Illustration by Sam Woolley/GMG
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Your letters:

Sean:

When are they going to invent a garbage disposal type system on a toilet so my shits stop clogging my toilet 45% of the time?

As someone who has clogged many a toilet, I sympathize with the idea of a toilet disposal system for big turds, wads of TP, Kleenex, tampons, evidence that be used in a court of law, and such and such. But I don’t think you want to sit down, bare-assed, and have your dick and balls hover over a set of rotating blades. I get nervous enough about snakes and spiders crawling up the toilet and barging into my asshole. No need to introduce sharp objects to the proceedings.

I know you wouldn’t flick the switch until after you’ve finished taking a shit, but still. I’m scared to put my hand in the sink when the sink disposal is off. One accidental bump of the switch and suddenly it’s Final Destination 2. You think I want to experience that same terror, only now genital-related? I think if your toilet gets clogged that often, it’s likely broken. I don’t think it’s because you’re so manly that you shit out pure quartzite. You just need a better toilet. A wide-mouth toilet. A Julia Roberts toilet.

In fact, a toilet disposal system might actually make the whole situation worse for your pipes. We had a clogged sink a while back and the plumber told us, point blank, to never use the garbage disposal. Like, at all. When people have a garbage disposal, they tend to go full Fargo and cram anything in there they see fit. And why wouldn’t you? It’s immensely satisfying to stick a whole lemon down the drain, flick the switch, and watch it get pulverized. SO AWESOME. Smells nice and fresh! But it turns out that, even reduced to a slurry, your food waste can get trapped in pipes and fuck everything up. A toilet disposal would be even worse because, unlike a sink disposal, you couldn’t just open a cabinet underneath to fix it. You’d have to tear your toilet out to get at the poop Vitamix.

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I asked the plumber, “So why do garbage disposals even exist?” And he was like, “To make guys like me money.” So there you go. Beware of your garbage disposal. If it doesn’t rob you of vital appendages, it’ll rob you of actual money.

Zack:

My two sons have solved the annual suckfest of the MLB All Star game. The problem is that no one tunes in to watch good pitchers craftily work long counts and saw off Mike Trout. So, the solution is to make pitchers announce the pitch they are throwing before each at bat, then throw only that pitch the whole at bat. Kershaw has to tip his curve, or let them know the heats comin’. Kluber announces it will be a slider at bat, etc. Location is the only element of surprise. I figure you get some serious swagger from pitchers owning guys with a nasty breaking pitch they know is coming. And you also get a lot more offense. But at the end of the day, do you get a nice increase in offense or just a basketball score?

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Do you really want the MLB All-Star game to last six hours? Because that’s what would happen under your rules. I appreciate the effort, but there’s no fixing any All-Star game. They’re all lousy in terms of quality of play, and any attempt to make them more competitive—extra money, home field advantage at stake, drafted teams, etc.—never helps. The best you’re gonna get is something like Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, where they dick around for two hours before deciding to get competitive at the stroke of midnight, just for kicks. There is no way to make a game that is inherently a novelty into something more than that. And given how much people complained about the old MLB home-field advantage stipulation, trying to do so ends up harming the impact of REAL games anyway.

All-Star games are for kids and All-Star weekends are for grownups. You take your kids, and they wig out at the sight of Bryce Harper on the same team with Madison Bumgarner, and that’s basically it. It’s like Media Day at the Super Bowl, only with a couple of practice drills thrown in. Meanwhile, the players and media get a little junket in the middle of the season to hang out in one city and party and get laid. I watched 10 minutes of the NBA All-Star Game with my kid and even he was like, “They’re not trying very hard,” but he still enjoyed seeing LeBron James and Russell Westbrook playing on one team. And I’m sure all those guys enjoyed a weekend off in L.A. to hit clubs, eat out, and meet with showbiz execs so they could all share HORRIBLE ideas with one another. Everyone wins!

The value is IN the meaninglessness of the event. Trying to make it into anything more is just a waste of time. I know Pete Rose got his knob polished for sliding into home during that one All-Star game, but I guarantee you every other player there was silently like, “What is that stupid asshole doing?”

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Brendan:

What if each NFL team is only allowed to punt five times a game?

Well, let’s take a look at the numbers. The average NFL team punts less than five times a game, so in theory they wouldn’t have much to worry about when it comes to your punt cap. The team that punted the most last season was the Giants (in a massive upset, the Browns were 13th in total punts… they were probably busy turning the ball over instead). Your rule would deprive the Giants of roughly one punt per game, which isn’t much but would maybe compel whatever milquetoast science teacher they have coaching them at the moment to occasionally go for it when it’s statistically correct to go for it. Would that have made the 2017 New York Giants any better? LOL no of course not. That team was an oil spill.

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To make a tangible impact, you’d have to cut the number of punts down to something like three or four. One other reader suggested a cap on all kicks, so you only get X number of total punts and FG attempts per game, and then you’re out. The problem with this is that the more you limit those kicks, the more you end up favoring offensive teams. The Pats would end up blowing teams out by 50 and 60 points if no one could punt. It is never fun to hear an announcer declare the game you’re watching to be “a field position battle.” It’s like a kiddie birthday party that has no pizza. But sometimes that is what’s required for a dirtbag defensive team to steal a win from some asshole GLORY BOY team. As always, I prefer rules that make coaches less important to the outcome of a football game and not more important. Let’s have them fix the catch rule this offseason and see if that gets us closer to where we need to be.

Frank:

When you have a really good pee, do you also shudder? Because I do that.

Yeah but it’s kinda staged. Like, I can MAKE myself shudder because I just want the world to know how relieved I am to piss out a quart of used beer. Ever piss in the woods and say, out loud, “Unnnghhhhh that feels good”? It feels good to say it feels good! I have no shame. I’ll shudder and stick my hips out and moan with pleasure to give that big pee the acclaim it deserves.

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Ryan:

If you slap a human across the face as hard as you can, that would hurt them. Why is it that if you slap a fly in the air as hard as you can nothing happens? It’s clap-kill or bust.

My man, that is because of physics. Now, I’m no physicist. In fact, physics was my least favorite science discipline because I sucked at it and the teacher was real potato, but allow me to school you in a little thing I call (REMEMBER: not a scientist!) FORCE DISPERSAL. When you slap a person, you’re stinging them on a relatively small bit of surface area. The force of the slap is concentrated. Ah, but what if you slapped someone with a king-sized mattress? Yeah, you’d knock them over, but the hit would be spread out across their entire body, leaving them frustratingly alive after impact. I have never been smacked with an entire Sealy Posturepedic, but I assume that would be the endgame. It’s like lying down on a single nail versus a bed of nails.

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A fly is small but it’s made of strong stuff. It’s got armor, basically. Slap at it in midair and you’ll knock it around, but you won’t make the sort of concentrated impact required to kill that fucker dead. For that, you obviously need an RPG launcher. Again, that’s physics.

Josh:

How would the Olympics be different if they only awarded gold medals and got rid of the other two? Clearly all athletes want to win the precious gold, but the other medals allow for more “winners” and storylines. And hey, just think the Vikings won the NFL Bronze medal!!

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It would be much worse if they got rid of silver and bronze. Given that the Olympics are once every four years, and given that athletes dedicate their entire lives to a sport—often sacrificing their youth in the process—it would shitty for every sport to have just one “winner” for each event. They all want gold, obviously. But it’s nice to have silver and bronze around. They make great consolation prizes for unheralded overachievers, AND for countries that don’t medal very often because they aren’t Norway. Fucking Norway. They designed a whole goddamn quadrennial event around Norwegian sports. You assholes still don’t get sunlight for a third of the year, so take THAT.

Also, I like the dark storylines to silver and bronze, too. When a favored athlete stumbles and ends up with just a bronze medal, they gotta accept it bitterly and then spend the rest of eternity staring at that thing with an equal combination of pride and loathing. That big medal will forever be an unbearably heavy yoke upon their psyche, and that’s fun!

By the way, I absolutely would watch an NFL Bronze Medal Game before the Super Bowl. Think how many more banners the Colts could hang if they had one!

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Scott:

Do you think athletes are frowned upon if they do hook up with a spectator or media member, like a college kid hooking up with a townie?

Yeah, if you hook up with a spectator, you are only awarded a bronze in Gettin’ Some. I’m sure Olympians can get catty about who’s fucking who (“Can you believe she went home with that dude working the carving station?”), and who strove for greatness by trying to get Tessa Virtue’s number. But on the whole, they’re all probably too busy being drunk and horny to really care. Adam Rippon ditched a TV gig because he didn’t want to stop getting laid in the village, and I can’t blame him. He probably didn’t even realize what he was sacrificing when he made the original deal. “Wait, I can’t bone anymore? I’m gonna need a day to think this over.”

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By the way, I don’t know why Rippon couldn’t hang out in the village as part of the NBC crew. They must have instituted that as a new rule to keep Mike Tirico away from the athletes.

 

HALFTIME!

Daniel:

Would you prefer to be a horse-talking person, or a person-talking horse? The horse-talking person has all the mental faculties of a horse in a person’s body (and vice versa).

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Oh, the horse. The average lifespan of a horse is 20-30 years, but I’d rather spend that time as Mr. Ed than spend an entire lifetime as Horse Boy. That’s just common sense. If I were a talking horse, I’d be a SENSATION. They’d fly me around to exhibitions and put velvet hay in my stall and put me out to stud with Gold Medal mares. It’d be a pretty sweet deal right up until the moment I’m seized by crooked horse breeders and they dissect me while I’m still awake. What am I gonna do with the brain of a horse? I’d just suck on sugarcubes and spend all day stepping in my own poop.

Jack:

Not only is this a $1000 (!!!) yoga mat made out of football leather, but they don’t even recommend you buy it by their own admission!

* Important Note: We highly recommend the Natural Sand/Silver yoga mats over the Official Red/Black.

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That’s amazing. They even warn you that using the football yoga mat as a yoga mat will turn your skin red! Dan Snyder approves. Let’s learn more about BallerYoga:

BallerYoga mats integrate the genuine grip and release that football players have known for decades to the yoga community.

“Genuine grip,” eh? I bet Jameis Winston would slip 18 times on one of your mats. This company is run by “Founder/Guru” Cedric Yau, who invented the unusable football yoga mat after staying at a “5-star Yoga Retreat,” where, “the cheap, slippery, low-quality yoga mats provided were an obvious weak link in the practice and experience.” I guarantee this man left a 19,000-word TripAdvisor review detailing said grievance. Nothing on this website is under $495.

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I actually do yoga to help my back, and most yoga mats are fine. The only reason I slip is because my feet get all clammy and sweaty. That’s not a problem a $1,000 pigskin rug can fix. This guy deserves to be homeless.

Jordan:

I’m watching the Knicks and Lakers play at MSG and Mike Breen makes a comment about the number of Lakers fans in the building saying, “Lakers fans always travel well!” This is insane, right? Just once I want to hear an announcer say, “Wow, a bunch of bandwagoning Lakers fans and a smattering of people from southern California in attendance!”

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It’s horseshit, yes. If there are a bunch of Lakers fans in your local arena, it’s because they actually live in your town. You can’t get people in L.A. to fucking drive across town. You think you’re getting them on an airplane? Don’t be ridiculous. Those are either transplants or bandwagoning assholes. “I grew up loving Kobe!” Yeah, I bet you did.

I’ll be honest: I think less of fanbases that actually do “travel well.” Like, if a bunch of die-hard Tennessee fans who are NOT students pony up to take a chartered trip to Detroit for the Fuddrucker’s Seger Bowl presented by Culver’s? Save your money, rednecks. Find a more rewarding hobby.

Ian:

As far as cooking masters go, are Italian mothers overrated? Yes, Italian food is incredibly delicious. Nobody denies this. However, it’s all easy as balls to reproduce. I’m Irish. My mother is one of the worst cooks on earth, and my wife is literally afraid of the stove and oven, so I’ve turned to YouTube, and I can produce a pretty slamming Chicken Parm, Meatballs, and Lasagna. And I have found that these dishes are not particularly hard to make. Is some Italian mother going to be 10-20% better?

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Oh sure. If she’s been doing it longer, she’s probably doing it better than you, a relative neophyte.

That said, everyone’s mother is overrated as a chef. There’s a reason everyone thinks their mom or their grandma or [insert family member here] is the best cook in the world. If you grew up eating that food, it has an evocative value for you that it cannot have for anyone else. You go home, your mom or dad cooks for you, and you feel loved. That doesn’t mean you’re eating better food than what they serve at, like, Eleven Madison Park. But you’re eating something that’s exactly as you remember it, and only you have that memory. I cook for my kids, and if they don’t spread the gospel that I am the greatest cook in the world to everyone they know (I am not), I’ll disown them.

Home chefs are flawed chefs. They’re stubborn and annoying. Commandeer some granny’s kitchen space and she’ll silently want you shot dead on that spot (I’m no different). “Oh… oh YOU want to make eggs? No no no, that’s fine. That’s fine. I’ll just stand here and quietly dismantle your shoddy techniques in my head.” If they’ve been making marinara sauce the same way for two decades, you’re NEVER getting them to try it another way. My mom outright refuses to buy any new kitchen equipment. She doesn’t want to use any pot that was made after the year 1956. She’s also the bestest cook in the world and if you sully her cooking I’ll run you down in my Kia.

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Sean:

What is the most popular fallback career? Anecdotally I’d say nurse because I’ve had an unusual amount of acquaintances who have gone from start-up/flight attendant/aimless drifter to realizing that nursing school is their “calling.” Yoga teacher seems to be an odd, but distant, second.

Isn’t it Uber driver now? A good fallback career is one where you need no further certified education and one that always has freelance work available. That’s Uber. They’ve built a whole campaign around it, with that ad where the one dude, who looks like a reject from auditions for the New Most Interesting Man In The World, drives a college brochure’s worth of people around in an Uber and then meets his lady at a boutique restaurant afterward.

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That could be you! Just swap out the passengers in the ad for a parade of drunken wife beaters, and swap out the nice restaurant for a Burger King. REAL MONEY! Uber driver has usurped Real Estate Agent and Insurance Salesman as the default career for anyone who has flunked out of ballet school and what not. I’m sure Silicon Valley has even more ideas for cool gig economy half-jobs ready in the pipeline! What if there was an app that “indentured” you to “serve” a billionaire by cleaning his toilets on a five-year contract? He has a toilet disposal so you really gotta get in there when you scrub!

Jack:

My wife and I were at a hipster concert (Bon Iver) at an arena (Bradley Center, Milwaukee) and in between opening acts I wondered if there was more beard hair or pubic hair in the vicinity. My wife says pubic hair easily because only maybe half of the concert goers are male, but I’m pretty sure she’s wrong. Consider the length of some of those beards, and the demographic that goes to a show like this typically keep themselves well groomed. Which is there more of, assuming we’re shaving off all pubic & beard hair and weighing them?

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Pubic hair! While one full beard can accommodate as much hair as six full pubic bushes (again, that is physics), I have scanned crowd shots of Bon Iver concerts and found them relatively lacking in full Grizzly Adams facial hair. Too many hipsters mix it up by going with tasteful stubble or a handlebar ‘stache. You’re not getting the requisite number of Spencer Halls to override all the ungroomed pubes in attendance.

By the way, for this question, I wanted to double check to make sure that beard hair didn’t technically count as pubic hair (I believe it does). And I would have had an answer for you, except that the Wikipedia entry for “pubic hair” has a whole bunch of raw crotch shots. They greet you with a big ol’ hairy dick right off the bat. There’s even a crabs section. I would have liked a warning, Wikipedia. That shit ain’t right. I was not ready for that. I was trying to enjoy my morning tea.

Patrick:

What do you think the last movie the Donald actually saw in a theater, it has to be some kind of action “blockbuster” right? I think we have some idea of this as Bloodsport I believe is reported as one of his favorite films.

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Well here’s a photo of him at the premiere of Tower Heist, which is such a perfectly forgettable movie for him to attend. In a million years I could not have sorted out a better match of movie and attendee. I bet he loved the first ten minutes of it before ducking out of the theater to go home and highlight his name in old back issues of Fortune magazine. He’s also been to premieres for Sex & The City (again, perfect), Nine, and The Dark Knight Rises (maybe this made him want to be President). There is no way he stuck around to watch these movies in full. He probably just showed up uninvited to all of those premieres to get photographed and hog the tray of sliders.

Also, I bet all of Trump’s movie recommendations sound exactly like a Pete Hammond movie blurb. “Just terrific action! A really good time!”

Matthew:

Worst People to Discuss Weather With (Least Worst to Worst)

Any and all people from California, Colorado, and other places with epic climates who never discuss the weather because where they live the weather is perfect almost every day of the year (well, except forest fire season).

Stoic mainline protestants from the rural parts of the Midwest and Great Plains who purse their lips and mumble under their breath whenever somebody goes out into a blizzard in a vehicle that lacks four wheel drive. If you slide off the road they’ll dig you out and give you a lift and they probably have a blanket or extra fleece you can wear but they’re gonna judge you the entire time.

Anybody and everybody who chooses to live in Phoenix, Arizona. Not because their city is a testament to man’s hubris but because the heat has fused their synapses and rendered their skin into a leathery substance that is too inflexible for human speech.

S.E.C. and Big XII frat daddies who clearly like the swampy heat because it gives them an excuse to drink watery beer and dress in short suits while getting handsy with your sister and trying to fuck your girlfriend.

Pretentious Northwesterners who smugly explain that they can identify outsiders by their umbrellas.

Southerners who cheerfully listen while you complain that “man was not meant to live in this filthy humidity” and then offer you a cold beverage but don’t invite you into their air conditioned house because “you know, sweat and b.o. just do so much damage to the furniture.”

Alcoholic Catholic urban Midwesterners who will laugh when you slip and break your coccyx on some ice and then tell you to “Suck it up! In Michigan if you wait five minutes the weather will change!

Full disclosure: my family is from the South, I grew up in DC, and have lived most of my adult life in Ohio and Michigan. Few things bring me as much joy as I get from telling my Southern family that they don’t know what real winter is and telling my neighbors that they don’t know real humidity.

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And so I think we have your answer: Americans.