Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Lamp Switches, Ranked

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

Before we get into the Funbag, I must note that the parade of tiresome book-flogging continues next month at New York Comic Con. On 10/6 at 10:45am, the Penguin booth at the Con will be giving away 30 copies of The Hike for free. And then there’s a panel and another signing later that day. So put on your interpretative steampunk Mr. Freeze costume and join me for some hot nerd action.


Also, the Deadcast IS coming back shortly, along with a lot of other cool broadcast treats. So if you missed Marchman’s shitty takes (the man eats spinach salad while high, people), they’ll be back in your life soon enough.

Your letters:

Ron Artistic Integrity:

What’s the best type of lamp on/off mechanism? My rankings go something like this:

1. Pull chain (like at an old library)

2. Push notch one way for “on” and back the other way for “off”

3. Foot stomp button

4. See-saw type switch

5. Rounded cylinder button (used solely in budget hotels)

23: The suction cup type that you push (would be higher if bulbs lasted longer than 2 days)

45. The clapper (if this is actually real)

97. Twisty knob you have to click twice for on, then twice again for off (this knob is on the other side of the lamp 98% of the time no matter where you are standing/sitting)

98. Knob that looks exactly like the cylinder button at a hotel, except it turns out you have to twist it twice.


My number one is a light switch. If there’s a lamp in the room, it better be connected to a light switch so that I don‘t have to reaching under the goddamn shade in a futile search to find the on/off mechanism. I have wasted hours of life standing inside a darkened hotel room, searching in vain for a way to illuminate the room while my self-esteem and youthful vigor both plummet on an accelerated downward curve. You listen to me, hotels: make it easier to find the light switch. And don’t do that thing where I gotta stick my key in the panel so that the room has power (this is a thing they do now to help conserve energy). I never figure that out until I’ve called down to the front desk like a crazy person.

So light switch is No. 1. Here are my rankings after that:

2. Pull chain. Pull chains are awesome because I feel like I’m inside a game of Clue.

3. Seesaw switch at the base of the lamp. Oh, look! It’s a sensibly located switch that’s easy to operate. No wonder it’s found on .00001% of all lamps.

4. Foot stomp. The bigger the button, the better. Ideally, the lamp should be powered by a bass drum pedal.


5. Dial switch located on the cord. This always takes a second to locate because the cord usually snakes behind a table or nightstand, hiding the switch from view. BY GOD WHERE IS IT?! I HAVEN’T GONE MAD, HAVE I?!

6. Push-button switch at the base of the lamp. Do I always twist this first before realizing I’m supposed to push it? Why, yes. Yes, I do.


7. Notch in the socket that you push back and forth. In order to push that little notch, I need leverage. And they only way to create that leverage is by pressing your hand against a white hot socket. You see the design flaw?

8. Standard black knob in the socket. This is the default switch on every lamp, and it’s the fucking worst. Fuck these knobs. Not only are they faulty 90 percent of the time, but I usually fail to realize it only after the knob has stripped off my fingerprints. I hate these knobs. Burn these knobs. Why do we even HAVE lamps, huh? This isn’t 1924. We have recessed lighting now. Get these lamps out of my fucking face.



It is okay to call a piece of classical music a song? Did Mozart compose songs?

No. Mozart composed symphonies (each one basically like an album), with smaller movements to act as the “songs”. But you’re not gonna cue up some Beethoven for dinner and say to your date, “This is one of my favorite movements.” She’ll think you’re about to shit on your dinner plate if you do. So just call it a “part” or a “track” instead.


By the way, I ranked music genres here a couple years back and, to this day, the entire staff hates my guts for the way I arranged everything. But I only have one regret about that post, which is that I didn’t put classical music No. 1. Classical music is for film scores and old people, but it’s still the sound of mankind putting its best foot forward. When I’m shit drunk and listening to Beethoven’s 7th, I know damn well I’m listening to the GOAT. Classical music is awesome. We need more 21st century composers. Billy Joel doesn’t count.


I live in a house with three other college-aged men. The biggest problem we have encountered is naming the house we live in. Now I have run into some funny names like “Fuckingham Palace” but some bad ones too like “Porch House.” We aren’t creative enough to effectively name a stupid mixture of wood, plaster, asbestos and black mold. Why is this such a big deal?


You should only name your house if you’re a kid with a treehouse, a male age 18-25, or a billionaire age 55-90. That’s it. That’s the full list of people who can name their place. For the rest of us, “my house” is sufficient. I have not named my house “The Glades,” or “The Metropolitan Museum Of Fart,” and have no plans to.

When I was in my early 20s, I spent a weekend at the Jersey Shore with an old friend and some lifeguard friends of his, and they lived in an apartment they dubbed the Pleasure Dome, or “P-Dome” for short. And I thought that was so, so badass, even though it was just your standard, shitty beachside rental apartment. For a horny 20-something like me, the name of the place gave it PRESTIGE. It made it sound like there was lots of sex going on! “Guys, we’ll pre-game at the P-Dome, then hit up the Parker House to bring some ladies BACK to the P-Dome! All right! HIGH FIVE!” One day, I will return to the P-Dome. MARK MY WORDS.


Anyway, I think your best move is to name your house after a fancy hotel: The Four Seasons, The W, etc. That way, you get lots of irony mileage out of living in a shithole, plus you really CAN sucker people into thinking you live somewhere cooler than you actually do. WE GOT A QUARTER-BARREL BACK AT THE FOUR SEASONS YO. Very exclusive party.


If you were a retired legendary athlete, would you rather have your team retire your number knowing that no one else would ever sully the digit you made famous? Or would you want the team to reserve the number until you deem a current player worthy of wearing it? I think if I were an egomaniac pro athlete I couldn’t resist the opportunity to lord it over everyone and say things like “Well, I know Jimmy Touchdown is having a great season but I’m just not sure he’s shown the grit, heart and determination to wear number 69 for this team”.


No, I want the jersey retired. I want immortality. You ever see an athlete at a jersey retirement ceremony? They’re AGLOW. The team literally lords your jersey over everyone! You feel like a GOD. Sure, you’re a decrepit old man who will never again get to experience the joy of competition, and the delusion of immortality is all you have to left to hold onto. It’s so pathetic and sad. But still! It’s pretty nice to have your life commemorated by an impersonal number stitched onto a piece of cloth. Even if Jimmy Touchdown comes along and breaks all my team records and renders me obsolete, he still doesn’t get my number. I can never be replaced. Plus I can just say that Jimmy’s numbers were better only because they pussified the modern game. IN OUR DAY YOU GOT AN ELBOW TO FACE ON EVERY PASS AND WE LOVED IT THAT WAY.

I have to think there are a lot of teams out there that regret retiring jersey numbers. The Kansas City Chiefs have retired NINE numbers. That’s a shitload of numbers. I bet Lamar Hunt Jr. is already planning to unretire half of those, starting with all the non-neck injury victims. Smart teams do a Ring of Honor instead.



If Tebow was a comparably successful quarterback to Russell Wilson, which of the two would be considered fundamentally less cool? I think still Tebow, but not by a wide margin.


I think it would be Wilson. The main reason Tebow is uncool is because of the strange hype machine around him, including Skip Bayless etc. On his own, Tebow seems like a perfectly nice fellow. The Tebowing is a bit much, but even that’s pretty benign.

But everything annoying about Russell Wilson comes FROM Russell Wilson. He’s the one serenading his wife online and all that shit like a gross fraud. He doesn’t need a cult around him to be insufferable. If Tebow had Wilson’s resume, you’d hate him more because his big stupid face would be on SportsCenter every waking minute. But I don’t think you’d see him Instagramming about his getting a blowie on his Engagement Day or anything. That’s a Russ move. Does that make sense? He would be lamer, and Tebow would be more hateable.


By the way, this will never happen, but I really do think it would be fun if Tebow’s baseball stunt worked and he started smacking 40 dingers a season in the name of the Lord. I don’t think I could possibly enjoy hating an athlete more if that happened. It would be fun!


So the wife is out of town this weekend and that means I get to have one of my favorite dishes for dinner: corned-beef hash. And no, I don’t mean some delicate, Emerald Isle-inspired, traditional family recipe. I’m talking Hormel straight out of the can. I love this stuff. But every time I open a can of it and gaze at its mushy contents, the hardcore truth always hits me: this shit is literally dog food marketed to people. And the thing is, I still don’t care. If anything, it makes me feel even more MANLY knowing the main ingredient of my meal is a substance that probably shouldn’t be intended for human consumption. I will proudly eat my Alpo sandwich in front of anyone. Anyway, it got me thinking: is there a food you absolutely love to eat that the mere thought of would make other people probably vomit?


Yeah I like eating food right of the can like I’m living in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max wasteland. Especially cheap anchovies. Before I put them on my pizza, I’ll pluck a few out of the can and drop them in them in my mouth like a cave beast. Not only is it delicious, but the look on my kid’s face is PRICELESS. Here are some other disgusting things to eat:

  • The rest of the dipping sauce that comes with any dumpling order. You know how there’s always a bit left in the cup, and it has stray dumpling bits in it? I drink that straight.
  • Steak fat. Foodies have made blobs of fat hip to eat, but there are still lots of people out there who leave the fat on their plate. Which means MORE BLUBBER FOR DADDY. My wife gets up to clear her plate of fat and I go the full Spaulding Smails. “Whoa hey, where do you think you’re going with that, lady?”
  • Shrimp tails. GOOD TEXTURE! Every time we eat fried shrimp, I eat the tails and then my wife looks over at my clean plate, wondering where the tails went for just a second before the horrifying realization sinks in.
  • Liverwurst. You can get a pound of sliced liverwurst at the deli counter for, like, five cents. It’s like pâté, only made of rectums! Delicious.

I’ve also gotten to the point where I prefer the shitty store-brand salami to fancy salami. You know that shit that’s been aged in red wine for a year and then sold wrapper in a tasteful butcher paper label? Fuck that. Gimme the rectum salami that’s $3 a pound.



What percentage of Americans do you think have actually read the Constitution, like really read it? I mean, I have probably read the whole thing in bits and pieces, but as whole unified document, I’m not sure.


I think it’s probably somewhere in the area of five percent, because you have lots of students who were forced to read it (but not retain much of it), Constitutional lawyers who will corner you at any dinner party to explain why they hold the document SACRED, and stray yahoos who have pored over the document strictly so they can have takes. “Read up on your Constitution before you try to derail the #TrumpTrain, sir!”

I know I sure as hell haven’t read it all. Back in school, they made us memorize the preamble, but that was about it. But hey, this is an Election Year and I am a CONCERNED CITIZEN, so for the sake of this question, I decided to start reading it over here to see how far I got before having my eyes glaze over. I made it to Article I, Section 7.


Keep in mind that, as legal documents go, the Constitution is actually pretty concise. There’s a lot of ground to cover in it, so they dispense with the bullshit and get to the “What if we have to impeach someone?” scenario with relative speed, which I appreciate. But it’s still pretty dry reading, and it turns out that I know most of this shit already thanks to movies and TV. Pretty proud of myself, frankly. I should break into the national archives and scrawl NAWT NEWS across the original parchment.


What if basketball overtime was more like the college football overtime? Team 1 gets a possession and then Team 2 gets a possession to match or do better than Team 1 did, and just continue to go back and forth until a team loses?


It’s too fast. If the first team misses a shot and then the next team gets a garbage foul call, with two free throws for a chance to end it, is that fair? I’d be livid, mostly because somehow Duke would win in that scenario 100 percent of the time. Basketball overtime is fine as is because the format is long enough to be fair, but short enough to keep things tense (unless some team goes on a run right at the start and effectively puts the game away. I hate that. If you make two straight shots in overtime, the basket should then be covered with a tarp until the other team catches up and I can remain emotionally invested).


Am I allowed to say “I’m going for a run,” “I like running,” etc. even if my speed is more like a jog? I have a neighbor who runs at full speed down the sidewalk every morning like he’s being chased by a mountain lion. Does that guy get to roll his eyes at me if I say I’m a runner?


No. If you’re jogging, you’re running. The only way it counts as a jog is if you’re wearing leg warmers and it’s the year 1988. We’re past “jogging” now. There is only sprinting, running, and LIGHT running. And even if you’re running way slow, you’re still allowed to wear sweat-wicking shorts, crank up the tunes, and pretend you’re in a Nike ad training montage. If your neighbor has any problem with that, you’re legally allowed to snip his Achilles tendon with a pair of poultry shears. Jogging is dead. NO ONE DENIES THIS.

By the way, nothing beats breaking into a dead sprint in the middle of a light run just to impress strangers passing by. One second you’re just an Average Joe running along, and then you TURN ON THE MOTOR and leave everyone in your dust. It lets everyone know you’re hardcore. “Who is that hard sprinting fella? The CIA should recruit that blur of a man!”



If an NFL player got a realistic tattoo of a football on his forearms so that if he held his arm a certain way it looked like he was holding a football, fake handoffs to him would work better. Would that be legal? What would happen if a team in the Super Bowl came out at halftime with footballs painted on every player’s arms?


Not a chance. In fact, I checked the official NFL rulebook—aka the REAL US Constitution—and Article 4, Item 7 clearly bans “Headgear or any other equipment or apparel which, in the opinion of the Referee, may confuse an opponent because of its similarity in color to that of the game football. If such color is worn, it must be broken by stripes or other patterns of sharply contrasting color or colors.” So if Bill Belichick signed Tattoo Guy (I’m just naturally assuming that Belichick would be the coach to try this), the ref has the discretion to order his tattoo covered with long sleeves or a neoprene brace of some kind. Please note that this is only the case if the referee in question is NOT Jeff Triplette. If it’s Jeff Triplette working the game, the tattoo stays and the other team gets flagged for having an invisible dog in the huddle.

By the way, no team would ever have the nerve to pull a stunt like this, because they’d be branded as Bush League, and that label sticks with you forever. It’s a damning as having an entire sorority label you as “creepy” (Believe me, I know!). You don’t want to be thought of as a bush league shitbag who has to resort to cheap gimmicks because you can’t win fair and square. Well, I mean, unless you’re Draymond Green.



On Monday, here in NYC, a man walked into a bank, passed a note to the teller demanding money, the teller complied, and the man fled having successfully robbed multiple banks in the city since March. How does this plan still work in 2016? All bank tellers have a wall of bullet proof glass protecting them. And he’s never shown that he has a weapon. All the police reports read the same: Man walks into bank, passes a note, teller gives him money, he leaves. Sometimes he says he has a weapon.


I should note that, since Ian sent this email, they captured this bank robber. The best part about this string of robberies is that the man disguised himself simply by using a new hat each time (or no hat, in one instance). And it worked for a while! That’s awesome. I think we can all learn a thing or two from this mastermind.

Anyway, I assume that tellers are trained to LET you rob the bank, specifically because they already have so many security measures in place to catch him after the fact. If I can give you the money without you pulling a gun and endangering others, knowing that you’re leaving a surveillance trail a mile long once you’re out the door, then that’s what I’ll do. That’s much smarter than leaping over the partition and doing some karate shit, or trying to discreetly press the alarm button (robbers TOTALLY know you have an alarm button).


By the way, I fully support any bank robber who uses the Danny Ocean method of robbing a bank. This charming rogue just wanted some cash! He didn’t hurt anyone! I say we let him go and then fly with him to the French Riviera. Teach us, sir. Teach us the ways of your daring craft.


Do you pester your kids to cover their mouths when they yawn? When I was growing up, my mom routinely nagged at me to cover my mouth while yawning. But now, as an adult, I notice that literally no one (including my mom) covers their mouths when they yawn. So now I get to feel annoyed every time a coworker sits there with their big gaping mouth hole across from me during a meeting, even though this is probably just some shit my mom made up and isn’t even real etiquette.


Yeah I never cover my mouth when I yawn. The only reason to do that is if you subscribe to the idea that yawning is rude. And I think that’s become a pretty old-fashioned viewpoint. Nowadays, if someone yawns around me, I’m more apt to be concerned than offended. “Oh wow, you just yawned at 11 a.m. Are you okay? Did you get enough sleep? Are you under the weather? Is something going around? Do you need fluids? Is it cancer? It may be cancer.” I don’t stick my finger in their chest and bellow, “AM I BORING YOU?” Sometimes people yawn. It shouldn’t be a faux pas unless you’re in a job interview and you’re making wank-wank motions at the new boss WHILE yawning. Then you’ve gone over the line.

By the way, nothing beats yawning on a Sunday. Like if I’m just chilling in a recliner with a blanket on me, I’ll yawn to get the full nappy time effect. I feel so relaxed! It’s a nice moment, especially during the first quarter of the late NFL games. I am declaring my napping intentions.


Email of the week!


It was the late 90's and my buddies and I went to a house party in all our bucket-hatted, cargo-panted glory. The house was way too small for the amount of people there, so the dance floor in the tiny living room was jam packed. Further limiting valuable space was a full DJ booth complete with gigantic speakers and a milk crate table. (White suburban kids, myself included, were obsessed with hip-hop. We were posers of the worst kind at the time).

My 18-year-old self was quite farty that night. I’d moved out by then, and survived completely on beer and microwaved burritos. Throughout the night I’d been ripping fart after fart in complete anonymity due to the close quarters on the dance floor. They got progressively worse, causing the entire mass of party people to shift and divide in disgust each time my ass laid waste to their collective senses. To my delight, others got blamed, arguments started, and any chance of sexual chemistry was smothered under a blanket of mystery stench. It eventually culminated with a flatus so offensive, that the DJ stopped the record and asked through his mic: “WHO KEEPS FARTING!!??” Of course, nobody could blame it on anyone. Who would ever admit to unleashing such game-killing farts upon a hoard of horny teenagers?

I stumbled out of that party later on still grinning with my hideous secret intact. That fart is still in a tier all its own when compared to the rest of my life achievements.


As well it should be. Bravo, sir.

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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