teams next year to avoid the bandwagoner label? My friends give me no end of shit about it.


No. Stick with them. Revel in your good fortune. There’s nothing in the sports fan rulebook that says you HAVE to be miserable for the rest of your life. Don’t listen to Vikings fans like me, or Browns or Bills or Cubs fans who all flaunt their misery as a perverse symbol of pride. If you happened to pick the best team (and they weren’t an obvious bandwagon choice) and you have genuine affection for them, then stick with it. Tell your friends they’re just BUTTHURT CUCKS because you were wise enough to choose the upstart champion.


In your opinion, what is the worst common food allergy to have? I had this conversation with my wife recently while making dinner, and given the choices of dairy, gluten, shellfish, or nuts—which, granted, a nut allergy can kill someone, but for the sake of this argument, let’s just say they’ll just make you violently ill—I settled on gluten (“No bread, pizza, cake, pie—just kill me now”), while she was in the nut allergy camp.


I know the answer to this, and it’s onions. I know this because I have a friend who’s allergic to them. Do you know what has onions in it? EVERYTHING. Every sauce, stew, broth, and marinade has onions in it somewhere. I think even ice cream has onions as its base. And no menu will warn you about this, because it’s such a rare allergy. Everything has onions and garlic in it, which means if you’re allergic, you’re boned. Even if you ask the server, “Hey, does this have onions in it?” the server will either not know, or will LIE. I’d rather be allergic to shoes than onions.



If the Golden State Warriors were busted in a PED ring, would that lead to the hot take apocalypse of all hot take apocalypses? If not, what would possibly top that?


I wouldn’t give a shit, and I’m not sure many other people would, either. First of all, for whatever reason, people only give a shit about PEDs when it comes to baseball and the Olympics. Both of those sporting concerns are plagued with purist fanboys who need the event to fulfill every phony-baloney utopian fantasy they have about it. Also, baseball records are the only important records, and people are still bitter that the Steroid Era diluted the meaning of those records.

But ’roiders in basketball? Nope. I don’t give a shit. You could tell me that Steph Curry was selling chewable Toradol to preschoolers. You could take pictures of the crime and exhaust every last ounce of energy waving them in my face, and I would feel nothing. Frankly, I’d be angry at you for being such a killjoy. TAKE YOUR PEARL-CLUTCHING ELSEWHERE, YOU FUCKING NARC.


Not that Skip Bayless and the like wouldn’t try to make a big thing of it. From time to time, you’ll see media people really push to make a story blow up into a raging controversy, only to watch in angry impotence as the public waves it away. Like the Cardinals hacking scandal. You people should care more about that. WHY IT’S THE BIGGEST SPORTS SCANDAL IN HISTORY IF YOU ASK ME.


Two of my best friends go to a big college about 30 minutes from me, so I often visit them when I have a free weekend. I live at home and go to a community college, so this is my dose of the college life. They live in a suite with 10 other guys, two of which I hang out with every time I’m there. I’ve known them for about two years, and we’ve had a lot of great times together and gotten wasted together plenty.

Are these guys my friends? Or are they still just my friend’s friends that I hang out with when I see them? I ask because I was telling a story to someone about one weekend I spent there, and I hesitated to call them “my friends” even though I feel like they qualify as such. I feel like I’m not alone here in that gray area of not knowing what exactly to classify certain guys as.


They’re not your “friends” unless you begin seeing them separately from your other friend. If you always need your first friend to act as liaison, then they’re still just friends of your friend. Got it?

By the way, I think you should go for it and elevate those guys to the first circle of friendship. Text them. Hang out when the other friend is out of town. Have WILD sex orgies. It never hurts to have more friends, amigo. It’s scary, and there’s nothing worse than trying to make a new friend and ending up being rejected. “What? You wanna hang out? Without Dave around? What are you, some kind of weirdo?” But more often than not, it’s worth the risk. Why rely on one master friend to be the key to all these other cool people? Take a chance and go to the movies on acid with these other friends.



Who has a better chance of winning an Oscar: Rob Schneider or myself? I break it down as follows:

1) I’m a 30-year-old with no experience acting and no film connections.

2) Rob Schneider is Rob Schneider.

I think the odds that I stumble ass-backwards into winning Best Short Film or Best Documentary are better than Rob Schneider winning anything.


But couldn’t Rob Schneider also win some stupid Best Short Film award? And doesn’t he have enough money and showbiz connections to get that kind of stupid short film financed? All he has to do is make a Seamless order for Adam Sandler and he’s got a $5 million grant coming his way. You can’t compete with those resources. Also, never ever ever underestimate how much Hollywood loves to prop up disgraced C-listers. Happens all the time. “Whoa, I can’t believe Jesse Camp just won Best Director for that Holocaust musical!”

Here are two fun facts about Rob Schneider: 1) He’s an anti-vaxxer (imagine taking medical advice from Deuce Bigalow), and 2) he’s the father of pop star Elle King. So he could easily make a serious documentary about either subject and have people in Hollywood raving because they never expected Rob Fucking Schneider to make a serious documentary. IT’S A SIDE OF HIM WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! AND I LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT THE EVILS OF PASTEURIZATION!



Let’s say there’s a quarterback at a college with a substantial athletic reputation. He’s got all the right tools. He’s tall, he’s got a cannon arm and Bigfoot hands, runs a 4.4, and can diagnose an NFL defense in his sleep. He’s also mind-bogglingly accurate with his ball placement. There’s just one catch: he throws the ball sideways. Not like in that Matt Stafford side-arm sorta way where it still ends up going point-first. I mean the ball literally goes sideways, like a burrito. Can he make it in the NFL?


Yes. Tim Tebow got drafted in the first round, did he not? That kind of throwing technique isn’t exactly a deal-breaker for NFL teams. Do you know how many times I’ve heard Cris Collinsworth cry out, “It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done!” any time some veteran dipshit QB throws a duck? Shit, I just watched the Rams trade away 400 picks just so they could draft Dakota Boy.

Scouts and analysts will pick apart QBs all day long, critiquing their arm strength and scrutinizing their quality of competition. And then it comes time to draft, and you know what happens? They gleefully ignore ALL that shit because they need a QB so badly. They’re all far more desperate than they’ll ever let on, and they know that no quarterback is perfect, so they may as well gamble and pick one, hoping his flaws don’t turn out to be fatal. DeShaun Watson could lose a leg and still probably go in the second round next year. The dirty little secret of the NFL is that teams spend a lot more energy building guys up than they do picking them apart.



What if there was an all-time moment, like a walk-off grand slam to end a World Series or somebody hitting a full-court shot at the buzzer to win the NBA finals ... but it was in game four of a series sweep? Would it be replayed as often and likened to similar moments in non-blowout series, or would it be all like, “Yeah, Curry hit a buzzer-beater from Mars to win the series, but it was a sweep, so they’d eventually have won anyway”?


It would get incorporated into the All-Time Highlight Reel without context. That limping Kirk Gibson walkoff home run that everyone creams their jeans over? That happened in game ONE of the World Series. It didn’t even clinch a title. I mean, I know he was hurt, but his job was to stand there and pinch-hit a ball. No one was asking him to run a marathon or anything.

But it gets canonized, because BIG HIGHLIGHT is in constant need of fresh material, AND because title-winning shots are, in and of themselves, annoyingly rare. Every season should end on a last-second field goal or buzzer beater, and they don’t. I want my money back.


Anyway, you’re not gonna draw extra viewers to your Greatest Sports Highlights Ever special if it’s the same 30 old highlights over and over again. So some moments are subject to grade inflation. So long as they look dramatic, you can let time chip away at the finer details, like if it wasn’t a clinching game, or if the game was TIED at the moment (I give extra credit to plays that swing the lead instead of just breaking a tie), or if all the players on the field were on amphetamines at the time. All that shit falls away so they can show Gibson jacking a homer and fat fuck Tommy Lasorda rushing onto the field like a human meatball.


I was at a park one morning a while back, and I got McDonald’s drive-thru on my way there. After eating what I thought was all of what I ordered, I threw the bag in the trash. Maybe an hour or so later, I realized that I hadn’t eaten one of my breakfast burritos, and it was still in the bag, in the trash can. I didn’t go back and dig it out of the trash can, but should I have?


After an hour? No. The five-second rule applies, especially to a public trash can. For public trash cans, you can only fish out items if they’re double-bagged and you JUST threw that shit away. If there’s any chance a wino came along and made tomato diarrhea in the bin while you were away, you can’t go back. There is no worse feeling on Earth than reaching into the garbage and coming into contact with a moist object. Cut your losses and move on.

Also, if the public trash can in question has a very small aperture—like one of those round, can-sized holes on a recycling bin—then you can’t go reaching in. There’s too much danger of coming into contact with the rim. Horrible things reside along that rim: boogers, cum, egg yolks, etc. Not worth it.



Better hypothetical fruit: an apple with no core, or an orange with edible rind?

The orange. No contest. With an apple core, all I have to do stop eating to avoid it. That’s easy. But to avoid an orange peel, I gotta either peel it manually and get 50 pounds of rind under my fingernails, or cut the peel off with a knife. So much goddamn work. No wonder they sell peeled oranges at Whole Foods. All I wanted was an orange; instead, I got a sticky handful of mashed pulp to deal with. I bet my batting average on a perfectly peeled orange (no segments bleeding, no extra pith on top) is 5 percent. Fuck peeling oranges. I want my oranges pre-peeled, and I want the peels sliced, candied, and coated in dark chocolate. Not halfway-coated, either. Nothing worse than half-chocolate fruit.


Email of the week!


When I was in grade 11, I had to guard Steve Nash. He had transferred schools, so he was ineligible and on their B team, and therefore playing our shitty A team. He came into the game about six or eight minutes in, and I had to guard him. He took the inbounds pass near half court, and as my coach yelled at me to come out and check him, he dribbled twice, walked forward, and drained a shot from halfway between the three point line and half court.

Next possession he destroyed us on a long-rebound fast break. And on the next possession, he dribbled casually over half court, and as I had now stepped out about three or four feet beyond the three-point line, he again pulled up his dribble, and as I lunged towards him, shot from about the same range and hit.

Small sample size, blah blah blah, but I have no doubt he could have rained threes his whole career from there. If there was a predecessor to Curry from a shooting perspective, I believe it may have been Nash, and I wonder what kind of range he really had, and what others might have going forward if given the chance.


This is why we need to install the four-point half-court shot.

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

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