Graphic: Elena Scotti (G/O Media), Photo: Getty
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Today, we’re talking about pizza, paper, tolerating sporting events while sober, cream cheese, and more.

Your letters:

Luis Paez-Pumar:

What’s the best fast food to eat as leftovers? (Inspired by a late night Popeye’s run this weekend, which is my answer)

Yeah, it’s Popeyes. A lot of my colleagues said pizza but I’d much rather eat leftover Popeyes than reheated pizza. Not even close, really. In fact, I over-order every time I go to Popeyes and the reason I do so is because I am horny for fried chicken and because I know that if I end up with leftovers, that’s a true blessing. Second place goes to any cold sub from Subway because, well, it’s a cold sub from Subway. It was probably a day old when you bought the fucking thing anyway. It’ll keep just fine. The bread at Subway does not obey standard laws of bread thermodynamics.

Honorary mentions to Chick-fil-A nuggets, which are easy to reheat in the toaster oven and taste good enough as leftovers to help me forget the moral compromise I made in patronizing a company that is the top social justice priority of brain-diseased Texan governors. Those nuggets fare better after a night in the fridge than a full-on CFA sandwich. Once you have to preserve a griddled bun of any sort, you’re doomed. Ditto any stray wet pickle slices.

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Luis says the worst leftover fast food is Taco Bell, and while I’m sure it’s a strong contender, I would just like to note that the flavor of any fast food burger, especially a low-rent one from the likes of Wendy’s, has the half life of francium-223. You need to eat that burger right away or else it turns into a dust bunny. I know a McDonald’s hamburger can sit out at room temperature and, thanks to the funeral parlor preservatives tucked therein, can remain intact for 783 consecutive days. But that doesn’t mean it’s gonna taste good on that 783rd day.

Ben:

Why is cream cheese a bagel spread and not a toast-in-general spread?

Because our society lacks VISION. Or because a bagel is the proper thickness to accommodate cream cheese, which is thick and hefty and requires 50,000g of starch underneath to counterbalance its fatty power. One day, some enterprising café owner will start offering cream cheese toast as an alternative to avocado toast, and then it’ll take off and then Bloomberg will tweet some shit like, “Millennials could afford cancer surgery if they didn’t spend so much every month on cream cheese toast!” That’s all coming. For now, cream cheese remains tethered to the bagel.

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When I was a kid, I was such a little bagel hog that, once I had depleted a bag of Lender’s from the store, my mom would make me cream cheese sandwiches on white bread toast. And I loved them. I had no petty foodie grievances with that sandwich, because I was young and fat and (sometimes) happy. What’s odd is I never bothered eating them once I became an adult. Time to fix that…

PICTURED: Not a mayo sandwich

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Not bad. Pretty edible. I forgot that cream cheese is hard to spread on regular toast without compromising the bread. Hence, bagels. You could spread drying cement across a bagel and the bagel would hold firm.

Jonathan:

Is there anyone working at any level of flight operations for the Navy who hasn’t seen Top Gun?

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Absolutely. You know that movie is over 30 years old, right? No one under the age of 40, be they military or civilian, is required to treat Top Gun like it’s the fucking book of Matthew. It’s okay if popular old movies like that end up getting somewhat lost to future generations. Kids today can always see the shitty Top Gun sequel that’s coming if they feel (or, more accurately, their parents feel) that they MUST get caught up on the TGEU. I was at a 4th of July party and the hosts put the original on for the kids to watch, and the kids were mildly interested only because shit that was rated PG back then (and Top Gun was indeed rated PG) had a lot more risqué shit in it than PG movies do now. The only movies that merit a PG rating in 2019 are like CGI kid movies that have one double entendre about beer. Otherwise you jump right to PG-13. Meanwhile, ’80s PG movies have cursing and drinking and kids rolling joints and silhouettes fucking to Berlin songs and Gremlins exploding in microwaves. Whole other entry point for cream cheese sandwich-eating mongrels such as myself.

But you’re asking about full-grown men and women aspiring to be Navy pilots. I’m sure the rear admiral in charge of training these people will splice the occasional clip or still from Top Gun into a PowerPoint presentation detailing why we have to invade Iran to keep Lockheed Martin happy. And I’m sure some senior officers try to go the full football coach and force pilots to watch the movie to get psyched just before heading out on a sortie. But those senior officers are aging out of direct duty, and who says their replacements have to give a shit about a movie that old? I bet half of all Navy air personnel now go out of their way to explain how they are NOT like Top Gun. “That movie got it all wrong, bro. You buzz an air tower these days and that gets you time in the brig, dude.” Navy people are like other people in that they want any and all stereotypes about them to be PERFECT. I know I do.

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Speaking of ’80s movies, my wife finally saw the original Footloose a couple weeks ago and she was like, “This is awful!” I’d be offended on behalf of the rest of our generation, but it’s not like that was a movie designed to age well. Kevin Bacon is a handsome kid from the big city who drinks and smokes and can dance his ass off, and somehow he’s the fucking OUTCAST at his school in that movie. There was an insanely low bar for what constituted adversity in ’80s movies. Ferris Bueller was gonna get a job at Morgan Stanley regardless of whether or not Rooney caught him.

Tom:

I was perusing your sister site io9 and saw a behind the scenes look at the new movie Cats. At first I thought it was an elaborate parody. Turns out it’s a real move starting lots and lots of famous people. What the fuck?! Tell me this will be terrible.

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I think that Cats trailer got so thoroughly roasted by the internet last week that when it does finally come out, the expectations will be so low that no one will anticipate it being good, and then the first critic (Armond White) who’s like, “Hey, it actually wasn’t that bad!” will summarily get roasted even worse than the trailer. Regardless, you are under no obligation to watch it. I made it 20 seconds into the trailer and it looked like a shitty James Cameron movie, with music to boot. Terrifying.

By the way I did see Cats live back in the ’80s when every American was forced to do so at gunpoint. Despite the fact that I am a card-carrying hater of musicals, I definitely remember enjoying the show and feeling embarrassed that I did. That was a definitely case of teenage me not wanting to feel girly or something. But there’s a reason Cats has been around for a zillion years. The songs are catchy. The actors invest all of their sincerity into it despite being dressed up like the Cowardly Lion in a high school production of The Wizard of Oz. And it’s better than hanging out with actual cats. The movie probably has those factors going for it, just with god-awful CGI this time around to blot out all the positives. It will not be better than the live show. You’re better off heading to the theater the night it comes out and ogling the line of elderly Cats superfans waiting to get in. They may even come in costume. Now THAT is a spectacle.

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Garrison:

I’m at a Seattle Mariners game tonight, and during the national anthem, they lot of about 10 seconds of fireworks in the middle. Idk your opinions on the national anthem being played, but the fireworks make it a joke, right? Like it’s ridiculous.

As a bonus, as I was walking in tonight, I was wearing a Mike Trout shirt. A Seattle fan rode past me on a bike smoking a cigarette, and he spit in front of me and shouted, “Mike’s overrated.” Great people.

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The best people. “Mike Trout’s overrated” is the new “Bryce Harper sucks” (and, not simply at the plate but also on a personal level, Bryce indeed appears to). Exciting!

I think they should bag the anthem before games, but if they do go through with the whole dog-and-pony show, yeah I think it’s stupid to have fireworks during it. If you need fireworks in the middle of a 90-second song (double that time if they hired Ariana Grande to do it) just to keep people interested, why are you bothering to play it to begin with? If it’s that rote of a ceremony, then it doesn’t really mean anything except to the self-appointed Anthem Guardians who’ll bludgeon you with a full Miller Lite bottle if you don’t have your hand on your heart for the duration of the song, but they will gleefully hoot and holler if a troop demos a live grenade on the Jumbotron in the middle of the fucking thing. The anthem is already superfluous to the game itself … why are you cramming more superfluous shit into that? It’s like a Russian nesting doll of wasted time. To paraphrase the great Bill Oakley, only one diversion per diversion, please.

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Ray:

I’m an upper level season ticket holder for the New York Giants. For those that don’t know, despite the liberal reputation of New York City, the games are primarily well-attended by MAGA-bros who boo anthem protestors and are happy Odell Beckham is gone because he’ll “always be a cancer in the locker room.” This year I had a surgery out of the blue that requires meds that don’t allow me to drink. My doctor just told me I’d be on them through the end of 2019. Do I a) drink and risk health problems forever because MetLife Stadium sober is horrible, b) sell the tickets for a major loss, or c) go sober and watch Manning throw passes for losses to Saquon and/or get sacked? Is it possible to watch the New York Giants sober and then take NJ Transit home and still lead a happy life? Have you ever had an experience sober at an NFL game?

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I have, as a matter of fact. Before I, too, had to stop drinking because of a serious surgery, I took my son to Skins-Texans in the fall. This was the game where poor Alex Smith had his leg shattered, resulting in him walking around with the Capitol Records building strapped to his lower body. Despite that gruesome moment, and despite the fact that I was at the absolute worst stadium in the world watching the most despicable franchise in the league, and despite the fact that I was dead sober the entire afternoon, I enjoyed myself. The game was entertaining, the Skins lost, traffic leaving the joint was bearable, and I got to watch in amusement all the bros from Bowie around me guzzling 32-oz. cups of pure backwash. When you stop drinking, one way to ease the withdrawal is by arching an eyebrow at all the sloppy drunks around you. That definitely wasn’t me at times, nossir.

Also, I had my kid with me, and even though you should really never take a kid to an NFL game, it does keep you occupied. I spent three hours asking the boy if he could see, if he needed popcorn, if he was having fun, and all that. Bring good company to a game with you and you should find yourself pleasantly distracted if the football before you is puke.

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Whatever you do, do NOT drink against orders. It’s not worth risking whatever you’re risking. I know people combine booze and meds all the time, and that a “Do not consume alcohol with this medication” label on a prescription bottle is self-enforced about as often as Taco Bell employees washing their hands before returning to work. But if it’s serious medication and perhaps a doctor reiterated the No Drinking point, that’s probably worth abiding by. Just go to the games and cherish the moment when you finally get to boo Daniel Jones in the flesh.

HALFTIME!

Brendan:

Have you heard of people getting the yips at routine tasks? On my way home today I found myself thinking about all the individual actions that go into driving a car and momentarily panicked. Does this happen? Do people suddenly become completely incapable of doing things like typing on the computer or brushing their teeth after doing it every day for decades?

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I don’t know about “completely incapable.” I think there is a thing where if you think too much about an ordinary thing you’re doing, you end up feeling strange and logy. Martin Scorsese once said that there’s a big difference between walking down the street and walking on camera because once you become aware that you’re being filmed for posterity, it throws all of your motions out of whack because you’re too dialed into something that’s supposed to be instinctive. That doesn’t mean you forget how to walk, it just means you end up walking like you’re in a Monty Python sketch.

Same with breathing. Breathing, like swallowing, is an involuntary biological function unless you decide to commandeer it and make it a voluntary function. Sometimes I’ll concentrate on breathing and be WAY too aware of it, and then I end up breathing with the same kind of broken rhythm I display while dancing at a Señor Frog’s. I don’t stop breathing and die, but the intake of oxygen becomes a pointless mindgame I play with myself. Respiration on autopilot is better. Typing is the same way. If I think about the typing, I’ll just fuck it all up. I think that’s a natural awkwardness. Or, at least, I’m gonna tell myself that so that I don’t feel like a fucking moron.

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By the way, I have completely different answer to this question if it does NOT apply to people in good health. If you’ve been injured or diagnosed with some chronic condition, you know that it can be an uphill battle to relearn doing everyday things that you did with ease beforehand. General aging also makes the mundane feel dicier than it ought to be. Twenty years from now I’m gonna forget how to use a fucking fork. “What IS this doohickey? Is this what the kids use to eat? Craziness.” [eats a bowl of pasta barehanded]

Cameron:

Who wastes more paper in the US? Corporations or kids?

Corporations. Have you met the legal industry? Or the health care industry? Together, those two forces have decimated 90 percent of all rainforests covering the Earth’s surface. I still get packets as thick as a phone book from United Healthcare from, like, getting my prostate checked three years ago. I guess I had a lot going on up there. The waste is a scourge, and somehow efforts to go paperless from both these sectors are even more burdensome.

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Kids are conservationists by comparison, and I say that even thought my seven-year-old once had a habit where he would grab a sheet of white paper from my printer, grab scissors, cut the paper up into little bits, and then just leave that shit on the floor. He wasn’t even making paper snowflakes. He was making garbage. That was his craft time. He owes me money.

Dan:

Whenever my fiancé hears the word “gyro” (pronounced like “gyroscope”, not the Greek “yero”) she immediately associates it with a dick. I think this is bizarre, but she’s convinced it’s completely normal. Who are you with?

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I don’t think it’s normal in the sense that EVERYONE associates gyroscopy with big elephant cocks. But in my life, I have always had odd moments where a certain words or object or song will graft itself onto something else random inside my brain. I was playing phone Sudoku the other day and whenever I had to deal with a 2, it always reminded me of this one random person. No basis for the connection between the two at all. Not even if you factor in the poopy connotations of that number.

“Loser” by Beck also plays in a loop in my head when I’m farting around with that app. That makes TOTAL sense, but some of the other connections my mind draws between things are less easily explained. Superman makes me think about clinical depression. I have no idea why this is. Far as I’m concerned, thinking PENIS when you see a little gyroscope toy at a science museum gift shop is a relatively benign instance of this. I wish I had that problem. Then again, EVERYTHING I see makes me think about my penis. Shocking to hear from a guy, I know.

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Jay:

On the scale of disappointing food discoveries, where does ordering pizza and discovering that it’s square cut rank? The distribution of toppings and crust is all out of whack. It’s a terrible solution that benefits no one.

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I don’t like square cuts all that much either. It’s pizza for people who want to treat pizza like an hors d’oeuvre. Plus, I fold my slices like a wannabe New Yorker, and folding a square slice is awkward and wrong. Like a boxy little Italian taco.

However, you can prevent such unpleasant discoveries if you just make sure to look at photos of the pizza joint you’re ordering from BEFORE you order. I do this now and it’s an easy trick. I’ve eaten enough pizza in my lifetime to know shitty pizza when I see it, even if I’m looking at it via a photo taken by some weirdo Yelp reviewer with pasty thumbs. At the very least, it’s easy to tell how the pizza in question is cut, if square slices are a dealbreaker for you.

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And there is bad pizza out there. The old adage about bad sex being like bad pizza (“even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good”) is a great big lie. Even the sex part of it is questionable. What if you’re fucking and your grandpa walks in on you? Not so great anymore now, is it?! Anyway, even if you’re not a big pizza snob, there is still pizza out there that qualifies as a shitty meal outright. That applies to Domino’s and Papa Sendherback’s and other anodyne chains, but it also applies to local mom-and-pop joints where the crust is all doughy, the cheese is congealed, and the topping portions are stingy. Sometimes pizza is flat out shitty and you shouldn’t have to be satisfied with it just because it happens to be pizza. You’re allowed to have standards. Unless you’re SHITHOUSED. Once you’re full of gin, that old cliché rings truer, and applies to pretty much everything. “This raw cinnamon roll batter … this ain’t bad!”

Daniel:

I feel like most of the other sports fans I interact with easily spout the names of TV announcers along with a well-developed opinion of them. I’ve only really gotten more into football in the past decade or so, but I don’t have a damn clue who the vast majority of them are, nor do I really care to invest any effort to learn. The only ones that seem to stick with me are any recently retired former players, and, for whatever reason, the MNF crew. I had to Google Jim Nantz just to put a face with the name. Is something wrong with me? Do I have some kind of undiagnosed face-blindness reserved only for TV personalities? Should I even aspire to have the ability of picking Brad Nessler out of a line-up?

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I think your situation is uncommon but not exactly alarming. I think I’d be much better off if I had never known Mike Patrick by name. His voice alone was punishment enough. Alas, that was not to be for me. That you have eluded such a fate is probably a blessing.

I have a tic that I think a lot of people have where if I’m watching a game, I would like to know who is announcing the thing. I don’t mean I have to know in advance. I just mean that if I tune in and hear some voices talking over the action, I want names to the voices and I won’t be happy until I’ve scratched that itch. I dunno why this is. I take the games way too seriously, which means also I take the commentary way too seriously. These are the people presenting the game to me in the intimacy of my own home, and so I’d like to know more about them. And I want to be able to complain about them by name if they fucking suck.

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If you’re not as invested, then that’s healthier. My wife thinks they’re all just noise, and she’s probably not wrong.

Joseph:

I feel like if the average fan and announcers can keep track of who players are, then coaches can surely do better than calling Aaron Rodgers “The QB” or saying something stupid like “We kept 12 in check.” Are we supposed to believe they don’t have time in their busy schedules to learn the names of players on the other team?

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Oh they know them by name. Referring to players by number or position is an ancient coach affect that exists all the way down to peewee league games. Coaches operate in a world of wizardry and witchcraft where uttering the full name of the opponent somehow gives them too much power. “That No. 12 is pretty good, but not so good I’m gonna bother to learn his name.” If a football coach can strip away any trace of humanity in the opponent, reduce them down to a prison yard number, and think of him merely as an inanimate obstacle to destroy, that’s what he’ll do. Actually acknowledging that it’s a real flesh-and-blood person on the other side of the ball is far too much of a distraction.

My college coaches rarely assigned names to the opponent, not even referring to the other team’s nickname. It was always the name of the other school and an opposing number. If a guy was REALLY good, maybe his name got a mention. But otherwise, the whole mentality was that the only thing that matters is focusing on yourself and what you’re doing and to NOT cloud your vision with matters such as who’s named what and whether or not they stole your girlfriend last year. There’s almost a meditative quality to this approach, except it’s coming from deranged football people and therefore not healthy at all.

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Email of the week!

Clay:

One summer, when I was a kid, probably around eight or nine years old, I realized that I could make myself sneeze by sticking my pinky up my nose in a certain way and pressing against the side of my inner nostril with my pinky fingernail. I showed my newfound ability to sneeze on demand to my sister, who was super impressed by it, and we set about to try to figure out a use for this new talent. We found there was no functional use for it, but we did conclude that it was hilarious for me to open the phone book to a random page, sneeze a cloud of mist into it, and then slam it shut. So we did that that summer hundreds and hundreds of times to our family phone book. Please don’t tell my parents about this. That is all.

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I’m telling them. You’re in big big trouble, sneezeboy.