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Please Shame Me Into Not Using My Phone While I Pee

Illustration for article titled Please Shame Me Into Not Using My Phone While I Pee
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Your letters!


How important/self-important/arrogant do you need to be to use your cell phone at the urinal while taking a leak?


I’m gonna admit it now, because it’s the only way I’ll stop doing it: I check my phone mid-piss. I don’t take calls on it and openly yap while urinating, because that would be completely insane. But I have been guilty of checking Twitter and all that shit. I’ve done it at home, AND I’ve done it in public, which is unacceptable.

There are many, many, many reasons to not do this. First of all, you look like a prick. Second, it’s unsanitary. Third, you’ll drop your phone in the toilet (it’s a miracle that I haven’t already … real karmic backload there). Fourth, checking your phone while urinating is a sure sign you have some kind of digital addiction, seeing as you can’t pocket the thing for five seconds to perform a basic biological function. It’s one thing to check your phone while shitting. You’re gonna be there for a while. But for peeing? That’s a real warning sign.


One other thing: Using your phone while peeing can fuck with your bladder. It’s true! If I have a phone out while peeing, it takes longer to pee. Why? Well, because I’m in the bathroom, avoiding parenting duty, trying to milk my private time for all it’s worth. That signals to my brain to slow the flow of urine down to a crawl so that I can maximize the number of Goose Gossage takes I can read in one sitting. And that actively weakens my bladder muscles. I pee like a fucking 80-year-old now, and it’s because I am a shithead. Help me. Help me stop doing this. Shame me. Stop me before I forgo toilets altogether and just start hanging around all day in an adult diaper, checking my phone, urine steadily dripping out of me. I am everything wrong with 21st century America and I know it.


Can presidents swim in the ocean? Is the president going for a swim in the ocean the riskiest thing he can do, personal-danger-wise?

Obama HAS gone swimming in the ocean, but I assume that he is flanked, at all times, by a coterie of Secret Service agents in full Navy SEAL frog equipment, ready at all times to harpoon any shark that has an anarchist bent and wants to swallow the president whole. I bet the agents hate ocean duty, too. “Christ, he wants to go swimming today. I’m not getting home until at least 6:30, man.”

If I were president, I’d do all kinds of risky crap like jump out of airplanes and go big-wave surfing and eat expired hot dogs. And any time my advisors pleaded for me to be more cautious, I would scream at them, NO. I MUST BE STRONG FOR THE PEOPLE! This is how I will earn their adoration and then pass my global mayonnaise embargo.



I’m going to Disney World in a month with my wife and 4-year-old daughter. I have never been and have read that there are people EVERYWHERE—just mobs of fuckers. What is the best solution for getting people to stay away from me? Buy a stroller and put sharp objects all around it? Dress real shitty and dirty? Or act completely insane and just talk and yell at myself?


I have never taken my family to Disney World, because I value both my money and my sanity. However, I do know that you’re going at peak season, so you are fucked. There’s no escape. Even if you avoid all the big-name attractions in favor of the little kiddie rides, you’re fucked. You’re gonna retreat to some frozen-beet-pop stand in the bowels of the park just to find a moment of relative peace, and even that will have a line that goes 10 deep.

The only way to stave off crowds at Disney World is with MONEY. That’s the great scam of Disney World. You pay to get there, and then you pay a whole lot more to keep everyone there away from you. You pay extra for the express waiting lines (the existence of which is an act of war). You pay extra for a hotel close to the park that doesn’t require you to park or use some fucking shuttle service. You pay extra to sit in a nice restaurant instead of Goofy’s Fry Hall. And they’re so evil, they KNOW you’ll cough up the money out of sheer desperation. So do me a favor when you go: BURN IT. BURN IT ALL DOWN, I SAY.



If someone filthy rich person offered an outrageous sum (say, $100 million) to the next hitter to hit .400, would somebody do it? I am wondering if a really great hitter, like Bryce Harper, put all that bat speed into just hitting line drives, i.e. he NEVER tried to hit a home run, could he do it? He struck out 131 times last year. If he ditched the long ball and shortened his swing, could he eke out the 37 extra singles he needed to hit .400?


No, and I say that knowing full well that Harper increased his batting average by a whopping 57 points from 2014 to 2015 alone. And I know that when you hit for power—which is the correct strategy, because teams score more runs when you sock lots of cool dingers—you sacrifice SOME measure of control. And I know that Harper is the kind of insane prodigy who would need only 10 seconds to rework his swing to become a singles hitter and be good at it. And I know no one gives a shit about batting averages much anymore, so there’s little incentive to boost that stat UNLESS, as you propose, there’s a cool 100 million waiting for you.

I know all that, but still: hitting .400 is basically impossible. There’s a reason no one has done it in 75 years. Pitchers have become too good and too specialized. Fielders are too fast. The travel schedule is brutal. And media scrutiny for anyone who gets close to the number is insane. Also, players can’t take ’roids anymore, and that has had a big effect on pushing averages down. So I think Harper could take the offer and maybe flirt with .400, but never reach it.


This sucks because leagues SHOULD offer some kind of insane monetary reward for any superhuman statistical feat. They could offer a $20 million NFL league bonus to the first back to crack 2,500 yards. Sure, this would distort individual player incentives and create needless tension between running backs and play-callers, but still—2,500 yards! That would be pretty fucking sweet.


Would it be possible for a Mormon celebrity—or any celebrity of any religious affiliation, for that matter—to openly be a polygamist? I think it would be impossible, but I do find it strange that there are no celebrities in openly in relationships outside of the traditional two-person structure.


The official Mormon Church disavowed polygamy ages ago, so a Mormon celebrity with sister wives would essentially be declaring his ties to the Heaven’s Rhapsody Mormon sub-sect. That’s gonna hurt your chances of landing that coveted role in The Divergent Series: Contingent.

Of course, there are a ZILLION celebrities who have unorthodox relationship practices. They have polyamorous marriages, and open marriages, and BSDM triads, and four-ways with the llama, and they marry their fucking stepdaughters. The key is that you can’t actually TALK about any of this. No one in Hollywood talks about anything, because they’re all terrified of never working again. Take Mo’Nique, for example! Mo’Nique is in an open marriage. Also, in a potentially related development, Mo’Nique can’t find work. So no, you’re not gonna see Matt Damon pick up six new wives anytime soon.



What the fuck is up with kids’ socks? If it’s not hard enough matching one white sock with a 2-inch medium-ribbed ankle to an identical sock with a fine rib, now sock manufacturers are purposefully selling socks that comes in packs of a million with only one fucking match! One of my kids has socks that are left and right! What’s next? Serialized socks? I don’t get this. I swore with the third kid, I’d buy one brand and style of black sock and one white sock and stay true to brand. Yet here I am with a yellow body-glove sock, and a similar red, blue, orange and green match. Fuck.


Oh, I gave up on matching colors a long time ago. Just getting ANY two socks on a child is victory enough, because children never want to put them on, and so the task is left to me. And it doesn’t matter the size: putting a sock on a kid’s foot is like stuffing a sausage into toothpaste tube. It’s agony. Then you finally get the socks on, and the kid cries out, “NO!” And then you say, “Don’t you fucking do it ….” And then the child peels off the socks you just spent an hour putting on and flings them across the room. And then you murder the child in cold blood. Happens EVERY day in my house. The 3-year-old will only wear his fire truck socks. We only have one pair. If the dryer eats one of them, the world will end.

Thankfully, summer is coming, which means I get a few months off from children and socks. Instead, it’s kids wearing sandals in 90-degree heat. Ever smell a child’s foot? Don’t.



If Trump somehow wins the election, what’s the over/under on how long he makes it before the first impeachment trial starts? Six months?


With his party in charge of the Senate and House? Nah. He could behead your grandmother and they still wouldn’t have the sack to get rid of him. And it’s a shame, because I’ve spent my whole life hoping for Watergate 2. I wasn’t around for Nixon’s downfall. When do I get to watch a president burn? NOT FAIR!

I’m not alone on this. The reason people affix “-gate” to every scandal isn’t just because they lack imagination, but because they want the scandal to be BIG. Tossing “-gate” on there is a cheap way of communicating to people, “This could go all the way to the top!” And then it doesn’t go all the way to the top, and everyone gets mad because they overpromised on the scandal.


It’s funny, because you could find grounds to impeach pretty much ANY president in history. They’ve all conducted secret wars, or endorsed illegal investigations, or sent drones to kill puppies. All impeachable shit! And yet, the only near-impeachment of my lifetime came when a dude stuck his cigar in an intern’s hoo-ha. Democracy makes no sense at all.


I just moved into a new town this past week and haven’t met too many people yet. I ran into this dude in my apartment complex, and we got to chatting, and he eventually invited me over to his place for dinner with his wife. I’m a 23-year-old single guy, and none of my close friends are married. These are uncharted waters for me. What are the expectations for this get-together? Am I supposed to bring wine? A dish? A date?


Bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer. That’s the standard grownup thing to do. You bring over a bottle of wine you don’t want, and then they bring that same bottle to another dinner party, and on and on and on. FACT: No one has ever actually opened a bottle of Merlot. All the Merlot in existence just gets passed around from white person to white person.

Once you bring over the wine, they’ll gladly accept it, then serve you a nice meal, and then put on a John Legend album and get to the swinging. Sexy, awkward times await you.




Male gynecologists are perverts, right? Why else specialize in a part of the anatomy that you have no personal experience with?


If The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is to be believed (and it is!), then the answer is yes, they’re all pervs. HOWEVER, a lot of gynecologists also deliver babies, which I assume is the big draw. Your average doctor has to deal with people who are diseased and/or dying every day. It’s probably nice to practice a discipline where you get to preside over the happiest possible thing to occur inside a hospital, right? The only time people are happy in a hospital is when they’re having a baby, or getting drugs, or leaving. So if a male OB-GYN is not a perv, he likely just enjoys bringing life into the world, like a GOD. Nothing weird about that at all.

By the way, I checked the pay scales to see if OB-GYNs make more than your average doctor, and they don’t. That gift-of-life perk is gonna cost you. Turns out that spine surgeons make the most on average (bad news for me, because my spine is garbage). The lowest? Family medicine. Imagine treating screaming brats all day and being the lowest-paid doctor in town for it. It ain’t right. If I were a doctor, I’d be cracking open spines or reading x-rays. No old-person private parts or kiddie boogers for me.



Why do kids look so mature in old black and white photos? Check this one out: These “kids” look like they’re 35. Did boys turn into men faster 100 years ago?

Illustration for article titled Please Shame Me Into Not Using My Phone While I Pee

It’s the hair. Look at that fucking hair. Slick back anyone’s hair and they look 20 years older.


Also, I’m not immune to the idea that kids had to grow up faster back then. While Pa was out trading furs and harvesting whale oil, it was up to Young Junior to feed the chickens, milk the pigs, and make the 10-mile walk to the schoolhouse and back. Then it’s off to town to pick up a sack of corn meal for Ma, then back home to fill the grain silo before sundown and put the younger kids to bed. All of that will age a boy quickly. It’s not like today, with the kids chauffeured around in their Humvees and playing their iBoxes! WHATEVER HAPPENED TO REAL MEN, DAMMIT?!

The graininess of any old photo also makes people older than they look. If you look at some faded sepia photo, your brain automatically thinks, “That’s the past” and sees things accordingly. Looking at same photograph in full-color and perfect resolution would be a completely different experience. Take a look at this colorized photo of Teddy Roosevelt. Looks like a dude in 2016 who dressed up in a Teddy Roosevelt cosplay outfit. It’s too real! That’s one of the ways photography can mess with your head. It’s like witchcraft. We should outlaw it.



Say there was a female pitcher in the majors. Would it be acceptable to charge the mound if she was throwing at someone? Also suppose that she threw hard.


Oh, Christ. No? I guess the answer is no. Even if the girl pitcher was like, “I just wanna be treated like one of the guys!” and basebros were like, “Oh, I can charge a guy pitcher but not a girl? GOTTA HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!”, it’s still a bad idea. I think if Stephanie Strasburg starts headhunting, the right move is to turn around and kick the catcher. That way, you have your revenge, but no one can deem it problematic. Everyone wins! Except the catcher, who has suffered a concussion.


How much of yourself do you have to give up to be a good parent? My wife and I have two boys, ages two and almost four. They’re great kids, and I love having them. But the things I’ve given up in order to be a parent! Live sporting events, movies in theaters, game nights with friends, birdwatching outings (yes, really) ... all reduced to near zero. I read an article by a woman who raised three boys by herself, and her summation was basically, “I had to become selfless.” In other words, everything she did was for her kids. I respect that, and I have no idea how single parents survive. But is there a middle ground? Can a dedicated parent still have hobbies and interests? I’m struggling with that, and I really do not want to resent my kids.


You’re just gonna have to wait, because when the kids are really small (pre-elementary school), you’re fucked. You’re in the weeds for a good five to 10 years, and there’s not much you can do about it. For the time being, you just have to bargain with the wife for nights out and bring in grandma to babysit once a month or two so that you get a very small taste of what it’s like to have a life again.

But eventually, the kids get older and enjoy doing a lot of the things YOU enjoy, like watching movies and going to the beach (not sure about the bird-watching, though). That’s the payoff you get for investing all those early years changing poopy diapers and picking shit up off the floor. You’re just gonna have to be patient. I remember when I had small kids and watching the parents with older kids sit and have beers while the older kids took care of themselves, and I remember being like, “How do they get to just sit there? That’s bullshit! I WILL KILL YOU ALL.” But now I get to be the parent with self-sufficient kids, and it’s not so bad! Watch as I mix a cocktail as the children play in the basement! I’m like Superman.



Today I was helping a neighbor I’ve never met before (mid-20s, female) shovel out her car in the wake of the blizzard. We get to a little small talk about where we went to college, our jobs, etc., and out of nowhere she invites my wife & I to a Bible study at her house the very same day. I stammer and play the kid card (we have a couple toddlers), and she says “Oh, I’m sure you guys have babysitters!” I nervously chuckle and awkward finish the shoveling, and it wasn’t raised again. This was a clearly unreasonable (and slightly insane) request, right?


It’s fine to be up front and politely tell her that you aren’t religious. You don’t want to spend the next three years concocting various lies to cover up for your outright heathenism. Those people can SMELL Satan on you anyway. The longer you hide it, the more depraved she’ll think you are. She’ll buy a telescope and try to catch you in the act of sacrificing a live pig to the donkey god Krell.

So just be like, “Thanks for the offer, but we’re not religious. But let’s have brunch sometime!” (You are lying about the brunch.) Either she’ll accept it, or she’ll give you that patented brand of Minnesotan passive-aggression that evil “nice” people deploy (hence that babysitter line), or she’ll point a finger at you and command God to strike you down. If she does either of the latter two options, you’ll know for certain that you should keep away from her. And you’ll be justified in shunning her.


But on its face, it’s perfectly fine to invite people to church or whatever, if you do it without openly proselytizing. When I was at Michigan, I was eating at the food court once with another kid when this group of kids came up to us and were super nice and everything. Then they started talking about Jesus, and both of us got freaked out and ran away. In retrospect, I should have just been honest and told them I wasn’t interested instead of treating them like they wanted to wipe leprosy all over my face. OMG JESUS! GET IT OFF ME! GET IT OFF ME!


Okay, so a friend of mine had a baby and sent out this adorable announcement card, except they did that thing where they take the person’s initials, and the left and rightmost ones are little, and the middle one is big. They made it so that the initials read left to right (First name/Middle name/Last name), except that looks stupid, because now the middle name—which is the least important of the three and will probably never be used except on government docs and stuff—gets the most real estate. When you do one of those monograms where the middle letter is big, the last name belongs in the middle, right?


I think putting the last initial in the center is standard on monogrammed stuff, which means the letters are out of order, which is annoying. But that’s the price of doing business. As a card-carrying WASP who has spent time in Connecticut, I know the ins and outs of monogramming intimately. Here now is a list of acceptable things to have monogrammed:

* Towels

* Bathrobes

* Stationery

* Very small pillows

* Glassware

* Cufflinks

That’s it. That’s the list. If you walk around wearing a monogrammed golf shirt, I am legally allowed to kick you in the dick.



If you stick Steph Curry on any March Madness 16 seed, would they win the title?

No. TEAM GAME! The problem is that he’s still facing a 1 seed right off the bat, which potentially ruins his team’s chance of making a run. After that, Curry could probably drag a 16-seed to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 (as he did at Davidson), but then he’s going up against deep, big conference squads. Your average Cinderella team usually consists of one dynamite player surrounded by four random losers, so it’s not like the dynamic would be all that different. He could score 50 a game, and Austin Peay could still easily lose before making the Final Four.



Let’s say some Ivy League egghead comes out with a formula that he claims can predict the winner of the NCAAM tournament. Let’s say he nails it every single year. How long until the NCAA makes a major change to preserve their March Madness cash cow?


Yeah, but what could change could they make that this evil genius could not ALSO predict? The only solution is to kill him. The NCAA would hunt him down and then throw him in a river, where he would rest in peace next to whoever leaked the bracket the other day. They don’t like you fucking with their money.

Okay, we’ve got two big emails of the week this week. Here is one:


I’m eating my nightly Rice Krispies after putting the kids to bed. Somehow the bowl tips over towards me, and it all spills in my lap. So now I have a puddle of milk and Rice Krispies on my crotch on top of my pajama pants. A funnel effect starts to happen, and it all drains into the pee hole in my pants. So now I can see the milk draining, and I can feel it caressing my junk and continuing down my leg to the floor. I am frozen for about a minute or so, because I don’t know how to proceed. I finally get up, and the soggy Rice Krispies start falling on the floor, and I am shuffling to the bathroom and I feel more trickling and I am making a horrible mess. I take off my pants and try to dump it all in the toilet. There are Rice Krispies stuck to the outside AND inside of the crotch area of my pants. I finally finish cleaning up the kitchen floor and table, but my inner thighs are sticky from the milk, and I have to pick out soggy Rice Krispies from my pubes. I’m still hungry.


Poor bastard. Okay, now here is the other one.


Two years ago, my husband and I were on a cruise through the Mediterranean as part of an incentive trip with his company. Our itinerary included a two-night stay in Monaco, anchored offshore. Being that I am not a sightseeing kind of gal, we had arranged to rent road bikes in the nearby town of Menton, France, so we could ride for a few hours before our scheduled dinner that night. While waiting for the ship’s tender to bring us to shore, my husband notified me that he had to take a shit. I told him we would miss the boat if he left to go to the bathroom, but that we would find one before we got on the train.

Once on dry land, we walked through the city-state to the train station while decked out in our dorky bike spandex. Our troubles began when we got to the station and we couldn’t find a train to Menton or, more urgently, a bathroom for my husband. We were able to get seats on a public bus, which usually is about a 15-minute ride to our destination. However, it was a week before the Grand Prix, and many of the roads were closed, creating traffic jams throughout the country. Our 15-minute drive took three times longer than anticipated, and all the while my husband was starting to exhibit signs of a dire need to vacate his bowels—his face was sweaty and contorted with pain.

When we arrived in Menton, we got off at the wrong stop, about a half-mile short of the bike shop. By this time, about 90 minutes after he first notified me of his need to go, my husband was anally crowning and duck-walking while tightly squeezing his cheeks so as not to shit in his bike shorts. Luckily, we found a pay toilet not far from where we got off the bus. Visibly relieved, my husband put however many Euros needed to open the door to the toilet and entered, with the door closing automatically behind him. Not five seconds later he was poking his head outside:

Him: I don’t know how I’m supposed to do this.

Me: Uh, pull your shorts down, sit on the toilet and take a shit?

Him: No ... you have to come in here and see this.

He let me inside to show me why he was having difficulty with something he had been doing quite easily for 38 years.

Illustration for article titled Please Shame Me Into Not Using My Phone While I Pee

Him: I can’t go in that thing.

Me: I don’t think you have a choice.

Him: I just can’t leave a giant shit in this bowl. I can’t do it.

After failing to convince him to “just go, man,” we left the toilet and gingerly walked the agonizing half-mile to the tiny bike shop, where my husband was finally able to take his dump. We quickly got on our rented bikes and rode away, embarrassed by the horrible stench and massive skid marks left behind.

We are returning to Europe in a few weeks for another incentive trip, which brings me to the purpose of my letter. If we come across another pay-to-pee bathroom, how does one take a shit in that toilet?


Your guess is as good as mine. Never shit abroad.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He’s also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter@drewmagary and email him at You can also pre-order Drew’s second novel, The Hike, through here.


Lead image by Sam Woolley.

Adequate Man is Deadspin’s self-improvement blog, dedicated to making you just good enough at everything. Suggestions for future topics are welcome below.


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