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Is A Hamburger A Sandwich?

Illustration for article titled Is A Hamburger A Sandwich?
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I was at the beach with my kid the other day and some nine-year-old girl came running out of the ocean, yelling at her friend, “We saw a stingray!”


I went up to the girl and grilled her.

“Seriously? You saw one?”

“Yeah! Out there!”

That girl could have been totally wrong. She was relaying this secondhand from some other kid. It could have been a mackerel, for all they knew. I don’t even know if stingrays frequent coastal areas. But no matter: The second that girl said there was a stingray out there, I was on full STINGRAY ALERT. The water was murky. There could have been an army of them hiding underneath, waiting to pull a Steve Irwin on us. I spent the rest of my day convinced I would get a 15-foot-long, barbed stinger to the chest. Goddamn imaginary stingrays.


Anyway, there’s no live FUNBAG this week and today’s Funbag is a bit abbreviated. But don’t worry: There will be plenty of NFL hate to tide you over.

Now, to your letters:


Would you consider a hamburger to be its own food entity or part of the sandwich family? I've polled many people on this and the results are surprising. It's split about 50/50 and people can get quite passionate in their argument. Restaurants are split as well. Some menus list hamburgers under the "Sandwich" section, others have their own "Burgers" section. Where do you stand on this divisive issue and why?

“An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal.” I dunno about the “light” part, but the rest of that sounds like a hamburger to me. A hamburger is a member of the sandwich family that essentially became so succesful that it broke off and began a solo career. It’s still a sandwich, but it’s become so famous and ME-FIRST that it demands its own special section of the average restaurant menu. What happened to you, burger? This used to be a team effort. You’ve forgotten your roots!

In general, our definitions for food are often ambiguous. An open-faced sandwich is still a sandwich, even though you can’t really eat it like a sandwich. A pizza is a pizza, and NOT an open-faced sandwich. A salad doesn’t even have to have vegetables in it to be a salad. It can just be a bowl of loose food. The only thing all salads have in common is that you’ll pay eight dollars too much for one.


I was trying to give my kid breakfast the other day and she asked for a frozen yogurt bar. And I told her that was a dessert. But if she had asked for regular, non-frozen yogurt, I would have given it to her. In the freezing process, it crossed the rubicon over to dessert. It shouldn’t make a fucking difference, and yet here we are. A frozen yogurt is a dessert, a hamburger is a sandwich that people don’t think of as a sandwich, and you can make a warm beef salad that somehow isn’t a stew. It’s very confusing, which is why I eat very quickly so that I have no time to think about it.


Is it ever acceptable for college students to be starstruck around their particular school's star athlete?


I don’t see why not. If you’re a freshman at A&M and you see Johnny Football walking around shitfaced with 60 cameras trained on him, you’re a pretentious douche if you’re like, “Oh ho hum, just Johnny Football.” I’d be like THERE HE IS OH WOW!

Frankly, part of the reason I went to Michigan for a semester was to BE starstruck, to be in the proximity of impossibly gifted athletes. Even when the athletes aren’t all that great, there was still an odd thrill to be living down the hall from one, or to be in class with one. Colleges with big football programs count on you feeling this way. It’s how football helps boost enrollment. I shared a dorm hallway with former safety Chuck Winters (later booted from the team for assault), and I spent a lot of my time that semester thinking, “Oh man, Chuck Winters is right there! What if we became besties? I could get all his secondhand tail!” I went to a frat party attended by the legendary Dugan Fife, and when I saw him I was in awe. OMG THAT’S DUGAN FIFE. If I saw Dugan Fife today, I’d knock the collection cup out of his hand. But when you’re 18, it’s okay to not act casual.



What singular event in history prompted the most people to get it on?

The end of WW2 was pretty big - an entire generation is named after it - but that was over an extended period. Was there any one moment previously in history that turned on the masses? Marvin Gaye's television debut? The coronation of Caligula?


I’ll vote for the Cuban Missile Crisis, because everyone in America and Russia thought they were gonna be killed in a nuclear war, so I have to think that tens of millions of men turned to the woman next to them and were like, “You know, since we don’t have much time left…” And then they probably did that thing where you twist a lock of your woman’s hair around your finger because that totally lets them know you want sex.

I think other worthy candidates—The Miracle on Ice, the killing of bin Laden, 9/11 (either if you hated America and wanted to celebrate or if you were a scared American in need of reassurance)—are hampered by the drunk factor. People who go out and get shitfaced in the streets and chant USA! or DEATH TO AMERICA! at the top of their lungs usually aren’t in prime bedroom shape after that.


Also, the Great Blackout of 2003, or any other significant, widespread blackout and/or weather event that caused power outages. When the power goes out, people get bored and DTF.


If there was a baseball player who hit 14 uncatchable foul balls in a row before flying out every time that he came up to bat, would he be on a major league roster? Would teams be willing to take the out to significantly increase the pitch count of the opposing pitcher? Assume he has average defensive skill.


You could bat him first in every game and put the starter in the hole from the get-go, which I’m sure, from a purely statisical standpoint, diminishes his production. But I say your fictional Foul Guy would never get signed because he’s still an automatic out, which probably cancels out the added benefit. His .000 OBP renders him ultimately worthless in a league where avoiding outs is the top priority for most teams. You can find other batters who can work the count AND actually get the occasional hit, which is far more valuable than someone who is guaranteed to sit his ass back in the dugout.

Also, if such a player existed and I had to watch him, I would murder him. Watching a dude fight off 14 straight pitches while Tim McCarver tells me that I’m watching a fantastic duel would reduce me to homicidal urges. There’s a point where tension becomes boredom, and 14 straight foul balls passes that point.




How quickly can I expect my spirits to be broken while working my first job after graduation? I've held out for a little while, but my youthful exuberance is quickly waning.


It usually only takes a few months. Every workplace has its fair share of cynical colleagues who will go to work on you within hours of your arrival, telling you how awful your workplace actually is. And you’ll be like But Jim the boss seems so nice! And they’ll be like Fuck that, he sexually harasses the paralegals any chance he gets! Then you’ll see the flaws that they see, and then you’ll become just as disaffected and indifferent as the rest of them. Again, this takes only a matter of moments, especially if your early-life priorities include drinking and finding people to have sex with (and those WILL be your priorities).

I bet this happens even at supposedly awesome work utopias like Google and Pixar. I bet there’s some guy at Google who’s standing in line at the free popadum station and is like If I have to stay at this dipshit tech commune for one... more... day...



So I went to an MLB game yesterday and my wife pulled the same thing she does ANYTIME the Star-Spangled Banner is sung in public and belts out her own version like she is an opera singer in a sold-out house.

This gets on my nerves so fucking much, but my wife has VERY thin skin and handles any criticism badly.

Do I try to say something, or just shut the fuck up until one of us dies?


What if you tried to out-sing her? I’m sure that would TOTALLY work.

Anyway, I guess you can hold your tongue. Although that will probably lead to a day when you’re at a game and she does it again and you just let it all out in one horrible torrent of emotional catharsis. YOU TRY TO MAKE EVERY EVENT ABOUT YOU AND CAN’T SEE HOW SELFISH YOU ARE AND I’VE BEEN SLEEPING WITH MY ART DIRECTOR THE WHOLE TIME GAHHHHHHHH!!!


You’re probably not gonna be able to hold your tongue no matter how long you attempt to hold out. Best to air your grievances early.


If Russia were to let Edward Snowden light the Winter Olympics torch in the open ceremony, would that go down as the greatest troll in the history of world politics? Would the US even allow that to air? What would happen?!


Oh, then it would be on. You’re talking Cold War II, with nuclear arms buildups and triple agents and movies with clearly defined villains. I can’t wait.


Is it possible that men are more attracted to woman when they are on their periods?

I feel like I get hit on like five times more than usual when I'm bleeding out of my vagina.

Am I crazy?

You’re not crazy. Men are always at their horniest when they are least able to have sex with another person. Even if they don’t know you’re on your period, they subconsciously sense that you are unavailable to them and therefore MUST HAVE YOU.


By the way, if you’re in a relationship, you will inevitably have this exchange at one point.

YOU: OMG baby, I’ve been thinking about having sex with you ALL DAY. Just filthy disgusting thoughts. We have to have sex NOW, I tell you! NOW!


HER: I would, but it’s my time of month. I told you that yesterday.



What would happen if evidence pointed towards Jesus actually being gay? What kind of religious freaking out would occur and how would it change people's attitudes towards homosexuality?


If human history is any indication, people will still happily deny the facts staring them right in the face if it doesn’t gibe with their beliefs. So even if you showed people an ancient scroll depicting Jesus blowing another guy, Tim Tebow would be like LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU JESUS IS LOVE. If people don’t want shit to change, nothing changes. That’s how they work.

PP Dangler:

Do you get the same heroic feeling I do when I pull over for an ambulance or firetruck? Every second counts in a crisis, and my maneuver just saved 30 lives right there.


Especially if you’re the first one in your lane to make the move to pull over. You won the Most Compassionate award for your lane. Everyone else is so selfish!

By the way, ever have an ambulance come up behind you, but you have nowhere to go? It’s a terrible feeling. You’re boxed in on both sides other cars, and now a man is DYING because you lack escapability.



1983 - more similar to 2013 or 1953? Answer's gotta be 1953, right, what with the evolution of TV and the invention of the Internet. The further back you go, the more obvious this gets. Like, 1913 is clearly more similar to 1813 than 2013.


Thanks to the Internet, everything before 1998 or so now qualifies as the fucking Stone Age. I feel like the oldest human being on Earth because I’m a member of the last generation to grow up without the web. I may as well have grown up in a cave banging rocks together for fire. So yes, 1983 is more like 1953 than 2013. 1983 had just as much sexism, racism, homophobia, and unsafe sex as 1953. But it did have better movies, so it’s got that going for it.


Has Jaden Smith had more sexual partners than the average American male will in his lifetime already? I say yes.


Christ, that’s depressing. Anyway, the average American male has seven sex partners in his lifetime (I come in below the average so YAY ME). Jaden Smith can probably get away from his parents’ auditing sessions to clear that number every week. And now I hate everything. Little punk. He won’t appreciate that harem as much as I would have!


Do you think there's a Bo Jackson or Lebron James out there that no one has ever heard of because he just didn't want to play? A sure freak of an athlete, but instead he's sitting in a cubicle like an average guy, unknown to the whole world that he has a 4.2 40, can hit any baseball 450 feet and can throw it down from the free throw line?


I think it’s unlikely, because the nation’s junior football coaches and AAU scouts are constantly on the lookout for some kid who sits around all day sniffing flowers like Ferdinand the Bull but can secretly bench press seven thousand pounds. Those kids get found now. You read about them in SI on a weekly basis. He came from Zaire and didn’t even know what football was until age 17, when his high school coach saw him throw a candy wrapper into the trash from 700 feet away! That’s actually the story of MOST NFL defensive ends now.

Email of the week!


Tonight, I faced the dilemma of being pretty high but my food supply limited to only one bagel. Because I don't have one of those fancy bagel cutters, as I tried to cut the bagel with a knife, I cut it completely unevenly. As I was about to throw the uneven halves in the toaster, which would undoubtedly toast one half to a crisp and the other not at all, I decided to cut the fatter half in half. This setup of thirds allows for more cream cheese and butter to be used with the same amount of bagel. It also creates one bagel slice that's like a Melba Toast cracker. Is this not a giant revelation to the world of bagels?


It has been done in the past, alas. As has the scooped-out bagel, which is now how most New Yorkers order one. CAN’T HAVE ALL THOSE EXTRA CARBS. Just fill that bagel tunnel with extra egg salad.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.


Image from Getty

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