Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering Penn State, falling, vending machines, and more. Image by Jim Cooke.
I wrote a Dadspin post about stupid baby names last week, and whenever I write about baby names, I inevitably get scores of emails featuring the same dubious story. Here is one such example:
New one for list: Le-a = pronounced Le dash a .... Ledasha? Are you kidding me? I'm a teacher and had to say this name everyday for 10 months - parent teacher conferences were hilarious.
I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that, over the years, the "Ledasha" story has been emailed to the Funbag hundreds of times, far more than any other oft-circulated story. I get it so often that I've become convinced it's a total fabrication. Either it's a lie, or there are thousands of Le-a's out there, and I don't buy that. Here is what Snopes says about the name:
As to whether there is such a child, we've yet to find documentation of anyone's bearing a name of "Le-a" that is pronounced "Ledasha" (or any other way)
So unless you folks can turn up a real, live Le-a and have her email us, I call bullshit. On to your letters:
How much has this whole Penn State business soured you on college sports, and sports in general? Especially thinking about that assistant DA who 'disappeared' after investigating The Second Mile a few years ago, do you feel off-put by the entire system of college sports?
Anyone who claims NOW that they just feel like college sports is too shady for them to enjoy has been deluding themselves as much as any dipshit Paterno fanboy. College sports have been corrupt and exploitative since the beginning of time, so it's disingenuous for anyone now to be like, "Whoa hey! NO ONE TOLD ME COLLEGE FOOTBALL WAS SO IMPURE!" That's cheap moral grandstanding. You should enjoy sports the same way you enjoy music. Every Christmas, I listen to the Phil Spector Christmas album, because it's the greatest Christmas album ever recorded. The fact that Phil Spector shot a woman to death doesn't change my affection for the album. I can compartmentalize that shit. People do this all the time with music and movies. They're able to take the work of art on its own merits, divorced from their personal feelings about the artist. And yet, people are consistently unable to do likewise with sports. You should just take the game on its own and not give a shit about all the gory details that went into delivering it to you. The only reason to get morally outraged about sports is if you ENJOY being morally outraged. And there is no shortage of people who fit into that category.
By the way, speaking of the late DA Ray Gricar, I'm going to confess something horrible: I kinda WANT this scandal to evolve into a murder mystery. That's the next logical step for it. If that happens, HOLY SHIT, I'll be riveted. I'm an awful person. Ask any Raiders fan.
Say you had to decide between going to prison for the rest of your life (a safe enough one where you could watch TV and not get raped) or you could be dropped off a five-story building and if you survive, you're set free. If you'd take your chances with the fall, how high would the building have to get before you'd take the life in prison and pass on the jump?
I've gone around and looked at the maximum heights for survivable falls and the general rules of thumb vary. One place said that any fall that comes from at least three times your height has a 50 percent chance of being fatal. So if you're six feet tall, an 18-foot drop has even odds of killing you. But then I read that humans can survive falls of up 50 feet, which is about the average height of a five-story building. After that, you pull a Frank Nitti. Then I read somewhere else that the kill point is a far lower thirty feet. Now, as someone who has watched Hollywood Shuffle many times over, I believe you can survive jumping from great heights so long as you know about the levels of the gravitivity and the polarity.
Then again, THIS is a five-story building. Take a good, long look. Sometimes, I'll fancy myself a daredevil and jump down the last two steps on the staircase in my house, and sometimes I land funny and it feels like a thousand needles are being jammed into my ankle and I think to myself MY GOD! IT'S BROKEN! even though it's not broken and I'm a pussy. That's after a fall of, like, one foot. If you're as heavy and as old-man frail as I am, you have no chance at fifty feet. And even if you do survive, it's a lifetime of shitting in your electric wheelchair.
What would happen is that I would accept the jump offer, then climb up to the top of the building, peer over the edge, and then go running to prison. You'd have to cut the jump in half before I even began to think about not pussying out. Because that's a long way down, man. As someone who is deathly afraid of exposed heights (high balconies, etc.), even life in prison isn't enough of a deterrent.
I was at Disney World last week and this random kid kept coming around my son and I while we were in the pool. I was trying to be polite but he was really starting to bug me. I wanted to say "Get your own father!" My luck would be his dad was mauled by killer bees right in front of him or something. Should I have said something really creepy like, "Go away or I will plant bugs in your ears while you sleep"? What is the protocal on this?
The only thing you can do when your kid is besieged by some other dipshit kid is either A) Ignore the other kid, which is really hard if the other kid is stupid and braying and you just wanna punch them until their face caves in, or B) Remove your child from the situation. I do this anytime some shithead kid who's been orphaned for the day by their real parents gets all up in my business. I stand up and get my kid out of there.
ME: We gotta go.
KID: But we just got here.
ME: Yeah well, you have to piss.
KID: No, I don't.
ME: Well we gotta go anyway.
KID: (turns inside out screaming) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
ME: I'll buy you candy.
KID: (sprinting out of the pool) Okay! Bye everyone!
That's all you can do. Otherwise, that random kid will reduce you to the most homicidal of urges.
I just saw Prometheus. What if you could be teleported (so you don't have to waste half your life getting there) to the front of an alien lair? Do you take the risk of going in and having the chance to be the guy who discovered a new alien species, thus going down in history books forever, but also putting yourself in position to be slaughtered by the aliens in terrible ways if they are evil? I think I'm too scared and wouldn't take the risk.
This hypothetical would have to carry a few conditions:
• You get to teleport home any time you wish. No sense in teleporting to the alien liar if you just have to sit there with your thumb up your dick forever.
• You get a spacesuit that feeds you oxygen and protects you from any and all nasty space radiation or whatever surprise environmental dangers of the alien's home planet (there will be many such dangers).
• You get to arm yourself with at least one weapon. I'll be taking the Tommy Gun. Originally, I wanted an RPG launcher, but my aim is terrible and I don't want to blow my load all in one shot.
If none of those conditions can be met, forget it. But if SpaceX is cool with it, then I think you'd have to accept. Because you'd only have to spot the massive, 5,000-fanged facehugger for half a second before hitting the GO BACK button on your suit and firing off 37 rounds at the monster as you're beaming back to Earth. That half-a-second is all you need to change mankind forever.
You will not be surprised to learn that the owner of the car lives in the apartment with his BROS. Their activities include:
- drinking shirtless on the porch;
- being shirtless while talking on speaker phone on the porch;
- leaving the hoods of their cars open for others to admire the engine, as if they are part of a scene from the Fast and the Furious; and
- using their car as a speaker system to listen to music, while sitting on their porch.
That's pure class.
Which would kill you first - smoking 3 packs of cigarettes every day; drinking a 750ml bottle of whiskey every day; or blowing 1 gram of cocaine every day? You cannot seek medical attention.
I think it's the cocaine, but to be certain, I double checked with my friend Andy, who is a real live anesthesiologist, so he knows his stimulants and depressants. He said it depends entirely on tolerance. If you've never had alcohol before, going right to drinking a bottle of whiskey a day could kill you immediately. Ditto a non-cokehead Maryland Terrapins basketball player who does one giant line right off the bat. But if you're a touring musician and a seasoned cokehead or alcoholic, it's probably no big deal. Everyone's body works in different ways, and you and I both know people who have lived for decades as incorrigible drinkers and/or smokers. So I'll take the cocaine winning out for people who can hold their mud.
The other day at work, I was in the break room when the vending machine guy came in to restock the machines. As usual, he comes in every two weeks and fills up the machine with new goodies, and removes expired product. However, this time as he was finishing up, he took all of the expired product and threw it in the trash can a few feet away and left. I found myself sitting there all alone in the break room with this cache of slightly expired snacks sitting in a barely used garbage can: Funyuns, Ruffles, Sunchips, imitation Twinkies, Corn Nuts and more. I sat there the entire rest of my break debating whether or not I should dive into this face first, or resist temptation like the professional I appear to be at work. I finally decided to resist, knowing that at any moment one of 80 people could walk in on me digging through the trash. Did I make a huge mistake?
You made a huge mistake. You should have grabbed all that candy and stuffed it into a footlocker to keep under your bed for emergency binging. Or you could have turned around and sold those items to your co-workers at a deeply discounted price. No one will question where a twenty-cent bag of Funyuns came from. I know I wouldn't. Every time I go to a vending machine, I know I'm only gonna pick one item, and that kills me inside. Because if health and good taste weren't an issue, I'd break the glass and eat everything inside.
By the way, Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio once promised to take the Vending Machine Challenge, where the participant must eat one of every item in the vending machine over a set amount of time without throwing up. At the last second, Daulerio backed out of it, which is so fucking beat. I urge you to email him and DEMAND he go through with it. It's for the greater good, really. I wanna see that man choke back a gallon of Lorna Doone vomit.
Say you won a contest which placed you on this year's Olympic Basketball Team, you were given the opportunity to attend training camp with the team, participate in all scrimmages and practices etc. In any game the team plays—exhibition or Olympic game—you must play every minute of the game. The roster is made up of 11 NBA All Stars and you at your skill level right now, you receive no special talents or anything of that sort, just you. For instance one lineup would be You, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Tyson Chandler....how do you think this team does against Olympic competition?
I think it's a competitive team that would eventually become undone due to its weakest link. In the beginning, I think the team would do all right. Having an amateur at one position is a hindrance, but that's still a live body that can run and even set the occasional screen. It would be better than playing 4-on-5, BARELY. The problem is that, by the end of one game, someone like me would be absolutely destroyed, practically unable to move. And that's just one game. An Olympic tournament involves MANY games over a short period of time. I'm the kind of person that does one lap swimming in a pool and spends the next week in AGONY. By the third game, I'd be a fucking speed bump. And while the other four players on the floor would be demonstrably more talented than the five players from some other dipshit country, it wouldn't be enough to overcome such a severe handicap. No way that team wins gold. It probably doesn't even medal. And then you'd have a bunch of asshole sportswriters going on and on about how Fat Drew proved that basketball is a TEAM GAME, not just an exhibition for GLOREE BOYZ.
After seeing this truck the other day, my question is does he Live to Rape or Love to Rape?
Either way, it's clear that he likes hisself some rapin'.
Let's say tomorrow scientist discover a cure for all cancers that is 99.9% effective for anyone discovered with the disease, regardless of behavior. Do you think smoking would make a huge comeback and be as popular as it was in the 1920s and 1930s? People lighting up everywhere again, in bars, restaurants, airplanes (yuck), buses, etc?
Speaking of airplanes, I hate getting on a plane that still has leftover ashtrays. Reminds me just how old the thing is and I think I am going down everytime we take off.
I think that the social movement against smoking would remain strong enough to prevent cigarette sales from going through the roof. Remember: cancer is just ONE side effect of smoking. It also increases your chances of having a heart attack, a stroke, and non-cancerous lung diseases like emphysema. And of course, smoking would be still be highly dangerous for pregnant women. Also, my orthopedist told me that the only thing that could further accelerate the deterioration of my herniated disks was the use of nicotine, which blew my fucking mind. There is no way in which smoking CANNOT kill you. That's enough ammo to keep the anti-smoking lobby frothing at the mouth about reducing cigarette use.
Now, if you took away every other side effect involved with smoking (even stained teeth and bad breath), and smoking somehow magically became a healthy thing, I bet some people would still fight for its abolition. I know this because pot is still illegal, even though it shouldn't be. As for me, I'd certainly be more open to smoking, especially smoking while drinking. Because smoking makes you look way cool. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
What are your favorite things to fast forward through when watching a taped sporting event? I have commercials ranked fourth behind: NFL challenges, halftime shows and the three free throws given on a three-point attempt foul.
My absolute favorite thing to fast forward through is the beginning of any sideline report. Inevitably, Michele Tafoya's boring-as-shit anecdote about Tracy Porter's new dog will bleed into actual gameplay, but at least I can skip that awkward thirty seconds where they throw it down to the sideline reporter just to make the sideline reporter feel better about their job.
Some other things that are crucial to blast through:
• A player going down with an injury. When I first did this, I felt like I was being insensitive, like I should have stayed with the injured player to make sure they were okay. But honestly, fuck them. They're holding up the game. Get them out of there.
• The extra point. The NFL should do an extensive study of what people fast forward through, so they can get rid of the game's most useless elements.
• The game introductions. I see Faith Hill for half a second, and that's more than enough.
• The exchange between the analysts right before the start of the second half, when you think the second half is about to start but instead you get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman making hand gestures for eighty seconds before telling you the third quarter is next.
Then there are the elements of regular non-game programming that are always worth skipping over:
• The interview portions of "The Daily Show" and pretty much every other late night program
• The initial minute of applause at the beginning of "The Colbert Report"
• The padded recaps that litter every reality show
• The "meet the contestants" portion of Jeopardy!
• That one segment 45 minutes into any "Top Chef" episode that lasts one minute and features the contestants acting all CRAY CRAY before cutting right back to the commercial. It's like an island between commercial blocks.
• The musical acts on SNL (provided you don't erase the episode after watching thirty seconds of the cold opening)
• "Five Good Minutes"
• The 90 percent of SportsCenter that doesn't include actual game footage
Oddly enough, I always make a point to watch the opening credits to shows I really like, like Mad Men and Louie. It gets me all fired up for the rest of the episode.
What if the US decided on a whim to randomly select one person every day that would secretly get "the button" and authority for all the nukes in the country? How long do you think we'd have until it's passed to some numbnuts who blows up the world? That one person would probably get anything he wanted for a whole day. He'd probably be heavily bribed not to do anything. Everyone would be extra nice to one another until they knew who had it, lest the barista making their latte decide to flip out and melt everyone's faces off.
It would have to be passed on to a legitimately mentally ill person for it to be used: a sociopath, a paranoid schizophrenic, a drug addict having a psychotic break, etc. No sane person, regardless of assholery, would push that button. Because remember, to push that button, you have to insert a key, enter your authentication code and then turn the key to activate the button (everything I know about nuclear missiles I learned from Spies Like Us). Those three steps are enough to eliminate anyone pushing the button in a rash or clumsy manner. When you're stuck in traffic, you may be like FUCK THIS WORLD I'MMA BLOW IT UP, but you wouldn't literally do it. The button would have to fall in the hands of someone who is either crazy and suicidal or evil and suicidal, and those people are rarer than you think.
As for how it would change your day-to-day behavior, I think everyone would be a little bit nicer to each other at first, but as time passed and no one pushed it, we'd all go back to being dicks again. The problem is that, if other countries knew what we were doing with the button, they would preemptively attack us anyway, and then we'd all die. So let it be known that I am firmly against the "hand the button to random assholes" branch of foreign policy.
Email of the Week time.
One summer night during my high school years, a few friends and I were playing a pickup basketball game on the hoop in my buddy Paul's uncle's driveway. So, we're out there playing and I'm standing at the top of the key with the ball, when all of a sudden I hear a quick buzzing sound next to my left ear and some sort of flying demon spawn tries to dive-bomb my ear canal. I lose my dribble as I'm swatting it away, the kid defending snatches the ball and turns around for the easy lay-up, I utter some profanities and think that's the end of it.
HOWEVAH, after the game has ended and we're all standing there talking, I suddenly feel something moving around inside of my left ear. I immediately have Paul get a flashlight from his uncle's house and have my buddies looking inside my left ear to see if there's a god damn bug in there. None of them can see anything, but every 2-3 minutes now, I feel something moving or flapping in there and start uncontrollably swatting at my ear.
After about 10 minutes I decide I have to go home and get my parents to drive me to the hospital, cause there's definitely something wrong. It's right at this point that the chick I work with comes out of her friend's house next door. She just happened to be over there, and she sees me and starts walking over to say hi. I proceed to chit-chat with her and endure a 30-minute conversation (which felt like it was 6 hours) with this thing moving around inside of my head, INCHING CLOSER TO MY BRAIN WITH EVERY PASSING SECOND, all while resisting the involuntary impulse to punch myself directly in the ear every time it starts moving.
Finally, the girl mercifully ends the conversation and I immediately hop on my bike and book it home, barge through my front door, and tell my dad he has to drive me to the hospital because there is a bug in my ear. You can imagine how that went over.
After subjecting me to a 15-minute long interrogation regarding whether or not I had taken drugs or had been drinking, all through which I was periodically swatting at my own head, my father finally agrees to drive me to the E.R. Upon admission, the attending physician takes a quick look inside my ear with that ear magnifying glass thingy, grabs some high pressure air/water blaster apparatus, and proceeds to fire it into my ear canal. Much to everyone's surprise (save me and the physician), out with the water comes a MASSIVE MOTH.
Mothzilla, I tell you. It was humungous. AND STILL ALIVE.
The physician squishes and kills the perp, laughs, and says to me, "You're the fifth one tonight." Ever since I have taken to immediately covering my ears any time a moth flies into a room, and am absolutely petrified of moths in general.
Sleep tight, everyone!