What Are The Odds You'll Kill An Old Person With Your Cold?

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Find more of Drew's stuff at KSK or on Twitter. Buy Drew's book, The Postmortal, through here. Email the Funbag here. Today, we're covering Catdog, tomatoes, bird poop, and more. Image by Jim Cooke; skull photo via el lobo/Shutterstock.

Your letters:

Ben:

How many people do you think you've inadvertently killed by getting them sick with a cold or flu you've had? As a 25-year-old, I have to assume I've killed at least 10 people by passing them a sickness- think about how many old people can die just by getting a cold. My friends think the number is lower, but think about how many times you went to visit grandma at the old people's home.

You think you killed ten people? Don't flatter yourself, Ted Bundy. 41,000 people in this country are killed by the flu every year. Now, let's assume that those 41,000 dead people got their flu from 41,000 OTHER people. That would give you a 1 in 8,536 chance of being one of those 41,000 people who killed an old fogy in any given year. The odds of you killing ten seniors in just 25 years are impossibly remote. If you're gonna kill old people, you're gonna have to do it the old fashioned way: With a big old knife. Good luck to you. I know I support your cause.

William:

Hopefully you're familiar with the cartoon character Catdog. Anyway, in one episode of the show, cat crawls into dog's mouth to retrieve something from dog's stomach for whatever reason. Cat then goes past the stomach and further in. This leaves the question: How far can he go? Can he keep going forever? Does it open a black hole, which is the reason for the 2012 apocalypse? This is driving me nuts.

For those who don't know, Catdog has a cat's head on one end of its body and a dog's head on the other. So cat venturing into dogs mouth would be akin to you sticking your head up your own asshole. Now, let's assume that you have Plasticman's superpowers and flexibility is not an issue for you. Also, let's assume you've got a Goatse-sized opening down there, so your head would have no issue moving up through your digestive tract. I'd like to think that it would then be physically possible to have your head emerge from your own mouth once you reach the end, but that obviously wouldn't happen. What would happen is that you'd end up stretching your intestines into infinity and re-entering your asshole again and again and again, until you were arranged in a tight spiral, like a human cinnamon bun. That's what would happen to Catdog. Not a pretty sight. I used a straw to try and simulate it.

Andrew:

Let's say that, as a reward for some selfless act of patriotism, the POTUS grants you the legal right to permanently start for the MLB team of your choosing. You'll be paid the league average salary (i.e. you'll be rich), you can't be cut or sent the minors, and the president's consent is required to remove you from any game (to prevent the manager from immediately substituting you after the 1st pitch). Violators will face severe legal prosecution and possible imprisonment. The catch, of course, is that your real-life lack of professional-caliber baseball skills would subject you to a career full of strikeouts, defensive blunders, losing, ridicule, humiliation, hazing, injury, etc. On the flipside, you'd be on the receiving end of unlimited job security, global notoriety, and most importantly, a fat paycheck. Would you accept the offer?

I'd accept it immediately, like anyone else, and then I'd instantly come to regret it. There's only one positive to emerge from this scenario, and that's the money. The rest of your life would immediately turn to shit. The thrill of walking onto a major league field would be tainted be the fact that you would know, deep down, that you didn't deserve to be there. Fans would DESTROY you, home and away. TV analysts would cite you as proof that baseball is a joke. Mike Lupica would worry about what kind of example you were setting for our children. Your teammates would fucking despise you. And opposing pitchers, for fun, would routinely throw beanballs at your head. I'm someone who is terrified of being hit in the head with a baseball. Even when I'm not playing. Sometimes I'll walk past a little league game and become scared that an errant foul ball will head straight for my dome. I'm a huge puss. So the idea of standing in a batter's box every night for four months knowing there's a subdural hematoma with my name on it would be enough to make me quit immediately.

Think about Ryan Leaf's life. The only thing Ryan Leaf got out of his NFL career was a nice signing bonus (which he promptly squandered). Everything else was shit. Was the money enough to balance out the years of failure and embarrassment that followed? You know the answer. If I get a reward from the POTUS, it's gonna be straight cash. Fuck pretending to be a baseball player. Leave that to Tom Verducci.

James:

I had been half entertaining the notion of growing some tomatoes in my back yard, so in a few years my kid can chase me around and I can die of a heart attack like Don Corleone in the Godfather. While looking over the various types, I noticed the two in the attached photo were conspicuously put next to each other. The 13-year-old boy in me couldn't help but take a picture. There's no way the poor minimum wage earning bastard who had to put those tomato plants out DIDN'T do this on purpose, right?

What Are The Odds You'll Kill An Old Person With Your Cold?

No way. By the way, I resent the existence of the beefsteak tomato. What a cocktease. There's nary a trace of steak to be found inside one. They don't sell pork chop lemons, nor should they. Whoever named tomatoes is a big jerk.

Matt:

Had an MRI on my hip yesterday, which meant the only thing sticking out of the tube was my head. Three seconds after they sent me into the tube and the crazy loud noises start, I get the most agonizing itch on my junk imaginable. Not even one where you feel it and it fades after a minute. It lasted for half an hour, and I was dying. The moment they slid me back out I started clawing at my balls like a homeless dude. I'm sure the attendants assumed I had crabs and proceeded to unleash a gallon of Lysol after I left. MRIs suck.

Apparently, they now have MRI machines that have TVs inside them, so that you can watch SportsCenter while the doctors beat on the outside of the machine with tennis rackets (I assume that's how the MRI sounds are made). I have never gotten an MRI with a TV and I bet I never will. Those TV MRIs are probably all reserved for pro athletes and executives over at Big Cat Scan, which is BULLSHIT.

Getting an MRI is basically akin to being buried alive. And the worst part is that the radiologist NEVER has any sympathy for you. They just go, "Please don't move." And then you move because you're in agony and they have the nerve to get all pissy with you. Fuckhead, YOU get in this death trap and see how long you're able to sit perfectly still. I'm not a fucking android. I have tics. It's not like I didn't hear your instructions. I'm doing my best, but this experience sucks a donkey dick. SO EASY TO JUDGE FROM YOUR LITTLE MONITOR ROOM, YOU RED CUNT.

By the way, every time you take an MRI, they have you remove your clothes and they have you fill out a checklist to ensure that there's no metal inside your body. And I have always gone into the machine terrified that I accidentally ate a jagged metal Krusty O earlier in the morning, or that someone put a metal plate in my skull without telling me, and that the machine will rip it out of me and send it flying across the room like shrapnel from an IED. Do not get an MRI.

Andy:

When I go to a company's website, and I get the "Global" page where I have to pick the country, why the fuck is the United States of America just a tiny little link, the same size as Estonia? If Estonia were a state, it would not even be in the top 40 by population. If they are going to do a global site, the size of the links should be proportional to the population of the countries.

Not only that, but they sometimes list the USA at its proper position in the alphabet, so you have to scroll down forever to find it tucked between the UK and Uruguay, which is a fucking joke. Any website worth its salt treats the US as an exception and lists it FIRST, and then goes to the alphabetical list of all the other, stupider countries after that. I much prefer the sites where you're presented with a map of the world and you get to click on your home country. I feel like I'm deliberately choosing to bomb my homeland when I do that, which is why I always make sure the cursor is set on Texas.

Justin:

I supervise the cash department at a large bank in my area. I literally touch more than $5 million in cash a week...working in a cash department is like being a diabetic working in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

I couldn't handle that. I'd spend every day thinking about tucking a stack of fifties into my boot. Who's gonna notice? That shit is FDIC insured. You could get away with it! You really could! For, like, five seconds! God, that would be tempting.

Eddie:

This bad man with double sleeved tats and a shaved head was at Mickey D's with his 5 year old girl. I wonder where she'll be working the pole in 13 years.

What Are The Odds You'll Kill An Old Person With Your Cold?

Phillydude:

I work in an office that has one of those snack machines that gets filled every two weeks or so. When the snack guy comes, I always make it a point to head into the breakroom as soon as he leaves and check out the new selections. If there's something particularly tasty (like those Hawaiian onion kettle chips), I empty my wallet and buy ALL of that particular item, take the armful back to my cubicle, and hide them in a file cabinet-sized desk drawer. That way I will always have the snack I want when I want it, and I'm depriving my office-mates of the opportunity to enjoy that item as well (or from shutting me out). Is this so wrong?

It's not wrong, so much as it is impractical. You're paying a huge markup for a vending machine item when you could just head over to a grocery store, buy the same item in bulk, and keep it in your desk that way. That only drawback is that you don't get to experience the thrill of boning over your co-workers, but surely you can make up for that by ruining their day in other ways, like shitting in the microwave and then turning the microwave on.

By the way, I can't be the only person who gets enraged when the soda machine is out of a particular item. First of all, the person who bought the last Coke Zero is an ASSHOLE. Secondly, sometimes the vending machine won't tell you it's sold out until you've put your money in. Well, what the shit am I supposed to do now, you dick? I can't believe I just spent $1.75 on Diet Dr. Pepper. I don't even like regular ass Dr. Pepper.

(MASSIVE DETOUR: I was at a snack bar the other day and one of the kids there went rogue and ordered a root beer. And I swear to you, EVERY person in line after him decided to order a root beer after that. That's the power root beer has over people. "Hey, I'll have a root beer too! ***drinks the root beer*** WOW, THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA!" A sudden yearning for root beer is a contagious thing that could kill old people.)

HALFTIME!

Evan:

So a usually modest female facebook friend you haven't seen in 5 years posts a picture where she is wearing a bikini. Her nip is definitely showing. Giving her a heads up on that is definitely the creepiest thing you can do, right?

You can't. If you were closer to her, you could maybe tease her for it, or do the "Uh... I think you might want to take a closer look at that photo before you post it..." thing, which presents you as a concerned citizen and not a perv looking out for old classmate nip slips. But if it's one of those people you keep on Facebook just to keep on Facebook, no. Stay away.

Stephanie:

This plate belongs to the next-door neighbor of a friend. When questioned, the neighbor responded it stands for "Fight for DC."

What Are The Odds You'll Kill An Old Person With Your Cold?

Hoo boy.

Greg:

When I played tee ball about 20 yrs ago, my older brother told me that I could peg a base runner with the ball to get him out. In our first game, one of the other players (who also has an older brother about the same age) must have been told the same thing. He fielded a ball, threw it at and hit the runner. He thought he had made an out. The coaches explained this was not an out. My question is: was this a typical old school tee ball rule?

Isn't that a rule in kickball? That's why you use dodgeballs for kickballs. BOINGGGGGG.

It's obvious that this rule needs to be implemented into Major League Baseball. If MLB allowed you to throw the ball at the baserunner to get him out, I would be RIVETED. First of all, VIOLENCE. Secondly, the fielder would have to make a choice. He would have to either choose to get the runner out the old fashioned way, or he would have to have enough confidence in his arm that he would be certain of nailing the baserunner from afar. Because if you fuck up and the baserunner eludes that throw, suddenly you're talking about one or two extra bases. Imagine the standing O that would ensue if a center field nailed a baserunner heading for home plate. I would never stop cheering. It would be the greatest thing ever.

Colin:

Whose voice has been heard by the largest percentage of living people? I see two potential answers: the easy answer would be a well-known musician like Paul McCartney. The other solid answer would be either President Bush or President Obama. Presidents Bush or Obama would also get a huge percentage of the worldwide population, as I'm sure they have soundbites featured on TV/the radio all over. Then again, there could be a dark horse candidate like the president of China or a popular Indian music group who would win on the sheer population of those two countries. Thoughts?

You'd have to also include movie stars like Samuel L. Jackson (highest grossing box office star worldwide) or George Clooney. And, since we're dealing with voices, you'd also have to include the guy who does Elmo. Because not only is Elmo on TV in a zillion countries, but his voice has also been implemented in any number of pull toys, books, and novelty sex toys. Billions of people know Elmo's voice, perhaps more than any President or movie star or musician. Christ, that's depressing. I feel like we should have Elmo strangled to death in order to correct this.

Chuck:

Why is there so much transsexual porn? Is it simply satisfying the demand of the consumers? Or is this the doing of a powerful, albeit secretive transsexual porn lobby?

I assume that it's there because of demand, but it does seem to have an oversized market share. One time, back in my single days, I thought to myself, "Well look, if all these people are watching she-male porn, they must know something I don't. I must be missing out on something." So I took a glimpse and... nope. Wasn't missing anything.

I think that many men watch transsexual porn because they're homophobic. They want to see a woman get penetrated, but they hate the idea of looking at a guy in the shot, so they'd prefer it if the sex partner were a "Woman" who just happened to have a penis. That way, it's much less gay. Now, that makes NO sense at all, but I'm telling you that some people see it that way. To them, a she-male is a lady with a perma-strap-on.

Joe:

My dad's friend was mauled by a bear in Juneau, dragging out a deer. The bear didn't go for the deer and pounced on the man, who couldn't get his gun up in time. With his paws digging into his back, he grabbed him by the skull and shook him. The bear did this several more times. The only way this man survived was a VHF radio in his front pocket to call for help, and even then the bear heard it and came over for another bite. Then he started to bury him half-alive. Bears create a "cache" to store their food for late, which is common for a big moose or deer kill.

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Holy shit, I'm never going camping again ever. Not like I planned on it, but still. I'm a CITY BOY all the way. If my kid ever asks me to take her camping, I'mma buy a room at some lodge with working electricity and cable TV and tell her, "This is camping."

When I was a kid, we went camping out in the woods for a week during sleepaway camp, and we had to hang a bear bag in the trees so that the bears wouldn't come and steal all our GORP. Our counselor was a dude named Pat, a white guy who practiced Buddhism and ate everything with chopsticks because he believed it promoted modest eating. Pat showed us how to pack the bear bag and then told us that if a bear came in the middle of the night, he knew how to, like, tell it to fuck off.

So one night, we hung the bag and went to bed. Now, every time I heard something move outside the tent, I assumed it was a bear coming to slaughter us. It got to the point where I was sick of waiting around and wanted the bear to eat me NOW, just to get it over with. Anyway, I feel asleep only to have my cousin Sam nudge me a couple hours later and tell me to listen outside. And what I heard outside was Pat, the counselor, clapping his hands real loud and hissing, "Gittttt outta here! Gittttt outta here!"

"Holy shit. There's a bear out there!" I whispered.

"Definitely a bear," Sam said.

"Why does he keep saying get outta here? Is that really all it takes to make them go away?"

"Fuck if I know."

So anyway, if you see sociopathic bear who's about to shake your skull and bury you half-dead, I guess you're supposed to tell it to get outta here. RESULTS MAY VARY.

David:

Who would beat the other first, Michael Jordan over Gary Kasparov in chess, or Gary Kasparov over Michael Jordan in basketball? Assume a Groundhog Day-like scenario, where they are both at their peak, reliving every day and they can learn as the days pass.

My answer was that neither would ever beat the other.

/BONG HIT

Trey:

I used to get behind this woman on the way to work. She also has a Ford 500 with a similar sticker that says "This car is protected by the blood of Jesus Christ."

What Are The Odds You'll Kill An Old Person With Your Cold?

But how do you protect a car with Christ's blood? Do you rub it on the windshield?

Paul:

If you were given superhero powers, got bit by a radioactive spider, were exposed to gamma rays, etc, would you use your powers to fight crime? Or sign up for a pro sport?

First of all, if you had a real superpower, you'd have to be extremely careful with who you tell, because we all know that the second your powers were made public, the GUBMINT would seize you and take you to a secret underground bunker to run tests on you and try and make a weapon out of you. Fuck that. I AIN'T UNCLE SAM'S STOOGE.

Secondly, fuck fighting crime. That's idiotic. Using your powers of flight to fight crime is a waste of time and would almost certainly subject to you to prosecution, lawsuits, and bodily harm. No thank you. I'll leave that shit to the pros. No, my powers of invisibility/super strength/x-ray eyes would be used solely for my own personal gain, whether that means using my powers to get my rocks off (invisible man in the ladies' locker room!), or to procure vital news for you, the reader (sneaking into Bieber's sex grotto!), or to lease my services to the highest black market bidder. You need me and my super speed to deliver a package to Hamburg by 9am? Oh, that can be arranged, FOR A HEFTY FEE.

But yeah, keep your superpowers close to the vest. It's like winning the lottery: the more people that know, the bigger a pain in the ass it becomes.

Evan:

Have you ever seem bird poop like this? There's so much poop!

What Are The Odds You'll Kill An Old Person With Your Cold?

DEATH HAWK!

Email of the Week time:

Mike:

I was visiting my parents in Chicago last winter and I started to develop a pain in my left ear. I figured it was the from the flight, something to do with altitude or a lingering cold. My first night there, I woke up in the middle of the night. I didn't wake up from the pain in my ear, but rather the lack of it, I think. Instead of a dull pain, now it just felt like there was a bunch of water in there. I started shaking my head around, jamming q-tips in there, I even poured in some of that swimmer's ear solution to get it out. Nothing doing. Worse still, the water was starting to tickle and move around a lot.

My mom being slightly neurotic, she keeps a whole bookshelf of home remedy books. I ran through the self-diagnosis chart and found that the most likely cause of my ear discomfort was from a "foreign object or most likely, an insect, trapped inside the middle ear."

The book's only solution to this was to pour hot oil into my ear in the hopes that it drives the bug out of my ear instead of deeper into my brain. Right as I was pulling the oil out of the microwave, I gave my head one final shake and out of my ear flew an enormous beetle about the size of a nickel. It scurried away under the table before I could throw a boiling pot of oil onto it.

I slept with earmuffs on for a month after that.

Also fairly convinced there is an entire family of beetles slowly eating my brain and eyeballs.

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!