Everywhere Is Gross

Illustration: Jim Cooke (GMG), Photo: Shutterstock

Today, we’re talking about chuds, Nick Foles, Home Depot, overpopulation, and more. 


Drew’s still on the shelf, so the rest of the Deadspin Idiots are still guest-hosting the Funbag until he gets back. Keep sending your questions.


About 2-3 times every week, I go into the bathroom at work and see/hear someone brushing their teeth. On the one hand, they should be commended for their commitment to dental hygiene, but on the other likely fecal matter-covered hand, how gross is it to brush your teeth while random people from multiple different companies are taking a shit? So I guess my question is how much am I allowed to judge this person and are there deterrent tactics I should be deploying?

Jon, buddy, where the fuck do you brush your teeth? Be right back honey, I’m shuttling up to the International Space Station to brush my teeth. There are poop germs everywhere, Joe. You see that window over there? You can see right through the glass, man. Amazing! It’s fucking coated with feces.

This may be an exaggeration. But I want you to understand that the search for a toothbrushing locale that will not expose the inside of your mouth to free-floating hell-pathogens is the path of madness, for such a place does not exist. The poop germs are on your toothbrush! They’re in the air! They’re crawling up your arm right now, leaving an invisible trail of germ diarrhea behind them (probably)! They’re what you’re scrubbing off your teeth when you brush, and even a strict regimen of spitting out the foamy toothpaste residue will not prevent you from swallowing whole billions of them, to do war with the friendlier bacteria in your guts, which are themselves around 30 feet of sausage casing stuffed with human shit.

There’s nothing you can do about this. The important thing to know at all times is that you are, fully, a native and a resident of this poop and trash earth. You, yourself—you specifically Joe, you son of a bitch!—are a poop and trash monster, just one more wriggling thing leaving a slime trail of reeking filth behind it everywhere it goes. In your life you have probably ingested like a cabbage-sized pile of human shit, much of it (but not nearly all!) from your own ass by way of various countertops and superficially clean-looking surfaces. Disgusting. Sick. I would scrub you straight into hell if I could.

To answer your question, though: Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, try to blast your craps into the commode rather than onto the wall above the toilet, do not intentionally drag your toothbrush through any visible smears of shit before you insert it into your mouth, and do not judge those who brush their teeth in public or semi-public restrooms, because that’s no less awful than brushing them anywhere else. Everywhere is gross.



What sport has to be the most frustrating to play defense in? I’m watching Duke/SDSU to wrap up my day at work, and my vote goes to basketball: too many ticky-tacky fouls called (10 total in the first five minutes of the second half).


The answer is soccer here, right? Nothing in the world seems more futile or humiliating than playing defense in soccer. Run toward the guy with the ball and he just boops it to that guy over there. Run toward that guy and he just boops it back to the first guy. Stand still and put your hands on your hips and call them assholes for doing that, and they run past you. Turn and run with them and they boop it to some other guy. Knock one of them over and he pantomimes getting shot in the back of the neck and you get a card. I’m getting mad and depressed just thinking about it. It’s bullshit, man!

Compared to that, basketball defense is pretty straightforward. Exhausting, but straightforward! The court is small enough to compress the action, so your guy can only avoid you so much; in general, as long as you stay between him and the hoop and can mount some resistance to him just muscling you under the basket, you’re doing okay. Sure, the referees can call a lot of cheap fouls, but that’s certainly not a given. Maybe they won’t. And anyway, even in college ball, eventually the shot clock will end the possession one way or another.


A soccer pitch, by contrast, is wayyyyy huge and spread out, and it’s effectively impossible to jam up the lanes of movement the way you can, say, through the painted area of a basketball court. And there’s no damn shot clock! The best a soccer defender can hope to do, I think, is to force the dudes on the other side to make their boops and runs under slightly greater pressure and duress, and then trust that to take a toll on how accurately they can boop the ball to each other. So much of soccer defending just comes down to it being really fucking hard for even world-class soccer players to control exactly where the ball will go when they boop it, if they have to boop it at a full sprint. That sucks.

Anyway, I rank the sports defenses thusly, in descending order of how much they suck:

1. Soccer
2. Football
3. Basketball
4. Baseball (it’s just standing)
5. There are no other sports



People I follow on twitter often turn out to be chuds (Jonathan Chait). As much as I’d like to unfollow him, it would make all the tweets making fun of him difficult to follow. What is the protocol for unfollowing chuds? Does it even matter?


Unfollow them. I don’t follow Jonathan Chait. I don’t follow Ben Shapiro, or Darren Rovell, or Bill Mitchell, or Bret Stephens, or Ann Coulter, or any of the other Twitter chuds or dumbasses people like to dunk on. I don’t even follow Donald Trump! The closest thing to a hate-follow I have is the Washington Post. This has not prevented me from getting 57 billion times my recommended daily allowance of awful internet poison, or from participating with lusty glee in all the dunk contests and feeding frenzies that routinely take shape around these miserable nightmare people. The people I do follow, God bless them, reliably pump that trash right into my eyeballs, and for that I am grateful. It never takes more than a click or two to find out what’s making all of my friends feel terrible at any given moment.

The lifeblood of Twitter—and, on a more immediate family-and-friends level, Facebook—is the belief that using it, a certain way and a lot, keeps you informed, and that if you are not using it, a certain way and a lot, you won’t know what the hell is going on and will be a clueless doofus hopelessly behind the curve. There’s some small truth to that, especially in the case of Twitter, a little-used, wildly unpopular, and hilariously unsuccessful social media platform that nevertheless wags the American mainstream media like a tail—but the bigger truth is that it’s actually fine to not know about the kind of stuff you can know about by obsessively using Twitter. Less of that stuff actually reaches your offline life than seems to; there are all kinds of natural barriers between you and that stuff, and that’s good.


I’d be a hypocrite if I tried to go the next step and say “Therefore delete your Twitter account.” I check Twitter probably 20 times a day, and am broadly guilty of being wagged by it, professionally, all the damn time. What I am saying here is that it’s good to mount at least some resistance to the idea that social media must put you in direct e-contact even with obnoxious morons you hate and reprehensible viewpoints that make you feel awful, just for the sake of keeping informed about what’s going on. It’s fine to let the people you actually like and value act as a filter for that stuff! If it poisons them to death, it’s their own fucking fault, and they can go to hell!


Which do you think is wasted more? Ketchup or Syrup? I’ve never, ever in my life used the exact amount of syrup needed for my waffles, pancakes or french toast. I think it’s utterly impossible. You always end up with more than needed. Ketchup, I guess you can kind of gauge it better?


I think the answer here is ketchup. My reasoning is simple: I put syrup on stuff that is hella absorbent, like pancakes and French toast and waffles, so even if I use too much syrup in, like, the moral or cardiovascular sense, by the time I get to the final bites of my food, there is no significant quantity of syrup left pooled on the plate. It’s all soaked into the food! And then it goes straight into my fuckin’ pancreas!

Whereas with ‘tchup, it doesn’t really soak into stuff. So if I do the thing where I make a little glob of ketchup on the side of the plate for dipping fries into, there’s usually still a smear of ketchup sitting there when the fries are gone. I guess I could use the last fry or two to mop this up, but then I would have to change my answer to this question, so I’m not gonna. The answer is ketchup.



At what point in the future do you think they will start having somewhat serious discussions about population control? And I say “they” because “we” will almost certainly be dust when that happens. But it does have to happen at some point, right? You can’t just keep putting more of something in a fixed amount of space.

I know China had some pretty disastrous results when they tried to curb their population but with all the reports on how humans are killing the planet and causing climate change, and the realization that some of that damage is irreversible or won’t stop because people (morons) refuse to believe it, it probably becomes more rational to limit the potential impact rather than change behavior....There are too many people!


Take it easy there, Thanos! Maybe don’t start greasing your neighbors just yet. I fully expect to get trashed for this take, but: I don’t think there are too many people. In fact there are not even close to too many people.

Yes, in the abstract, “You can’t just keep putting more of something in a fixed amount of space,” or eventually there will be too much of the something for the available space. But that is not a concern that is even remotely close to applying to the earth’s human population, and thanks to our very stupid consumption patterns, we’ll probably all die out long before it ever could.


Every year American supermarkets alone throw away enough edible food to stuff the whole rest of the world’s human population. America plunders and wastes more energy resources than other societies use in total, just for the sake of putting one extra layer of completely needless non-biodegradable packaging around some totally extraneous luxury doodad. America directs unfathomable waste into unfathomably expensive industrialized animal farms so that each American can eat more meat and sugar and processed grain in a week than a person needs in a year. America bulldozes millions of acres of arable land and/or forested animal habitat to build moronic tract suburbs that necessitate driving instead of walking, just so each upper-middle-class nuclear family can have two furnished but empty spare bedrooms, both a “great room” and a den, an entire house worth of garage space, and an absurd moat of untrod, worthless, thirsty lawn separating their house from the one next door.

Americans—most specifically, wealthy white Americans, of whom there probably are too many—insist upon the absolute least efficient, most sprawled-out and ruinous possible modes of existence. And that’s just here; never mind the world’s other insanely wasteful post-industrial societies. Then a study comes out that the world’s ecosystems and natural resources are under dire strain and calamity is on the horizon, and some number of gimlet-eyed Tough Solution Knowers log on from their echoey McMansions to go “The problem here is overpopulation.”


The world’s problem is not that there are too many people. The world’s problem is that the people (like me!) in its richest societies routinely demand absurd, insane, completely unsupportable lifestyles—and have habitually stood athwart any effort to develop deliberate, cooperative, sustainable systems of society that deliver the basic needs of life to everybody. So you’ve got enclaves of upper-middle-class people whose biggest day-to-day problem is that they literally can’t get enough aerobic exercise to keep up with their caloric intake, for chrissakes... and then right down the road, sometimes in the very same town, people who cannot get enough food to feed their children. There are not too many people. There are too many stupid entitled motherfuckers with too much money.

What I am saying here is please murder me and redistribute my goods.



What is the grossest surface in the average home? As in, if I took a slightly damp slice of soft cheese and pressed it against something and then ate it, what would be most life-threatening? Obviously the rim of a toilet bowl would be very gross, but I feel like there is some bacteria or something around the rim of a garbage disposal that might actually kill you.


Supposedly the filthiest surface in a home, just in terms of, like, how many foul bacteria are doing their thing on it at any given time, is not the toilet seat but rather the kitchen sink. I’ll buy that. But for me, living with my two extremely rowdy young sons who have only recently gotten a handle on the urinary arts, the grossest surface in my home at any given moment, by far, is the floor around the base of the toilet. It’s hell down there! No amount of cleaning can undo what they did to that poor floor. It’s the Pee Land now.

I would rather make out with a suppurating bedsore than press a slice of soft cheese against those floorboards and eat it. That’s probably not a wise preference, healthwise; I’m sure the pee bacteria is not half as deadly as what’s congregating around the rim of the garbage disposal. But if we’re talking about grossness, here, man, I would rather go at the inside of a vacuum bag with a pair of chopsticks than bring my mouth within a yard of that floor.


Oh, wait, you were asking about the average home, not my absurd forest lodge. Sucks for you, buddy! I just wanted to talk some trash about my own house.


OK, so Eric Trump is clearly the villain in a Sports Movie about Fencing, and Ivanka and Jared have an Evil Winter Sports vibe, but I’m having trouble placing Don Jr. Basketball? Rugby? Dressage?


Granted I have not watched this movie in like 15 years, but isn’t Don Jr. pretty much exactly the coach character from The Mighty Ducks? I feel like he’s that guy, only a lot stupider and worse, and he doesn’t pull his shit together to become an effective and inspiring hockey leader but rather gropes one of the kids’ teen sisters, gets beaten up, then flees to Mexico and spends the rest of his life eating drugs and posting Instagram selfies from lame tourist destinations.


Did Han just spend the entire night spooning an unconscious Luke inside that hollowed-out Tauntaun or what? If so, was he the big spoon, or did he wear Luke like a blanket?


Jake, they boned in there. Amid the steamy guts!


This Carson Wentz injury got me thinking: If Nick Foles were to lead the Eagles to another super bowl victory this year, would he be in consideration for the Hall of Fame? I ask because there seems to be a general consensus that Eli Manning will eventually be in the Hall despite thoroughly average career numbers on the basis of having two rings. So if BDN earns himself another ring and MVP, will he make it to Canton? Or will Foles having the same number of championships as each Manning bro just act to weaken the argument that a QB with more than 1 ring deserves automatic Hall inclusion?


It seems self-evidently obvious to me that if a guy wins two Super Bowls as a backup quarterback, he is a Hall of Famer no matter what else he does in his career. What argument could anybody make against including him in the Hall of Fame? None that wouldn’t be obnoxious and uptight cop shit.

So, we all got a chance to air out our Hall of Fame takes last week when baseball’s Hall announced it will induct Lee Smith and Harold Baines, and Marchman even briefly recapitulated mine in the Deadcast, but I’m gonna restate it here because no one can stop me. Give me an expansive Hall of Fame for every sport! Literally all stats- or accomplishments-based arguments against anybody’s inclusion are peevish and miserly; to make induction and exclusion decisions based on them is to make the Hall of Fame a bad, stingy, annoying place. For whatever dumbass reasons people do go to or care about a sports Hall of Fame, only the tiniest intolerable fraction of them—assholes, without exception!—do it because they are interested in a list of which players got 3,000 hits or 500 home runs or cracked the all-time top 100 in fuckin’ VORP or zWAR or FLIPBUP or whatever. You can learn that shit from Baseball Reference. Everybody else just wants to see the players they thought were awesome when they were kids, and to feel some connection to the history of the sport they like watching.


The standard for sports hall-of-fame inclusion should be “Is there literally one person on the face of the earth who would be glad to see this person’s face in the hall of fame?” If the answer is yes, that person belongs in the hall of fame. Even if only so that the people insisting on a sky-high barrier to entry can be thwarted and antagonized and made irrelevant.

If you’re bothered by the idea that including Nick Foles—or Robert Horry, or Harold Baines, or whoever the hell—unjustly flattens the distinctions between these not-great players and the truly awe-inspiring historical greats like Willie Mays or Wilt Chamberlain or Johnny Unitas, then make the physical Hall a series of concentric circles with the true immortals at the center and Harold Baines way out on the perimeter. Or, alternatively, go to hell!



[The other] night, down by 17 points with 12 minutes to go in the game, the Rams were nonchalantly running down the play clock, and then throwing 3 yard screen passes. My only football managerial experience is playing Madden, but even my idiotic self was screaming at the TV for them to hurry up. How can top tier professionals be so incompetent at something as simple as clock management?


No group of people are worse at their jobs than NFL coaches, which is hilarious because no group of people put more effort into their performance of Doing The Damn Job than NFL coaches. I can’t totally blame them: As presently imagined, it’s effectively an impossible job, some weird fucking amalgam of CEO and project manager with, somehow, simultaneously way too much and not nearly enough power to be done effectively. Is it even possible to be good at all the different things—organization, interpersonal leadership, analytical and tactical smarts, both high-level strategic vision and manic tape-devouring attention to detail, stress management, Leader Of Men bullshittery, and a zillion other things—a person would have to excel at in order to do the job of NFL coach the way modern day teams insist it must be done? I kind of think it is not.

On the other hand, football coaches, just as a group of people, are pretty much the worst imaginable humans, just completely awful megalomaniacal steakbrain assholes, and they can all eat my shit. So it’s funny when even a reputedly smart one like Sean McVay botches a relatively easy part of the job, like getting his team to work fast when time is against them. My answer to your question is: They can be so incompetent at something as simple as clock management because they’re too busy jerking off their precious playbooks to pay attention to stuff like time running out.



How long would it take the average office worker to go to work and not do a single thing until they are fired? 2 days? A week? I think I could probably make it a week before anyone actually notices I haven’t done anything at all.


I think a typical white-collar office worker with some vaguely defined bullshit job like Systems Requirement Testing Administrator IV could probably go four out of five workdays in each week without doing a goddamn thing and basically get away with it, in the sense that they would not be in immediate danger of disciplinary action and probably could carry on like this for a couple of months without getting in trouble. On the fifth day of each week, probably either Monday or Friday, they’d have to put in like 30 minutes worth of work to prepare for their bullshit weekly status meeting, and another 30 minutes worth of work to prepare their bullshit weekly report. I bet you could go six weeks like this before some middle manager started to get itchy about it.

That’s not exactly an answer to your question, but your question made me think about how many office workers have the kinds of bullshit jobs that can be dispatched with a grand total of like an hour worth of actual work per week. As for how many consecutive days you could do no work at all without getting fired? I think if you otherwise had a solid track record, were on good standing with your boss, and showed up on time each day, you could completely neglect your average office job for three weeks without actually getting fired. Give it a shot! It’s no skin off my nose, pal!


Drew Story of the Week!

When we all went out to play laser tag in Queens, years ago, we went out for pizza first, and Drew ate like nine slices but left the neatly sawed-off crust of each slice arranged on his plate, like a total doofus. It was the silliest possible arrangement of health-consciousness: Eleventy billion calories worth of pizza... but no crust, because that would be bad for you.


My favorite thing about it, though, was how comfortably Drew absorbed the jokes and owns fired off at his expense over it, how at ease he was, in his big Midwestern doofus way, with his own choices and in his own skin. Even the little show of ALL CAPS defensiveness he put on was only because the situation called for it, because it made the whole thing funnier, because he had a sense of how it all fit together as a joke he was in on. It’s a kind of generosity that radiates off him, and what makes him such a good frontman for stuff like the Foodspin show or the Deadcast or the Deadspin Awards. He’s a ham who likes attention, of course, but more importantly and, I think, nearer to the core of him, he’s just a big-hearted Golden Retriever of a dude who is glad to be what connects everybody together.

Email of the week!


As a young kid with anxiety (that’s still somewhat crippling to this day!), nothing churned my stomach harder than having to use the bathrooms in our small-town Illinois school. In third grade, the bathroom was literally in the back of the class, behind a plywood door that provided next-to-no protection from smell and especially sound. That made it especially hard on a beautiful fall day in third grade when I had four McDonald’s-style hashbrowns for lunch, and nothing else. As my bubble gut begin percolating in the last period of the day, I asked the teacher to use the bathroom. To my dismay, the hottest girl in class was assigned a seat DIRECTLY next to the bathroom that day. I couldn’t possibly pass this and have any chance with her, so I went in the bathroom, peed, tried quietly doing my business and found it impossible, and...didn’t poop. Just held it, like some kind of moron with a hot liquid death wish.

In that same small town and countryside, we only had a few buses to take kids home, with some kids riding as much as 75 minutes after-school to their destination. The whole ride tousled my insides and by the time my stop came, 35 minutes into the ride, I was ready to burst - a flop sweat, deep breathing, eyes-closed, tour-de-force of intestinal pain. I gave an ass-clenched walk down the aisle and once I was out of sight of the bus, began sprinting across a literal cornfield for home. But too much time had passed and I let fire the guns of Navarone directly in my pants, crying in relief at the sweet freedom that my internal organs were experiencing. I twirled in a shit tornado like I was in the goddamn Sound of Music.

When I finally made it home across the fields like a war-torn Yankee coming back after Gettysburg, I went to the backyard, peeled my underwear off like a strip of dried paint and rinsed myself head to toe with our garden hose. At that very moment, my mom was coming home from work and I was still holding a biohazard (somehow, I didn’t think in my head to also rinse the underwear). I put them in my favorite Ninja Turtles canvas bag and threw the bag as far as I could into the corner of our attic, where it remained for nearly 20 years until my parents put in new insulation. I later found the bag, faded but washed, tucked under my childhood bed on the first evening my own son was big enough to sleep in my old bed. No idea what happened to the underwear.


Very vivid descriptions in this disgusting story.