Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering method acting, giant condor pets, and more.
Before we get to the Funbag, one quick announcement: There will probably not be a live Funbag on Thursday. But don't despair. You'll always have your raging alcoholism to help fill the void.
Now, your letters:
If you could only have 1 type of cheese for the rest of your life, what would it be? It would be the cheese in any dish that contains cheese, from cheeseburger, to mac and cheese and even pizza. I think the 2 top contenders are Cheddar and Mozzarella. Cheddar has more flavor and good versatility but mozzarella has the pizza covered, plus could also work on a burger in a pinch.
What about Venezeulan beaver cheese?
Seriously though, it has to be mozzarella. And I say this as someone who routinely makes cheddar cheese pizza for his kid because the kid prefers it to mozzarella. Turns out cheddar cheese pizza—despite being an affront to God—tastes okay. But I can't stomach the thought of spending the rest of my life with mozzarella-free pizza. Pizza is too important to me, and to you. It's more important than nachos, alas. The ultimate cheese triage list would probably look something like this:
- Cream cheese
- Monterey Jack (honestly, between this and cheddar, I can never tell which cheese they put on my nachos. It's all horse cheese anyway, I reckon)
- Bleu cheese (if that's your thing)
I have brie at the bottom of this list because I fucking hate it. I know all foodies are mandated by law to adore runny cheeses, and if they smell like feet, all the better. But I can't get into it. It looks like human pus. I don't understand brie at all, even when they wrap it in phyllo dough and dump sixty pounds of candied nuts on top.
Just to make this list official, I asked the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg—who once worked as a cheese buyer for Whole Foods—if cheddar or mozzarella was the more important cheese:
"This is really tough. I don't like eating mozzarella plain that much. I still think it has to be mozzarella. You're basically saying you could never eat pizza again. That's like losing two food groups at once. Either way, your straight cheese eating options are so limited as to be basically useless. But losing pizza on top of that is brutal. I'd much rather have mozzarella on my burger than cheddar on my pizza or pasta. Cheddar pizza is not passable....
"Fuck, can you have fake cheddar powder on Doritos/popcorn/Cheetos? I forgot about that. Wouldn't change my decision, but those are tough losses."
I forgot about the Dorito factor. That's devastating.
Since Daniel Day-Lewis is a method actor, let's assume that he brings his character's persona home to the wife and kids nightly. Which of his roles do you think would be the shittiest to live with?
My top (bottom) three are:
3. Christy Brown - Excused from all household chores involving manual dexterity
2. Daniel Plainview - Hates everyone in the house, especially his wife - who is in competition for his children's love...who he also hates
1. Bill the Butcher - Short fuse, quick to reach for a kitchen knife, smells like tainted meat
Brown would be the worst because he's utterly useless from a parenting perspective. Legend has it that the film crew on My Left Foot had to help carry Day-Lewis around the set during breaks. Just imagine how aggravated you'd be if you were an electrician who had to carry an actor around all day when you knew full well that he could walk on his own power. You can admire his dedication to the craft while still wanting to plunge an ice pick into his skull for giving you extra busywork.
And having Daniel Day-Brown at home would be even worse, because that's an extra child to deal with (though I don't believe Day-Lewis was actually married at the time of filming). Bad enough you have to wash and feed and clothe the kids... now you have a 180-lb. special needs child thrown into the mix. In his acceptance speech Sunday night, Day-Lewis readily admitted that his wife had to deal with "strange men" in the house, which means he totally kept up the Lincoln thing during intercourse. I can't even imagine how awkward that would be. "A funny thing, this boner of mine. I've heard tell that John Adams once ordered the flag outside the Capitol set to half mast whenever his was unable to please his concubine. A funny man, he was. But a strong one, too. Now bend over..."
Of the four major sports, which one do you think churns out the most insufferable retirees? I have to think ex-MLB players are the worst, but I could be wrong.
Have you met Mercury Morris? There are entire movies about how insufferable ex-football players are. They litter the NFL Live set every day. They flock to Radio Row during Super Bowl week because it's the only week of the year that people pay attention to them. They'll talk to NFL Films about ANYTHING, even games they didn't play in.
Out of all the sports, football players seem to have the greatest difficulty moving on. They don't get to play the game as long as baseball players or basketball players do. They don't play as many games a season, which perhaps means they have sharper memories of the few games they played in. And since football is such a violent sport, they get to essentially pretend like they fought at Iwo Jima any time you bring up that game against the Rams.
Football, more than other sports, is seen as a big test of manliness. And so ex-football players are addicted to that feeling of being the baddest motherfucker alive. That's why so few of them regret playing a game they know will knock DECADES off of their lives. The sport so thoroughly satisfies their egos that, once retired, the only way they can get the feeling back is to talk about the past, again and again and again. For Joe Theismann alone, football stands head and shoulders above the rest.
What do you think the world record is for the number of days a human being has gone with getting their only calories on a given day from malt liquor? Certainly, only two types of people drink malt liquor, college freshmen and homeless people. But I figure the average college frat bro, even if he's drinking for days on end, must stumble into some pizza or Taco Bell. As for the homeless, they are survivalists first, and while they spend a great deal of money on malt liquor and cigarettes, they must save 99 cents here or there for a stick of beef jerky before the day is out. My friend and I have suggested that the record is three days straight is really the most anyone could have done this.
It is my intent to break this record.
You can go three weeks or so without solid food, provided you drink enough water. The problem with consuming nothing but malt liquor is that, as you well know, alcohol causes mass dehydration. And drunken dehydration is the WORST. I have woken up at 3 a.m. some nights after binge drinking and been so dehydrated that my esophagus was dried shut. The sides were literally sticking together, like when your lips are chapped. NOT ALARMING AT ALL. It's one of the absolute worst feelings in the world. All I had to do was order the occasional glass of water at the bar but I didn't because I didn't want the bartender thinking I was a pussy. STUPID IDIOT! Every veteran alcoholic should always keep a gallon jug of distilled water by his or her bedside.
So you would have to consume enough water to make up for whatever water you lost downing bottle after bottle of King Cobra. Provided you have the willpower (and no one does), I can't imagine you would be able to survive longer than a week or so. I'm sure there's been a hobo alkie who has pulled off the feat—something with an absolutely frightening case of alcoholism, Waco Kid-style ("Food makes me sick")—but I would advise you not to try to beat out that one brave railtramp. You'll probably die in the process. And if you don't die, you'll wish you had. Nothing makes you feel worse than malt liquor. I remember being in college right after The Chronic came out and oh man, drinking from 40s seemed like the most badass thing ever. Every goddamn freshman white guy was walking around with one. Then you got to the last third of the bottle and you were ready to kill yourself. 85 percent of all forties go unfinished, and rightfully so.
Who do you think was the first person to pull their collar up over their nose to shield themselves from smelling a fart? My guess is that it probably happened during the Renaissance. Lots of fluffy collars to work with.
It probably started whenever shirts were first invented. That's an instinctive move, covering your nose with your shirt. You'd probably do it even if no one taught you to do it. Because it works! I'm sure it only works on a psychosomatic level and that you're breathing in just as many fart particles as you would uncovered, but I really do think the shirt does an adequate job of staving off the feeling that I have POUNDS of feces trapped in my mouth. Sometimes I pull the shirt away too soon and the fart smell comes rushing back in. That's such a deeply regretful moment. Sometimes I keep the shirt to my mouth so long that the whole thing is drenched in drool after thirty seconds.
When there's a bioterror attack on US soil (and there will be!), I'm gonna be just like everyone else and do the shirt thing—hoping that a layer of 50-50 cotton/poly blend will be enough to prevent any and all anthrax from entering my body.
Just now as I am holding in a fart in my office cubicle I can't help but wonder what life would be like if no one was able to hold in farts. Better yet, what if there was also no way to muffle a fart? Every fart that brewed up would have to immediately come out at full force. Would we be better off? Corporate America would definitely be more exciting.
The entire bro population would be outraged by this. "BRAH! This chick farted in the meeting and it was so smelly BRAH! I bet she menstruates too SO GROSS BRAH!" It's always fun to meet guys who present themselves as tough only to get completely freaked out when they find a spot of period blood on the fitted sheet. They would campaign vigorously against a fart-transparent society.
I think we would all be better off in the long run with open farting. Farting around people means you have a level of comfort with them. You trust them to not get all judgy with you simply because you ripped ass. So if we all farted around each other liberally, I dare say that would make people far less uptight. We'd lose one little layer of the superficiality that we deploy in our everyday interactions. We'd all feel so much more trusting. LOOSER, am I right?
/rips ass in solidarity
How much do you think Hall & Oates earn per year these days?
This booking site says that H&O demand $150,000-$250,000 for gigs here in the US. Pollstar says that they currently have nine domestic tour stops planned for this year. In theory, that would bring in a minimum of over $1.3 million strictly in performance fees. Of course, you have to subtract the agent's take, and the management company's take, and you have to discount any overhead the duo incur, including possibly paying their own backup band and perhaps paying for their own hotel unless expressly stated otherwise in the tour rider. And who knows if a handful of those dates are favors that Oates owes some shady promoter in Florida as a way of settling a gambling debt.
Then there's licensing. Because musicians make nothing from album sales anymore, they protect the shit out of their licensing fees. For a classic song like "Maneater," Hall & Oates could easily charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for a national ad campaign, and tens of thousands of dollars for an appearance in a movie or on a TV show. Given that the duo has a relatively vast back catalog for licensing purposes, you're talking about multiple revenue streams. Hall & Oates probably make an extra $500,000 a year from licensing alone. And that's without having written a hit song in decades.
That's the dream, you guys. The dream is to invent something or write a song that makes money for you, FOREVER. When you've created something that lives on and on and on without you having to do another goddamn thing, you are free to rake in royalties and spend forty weeks a year hanging at your villa in Lake Como with your finger up your butt. We can get there, guys. We just need a really, really, really good idea. Like an app that can detect mayo in a sandwich without you having to bite in or remove the top of the bun. I'd pay $3 for a mayo scanner. Then we could all be RICH and buy big grotesque houses in the same cul-de-sac and have barbecues EVERY NIGHT. I will make this happen or die trying.
If you quit your job to go coast to coast winning prize money from karaoke contests, and had to sing the SAME song every night, what would net the best results? Gotta get the male vote, the female vote, the north vote, the south vote, and can't pick something too long, too old, too obscure. My brother says "Born to Run." "Sweet Caroline" has also been thrown out there too.
I would throw a pint glass at you if you sang "Sweet Caroline" in a karaoke bar, so that's out. It depends on your voice, really. Everyone has their own go-to karaoke song, one they've honed and workshopped over years and years. Eventually, you rely on it so much that you become terrified of trying to do any other song. I almost always do "Purple Rain," but one time I decided to try "Sunday Bloody Sunday" instead, and it was a fucking catastrophe. My voice broke forty seconds in and stayed broken. And I had to stay there and warble through the whole fucking thing, acutely aware of how awful I sounded. It was devastating. I'll never forgive myself for straying outside my comfort zone. NEVER TAKE CHANCES, PEOPLE. You will only get your heart broken in the end.
Anyway, if you're looking for songs that have universal appeal for your karaoke standard, you're probably best off picking an old Motown song. Only assholes don't like old Motown songs.
Side-boob or under-boob? A buddy at work and I got into this debate today. He is squarely on the side of under-boob whereas I prefer side-boob.
Sideboob gives you more boob. You get the sexy little crease from the underside of the boob, just you would from underboob, plus the top shelf. That's more boob for your dollar. The very best sideboob shots are basically full breast shots minus the nipple. Sometimes, you can even see the nipple beginning to crest right at the edge of the boob. That's good retouchin'!
Of course, a lot of sideboob shots are accidental. Some gal goes out wearing a basketball jersey and there's your sideboob. It's not always a look designed for flattery. Meanwhile, Kaxlee over at bewbsareus.com is rocking a sports bra with the bottom half of it sheared clean off for maximum underboobage. It's a fine way to present yourself to the general public. Still, I'm with the sideboobers. Throw plain cleavage into this argument and things get really heated.
If you were dropped in an ancient society in an Escalade with an unlimited supply of gasoline, how many people do you think you could kill before they'd devise a way to take you down?
If you're killing these Spartans simply by running them over, the answer is not many. Hitting an animal—a deer, a pig, a human being, etc.—is usually enough to total an automobile. And even though an Escalade is a big asshole car that could probably withstand hitting more people than the average sedan, there's a very strong likelihood that after just a few hits, the airbags would deploy and the car would be disabled. After that, you would be in bigass trouble. A couple rocks to the windshield and vultures would be pecking at your bowels in no time flat.
You'd need a better killing strategy, like throwing big rocks at people from afar. Drive-by stonings, as it were. You could take out more people AND scare the shit out of them as well. They'd think your car was some kind of mythical Bear God sent down by the Lord to punish them. Then you could emerge from your car and announce that the killing will cease if they give you all their gold and fine women. Then you could turn your car into a rolling harem, bartering floor mat lint for gold because people back then were really stupid.
Then one day, a jealous tribal elder would discover that your tires could be punctured. The next morning, you've got sixty arrows in your Firestones and a slit throat. No more gold and ancient pussy for you, my friend.
You can have any animal in the world to have as a pet or for service purposes, and the animal will be tamed and twice the size of the average size of said animal. Which animal do you choose? Imagine having a condor with a 20-foot wingspan that you can ride on (yes, you can use the chosen animal for transportation, too) and attack from the sky. What about an enormous blue whale that can take you across the Pacific? Or a double size chihuahua! It'd be kinda big, I guess.
Is it physically possible to ride a condor who is just double the size of a regular condor? I'm not sure that's big enough to support the average man's weight (and is it an African or a European condor?!).
Anyway, if having a giant DEATH HAWK to call your own means you can regularly fly around like you're living on Pandora, then that beats everything. Think of the time you could save beating traffic by condoring to work. And you could take joy flights every weekend. Just drink a six-pack and go cruising through the sky. HOLY SHIT SWEET FREEDOM. That beats having a giant shark or a giant bear or a giant lion to call your own. What am I gonna do with a giant bear, apart from use it as a sectional sofa?
If you put Schwarzenegger against Jim Brown in a Running Man rematch, do you think he'd still win? How about in a good old fashioned bar fight, no flamethrower-jetpack?
Well, wait a second. Obviously, the Running Man fight between them was staged. I think young Jim Brown (or at least, younger Jim Brown) would have, in real life, beaten young Arnold senseless. And I think that would still be true today. Jim Brown throws people off of balconies. A bodybuilder is no match for him. WHAT A HOTHEAD.
If I told you right now with 100% certainty that your favorite NFL team was not going to win a Super Bowl in your lifetime, would you quit being a fan? I would. I have loyalty to my team, even through the 4-win seasons, because I know that experience will make the Championship feel so much better. But I could not continue to watch if I knew for sure they would never win it all. It's all about hope.
I don't think I'd stop rooting for them because I'm a pussy and I wouldn't want other people judging me for bailing on my team. Plus, as a Vikings fan who suspects the team will never win a title in my lifetime, it would be oddly comforting to know it for certain. It would be freeing. I wouldn't have to constantly worry about them not winning a title because I would KNOW that Gary Andersen is going to miss that kick, or that Brad Childress will settle for a fucking 50-yard field goal and let Brett Favre throw a soul-crushing pick. No more having the rug pulled out from underneath me.
Besides—and I've said this before—winning a title can't be the only reason your root for a team. The other parts of being a fan—meeting other fans, enjoying the handful of triumphant regular season wins, seeing your favorite player come close to breaking a record with a valiant effort—all of that has to matter to you. Sports teams don't win titles enough to justify the amount of time and love you put in. There have to be other, more fundamental reasons you watch them. There has to be some joy in the journey, even if your stupid team NEVER ENDS UP WINNING BECAUSE GAHHHH FUCKING DENNY GREEN WHY DID YOU TAKE A KNEE YOU FUCK?!