A Call For The Abolition Of The Tomato Slice In Sandwiches

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Find more of Drew's stuff at KSK or on Twitter. Buy Drew's new book, The Postmortal, through here. Email the Funbag here. Today, we're covering Bartman, Lohan in Playboy, sex changes, and more.

Your letters:

Andy:

The tomato slice - a useful component of any great sandwich, or a waste of space (and often to your sandwich handling detriment) which could be better allocated to more deli meat?

I always take out the tomato slices because I am on the record as being a weird human being who doesn't eat raw tomatoes unless they come in salsa form. If I may, I'll lay out my grievances with the tomato slice in the voice of a Chopped judge:

"Where I stumble is on these tomato slices. They overpower certain bites of the sandwich and I can't get past that. Because you've made a wonderful sauce. It gives the dish just the right balance of tartness and acidity with the soft hominess of the bread and the salty punch of the meat. But then I get this big bite of tomato and that takes center stage. The deli meat should really be the hero of this dish, and the tomato, which wasn't even in your mystery basket, monopolizes it."

Plus they always fall out of the sandwich, which is annoying. I don't know why tomatoes are always given an automatic berth in any sandwich I order. I shouldn't have to ask for my sandwich to NOT have tomato and mayo. They are interlopers. I'll decide what toppings I deem worthy, fuck you very much.

Bill:

Would you rather be forced to get a sex change or change your sexual preference? Surprisingly it was a split decision among my friends. While both options are horrible, I'd gladly turn gay over getting my dick chopped off and folding up my scrotum into roast beef curtains. Am I right?

If you're a single guy, there's no doubt about it: You go gay. The only reason you'd take the sex change over turning gay is because you're so blinded by homophobia that the idea of being gay is somehow less appetizing than being literally emasculated. That's idiotic. Have you SEEN all the fun that gay men get to have in 2011? Half of all TV show characters are written JUST FOR THEM. I read Bob Mould's autobiography and he goes into great detail about what a blast it is to be gay in New York. You can get laid at any time! People invite you to giant, well-catered orgies on Fire Island just because you're gay too! Whip out your dick on a dance floor at a gay party and someone will suck it! It's a goddamn miracle. Half the time I want to punch myself just for liking women. You have to spend a whole DINNER hoping a woman will put out! They're impossible to work with.

Now, that's if you're single. If you're married, as I am, things get a bit dicier, because being gay means you'd no longer be attracted to your wife, which is bad. It would probably destroy your marriage. Then again, having your dingding chopped off and being turned into a woman would ALSO probably ruin your marriage, seeing as how your wife probably wouldn't be too into the new Ms. You. I once had a college professor who was married who changed genders and REMAINED married. But I have to think that's an exception to the rule. You'd probably be left without a family AND without a dick, so it's insult to injury. Either way, it looks like being gay is always the right call over being transgendered.

Steve:

If (when) they finally legalize pot, what do you think will be the preferred method of commercial packaging? Obviously it can't be a 20-pack of rolled up cigarettes like it is with tobacco. Will it be one machine-rolled "cigarette"? Or maybe a couple of them? Loose leaf, like pipe tobacco (Excuse me, do you have Fat Albert in a can?)? How about small, vacuum packed pouches? Will they have incentive "combo packs", where a snack sized bag of Cheetos is attached to the neatly packaged dime bag?

There's enough legalized marijuana around now to have a pretty good idea of what commercially packaged weed would look like in the future if lawmakers ever grow a fucking brain. Most of the pot you get from a medicinal marijuana vending machine comes loose, to do with as you please: roll it, pack it, bake it, rub it on your balls, etc. Some prescription joints come in a round tin, which I find classier than the typical cigarette carton. If you go abroad to a hash bar in Amsterdam, you can get your weed in virtually any form: in bags, joints, lollipops, brownies, or as the little pie wedges in a Trivial Pursuit wheel. So even though weed isn't fully legal, we have a pretty good idea of how many different ways it will be presented in the marketplace.

But one of the great shames of weed prohibition is that we haven't be able to witness corporate America whore out weed the way they so deftly whore out every other product. Oh, what'd I give to see weed cigarette ads in a national magazine, or to have weed energy drink TV spots on during an NFL game, or to spot a bag of THC-infused Frito Lay snacks at my local bodega. Everything about weed right now feels so homemade and amateurish. So NATURAL. Yuck. I want to see a box of WEED PUFFS with a stoned-as-fuck purple dragon on the cover that was designed specifically to appeal to children but somehow avoids any legal definition of being children's packaging. I want that professional sheen that you only get by unleashing the full strength of America's marketing giants. I'm picturing Pete Coors, shot at twilight in front of his family's pot farm, telling you how Coors' Weed was made using only the finest Colorado soil and preserved with just a touch of high fructose formaldehyde. And Sam Elliott on the voiceover. Always Sam. I'd feel so much better giving my money to Pete and his Nazi causes than some filthy drug dealing hippie.

Austin:

Is there anything more disappointing in life than hearing what you think is the opening of "For Whom the Bell Tolls," then finding out it's lameass "Hells Bells"?

Whoa hey, let's not rip on AC/DC in such a cavalier manner. I really like "Hells Bells," although I do get the intro to that and Metallica's masterpiece confused. All you need to know is that if you're watching an NFL game and you hear those church bells being played in the stadium, there's a 100% chance you're about to hear "Hells Bells." For some reason, that's the more family-friendly stadium song. Professional sports teams are required by law to pretend that pre-Black Album Metallica never existed. It's "Enter Sandman" or nothing.

CJ:

What do you think the average peasant used to jerk off to before the porn industry? You figure that a king could have whoever he wanted, the aristocracy would have paintings of nudes, but peasants had nothing. And not only did they have nothing, they had to look at women that probably would have had pox marks and other disfigurements. That's not to say that all peasant women were ugly, but the peasant's spank bank would have been as poor as they were.

They would have had to use their IMAGINATIONS. Doesn't that sound awful? How the hell am I supposed to picture a naked woman on my own? Also, while medieval peasants may not have had access to fine nude paintings or other visual representations of a sexual nature, they would have access to books, and to orally told sexual escapades passed down from generation to generation. It's possible that The Odyssey is little more than an ancient Penthouse Forum story run amok. Sirens? A dude coming home to rightfully reclaim and plow his wife? Add latex and suddenly it's a Michael Ninn film.

I'd also like to think that, absent pornography, the Good Lord bestowed upon peasant men in the Dark Ages impossibly sexy dreams, dreams so rich a vivid you could spend a decade using them for self-gratification. You'd be amazed at the resilience of the male libido. HORNINESS FINDS A WAY.

TG:

Which type of restaurant goes through paper towels quicker, BBQ joint or buffalo wing place? I swear after my friends and I polish off a wheelbarrow of wings, our table looks like Grandma's floor every Christmas morning.

Wings win because wings are exclusively a finger food, whereas not all barbecue is necessarily eaten with your hands. Ribs are messy, but they aren't that bad because the meat shrinks while cooking, leaving you with two bare ends of the bone to grab onto while you eat. It's meat on the cob, basically. God, I really want some ribs now. But if I eat two dozen wings, I'm going through at least five napkins per wing, and even then I'll have done a lousy job getting the sauce off. I could wipe my hands for days and there would still be Day-Glo orange underneath my grubby fingernails after a plate of wings.

TG's question got me thinking about the messiest meal humanly possible, and I have to think a Maryland crab feast ranks somewhere near the top. That's one of those Maryland traditions where they steam the crabs and you bash them with a hammer and spend the next six hours plucking out three grams of crabmeat. Your extremities reek of Old Bay for days on end. It's quite something.

Josh:

I think I have found a similar phenomenon to Dad Strength, and it is Dad Beard. I shave every day, but I'm far from a grizzly bear when it comes to facial hair growth. Any time in my adult life I've tried to grow a beard, I failed in the worst way possible. But last week my son was born, and I went without shaving out of pure exhaustion for a week. Lo and behold, only 5 days later I'm looking like a Hassidic Jew. Turns out, siring a male offspring makes one a manly beard machine. Who knew?

New fathers actually go through hormonal changes when a baby arrives. Contrary to your experiences, your testosterone levels DROP when a new kid arrives, which would presumably make it more difficult for you to grow a kickass beard. It's a dismaying fact, because it means that having kids makes you, scientifically speaking, a HUGE pussy. Guess that sex change wouldn't be so hard after all. But that's not the only hormonal imbalance new dads suffer through:

At the same time that testosterone is falling, a man's supply of prolactin—a hormone that helps mothers make milk—rises more than 20%, Brizendine says.

"We still don't know what prolactin is doing in dads," she says.

I'll tell you what it's doing there: MAKING ME LOOK BAD IN FRONT OF MY FIRENDS, WHO ALL DRINK MILLER LITE BECAUSE THEY'RE MANLY MEN. This is just great. TIT MILK. That's all I need. Having a kid also increases the levels of cortisol in your system, a hormone that acts as a kind of stress inducer. So having a kid makes you a stressed-out eunuch. FUN. No Dad Beard for you.

HALFTIME!

James:

If you could choose any sound effect that you could reproduce on command what would it be? I would choose the cricket noise. How many times have you been in a group when someone says something unbearably awkward, which grinds conversation to an uncomfortable halt. There is no way to get out of this situation gracefully; this is the ideal time to deploy the cricket noise, as everyone could laugh at how awkward the comment was, while not actually acknowledging the comment directly. As you can tell, I overthink social situations.

Well, you CAN produce any sound effect on command. All you need is an iPhone. My mom bought me a fart machine for my birthday a couple weeks ago (she knows me all too well), and being able to reproduce a convincing fart noise (not just one where you blow into the heel of your palm) has been a source of merriment for me for the past month. You can entertain the children for hours. You can plant it by your wife's ass and frame here for a fart she didn't commit. You can walk up to someone and go:

YOU: Hey, guess what?

THEM: What?

YOU: (fart noise, convulsive laughing)

I'm quite pleased with it.

But if I could produce ANY sound effect on command, it would be the light saber sound effect from Star Wars. I'd like to walk into a public bathroom and have my phone dial that effect up. Anyone sitting on the shitter when I walked in would be utterly mystified. Why is there a light saber in the bathroom? Holy shit, am I going to be forced to duel with Vader with half a turtle poking out of me?

I'd also like to be able to summon "Baker Street Baba Booey" out of the ether at my behest:

Jake:

The gym where I'm a member leaves out free tea bags in addition to the usual coffee set. Every time I'm there I take between 10 and 20 tea bags. Now, I like tea but I don't even drink it that often. I now have an entire dresser drawer filled with tea bags. Should I feel bad about this?

No. Gym fees are almost always too high. You're talking about spending eighty bucks a month to share a locker room with steakheads and naked old people, to nervously use a treadmill while hoping no one has noticed you've gone past your sign-up sheet time, and to be solicited by personal trainers who took all their salesmanship lessons from a drunken hobo. Free teabags are the LEAST they can do for you.

Brad:

The attached picture was taken in downtown Austin. I'm not sure that's what ridin' dirty is really supposed to be. But, it explains where used limos end up.

A Call For The Abolition Of The Tomato Slice In SandwichesS

Indeed it does. I want to buy an old limo and pick up people at the senior center with it.

OLD PERSON: Who are you?

ME: I'm your limo driver. You've won a prize!

OLD PERSON: What's my prize?

ME: A drive around the block while I set off my fart machine in the backseat!

Brad (again):

Just to remind you how good apple cider donuts are, I picked one out today that had the entire hole filled with a clump of sugar.

Mmmmm... apple sugar. I have a board book I read to my kid that's about a family of bears driving to an apple farm. And when they get back from the apple farm, they make all kinds of crazy shit with the apples they picked: apple pie, apple dumplings, apple cider, and apple donuts. I can't read that book without wanting to eat a dozen apple donuts right then and there. Children's books make me hungry.

Tim:

How much money did Lindsay Lohan lose by agreeing to pose for Playboy now instead of back in, say 2005?

Shockingly little, if you believe the TMZ report that Lohan got between $750K and $1 million for doing the spread (NOTE: I believe everything I read). Even though she's now unhireable as an actress and looks like a used horse saddle, she's still has enough name recognition to be of value to Playboy. Playboy doesn't give a shit if you're an attractive person or not: They've handed out modeling offers to the likes of Chyna and Roseanne Barr. It's almost as if they HATE your penis.

The sad thing about Lohan getting a million bucks or whatever to do Playboy is that she's probably already spent that money five times over. Imagine being so completely fucked both mentally and financially that being handed a million bucks does NOTHING to change your dire circumstances. I still think Lohan stands as the prime example of how you can become a permanently damaged human being by being famous and having shitty parents.

Rico:

I was watching the Cowboys-Redskins game on Monday night a few weeks back and a Cowboys offensive lineman got flagged for a false start. The Cowboys were driving and it gave them something like 2nd and 6 instead of 2nd and 1. The announcer totally lost his shit and condescendingly said, "That's the last thing the Cowboys need from a veteran offensive lineman." This got me thinking how frequently and inappropriate the 'the last thing we/they need' line is used.

This got me thinking, what in fact, would be the last thing the Cowboys would need from an offensive lineman? (at least during an actual game). I settled on turning around and tackling Romo after the ball is hiked, causing him to fumble and having the Redskins return for a TD. After Romo is knocked unconscious and out for the season, the offensive lineman takes his dick out on live TV and puts it on Romo's face, which is then shown to the whole stadium on the 1,000,000 inch jumbotron. I think I can safely say that's probably the last thing they would need from an O-Lineman.

What about turning around and shooting Romo to death? That would be unnecessary. It wouldn't even have to be a hostile act. If he slapped on a rainbow wig and did a rendition of "Last Friday Night," that would also be among the truly last things the Cowboys would need. It wouldn't serve any strategic purpose in their effort against the Redskins.

But I'm not all that annoyed when someone like Mike Tirico busts out the hyperbole (I'm assuming it's Tirico who made the comment), because he's not the kind of announcer to do it on a consistent basis, the way his boothmates do. Besides, hyperbole is part of the fun of sports anyway. I enjoy warping my perspective entirely and exaggerating wins and losses to the point of absurdity. It's what makes sports fun. If you were watching last night's game at a party and someone was like, "Wow, Joe Flacco isn't very good, but I suppose there are worse things in the world, like forced female circumcision in Africa," you'd slap that person in the balls. It's much more fun to say HOLY SHIT JOE FLACCO IS WORSE THAN ARSON WHAT THE FUCK Y'ALL?!!!

Seamus:

My friend is sitting in Commissioner Goodell's luxury box for 1 of the NFL games this weekend. If you were in this situation, how would you leave your mark on his suite?

I'd leave a pubic hair in his drink. No lie. I'd go in the bathroom, pluck a couple of dark hairs from the tuft above my dong (the scrotal hair is blonder for reasons I can't explain), and then pull a Clarence Thomas by leaving them in the commish's Dr Pepper.

Shorty:

Take the worst team in the NFL (let's say the Dolphins) and put them up against the best team in the NFL (let's say the Packers). If the Dolphins lose, each of their players gets brutally dismembered after the game. With their lives at stake, do you think the Dolphins would pull out a victory in a game they'd normally stand no chance in?

To make it more interesting, we'll assume that the Packers have no knowledge Miami's predicament, so there isn't any possibility that they would lay down and let the Dolphins win.

Tragically, I think you'd find pieces of Brian Hartline's corpse strewn about the locker room soon thereafter. Despite all your preconceived notions about an 0-6 team, there are still plenty of players on the Dolphins who play their hardest all game long. But that hasn't prevented them from having serious talent deficiencies at key positions and a braindead extra from My Blue Heaven as their head coach. So, even if they knew their game against the Packers was literally a life-or-death struggle, I still don't think the Dolphins would win. If anything, the thought of being sawed into very small parts would cause the Dolphins to press, and therefore make even more mistakes than usual. Conceivably, they could turn on each other mid-game, or they could attempt to flee the stadium in hopes of avoiding certain death. Then the Packers would win handily, perhaps even by forfeit.

By the way, that hypothetical disembowelment is STILL better than what actually happened to the Dolphins on Sunday.

Matt:

So I was watching that Steve Bartman ESPN film and heard a minor detail that I found very interesting. He actually had two friends with him at the game, a male friend and his girlfriend. The film then mentioned that the three of them had a hotel rented for that night to celebrate in case the Cubs won and advanced to the World Series. Am I wrong in thinking that Bartman and his friends were going to have a devil's threesome after the game?

Bartman doesn't exactly strike me as the wild orgy type. He strikes me as the kind of guy who would have celebrated the Cubs clincher with a sleeve of Fig Newtons and a Hi-C juicebox.

One of reasons I think the whole Bartman thing fascinates people is because it's so rare for a fan to be the goat of a major sporting event. If you're a player or a coach who fucks up, there's always another chance to redeem yourself. You get another play, or another game, or another season. You can atone for your error. But with Bartman, it's completely different. It's not like he can make up for it by going back to Wrigley and asking someone to hit him another foul ball that he decides to NOT try and interfere with. There's no correcting it, EVER. And that's kind of a scary thought. Bartman represents a darker side to the experience of watching sports and living vicariously through them. I always watch games and daydream about being the coach or being a player and being responsible for the big win that gets everyone laid. That's why people watch sports. You'd like to think it could happen to you. Then there's Bartman, who was involved in this whole sordid mess that really could have happened to anyone. You can easily put yourself in his shoes and wonder how you'd handle being in the same situation.

By the way, I get really annoyed with sportswriters who praise Bartman for his reclusiveness. OMG HE WON'T TALK TO US HE HAS SUCH INTEGRITY FAP FAP FAP! Such a fucking circle jerk. If Bartman had spoken out publicly about the foul ball and even displayed a bit of self-deprecation about the whole affair, he wouldn't have any more or less integrity than he does already. In fact, he probably wouldn't have sportswriters occasionally accosting him in parking lots, like he fucking murdered someone.

Email of the week time.

Matt:

Somehow I always get into the craziest of crazy cabs, like one driver telling me about how if he were President, he would 'rubber fuck in the head' (which my friend and I finally figured out was crazyspeak for shoot with rubber bullets) people who didn't agree with him.

The latest in this series of cab driver absurdity: Rush hour cab ride on Penn Ave. Cab driver is prattling on about how hot it is and how terrible Asian women drivers are etc. Suddenly he turns around, while still driving and stares me in the eyes-

Cabbie - Are you Jewish?

Me - What? Seriously? No.

Cabbie - You look like a Jewish.

Me (head drooping) - I get that a lot.

Cabbie - What do you know about Jewish faith?

Me - I don't know, not much I guess.

Cabbie - Tell me something you know.

Me - Uh well I guess they consider themselves the chosen people.

Cabbie (bursts out laughing) - Haha chosen by who?

Me - I dunno God?

Cabbie (still chortling) - Not my God. Also I want you to know I am laughing at the chosen people part, not that you look so Jewish.

As I was expensing the cab for work, I gave him a decent tip for an entertaining cab ride.

BUT SERIOUSLY.

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

Fear not. The NSA has that cab bugged.