Illustration: Elena Scotti (G/O Media), Photo: Shutterstock
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, garbage, morning radio, college email addresses, and more.

Your letters:

Ethan:

When is objectively the best time to wake up? It’s obviously nice to sleep in but the day is over too soon if you have to be up early the next morning. Getting up early alleviates this problem but often I find I get too tired too early. There has to be a sweet spot, what is it?

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Probably nine or 10. I wake up at seven every day, regardless of whether or not I want to. It’s just how my body clock works now. It sold me out. If I sleep till eight, I literally declare that I “slept in,” even though no American teenager is awake yet at that hour.

That said, I am now at the stage in life where I enjoy waking up relatively early because I’m able to get more shit done and have more alone time before The Day kicks into gear and I have to busy myself with grownup Day shit: work, errands, going to the doctor, driving kids to and fro, making citizen’s arrests, etc. To find refuge from all that hectic bullshit, I gotta be up before nine, so that I can eat my mini-wheats and check my phone at a leisurely pace. But if I were single and alone and completely unencumbered? Yeah, waking up at 9:30 would suit me just fine. Then I could loll around in bed, jack off, go grab a bagel, and burn the clock until sports came on TV. A fine way to start any day. I used to read the New York Post in bed when I was in my 20s. Pure elegance.

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When I was a teenager and on summer break, I used to set my alarm around seven so that I could listen to Stern in the morning (accept no substitutes) while staying in bed for another two hours. Now I wake up at seven all the time anyway, but I’m too cheap to pay for satellite radio. I have it all bass ackwards. I need to start dabbling in heroin to get my mind right.

Manny:

What sport has to be the most frustrating to play defense in? My vote goes to basketball: too many ticky-tacky fouls called.

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No way. At least when you get whistled for a bullshit foul in basketball, they give you a rest from having to play more defense by letting the other team shoot free throws. And even when you do have to get back once more, there’s always the prospect of blocking a shot, or snagging a rebound, or committing some other satisfying act of defensive wizardry that leaves the crown relatively indifferent. Really, only ‘90s Knicks fans care about defense in basketball, which is good for them since that team currently couldn’t even sign Nick Van Exel to boost their offense if they tried. All other fans, myself included, want buckets. Kyrie Irving didn’t get nine figures from Brooklyn because he’s a master pickpocket in the backcourt. Kyrie plays defense like a drunken crossing guard. It doesn’t matter.

No, the most frustrating sport to play defense in is MMA. You’re caught in a choke hold, with some tattooed flag-humper trapping you in a leg scissor for good measure. That is frustrating. That is less fun than trying to guard Kawhi Leonard. I would rather not be in that situation. Defending yourself in MMA and boxing is necessary but also exhausting. There’s no real satisfaction to be had in having a dude roundhouse kick you in the forearms instead of the jaw.

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If you’re wondering specifically about team sports, my answer is soccer. You don’t get to snag a pop fly, or throw heat, or reject a dunk, or level an opponent when they come over the middle. All you do is RUN. Forever. Depending on the ref, you can either make some decent contact with the other guy or you get carded for fucking breathing on him. Either way, getting beat still feels as horrible as it does in any other sport, and there’s little in the way of reciprocal satisfaction to ease that sting, short of doing cool shit of your own on offense. I played defense in soccer when I was a kid. You know why. I was slow and fat. I was tailor-made to stand back there and take screamer after screamer to the balls. Somehow playing offensive line in football was more enjoyable, and playing offensive line sucks shit. Offensive line is the right field of football. Still, playing soccer defense is worse. We should just outlaw defense everywhere, frankly.

Honorary mention to auto racing. You lead a race and all you get are two dozen aggro rednecks tailgating you. BACK OFF, YOU HICKS. Just let me win already.

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Daniel:

When getting a pizza would you prefer the slices to all be evenly sized? At first, I hated the different sizes when the lines weren’t evenly spaced. It upset my sense of order in the universe. But now, I sort of prefer uneven slicing. You can get the big anchor slice to start the meal off right, and curate each additional slice to best match your hunger level. I now crave this level of anarchy. Am I growing as a person?

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I don’t want an evenly cut pizza. I don’t get the biggest slice that way. I want to WIN the pizza. To me, even slicing means you got your shit at Domino’s or Papa Lush’s or any other chain where the pizza oven looks like a car wash and they slice your pie using some sort of cleaver press. I require the ARTISANAL touch of a handmade pizza that is then cut into uneven shapes, all so that I can engage Full Dad Mode and go right for the biggest slice. That’s mine. As with the fabled big piece of chicken, Dad gets the widest slice of the pizza. I want my first slice to be wider than the Gulf of Tonkin.

And then, like Daniel, I enjoy tapering off at the end of the binge by inhaling several small slices that have been left on the battlefield. That’s the healthy way of going about your business. The first bite of a pizza slice is always the best, so little slices make sense because you get more first bites. I like mixing up the small and the huge. Medium-sized slices are for wishy-washy losers. And fuck those supposed authentic Neapolitan places that don’t cut your pizza at all. They hand you a steak knife and you’re on your own. It’s a fucking disaster. May as well just fold up the whole thing and eat it like a chalupa.

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Cutting a pizza is a joy. It’s not as fun as eating the pizza, but as prelude, it helps build up the anticipation. I love me my pizza cutter. When the pizza comes out of the oven, I slide it onto a cutting board and then bring the cutter down into the crust like I’m dropping Thor’s hammer. Then I run that shit through the pie like I’m vivisecting a murder victim. TREMENDOUS. Then I realize the cutter didn’t go all the way through the crust, then I curse out loud, and then I run it across the pie 60 more times until the pizza is torn to ribbons. Mmmmm … so hot and delicious.

One night I ordered takeout here from Alex Ovechkin standby Mamma Lucia. I then proceeded to get extremely stoned. My son asked for small slices, so I grabbed my pizza cutter, twirled my imaginary Luigi mustache, and cut each slice of the pizza in half, vertically. Every time I gave the boy a tiny slice, he would wolf it down and scream out ANOTHER, and we would both burst into laughter. I think he ate a dozen mini-slices that night. Solid night. Never thought that weed would make me delight in OTHER people eating pizza, but there you have it. That boy knows the value of a pizza sliced how he wants it.

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Jack:

Have you noticed a trend with strangers asking you to throw their garbage out for them? I work as a retail associate in O’Hare and yeah, that’s a norm, especially with the elated travelers. But even outside of work, lately I’ve had just people out of nowhere asking to throw crap out. One particular instance was when I was resting from a bike ride and a lady tried to hand me a Starbucks cup and asked if I could find a garbage can. Mind you I was in a secluded spot next to Lake Shore drive. These people are no different than assholes that don’t check to flush after using a public toilet.

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That’s never happened to me. Why in the living fuck could that lady have not found a garbage can on her own? In the middle of a major American city? That’s a fucking insane thing to ask of a person. ELITIST. Like, if I’m at a convenience store and they give me a receipt and I don’t want it, sometimes I’ll ask if they have a trash can so they can throw it away on my behalf. I don’t think that’s rude. They’re always more than happy to help out and I always say thanks. But to walk up to a stranger at random and ask them to dispose of your shit is a whole other scenario. An affront. I blame the President. Everyone with a half-eaten second burger to toss out now thinks they can appoint any nearby stranger a butler to come fetch it for them! Disgusting.

I have garbage OCD in which I cannot tolerate carrying stray bits of refuse around for an extended period. I have to throw that shit out, and quickly. I’m not gonna walk around for hours with a Twix wrapper in my back pocket. My psyche can’t handle that. I will seek out a garbage can and do away with it as quickly as possible, but I swear I will NOT just foist it onto a passerby like I’m asking them for change to ride the bus. That isn’t right. Grown adults should be able to handle their own waste. You don’t see me tossing your tweets in a dumpster, do you? That’s YOUR responsibility. Take care of your own shit. If this is really a growing trend, I want it exposed and snuffed out.

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Lee:

Recently I’ve started traveling for work more, which has led to early morning drives in unfamiliar cities. I’m trying to find something on the radio to wake me up/drum along on the wheel with, and inevitably I’ll hear one song that sounds promising before it cuts to two people failing to have an interesting or funny conversation. Recent highlights have included: describing photos listeners have sent in of themselves the last time Blink-182 swung through town 15 years ago, discussions of how offended girls get when you like other girls’ butts on Instagram, and prank calls that have the energy and humor of a sleeping pill overdose. Would it be better to just lose the Two Guys in the Morning Zoo Crew and just have regular programming?

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Like you, I still occasionally listen to terrestrial radio in the car. You and I cannot blame others when we do this and end up subjected to Porky & The Shitbag’s Donut Hole morning show. If you have a smartphone and a connection, you can listen to anything you want in a car: your favorite music, podcasts, lessons in speaking Finnish, and such and such. Do I indulge in such practices? I do not because I am lazy, and because the stereo in my Kia Soul—and this is true—disables the shuffle function on Spotify whenever I hook it up to Bluetooth. I called the dealer to ask if there was a way to fix it and the guy was like, “Oh those stereos cause EVERYONE problems. I can replace yours for $1,000.” I declined his offer. More useless Doc Walker takes in the morning for me!

I don’t mind listening to regular radio because it tickles my nostalgia bone, and because I might chance upon some shit that’s always in a station’s rotation but never in my personal rotation of Iron Maiden and MORE Iron Maiden. I would tell you that regular music would and should out-rate your standard morning Laff-Fest, but I know better. Those stations monitor ratings like an OB-GYN checking contraction dilations. If they thought playing the same Taylor Swift song on repeat all morning, as they do all other times of day, was gonna bring people in, then Big Fred & The Goober would be out on their collective asses.

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This is happening to some degree, thanks to Clear Channel and other bloodless radio titans Jack-FMing the industry into submission, where you can now listen to a computerized voice spin Bryan Adams for you at 560 different local affiliate stations in between ads asking you to donate to ICE. But those automated playlist stations haven’t wiped out morning crews entirely, because those shows can get better ratings thanks to provincial locals who apparently have no means of hearing a weather report apart from hearing it on the 7s from the Harry Balls & Miss Tink show. Also, people LOVE their local Stern knockoff. They like having their own morning of proprietary local humor with just a TOUCH of raunch. They have the Junkies here in D.C. and those guys spend all morning talking like concussed bantam hockey players. “BRO THESE CHICKS ARE SILLY BRO!” People love it. THOSE ARE OUR BOYS! Can’t replicate that kind of banter using a machine.

So anyway, if you don’t want that, grab a USB cable. God himself can only give you so many hints before you need to take the initiative.

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HALFTIME!

Don:

If Vince McMahon were to die would Trump order flags at half-mast?

Oh hell yes. He’d order flags at half-mast for a full year and have Vince interred at Arlington. Then all the HGH in Vince’s system would leach into the groundwater and everyone in D.C. proper would be able to bench press 500 pounds, even newborn babies. Just a bunch of swole Skins fans listenin’ to the Junks and dyin’ before age 48.

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Scott:

Is there a rule that says a field goal must be kicked from seven yards behind the line of scrimmage? My thinking is, if kickers can hit it through the goalposts on a kickoff, would they maybe want to kick a field goal from further behind the LOS so they don’t have to get as much height on it right from the start and they can just wail it in there?

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All the NFL rulebook says about field goals is that they must be attempted either behind or on the line of scrimmage, which makes me hope that Belichick one day tries to have an unretired Doug Flutie attempt a drop kick from right behind the center’s ass.

Anyway, you can set the ball anywhere you please. Seven yards appears to be Goldilocks area where you keep the distance to the uprights to a minimum but give yourself some breathing room from the hungries on defense eager to swat the ball into the concourse. I don’t think you want to go NINE yards back or whatever. You might think that gives you a chance to hit the ball at a lower, longer trajectory, but it could still easily get blocked. Also, kickers are fragile and are probably not too enthusiastic about the added psychic baggage of needing to hit an even longer attempt.

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Also, the entire football industrial complex has made seven-to-eight yards behind the line the standard for all attempts. It’s the same from middle school ball all the way to the NFL. If everyone trains you that way, it’s probably gonna screw with your form and your head if you adjust that distance. It would FEEL wrong even though it would remain perfectly legal. It’s clear now that we need some renegade kicker to come along who smokes a TON of weed and insists on kicking barefoot from 15 extra yards away. Be the change you want to see in the kicking game, folks.

Joe:

I graduated college 4 years ago, but I still use my college email address. I mean I have a job and an email through them that I use for all work communications, but for anything personal I use my school account. Literally everything I’ve ever signed up for uses this as the email on record (social media, streaming services, frequent flyer accounts), not to mention the Google services, like Drive and Photos, that are ready linked to it, so switching now would be a huge hassle. Should I bite the bullet and get an adult email, or am I too far in and just accept that I’ll be perpetually 21 online?

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I don’t know when it happens, but if you keep your college handle your online reputation will transition from Dude Who Just Graduated to Old Clingy Dude Who Kept His College Email For Prestige And Because He’s Horny For The Past. You may have crossed that Rubicon already. You have my sympathies.

I would change your email handle. That’s easy for me to say given that I’m lazy as shit. Recently, I rolled my eyes when I got a credit card that had a better cash-back rate, but I had to change the number in all my standing retail accounts to use it. I’m saving considerable amounts of money and I STILL bitch over a few minutes worth of extra virtual paperwork. I’m the worst. I can barely be bothered to change a light bulb.

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But, provided you’re a more motivated fellow, I would change that address. If you get a new Gmail handle, Google will just import all the shit from your other account anyway. That way, they can continue to harvest your data at will, like they’re engaging in live organ theft. Nice. Also, FUCK your college. I don’t mean your college in particular, unless it’s Notre Dame. But don’t let them use your email as a free branding tool. That’s how they GET you. You go broke paying for college and then you leave and then they never stop asking you for more money and to brandish their name in emails, on hoodies, on your rear windshield, and on your coffee cup. Fuck that. Open up an iCloud account instead. No moral compromises there, nossir!

Also, what if your college just abruptly ends your email account without telling you? What if the liberals forgive all student debt and Kenyon College goes out of business? WHAT THEN? Such a slippery slope we could be headed down…

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Brian:

I came to my fiancé’s office to help out with a project she’s working on at about 4. She’s a copywriter at a very techy online travel site, and it’s in Germany, so there are fridges full of free beer all over the place. We’re done but she’s got another hour and a half or so to work before we head out to grab drinks and dinner, so she stuck me in a comfy-chaired meeting room decked out to look like a 70's TV den to kill time while she finishes up rather than me spending an hour round trip on streetcars for no reason. My question is: do I get drunk? (I already am, obviously, but I wanna know the ethics of it.)

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GET DRUNK. That’s law in Germania. You’re almost married anyway. You may as well get a taste, literally, of what wedded bliss is like. I can’t drink anymore, but I had no compunction over the years about helping myself to libations whenever I was bored. That’s just common sense. I wouldn’t get drunk to the point of throwing up by 6 p.m. Booting, as you know, is for LATER. But I think you’re allowed to drink yourself into a good mood as your wife closes up shop, or if she’s busy getting ready to go out. PREGAMING! You get drunk and she gets you off her case … everyone wins!

For real though, enjoy yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to have a drink or a smoke on your own and have it your way, with no socializing getting in the way of it. Be your own George Thorogood song. You’re well on your way to middle age already when you do such things. Everyone loves being 40! It’s true.

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Michael:

What’s the right amount of trust to have in BIG TECH? I’m getting closer to Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State every day and my wife thinks I’m kind of insane and should chill out. I’m right though, right?

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You’re right, but I don’t really know what you can do about it. People have noted this before but the system is set up so that you have little choice but to give in to the burgeoning surveillance oligarchy unless you want to become a hermit and go live in a salt marsh. You shouldn’t trust any of these companies, morally. Facebook is pure evil. Google wants its hands all over your brain. Twitter is rock stupid. Amazon destroys entire cities. Apple will price you directly into living in the gutter. None of these companies will make the world a better place. Quite the opposite.

The only trust you should place in them is in if you find their products useful or not. I know Google is actively malevolent, but I still use Gmail because I like the product (massive sorting defects aside) and, like I said, I’m too lazy to switch to some equally reprehensible provider. I’d rather have email than not, which is a funny thing to say in a world where email has become obsolete. Regardless, everything is designed for you to submit until these companies swallow the world whole. And they will. EXCITING.

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Britton:

Can you rank generic high school names that could exist anywhere? A few names worth considering:

Parkview

Creekside

Brookwood

Mountain Ridge

Lakeside

Mill Creek

Riverside

Mountain View

Lakeview

Stone Ridge

Northside

Southside

Oh anything with “view” in it is good. Ninety percent of all American suburbs and/or high schools have the words “view,” “wood,” “pine,” “ridge,” “land,” or “Nixon” in them. My kids watch Lab Rats on Disney Channel. It’s a good show if you enjoy being reminded that Hal Sparks is alive and well. Anyway, the high school on that show is called Mission Creek and my kids insist it’s a real place, even though on the show it’s a school where bionic teenagers hang out. They keep asking me where Mission Creek High is, and I’m like there’s probably a Mission Creek High in every fucking county, just not a Mission Creek High like THAT one. That explanation never lands.

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Email of the week!

Hamilton:

So I have a cat that takes some absurd monster shits. It never ceases to amaze me how such things can come out of an animal of that size without causing harm in some way. I came home today and found one in the box that was one of the worst I’ve ever seen, it was a single log basically the exact length and girth of a normal highlighter pen.

He’s 14 pounds, so a large but not exceptionally large cat; if he was an adult man I’d guess he would be something like 6'2/230, and I was trying to determine what household object would best represent it if such a man took a dump proportionally equivalent to that. The best I can come up with is a six-pack of cans stacked on top of one another. I was wondering if you had any insight on this.

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A flashlight.