Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re talking about aliens, pizza, headphones, the NBA, and more.
Before we get into the Funbag, I wanna talk about pizza, specifically this tweet I sent out while I was less than sober:
I’m not here to apologize for this tweet. I stand by my awful diagram because I get overly excited for very fat slices of pizza and very skinny slices of pizza, at different times and for different reasons. Like any grown man, I love grabbing the biggest slice of pizza possible. THE ALPHA SLICE. I then like to fold that alpha slice New York-style and jam it all into my face, burning every last square inch of oral tissue in the process and permanently drenching my shirt in orange grease. It is my happy moment.
But then, as I gradually stuff myself, I also like to grab crazy skinny pieces. Sometimes I dangle them over my mouth and then lower them down, like a fish being lowered into a shark tank. And the best part is that I can be like, “Oh, I’ll have one more little slice,” and repeat that process ten times until the pie is all but gone. I know this kind of slicing arrangement could lead to fights between grown adults. But if I were cutting a pizza just for ME? This is what I would do. Medium-sized slices are for wishy-washy losers.
Also, I believe that every restaurant should offer three sizes of pizza: small, medium, and large. Those hoity-toity Italian restaurants that only make 10” personal pizzas? Fuck you. Make it bigger. I have needs. One enormous, strangely cut bacon pizza for me; one miniscule cheese pizza for all my needy children. Come at my take at your peril. And don’t tell me square cuts are better. Square cuts blow. I will slap you with a hammer.
Okay! Time for your letters:
Should pro sports leagues have a hard cap on how many people are in the Hall Of Fame? Like imagine if the NBA HOF had 100 players, and every year after the results are announced the former-HOFers that were kicked out to make room for the new class are interviewed to see their reaction to the world deciding, “You know what? It turns out you weren’t that good after all.” I’d watch it.
I would also watch this. This first group of guys I would purge are the old timers who get in only because they’ve played a lot of golf with the Senior Committee. Like Tommy McDonald? I don’t think so. Sorry Tommy, but I’ll be stripping you of your immortality now. You would absolutely fucking lit up if you were playing across from Xavien Howard. Go nurse your wounded pride with a tall glass of iced tea.
For real though, as much as I enjoy seeing famous athletes humiliated, I remain fundamentally opposed to Halls of Fame being so restrictive, especially since it’s just a bunch of old fart writers keeping sentry over the entire process. Art Monk would get booted from the Hall of Fame roughly six seconds after he got inducted. And while I would pay to see the look on Skins’ fans’ faces if that ever happened, it’s not really fair. The point of a Hall of Fame is to preserve history and to get fans to come through the turnstiles. The more shit in there, the better. It’s already cruel enough that history continues to grow while the collective memory does not. Even the most prominent moments and prominent players can fade away, and what’s left remembered isn’t necessarily the most important shit.
It’s altogether possible that, two generations from now, most NFL fans won’t know or care that, like, Terrell Davis was a great player. The point of the Hall of Fame isn’t to accommodate that slow erosion of history. It’s to hector those little rugrats about obscure old players so they know who used to be awesome back in the day. We must educate our youth by boring them to fucking death with grainy clips of Terrell Davis scoring touchdowns. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
I’ve noticed in the past year or so that the younger bros at my gym are all wearing and doing cardio with over ear Beats/Bose etc headphones. This can’t possibly be safe, comfortable or sanitary, can it? What the hell is wrong with these people?
I think guys do this because ear buds tend to fall out, and because gyms are constantly getting louder, with assholes making phone calls from the treadmill and spin classes jacking the Imagine Dragons up to 150db. We’re all gonna go deaf in our attempts to tune out one another, and I look forward to that day.
So I get why dudes would work out using over-the-ear headphones. I think it’s batshit crazy to sweat all over a pair of cans you paid $300 for, but I also understand that the average guy listens to music more intensely while working out than at any other time of day, so sound quality is important. Also, it’s not like ear buds are sanitary. I use ear buds when I work out and I am alternately fascinated and appalled by the detritus those little fuckers can pick up. I think there’s shale in my ear canal.
If you have sweaty ears as I do, you know that finding good workout headphones is a lifelong struggle. When I was a kid, my Walkman came with a pair of cheap, flat, over-the-ear headphones with little sponge covers that would wear out after six days and leave you with a piece of plastic shrapnel digging into your ears. Then they came out with sport headphones that came on a headband but dug right into your ears, so that they stayed relatively stable. I used to turn them upside down and let the headband hang under my chin, because that felt more comfortable. Now there are earbuds, and custom Bluetooth headphones that cost $900 and look like a tracking device from a Bourne movie. I haven’t really found the holy grail of workout headphones, and I doubt I ever will. So if some bro wants to soil his Skullcandy Aviators next to me, that’s fine. So long as I don’t have to hear his shitty music, I’m cool with it.
With the injuries to Golden State and the newly formed Cavaliers not always playing at a Championship Level, is the NBA honey-potting us into believing that the Playoffs matter this year and we are not going to end up with the same fucking matchup?
Why, yes. Yes, they are. I watched James Harden’s last playoff game. I’m no fool. The less closely I follow a sport, the hotter my takes become. Therefore, James Harden is NOT clutch, the Rockets will eat shit because they are a SOFT finesse team, and the Warriors will drag themselves back into the Finals because they have the HEART OF A CHAMPION.
As for the East, I still refuse to acknowledge that the Toronto Raptors are an ongoing basketball concern. Like I would pick THAT team to beat LeBron. Come on now. LeBron could be surrounded by literally four kindergarteners (like three years ago!) and I’m still picking the Cavs to cruise through the basketball AFC. Frankly, it’s for the best if we get the same goddamn matchup we always get. I wanna appreciate LeBron for as long as he’s around, and I enjoy watching him try to beat a clearly superior team in the Finals every year when the rest of his team usually has three functioning ankles between them. I know I usually pine for fresh blood in the NBA, but if that means cheering for the Sixers, I’d rather cram a shovel up my ass. Philly fans are getting too big for their Zubaz right now.
I’m 35, with two kids. I’m at the point where I have to start taking measures to not just randomly die. I eat like garbage and drink way too heavily. Aside from diet and exercise (I just joined a gym), what else do I have to do to maintain this temple? Facewash?
You have to stretch, which is fucking awful. I hate stretching. Five seconds into any stretch, I think to myself I AM BORED I AM BORED I AM BORED I AM BORED. I lack the work ethic to count that high. But you really have to do it to keep the mystery pains down, because those pains are very real and happen without warning. You’ll be eating a sandwich a suddenly your shoulder is like HEY GUESS WHAT, SKIPPY? I’M ON FIRE NOW. It’s the worst. Some basic stretching and yoga goes a long way.
Also, to mitigate the drinking and gluttony, I will again recommend you take Citrucel, which is ostensibly for old people but will make you shit perfect loaves nearly every time. I have the precision of a French baker. It’s my only source of personal pride. You could also quit drinking, but… well yeah, that’s probably not happening. Sometimes I get bored of drinking, and then I take a couple days off, and then I think to myself, “Hey, you know what would be exciting? DRINKING.” Asking a man to live sober in 2018 America is a LOT to ask.
There is also the matter of taking care of your brain, which is no small task when the world is about to fucking die. There are billion dollar industries dedicated to mental self-care, but a lot of that is Tony Robbins-style snake oil shitbaggery. I would just try to engage in very basic, calming activities that will chill you out and not make you toss a 9-iron into a ravine. That means shit like reading, doing crossword puzzles, walking, napping, even light mediation. All of those activities will make you an honorary old fart, but that’s unavoidable regardless. Ten years from now, I will absolutely wake up at 6 a.m. to do laps around a mall, and it’ll basically be the only thing that keeps me from having a triple stroke.
I’m 28 and been married two weeks. I’m perfectly fine with being tech support for my wife’s stuff. Her work computer (a laptop) wasn’t connecting to her monitor so via text message from my own job, I Googled around and told her to press Fn and F6 and it fixed the problem. Now my wife tells her co-workers I’m some kind of computer genius. Now I’m solving all of her co-workers computer problems, remotely, via text via my wife. Am I wrong to be frustrated by this? (They do have an IT guy but I don’t know where he is).
Yeah, you’re not the IT guy. It’s not your job to troubleshoot computer issues from a bunch of puds you don’t even know. I’m like any guy in that I revel in being a tech hero and blowing away my wife’s friends by turning off their phones and turning them back on again. It’s nice to have your wife publicly fawn over you. “Look at my amazing husband! He fixes things AND he doesn’t take his dick out in front of strangers!” I’ll deploy my best expert voice whenever I’m asked to un-brick a phone. “A reboot helps clear the system. You can also clear what is known in our parlance as your ‘cache,’ but that’s a very advanced operation. Now, let’s talk about cookies, and no I don’t mean the food HAHAHA!”
But there’s a reason IT guys are usually surly, and it’s because users are fucking ungrateful morons. They break their shit and don’t bother to do any kind of cursory research as to why a computer is broken, or how to fix it. Go ahead and double that frustration if the person you’re assisting happens to be one of your parents. Most of the time, all you have to do is Google to get the answer you need. So no, you shouldn’t be on call for the rest of your wife’s company. Your magical talents are for her and her alone. Heed the advice of the Joker and tell those goobers to pony up if they want you to do a system restore and ignore all the breastfeeding porn they’ve got on the hard drive.
What is your favorite food item to slice, dice, chop, mince, etc.? I really enjoy slicing mushrooms. I can mow through a dozen mushrooms in about twenty seconds and it makes me feel like Iron Chef Morimoto. I relish this moment. Green onions/scallions, cabbage, and iceberg lettuce is fun, too. Could we get a ranking?
I assume we’re only talking about food prep, which means that a cooked steak is out. This is a shame, because my whole life consists of me waiting for my next chance to carve a piece of beef. When you cut through a strip steak and that bad boy is fatty and juicy and JUST the right shade of pink… FUCK YEAH that is the best.
I’m sorry, where were we? RIGHT. Your mise en place. Anyway, as someone who hates chopping and would prefer to get right to the grilling/searing/braising/frying part, I prioritize chopping things that are easy and fun to cut through. Round shit, like onions and garlic cloves, suck. Ditto anything that makes a goddamn mess, like fresh herbs. As much as I enjoy reducing a head of parsley into mush with my knife, half that shit ends up on the kitchen floor. Lastly, I don’t wanna chop anything so unwieldy that I’m at risk of losing a thumb. This is why you should avoid chopping butternut squash at all costs.
So what does that leave us with? Here is an unranked listicle:
•Iceberg Lettuce/Cabbage. Like cutting into a human head!
•Celery. Celery is arguably our least exciting vegetable, but cutting it is a BLAST. You can slice right down the rib and dice that fucker like a pro. And it makes that nice crunching sound, like you’re sawing through an actual rib. Fantastic. I could dice a celery heart for fun and then just throw it away.
•Mushrooms. As Terry said, mushrooms give way easily. It’s like piercing a heart. I love it. That’s what that mushroom gets for being a filthy, damp parasite.
•Ham. I’ll add ham to anything—soups, salads, cakes—because it’s easy to chop up, and because I get to eat half of the meat while chopping it up. Everyone wins.
•Red Peppers. Like celery, there’s a highly satisfying crunch to cutting through a pepper that makes me feel like a mafia hitman. Also, I can snack on red peppers without feeling a like a fat tub of shit. It’s not the BEST snack, but it’s something inoffensive I can cram into my face to keep myself occupied.
•Scallions/Chives. Chopping any long vegetable means I can keep my hand far away from the blade, which is constantly craving my human flesh. “Come closer,” it cries out to me, “Just let me slice off one little fingertip. You won’t miss it!”
Also, our own David Roth cuts scallions on an angle, so that they look all fancy. Changed my whole worldview when I saw him do it. “Oh wow, those scallions look NICE!”
•Cheese. I love it when I slice a piece of cheese jussst right, when the knife doesn’t slip off the block and I’m left with a paper-thin sheet of extra sharp cheddar that you can see through. It melts right on your tongue! MAGIC.
•Oranges. I just cut them into peewee game wedges now. I’m too lazy to peel them.
•Watermelon. Cutting watermelon actually sucks. It’s big and unwieldy and leaks all over the goddamn counter. However, I do enjoy plunging a big knife into that thing, like it’s Tommy Lee Jones’s head at the end of Under Siege. Also, slicing through the flesh of the watermelon is easy and makes that cool, gushy watermelon sound. And at the end, you’ve got watermelon. That’s a good prize for all that effort.
Can someone change their sneeze? I have a person at work with a loud, bizarre sounding sneeze and I’d like them to tone it down a bit. I don’t want to hate this person but I have to if this daily scream-sneezing continues.
I don’t know if you can change a sneeze, and I don’t support holding a sneeze in so that your face blows apart. But you CAN muffle a sneeze. I’m right in the middle of a hay fever extravaganza and my sneezes sound like someone set off a cannon nearby. Also, I go on runs of sneezes. It’s never just one. It’s usually three or four, and by the fourth one people around me are both surprised and fed up.
But I do make the effort to sneeze into my elbow. Sometimes I even leave the room, like I’m fleeing a ticking bomb I just activated. I do my best to mitigate the secondhand horror. If your co-worker isn’t making this kind of effort, you’re legally allowed to murder them. I looked it up. It’s state law and everything. You can go right after them with a scythe and/or halberd.
What’s the best way to pass the time alone at a bar (aside from the drinking)? I travel solo for work quite a bit and often stop in for a couple drinks or dinner at whatever local place looks interesting. Assuming there’s no game, I usually bring a book. Am I a nerdalinger or is it acceptable to read while knocking back a few?
Nah that’s fine. I think it beats dicking around with your phone, which is the default activity if you’re drinking or dining alone, but it isn’t terribly fulfilling. I wish I would remember to tote a book around when I’m stuck somewhere on business with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. It would keep me busy and boost my self esteem a whopping 2 percent. Plus, you get to look learned! Everyone will pass by and say, “Who is that FASCINATING man who ventured from his abode to read Hemingway in public? He must be some sort of beloved professor.” That’s good shit. I always yearn to be the MVP of other people’s people-watching endeavors. I’m gonna buy a first edition of Moby Dick at auction and just put it on my table at Bonchon so that people can tell I’m a fancy pants.
So in the classic alien contact scenario, when they say “take me to your leader,” it’s implied that you’d bring them to the President, right? That’s obviously not an option these days, so who would you refer them to instead? Your local mayor/governor? A competent world leader (i.e. Trudeau or Merkel)? Just pretend Obama is still president?
No, I’m taking them directly to Trump. “Oh, is that a galactic brain ray you’re carrying, Morphuxx? Let me get you to our President right away. You’re gonna LOVE him.” I would escort him to Trump and then pray that the alien enslavement happens quickly and without a struggle.
There’s no point in hiding the aliens from Trump. He would find out about them from Infowars anyway, then he’d send ICE to arrest them and indefinitely detain them in alien prison. Then he’d be like, “We’re gonna look into these aliens, believe me. We are gonna look VERY VERY strongly into what the aliens are doing and what they want.” And then he’d go eat a fucking hot dog or something. There is nothing good in this universe that Trump can’t turn to shit, so I’d rather just be open about the aliens and hope they can overthrow him using their powerful SPACE CRYSTALS.
Also, I like Obama fine, but if you bring the aliens to him he’ll just be like, “We need a bipartisan agreement on how to work with the aliens. Let’s see what the Republicans think!” And then Mitch McConnell would shoot the boss alien dead.
What is your position on the “modern” remix versions of Disney songs by contemporary artists included at the end of each soundtrack (Celine Dion doing Beauty and the Beast, Demi Lovato doing Let It Go, etc.)? These are objectively terrible and inferior versions of the songs, why do they get produced? Are there any that are redeemable? Please weigh in.
The reason they get produced is so that they get played on the radio, because with a few exceptions your average pop station isn’t gonna play a OST song recorded by, like, Jazzhands Fabcock or some other Broadway unknown earning voice work money on the side. Also, having a contemporary artist cover the song takes away the kiddie stink, so that radio station can reach a more mature, target demo of 11-year-olds who don’t have a Spotify account yet.
And yes, they all suck. But it’s not like I’m some Disney purist who is OFFENDED by such naked marketing efforts. It’s Disney, man. They’re gonna take that Princess movie and extend it into 47 million other product areas. They’d tattoo your face with branded shit if they could. I’d rather claw off my own skin than listen to a bunch of showtunes anyway. Hell, let Megadeth have a run at “Under The Sea.” I’d give a shot for at least 15 seconds.
Email of the week!
I was in my late twenties and all of a sudden I started getting random bloody noses - at work, at home, in the car, anywhere. I assumed it was weather related or a cold or something. After 4-5 days, the nosebleeds were getting worse and it really started to screw with me. If I moved wrong, my nose started bleeding. My wife was out of town for work and I went to bed after yet another nosebleed. I woke up around 1 in the morning and had to take a dump. I was stuffed up and light headed and thought I was coming down with something. After shitting my brains out for a few minutes, I decided to try and blow my nose as long as I was just sitting there. For the life of me, I couldn’t get the snot out. I resorted to a full on farmer’s blow, and I finally got some movement. I started to panic when I realized that whatever was up my nose was a huge, single mass. I kept blowing and was eventually able to grab the edge of the thing and slowly pull it out. It plopped on the floor in front of the toilet, followed by an explosion of blood out my nose. I stood up to grab kleenex for my nose and saw I had shit a bunch of blackish stool the consistency of frozen yogurt into the toilet. Blood from my nose went everywhere - all over my shorts and underwear, the bathroom floor and the wall. After the bleeding seemed under control, I picked up the thing from my nose on the floor, pants still around my ankles. It was the size and consistency of a raw chicken tender made of congealed blood. I was still only half awake, but seriously concerned that part of my brain had just blown out from my nose. I think it took 20-30 minutes for my nose to stop bleeding, and I decided to go back to sleep because I was too embarrassed to call an ambulance. (I went to the doctor the next day.)
Thankfully, I just had an irritated blood vessel way up in my sinus that had to be cauterized. I ended up missing a day or two of work and I’m pretty sure everyone just assumed I had a massive coke habit. I am eternally grateful that my wife did not have to witness any of this.