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The Six Best Teacher Gimmicks

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

Before we get to the Funbag, I gotta talk about how shitty this Will Smith concussion movie looks. I swear it got made strictly because Will Smith wanted to try out a new accent. It looks like 120 minutes of people warning Accent Will Smith about stuff.

PERSON: You don’t know who you’re messing with!

ACCENT WILL SMITH: I will do what is right!


It’s like they stitched together a bunch of Oscar-bait scenes and forgot to add a plot. I’m so jaded, I kept hoping they’d cut to shots of football. LESS BRAIN SCANS MORE FOOTBAW! And it’s called Concussion. That would be like if they gave Rain Man a new title of Hey, It’s Autism! Coming this summer: Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in AIDS.


This is gonna be horrific. I don’t trust Will Smith to make good movies anymore. His shit is more heavily branded than an RG3 Subway ad.

Anyway, here are your letters:


What are the best gimmicks teachers use, from a student’s point of view? I always liked the teachers that worked food into lessons. (“Making quesadillas and Aztec brownies will enrich our lessons on Mexican culture!”)

As an aside, I had one crazy high school teacher who had a multiple-choice-test policy where you could try and get every question wrong (no leaving blanks) for a grade of 95. However, if you get even one question right, then you earned the graded score. Can you think of a situation where you would attempt this madness?


Let’s address the teaching gimmicks first, because there are a few obvious ones that stand out.

1. Leaving the classroom. I don’t give a shit where we go. Just get me the fuck out of this room, please. Don’t make me stay in this poorly ventilated classroom (seriously, every classroom in history is either 100 degrees or cold enough to hang up slaughtered animal carcasses) and stare at the clock for the rest of the day. SET ME FREE. If you take class outside or have us walk out into the forest to count tree rings, I am yours forever. Nothing beats going outside for class, staring up at the clouds, having the teacher yell at you to listen because class outside is a “privilege,” and then having your back get sore from sitting awkwardly in the grass.


2. Science experiments. Let’s blow up something up, guys! In the annals of education, there may be no more reliable teaching method than, “Hey, let’s make a clay volcano and dump some baking soda and vinegar into it so that it explodes.” It never fails. The entire curriculum should be volcano-based.

3. Food. This is true of morning shows as well. Morning shows are garbage. But if they bring on Jamie Oliver to make a creamed bacon risotto live on the air? I’m rapt. THIS IS JUST FANTASTIC WITH A HINT OF ROOOOOSEMURRY, HODA.


4. Dress-up! Back in sixth grade, I had a science teacher named Mr. Smith who would, on random days, come into the classroom dressed as Galileo, or Copernicus, or some other famous scientist. And he would remain in character ALL DAY. If you called him Mr. Smith, he would pull a colonial Williamsburg and be like, “Who is this Smith fellow you speak of?” This was great, because a) we all liked making fun of Mr. Smith for being a NERD, and b) whenever he dressed up as Ptolemy and insisted the Earth was the center of the universe, we got to CRUSH him for it. “You’re wrong, Ptolemy! You don’t know shit!”


6. A movie. They don’t do it this way anymore, but there was nothing sweeter than walking into the classroom as a kid and seeing the AV cart sitting at the front of the room. OMG ARE WE GONNA SEE A MOVIE TODAY HOLY FUCK YESSSSSSSS. You can have John Keating. You can have your late-night poetry-cave readings and standing up on desks. Fuck that. Teachers who slack off by putting on a flick are the REAL heroes.


And the worst teacher gimmick, of course, is, “Today we’re gonna partner up!” NOOOOO NOT PARTNERS PLEASE GOD DON’T EXPOSE MY LACK OF FRIENDS TO THE WORLD.

As for the other part of your question: Your old teacher was an evil mastermind. and I wouldn’t take that offer if you were testing me on kindergarten addition TODAY.



Do you think Pablo Escobar was actually a cool guy?

No, Pablo Escobar was a terrorist. Selling tons of cocaine was arguably his nicest quality. Read this book and you will learn that he killed thousands of people, including innocent women and children, in order to maintain his stranglehold over the Colombian government. He also had a special designated room for raping underage girls. That’s not cool! It was nothing like that one movie Vinnie Chase was in. Do not dress up as this man for Halloween.


In general, you should never ever admire mythical outlaws. Pablo Escobar was an awful person. Jesse James was an awful person. The New Age Outlaws were all terrible people. Whenever you hear someone referred to as a “folk hero,” that means they are one of a select few shitbags whom history has randomly chosen for romantic whitewashing. It’s amazing how easily bad deeds can get sanded down simply with the passage of time. In fact, the more cruel and vicious you are, the more likely you are to remain firmly anchored in the story of mankind. There are people out there now who think CHARLES MANSON was cool. Manson! What the fuck? If Osama Bin Laden becomes a folk hero three decades from now just because someone made a kick-ass silkscreen print of him on a T-shirt, I’m gonna be pissed.


When I was about three or four, I told my dad to close his eyes and open his mouth, and I took a booger from my nose and put it on his tongue. I thought it was the most hysterical thing ever, but I’m pretty sure he’s still scarred for life, and he still gags every time he thinks about me deviously putting a booger in his mouth. What’s the worst thing that a kid of that age can do to scar their parents for life?


You monster. Although the dad bears some responsibility for that encounter. Not to blame the victim, but if a kid says, “Close your eyes and open your mouth,” you should probably disobey them. They’re not popping a crab cake in there.

That reminds me of a story: I knew someone who brought his daughter to work one day. And out of nowhere, the daughter reaches down into her butt, scoops up some poo, and wipes it right on the guy’s face. Kid gave him a Dirty Sanchez right in front of everyone at work. I swear that’s true. I think you should truly be able to murder a child if they do that to you.


Everything a kid can do to damage your psyche revolves around bodily secretions: poop, pee, boogers, etc. I remain horrified, to this day, by the time my middle kid had a cold and woke up in his crib one night with boogers CAKED across his face. I’m talking a wall of gnarled snot, all thick and brown. Just thinking about it right now … I feel nauseous. I’ve never seen that many damp boogers amassed in a single location. I didn’t even know it was possible. The crib sheets were stained dark green. I want to go hide now. With children, you see things come out of the human body that you could never conceive of.

One other thing: I have a kid who loves jump-scaring me. All the fucking time. Just walks up right behind me when I’m doing something and screams as loud as she can. I hate it so, so, so, so much. One day she’ll jump-scare me, and I will nail her with some pepper spray. and I will be in the RIGHT.



What if Mike Trout attended a Dodger game as a fan on his day off and decided to run onto the field during play? What does Major League Baseball do? A multi-game suspension? A fine? I’m hoping for a lifetime ban from Dodger Stadium.


Is he clothed? If he’s fully nude, he would instantly become my favorite athlete in the universe. I would buy his jersey … and then run onto the field and strip out of it. He’d be my folk hero. Frankly, baseball could use more streaking players. THAT SPORT NEEDS STARS, I TELL YOU!

Then Trout would get nailed with a hefty fine AND a two-week suspension, just as a warning to standard idiots-on-the-field that even famous people will be prosecuted for impinging on the field of play with a naked dong. And I would totally take Trout’s side against the Fun Police at MLB, even though most baseball players are immature, redneck morons. If you’re over the age of 30 and still putting Saran wrap on the hotel toilet seat to fuck with your friends, you’re a weirdo.



What if every time a guy jerked off, his dick got smaller due to the friction and eventually just withered down to nothing? Actual sex wouldn’t cause any harm—just straight hand-to-dick friction. Would there be huge drop-off in the porn industry?



I assume lube doesn’t solve this hypothetical. What would happen is that men would become sexually frustrated and either a) start more wars, or b) lose their willpower, jerk off into dicklessness, and THEN start more wars. Either way, the end result is war. Are you happy now? Good job starting the apocalypse with your idea, you bastard.


Listen: Guys already engage in sexual activity that they KNOW will be potentially damaging (adultery, hot-candle-wax torture, etc.). A disappearing cock, while terrifying, won’t be enough to stop them. Take it from someone who pretty much mutilated himself as a teenager while overindulging in self-gratification: Pain is NOT an impediment. There is no one more determined than a man with a boner.


Will RG3 ever be as awesome as he was his during his rookie year again?

No. His career is over. And as much as I like goofing on the Redskins, it’s shitty, because Griffin was fucking UNREAL that first year. I remember how much fun it was to watch him, and how terrified people were of him getting hurt. In hindsight, your career is probably bound to be short-lived if your playing style puts onlookers in a state of constant fear for your safety. But that’s of little consolation when you go back and watch the video of Mike Shanahan murdering RG3 in cold blood:

Ohhhhhh God. That’s one of those sports moments where you feel like evil spirits have entered the room. It’s like any time I walk down alone into a dark and empty basement. OH GODDDDD SOMETHING AWFUL LIVES HERE.


Three years later, it’s clear that RG3 needed his freakish athleticism to cover up for the fact that he can’t run a pro offense for jack shit. Now that his athleticism is gone, there’s pretty much nothing left to him. Tim Couch was out of football in just five years: He did his time in Cleveland, got cut in Packers training camp, and that was that. Once NFL teams know you can’t play, they don’t fucking bother. He’s done, man. His career is over unless St. Louis decides to sign him to a one-year contract so he can “retire” as a Ram, as a final FUCK YOU to Washington. I support this move.

By the way, they’re already talking up Kirk Cousins here. I heard the phrase “damn good quarterback” used on talk radio yesterday. He’s a loony Jesus freak who turns the ball over constantly—in other words, he’s a worse Andy Dalton. PERFECT FOR JAY GRUDEN. Plus, he got benched for Colt McCoy last season. Kirk Cousins is horrible.




Do you think these world-class tennis players are taught to grunt/make noise while returning shots?


YES! It’s totally deliberate. Do you grunt when you play tennis casually? Fuck no. Do golfers grunt when they swing the club? Double-fuck no. If you did that in golf, security at Bonerwood Country Club would have you escorted from the premises within minutes. Even baseball players, who are repulsive men who make all kinds of horrible grunting and moaning sounds, don’t audibly grunt when they swing the bat. Tennis is the only sport where grunting is both part of your on-court style and a natural bit of gamesmanship. Those guys all probably hone their grunting technique over years and years. “What if I go UP on the end of it? That might really add something.”

I grew up with Monica Seles dominating women’s tennis, and back then, her grunting was a big deal, because her grunts were REALLY shrill. It was like a horror movie on every forehand. So people were like, “Jesus, could she please shut the fuck up?” and then other people were like, “Hey! That’s problematic!” and then players just kept on grunting anyway. Seles was first, though. Seles was the first to really commit to the grunt.


By the way, the video of Seles getting stabbed by a deranged fan is still terrifying:

I mean, imagine if that had happened in 2015. Twitter would go fucking berserk. CNN would identify eight different wrong suspects before getting to Gunter Parche. Mike Trout would never be able to streak the field again. Skip Bayless would question the stabber’s eliteness. The National Knife Association would threaten any congressman proposing strict anti-knife laws. It would be chaos.


And leagues would COMPLETELY overreact and put up chain-link fencing around the field of play to prevent further incidents when, in reality, the fact that such a horrible crime is so rare is kind of a reassuring thing. People are boorish and horrible at sporting events, and yet there are certain lines they rarely, if ever, cross. I think we should all congratulate ourselves for not stabbing one another more.


I recently realized that new Bills starting QB Tyrod Taylor and I share the same exact birthday. Same day, same year. Despite living in Toronto, I don’t give two shits about the Bills, but I’m still totally obligated to cheer for my birthday bro, right?


You sure are. You’re like twins! Maybe when Tyrod gets hurt, YOU can start for Buffalo! It’s not an impossibility.


Which is the worse scenario: sitting in a room full of Viners (which is what all the douchebags popular on Vine call themselves), or sitting in a room full of gamers (and I’m talking GamerGate-type gamers here).


The gamers, because they’re just gonna ignore you and play games and talk nerdy gamer trash talk that will go over your head. Then they’ll grab you by the arm and be like, DUDE WATCH THIS I’M TOTALLY GONNA STEAL THE ENDER STONE FROM THE NETHER. BOOM. DID IT. WASN’T EVEN THAT HARD. YOU COULDN’T DO THAT. Gamers are worthless people. I’d rather spend my time with some moron who does parkour Vines all day.


My girlfriend got rugburn on her thighs the other day from having sex with me in cowgirl position. There’s not really a question here: I’m just sharing because I’m both confused and mortified that I’m hairy enough that this was even possible, but also because I thought it was funny as hell (she does not agree with this at all).


Hookup injuries are REAL! Ever get that makeout mouth, where you make out with someone for a long time and then your jaw hurts afterward? This happens. I swear I don’t kiss people like I’m an anaconda. I’ve seen people come back from hookup sessions looking like they’ve had a chemical peel. Shit gets chafed, man. Hickeys turn blue. One of the reasons that men beg for sex is because the dry-humping portion of courtship can be so intensely painful. I CAN ONLY GRIND SO MUCH. I’m surprised RG3 could conceive a baby without tearing his meniscus cartilage. Sexual activity is highly physical, and 98 percent of Americans are not in proper cardiovascular shape to engage. We’re all fucking like the v-card scene in Biloxi Blues:

Good technique, Broderick!


Let’s say you go to bed one night, and your butthole just seals itself up. How long would it take for you to realize? I figure it’d be after your morning coffee/morning poop.


Yeah, whatever shit happens to be your next shit. You sit down, push, nothing happens, and then you root around and discover the horrifying truth. And then it would all hit you. NO WONDER I DIDN’T FART AT ALL LAST NIGHT. All the pieces would come together.

I don’t think I would make it to the hospital in time if that happens. I think I would end up shitting inside myself. Terrible way to go. You should thank God every day for your butthole, especially if you are a Lions fan.



I have a question about the use of the word “sport” by NPR commentator Frank Deford. Is it “sport” or “sports”? Here is the opening paragraph from one of his comments: “Ah, it’s summer, and sport is of a sweeter sort now—don’t you think? For instance, of all the jobs in sport, I think maybe the best is retrieving foul balls.”


It’s “sports.” Fuck that guy and his weird big fingers. Anyone who calls it “sport” is just acting all affected. I had one friend go to work in England, and when he came back, he would say “at university” any time he was talking about college. Listen, buddy: You’re back in America. It’s “college.” It’s “college” and “sports” and “soccer.” Don’t get all Easterbrook-y on me with this other shit.

By the way, we’re rapidly approaching the NFL season, and I don’t think that Greggggggg has found a new home for TMQ. Bring it to US, Gregg! We won’t pay you, and Marchman tells me he doesn’t want to edit your crap, but I’d welcome your strong takes! Come join the winning team! (NOTE: Position is unpaid, and I have final say over how many random penis photos go in your column.)



How many college football teams is someone allowed to cheer for? I’ve heard some people say that just like the NFL, you can only be loyal to one team, but others say that since there are more than 100 teams (and most of them never play each other), it’s okay to like a few, as long as they aren’t in the same conference.


I think if you grew up cheering for one school but then went to another, it’s okay to be a fan of both so long as the two aren’t natural enemies. Like, if you grew up an Alabama fan (LOL you fucking hick) and then went to school at Northwestern, I think it’s fine to like both teams. I mean, it’s not like Northwestern would ever meet Alabama in a playoff game, you know? Because Northwestern is stupid and bad.

That’s the limit, though. If you have one favorite team per conference or something like that, I will hit you in the face with a crowbar. Organize your fandom, man. This isn’t a buffet.



I was speaking to my sister the other day, and she was telling me about how someone at work asked her to help carry four pizzas to the office. My sister obliged, and when I asked her how was the pizza was, she said she didn’t get any: The pizza wasn’t for her work group. Should she be outraged? What is the etiquette regarding helping deliver food and not receiving any? I think she was entitled to at least one slice.


She should be outraged, EXCEPT if you open the box and breach the pie, it’s automatically a free-for-all. Office people are really fucking uptight about making sure that no one touches the lunch until it’s the proper time to eat lunch. That’s why the cookie platter gets covered in 17 layers of cling wrap. I get why people are like that, but it doesn’t make it any better. And since your sister wasn’t in “the meeting,” she got squeezed out for the sake of office politics. I bet this happens at NFL headquarters on a daily basis.

It’s not fair, because walking into any room with a bunch of pizza boxes always makes you feel like a conquering hero. I know that “pizza delivery guy” is one of our most-derided jobs, but seriously: People are fucking OVERJOYED to see you when you’re the pizza guy and you pull up with that stupid oven-mitt box. It’s not the worst way to earn a living. Walking around with a full pizza box fills me with unmitigated joy. Pizza is coming! I have bestowed it upon all the people! TONIGHT WE DINE. Tip me weed money!



UPS and FedEx tracking started by giving you locations, then went with cell-phone alerts and emails, then added approximate drop-off times. The logical next step from my perspective is GPS tracking on the truck that carries your parcel, so you can see if it’s close or across town. What kind of anarchy would this new service bring?


They’ll never do it, because it would compromise the safety of their drivers, because some fucking lunatic at ButtCorp would frantically chase down one of the trucks in order to retrieve a copy of the Orange Crop Report 10 minutes early. Waiting for a package can cultivate a kind of insanity in people. They’ll hack into the NSA database to track a package if they deem it urgent enough. You can’t let them track the trucks. I bought a train for my kid online, and he wanted me to run the goddamn thing down at the cargo hold.


Some of the best scenes in The Sopranos are those where Tony beats the shit out of Georgie the Bartender for no other reason than he was pissed off and needed someone to whale on. This got me thinking ... what if the POTUS starts pounding on one of his Secret Service agents? I suppose if the agent fought back in self-preservation, he’d be shot to death by another agent, so is he obligated to just take it and let the president kick his ass? Do you think this scenario is addressed during Secret Service training?


Probably. Apart from taking a bullet for the POTUS, your No. 1 responsibility as a Secret Service agent is to be discreet. So if the President gets addicted to heroin, or he bones an intern, or he gets shitfaced and starts shooting beer cans, it is YOUR job to make sure that such indiscretions are kept quiet. That means that yes, if the president had a hard day bombing ISIS and needs to vent his frustration by beating you with a candlestick, you take it. That’s part of the deal. THAT IS THE CODE. Man, I bet it would be nice to have a whipping boy. Just come home from work and punch him right in the face. I bet Dan Snyder has a bunch of those.

Email of the Week!

I played high school basketball back in the day. One game, we played a team that had identical twins. One of the twins was really good (he ended up playing D2 basketball in college), and the other twin was a mediocre role player. Going into the half, the good twin had scored 15 points but had four fouls, and my team was up by seven points. In the second half, the “bad” twin exploded for 21 points, and we lost by two. To my team, it was pretty obvious what happened: The twins switched jerseys in the locker room at halftime so the good twin wouldn’t foul out. The referees performed no investigation into the allegations of switching jerseys: What would that even entail?

Obviously, players changing uniforms mid-game is against the rules. However, do you think that was an acceptable way to break them? I mean, that was definitely some shit that Bill Belichick would try to pull. I’m just trying to put in perspective if this type of gamesmanship should be loved or loathed.


If you’re not secretly swapping in the good twin, you’re not trying.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He’s also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter@drewmagary and email him at You can also order Drew’s book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.


Lead image by Sam Woolley.

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