Whoa hey, it's 4th of July week! Time to take the kids to the town fireworks celebration, fail to find a decent spot on the grass, get eaten by bugs, pull my hair out as the fireworks display starts two hours later than I want it to, and then watch half a firework explode from behind some asshole's camper that's obstructing my view. TREMENDOUS. Anyway, since the Fourth falls on a Thursday, this week's live FUNBAG will be tomorrow, so that you have something to do while waiting for the Bolt Bus. Got it? Time for your letters:
In the past I was dating a girl who had a bit more hair decorating her muff than I prefer. How does one politely go about requesting a trim?
Just do your own landscaping first. Trim your pubes in the bathroom and make sure she catches you, and then you can be like, "I'm just grooming myself to love you." Then she'll be like, Oh my God, he grooms himself for me. Meanwhile I've got the Forbidden Forest in my shorts! (runs off to buy pack of Lady Schicks). And there you go. It's just like managing kids or corporate underlings: MODEL THE BEHAVIOR YOU WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO FOLLOW. You'll be feasting on hairless pink Twinkie for the rest of your days.
I'm wondering which you would choose out of the following scenarios: First choice is you can turn water into wine, but you are only allowed to do so in a showbiz or performance setting. You get all the fame associated with being able to do so, but you cannot sell the wine or make it into any kind of product. The second choice is the ability to turn water into wine, but no one will ever know you are able to do it. You are allowed to bottle it (let's say you can magically turn bottled water into bottled wine), but it can only be sold at grocery stores under an embarrassing name like Uppity Giraffe and it has to be the cheapest wine available. In which scenario do you make more money?
I think you make more money pulling off the Jesus trick in public. The trick is getting people to believe you. If you saw a guy do that on TV, you would naturally say, "Bullshit. Fuck that David Blaine wannabe." You would have to put in hard hours touring the country, attending numerous state fairs and livestock expos, demonstrating your superpower to people in the flesh. Soon, you would have a following, a devoted sect that sees YOU as the Second Coming of our Lord. They would give you all the money you ever wanted. They would offer their daughters to you to appease you. They would take every stupid thing you ever said ("And woe unto those who wear Tevas...") as gospel.
Soon, you would be seen as a threat to politicians, popes, Islamic clerics, and any other authority figures whose power you could potentially undermine. One day, while turning water into wine for a group of ecstatic followers in a remote village in Chile, the CIA would shoot you dead like a dog. Then your followers would rise up against their respective governments and 60 separate civil wars would begin simultaneously. Hundreds of millions of people would be killed. From the ashes of this post-Armageddon hellscape would rise the new collective nation of Brandtistan, where Brandtism would be the dominant religion and the few remaining bottles of your hand-made Thunderbird would be placed atop new ramshackle churches. Pretty sweet way for you to spend the afterlife on Jesus' hovercloud, if you ask me.
If, somehow, you were guaranteed to hit a home run on your first at-bat of every game, do you think a team would put you on the roster? The home run has to be a normal pitch, meaning the opposing team could still walk you if they wanted. You are still a bumbling, uncoordinated idiot on defense and in any other at-bat. It seems like it could really pay off in a tie game, but you still risk the walk, and you still suck at defense. Would they really eat up a roster spot for such a thing?
For a guaranteed home run or walk every game? Yes. They can pinch-hit you at any time and be guaranteed a base, then they could sub in a pinch-runner for you at any time to get your slow ass off the bases. That would be well worth a roster spot, certainly in the American League. Major league teams already employ plenty of fat slobs who can't run bases or play defense for shit, all because some of them can hit 30 or 40 home runs and walk 70 times a season.
The interesting thing is, do other teams know you have this home-run superpower? If they do, you'd just be walked in every plate appearance. But if they didn't know, I wonder how long it would take before they realized it. Let's say your team knows all about your little "gift." Your first ever plate appearance would result in a home run, obviously. But if the other team didn't know that this was a guarantee, it could be days before the entire league began to catch on. The record for most consecutive games with a homer is eight. (Junior Griffey, Don Mattingly, and Dale Long, if you're curious.) So by the end of your first week, people would start to be like, "Who is young scrappy whippersnapper who hits nothing but home runs? WHY HE'S ABOUT TO BREAK A RECORD, HE IS!" ESPN would do live look-ins of your at-bats. Fans of your team would demand to know why you aren't playing entire games and only showing up for one lousy plate appearance. Your manager would get crucified before publicly admitting that you're just a lucky freak. By the next week, you'd be walking every at-bat and you'd never break the record. Stupid fans. If only they had kept their mouths shut.
Assuming you have to put chips and salsa on a plate (like at a Super Bowl party or other sports gathering that would make you look like a chip hog if you take the entire bag and jar of salsa and plop it in your lap), how do you calculate proper chip:salsa ratio? My usual M.O. is to take more chips than salsa because you can always down the last few chips without salsa, and you would look like a messy fucker if you lick the last of the salsa of your plate. Of course there is always the option of getting up to get more chips or salsa to finish it off, but you are right back to where you started doing chip:salsa mathematics.
If you can, get a small plastic bowl to put on your plate and then surround it with chips, because salsa on a plate is complete horseshit. The salsa water spreads out and soaks the chips. And to get a decent amount of salsa on your chip, you have to do the whole snowplow thing where you push the pile around, creating a tomatobank and trying to scoop it up. Horrible. That's no way to live. You never get enough salsa on your chip that way. If it were possible to place the entire contents of a jar of salsa onto a single chip, I would do it. There is literally never enough salsa on one chip for me.
So my advice is that you just hover near the jar and dip that way. If you bother with the plate, you'll just plop two spoonfuls on it and be unhappy forever. Don't do that to yourself.
How would the game of football change if everything were exactly the same, but the football weighed 10 lbs?
No more passing, obviously. It would become a run-only game, with three-tight end sets (GREGGGGGGGASM!) and iso play after iso play. It would be just like watching Big Ten football now. ZING!!!!!
What if every time a game became tied, the score went back to 0-0?
Nothing interesting. People would watch less because they'd assume they were watching a sloppy, low-scoring affair. We like points here in America. Points let you know the sport is working.
By the way, one of the WORST coaching clichés of all time is the "It's a 0-0 game, as far as I'm concerned" halftime speech. Every coach has said this at every halftime of every game that has ever been played, and it's fucking stupid. You know what, Coach? It's not 0-0. We're winning by four touchdowns, so we're gonna slack off a bit at the beginning of the second half, only to eke out a victory at the end. Your reality-distortion field isn't that powerful.
Will we ever see an athlete so great that the league has to pay the guy off not to play? The only thing that I can think of would be a 7-ft. tall pitcher with an arm like Pedro Martinez throwing 120 mph fastballs.
That would never happen. The only way it would happen is if the player in question had some kind of "enhancement" (drugs, cyborg arm, cure for death) that other people would deem an unfair advantage. They're never just gonna kick out some natural freakshow athlete who happens to be utterly dominant. Every sport on earth would KILL for a potential Sidd Finch to draw in crowds and make fans gasp. Shit, I've been waiting for that kind of athlete to arrive my whole life. Not just LeBron, but MEGABRON, who is eight feet tall, runs a 4.0 40 and can score 60 points a game. And he wins 20 rings. I'd never stop watching him, ever. It hurts my soul to know that MegaBron doesn't exist and probably never will. Sports are such a letdown.
So I got in skiing accident recently that left my knee busted and me on crutches. Now with all bad that goes with it I find one positive in the situation. The crutch is a nice tool to flip the switch, press elevator button, flush the toilet etc. What's the etiquette? Am I a bad human being for using dirty end of the crutch to touch what others will have to touch later? Or am I allowed to do it because of my disability?
You're allowed to do it so long as there's plenty of room to flip the switch and you're not swinging that thing into people or blocking their way (you're also allowed to imagine that your crutch is actually a robotic extension of your arm and that you are Inspector Gadget). Unless you went crutching through a manure field, most people (outside of straight-up germaphobes) aren't gonna think about the sanitary implications of a crutch. They're gonna be too busy thinking to themselves, LOOGIT THAT COOL DUDE WITH CRUTCHES I BET HE BROKE HIS ANKLE IN A KNIFE FIGHT.
I have a seven-year-old and the kid became obsessed with crutches after she watched some stupid American Girl movie (starring Nia Vardalos and Ian Ziering, no joke) and seeing the little girl in it break her ankle. She thought crutches were the shit after that. So, being stupid, we let her buy a kid-sized pair with her allowance money. That kid proceeded to crutch around the house for a fucking month. She'd hobble around outside and then track in mud with her stupid crutches. The wife and I each got a crutch to the foot every week. I tripped over them eight times a day. The girl got armpit sores, she was using them so often. I WILL BURN THOSE FUCKING CRUTCHES.
What is proper mugshot protocol? Do you smile like a normal picture, try to look hard and tough, or give yourself sad eyes to make you appear innocent? Assume the mugshot will make its way to Google for the viewing pleasure of anyone willing to search, and there's a 50-50 chance that you will one day find it taped to the back of your chair at the office. Also, should a mugshot facial expression vary by the crime or should everyone just pick a style and go with it no matter what they did wrong?
Most people are so drunk and/or high and/or tired when they get their mugshot taken that they can barely bring themselves to pose in any way. They're barely aware they're being photographed. That's how you end up with something like Nick Nolte's mugshot. It's a non-pose, which is what makes it so delightful. It's perfect representation of what Nick Nolte looks like shitfaced at ALL times.
A mugshot is, by its very nature, embarrassing. There's very little you can do to make it any better. Here are some of your options:
• The "Go ahead and take that mugshot, you fucking pig" pose. This is very similar to your high school football photo: chin up, neck muscles flexed, no expression. You're trying to let the cameraman know that this isn't bothering you in the slightest. HARDCORE.
• The "I look smug" pose. This is where you smirk instead of smiling because you think a smirk makes you look self-deprecating. Instead, you look like a prick. Please note that this is how Bill Maher looks at all times.
• The "Wha?????" pose. You only now just realized the full implications of getting liquored up and driving into the senior center pool. You're at the police station! Right now! They took your fingerprints and everything.
• The mean pose. You're really going for it here. Chances are, your lily-white ass will regret making the rage face when the camera goes off. People will want know why the hell you did that.
• Standard smile. Perfectly fine unless you were arrested for child porn. DO NOT SMILE IF YOU WERE ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN.
• The "one eye closed because you're high" pose. My wife looks like this in all pictures even though she's not a methhead. It's uncanny.
• The zombie pose. Your mouth hangs open. You look like you're gonna eat me. Please don't eat me. I got my picture taken when I was nailed for DUI (for the whole story about that, I refer you here), but it was a Polaroid. No official mugshot. I really don't remember what I looked like. I think I was so pre-occupied with how I should pose that the camera caught me mid-confusion. I think most mugshots probably look that way. By the time you've decided to pop your collar, the camera's already gone off. Commit to a pose today, so that you have it ready after you get tagged for sprinting naked onto the field at Camden Yards. I suggest an exaggerated shrug, as if you're Larry David posing for a DVD cover.
My girlfriend refers to Poison Ivy as just 'Poison'. Her whole family does. Used in a sentence it would be something like, 'he's got poison on his hands, he can't hold the baby,' said as rednecky as possible. Fucking weird, right?
For a second, I thought you were referring to Poison Ivy, the movie, as if she and her family were HUGE fans of it. That would be even stranger. But yeah, they should say "poison ivy" in full. What the fuck kind of poison am I supposed to think is on their baby otherwise?
Assuming it was siphoned off and sold on the open market, what would be the most valuable/expensive 20 foot by 20 foot piece of real estate on Earth? Have to think that it would be something with religious significance (Dome of the Rock, the Pope's throne from St. Peters, Western Wall) but the Oval Office and Statue of Liberty would be strong contenders. Am I underestimating anything, like Paul Finebaum's radio studio?
There's probably still a studio apartment in Manhattan with those dimensions that goes for more than the Pope's throne. Seriously, I don't know how on Earth anyone affords to live there.
How about the Kaaba in Mecca? It's slightly bigger than the dimensions you gave, but six million people go there every year to pray to it. People face it and pray to it even if they're in fucking Alaska. Now that's a powerful little spot of land. If you were to seize domain over it and hold it for ransom, you could extract BILLIONS from all the Saudi oil barons desperate to keep it. Or they would just send a team of operatives to cut out your throat and behead everyone in your extended family. They'd probably choose the latter. Don't fuck with their prayer cube.
Many of the world's most priceless stretches of real estate—the Leaning Tower, Buckingham Palace, the Sistine Chapel, the White House, the house where OJ did it— occupy a footprint larger than the one you gave, and all have history as their main selling point. If you were to take history and religion out of the equation and go by the usual factors in real estate (location, view, absence of white-trash neighbors), the answer is probably some fuck bungalow in Hong Kong that has a nice view of the water.
By the way, now that the old Yankee Stadium is a parking lot, I assume the most valuable piece of sports real estate in the US is either Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. Oh, what I would give to hold those stadiums hostage. YOU FUCKERS WILL JUST HAVE TO PLAY DOWN AT THE LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL UNTIL YOU PAY ME MWAHAHAHAHAHA CALL ME BUCKY BARTMAN.
What percentage of doors that have the sign "Emergency exit, alarm will sound" are actually telling the truth?
Judging by New York subway stations, all of them. They really want you to feel like an asshole for going through the emergency exit. It's not my fault your fucking turnstiles treat my rolling suitcase like a sparring partner.
Whenever I see a sign like that, I'm always too scared to go through it. Even a sign can cow me easily. I'd be useless in the face of a zombie apocalypse. The zombie would chase me to some door marked EMPLOYEES ONLY and I'd lack the bravado to go through it. Meanwhile, any time I see some other person saunter through one of those doors, I become quietly outraged. HE WENT THROUGH THE DOOR! HOW ARE YOU NOT ARRESTING THAT MAN AS WE SPEAK?!
My name is John, normal enough. The problem was that my ex-girlfriend's name was Johnna. John and Johnna. Try hearing that 500 times a day. Fucking miserable. Though this isn't why we broke up, do you think two people with the same name have ever stayed together? For example, two Jamies, or two Frances's?
Oh, I'm sure it's happened plenty of times. You single folk out there know how annoying couples can be, so imagine so dipshit couple out there that share a first name. CHRISTMAS CHEER FROM CHRIS AND CHRIS! Imagine if Mike & Mike actually WERE married (Greenie's the power bottom, obviously) and you would have a firm grasp at how annoying that couple would be. They probably think that their shared first name is a karmic prophecy that they were meant to be together. Avoid them.
I'm sitting in a mediocre hotel in room in DC and I ordered room service because room service is awesome. Yes, the prices are outrageous, but where do you draw the line? Tonight I spent $12 on a pitcher of iced tea that probably cost a nickel to make but I didn't think twice about it. You know why? Because iced tea is fucking refreshing. And you can't put a price on refreshing. But maybe I need a reality check.
Were you expensing it? What are you, made of money? YOU MAKE ME SICK. Everyone has fond memories of room service as a child because children are lazy and will eat anything. But as you get older, the idea of paying $37 for a burger and soggy fries in a lonely hotel room loses its appeal. Plus you have to deal with the whole knock on the door and letting the guy in with the tray. It's such a vulnerable moment. What if you two decide to start dry-humping each other? I bet that's happened. I just feel bad because the guy is busting his ass to bring me food in bed, like I'm the fucking king of England.
In general, hotel food is the most boring food you can eat in any city you visit. It's all overpriced (I'm the kind of person who feels awful ordering expensive shit even if someone else is paying for it, which is dumb), and it's usually the same shit you can get at any hotel. The only time it's a real comfort is when you've arrived at the hotel at 11 p.m. after a seven-hour flight delay and you just want something to eat before you DIE in the hotel bed. That's when room service is really at its best. But if you're just ambling around and perfectly capable of exploring town, paying 12 bucks for iced tea is dumb.
What would the NBA be like if instead of shooting the free throw automatically after a technical foul, you could wait to use it at any point in the game? Same with penalties in football. Imagine that you didn't need to use the defensive holding call across the field because you got a first down and could instead use your automatic five yard first down at the opportune moment. More importantly, how bad would dipshit coaches screw this up?
As free throws go, I'm not sure it would matter where you took them at any point in the game because your point total would end up the same (in theory; I guess maybe some guys shoot better in the third quarter or something). If you save it for when the game is tied at the end, well now that game wouldn't be tied if you had just taken the free throw earlier. And the last thing basketball needs is MORE free throws at the end of a game. The last thing I want to see in a dramatic basketball game with five seconds left is some guy standing at the line.
The idea is different for football because you're essentially saving those penalties so that you always either get or prevent a first down. I'm not wild about that idea either, because I already hate the automatic first down in football. I don't want more of that. And a coach's job is hard enough already. No need to make it more complicated.
Email of the week time!
Let's say that it's the night before draft day in 2000 and the Patriots somehow become aware of the future. The know they can take Tom Brady in the 6th round. They know they'll win Super Bowls with him and experience the highest of highs. They know he'll play his entire career with them. AND they know he'll murder somebody in 2015. A legit murder. Do they still draft him?
If they can't do anything to prevent the murder? Yes. Fuck yeah, they do. Remember, football ends up killing most players. What's one more body?
Image by Jim Cooke.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.