Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering soggy cereal, hide and seek, underwear, and more.
Before we get to the Funbag, you should know that very soon, it's going to be time for the 32-part satanic incantation of our WHY YOUR TEAM SUCKS NFL previews. So much sucking to do! So if your team sucks (and I do mean your team; don't be the asshole Redskins fan who writes in to bitch about the Cowboys), shoot me an email. Include the team name in your subject heading, because that's how I sort these things. God damn the Niners for having three possible name permutations.
Also, I'm vacation next week. Your Funbag host will be an old favorite, so do tune in. Now, let's get to your letters:
Why is it not the standard for all sandwich/sub/burgers to be cut in half or served with a knife? I have gone pretty far out of my way for a utensil for this at barbecues or even a sporting event. It's easier to handle, you can see what's going on inside (toppings/meat temperature, etc.) and your first bite is always good instead of pure bun.
I have to fundamentally disagree with you on the hamburger part. If you want to cut a sub or a PB&J in half (I tried to figure out if I liked a diagonal cut or a straight cut on the PB&J better, but I can't bring myself to give a shit), that's fine. But a burger? No. I hate bossy foodies, and so should you, but that's inadvisable. You need to keep all the beefy juices inside the burger as you eat it, so you get the maximum amount of hot blood and tallow in every bite. If you cut the fucker in half, then it leaks all over the plate and soaks the bun (not that I'm against a sopping-wet bun) and makes a mess of everything. And putting extra ketchup on the thing is also a mess. Ever take half a bun off a burger? The thing just goes toppling right over. I feel like a fool.
If you're eating a really well-made burger, you shouldn't need to cut it in half. You should be attacking it from the perimeter because the bun edges should be all crispy and buttery and you should still be able to get some beef and bacon and lettuce in the bite, too. If you cut it in half and then go right for the center, you are not getting the full TEXTURAL elements. Textural elements are so very crucial. Avoid cutting a burger in half. I don't even like it when the joint plunges a steak knife into the center of the thing, like I'm supposed to pull it out like it's Excalibur. Your big steak knife does not impress me, Ruby Tuesday. You should avoid breaching the patty until you've taken your first bite.
Personally, I like holding a very large sandwich in my hand. If you want to leave my steak-and-cheese sub uncut, I will gladly pick it up like it's some kind of giant meat saxophone and chow down on the whole thing. It makes me feel ALIVE to be handling such a large piece of food. Really gets my engine going. Weaker men cannot handle this 12-inch double-meat BMT, but I can! I'm fine with the entirety of a sandwich.
By the way, I know this is standard for club sandwiches, but cutting a sandwich in quarters is fucking insane. You just served me four Jenga towers. You even had to put a toothpick in there because it's such a delicate building job. You wouldn't need those toothpicks if you just cut the thing once, or not at all. Club-sandwich cutting has been co-opted by cheapskate swim-meet moms who order one goddamn sandwich for the whole bridge foursome to split. I don't approve.
How long could I run a Fortune 100 company before getting fired? For example, let's say Coca-Cola just called one day and said, "Hey, you're the new CEO. Go for it." I'm late twenties/early thirties, professional degree, a few years doing real-life business things. How long would I last?
Well, Coca-Cola just forced its current CEO to take a pay cut (down to a paltry $20.4 million, the poor fucker), so you would be under some pretty heavy scrutiny going into that job right off the bat. It would be your responsibility to get more people to drink more Coke ,even though people are slowly beginning to realize that Coke is fucking poison. You'd have to secure lucrative contracts with the Chinese government to supply all its schools and prisons and secret prisons and double secret prisons and schools that are actually prisons with your product, just to keep the stock afloat. You'd have to acquire all sorts of little drink companies and then fold them into your corn-syrup factories. I would give you a year before the board finally negotiated a severance package for you that included $500 million and a Georgia plantation mansion.
Many CEOs are incompetent, and many of them are horrifically overpaid. I'd like to think of that job as a bloated reward for all the shit-eating and brown-nosing you did to get it. You issue mission statements. You have VISIONS and tell other schlubs to execute them ("I'm thinking of a new kind of Coke that has elements of Kale in it … SET FORTH"), and you dictate where and when any meeting involving you should take place ("CEO Danny would like everyone to meet him at the summit of Mount Ranier tomorrow at 3 p.m. sharp"). You get to have the big ideas and leave the tedious crap to your underlings.
I used to work at a couple of big ad agencies, and the CEOs were basically treated like the POTUS. If they walked by us in the hall, someone would always whisper, "Holy shit! That was the CEO!" as if seeing the CEO in the office of the company the CEO runs was a huge surprise. Shit, whenever I see Nick "Blogging Morrissey" Denton, I'm like OH FUCK THERE'S THAT GUY WHO COULD FIRE US ALL. People shit their pants around CEOs. They sit up straight in meetings and put their phones away and try their best to limits facial tics … and all the while, the CEO could be a complete pud who only got the job because he was good at cooking numbers when he was in the finance department.
That's not to say the job is easy. Remember, if you fuck up that job, it means you could end up firing THOUSANDS of people. You could burn the stock down to nothing and destroy many people's life savings. There is a certain mental burden to that, unless you're a sociopath. (And many CEOs are!) You can last long on the job if you can keep up the façade of authority and look like you know what you're doing. That means being good at bullshit meeting small talk and being somewhat well versed in 900-page industrial contracts designed to cut the union's pension by half a percent.
If you're good at that, you could probably last a few years before the market's unrealistic demands did you in. But otherwise, I give you a year, because no matter who you are, it's only a matter of time before you're found out.
If you were inserted as a goalie for an NHL team for an entire season, what kind of save percentage would you have? Assume your teammates don't slit your neck kicking you in the face out of frustration. I'd say .600 is possible. Between shots you can see, and just happening to be a fat American standing in front of a relatively small goal, you could stop more shots than got past you.
I don't think so. Every time I watch a hockey game, the goalie makes 10 to 30 saves that are completely insane. Those saves are a matter of routine to Martin Brodeur, but you and I would have no chance of making them. Yeah, you might be able to block a bad shot simply by standing there and letting it hit your face, but eventually players on the other team would notice your weakness(es) and exploit them fully. Your save percentage would drop every game until, by the end, you were allowing 75 goals per contest.
And that's not even considering the mental drain. There is a hard rubber puck coming at you at all times. Padding or not, that is terrifying. I would crack. I would curl up into a ball and just lay in front of the net, accepting my abuse. FACT: NHL goalie is a harder job than CEO.
Assume that cloning could replicate a person's personality, skills, etc. to the degree that if you cloned Tom Brady you would always get a Hall of Fame QB. How cool would it be to clone players and create All-Star teams that can play in a separate league? Want to know how the '90s Cowboys would have fared against the Steel Curtain? Done. I don't think it would be good to replace the NFL with clones; maybe create a separate league for just the clones.
Well, you could use the clones to eliminate the threat of injury in the current NFL. If Tom Brady tears up his knee, the new clone CBA would let you IR him and put Tom Brady 2 in there, with minimal damage done to the offense. You would only allow one Brady to play at a time, though. If you let EVERY team clone and play Tom Brady, people would lose interest. It's Brady overload. I would kill all his clones personally. I bet NFL owners would wet themselves at the reduced labor costs. Tom Brady 5 will pay for $50,000 because he loves the game!
Anyway, this would allow Roger Goodell to realize his vision for a 24-game season, and he could expand into Europe and China without diluting the talent pool. Instead of creating an offseason old-timer clone league, he could just fold Johnny Unitas 2 and Jim Brown 2 into the London Rippers expansion draft. I would watch this. I would not get sick of football if Joe Montana 2 played against Walter Payton 2 in Harbin. That is some mind-blowing shit.
Someone put this signature at the bottom of a work email I received the other day:
*Please excuse any typos, this message was Sent from my iPhone*
Is this still a thing?
I still get it once in a while, and you can tell right away that the person using that sig is a complete asshole. Who are they to assume I'll just excuse that typo? What if it's a doctor emailing and his typo is that my cholesterol is 1540 and not 154? Fuck that guy.
These are people who are giving themselves permission to be lazy, and they're giving themselves permission to email sloppily in places where they shouldn't be emailing. If you're sending an email from your phone, and you don't want to go back and correct something, this is probably because you're in a car going 80mph and shouldn't be looking at your fucking phone. It also gives the dude emailing a false sense of importance, like GOD I HAVE SO MANY EMAILS TO SEND EVERY DAY SO I JUST DON'T HAVE TIME TO SPELL YOUR NAME RIGHT SORRY K THX BAI. Horseshit. People are never ever ever as busy as they claim to be.
Typing on an iPhone is still a shitty user experience. It's virtually impossible to put the cursor where you want it, especially when your fingers are always covered in frosting like mine are. Copying and pasting is a fucking disaster. And there are no arrow buttons to just move the text prompt to where you would like it. But just because the technology needs improvement doesn't mean you have permission to fire off an email that's barely in English.
Is there anything that makes you feel more like a lame old person than chastising your friends for swearing in front of your kids? I brought my three-year-old over to my friend's house the other day. He has a one-year-old and thus hasn't begun censoring himself yet. I told him probably half a dozen times to stop swearing and I felt like a clown every time. But I don't want my three-year-old calling me "fatass" instead of "dad."
Oh, I correct my parents in front of the kids all the time, which is great, because my folks know precisely how big of a hypocrite I am. Keep it clean, Ma!
We've even tried to eliminate certain non-swear words. We do not say HATE. We do not say STUPID. And no SUCKS, which sucks. One time my wife chided my oldest kid for saying, "Oh my God," and I was like, "Really? God is on the banned list now?" That was a tough one for me to swallow. Pretty harmless to say, "Oh my God," if you ask me. If God is that picky about language, he may as well drown us all right now. We are trying to put out all kinds of language fires with the kids all the time, which is almost certainly the wrong way to go about it. No one wants to have the fat kid in a sleeveless shirt who waddles into Target and starts cursing like a sailor, but I think it's probably a better idea to explain what each word means to a kid and what kind of impact those words have. However, that takes time, and I have shit to do, so BAN THEM ALL.
It's a shame, because sometimes kids do an excellent job with curse-word usage. My son threw down a JEEZUS the other day that made him sound like a longtime viewer of Louie. It was really well done. And my eight-year-old knows the f-bomb well and is always on the verge of letting it fly, but never does. She'll be like, "That's sounded like the f-word! The one that rhymes with DUCK!" and I keep waiting for her to drop the bomb, but she holds back. She knows how magical that word is. One day, she'll wield it with authority.
I spend a large part of my day inside a 10-story building at school. It's a standard university building: a few lecture halls, many offices, and other misc rooms. If I were to hide in the building and one other person was to look for me, how long would it take them to find me? Assume I can move around, but this may give me away. The building has multiple staircases and elevators.
In theory, they would never find you. Our Tim Marchman asked a smart friend about the statistical probability of this game of hide-and-seek. This is what they wrote back:
"I polled some University of Chicago people, and the consensus is that the answer to the question can only be expressed as an atomic orbital/probability cloud—per Wikipedia, an atomic orbital is a mathematical function that can be used to calculate the probability of finding any electron of an atom in any specific region. So substitute 'electron' with 'student' and 'atom' with 'university building,' and you have your answer."
Okay, well, those seem like long odds. I'm not as pessimistic. If the building is completely empty apart from you two, I feel like the other guy would eventually hear you opening doors and going up stairs and all that. PLUS, you have to shit at some point. When I flush a toilet, it seems like the whole goddamn neighborhood can hear it. Couldn't the other guy start on the ground floor and canvass every room until he chanced upon a urinal pipe rumbling? That would make for some quality Olympic hide-and-seek.
I say you would be found after a week, math be damned.
How many games would the NBA, NHL, and MLB have to cut off their schedules to make most every game, be it baseball in May or hockey in December, feel up to the same caliber as every NFL game?
As many as they needed to cut to only play 16 games a season, I guess. I know that's a pat answer, but the NFL runs everything because one game a week per team is a doable commitment for fans, and the week-long buildup is enough to create insanely high levels of anticipation. I have no right getting as fired up for an October matchup between the Vikings and Lions as I should, but the NFL has manipulated me into a frothing, braindead slave for its product.
So if you made Saturday the big baseball day during the summer and simulcast 14 games at once, March Madness-style, then that would be pretty momentous. I like any rare sporting event where a bunch of games are thrown at you all at the same time: March Madness, NFL Sundays, World Cup group stages, etc. One day nothing's going on, and then BOOM SPORTS UP YOUR ASS. Like a big sports bomb went off.
Of course, baseball isn't ever going to do this, and shouldn't anyway. Baseball is meant to be an everyday thing that you can opt in and out of, so that Chicagoans have something else to bring up when they're finished talking about the weather. You are meant to go to a bar, look up, see baseball, ask what kind of baseball is going on, and then go about your business. You can't do that if baseball suddenly decided to make regular-season games meaningful.
In a perfect world, the NFL would go back down to 14 games, and the NHL, NBA, and MLB would all cut their regular seasons in half. HALF. Then I would have time to follow every sport and still binge-watch Suits. That's the hip show to watch now, right? No? Goddammit.
What's the best style of men's underwear these days? I'm 33, and have always worn cheap Fruit of the Loom or whatever boxers. I remember being a little kid and nervously asking my parents when I could switch from tighty whities to boxers, because they seemed like the coolest, most adult thing you could do. But the older I get, the more ridiculous they seem. They always bunch up and obviously don't provide any support (if that's what I'm after?). I've been polling friends, and the boxer brief seems to be pretty popular. Suggestions?
I am not skinny enough or muscular enough to pull off boxer briefs with any kind of confidence. If you're a weightlifter or something, I bet you feel like a SEX GOD wearing those things, but I feel like a piece of ham. So I opt for snug boxers, which are pretty easy to find now. I used to wear boxers that were way too loose. They flared out like regular shorts, and then got wadded up in my ass and turned rancid after I'd walked 10 feet. Like wearing a napkin for underwear. That's no good. But if you can rock boxer briefs and not get self-conscious about it, go for it.
By the way, I went on Kid Rock's cruise a while back for GQ and participated in a Speedo contest, only I didn't own a Speedo, so the cruise people gave me a pair of Kid Rock briefs from the merch stand, and I wore them during the contest. And I was shitfaced drunk when I was dancing around, so I was thinking to myself, "I DO feel kinda sexy in this tight pair of undies!" And then when I got back, they told me I was wearing WOMEN'S Kid Rock underwear, not men's. So there you go. One day I'm gonna buy a pack of Hanes Her Way and live it up.
I am a pretty hairy guy. I have a decent amount of hair left on my head, a beard, a full sweater, hairy armpits, and a decent amount of hair below the waist. Does it make sense to even buy body wash? Shouldn't I just shampoo my entire body?
I'm not that hairy, but I'll still gladly soap myself up with shampoo runoff if the body-wash bottle is down to nothing. I think shampoo tends to dry your skin, which is why you aren't supposed to use it as soap (and using soap as shampoo dries your hair out). If you ever tell a wife or girlfriend that you shampooed with soap, they will look at you like you just crashed the car into a flagpole. Your lack of knowledge about haircare and skincare terrifies them.
Anyway, they make shampoo/body wash combinations now that can serve both masters if you feel like saving time and money. Otherwise, I would keep your shampoo and the soap you use to clean your hairy back segregated. Back hair and head hair aren't even same kind of hair anyway. Head hair is very long and delicate; back hair is like a series of fish bones sticking out of you.
I am a longtime resident of the Washington, D.C. area, and all of the recent global warming studies got me thinking: If ocean levels continue to rise, and coastal cities are doomed, where would our new capital be located? Would the government relocate to an existing city? Would they just build a new capital city in the middle of nowhere (a la Burma)? I also want to know how long before the government would start talking publicly about this, so I could still sell my home for a profit.
The government will never start talking about this because, as it stands now, the only thing preventing a complete collapse of the real estate industry and subsequent ancillary economies is your willingness to ignore the fact that your beach house will be a coral reef two decades from now. I live in the D.C. area, and people go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for weekends a lot. The Outer Banks is a fucking sandbar with a Dairy Queen. There's no way it's gonna last much longer, and yet that shit still sells like gold. At some point, the sea levels will rise, and all the big coastal cities will flood, and then we'll move 50 miles inland to build it all back up, only to see it ruined in another two decades. But at least we'll be keeping busy.
Anyway, if D.C. ever flooded, BIG GUBMINT could simply retreat to the higher ground of suburban Maryland or Virginny, not far away. Beats starting over in, like, St. Louis. Most people living on the East Coast came here specifically to flee St. Louis. They're not going back. DC2 will be put close by. That way, all governmental dysfunction will continue running smoothly. I live in Maryland, and parking here is a fucking disaster, which means it's already well positioned to look and act just like D.C.
Email of the week!
I suspect you'll find this disgusting (and rightfully so), but I ONLY eat cereal if it's soggy. I make a bowl of cereal with milk (Rice Krispies, Corn Chex, Wheaties, Special K, something like that) and then I let it sit, typically for 30-45 minutes, before eating it.
My wife repeatedly tells me that letting milk sit out for so long is going to make me sick. But that's never happened, and I've been doing this for 20 years (I'm 32). I even get high sometimes and forget I made cereal for over an hour, sometimes longer. I still eat that shit. Go ahead and judge me. Am I a monster?
I think there are certain cereals, like Cap'n Crunch, that take well to … steeping, I guess. I don't mind if it sits for a bit to soften, so that the Cap'n doesn't cut up the inside of my mouth. But letting a bowl of Wheaties sit around for 45 minutes and then eating it surely breaks 50 different health code violations. Why are you even eating Wheaties? Wheaties are fucking terrible. Wheaties are the absolute worst cereal in history. And soggy Wheaties are sadder than a child-refugee tent camp. Demand more textural elements in your life. AND DO NOT CUT YOUR CEREAL IN HALF.
Image by Jim Cooke and Sam Woolley.
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.