Screw You And Your Out Of Office Autoreply

Time for your Tuesday edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Find more of Drew's stuff at KSK or on Twitter. Today, we're covering suicide, nightmares, farting, bad song endings, and more.

I was on a late flight home last week with my two kids. Our flight was delayed by 90 minutes for a "chemical problem," which I'm certain was airline codespeak for, "the pilot has gotten drunk and wet himself." Anyway, the plane got to the front of the runway, was prepared to take off, and then turned around and taxied back to the gate for repair.

There are many different kinds of flight delays, but that has to be the absolute worst one of all. There are times you're stuck inside a delayed airplane and you hear the engines rev up and you think to yourself, "YES. This is fucking it. The engines are gunning. We're about to go barreling down the runway. Look out, guy sitting behind me! I'm prepared to fully recline. Your knees are about to get fucking DESTROYED." And then the engines die back down and you haven't moved at all. It's the biggest cocktease in modern aviation, and it never ceases to bring me to the point of tears. You mean we're not taking off? Wait a second, why are all the gates suddenly coming back into view? THAT'S THE TERMINAL! WE'RE RETURNING TO THE TERMINAL! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! OH SWEET JESUS HAVE FUCKING MERCY!

So that was a lovely evening. Quasi-Peter Kingian in its annoyingness. Also, my back gave out while on vacation, and I may be on the verge of sawing my own leg off, soaking the stump in kerosene, and lighting it with a fireplace match. The good news is that the NFL season is just two days away. Two long, painful, awful days. Now, to your letters:

Jed:

Fuck Out of Office Autoreplies. That is all.

I agree wholeheartedly. There's nothing worse than emailing someone something, seeing INBOX (1), and then realizing Turd McDouche wants you to know he'll be out Labor Day weekend. NO SHIT, ASSHOLE. You know who else is out on Labor Day? Everyone. Don't use your autoreply to try and make it look like people are dying to reach you over the long weekend. You're not a fucking neurosurgeon. You work at a gym equipment dealer.

I also hate out of office autoreplies that are clearly dated. So not only have you cockteased me with the promise of an immediate reply, you've also shown me you take a sloppy and careless approach to maintaining your responses. You go to Hell and you die.

I've gotten at least three autoreplies today leftover from people who were out of the office over the long holiday. They haven't fixed that shit. I'm sending them dog porn malware first chance I get. Turn off your fucking autoreply.

Matt:

I hate when artists mar a great song with nonsensical or unnecessary studio rambling or screaming at the end. Adam Duritz is probably the worst offender (e.g. "and it's a really great place to get yourself a taco.", "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah!") overall. Do you have any songs that particularly piss you off with what the artist did at the end?

A different but related case is Queen's "One Vision". Why do they have to end the song with "Fried Chicken!"?

Well really, nothing bad could ever end with fried chicken. Freddie Mercury was smarter than you and I combined. And can any Adam Duritz song ever really be "marred"?

But yes, I dislike studio tricks that waste my time or cause me to skip the end of the track to avoid it. Wilco infamously recorded a track called "Less Than You Think," the last ten minutes of which feature nothing but droning noises. Lead singer Jeff Tweedy suffers from migraines, and he wanted the end of the track to duplicate the feeling. Thanks, Jeff! Thanks for purposely trying to give me a fucking blackout headache. You cock.

A lot of artists will tack a bonus track on the end of an album, but do it as a continuation of the "final" track. Queens of the Stone Age have done this. Tool has done this. It's really, really fucking annoying, especially when the bonus song is just a bunch of people messing around in the studio. I'll be listening to music on shuffle, then a song like that comes on, then I realize no music has been playing for ten minutes after, then I want to find Josh Homme and punch him in the face.

I also hate the beginning of "Betterman," by Pearl Jam. Just start the fucking song already.

Dandy Koufax:

A junior high/high school classmate of mine committed suicide last week, and despite not being super close, I want to make an appearance at her family's house of mourning during the week. But it seems like anything I could possibly say about her back then would make it worse, because she was so overwhelmingly, unequivocally normal and average. So what exactly are people supposed to do at sudden/uncomfortable funerals? Any suggestions? PS: She was 26.

Just tell them you're sorry for their loss. That's really all you need to do. Then head over to the buffet and go to town. Be sure to ask around for cocaine. If Tree Lounge taught me anything, it's that you can always find someone with coke at a funeral.

I went to a high school in Minnesota that had a bad streak of students dying in terrible ways. One kid was run over by a boat. One kid died of a heart condition while walking in the hall. Another kid was killed by a drunk driver. In all of those instances, I wasn't remotely close to the person who committed suicide, and I always wished I had been. That's how I thought when I was a ninth grader. It was completely fucked. "Damn, I wish I had known Mike really well. Maybe I would have gotten some sympathy trim." I totally wanted to be close to the dead student, just so it would raise my own profile. Kids that age are twisted in ways you cannot fathom.

Matthew:

Recently I've been having weird dreams that I commit serious crimes. Last night I had a dream that I robbed a bank and a few nights ago I killed a guy. Do you have any dreams like this or am I in need of some serious help? I like to think that it's because I quit smoking weed recently that is causing these horrific crazy dreams.

I've had the murder dream a lot. Worst of all, in the murder dream, I get away with it, which means I have to walk around wracked with guilt because I murdered some poor fucker and never paid the price for it. Then I wake up and I take a second to get my bearings and have to ask myself, "Wait, I didn't actually kill a guy, right? I didn't? Oh, thank fucking GOD." It's quite intense. Also, I'm certain that dream is some kind of allegory constructed by my mind to tell me I'm jerking off too much. I really wish my brain would have the guts to just state it clearly up front, instead of fucking with me like that.

I've also had the divorce dream a lot. If you're married, you'll sometimes have a dream where you and your wife aren't married anymore. And while that sounds like some kind of crazy awesome fantasy that allows you to be freely adulterous in another dimension, it's fucking horrible. Trust me. It's not fun at all. Because in the dream, somehow I'm not married to my wife anymore, and now I'm remarried to my harpy of an ex-girlfriend. That bitch! SHE WON'T EVEN LET ME BREAK FREE IN MY SUBCONSCIOUS! That's the thing about lousy ex-girlfriends. They'll haunt you until DEATH.

Richard:

I hate when I'm in the shitter at work and get the brand new roll of toilet paper with the first square that is like melded into the roll so you scratch and scratch to get it off, in the process ruining about 20 squares which then become a handful of frayed bits and pieces, but you try to use them anyway because waste not, want not. Then later in the day you have an itchy ass because those bits and pieces are riding up, in, out, and down with every step you take and so you rub the crack of your ass deep into the edge of your chair, almost sliding off because the euphoria momentarily paralyzes you. Then you regain your composure and make eye contact with a co-worker whose face tells you that you may just be the sick deviant your mother always hoped you wouldn't become.

Yeah, starting that new roll is never good because often, while tearing at the melded first square, you actually tear through two or even three layers of the roll, which means you don't get a clean pull on the roll that first time out. Then you have two or three little swatches of Cottonelle, and you have to wad them together to make something asswipable. I dislike that process. I've also placed the new roll on the roller, then realized I've placed it the wrong way on the roll. The first square totally tricked me into thinking I was establishing an overhand feed, but now it's underhanded and I have to go take the roller out and watch the spring go flying onto the goddamn tile floor, just out of reach, which means I have to get halfway up from the toilet and reach for it, praying there isn't a piece of turtle leftover, embedded inside my asshole just waiting to fall on the ground.

Also dissatisfying: the end of any roll of toilet paper, paper towels, or aluminum foil. Those rolls never end cleanly. You always get some horrible square of Bounty that's permanently doubled over on itself. If I'm on the shitter, and I see the roll is just about finished, I'll grab a new roll from the cabinet, start that roll, and then leave that shit on the toilet tank. Let some other fuckface deal with the end of that dipshit roll. I am evil.

Damon:

I just finished eating pistachios, and now I'm left with a handful of ones whose shell didn't pop open. I'm thinking about putting them all in a Ziploc bag, then giving them to the first homeless person I see. I'm sure he'll be all, 'sweet, pistachios!' then inevitably curse my entire bloodline for the cruel joke. Still, it would totally be worth it. Thoughts?

I'll allow it. I'd also recommend pull do a similar prank, only with unopened mussels. Then you can gamble on whether or not the bum will pry it open and risk hepatitis. My guess is that bums will turn away all shellfish, because they lack a refined palate.

Miles:

Is there anything more disappointing than the second workout after a long layoff from going to the gym? The first workout after a layoff always brings immediate results as the muscles reawaken and I spend an hour looking at myself in the mirror afterwards like I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE. When I'm heading for the second workout I expect to come out looking like Lyle Alzado. Instead, I realize afterwards still look like Zach Galifianakis. Fuck.

It's true. When you go to the gym for the first time in a long time, you totally feel like you're in the middle of an 80's film training montage.

I especially like going on the treadmill or some gay elliptical trainer and, for roughly seven seconds in the middle of an otherwise gentle workout, running really fucking hard, just to show everyone at the gym I am NOT fucking around. Look at me abuse this equipment! I have a furious devotion to physical awesomeness! I'm pulling the arm things on this elliptical with all my might! GRAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!

When I was around 11 or so, my brother took me to the gym for the first time. He was in the free weight room. I had no gym clothes with me, nor did I realize that going to the gym required special clothing. So I went to the locker room, took off my shirt, and came back out and started doing curls with a barbell. I was a big fat kid with no shirt on, my tits hanging out, and I totally thought I was rocking the world by working out like this. My brother saw me and became instantly horrified.

HIM: What the hell are you doing?

ME: I'm working out.

HIM: Put a shirt on!

ME: But all I have is my Ralph Lauren Chaps rugby shirt that Mom bought me at Marshall's.

HIM: JESUS, JUST PUT ON SOMETHING!

It's worth noting here that virtually all fat kids have the exact same kind of body: nascent tits, doughy center, old man love handles, an equator fold going around the body right below the tits, and a waistband that is clearly too small to contain it all. Fat kid bodies are a delight.

HALFTIME!

TF:

I was riding on the bus from NYC to DC today and one of the girls near me found the attached business card in her magazine. She assumed the cashier slipped the card into her magazine when she purchased it. My question is whether or not such a bold, hilarious and disgusting move has EVER worked in the history of mankind?

Screw You And Your Out Of Office Autoreply

No. There's no way contacting this man results in anything other than being chained to a surgical table and raped four million times. But I think his chances would have improved had he printed that same message in Comic Sans font.

Jason:

My wife and I live in a small NYC apartment that does not have its own washer and dryer. I therefore take my laundry once a week to the dry cleaners down the block that I have been using for years. The woman at the counter dutifully places a brightly colored sticker on each of the stained areas of my clothing. Anyway, there was a day when I had dropped off my bag of laundry there on my to work. About fifteen minutes or so later, I realized that I had left a wad of money in a pair of jeans that were in my laundry. I hustled back to the dry cleaners to retrieve my cash. When I walked into the shop, I was horrified by what I saw. The woman had emptied my bag of laundry on the counter and was putting the brightly colored stickers on the skidmarks of basically every pair of underwear that I own. I pretended not to notice what she was doing, took the cash out of my jeans and left.

Should I be concerned about this behavior, or should I instead recognize it as stellar customer service? Does this woman enjoy putting stickers on skidmarks? Does she identify me to herself as "Skidmark Man"?

Listen, if you don't want people seeing your skidmarks, you have to do your own laundry. That's just part of the deal. I'm certain the woman doing your laundry has been completely desensitized to poop stains. Dirty clothes are her job. Like a police detective seeing his 8th corpse of the day, your skid mark is just another one of the many crimes she constantly witnesses being perpetrated against undergarments. She's seen poop, piss, skeet, TONS of dried menstrual blood, boogers, and God knows what else. She's hardened by this. If anything, you think way too much of yourself to think that somehow YOUR skidmarks are going to stop her in her tracks. Your poop isn't special enough to keep Quan Li from doing her daily duties.

By the way, when you get married, your spouse will inevitably come across your skidmarks at some point. And vice versa for you and their undergarments. You will let this go. And the reason why is because it's comforting to know that not only are you not the only person on Earth to shit your pants on occasion, but that the person you married is no better than you are. It's an oddly reassuring moment.

Tom:

Is it just me or is it total bullshit in movies when a guy tries sneaking out of bed when a woman is sleeping next to him and she DOESN'T wake up and the guy makes it out scot-free? This past weekend I had a one night stand with a woman and I was trying to sneak out of bed like a ninja. As I was rolling out of the bed, she moans and rolls over, which causes me to freeze mid-roll and hold that uncomfortable position for another 15 seconds to make sure everything is still cool. I finally get out of the bed without waking her, put on my clothes, and start to smile at my stealth skills, and as I'm walking out to leave, I bash my knee so hard against the wood bed post/footboard. It creates this loud crashing noise which wakes her up. She just stares at me for what felt like 5 minutes. So awkward.

Yeah, I can't take three steps out of bed without waking up half the fucking free world. People who fuck and run in movies also like to pull this move:

1) Woman wakes up after one night stand to see man putting clothes on.
2) Woman asking what man is doing
3) Man saying he has to go do some real important shit like kill some spies, then leaves
4) Woman left clutching sheet against her tits, feeling used

That's crap. No man ever gets dressed right in front of the woman. You sneak into the shitter to do that, or else your belt buckle will jangle and the woman will pop up instantly. And no woman would ever just sit there and take it. She'd (justifiably) say something to make you feel like a complete asshole. "So you're just leaving? That's weird." And then it IS weird! No man or woman caught ditching a one-night stand ever gets away so smoothly. It's always a festival of "ummms" and "uhhhs" and long uncomfortable stares.

Jay:

Skip and Rick Bayless are BROTHERS! I went to Wikipedia to find Skip's
real name, and learned this. I desperately wanted to tell someone, but then realized no one in my life has heard of both people. So I'm telling you.

Jesus. I never realized that either. I guess it makes sense, given that they look alike and all. But shouldn't Rick Bayless be trying to convince you good food is actually really fucking terrible, and vice versa? This means that Skip gets to eat Rick's cooking for free, any time he likes. That makes me angry at the sun for giving us life.

Tyler:

I know I invented the phrase "blowing chunks" in seventh grade. No one had ever heard the phrase before, but one day I said it, and the whole class laughed. I know I invented it because a girl giggled about it and said "I've never heard that before." I swear this happened. She was by far the hottest girl in middle school, so she has extra credibility.

I frequently brag about this to friends because the phrase has become mainstream and everyone knows it, but sometimes I have doubts. Is it possible that I invented this phrase?

No.

Nick:

It took me a second to figure it out.

Screw You And Your Out Of Office Autoreply

THAT'S GREAT HUSTLE.

The Octagon:

On my way to work today, I saw a bike cop park his bike (making sure to put the kickstand down) and then run into the building I was passing. As I got close the end of the building about a dozen more cops show up. The first one to turn the corner of the building and come towards me had her gun drawn. It was the first time I had actually seen a police officer with a weapon drawn, and it was exhilarating.

Oh, that's fantastic. That's even better than when you're going along on the highway and you see a guy pulled over, only it becomes clear that there are two cruisers there and the driver has been taken out of his car and pressed against his own hood to be handcuffed. That's an awesome event to drive by in person. "Oooooh, you're in troubllllle!"

There was a hostage situation in this area last week (some dude took a hostage over at Discovery Channel headquarters the next town over). I've always wanted to walk by a hostage situation. If police set up a grandstand and charged $5 for me to sit there and watch a live hostage situation play out, I'd gladly pony up. Watching people get arrested or get into live firefights with police officers can't be beat.

Ben:

I'm an English dude who during an insomnia-plagued autumn of 2009 got into football (the American kind). I spent last season learning the basics of the game, & now I think it's time to find myself a team. I've got no idea where to start. Never been to America so there's no city I feel any particular attachment to. My mum spent a term in Boston when she was at university, but I don't really want to root for the Pats unless I have to. In the other sports I follow (soccer, cycling, boxing), I tend to gravitate towards teams/players/riders/fighters who are generally shit, but once or twice a year produce a performance so awesome that you have no idea where it came from. Those rare occasions make supporting them worthwhile.

I tried the character quiz on the NFL 360 website, but that was retarded. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, feel free to make the choice for me.

I wouldn't pick any team. I'd just be a fan of the league in general and watch the games I can. This wouldn't be a terrible thing. In fact, you're much luckier than some poor shithead that has to spend the rest of his life rooting for the Browns because he grew up in Ohio and all his fat relatives are Browns fans. As a neutral observer, you can avoid shitty teams, grow to admire certain teams that have qualities you like, and then switch over to other teams once you find those qualities are lost.

I've been a Vikings fan my entire life, but I'm also a fan of the NFL in general, and you develop biases for certain teams along the way, outside of your devotion to your own team. I'm not a Giants fan, but I really enjoyed watching their title run in 1990. Ditto the Saints in last year's Super Bowl. I loved Bernie Kosar for reasons that escape me. You don't have to have one specific team to enjoy football as much as a lifelong fan. In fact, you'll likely enjoy it even more, because you won't have to go through all the bullshit of seeing your team fail year after year after year.

And even if you pick a team, you know it isn't the same as if you were a fan from the beginning. You know you're an interloper. Ever make a friend with someone later in life, feel like you're really good friends, then hang around that new friend when one of their childhood friends is around? You feel like an idiot. That childhood friend knows your new pal far better and deeper than you ever have or ever will. You can't possibly compete. So I say you shouldn't bother. Just be a fan of the league, and don't try and contrive some bullshit allegiance to the Jets if it isn't really there. Also, if you pick the Cowboys, I'll fucking murder your limey ass.

My favorite team is likely leaving Minnesota at some point in the future. When that happens, I'm not picking a new team. I'm staying a league fan, and nothing more. No more being obligated to see them play Detroit. No more watching them choke away precious chance after precious chance. To be honest, I'm kinda looking forward to that day.

Time for a GREAT MOMENT IN FARTING SCIENCE:

James:

I work in a lab, and due to the materials used, the lab needs to be kept a few degrees above freezing. This mostly sucks, especially in summer when I come into work in just a t-shirt. BUT, I've discovered I can drop otherwise nasty farts, and people even three feet away can't smell it. This has been so liberating; as long as my farts are kept quiet, which is fairly easy, I rip them off at a machine gun pace without any consequences. I can't even do this at home!

I even have scientific proof as to why this is the case. The gas law: (pressure) x (volume) = (constant) x (constant) x (temperature). So you see, since pressure is maintained in real world conditions, the volume of my fart gas is directly proportional to the temperature. Lower temperature means lower fart gas volume. Feels good man.

I bet it does. I'm moving to Alaska. My shit don't stink there!