Illustration: Chelsea Beck (G/O Media)
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 toilet flushing, fame, farts, Trump push-ups and more. 

The last time I gave advice on what I initially presumed to be a human interest website, I tried to be as pithy as possible. Many people found it useful. But it took my friends at Deadspin three long years to appreciate how good I was at giving advice. It’s okay! In Drew’s absence, I’m ready to fill in and answer your mostly body-related questions.

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Terrell:

Who’s the most famous person ever? It has to be Michael Jackson, easily. Number 2 was harder. At first I went with Princess Diana, but then I remembered that Hitler started a war with the world. I have Obama at number 4, but it starts to get cloudy after that. What’s your top 5?

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It is not Michael Jackson. But that is a good start. I have to assume you’re judging fame based on the amount of people across the world who would easily recognize and identify that person. Your logic is sound, in that music is a universal language, so the most famous people must come from the realm of music. But I would argue that the broadest connector in the world is religion. Even for as many religions as there are, the average person, regardless of their own faith, can easily identify religious figures. Under that framework, Jesus Christ is the most famous person ever, with the caveat that you believe he was once a person on Earth, followed closely behind by the Pope (any Pope) because most people know one fact: There is a Pope.

Inventors are among the historical figures who would be high on the list because the world heaps praise and fame upon those who create original things like peanut butter and electricity. That praise happens until the end of time. The most famous people ever must be the oldest, right? To have been famous for a longer period of time, without decreasing in relevance, means you are more famous than a person who’s been famous for a shorter period of time. Two people I spoke to about this question countered that the current world population is at its highest, so a famous person in 2019 is theoretically more famous—i.e. more people would be familiar with Beyoncé than with, say Gandhi or Einstein. It’s hard to argue with that, but I will. Yes, Barack Obama and Beyoncé are viable candidates. But I’m going with Einstein because he’s someone everyone learns about in school. And everyone’s always like, You’re no Einstein. Even if you don’t know much about him, you know he was some genius. (It helps that he has a very recognizable look.)

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For a second, I switched out Oprah for Cleopatra because of peer pressure. Cleopatra is so famous that there are people who still dress as Cleopatra for Halloween. But Oprah is Oprah. Even the kids know Oprah. Amelia Earhart is on here, because obviously. And I just don’t feel like putting Hitler on this list.

My top 5:

  1. Jesus Christ
  2. The Pope (any Pope)
  3. Albert Einstein
  4. Amelia Earhart (People still talk about her)
  5. Oprah Winfrey

Michael Jackson is in the top 10.

James:

I’ve been taking antibiotics and painkillers recently due to a softball-to-the-face related injury. They’ve made me quite constipated and as a result I’ve spent a good deal of time in the last week sitting on the toilet with no result. When I finally give up and stand up, I’m conflicted about whether or not to flush. On the one hand, getting up from the toilet without flushing seems crude, but on the other hand, I haven’t actually done anything that merits flushing.

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You’re right to be in anguish about this. Flushing is an act of completion, after which there is toilet paper and other matter in the toilet bowl. While, for a constipated person, the process of sitting on the toilet does set a plan in motion (it is not like you sit on the toilet for the purpose of not finishing), it’s true that you have not quite completed the act. Consider what constipation is: the repeated act of failure. You (or anyone) begin the process with a reasonable, sometimes foolish amount of hope. Repeatedly, you fail, which results in much pain, but at some point it’s over—except for those who suffer from IBS-C or something like that. But if you push long enough or have some kind of digestive aid to speed up the process, the constipation eventually ends with triumph. (Similar to when, in 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 Finals deficit to win the NBA championship, led by LeBron James.) This is not to say you are a failure. Maybe you are LeBron James.

Did the act of pushing yield anything? Did it require a toilet-paper wipe for any reason? If so, then yes, flush. If not, then what would the flushing actually achieve for you? Nothing.

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Think about the environment. There’s not much I know about the effects of flushing on the environment. (I only learned last year that you’re not supposed to flush contact lenses.) But every flush you redact seems to help the Earth even just a bit. This article mentions flushing and something-something-something climate change: “extreme drought leads to insufficient water resources for flushing sewage systems. This is happening right now in many cities across the world.”

Don’t flush, and maybe try a laxative tea if the doctor is okay with that.

Ascher:

I recently saw that Joe Biden mentioned that if Trump were to attack his age, he’d challenge Trump to a push up contest. How many push-ups do you think Donald could do? The answer is definitely zero without cheating and going to his knees too, right?

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I can safely 100-percent confirm that it’s been several years since President Trump, age 73, successfully tried and completed a convincing set of push-ups. How many reps could Trump do in 2019? Well, as of February, per an alleged physical exam, Trump’s reliable, honest, and impartial doctor reported that Trump was in “very good health.” I don’t believe this. His health is likely “hanging in there,” at best.

A fit 73-year-old could complete a decent round of push-ups. Trump? I agree, zero. But we have to consider the scenario you set up: a contest. Of course, I don’t think Trump in his personal time, in the comfort of one of his homes, doing a YouTube workout routine, would be able to complete a singular push-up. Because he wouldn’t try that hard. But this is a push-up “contest.” In the event of something that involves winning, I’d give Trump a slight edge. I imagine his ego would push his body far, far, far past its limits to eke out 1–3 valid push-ups (three on a good day). His body would later regret this hubris.

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My guess is 2.

Jimmy:

So I (like most guys?) have a collection of socks I no longer wear, and are only only used as receptacles for my self-pleasuring . I know them on sight, and keep them in a drawer by the bedside table, so as to not be confused with my good, daily-wear socks.

My girlfriend does not know this.

Somehow, one of these, used, socks ended up with her back at her apartment, and she texted me a pic of the sock asking if it was mine, then, being silly, a pic of it on her (much smaller) foot, to demonstrate it’s not hers.

Do I tell her?

I’m afraid I have more questions than answers here. How did the sock end up at her apartment? Did she not feel that the sock was crusted at the bottom and suspect something? Also, “most guys”? News to me. I feel obligated to speak for the woman here and say, no you do not need to tell her. She probably has no idea about the sock method anyway and doesn’t need that new knowledge. I myself used to think the sock method was something of a myth made up by movies. At what point in the process is the sock deployed? And why not just use a paper towel?

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The problem was I assumed the sock was used during the process of self-pleasuring rather than after. Then I realized it was actually a receptacle. Which only confused me more. I don’t hear men talking about this, and the women I asked about the sock were, frankly, grossed out and confused by it. I did get one confirmation: “Men do use socks,” she stated, adding that her finding was “corroborated by anecdotal evidence.” I sort of get it. A towel would be a huge waste and too much surface area. But what about a set of wash rags? At any rate, she don’t have to know.

Ian:

I’m visiting my mother in law, and she asked if I was hungry and put out some croutons to snack on. I thought it was weird, but you know what? They’re pretty good. I could snack on these. I get that you’re supposed to put them in a salad, but why limit yourself?

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My guess is that people consider croutons too hard to snack on comfortably—I personally don’t love biting into them. (Normally, salad dressing helps soften.) I also don’t think croutons provide much in the way of nutrition, which is why health-conscious people avoid them in salads. But I’m not against making them a snack. Any food item can be a snack.

HALFTIME!

Spencer:

My girlfriend and I were sitting on the couch watching Grace and Frankie( I am 30 and she is 28. Who cares! It is an easy watching, occasionally deep, funny show with an original premise). Anyway, I was stuffing my fat face with shelled pistachios and she asked for one. So, I handed her a shelled pistachio. She through it right in her mouth, chomped down then began screaming bloody murder. She then yelled at me asking why I did not shell it before giving it to her. I responded that they are shelled pistachios, do you want all my hand grease all over the pistachio? I wouldn’t throw a sunflower seed in my mouth and then spit out the seed for you. Who was right in this dispute?

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You’re right. Part of the joy of eating a pistachio is de-shelling it. I’ve typically done this using my teeth, not fingers. Would it have been nice of you to de-shell it for her? Yeah. And it wouldn’t have mattered if you touched it in that scenario—you already touched the outer shell. Plus, part of the agreement in a partnership is sharing germs. You make sense, and I’m curious what made her bite down on a pistachio without examining it first.

Louis:

I don’t like to hold in farts. I tend to discreetly let farts out whenever I feel the slightest pressure buildup.

Occasionally this will occur in a crowded place such as an elevator, subway car, movie line-up, etc. In order to be courteous to my fellow citizens, I try to take in multiple deep breaths through my nose. I theorize that this may help to vacuum up all the smelly air into my lungs so that the people around me will be spared the displeasure of inhaling my fart. Am I fooling myself or does this work?

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I doubt you’re fooling anybody. But I’ve always felt that farts should be expended whenever possible, while disturbing the least amount of people. Similar to poop, I’ve had a staunch rule against holding them in, though ideally you’d obviously find some space or privacy to expel the gas. One time in 10th grade, while a group of students and I were standing outside our chemistry class, I let a quiet one go. The smell was more potent than expected. Embarrassing. Luckily, my chemistry teacher passed by at that exact point and everyone blamed it on him. I would like to take this time to apologize to Mr. [Redacted].

Now, in terms of science, Louis, I have no idea whether holding your breath does anything, but I find it hard to believe it does. You can’t predict the smell or the intensity of a fart, no matter how hard you try. When you think it’s a silent one, it isn’t. When you think it’ll be loud, it trickles out like a soft wind. Don’t try to game the system.

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Garrett:

In recent years, I’ve noticed an uptick in people using portable Bluetooth speakers while golfing. As a frequently golfer I was initially annoyed by this BECAUSE IT WAS DISRESPECTING THE GAME but then last fall I used one to listen to an NFL game that my golf buddy had action on. It was a lot of fun and it didn’t really detract from playing. Now, I always bring a speaker to listen to music or a game while playing golf. Is playing music while golfing an abomination to the game or is this something we will eventually see on the tour?

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This does seem like it would be a good solution to making golf a more watchable sport on TV. But given the conservative nature of it, I’m guessing the music would be sterile and inoffensive.

Sean:

My Fiancé and I are expecting our first child together. We were discussing all of the normal baby discussion when I brought up sports teams allegiance. We really follow baseball and football and these are the teams that we like. I like the New York Yankees and the Detroit Lions and she likes the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Nationals. Keep in mind if you go the local route for sports team allegiance we live in the Philadelphia area and they are literally the worst sports fans in the world. Is this kid fucked when it comes to sports team allegiance? What’s the optimal strategy? Let the future child pick or steer them towards a combination of one of the ones we like?

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Philadelphia and Boston have the worst sports fans, agreed. I believe in giving the child the joy of making their own decision, whether they choose one of you guys’ teams or branch out on their own. Your child will have lots of time—most likely during their teenage years—to decide. For now, it’s okay for both of you to provide as much stimuli as possible and compete to win the child’s favor. It’s true that we root for our parents’ teams, but we also often grow out of that. I became a Lakers fan because my dad was a Lakers fan, and then became a Bulls fan for the same reason. Then when I hit 14 years old (circa the Chris Childs–Allan Houston era of the Knicks), I had both the time and loneliness necessary to watch every regular-season Knicks game. I made the choice to become a Knicks fan. I had to live with that choice. Over time, I got wiser and realized I was torturing myself.

Go ahead and tell the child the Lions and Yankees are the only team to which they should pledge their loyalty. Have your fiancée tell the child the Cowboys are gods of the NFL. The kid will figure it out and probably become a Knicks fan.

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Email of the week!

Andy:

Why is 12:30 AM the middle of the night and not lunchtime? It’s nonsense.

For example:

An event happens today at 12:45 PM, something else happens at 10:45 PM, yet the second one happened after the first one even though its a smaller number. This is dumb.

I propose the AM/PM shift at 12:59 to 1:00 rather than the current 11:59 to 12:00. Why has it not always been this way?

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Congratulations on blowing my mind.