Which State Would Win A 50-State Battle Royal?

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering snakes, ramen, needless pockets, and more. Image by Jim Cooke.

Oh hey, it's Election Day. Don't forget to vote! Just kidding. I don't give a crap if you vote or not. It just makes me feel like a BIG SERIOUS PERSON to lecture all of you about going out and voting. It's the Easterbrookian thing to do. You have a duty to your country and your Lord. Now get out there and cast your ballot. It's important, no matter who you vote for. Again, just kidding. VOTE FOR MY GUY OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND SPEAR YOU WITH A HALBERD.

Your letters:

Bob:

Imagine the federal government dissolved overnight, turning what was once the United States into fifty autonomous nations. Each state (nay, nation) could issue its own currency and raise its own army. What would be the first nation/state to declare war on another? Texas/Oklahoma? Ohio/Pennsylvania? Also, what would be the ideal place to live in the continental U.S.? I personally would be headed to rural Maine. Some additional thoughts:

1. No one would hear from Hawaii or Alaska ever again, obviously.
2. Washington D.C. would attempt to be annexed by either Virginia and Maryland, but both would reject it due to its having so many, um, undesirables.
3. Western Pennsylvania would secede from Eastern Pennsylvania.
4. Arizona would be toast. It would be invaded by Mexico almost immediately.

Who wins the 50-state battle royale?

Let me just note first that you are an insane person. Rural Maine is cold, bleak, and populated by inbred redneck zombies. I went to college in Maine. Every time I drove there, I drove as fast as I could because I feared my car would break down and I would end up stuck in the movie U-Turn. Screw that.

Anyway, if you split the states into 50 separate nations, there would be immediately conflicts over both people and resources. How can Nebraska thrive as a nation when it's completely landlocked? It would be dependent upon nearby nations for things like oil and Gulf shrimp. And those neighboring states could impose onerous tariffs on their goods that would essentially force Nebraska into the poor house. Louisiana would become the OPEC of the shrimp market HOOWEE GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO.

In retaliation, Nebraska would post armed guards at either end of its highways, shaking down motorists for all their money in exchange for safe passage. And it would tax the shit out of all corn and beef sales. Resentment would grow. Nebraska would become angry and even more isolated, perhaps turning to meth, as we all know it does in times of trouble. Backward lawmakers in Southern and Midwestern states would legalize rape. Then more liberal states would be outraged and threaten sanctions. And then Nebraska would be like COME AT ME, BRO! And then the more populous states would kick the shit out of it thanks to an abundance of skilled workers and manufactured goods.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com.

By the way, if this happens, I think we should all agree to nuke Delaware, because Delaware is a fucking leech on America. Big tolls. Loose banking regulations that drag down the entire national economy. Delaware is pure evil. And I don't trust those DuPonts. The Teflon on my nonstick skillet scrapes off a little TOO easily, you know? It's like they want it that way, like they want to poison us all and take our sweet, sweet EZ Pass money.

With the caveat that I know virtually nothing about anything, I say California prospers the most from this arrangement. They have lots of people and resources and coastline and all that shit. They'd lord their superiority over all of us. Our orange juice is soooo good. And the weather has been wonderful for 56 straight days! Eventually, the rest of us would get sick of it and invade. All it takes is a couple of strategically placed forest fires to ruin California's shit. Not so high and mighty now, are you? Jackasses. Some other effects of the US breaking apart:

• Theological nation-states. Places like South Carolina would become fully Christian countries. Tebow immigrates.
• States dividing further into tribes. New York City could finally shed the rest of the state, like it's always wanted to. Upper and lower Manhattan could also finally divide, which is fine with me because I lived in Manhattan for a while and any time you asked a downtown person if they wanted to come uptown, they would look at you as if you had just offered them an everything bagel with hepatitis C schmear. The arrogance is just revolting.
• Texas is at war with everyone.
• BOWS AND ARROWS, YOU GUYS
• The following states would become corrupt dictatorships in a relative instant: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, Arkansas, and Utah. Oh, how Utah has yearned to become a full-on dictatorship. I bet LDS leaders would cream their jeans at the thought of it, and then quickly clean up that mancream and change their long johns.

Tim:

My brother-in-law and I were debating the other day whether or not a shark has ever eaten an ape in the wild. I'm not talking about some bushman or zookeeper with a sick sense of humor who fed an ape to a shark, but a totally naturally occurring shark apefeast. I think it must have happened at some point over the eons - some unlucky shark was trying to get a banana way out on a tree limb on a cliff over the ocean, and the limb broke or he lost his grip. My brother-in-law disagrees. Can you settle this for us once and for all?

I assume you're referring to this scenario:

The answer is almost certainly yes (I KNOW SCIENCE!). Think about floods. If a flood hit a gorilla habitat and some fat, GLORY BOY gorilla was too complacent to quickly climb a nearby coconut tree, the floodwaters could easily carry him out to sea. Apes and chimpanzees are not good swimmers, so it would only be a matter of time before Mr. Sharky came and feasted upon the poor ape as he was gasping for his last breath. Also, did you know there are monkeys who like to eat shark eggs? You talk about taking unnecessary risks. Mama Shark ain't gonna pleased.

Richard:

Saw this special at a local ramen place. I prefer not to think about what's going on in the kitchen here.

Which State Would Win A 50-State Battle Royal?

Am I the only person more horrified by the idea of salsa in my ramen than seminal fluid?

By the way, there are few things more enjoyable than getting real, real stoned and then thinking up new food products that you think will make you a fortune. I got stoned off my ass once and by the time midnight had rolled around, I was convinced that I was going to be a millionaire by inventing smoked hot dog chili. It's chili, only it has HOT DOGS. You know, like dog food! How could it miss?!

John:

Who deserves a punch in the face more? The kid-less bastard who decided on daylight savings time or designer who decided that my slacks pocket needed an internal pocket for my keys to get wedged in?

HATE THAT POCKET. I don't know why my pocket needs a pocket. There are dimes from 1604 stuck in that pocket. Once something gets in there, it's never coming out.

Every pair of jeans I have ever owned has come equipped with that little change pocket. You know the one: that little midget pocket that sits at the opening of the main pocket. I tried using this pocket once. I put quarters in there or something and when I pulled into a toll booth (back in the days before EZ Pass), I nearly broke two fingers trying to get the change out. That pocket does nothing.

Kethia:

I got a friend who's last name is Rish. I told him he should call his penis the Rishbone. It's like a wishbone but you know, with his name.

I agree.

Bill:

What 5 ESPN Anchors would make the transition to WWE play-by-play guy most seamlessly? Not counting guys who have been in the WWE (Jonathan Coachman, Todd Grisham, etc), color commentators (Bobby Knight, Herbstreit, etc) or "studio personalities" (Skip/Stephen A), just SportsCenter/ESPNews anchors and play by play guys for any sport ESPN covers. I'd say #1 has to be Jay Crawford since he's been the host of a show that is about as real as anything WWE does and he always seems shocked whenever anything happens anywhere with any sport.

I think Berman is essentially a WWE announcer who doesn't realize that he's broadcasting actual sports. It's really the only explanation for why he acts the way he acts. To paraphrase Vince McMahon, he's not in the business of sports. He's in sports entertainment. There's no reason Berman couldn't bloviate his way through an episode of Raw. It's almost as if the entire NFL Countdown crew did its broadcast training in Stamford. The histrionics match up perfectly. Ron Jaworski seems to have patterned his speech after Mene Gene Okerlund.

I also think that Van Pelt would make a good WWE straight guy, the kind of announcer who appears incredulous any time a heel says something crazy, and then gets his face bashed in with the ringside bell. Same with Fowler. And I know you forbade color commentators, but Dick Vitale was born to be a terrible WWE announcer who tries to push wrestlers you end up hating. Also, every ESPN sideline reporter is basically the same as Bonnie Blackstone. Sam Steele is just as useless.

By the way, ever tune into wrestling years after you stopped watching it? I flipped to Raw the other night even though I haven't really been into pro wrestling since the Steve Austin/Rock/Mankind days. It was a total culture shock. Who are these people? THAT guy is the champion? Where is Sable and her thong? What the fuck?

Desiree:

If you were stranded and moments away from starvation, would you kill and eat your own dog — who is still alive, though starving just like you — or would you eat a human person who is already dead?

I would shoot the dog and eat the dog. I read Alfred Lansing's Endurance once, which is one of the greatest adventure porn books ever. And the roughest part of it is when Ernest Shackleton's men have to kill and eat their own dogs after getting stranded in the Antarctic. It's devastating. Those poor little dogs. All they wanted was to live and run and lick balls. So awful. Anyway, warm dog meat beats cold human corpse meat any day of the week. Plus, I would be far more self-conscious about resorting to cannibalism than I would be about killing and eating a dog, even though that's kind of ridiculous. It's not inherently worse to eat a person who is already dead than it is to kill and eat a dog. It just FEELS wronger. I wouldn't want anyone back home judging me for it. That's why Sparky would end up eating a bullet. Sorry, boy. I'm sure you understand.

HALFTIME!

Nick:

The other day at work I was wasting time grunting out a preemie when a large grasshopper crawled under my stall. He was a big specimen, so instead of squashing him and having to clean my shoe I used my foot to flick him right, under the two stalls next to me.

Immediately after that two men came in and occupied said stalls. I didn't hear any yelling or stomping, so I figured the cricket must have gone elsewhere. But as I exited the bathroom I looked over and spotted the cricket chilling right by one of the guy's feet, undoubtedly awaiting to attack his genitals. Was I wrong in not killing it?

You were, but not for altruistic reasons. It doesn't matter if it attacks your stall mate, because that would be kinda funny. Also, screw that guy for making more money than you.

But you must remember that any live bug you chase away will ALWAYS come back. Always. You can't give them a second chance because they'll always take it. Flick away that cricket and it will disappear into a crevice, gather up its most trusted allies, and draw up an elaborate blueprint for sneaking up behind you and burrowing into your dickhole, because that's what bugs do. THEY ARE ALL EVIL. You must kill them so that they're dead forever. Leaving them 95 percent dead just makes them angrier, like Seagal. They don't forget. They come back.

Dan:

If you could only ask the president one question in private, and he had to answer it truthfully, what would it be?

"What haven't you told us about?" That would cover pretty much everything I wanted to hear from him—the secret alien bases, the classified air strikes, the private orgies, the faked moon landing, all of it. And if he answered the question by going into some endless, vague political spiel, I would wrap my hands around his neck and scream MAKE WITH THE ALIEN BASES, CURSE YOU!

I would want him to take me to his special White House secret president's room and show me ALL the secret diaries and murder weapons. You know it's there. You know it could bring us all down if it were ever found. I MUST KNOW. If a politician ever ran on the platform of, "When I get to the White House, I'll show you guys everything," I'd vote for him instantly. I don't give a fuck what his other stances were. He could be in favor of choking immigrants to death with aborted fetus umbilical cords and I wouldn't bat an eyelash.

Ken:

What would happen to civilization if there was pure scientific proof that one race/ethnicity was the most dominant in the world?

I think Nazi Simmons could tell you what happens when people THINK they have such proof. It's not good. That's probably why any supposed hard evidence of racial superiority (which I must remind you does not exist) would almost certainly be intentionally discredited or perhaps suppressed, probably because it would just make everything worse. In fact, how do you know such evidence hasn't already been found?! Maybe an enterprising scientist discovered that men of Hunnish descent ARE smarter and faster and better in bed. Perhaps he was then MURDERED once the explosive evidence was revealed by a jealous assistant of inferior gypsy heritage. IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED.

Evan:

What kind of traction would a Gene Wilder sex tape get?

Is Gilda also in it? Because she would be the star attraction. People really, really loved Gilda Radner. I bet Gene is a kind but passionate lover. But if he's wearing the Wonka costume, I'm turning that shit off right away.

Ben:

Will I ever reach an age where I will pick up a closed umbrella and NOT automatically start pretending it's a sword?

You will not. My umbrella fantasy is that the sword is actually concealed inside a cane, which I then unsheath to foil unsuspecting burglars. It's the only thing umbrellas are useful for.

I have a bizarre cane fetish. When I was a kid and I found any stick that came up to my elbow, it automatically became a cane/staff/scepter that I could use both to walk and to cast a +5 magic missile at any imaginary dragon that crossed my path, and there were many. One of my grandparents had a cane and I stole that shit from her all the time. Sorry, granny. I have role playing to do. You can walk to the kitchen later.

I love canes and crutches and walkers and arm braces and all that shit. Any time I'm in a hospital and I see stray wheelchairs and crutches lying around, I have to strangle myself from not grabbing them and joyriding with them. That's why pimps have canes, you know. It makes them feel that much pimpier. God, being crippled would be so awesome.

Ryan:

In a fight to the death, what marching band instrument do you take? I settled on a trumpet, because it's hard, I could wear it like brass knuckles, and I think it's least likely to break apart. My friend was thinking the trombone, because you can pull out that U shaped part and have a weapon in each hand.

Yeah, but the average trumpet doesn't have those brass fingerholes you want it to have. It usually has a little hook thingie for your pinkie, which does nothing for you if you want to kill people or feel like a badass while killing people. The trumpet does have the advantage of being easy to wield, though. Like a flute would be, but more manly. You don't want to be the guy who picks the flute.

I think I would take the cymbals. I could use them as shields, bonk people on the head with them, throw them like frisbees to slice open an opponent's neck, and use their reflective properties to deflect laser beams if anyone has brought a laser beam to the melee. FACT: 80 percent of people who walk by a pair of cymbals immediately want to pick them up and become Captain America.

To this day, any time I walk by virtually any kind of expensive musical band instrument, I immediately want to grab it and pretend to play it: sousaphone, tube, harp, kettle drum, whatever. When I was in middle school and some band kid left his clarinet in the cafeteria by accident, I grabbed that clarinet and slobbered ALL OVER IT. I bet I destroyed the poor kid's clarinet reed. My reed!

There was a music store in the local mall near where we lived and whenever we walked by it, I would run in and stare at all the instruments, especially the guitars on the wall. This was the '80s, so a lot of the guitars had lightning bolts and bloody veins painted on them, and every acoustic guitar had roses painted on the front, power ballad-style. There was an organ out front that had all kinds of colorful buttons and foot pedals, and I used to hop on it for two minutes before the sales guy used to shoo me away. Even now, if I'm in a room and there's some instrument lying around, I have to pick it up and pretend that I'm a prodigy when it comes to playing it. God, I wish I could play an instrument. And have a cane! WOMEN WOULD FALL BEFORE ME.

Anon:

I am soon finding out what the gender of my first child is. As a man I'm supposed to want a boy. However, I want a girl. I was a lonely, depressed, awkward child. By the time I was 12, I was writing suicide letters. I was a dark kid. The fear that my son would end up exactly like me is debilitating. I think that maybe if I have a girl my child is less likely to end up like me. Not sure why the gender matters. I guess it will just be easier to see myself in a son than it would be a daughter.

The good news is that I keenly aware of all this and can/will consciously monitor my child's feeling of self-worth as much as that is even possible. I'm not worried about being a bad father, I'm worried about passing on my shitty DNA. How were you able to reconcile those fears?

I think every guy looks back on his early teenage self and shudders in horror. The idea that you're gonna have a kid and he's gonna be some horrible mouth-breather who puts his feet up on everything and openly masturbates with company around is enough to send you into a fit of extensive self-loathing. HOWEVER, I have two sons and the nice thing about them is that they are most definitely not me. There's enough dilution from your wife's gene pool to ensure that, if you have a son, he'll at least be somewhat different. You have to get over yourself at some point, so that you don't foist all your baggage onto the kid. Otherwise, you end up harping at them ALL THE TIME. You spend all your time and energy getting them to not do this or not be that. And that ends up turning them into an insecure, unhappy person. You have to praise the shit out of them when they do good and ignore the bad shit, and that will end up building their confidence and making them into confident kids who CRUSH pussy and SLAY beers with their buddies every night. FUCKING KILLCRUSH THOSE KIDS.

Anon:

Does shitting hot knives hurt more than being penetrated by them?

I say no. And the reason I say no is because at least, when you're shitting hot knives, no one is doing it to you. It's strictly physical pain. There's not the sense of violation and fear that comes with a dude holding you down and raping you with a hot knife. MY GOD WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME? HOW COULD MAN HAVE SUCH A CAPACITY FOR CRUELTY?! GOD IT BURNNNNNNS.

Time for your email of the week.

Jaime-Paul:

My Grandfather illegally immigrated to the US, got a job doing hard labor, never really learned the language, had a bunch of kids, the kids grew up to become really
successful and retired to a life of running a ranch in south Texas. Growing up, all of us spoiled grandsons would be sent to work on the ranch with him to instill some values, the hope was we'd pull ourselves away from cushiness of video games and TV and get out
with the old man and do some real work, therefore picking up his work ethic and learning that nothing comes easy in this world.

The biggest part of this was your summer before college, that summer you were to spend at least two months working with the old man, from dawn to dusk, herding cattle, moving hay, putting up fences, basically it was supposed to scare you into doing good in school by making you hate doing manual labor in the 100 degree Texas heat. This usually worked and the pay you got from it all helped you survive your first semester.

Anyway, I was about 14 and doing a month on the ranch with my cousin Xavier who was getting ready to head off to school, I was content to being a good for nothing layabout, mainly passing my time trying to learn how to drive and trying not to get trampled by bulls. Well one day the old man tells my cousin and load up in to trucks and follow him to a field, it's hay moving day. When we get to the field my grandfather hands my cousin a rifle and instructs him to shoot if he sees any snakes as our part of south Texas is covered in rattlesnakes and they absolutely love to lay under hay bales.

So, we're working for about an hour, me standing to the side being worthless, my cousin leaning against the truck holding a gun and my grandfather using the tractor to move the hay when suddenly he lifts one and we see a giant 4 foot rattler.

My grandfather screams at my cousin to shoot, I jump on top of the truck as I'm a coward who is deathly afraid of the damn things, and my cousin completely freezes. He doesn't even raise the barrel to aim. Meanwhile the damn snake starts bolting towards us as it's trying to get away from all this commotion.

My grandfather seeing his good-for-nothing grandsons doing nothing, jumps off the tractor, walks calmly to the back of his truck, grabs a tire iron and hurls it from 25 feet away and kills the damn snake.

He then walks over, takes the gun from my cousin, shoots the snake to make sure it's down for the count, looks at us with disdain, mutters something in Spanish that I'm not sure I was old enough to hear, and gets back on the tractor.

Later that day when we were done with our chores, I asked my cousin why he froze, he said he didn't know, but not for one moment did he think the snake was going to live, seems our grandfather has taken more then a few snakes down with blunt objects as I was told he once took one down with nothing more than a log while stacking wood.

Do not fuck with Grandpa Strength.