Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering Presidential tipping, shitty recipe instructions, fighting old people, and more.
I was in New York on business last week (as much as what I do can be called "business" with a straight face) and I was working out of this office building downtown one morning when I had to go take a shit. So I grabbed my guest pass, beeped my way through a set of hallway doors (I always pretend I'm walking into NSA headquarters when I do this), and then walked absent-mindedly into the bathroom.
The bathroom was divided into two rooms: one for toilets and one for sinks. I found this unusual, but not enough to stop me from walking into the deserted toilet area and dropping anchor. As I was finishing up, I could hear a bunch of footsteps outside the stall, but no voices. I wiped up, flushed, pushed open the stall door, and was greeted by the sight of three or four women. I was not in the men's bathroom.
A smart person would have underplayed this moment. He would have uttered a simple "Oh my goodness, so sorry..." and then quickly exited. But I fucking FREAKED. I was like OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS IS NOT THE MEN'S ROOM! I allowed every woman in there to get a good long look at me for a police sketch while I pleaded with all of them that this was a total accident and that I never, ever did this sort of thing. NOT A PERVERT, GANG. Then I ran out of there and forgot that I never washed my hands. And I figured that was the end of it, but one of the ladies walked out of there the same time I was running.
WOMAN: What's your name?
ME: Uh... Drew? (I should have given her a false name, like Jack Dickey)
WOMAN: Did you not wear your glasses today?
ME: IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!
And I ran away from her. If I had a time machine, undoing this sequence of events now takes priority over killing Hitler.
Now, your letters:
What if, in basketball, the shooter had to take their foul shots where they were fouled? Would teams completely alter their gameplan? Would teams start hacking away immediately after the inbound pass? Would games even be watchable assuming teams just spend half the game mauling each other the second the other team touches it?
You can institute the rule strictly for "in the act of shooting" fouls, and keep regular free throws for all the other fouls. And for those spot shooting fouls, you wouldn't make it a bunch of one-point free throws. You would just let the shooter take a free shot from the spot. So if LeBron gets hacked while dunking, he gets a free dunk worth two points. If he gets hacked from beyond the arc, he gets a free, uncontested three-pointer from that spot.
I'm sure there are a million reasons why this rule wouldn't work. But it SEEMS cool. Free throws tend to be a drag on basketball games. At the end of the game, when little Timmy has to make both shots for Scrappy Boy U to upset the three-seed, free throws are riveting. But otherwise, they're mostly boring as shit. They're always taken from the same spot, and your team's shithead power forward NEVER makes them when you really need him to. It seems unfair that if your guy gets hacked on a layup, he has to go shoot two shots from much farther away. Giving him a free layup on a foul would probably result in less hacking and smoother gameplay. Those games where there's a foul called every five seconds are the fucking worst. Unless you're Dwyane Wade, in which case that means the refs were ordered to let you win tonight.
When does fame run out? Is Fran Tarkenton still famous?
I think he is. Millions of people know who he is, which is a pretty solid case for fame. Obviously, his fame is regional. If Fran Tarkenton walks into a restaurant in Mankato, people turn their heads. If he does the same thing in Copenhagen, people just keep on eating their lingonberry and twig pizzas. But if you're famous somewhere, that's usually enough. That's the amazing thing about being famous. If you've done something that makes you recognizable to a significant portion of the general public, they usually remember you FOREVER, often fondly (One exception: Ryan Reynolds, who is clearly NAWT A MOVIE STAHHHH).
Once I recognize someone as famous, they stick. Thirty years from now, I'm not gonna be like, "Justin Bieber? I don't remember anyone by that name." I'm gonna be like, "BIEBER! He's the kid who sang all those songs and then developed a nasty meth addiction and eventually hired a crew of thugs to hold the Grammys hostage!" Fame has extraordinary staying power. You and I remember famous athletes long after they've finished their careers. If you saw Herschel Walker at the airport, you'd still flip out and be like, "Holy shit! It's Herschel Walker! And his other personality, Madam Bixby!" Even when that person slips out of your mind for years and years, you still remember them instantly with a little bit of prodding.
This is why so many people want to be famous. Last week, we sorted out that Hall & Oates, who haven't had a hit in decades, still probably pull down hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars every year simply because of the staying power of both their fame and their music. For a lot of notable people, being famous essentially means you are your own resume. You can spend the rest of your life making money in some shape or form merely by being you. That's a rather valuable asset, and that's why Lindsay Lohan can still usually find a Saudi prince who will pay her $50,000 for a blowjob.
Are there any instructions in a recipe that make the whole thing not worth it? For me, it's anything involving a double boiler. I love chocolate crinkle cookies, but you expect me to lug out the double boiler and risk scalding the chocolate or not tempering it properly? Fuck that. Folding and sifting are up there, too.
I'm the sort of person who fails to read the recipe in full before I start cooking because I'm impatient and I just want to start cooking my braised beef cheeks NOW NOW NOW. And it's usually halfway through the cooking process when I stumble onto a direction that says "Let marinate overnight, or for at least 16 hours." GAHHHHHHHHH! I don't have time for that shit. Looks like we're gonna have to just boil this turkey instead.
Anyway, I agree with Robert that double boilers can go to hell. You want me to wash TWO pots? Fuck you. That isn't happening. Some other dead-on-arrival recipe instructions:
- Straining. Nope. Not doing it. Anything requiring a cheesecloth is out. This sauce will have bits of pork hoof in it and I don't want to hear anyone complain about it.
- Use of a candy thermometer. This is not a laboratory. Just tell me how brown the caramel needs to be.
- "Clarify the butter." No. What do you have against butter foam? That buttery santorum is just as viable as the clear shit.
- "Using a piping bag..." Nope. No piping bag. I spread that shit on with a dirty cake knife and that's all the effort I'm willing to put in.
- "Using your Kitchenaid mixer paddle attachment..." Fuck you. I don't own that. Most of these cookbooks are written for Greenwich housewives who have a 5,000-sq. ft. kitchen and every conceivable tool that can be purchased from the Williams Sonoma catalog. There's barely room on my kitchen counter for a toaster. I can't buy some $500 cake brewing device.
- Deep frying. I love deep fried food as much as you do, but I'll be goddamned if I do it at home. You get a thousand grease burns on your arms and by the time your chicken is fried, the whole kitchen is coated in a layer of peanut oil.
There are also ingredients that stop me up, too. Any recipe that includes an item that clearly cannot be purchased at a normal grocery store may as well have a big red label across it that says RECIPE PRINTED JUST FOR SHOW. I was in the bookstore yesterday and there was a cookbook from Richard Blais, the guy who won "Top Chef" a while back. And pretty much every recipe included shit like liquid nitrogen, ras el hanout (isn't that a Batman villain?), and a gallon of verjus. No one's making those recipes. Ever. Even though I know that hunting out different ingredients is what helps make dishes taste new and exciting, I don't give a shit. If the ingredient list includes Haitian jackfruit, you can go to hell.
What would happen to society if it just never stopped raining? Don't think about environmental or farming consequences (for some reason, they've got those problems figured out... say it's 100 years in the future and everyone has adapted to constant rain). Quality of life indoors would largely stay as it is now, but it would never not be raining outside.
I smell a failed NBC pilot. Let me get right to penning an awful script for it. I'll have people start using samurai swords for no reason at all.
If we're just dealing with the psychological consequences of endless rain, I don't think humanity would be fundamentally altered in any drastic way. I mean, Seattle is cloudy for an average of 226 days a year and those people seem to be doing okay (I often fantasize about moving to Seattle even though I know absolutely no one there).
There would be a lot more depressed people, of course. People would stay inside a lot and wear sweaters and listen to sad Bon Iver albums just like I do every Tuesday. The people at BIG UMBRELLA would rake in massive profits. Trench coats would be back in vogue, making it difficult to suss out exhibitionists from regular people. Tanning salons would spring up every other block. We'd all have to take vitamin D supplements. The tourism industry in various island nations would plummet to virtually nothing and Jamaica would be consumed in an all-out civil war.
Eventually, we would have to adapt our modern environment to deal with the constant wetness: more skyways, more indoor parks, more artificial beaches and ski slopes, etc. It would be like living in one of those weird places in Japan or the United Arab Emirates where they have indoor golf courses. Personally, I would re-enact the first sex scene from Match Point on a daily basis.
If you allow for environmental consequences to endless rain, you're obviously talking about a global apocalypse: massive floods, destroyed crops, landslides that kill millions. Soon entire continents would be swallowed whole and you would have to fight to survive against Dennis Hopper tooting around on a jet ski wearing an eyepatch. FUN!
So my roommate has a dog. I get home about an hour or two before him each day and the dog has been in the house for 8-9 hours. The dog obviously needs to go out and shit when I get home, but the last thing I want to do is take it out and clean up its shit with a plastic bag. It's hard for me to just look at the dog and ignore it. Do I have to suck it up EVERY DAY?
I think you should get a discount on rent from him for it. It's his stupid dog and you're basically performing a dog-walking service for him for free every day. I don't see why you couldn't say, "Hey, I take your dog out to shit every day. Give me 30 dollars." Then again, your roommate is probably some crazy dog person who will stab you to death merely for broaching the subject. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE MY DOG STAB STAB STAB!!! Crazy dog people are hard to deal with.
Which sport would it be most fun to play invisible 6th (or 10th or 12th) man? You have no other powers.
It's hard to figure out a fun way of messing with a baseball game. Football's too dangerous. Basketball is promising. But I think boxing is the dark horse here—peppering [most hated boxer] with kidney shots from a safe distance is probably more satisfying than causing Kobe to dribble off his foot.
So your role here is to essentially be a saboteur, yes? Oh man, what I would give for an invisible mole on the Vikings roster. SUCH POWER.
Anyway, being the invisible monkey wrench would be fun in virtually any sport because you could convince people that there's a poltergeist in the stadium and scare them half to death. But if I could pick only one sport, it's gonna be golf. You could just hang out on the 18th green for the entire tournament and divert putt after putt after putt. You could pick up one of Phil Mickelson's fantastic chip shots and throw it in a fucking river. Then you could watch Jim Nantz cry. Who's gonna turn down a chance to prank a bunch of dipshit golfers? No one, that's who.
As for football... Even though it would be terrifying (especially if I'm invisible but padless), I would stand 10 yards behind the opposing QB and then kick him in the ankles on every passing down. Then I'd sprint back toward the end zone. It would be way cool.
My co-worker asked me if I believed I could take legendary golf Jack Nicklaus in a fight with both hands tied behind my back.
I'm 5'9", 175 pounds and have barely any fighting experience besides the occasional recess basketball brawl in grade school. But the golden bear is 72 years old...I think take him down by keeping a low center of gravity and using forceful headbutts.
My question is, do you think you would take him? And what's your strategy?
Wouldn't you save your head butts for a kill shot at the end? Either way, you and I probably aren't beating the old man in a death match that way. Despite his advanced age, Jack Nicklaus is said to be in decent health. Plus he has Grandpa Strength, which means that he has the power to juggle six five-year-olds simultaneously. You'd do your best to kick him and head butt him, but he'd probably be able to push you to the ground and get on top of you. And once that happens, it's over. You're utterly defenseless. The Bear can make you his whore. Jim Nantz would sprint into the room to remark upon how classy of an ass-beating it was.
Grandpa Strength means that you can do things like beat up young whippersnappers and solder together car parts. You just need 18 hours of sleep after doing so. They can do the short-inning work. They can't pitch a complete game.
I hope the cover is machine washable...
So that's a chair? Everything about that is confusing.
When they deem football too violent in the future, which animals would you like to see take over and play the game? Consider that animals with no thumbs could carry the ball in their mouth.
It has to be gorillas. That's as close to human football as you're gonna get. Also, you could get rid of all the namby-pamby head injury rules and go back to old school monkey football. Who's gonna be against that, apart from the world's two billion animal lovers? NO ONE.
Of course, in the future, it won't be animals replacing players. It'll be robots. That's right... CYBERBALL...
I'll take coach Sky Rogers any day. His powerful air attack will wear you down!
Samuel L. Jackson is the only person I can think of where you MUST say his middle initial every time you say his name. Besides saying his full name, the only acceptable variant is Samuel L. Sam Jackson sounds like a president you learned about in elementary school and promptly forgot about. Is there anyone else you have to refer to in this manner?
Michael J. Fox immediately springs to mind. And John L. Smith. We wouldn't want John L. Smith confused with all the OTHER John Smiths who ran themselves out of the college coaching profession by allegedly committing fraud! A lot of actors have to include their middle initial as a way of differentiating themselves from other actors (George C. Scott, for instance), and then that little resume quirk becomes part of a lasting brand, even though it likely has nothing to do with how friends and colleagues address them. There's no way Michael J. Fox's family addresses him as "Michael J." That would be disturbing.
Also, presidents milk the middle initial for all its worth: John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, LBJ, FDR, etc. The middle initial also seems to be a male phenomenon. Except for that Vivica A. Fox lady. I don't know what makes her think she's so goddamn important.
At what age does it stop being acceptable to steal glasses from bars? Because at age 26, I just stole 6 glasses tonight.
I still have all the pint glasses I stole from bars when I was in my 20s. I even kept one that was just a promotional tchotchke for Fox Sports Net's now-defunct National Sports Report. The headline on the glass says, "Better highlights than that chick across the bar." OH, FOX SPORTS! You slay me.
Anyway, you're free to steal those things all through your 20s until you get a serious girlfriend and she gives you a disapproving look the next time you pilfer a Duvel glass from some upscale mussel restaurant. And then you get married and she makes you get rid of all the glasses and all the bar towels you stole from your semester abroad in Europe because they don't fit with the spring theme she has planned for your future dining room. And THEN she makes you get rid of the beer mirrors you stole from your old job waiting tables. NOT THE PETE'S WICKED ALE MIRROR! You worked all night to get that into the trunk of your Oldsmobile! Now you have to drink beer out of a generic Crate & Barrel tumbler? WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED, MAN?! When was your spark of life so cruelly extinguished?
We're talking about Ricky here, of course. Not me. Totally not me! I still have my FOX glass. My precious, precious FOX glass. Its cheap sexist humor shall sustain me always. Anyway, steal all the glasses you can, my friend. Especially those fancy craft brew ones with the gold rims.
(NOTE: Stealing beer glasses in a foreign country is a million times more fun. I still have a liter stein I stole from some beer hall in Munich. Drinking three beers out of it simultaneously is more fun than the law allows. TAKE THAT, FUHRER!)
Do you think at any point in the past we've narrowly dodged a nuclear attack (anywhere in the world, between any two countries) by there being an actual hand-to-hand fight to deactivate the countdown? JFK and Khrushchev came damn close, but that was all averted through negotiations and deals and such... I just wonder if there's ever been a physical confrontation in order to stop a nuclear strike. BONUS POINTS if the nuke is shut down as it's already flying through the air, heading toward its target.
"Source programmable guidance!"
Anyway, this article from Mental Floss details seven different close calls we've had with all-out nuclear warfare. Virtually all of them can be traced back to communication failures and/or faulty computer equipment. None of them were averted simply because a heroic Navy SEAL fought off 60 Panamanian commandoes and cut the blue wire in time. Kinda bullshit, if you ask me. Also, I find it disquieting that nuclear war could break out at any moment just because a Commodore 64 at NORAD had a faulty graphics card. I have zero faith that our digital infrastructure is up to date.
In general, we bomb the shit out of a lot of other nations and fight in any number of covert wars specifically so that we NEVER get to the point where a nuclear bomb will go off if Channing Tatum doesn't stop the bad guy in time. If that kind of scenario were realistic, then nuclear bombs would probably go off every other day. EXCITING!
Why haven't you talked about BIG SPICE? I was at the grocery store today and they wanted $15 for a 2-ounce bottle of cardamom. Are they serious?
Whoa hey, Columbus didn't commission three ships, lose 450 good sailors, and slaughter an entire race of human beings for free. If you want those exotic spices that keep the world economy afloat, you gotta pony up.
By the way, I have to think that 90 percent of the spices you buy are simply created in a lab over at Lowry's corporate headquarters. If they really did pay a Madagascan village boy to climb a 90-foot tree to personally harvest vanilla beans, your tiny bottle of vanilla extract would probably cost $80,000.
What are the chances you've seen a porno in which the woman actually gets pregnant?
Yeah well, she ain't STAYING pregnant. I'll tell you that. I bet the entire porn industry has ONE doctor that it relies on to address such matters.
Anyway, given that most porn is shot bareback (even with the new laws in place in L.A. demanding performers use rubbers), and given that most porn stars are mentally unstable people who probably have substance abuse issues, it's more than likely that Rita Faltoyano occasionally forgot to take her birth control and was blessed with Rocco Siffredi's love child. I say you've witnessed the conception of a fetus at least one time.
Does Obama have to tip people? Does he have to tip the Secret Service members who protect him?
He should buy them watches, the way a QB buys fancy watches for his O-line. He could engrave each one! "Thanks for keeping the POTUS's suit clean, amigo. -Barry"
My guess is that a staffer takes care of all thank-you notes and year-end bonuses/tips for underlings on the President's behalf. And I bet that staffer skims 20 percent off the bonus money and then stiffs the White House garbage men.
Email of the week time!
Have you waken (woke, woken?) yourself up laughing really hard at a dream you're having? The last time that happened to me I was dreaming about being in a sauna with a turd man. He was sitting there with a towel around himself, as is the dress code, and another towel around his shoulders. He had his poop elbows on his poop knees and he looks up at me, wipes sweat off his forehead (he had that kinda soft-serve ice cream swirly head top) and says, "Man, it's hot in here." The look in his eyes killed me. He reminded me of Gordon Gecko. Woke up pretty close to pissing myself in laughter. Goddamn, that was a great dream.
I think we all wish we could have had a dream about Turd Man, my friend.