There was some rumor going around about a Space Jam sequel last week starring LeBron James. Now, I hated that movie. I didn't even like it in the ironic way that some people like it because it was badly acted or whatever. But anyway, the guy who directed Space Jam was a legendary ad director named Joe Pytka, who got the job because he also directed the original Jordan/Bugs Bunny Super Bowl ad. And the rumor about Pytka was that he was a bastard (shocking for a director, I know) who always required that his Ferrari be parked close by the set for his personal use, Michael Bay-style. So if you were gonna shoot an ad in, like, Peru, you had to bring Pytka's Ferrari there and have it ready to go. Otherwise, PYTKA WALKS, MOTHERFUCKER.
Anyway, here are your letters:
I'm from Texas. I have never been to New York City or plan to. Nothing about an overcrowded, overpriced city full of east coast assholes sounds appealing to me. Can you make a case for why it's the best city in the world?
Of course. There's a reason eight million jackasses crowd into NYC voluntarily. If you're in your 20s and you don't really give a shit about being broke, New York is the place for you. You can find good cheap food. There's ALWAYS someone around to drink with. There are 50 million things you can do, all of which you'll reject because you're lazy. And the city has that fabled energy that draws people in. It's one giant spotlight shining in the sky. Whenever I see the New York skyline from an airplane window, I want to jump out of that plane and GET IN ON THE ACTION. It tends to have that effect on people. Being in New York means treating the rest of the world like it has perpetual #FOMO. You're in New York, and everyone else isn't. That arrogance of that town rubs off on everyone INSTANTLY, which is fun!
The other reason that people love New York is because it offers the illusion of endless opportunity. You go to New York, and you think, Oh hey, maybe I'll get a job as Sigourney Weaver's pissboy, and then she'll break her leg skiing and I'll be resourceful enough to do her job while she's recovering. Then Harrison Ford will want to nail me, Oren Trask will offer me a cushy office gig, and I'll be on my way to unlimited riches! LETTTTTT THE RIVER RUN!!!! There's that lingering idea that you can go to New York and become hot shit like Frank Sinatra or Jay Z or some other terrible person. Of course, that usually doesn't happen. Usually, you end up saying "Fuck this shit," and then you go back and become the manager at a toothpaste factory in Ohio. But as long as you're there, you can delude yourself into thinking it CAN happen.
Anyway, if you're into that kind of energy, New York is the best place ever. But that charm tends to wear off once you've been pushed around on a subway platform, or forced to pay $15 for a drink, or had your toddler be pre-interviewed for a $70,000-a-year nursery school. Being in New York means you're competing with the world's money: Every Eurotrash dickhead, every Russian oligarch, every Chinese industrialist. They're all there to drop PILES of cash. You don't stand a chance. It gets incredibly depressing after a while to live somewhere like that, where you walk by some $300 prix fixe joint every night and it's PACKED. You become lonely in your relative poorness. But until those suicidal urges arise... BEST CITY EVER. And if you're from Texas, you ain't one to throw stones. I've seen Texas.
Given that online dating allows you to highly screen someone before ever meeting them in person, are today's woman way more pickier than a generation prior, willing only to meet up with a guy if he meets all of her criteria? If you go back to the mid-90s, as a pre-Internet example, how were young single women different back then? Were they more willing to flirt with random guys in bars? Have smartphones and social media made women so 'innerly focused' on their existing social network that they're much less willing to interact with new guys in the real world?
I doubt it. Everyone is picky until they get hard up, and the nice thing about online dating is that it encourages both men and women to get to know—albeit virtually—as many people as possible. The more people you know, the more people you're willing to meet. I've seen Tinder in action. Trust me: YOU ARE FUCKING BLESSED. You know what I would have paid to have Tinder in my life 20 years ago? Holy shit.
I have one single friend left and he did Tinder in front of me and I damn near shat myself. A couple of swipes and BINGO BANGO, he was text flirting with a new galpal. It was devastating. One magical little app and suddenly all of your anxieties about meeting new women, all of the "Is that girl looking at me because she likes me or because I have a booger on my shirt?" questions you ask yourself at a bar... all of that is gone. I feel like I just spent the first quarter century of my life blindfolded.
I know that there's no such thing as a blind date anymore. I know that maybe women are a little bit more wary of meeting any man cold when they have access to highly polished background checks on thousands of other nearby guys. But that's a relatively small price to pay for the exponential increase in access to potential mates out there. You bastards.
I have this thing, I call it 'Phantom Announcer Excitement', where every time I get up in the middle of a game and get far enough away from the TV so that it's a little muffled, I instantly hear Doc Emrick getting riled up. I naturally run back to the TV, only to find nothing has happened. Is there a cure for this?
Not really, because even if you're used to the excitability of someone like Doc Emrick or Gus Johnson, you're still gonna hate yourself if you don't respond like a dog to their increased pitch and then miss out on something. One day, you'll get up to grab an iced tea, and then Emrick will start shouting, and you'll be like, "Eh, he's just crying wolf," only to then miss eight consecutive goals scored. (FUN FACT: I have never actually witnessed a goal in hockey; it always happens when I bend over to pick up a quarter or something.) There's no worse feeling than missing out on important sportsness as it happens.
I don't blame Emrick for being excitable, because both hockey and soccer are sports where a shot on goal counts as a legitimately tense moment. For every goal scored, there are two hundred corresponding HOLY FUCK HE MIGHT SCORE moments, and both those sports thrive on that kind of blueballing. They are sports that require constant vigilance, which can be a detriment when I want to check Twitter and/or make a sandwich (football and baseball, with five thousand stoppages in play, are far more accommodating to my attention span). You'll just have to keep running in whenever you hear the announcer go soprano. It's the nature of the sport.
Say the dark underlord himself wants to make you a deal, you get to be the greatest QB the league has ever known... multiple Super Bowls, pages and pages of league records, a sure-fire HOFer, there's just one caveat: At least once per quarter you have loudly yell out something extremely racist during the snap count. If you ever forget your racist snap count or if you tell ANYONE that you're not really racist or that it's a deal you made with Satan, you lose your super QB powers at some point during the next game, your leg goes all Joe Theisman while getting sacked and Ndamukong Suh stomps on your nuts. Keep in mind that you're so good that the second a team gets tired of the drama and cuts you, you're instantly picked up by somebody else. You're so good that even screaming out phrases that make the Mississippi Grand Dragon blush during nationally-televised games can't keep you off the field.
Wouldn't I be suspended though? That's a rule now. You get 15 yards for racism (and even though I know the refs won't do it, I DESPERATELY want them to announce that the 15-yarder was specifically for use of the N-word), so my open prejudice would cost the team 60 yards per game. And if you can promise I won't get penalized, I would still probably reject Satan's deal. What's the fun of being a hotshot QB if everyone hates your guts? That's like being Eli Manning right now. NO THANK YOU.
I am someone for whom sports were a means to an end. Yes, it's fun to play football if you're good at it. But it's even MORE fun to meet hot women and be crazy popular at school and make shitloads of money because you happen to play football well. That's the incentive that sports provides to young Americans: Be good at sports, and untold GLORY BOY hosannas await you. If you're telling me I can't have that; that I'll walk off the field every game the most despised player in America, with boos and full beer cups raining down on me... That's not worth it, and even the dumbest person alive knows it. I assume John Rocker's got some money left in the bank. Would you have wanted his life? Fuck and no.
What would have happened if Jason Collins went insane and tried to grope 3 or 4 of his teammates in the shower? Would there be a coverup by BIG GAY?
OMG EVERYONE'S WORST FEARS COME TRUE! I knew Jason Collins was playing basketball just so he could have a free view of NBA player dong! It just makes sense.
Obviously, this would be a setback for pretty much everyone. Collins' career would end. GMs and coaches would be scared off from ever having gay players in the locker room. His offended teammates would probably react with great anger and then people would get mad at them for reacting with great anger. Then we'd all take up arms and the final GAY HOLY WAR would take place at long last.
I watched the video of Collins walking onto the court for the first time and his reception was muted because a) obviously, it's not that a big deal and shouldn't be, b) at the end of the day, you're watching a shitty basketball player sub in to go play some shitty basketball, and c) everyone was probably terrified. No one in that arena was gonna be dumb enough to boo Collins or say something terrible to him because they knew all eyes were on that crowd response. And I bet people didn't want to clap too loud because they were probably like Well, I shouldn't clap A LOT because a person's sexuality shouldn't matter in this day and age, by gar! It was the world's most careful welcoming party, like a WASP summer picnic. Just twelve thousand people all making like Jim Nantz and trying to be as milquetoast as possible.
Was Cinderella the original gold-digger? She's this poor girl dressed in rags & stuck in the basement washing dishes. Then a magic fairy lady gives her pretty clothes for some reason and she ends up marrying the prince. Disney's whole brand is based on "Cinderella's Castle" in Florida, but Cinderella married into the family who owned the castle, right? She just shows up at her husband's castle and immediately gets all the credit and riches that come w/owning that castle which is bullshit, right?
Yes, but she had strong Republican worker feet, which makes all the difference. Cinderella isn't about gold-digging; it's a loving, timeless story about how you deserve to get lots of money and hot prince dong so long as you aren't ugly, because ugly people are mean and gross. What child couldn't learn from such an example?
How late can you arrive to work and how early can you leave before you get reprimanded/fired for it? Is there an appropriate time window? Let's say you show up on time and leave on time one day a week, does that cancel out all the other later arrivals and early departures?
No, because then a pattern of behavior has been established. Sounds like you don't really want it, son. You're a low motor guy! As always, it depends on your place of work. If you work for a boss who is cool and recognizes that you are an efficient fellow who CRUSHES those TPS reports and doesn't need to stay late, well then you're probably all right.
However, chances are you work for an asshole who demands you be the first to show up to work and the last to leave. I used to work in an office, and that moment of hesitation before you tell your boss you're leaving is agony. A lot of times, it would take me 10 minutes just to muster up the sack to say it. Like, you want to make that little announcement as quickly and as casually as possible. "Boss, I think we're in good shape so I'm gonna cut out K THANKS BYE." Sometimes, I would just walk out and not even say anything. Then my phone would ring 30 minutes later and I would shit my pants. Going back to work after you left earlier than you were supposed to is its own horrible walk of shame.
Anyway, I think you can probably keep the boss happy if, in general, you keep similar hours to him. If you don't, either he'll fire you OR—and this is worse—he'll assume you're so efficient that you can assume more of a workload. You really want to milk easy assignments for extra time and then rush through the important, work-intensive shit. That way, you're always being productive, but not too productive.
Theory: The Manning brothers are competing each week to have the most disgusted/downtrodden/sad/Manningest face. They have to know that Manning Face is a thing and they have proven to have a sense of humor. What are the odds that the Manning brothers have made a game out of this?
That wouldn't surprise me, given that Peyton is a notorious wiseass and given that we all like to make jokes about the Manningface when it's just what Peyton's face looks like when he isn't particularly happy. What other fucking face is he supposed to make after he throws a pick for a touchdown? I bet every quarterback everywhere frowns after doing that. It just happens to be that Peyton Manning is uglier than your average quarterback, which is why you never hear people being like LULZ BRADYFACE anytime Tom Brady fucks up. The Mannings are naturally goofy looking creatures, but they're not doing anything out of the ordinary there. Not like the Spurrier lip flap!
What % of gifts do kids actually play with longer than one week after Christmas?
Probably 10 percent. All your kid really wants is the big gift they asked for—the Xbox, the American Girl Doll, whatever—and the rest is useless to them. They get the sugar rush of opening shit and then it's instantly off their radar. You're giving them garbage, basically. Oh here, have some garbage! Then I can take it out of its package and we'll have MORE garbage. Many times, I'll have to re-introduce a toy to my child. "Hey, remember this piece of shit I gave you? Let's play with this piece of shit to bleed the clock!" Most of the time, they have no interest, unless it's jusssssst before bedtime and they suddenly require that one thing you gave them three years ago that you don't even remember giving them—you hadn't even heard them speak of it until just that moment—but now they won't move a fucking inch without it.
I've said it before: Every necessary toy and/or baby supply has already been made and purchased. Every stroller. Every fucking train set. Everything. The Little Tikes plant only stays in operation because people are too scared of old boogery toys to buy them used. Basically, we're filling the oceans with old Transformers because Mommy McDipshit doesn't want to power clean them or is too lazy to hit up a yard sale*.
(*In fairness, going to yard sales is horrible.)
My wife and I just had our first child three months ago, a boy. Is it weird to wish that there were adult versions of all of his clothes that I could wear? Seriously, pretty much everything he puts on looks amazing, especially now that it's winter. They look like the most comfortable garments ever conceived of. Today, my wife put him in something that I could only describe as a full body sweat pant – a sartorial revelation, if you ask me.
Oh, like the fleecy footie unitard they wear to bed? LUXURY. I think they do sell those things for adults but no one buys them because you look like an insane person. Also, children can sleep in eight layers of fleece without any awareness of their own body heat. If I sleep in an abnormally thick pair of boxers, I'll wake up in a fucking lake. My kids will sleep in a t-shirt and flannel PJs and a bathrobe while under an electric blanket. They're crazy.
But yes, those do look like comfortable clothes. Lord knows I would like to walk around in sweatpants and a t-shirt with a giant airplane on it... Oh wait, I'm wearing that right now. I appear to have some growing up to do. Wearing clothes like that looks fun in theory but is ill-advised in practice.
By the way, if you you're jealous of your son's clothes, imagine the sartorial jealousy that women experience. The girls section of your local TJ Maxx is 80 times the size of the boys section. Lacy frocks and polka dot skirts and peace sign overalls... Girls can pull off looks that women would DIE to co-opt for themselves. This is why Zooey Deschanel wears the shit she wears. Women want daughters more than men want sons based on the clothing factor alone.
What country has the most flagrantly awful racist past? Whose history is/continues to be the most embarrassing?
Isn't it a 200-way tie between all of the nations of the world? There are so many worthy candidates between Germany and South Africa and the UK and the US and Rwanda and Japan and Iraq... You're talking about some impressive genocidal resumes right there. Racism and slavery and grotesque human rights violations are part of our shared history as a species, so to single out one country as head and shoulders above the rest... well that doesn't seem fair to the other nominees, who have worked REALLY hard to kill their own citizens and invade tiny island republics.
I think that America gets honorable mention in this contest because a) like most other Americans, I overinflate our importance in every regard, and b) we are a melting pot of oppression. We've oppressed Indians, black people, gays, Communists, immigrants... we even oppressed the fucking Irish, who are the adorable ginger mascots of the Caucasian world. I think you get points for diversifying your hatred, but lose points for acknowledging your past, as we (sometimes) do. I would rank the most embarrassing racist histories like so:
- South Africa
- The Balkans
There you go. We just compressed centuries of human suffering down to one stupid listicle, which makes us good people! Somewhere there's a really smug Canadian out there happy to point out that his nation doesn't belong anywhere near this list. You have secrets, Canada. I know it.
Why does hotel cable suck so much? Not the channel lineup, but the performance. It takes 3-4 seconds between pushing the power button and when the TV fully powers up and then there is the 2-3 second lag time between selecting a channel and when that channel actually displays. There is also usually no guide on the TV through which I can scroll to view what's on. I'm currently 20 minutes into Battleship because I don't have the gumption to change the channel on this piece of junk. It could take me 10 minutes to find something!
I've had hotels where the channel system is this bizarre hyphenate thing where ABC is on channel 8-2 and ESPN is on channel 5-3 or some shit. It's baffling. And the strange thing is that if you visit the hotel gym, the TV channels operate on a completely different system from your room. As if they went to great lengths to secure a different cable provider for that gym just to fuck with your head. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, HOTELS.
I think that hotels purposely make your cable slow so that you'll order a movie instead, porn or otherwise. That's why the whole goddamn setup is designed to bring you back to the MENU screen any time you dare to turn the TV off. I just spent nine hours trying to find something decent to watch, and now I gotta go through the channels all over again? You've got some nerve, BIG HOTEL.
When I go to a hotel, I almost always turn on the TV to ESPN and then leave it there so I don't have to try to find it again. In other words, I probably wasted enough power to keep an elementary school lit just so I don't have to wait three seconds to flip to a channel I don't even like watching. AMERICA FUCK YEAH.
I had to take a drunk driving class once in Marshalltown, Iowa (to be clear, they were teaching us how to NOT drive drunk so we could get our licenses back). The class was something like four hours on Friday evening, after which I returned to the nearby town where I went to college and got wasted. Saturday was another nine hours starting at 8 AM, so I had my ride stop at a Kum & Go (that's the local gas station chain) to I could get a sausage egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Big mistake.
The combination of the sandwich and my massive hangover left me in crippling agony a half hour into class. Our instructor gave us hourly breaks and asked us not to leave otherwise, and he was cool and skipped over some of the really cheesy parts of the curriculum so I tried to respect his request even as I struggled with searing gas pains. Things got very, very dire as the pressure built up above my sphincter, my grundle quaking in effort to stay closed and sweat pouring down my face.
Somehow I was able to let some gas out without shitting myself (a feat I look back on in amazement. A decade later, that poop would have been in my pants for sure). The smell was wretched and it wasn't really a mystery who had produced it— the guy who was trembling, red-faced, sweating and almost crying in his seat was the obvious culprit. But I thought since I had relieved some of the pressure I might be able to make it. Nope— a few minutes later, the process repeated itself and my classmates were staring daggers at me for fouling up the room like that. No one wants to spend their Saturday sitting in Marshalltown being lectured about the dangers of alcohol, let alone be assaulted by a fetid, rotten odor that could have come straight from Satan's rectum.
Finally as the pressure built for the third time I bolted out of the class as fast as I could waddle and just destroyed the men's room. I was still sitting in there ten minutes later excavating the remnants when the rest of class took their break and some came in to use the restroom, just in case there had been any doubt as to who had been polluting the class.
Anyway, don't drink and drive.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Art by Jim Cooke