Do Animals Have Accents?

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Illustration by Sam Woolley/GMG
Illustration by Sam Woolley/GMG

Before we start, please note there is NO Funbag next week because the entire Deadspin staff will be in New York preparing for the Deadspin Awards. I, for one, will be VERY excited to get measured for a rental tux right after Thanksgiving has passed. Real boost to the ego there.

Time for your letters:


Do animals have accents? Like does a dog in Ireland bark in an Irish accent? How does a parrot in Italy pronounce mozzarella?


They do, but not necessarily the way you think. Like, a Scottish dog isn’t influenced by human Scottish accents. It’s not like ACH! WEWF WEWF YA WEE TIT! But animals can make different noises based on regionality and social groups. So while Caribbean whales have identifiable accents and dialects when it’s mating season and they wanna bring the hump back, they are not affecting a Rasta Man voice. Only the narc whales try that.

Parrots are an exception to this because there ARE Youtube vids of parrots affecting different human accents. Here’s one bird that can do a way better Irish accent than Brad Pitt. Otherwise, an animal’s “accent” is identifiable to its ilk but not to you—and probably vice versa—which is an important thing to think about while stoned. There is DEFINITELY a dog out there with the equivalent of a dog Boston accent, and that dog sucks. YOU FACKIN’ LOSAHS AHHH NAWT TRUE IRISH SETTAHS THE WAY SPAWT AND I AHHHHH!




Would there ever be a scenario in baseball when the batting team would pull an intentional strikeout? Maybe to avoid a double play?

Not intentional intentional, no. A lot of pitchers are treated as automatic outs and still get sent up to the plate anyway because it’s worth keeping them in the game, but I really can’t see a manager actively ordering, “Hey you, take three bad swings in a row.” You don’t NEED to tell a pitcher that, because that’s probably what’s gonna happen anyway. Given how precious outs are, there’s really no scenario in which outright manufacturing them—without trying for contact or to advance runner somehow—is a good idea, even if you’re up 30-0 in the eighth and just wanna go home. Even if you’re sending a double-play prone batter up and there’s a dude on first, it’s still better to have him bunt to advance the runner, or take pitches and hope for either a walk or a meatball to hit than to order him specifically to fan at the ball.

No batter, at any level, wants to strike out. Ever. It’s fucking mortifying. I am still scarred by striking out as a child. Hell, I’ve struck out in WIFFLE BALL before. You know how rotten that feels? There’s no chance any player wants to volunteer for that, and there’s no way a manager would subject a player to it. If I manager ever asked a player to do that, they’d get a batting donut up the ass.




My wife and I are in the process of buying a house that is two blocks away from a large, old cemetery. The cemetery is kept in good shape, it’s shady, and has a lot of paths. Can I use that thing like a park? It would be super convenient for running, walking the dog, etc. Seems like a waste of valuable green space if all you’re allowed to do there is mourn.


Is it public? You can use a public cemetery as a park so long as you stay on the paths and don’t trample over all the flowers and picture frames and zombie arms reaching out of the burial plots. That’s a no-no.

Generally, I’m in favor of life carrying on above the remains of the dead. It’s a sign of renewal; of life carrying on. It’s not disrespectful unless you’re going around spitting on graves or staging a Ford Fairlane limo chase through the headstones. But if you’re treating the area with common courtesy? I say go ahead and play Ghosts in the Graveyard at your leisure. It’s what the dead would have wanted.


The dead had their time here. They shouldn’t get to claim entire parcels of land for themselves for eternity. That’s real GLORY BOY behavior if you ask me. That’s tillable land! We could grow sorghum there, you selfish bastards! And think of the cost! I’m not sticking my family with a $5,000 funeral tab just so BIG COFFIN can sell them on some satin-lined walnut casket. They should spend that money on steak and drugs. Now THAT is how you get closure.



How accurately can the average NFL quarterback estimate a distance of exactly 10 yards on an unmarked surface, like standing in the middle of a parking lot or something? Within an inch? A centimeter? Their entire careers are built around one very specific distance, even Brock Osweiler must be able to eyeball it pretty precisely. Would wide receivers be even better at it, since they have to be able to accurately judge how far to split out?


I think wideouts could only because of timing routes and because a wideout often needs to know the exact number of steps to take before making a move. A guy like Larry Fitzgerald probably practices that all offseason, blindfolded, while dragging a very large field tractor behind him. Seems tedious, really. Even the most fun football positions require lots of busywork.

HOWEVER… if we restrict the challenge so that the wideout or QB can only eyeball the distance, and not walk it out, then it becomes a lot more difficult. They may have that distance precisely envisioned on a grass field, but when you extrapolate that distance to another, more unfamiliar surface, it can toy with your mind. You perceptions of distance can change based on context: light, color, shadow, how many Quaaludes you’ve ingested, etc. If the parking lot is endless and goes to the horizon, you might wildly overestimate 10 yards. If the parking lot is enclosed, you might wildly underestimate it. I just tried guessimating 10 yards inside and was off by, like, half. My living room ain’t as big as my ego thinks it is, apparently.




So how the hell does this Jones/Goodell catfight end? Are they really going to fire Goodell for, uh, being too tough on domestic violence? And they can’t force Jones out of the NFL unless there are Donald Sterling-style tapes floating out there (a STRONG possibility), right? Feels like we’re heading for some sort of mutually assured destruction, because at this point, it sure seems like most of the NFL just wants both of them gone.


Mark Maske of the Post suggested that Jerry could be suspended for running afoul of the other owners, which wouldn’t be as satisfying as them outright stripping him of ownership, but would be HILARIOUS in its own fitting way (Goodell would absolutely give him six games if he could get away with it).

A few days ago, my guess was that Jerry would find a way to oust Goodell because Jerry is the most powerful owner in the league and tends to get what he wants. He would wear down his colleagues, mettle in their affairs just as he has with his own team, and finally get them to install Dave Campo as league commissioner.


But there’s a clear and perhaps unsolvable schism between gaudy owners like Jones and the more patrician owners like the Maras and the Rooneys. It’s like Trump versus the Bush family. They’re both puke, but one side prefers to go about their corruption more quietly, with CLASS, so that they can get away with it and act all scandalized when a less tactful rich person comes on the scene and commits similar offenses. Jerry is a trashy asshole who doesn’t really give a shit if people think of him that way so long as he can grope every last dollar, and I almost prefer that style of business. I would die laughing if he blew up the league just to spite everyone (one reader suggested Jones would “secede” from the NFL and start the Dallas Football League, which has almost certainly entered his oily brain), but that’s probably not what’s gonna happen. Instead, he’ll just play the role of Al Davis and be an eternal pain in the ass to other owners so long as he lives. They’ll just keep trading stern letters while the league goes to shit. The only thing these guys love making more than money is making a point.



1. Is golf good?

2. Is disc golf good?

(I am a regular practitioner of both and I honestly don’t know, if that helps.)

Golf is good. Golfers are ASSHOLES, but golf itself is fun and I wish I could still play it. And I still like watching it, too. As a professional terrible person, nothing brings me more joy than watching some cocky tour dickhole blast a 1-iron into a fucking tree. Golfers are the best athletes to watch humiliated, and that sport humiliates them with fantastic regularity. The fact that golf kinda LOOKS easy and requires far less physical exertion than other sports only makes it funnier.


As for disc golf, I’m sure it’s all right but it’s not golf. You’re not getting the tactile pleasure of smacking a golf ball, which is the whole point of golf. I support any endeavor where you get to hit something with a stick. I’m the dad at birthday parties PRAYING he gets asked to finally defeat the piñata. With disc golf, you’re just throwing a Frisbee to no one and then chasing it, know what I mean? You’re your own dog. If you’re a dorky college kid, you’re better off playing campus golf instead, with a 5-iron and a tennis ball. That’s the more enjoyable way to make a golf course out of a library path.



Does fruit/food byproduct count as litter? I threw my banana peel out my window the other day and my friend basically called me a monster.


Yeah please don’t throw your banana peels out of the window. What if a man carrying a stack of pies slips on it and falls and breaks his tailbone and all the pies splat on to him? And then he dies? That’s on you, Banana Peel Bandit. I know that such a scenario is unlikely. In fact, I wonder if anyone has ever REALLY slipped on a banana peel in world history. Like, was this a scourge back in 1889? Or did one presumptuous asshole slip on one in olde time Chicago and then somehow perpetuate it into a lasting pratfall?

Regardless, if you’ve got obvious compost like a banana peel, you can “litter” by tossing it into some overgrowth or whatever. But you can’t, like, leave it on a fucking sidewalk. That’s just rude, and no one’s gonna feel bad for you if the cops give you a citation for it. Banana peels have a supersonic rate of decay and turn to brown doodoo within thirty seconds of lingering, but you’re just gonna have to hold onto yours until you find a proper burial spot for it.




Let’s hypothetically say Hillary somehow got goaded into running again for 2020 vs. Trump. Who wins and what happens?


She loses. All of the problems that plagued the 2016 election—voter suppression, fake news, entrenched sexism and racism—are all still there, if not worse.

And it’s not like the people who voted against Hillary like her now. One of the things that election taught me is that while I was fine with Hillary Clinton, there were—and are—TENS OF MILLIONS of Americans whose disdain for her borders on the pathological. Whether it was because they were exposed to decades of conservative media railing against her, or because they simply disliked her of their own free will, I’ve met plenty of people who had a complete mental block to her. Like, “I didn’t like Trump but I was NOT gonna vote for Hillary.” It could have been Satan Incarnate running against her (and it kinda was!), and the loathing was so deep and entrenched as to be utterly immovable. I don’t think any of that has changed, nor do I think Clinton has changed some of her very real weaknesses as a candidate. She ain’t winning people over in 2020 with more overly focus-grouped meme deployment.


So what I’m saying is that if Hillary wants to run again, I will personally trap her in an elaborate garden maze to prevent it.



What’s the best healthy snack/appetizer? I recently discovered Beet Hummus and it’s fucking delicious, AND it’s more nutritious than regular hummus. So my vote is a celery stick and beet hummus.


Jesus, beet hummus sounds like my nightmare come to life. Why not swirl in some mayonnaise at it while you’re trying to choke me? Anyway, it’s Thanksgiving Week and it’s always fun to put out ONE healthy appetizer out that people can take a single bite of, as a way of deluding themselves into thinking they’ve negated all the other binge eating.

Now I’m gonna put hummus near the top of this list even though I know damn well that the way I eat hummus is not healthy at all. I will eat six pita loaves while finishing off a tub of hummus, and that is probably not slimming. But I can’t bring myself to dip, like, carrots instead. People who dip veggies always pretend it’s as good as dipping bread or a cracker when you and I know damn well that they aren’t. I should just eat the hummus with a spoon.


Here now is how I would rank the healthy snacks and appetizers:

  1. Cheese*
  2. Hummus
  3. Oysters (Kind of a cheat because oysters are expensive and difficult to serve, but if I were a rich dude I’d eat a bushel of them a day for light snacking.)
  4. Nuts
  5. Summer rolls
  6. Hard-boiled eggs
  7. Baba Ganoush
  8. Pickled vegetables
  9. Roasted vegetables drowned in olive oil and salt
  10. Shishito peppers
  11. Edamame
  12. Veggie sticks
  13. Granola
  14. Snap peas
  15. Yogurt
  16. Torn-off nipples
  17. Any other god-awful healthy thing

*Again, the line between what is “healthy” and what is not is very elastic here. Granola is always sold as a health food despite having 4,000 calories per tablespoon. It’s all a scam. And seemingly unhealthy shit like cheese and sausage is probably fine in moderation and served without accompanying carbohydrates. But again, that’s not how I eat such things. I can’t eat just ONE piece of salami. That is merely the opening foray in my one night stand with the sausage platter. Sometime I rope in a loaf of sourdough for the threesome.




What’s the worst school fundraiser? It’s gotta be magazines, right? When they announced at Back to School Night that they won’t be doing magazine sales any more, parents actually broke out into applause.


I think it’s any fundraiser that lures the kids into participating. When I was a kid, they used to have these fundraising drives at school where you were supposed to go door to door and sell neighbors on merchandise from a catalog. And I’m talking really useless crap like holiday cheese logs and shit. To this day, I’m kind of appalled that schools just openly promote this Amway kind of marketing when I know damn well that funds are getting skimmed off the top.

Anyway, the teachers would hand out the brochures and I’d get all fired up because if you sold enough crap, they gave you a “prize.” Like you’d get a stuffed bunny if you sold $200 worth of garbage to people. I thought that was an AMAZING deal, then I’d come home and explain it to my parents and they’d groan and be like, “You’re getting hustled.” And then I’d be like, “No! They have really cool prizes!” And then they’d just walk away and I’d be mad they didn’t let me go out there and get hustled. Now I gotta explain the scam to my own kids any time they want to sell shit from the Franklin Mint on behalf of library bake sale.


Also, my kids’ school has a deal with local restaurants where, on certain nights, a portion of your tab will go to the local PTA. Ever go to a California Pizza Kitchen when 40,000 other folks in town have the same idea? It’s quite something.



How do you apply deodorant? I’m talking about the stick kind, not the spray kind because the spray kind is for weirdos. I’ve always applied the stick oriented parallel to my arm if it were raised in the air to signal a TD. This way seems to conform best to the natural shape of my (and others, I assume) armpit. My wife, on the other hand, is horrified by this and assures me that the correct way to apply the deodorant is with the stick perpendicular to the arm, assuring maximal coverage across the armpit.


Not to pick on your old lady, but fuck that. You swipe up and down. Please refer to this Faberge Power Stick commercial for reference:

I will always be amused by the number of times they say STROKE in that spot. Why do they apply the Power Stick to the crook a dude’s elbow in the product demo? I do not know. Maybe putting a full armpit on TV was too vulgar. All I know is that he’s swiping DOWN his arm, and not across. Much more satisfying to get in a big, long vertical stroke. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to driving a zamboni. You should listen to the brands when applying deodorant. They eat, sleep, and breathe aluminum-based odor protection.


The contours of the male armpit do NOT accommodate horizontal strokes. Why do you think all deodorant sticks come with a domed top? That’s because they are designed to plumb the depths of your hairy manly pits as you drag the stick along. This precious dome will erode after five uses and actually invert, leaving massive swaths of deodorant paste along the sides, but I digress. If you swipe across, you will scrape the edges of your pits with the hard plastic side of the stick, and then you will die from a bacterial infection. That’s proven. Tell your wife to listen to the engineers at Fabergé. They’ve been in the smell game for a while now.



You are forced to choose between one Gallagher brother to listen to/read interviews/see in concert/follow on Twitter/etc. from now until the inevitable reunion 20 years from now. Who ya got - Liam or Noel?


Up until this year, I would have absolutely said Noel. I was Team Noel after Oasis busted up, which is kinda stupid because it’s not like I HAD to choose between the two brothers. I’m not their cousin or anything, and yet band breakups tend to cause fans to stake out sides and then violently defend them like it’s a Mideast conflict. I liked Noel more because he was the better songwriter, and because of this song, and because he’s the greatest interview in the world, and because he once tricked Liam into believing there was a ghost in his room, and because Liam’s Oasis spinoff, Beady Eye, was shitty and forgettable.

But look at Liam now, charming the world by making tea and hiring big swinging dicks to write him better songs and showing up at Manchester One Love. Plus, he’s got the voice and Noel doesn’t, which is unfair to Noel but just the way it is. Once Liam took a shit on Noel for having someone “play” the scissors during a live show, he got the upper hand. If this were The Ringer, he definitely now be on top of our weekly Gallagher Brother rankings.


Honestly, I just wish the two of them were back together. If I ever got them in a room, I’d go Full Overbearing Mom and be like, “You guys can’t see how much you’re like one another and that is BLOODY TRAGIC IT IS.”



Do you think Jon Gruden gets his suits purposely tailored to fit his shoulders and neck like that? I swear it looks there is an unknown source trying to pull it off of him.


Yes, I think he deliberately made his suits tight to showcase his guns AND because I think Jon Gruden wants to telegraph to you, the viewer at home, that he ain’t no suit guy. Those pencil-pushin’ execs at ESPN may want him to dress nice but that don’t mean he’s gotta LIKE it! Gruden wants you to know that suit is constraining him, and that once the broadcast is over he’s gonna flex out of it, put on his visor, suck down 50 Coronas, and start watchin’ tape like a REAL MAN. He is gonna TAKE IT to that tape.

I also think that anytime they cut to Gruden in the booth, he makes a point of stretching his hands out to show off his Super Bowl ring and his big manly hands. AIN’T NO CITY HANDS, BOY!




My wife has claimed for years that she makes the best homemade pumpkin pie. She always volunteers to make it for family Thanksgiving and talks about how it’s homemade. But when she makes it, she uses store bought crust and the pre-made pumpkin in a can stuff. Is she full of shit or is all that still considered homemade?


Technically that counts as semi-homemade but I don’t think I’d split hairs about it. You kinda have to use canned pumpkin for pumpkin pie because A) It’s actually butternut squash, which is easier to handle (GASP!) and B) If you use a Halloween pumpkin, it’s probably gonna be a watery trainwreck. I know she cheated on the crust, but I can’t blame her because, as noted in the Thanksgiving Deadcast, pie crust is a fucking pain in the ass. As far as I’m concerned, if you had to mix something and wash a bunch of bowls and stuff, you made something. She may not have cooked all of the pie, but she cooked enough of it. I don’t think you’d like the end result of challenging her on it. You’d end up with that pie down your undies.


Email of the week!


I am a hard-core chili-head and grow my own ultra-hot peppers in my backyard. Two of my kids have gone all-in on Dad’s hobby, and as a result they have developed a tolerance for peppers that vastly exceeds that of the average adult.

I recently whipped up a batch of hot sauce from pure ghost peppers. This stuff is hot enough to make even me break out in a sweat. My kids have sampled the sauce, and while they find it too hot their taste, did not freak out over it.

Both of them are in middle school, and like most middle-school boys they devote an inordinate amount of energy towards pranking their friends. The other day, the older one successfully dared one of his friends to try the ghost pepper sauce after trying it himself in front of them. This poor kid had such a severe reaction to it that my wife called 911 thinking he was allergic (he was fine after a lot of milk).

The requisite apologies have been delivered and I’m confident it won’t happen again, but my son has also informed me that his friends now regard him as some kind of indestructible freak, basically Bruce Willis in Unbreakable except with chili peppers. Do I need to be worried?


Worry the friends, not for him. Don’t let him commit manslaughter with edible pepper spray. You’d be liable.