What do you think is the most barfed food of the past 100 years? I’m thinking Saltines, since it’s what sick people eat for awhile until they barf again. “Saltines, till you barf again.” Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
If we’re talking about worldwide vomiting, I think the boring answer is rice. Rice is the most eaten food on the planet, and always has been, so it would stand to reason that it would be the most de-eaten food as well.
But let’s keep it local and focus on AMERICAN barfing, because Americans barf for so many fun and extravagant reasons. Here in America, there are three major candidates for the title:
1. Chicken Soup. You just had a marathon session on the toilet and you can’t stop shivering. What’s the one food you can safely attempt to consume half a drop of? Chicken soup. It’s the national recovery food. You get sick, you try some soup, then you paint the bathroom with that little bit of soup (how did a single teaspoon of it create so much vomit?), and then you try again 24 hours later. I think the soup gets barfed up more than the crackers.
By the way, chicken soup barf is always a miserable experience because it occurs after you THINK you’re starting to get better. I’m always like, “Hey, I think I’m okay now! Look at me, I can get out of bed! Let me eat this entire bowl of soup. It’ll be FINE.” And then, 10 minutes later, I realize how wrong I was. God hath smote me for my presumptuousness.
2. Pizza. By natural law, I only get horribly ill after consuming the worst possible food to turn back up, and barfing up pizza is the WORST. The tomato acid burns your sinuses. The smell is overwhelming. Bits of used cheese fly all over the place. It’s not a good moment. But think of all the drunks and bulimics out there, and how much pizza they consume at 3 a.m. That might be enough to overtake any foodstuff consumed by the already-ailing. I know that pizza’s popularity has skyrocketed only relatively recently, but we’ve become a much drunker and barfier country since the old days. So I still think it’s a contender for most barfed food over the course of the past century.
3. Anything from Chipotle. Duh.
Honorable mention goes to spaghetti, toast, cereal, hamburgers, fries, fruit cocktail (always served in hospitals), Halloween candy, and Thanksgiving turkey, which I barfed up just this year! Lucky me. I can still smell it.
Let’s say a huge, irrefutable cache of documents came out to prove that either 1) there was a person above Hitler ruling Germany, and Hitler was simply his insane mouthpiece, or 2) the wealthy families in Nazi Germany, including some from the U.S., were the ones behind it all. Would the general public alter its views, or would it just be too easy to keep all the blame on Adolf and let the new findings get shuffled off as footnotes?
It would get shuffled off as footnotes. Do you how much money the History Channel has invested in Hitler documentaries, and how many new WW2 history books come out every year? Hitler is big business. BIG HITLER! He’s the perfect villain for a nostalgia industry that craves zero nuance when it comes to good and evil. WAKE UP SHEEPLE. During Hitler’s reign, an anti-Semitic American State Department official named Breckinridge Long stymied plans that could have helped hundreds of thousands of Jews escape from Germany and German persecution:
In April 1943, Gerhart Riegner, the World Jewish Congress representative in Geneva, suggested a plan to save thousands of French and Rumanian Jews. Even after the proposal had the support of the president, Long and his subordinates delayed acting on it for eight months.
What a fucker! But you don’t see Breckinridge Long put up there among history’s greatest villains. No comment flame war includes someone saying, “Listen, Breckinridge Long had some pretty good ideas.” (Although this seems like the kind of thing a Trump supporter would gladly repeat.) History demands simplicity. And after a long time, it tends to cement in place, regardless of facts or complexity. All the details get left on the cutting-room floor, and you’re left with general plot lines at best and outright myth at worst. That’s how you end up with Columbus discovering America, and America named after Amerigo Vespucci because a German mapmaker made a hilarious mistake.
So, once that history cements in place, it’s hard to reverse. Imagine trying to rename North and South America today. That would be a real bitch. All our bad history habits tend to stick.
What would happen if a team that was threatening to leave a city over the financing of a new stadium happened to win a championship? Would the city still be obligated to throw them a parade?
Oh, sure. If the Chargers win the Super Bowl next year (HAHAHAHAHA), they’ll get a parade. Even if they announced the move in advance, they’d still get some kind of bizarre celebration/goodbye parade, because fans would want a chance to salute all the players and coaches who had nothing to do with the decision. Then the Spanos float would roll by, and everyone would throw eggs at it. You can remain loyal to your team but hate your owner. In fact, that’s the resting state of pretty much every NFL fan at the moment.
Also, an NFL team could burn a city to the ground, and there would STILL be local politicians willing to curry favor with ownership via parades and sweetheart stadium deals. I live in the D.C. area, and Dan Snyder is looking for a new stadium. I bet you that, against all sound reason, some local politicians here will find a way to give him one. That man has taken a giant dump on his team and its fans for decades, and yet some clever alderman will sneak through a $1.5 billion deal that gives the Skins a new stadium and allows them to put Papa John’s ad on local school buses to help pay for it. Then that alderman will take a lifetime post in the Skins sales department and then retire to Anguilla.
You are in the kitchen and need to spit for one reason or another. (Who doesn’t like to spit?) Is it proper to spit in the kitchen sink or the garbage can? My friend would always spit in the sink, and I’d yell at him to use the garbage can. My reasoning is it’s already gross enough to scrape off dried queso dip from last week; I don’t need someone else’s phlegmy spit adding to the mess.
You spit in the sink and then run the water to wash it down. There’s nothing better than hocking a loogie into a clean sink and then blasting it with water, watching it cling for dear life before finally getting swept away. NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW HAHAHAHA!
Don’t spit in a garbage can. You don’t want liquid in there. What if you miss and it gets on the edge of the bag? Someone has to empty that shit. Would you vomit into a trash can? Not if you could help it. Save your liquid biohazard for the plumbing system. Oh, and try to use the bathroom sink or shower drain instead of the kitchen sink. I rinse celery in that sink, man.
Would you rather get pizza from a place that made the best pizza in the world but had shitty service (slow delivery, terrible staff, etc.), or get mediocre-at-best pizza from a place with amazing service (great staff, fast delivery, etc.)?
Are we talking about just one time? I guess I would go with the transcendent pizza, just so I could say I tried it. Today’s foodie culture demands that you go through the fucking gauntlet before trying some hip new food. You have to wait in line and then enter a lottery and then perform a piano recital just to get a table at some asshole pizza joint. And the end result of all that hassle is that, once you try the food, you delude yourself into believing the wait was worth it, because it’s annoying to admit that it was a waste of time. I’m not immune to this. I can have mediocre pizza any time (and I do!). But I’ve also waited a couple hours to go to Sally’s in New Haven and the like (damn good pizza). I need to see what all the fuss is about. I’m a goddamn sheep.
Brett Martin of GQ wrote a big thing awhile back about the growing hassle of trendy dining: byzantine reservation systems, uncomfortable chairs, small plates that cost $15 each (for real, when I order something family style, it better come on a fucking platter, and not be a single ravioli). Every other element of the dining experience gets downgraded to prioritize and fetishize the food, which sounds pure and noble, but actually sucks. Why do I go out to eat? To relax. I want to sit somewhere pleasant and eat good food with people and worry about someone else cooking and doing dishes. I don’t want the experience to be WORK. The food is important, but all the other shit matters, too. So if we’re talking about a lifetime of choosing between good service and decent food or garbage service and amazing food, I’m taking the average food. And I shouldn’t HAVE to choose, really. I should be able to get the good food and the pampering. I don’t wanna sit at a communal table with a fucking tree stump for my chair.
Watching TV over the years, I have noticed that there are periods of time where you see the same actor/actress appearing in multiple commercials at the same time. Like you will see the same guy doing one of those funny FedEx commercials and a Toyota commercial, and they both air at or around the same time. I have even seen people be in like three at a time. I am wondering how the world of commercial acting works: Do their agents get them a deal where they will appear in a series of commercials? Are there “in” or “hot” commercial actors that every company wants in their TV commercials? Can you help explain this to me?
I actually can! The reason this happens is because of casting agents, who are in charge of rounding up actors for ad agency creative departments, and often have favorite actors that they champion over and over again. And it’s not because the casting agent was boning that actor or anything. It’s usually because most actors are fucking terrible, so when a casting agent spots a rare and capable actor, they like to push them. It’s easier to submit that actor’s name over and over than go combing the nation for someone new who isn’t shitty. We used to get audition reels and see the same names over and over and complain, and the agent would be like, “Do you REALLY want to see the rest of them?” And I knew the answer was no. I remember, before she became famous thanks to Glee and Best in Show and whatnot, Jane Lynch was in a million commercials. She was in ads for Nexium and Tilex and all kinds of shit. And the reason why was because she was probably better than everyone else by leaps and bounds. You’d rather take the familiar good actor than the new bad one.
Also, companies usually ask for the same KIND of actor over and over again. I remember working on an ad and having the client INSIST on a white actor, and that wasn’t exactly an isolated incident. If the company asks for 30-year-old white people in every ad, you’re gonna end up with the same 30-year-old white people in every ad. PROBLEMATIC!
Let’s say I win the lottery and offered to give you $100 million, but with one catch: you have to get breast implants. We’ll say C cups, so nothing too outrageous, but you have to keep them for the rest of your life. I’ll have a lawyer draw up an airtight contract. Would you say yes?
Oh, sure. I’m almost 40. Boobs are coming my way whether I want them or not, so I might as well get some cash out of it. And some nice cans! Why, I’d feel myself up all day, I would! “Does anyone hear me complaining about the breasts?”
I was really heavy as a kid, so I had little-kid boobs. And when you have kid boobs, they’re not just lobes of fat. Like, I remember feeling tissue there, which was alarming to say the least. Then I read about Shaft getting breast cancer and didn’t feel quite so alone. The time has come to END man-boob shaming, I say! If you’ve got it, flaunt it. That means YOU, Phil Mickelson.
I come from a very small family; I’m an only child, my dad was an only, and both his parents were, too. They’re all gone now, so this means I’ve inherited a LOT of random stuff of wildly varying value with no siblings or aunts or uncles to distribute it around. One of the things I inherited were human remains. My grandmother was good friends with a childless couple back in the ’50s or ’60s; when they both died, somehow she ended up with their ashes, and never did anything with them but stick the boxes in the back of a closet for me to find 30 years later.
I know their names, but that’s about it. So, what’s the etiquette on disposing of a complete stranger’s mortal remains? Do I spend my own money to have them interred somewhere? Do I sneak into a park and dump them under an oak tree? Do I put them in urns and make up a backstory and display them at parties? Or do I stick them in a closet for my grandchildren to discover one day, and just keep the tradition going?
I wouldn’t spend money to bury the ashes or have them interred in a private mausoleum. That’s unfair and a complete pain in the ass. I would dispose of them tastefully, either in some beautiful public park space, or even out on the ocean somehow. That’s what I would want a stranger to do if he stumbled upon my charred ashes 50 years after I got hit by a train. (keep your fingers crossed, America!) If you found my ashes and were nice enough to find a quiet and peaceful place to divest yourself of them, I would make it my ghostly mission to make sure you found a $20 bill on the ground that same day. That’s a promise I will keep into the afterlife.
If you wanna take it a step further, I suggest a JAZZ PARTY FUNERAL. Send out an evite to all your HIPSTER friends announcing the memorial party of Harriet and Milbert, and then they’ll be like, “Who?” and then you explain the story, and then hilarity ensues. Pass out steamed crawfish and icebox dinner rolls and GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO, and then give a eulogy for the deceased couple and consign them to the ground. Then get drunk and naked. I bet the New York Times Styles section would write up the festivities. “With A Stranger’s Ashes, A New Kind Of Millennial Party.”
Would you rather set the MLB consecutive-game hitting streak with one single per game (ugly ones, too, like high choppers off home plate or dribblers up the third-base line) for the entire 162 game season, or win the Triple Crown?
The streak! Are you shitting me? Migual Cabrera won the Triple Crown four years ago. Do I care? Fuck no, I don’t care. But a 162-game hit streak? People would lose their minds. Not only would it nearly triple the existing record, but you would get to erase Joe DiMaggio—one of the most miserable bastards in the history of sports—from the record books in one fell swoop! You’d never have to pay for a meal again.
Since all the power records were obliterated during the steroid era, that streak is the most prominent sports record still standing. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but any time someone gets close to matching that streak, I start paying attention. If I were the commissioner of baseball, I’d rig it so that someone finally broke that streak and my sport could reap the financial benefits.
So imagine not only breaking the record, but carrying that streak wire-to-wire through a full season. You’d be a fucking GOD. You could win the presidency. Autograph hounds would harass you 24-7! You’d never be able to eat a meal in peace ever again! Everyone would accuse of you cheating … huh. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll take the Triple Crown.
Do you think we’ve seen the most possible coverage for a single sports story ever? Penn State, “Deflategate,” etc. have all been covered relentlessly. What would have to happen for something to somehow be covered more by ESPN?
No, something else will come along. Whether it’s a LeBron James murder-suicide or Johnny Manziel going on a five-state armed-robbery spree, something completely insane will happen, and ESPN will cover it with such depth and ferocity that you will end up sick to death of the story within hours. You will become utterly desensitized to the gravity of the original event and just cry out BORING any time they show that footage of Tim Tebow swearing allegiance to Kim Jong Un. Ugh, again? This story is old!
I think that’s why people cry out SLOW NEWS DAY any time anyone posts virtually any story online. No story is big enough or new enough to satisfy my primal need for dramatic shit to happen. Why hasn’t anything happened yet? I AM BORED. Someone make something crazy happen! I’m sitting here, scrolling through Netflix channels and skipping songs on Spotify after 60 seconds of play. I crave eventfulness. This is why Trump is gonna get elected president. You news people better turn up a dead body somewhere for my pleasure. Otherwise … SLOW NEWS DAY, FELLAS?! Come talk to me when a nuke hits Fenway Park.
A few weeks ago, my German neighbors let me know they were going back for two months and asked if I could get their mail. I agreed, since they do the same for us. So the night before they leave, the husband knocks on my door holding a crusty mason jar of some weird white goop. Turns out it’s a sourdough starter, and he’s asking if I can watch it while they’re gone. Again, I agree, but then Ludwig starts giving me instructions about how I have to feed it specific amounts of flour/water every week, let it rest, use a clean spoon, and some other crap I already forgot. He might as well be asking me to watch his toddler at this point. The cherry on top of this yeasty sundae: They didn’t give me enough flour, and I now have to go shell out for fancy baker’s flour to keep this thing alive. This has to rank near the top of annoying favors, right? Should I just dump it and buy a new starter the day before they get back?
That’s ridiculous. I don’t know what kind of bizarre yeast rituals they have over in Dusseldorf, but here in ’MURKA, you get your neighbor’s mail and feed their fish and maybe shovel their walk while they’re gone, and that’s the end of it. You do not babysit a fucking wad of dough. There’s a reason I don’t make bread, and that is because making bread is a complete pain in the ass. You can’t spring that on someone at the last minute. These damn Europeans. So lasseiz-faire with everything. LET ME JUST DROP MY CHILD AT THIS BUS STATION AND SOMEONE WILL TAKE CARE OF THEM WHILE I HAVE MY ABSINTHE.
If I were you, I would grudgingly take care of the dough for Horst, fuming the whole time. But in return, I would silently, WASP-ily expect a bottle of wine and a fresh-baked loaf of that sourdough as my reward for all that needless toil. If he doesn’t cough up some free bread, he can goose-step it straight back to Bavaria!
By the way, my mother-in-law (who is German!) used to make homemade bread, and one day she baked a fresh loaf, which we were all enjoying when suddenly she said, “Has anyone seen the starter?!” Then she looked down at the piping-hot bread on the table and said, “Uh oh ….” I bet that happens to breadmakers a LOT.
Email of the week!
This summer, I went to Paris for my honeymoon. The first day of sightseeing was roughly 100 degrees, and I was exhausted/starving by lunch time. My wife and I stopped into a nice cafe in the St. Germain district of the city. On the menu I noticed a French specialty section and ordered “Andouillette,” because the description said “Sausage.” I love most meats and sausages, so this seemed like a slam dunk. But the waiter tried to talk me out of ordering it—he kept saying I wouldn’t like it, and that no one really orders it, etc. etc. etc. Finally I was frustrated and basically thought, “I am an American and damn well will eat anything you French people put in front of me.”
I finalized the order with him, and he said, “Look man, I have warned you repeatedly not to order this, and we won’t take it off of your bill.”
To that I replied, “No problem, I am in France, and am looking for the local cuisine. I won’t back down.”
The food came out, and it smelled like actual poop. I ate a bite and almost threw up, and when the waiter asked how it was, I replied, “Delicious, it’s too bad there’s only one.” He walked away, I choked down another bite, and then hid the rest under the salad my wife ordered. After the meal, I looked the food up at my hotel. Turns out it’s basically a poop/pee sausage made from pig colon, and as the link below shows, it not only tastes awful, it looks disgusting, and no one in history seems to have had a good experience eating this.
Am I wrong to have gone out on a limb and tried something “local” even though this dude discouraged me seven or eight times? Also, would you have ordered this, not knowing what it is, and only going off of the description of “sausage” on the menu?
It’s the name “Andouillette” that throws me, because andouille sausage is delicious and safe. I would have assumed andouillette was simply a cocktail-wiener-sized version of the same thing. They should call it merde sausage, so that you know what you’re getting.
Anyway, I applaud you in your determination to try the native food. But if the waiter is politely telling you that even natives don’t eat it, I’d listen to him. It would be one thing if he were a snotty prick and was like, “You cannot handle it you SHIT AMERICAN,” but if he seems genuinely concerned for your welfare, you better heed Pierre’s warning.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He’s also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter@drewmagary and email him at email@example.com. You can also pre-order Drew’s second novel, The Hike, through here.
Lead art by Jim Cooke.
Adequate Man is Deadspin’s self-improvement blog, dedicated to making you just good enough at everything. Suggestions for future topics are welcome below.