Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Which Foods Are The Most Flammable?

Illustration for article titled Which Foods Are The Most Flammable?
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

Your letters:


I'm a pilot, and in one of our survival courses the instructor (who I guarantee hasn't had a utility bill in twenty years) pointed out a fun fact: Doritos make excellent kindling. They light fairly easily, they stay lit, and burn at a reasonable pace. Naturally, we aren't flying around with Doritos in our survival vests. But if there is a food item that you find yourself asking whether you want to burn or eat, shouldn't asking mean you shouldn't be eating it? (Obviously in an emergency I'd eat it, but still).


That's alarming. Not enough to get me to quit eating Doritos, but still! Our anonymous friend's email here got me thinking about which foods also happen to double as convenient fossil fuels, so I went into my kitchen and—to my wife's horror—flame tested a few things in the fridge and pantry. Here are my unofficial findings...

  • Bananas: NOT FLAMMABLE
  • Banana peels: NOT FLAMMABLE
  • Pretzels: Kinda burned, but went out quickly
  • Pepperidge Farm Goldfish: NOT FLAMMABLE
  • Carrots: NOT FLAMMABLE
  • Graham crackers: Shockingly flammable
  • Pirate's Booty: Highly flammable. You may as well be eating kerosene.

There was also a package of bacon in the fridge, but I didn't open it because I'll be damned if I waste a slice of bacon like that. I thought that vegetables might burn because they have oils in them and stuff, but Mr. Carrot barely took the flame at all. Then I thought sugar might be a common factor in ignition, but the old banana was fireproof.

Doritos and Pirate's Booty are both covered in cheesy dust, and that cheesy dust is actually a form of powdered fat, which is both flammable and nontoxic. Just like if you tried to eat a candle, and I have! Suffice it to say, fat tends to burn nicely, especially when presented in dry, dusty form with lots of burnable surface area. This is more likely to occur with processed foods, which probably aren't that great for you to begin with and are not meant to be cooked on an open flame.

But I don't think this should discourage you from eating certain foods. I mean, hard liquor burns nicely, and I think we can agree that hard liquor has NO ill health effects of any kind!


One time when taking a dump around the age of 12, my shirt tail fell too low and I shit on it. I threw the shirt away rather than tell my mom she had to launder shit out of my shirt. Ever since then, when going #2, I make sure to raise my shirt tail absurdly high, sometimes over my shoulders, to avoid the same outcome. My question is whether this is normal? Do other people have this issue at least a few times in their life? I'm now potty-training my son and part of me wants to tell him to raise his shirt up too, but part of me doesn't want to pass this on this possibly odd habit.


I don't think I've ever gotten poop on the back of my shirt, but I've certainly peed on the front of my shirt. And I mean, I've really soaked that fucker good because I was drunk and/or stupid. Dress shirts are notorious for attracting urine because the bottom of any dress shirt essentially acts as a set of penis curtains. Close the drapes at the wrong time and you're in trouble. Or sometimes you'll take your dick out at the urinal and a bit of shirt will come out with it and now it's a piss party. A dress shirt has to hang low so that it stays tucked in. If it rides any higher, then it pops out all the time and you feel like a fat person whose FUPA keeps pushing the shirt out.

You should teach your kid not to piss on his shirt, because I have a son who has pissed on his shirt many times and it's up to me, the parent, to say, "Pick up your shirt. Look where you're pissing." They never look where they're pissing, ever. So you teach them to pick the shirt up and that's why your standard little boy pissing pose includes them raising their shirt to their chest, with their thighs pressed against the rim of the toilet and their dick sticking WAY out. It's highly amusing. You also teach them to watch their shirt so they don't shit all over it. That's all standard for little boys.


But as you get older, you should be able to tone this down a bit, taking a step back from the toilet while pissing and holding your shirt up only if necessary. And while shitting, you pick up your shirt initially to make sure you aren't sitting on it, and then you let it fall where it may. You shouldn't have to hold your shirt up for the entire bowel movement. That's not a relaxing way to shit, and you need a free hand for your phone! Try to wean yourself back down to an acceptable shirt height if you can. I know that can be difficult given your past shirtsquirt trauma, but you're older now. You should be more confident in your shirt placement.


What is the saddest occupation to see a senior citizen in? For me it's bagging at the grocery store.


I think it's working at an ice cream shop, because ice cream shops are usually staffed by 17-year-old Eastern Europe exchange students who took the job strictly for ecstasy money. They're bouncy and happy and move very fast, and then there's ol' Gil over by the register, asking you what you ordered again for the sixth time.

Every time I see an old guy in a typical teenager summer job, I assume the backstory is always the same. The guy used to have a white collar job, and even had a house and everything. Then the economy cratered, his wife died, and the bank repossessed his house because he couldn't make that one last mortgage payment. Now he's living in a one-bedroom joint behind a bar and needs to scoop ice cream eight hours a day to avoid dying on a park bench. Poor fucker. I'm still not leaving anything in the tip jar, though.



You and you alone know there will be a zombie attack in one year. No other details.

What do you do to prepare?

The first thing I would do is try to warn everyone: The feds, my family, TWITTER... everyone. Now, no one would believe me. In fact, I would go into this effort knowing that it would be futile. But if you knew that the zombie apocalypse was coming, wouldn't you try to warn everyone anyway, even at the risk of looking like a madman?


I would do research into possible future causes of the outbreak and attempt to present them as evidence. Again, all of this research would fall on deaf ears. Even my loved ones wouldn't believe me. I would try to convince my wife and children to move to a remote island off the coast of New Zealand. Once they refuse, I would begin building an arsenal and max out our credit cards to fortify the walls of our home and dig a zombie fallout shelter 800 feet below the ground, replete with cans of condensed milk and gas cans filled with distilled Deer Park water. And more guns. I would re-read every Max Brooks book and forge lobos for each member of the family. Then I would teach my kids to shoot out in the yard and that would be the last straw for my poor wife. She'd call the paddy wagon and have me committed and I would watch the world burn from my cell at the local mental hospital which, in an ironic twist, would turn out to be the safest place to be! All part of God's plan, amigo.

There would be nothing I could do to stop the coming plague. Nothing. People only see what's directly in front of them. This is why I still occasionally put plastic wrap in the garbage instead of the recycling bin. I'm a terrible person.



What do you think is the more dangerous activity to do while incredibly intoxicated: swimming or ice skating?


According to the CDC, 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. Eighty percent of the victims are male, and men are obviously the more likely gender to get loaded and then go cliff jumping. You are far more likely to die while swimming than while ice skating. In fact, it's probably more dangerous to take a bath while drunk than to play hockey in the same condition. The worst case scenario for drunken skating is that you fall, hit your head, pass out, and then shit your pants. You should have kept your shirt up.


Do you have an imaginary menu ready for the restaurant you'll never open? Mine has sloppy joe fries on it.


I have a whole imaginary gourmet milkshake truck lined up and ready to never go. It includes basics like dark chocolate and vanilla bean (vanilla ice cream is 50% more appetizing with bean fleck in it—I bet Breyer's uses bits of dirt in their recipe), plus EXOTIC flavors like Almond Butter & Honey, and Peanut Butter & Ritz Cracker, and Passion Fruit With Crispy Meringue, and Cream Cheese Frosting, and Teddy Graham, and Whiskey Bread Pudding. Oh, how they'd line up to drink my milkshake: Foodies from all over the world in their skinny pants and their fucking coke bottle glasses sitting on the sidewalk at 8 in the morning waiting for me to roll up my window. They won't even bat an eyelash when I charge $12 for a small.

From there, my empire will grow to a fleet of 60 shake trucks, followed by a brick-and-mortar version that also serves up nothing but shakes and 20 different kinds of chili. Then there will be the Vegas outpost, followed by me throwing my name onto any goddamn restaurant around, eventually losing all semblance of quality control and becoming a running joke among chefs for selling out. I figure I die at age 45 with a frosted goatee and weighing 756 pounds. It's a real solid fantasy.


By the way, I like food and funky restaurants as much as the next guy, but I'm getting a little tired of shit like this...


There's nothing chefs love more than romanticizing how CRAZY and DANGEROUS it is to be a chef. Oooooh, look at our weird subculture! Enough. You're making fucking noodle soup. You're not the second coming of Johnny Rotten. Now make with my pork buns, pissboy!


Has the rise of social media fundamentally changed the six degrees of separation (or Kevin Bacon) theory? Are we now only, say 4 or 5 people away from anyone currently living in the world? What's the number?


It depends on if you consider knowing someone digitally akin to formally knowing them. Like, does a single email exchange count? Or do you have to shake hands with the fucker? The six degrees theory says you must know the first person "by way of introduction," but formal introductions are more vague now (The formal email introduction from a mutual friend is always awkward: "Bob, meet Tim! Tim, meet Bob! I'll let you two chat!").

In the 21st century, you can know people quite intimately without ever meeting them. I consider myself good friends with Spencer Hall and I've met him maybe two or three times in person. For all I know, he sent an actor (presumably Rainn Wilson) in his stead to play himself. But I consider him a better friend than some people I see every week at kiddie gym class or whatever. I don't think that's some form of virtual self-delusion either. It's real friendship! CYBERFRIENDSHIP!


/picks nose

/yells at mom from basement

So the idea of knowing someone is a more ambiguous notion than when that theory was first tossed out. If we're talking about physical introductions, well... I've met a lot more people in person thanks to the Internet, but I know that's not always the case. There are many people—hermits, shut-ins, people allergic to sunlight, Nick Denton—who use the web as a convenient excuse to avoid face-to-face contact with others. The Internet has probably physically connected more of the world than as if had never existed, but less than you assume. Maybe an extra half a degree.


But if any email or Twitter exchange counts, then I'm two degrees away from Robert Mugabe now. Let's have drinks, Rob!




Are deaf people able to control the volume of their farts? Do they care?

I think they can. You don't need to hear to know if you just let out a clap of butt thunder or not. Just look at the faces around you. Hard to fart that loud when you gotta look people in the eye. You can feel a loud fart. You can feel it blasting through you as it leaves your buttcheeks rippling in its wake. You know it made an impact. You get real arrogant about it. OH YES, THAT WAS ME. If I were a deaf person, blasting a loud fart would be like shooting a three and turning your back to the basket before it goes in.


And you know when a fart is quiet as well. You can feel it slowly hiss out from your cheeks, like a balloon with a pinprick in it. Sometimes you'll try to let out a quiet fart but it comes blasting out anyway and then you KNOW something has gone terribly awry. Give people credit for knowing their own sphincters.


Suppose that someone invented a supercomputer that could calculate the one person of the opposite sex that is your exact equivalent in terms of physical attractiveness. For instance, if you're a 6.4374509/10 man, then the computer (nicknamed S.H.A.L.L.O.W.) locates the 6.4374509/10 woman. Do you think that you would be pleased with the result, or kind of troubled by it?


I think it would cause all kinds of trouble, because no one would ever want to date someone who ranked statistically below them. "I can't go out with him! He's -1.4 away from me! NOT IN MY LEAGUE!" And people would dispute their rankings all the time, just like NFL players whenever Madden drops their speed by three points. We are Americans, which means we think way too highly of ourselves and think we deserve more than we actually deserve. So the SHALLOW rankings would both wound our egos and cause us to become an even more defensive group of assholes.

Also, what if you ranked a 3? And what if you then lost 40 pounds and got a nosejob but still couldn't crack higher than a 4.3? Imagine how crippling that would be to your self-esteem. That fucking computer doesn't realize how gorgeous you are on the inside! Does your winning sense of humor count for nothing?! We have to stop this technology from happening before some Eurodouche cracks the code. Otherwise, it'll be years and years of hungover frat bros being like, "Bro, she was an 8.7 and I let her get away..."



I was doing laundry in my apartment yesterday, which sucks, because only one dryer has ever been known to work in my time here. Anyway, I put my clothes in at 2AM and noticed another dryer, running even though a note on it said "Out of Order". There were three minutes left, so I opened the door, and lo and behold, the clothes were dry! At first, I was pissed that someone would leave a note like that on a dryer in a building of 30 inhabitants. But then I realized the GENIUS behind this. So I obviously tell no one and use that as my secretly working dryer, right?


I think you should track that fucker down and beat him to death with a bottle of Woolite. A poorly handwritten OUT OF ORDER sign holds a remarkable amount of authority over anyone who encounters one. If I see one on a gas pump or a sink or a toilet, I don't question it for a second. I just move on. Now you're telling me it could all be horseshit thanks to one selfish fucker? Get a handwriting expert, find that guy's apartment, and RUIN him. Don't become part of the conspiracy. That ain't right. Because one day you will have to take a shit badly, and you will rush to a toilet and it will say OUT OF ORDER, and that fucking toilet better legitimately be broken. Karma can be a real bitch like that.


What would have happened if Dennis Rodman had died in North Korea? Like, if he pissed off the fun-size dictator and became one of the "disappeared"? Would the resulting fiasco actually have led to a war? Would American troops lead charges into the DMZ shouting shit like "FOR THE WORM"? Or would nobody give a shit, because Rodman is obviously nuts?


I think the last thing anyone would want is for Dennis Rodman to go down as the initial cause of World War III, because a) It would be exactly what Rodman wanted, and b) fuck him. We'd all feel really stupid for ending human civilization on account of his drunken, sorry ass. Also, American Kenneth Bae—who has to be more likeable than Rodman, if only by default—was imprisoned in North Korea without war breaking out. So if we didn't go to war for Bae, we're not going to war over Rodman.

I think if Rodman had been kidnapped and forced into slave labor, there would be an initial media frenzy, maybe a few cries for vengeance. Then Justin Bieber would give another taped deposition and we'd all move on. Rodman would die alone and helpless, begging for his life while manacled by his nuts in the basement of a giant concrete pyramid jail. The poor bastard. Oh well. I wonder what's on TV tonight! OOOOH DOG SHOW.



Our work party is today, and I signed up to bring chips because I'm a useless shithead who wanted to make as little effort as possible. I brought BBQ and Dill Pickle. So the lady in charge of coordinating screams at me in front of 10 people, "WHERE IS THE DIP"?!!?!??!!? So I very calmly said, "they're BBQ and Dill Pickle, what exactly do you dip them in"? She walked off in a huff. So what's the policy here? And what are your broader feelings on say, dipping a flavored cracker into a flavored dip? I'm in the strict "no mixing flavors" camp.


Well now that we know Doritos are flammable, it's possible that dipping one into some Helluva Good dip could cause a nuclear fission reaction.

Anyway, I don't think flavored chips need dip. They certainly don't require them. When I eat a barbecue potato chip, I want to experience as much of the dusty flavor goodness as possible. The fuck am I gonna dip that in? There's nothing that will improve that. That's just masking the flavor, baby. If I'm dipping a chip, it's gotta be plain. The dip is the substitute for the dust flavoring, you see.


This is why people rarely make nachos with Doritos (tacos, obviously, are now a different story). Nachos are a delivery system for cheese and guacamole and sour cream and meat (and black olives if you're a fucking weirdo). I don't want a Dorito interfering with that. It's a conflict of interest. It diminishes my enjoyment of both the chip and the shit on top. Indeed, it is possible for there to be TOO MANY BOLD FLAVORS on just one dish. So tell your co-worker to stuff it. Flavored chips are enough. She can spring for a jar of Velveeta on her own.


Earlier this year my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's fine now, clean bill of health and all tests have come back clear. Obviously going through the initial shock and ensuing treatments were rather stressful and our anxiety level was high. We both were very diligent to follow all doctors orders and I attended every appointment with her to make sure I was being the supportive husband. We probably went to over 50 doctor appointments over the course of the treatments to probably 15 different doctors or specialists.

The thing I found interesting was that no matter what doctor we saw or no matter what we were there for, every single time the doctors asked to see my wife's breasts. It could have been a simple visit to take blood and the doctor would come in after the tech was done to see my wife's breasts. I'm beginning to think the doctors were using their position to get cheap looks at breasts. Also, she now has implants as part of the re-constructive process from the treatment. Is this going to continue for every doctor's appointment she goes to for the rest of her life? When she goes to the doctor for a flu shot in a couple years and her medical history will indicate she is a breast cancer survivor, will the doctor be like, "Oh, you had breast cancer? Let's take a quick look."?


I think it's a liability issue. I mean, your wife did have breast cancer. A recurrence of the cancer will always remain a distinct possibility. So her doctors will probably want to cover their bases every time out and check her boobs, because God forbid they skip out and the cancer returns and you decide to sue because the doc was in too much of a hurry to cop a feel. Doctors do not like being sued. Hence, lots of titty checks for your old lady.

Maybe that's giving the medical profession too much credit, but I find it hard to believe there's a large number of working oncologists who put themselves through medical school and hospital residency just so they could get paid to stare at tits. You gotta work real hard to be that much of a scumbag. And it ain't the sexiest way to look at boobs, either. You try finding a fetish video online where hospital gowns and cancer exams are the focus. Real hospital gowns, with the open ass and everything. They don't exist. Those gowns suck.


I had to go the skin doctor a week ago for a check (melanoma runs in my family), and when the doctor asked to peek under my boxers I didn't hesitate for a second in agreeing. Hell, for my money, they could have been even more through. THE TAINT! MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE TAINT YO! I wanna make sure that cancer didn't get ANYWHERE, and if that means examining my asshole with a monocle, I'm gung ho for it. Check my penis twice if you must. Go on. Roll it around between your fingers, brother.


Would you rather always be able to use your own toilet or always be able to sleep in your own bed?


The bed. You're in bed for eight hours a day. Unless you ate at Moe's, you're on the toilet for a fraction of that time. It's simple math, people. And frankly, a toilet is a toilet. So long as it's clean, I don't care. A bed is a whole other story. Only my bed has the personalized head and ass dents that make me feel so at home.

Email of the week!


About a year and a half ago I was partying with a few buds at a friend's house. I drank a good amount, and maybe hit a joint but nothing super crazy. I called it a night on my buddies couch around 3AM, with my girlfriend on the other couch close by.

I wake up an indeterminate amount of time later. It is still dark. I am in someone's back yard and I have no clothes on. Not even shoes. I can tell that I am still in the vicinity of my friends house. It is a residential part of a large city, so it's just a matter of time before someone sees me, despite the late hour. I know the neighborhood pretty well, but I'm still drunk and I am panicking like never before in my life so it's hard to get my bearings.

My initial instinct is to stay in the shadows off the street while I make my way back. But this ends up being a bad plan because the backyards are small and fenced off so it would take forever to traverse them. I head to the sidewalk and begin darting from car to car while covering my junk with my hands while I run. It doesn't take long before a couple walks along on the other side of the street. They are taken aback and ask me what the hell is going on. I make up some story about my friends playing a prank on me. They don't buy it and so I just say, "Look, I woke up drunk and naked. I'm trying to get back to my friends place. Please don't call the cops or anything." I then bolt away from them down the street. I finally come to my friend's house but now I have a new problem. What am I going to tell them? To my huge relief the back door was unlocked and I found my clothes in the bathroom. I was never so glad to pass out on a couch.

Nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since, so what the hell was that?


Ah, I see you've met Darren Sharper.

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


Image by Sam Woolley