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My friend and I have been arguing for a week over whether or not the pope masturbates. I say he has to (because every male with a functioning penis does), but he disagrees (because “the pope is too holy for that shit”).


According to Wikipedia, the Catholic vow of celibacy calls for “perpetual continence,” which sounds physically painful. Here is the text in question from Canon 277:

Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity.

You can probably take the phrase “perpetual continence” and twist its meaning for your own purposes. The Bible is a convenient tome for sinners in that it catalogs evildoing in such tortured, vague language. It uses the word “flesh” as a catchall term for pretty much anything relating to use of the naughty bits. As a result, Bible-thumpers can use that vague language to outlaw pretty much anything, and heathen sinners can exploit the same language to justify pretty much anything. It’s a fun dynamic! Here are a couple of instances where the good book seems to talk explicitly (but not too explicitly, God forbid) about jackin’ it:

Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening.


For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.


Lotta wiggle room in there, even if you are the Holy See. After all, back in the day, the Borgias used to host orgies in the Vatican. But given what I know about Catholicism, it’s likely that the pontiff is heavily encouraged to NOT host orgies anymore, and to not masturbate. Masturbation is both a sin and an act of mass spermicide, which means that the pope is forbidden from doing it, and is likely TERRIFIED of doing it. God probably has surveillance cameras set up in the shitter, waiting to catch poor Francis in the act.

This is a tortured way of me saying that YES, the Pope obviously has masturbated in his lifetime, because he is a human being, and if he didn’t open the release valve a few times, he would spontaneously detonate. I mean, one touch and he probably turns into a fire hydrant. I think he does it, but I think he tries not to do it very often. Call me naïve, but I don’t think the pope is jacking off three times a day or hiding a stash of porn under his hat or anything like that. He probably does it once in a blue moon, then he feels bad, then he prays, and then he tries to hold out for as long as he can until the next time earthly temptation claims his mortal soul. He’s fighting the good fight, man. If God can’t let that slide, then He’s a big jerk.

(By the way, I wonder if any papal candidates take themselves out of the running specifically because they don’t want the increased masturbatorial scrutiny. Like, “Oh God, now I have to jerk off even LESS.” Really hurts the candidate pool like that.)


(Also, I think the last Pope—the belligerent German one—jerked off all over everything. Maybe that’s why he left. Maybe they did a black-light scan of the Vatican and found his DNA all over it.)


Are fruit snacks candy?

Yes. They are fucking candy. BIG SNACK goes to great lengths to gussy up fruit snacks and shitty granola bars as non-candy items. But they are. They’re loaded with sugar and garbage, and are just as bad for your children and their teeth as candy is. The fact that they boast about fruit snacks having “real fruit juice” is even more insidious, because real fruit juice is fucking terrible for you. You should see my kids when they spot a pack of Welch’s fruit snacks at a party or a school fair. They turn into the undead. Their eyes leave their bodies. And fruit snacks don’t even taste that great. I would like my children to have better taste in junk food. “What about this bratwurst? Don’t you guys wanna try some delicious, 5,000-calorie bratwurst?”



So my wife’s friend’s husband is in the Navy, and was just promoted to captain of his own destroyer. This led to an argument between my wife and I: Would you rather be the captain of a destroyer or a fighter pilot? I would choose being a fighter pilot. We decided to agree to disagree. Both would give you plenty of street cred and make you a badass: I guess it comes down to if you would rather fly or swim?

Destroyer. I know being a fighter pilot is kickass because you get to wear the helmet and do cool flips and walk into bars wearing a leather jacket and play volleyball shirtless and open up that red button on your throttle that makes the other planes go KABOOM. That’s all fucking sweet. But the reality is that being a fighter pilot means being crammed inside that cockpit for hours at a time. You can’t read or watch a movie. You have to piss into a tube. I bet it’s remarkably stressful and uncomfortable.


So I would take the ship. I could patrol the decks every morning, yelling at fresh-faced sailors to stop playing tag in the nude. I could read fine works by Melville in my captain’s quarters. I could yell out MAN THE TORPEDOES and blow up other ships real good. When you’re a pilot dropping a bomb, you don’t get to see shit blow up because you’re flying away from it. That’s no fun. I want to bear witness to the mass destruction my orders have wrought. LOOGIT THAT SUB GO DOWN.


What if Tom Brady was completely innocent of the ball-deflation stuff and could easily prove it by handing over his phone, but his text history contains incriminating evidence of something worse—or at least more salacious to the media? What would that thing have to be? Dick pics to another woman? WHAT ELSE ARE YOU HIDING, TOMMY BOY?


Oh. I think it could be far more benign than that. Anything in his personal text history would be gold for sketchy blogfolk like me: dick pics sent to his own wife, naked photos his wife sent to him, texts making fun of teammates and/or coaches (he can’t like all of them), deranged political manifestos, etc. Divulging ANY of that stuff would probably be less appetizing for him than getting nailed with a four-game suspension that most reasonable people think is horseshit. He may think occasionally about protecting his integrity (to the extent that Tom Brady does any thinking of any kind … I think part of the reason he’s good at football is because he’s a pleasant dolt like Joe Montana was), but even that isn’t worth the personal ruination he might face if other shit on his phone got leaked.

Also, I’m sure that Brady doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and if people have a problem with him underinflating footballs, then fuck them. Rarely do athletes stand back and say, “Oh wow, I think some of the cool things I did might have been ill-gotten!” They don’t think that way. They find themselves awesome at all times.


If you were in an elevator with Steph Curry while he was dribbling a basketball, do you think you’d be able to steal the ball from him before the elevator reached the 10th floor? In such a confined space, I feel like you gotta be able to at least get a hand on the ball.


We’re talking a standard elevator? I say no, if only because I will always take the pro athlete’s side in an average-joe-versus-sports-god hypothetical. Steph Curry can elude NBA-caliber defenders when there are three guys surrounding him. Keeping the ball away from you in an elevator seems like a snap by comparison. He could simply turn away from you, stick his butt out, and move in circles until you reach the 10th floor. Done and done.


Which would be more insufferable: whiny victim Pats fans when they start next season 0-4, or hellishly smug Pats fans if Jimmy Garoppolo takes them to 4-0?


The latter. Boston fans are infinitely worse than they win, because they will brag AND they will still find a way to complain about Brady’s suspension and the injustice of it all and BUCKNAHHHHHHHHHH. The thrill of winning does not discourage them from still acting as if the sky is falling down upon them somehow. They want your envy and your pity, in tandem. They want you to ENVY their pity.

As a rule, it’s always better when the team you hate the most loses. I’m not one of those Vikings fans who is like, “Boy, our rivalry with the Packers is a lot better when both teams are good!” Nope. No, I don’t care about that. If you told me my team could beat the Packers 70-0 for the rest of my life, I would take it and savor every fucking blowout.


The communal bathrooms in my college dorm do not have any WiFi or 3G connection, so I am now unable to have a nice Twitter scroll while dropping a load. Any suggestions on what else I can do to pass the time on the shitter?


You could play a game on your phone. May I suggest Dooors? It’s a game where you try to escape from a room, much like that burrito you ate last night is trying to escape from your body. I would also suggest reading: either dead-tree books or articles you pre-loaded on your phone just in case you have to take a crap and are deprived of precious WiFi. This is why the #longreads hashtag exists now.

Sometimes I find myself crapping without access to a phone (gasp!), and then I stare at the bathroom tiles until I get double vision and the tiles start moving around, and then I get a headache. That’s pretty fun. You could also just sit there and THINK. You could come up with new ideas, or simply be in the moment and achieve perfect clarity and transcendence and peace by being at one with your body. But that’s boring as fuck. Again, I suggest toilet gaming.


Let’s suppose one of the major airlines took one of the several daily flights it makes to its popular hubs (LAX to ORD, for example) and charged extra for people to take it. On this one flight, there are 1) no children under five, 2) no service animals except seeing-eye dogs, and 3) no one weighing over 210 pounds. Ignore for the moment whether doing this would be legal. How much extra could the airline get away with charging people to take this flight? Could they fill a plane each day with people willing to drop an extra $40, or is everyone so used to flying as cheaply as possible that they’d balk at anything extra over $5?


The latter. This is why Virgin America loses money. It’s a remarkably pleasant flying experience (apart from the 90-minute safety video). You get TV. You can order food and drinks from your seat. The whole plane is decked out like a Miami hotel bar. But flying Virgin America costs, like, four dollars more than other airlines. So people balk. I know I do. I will sit in the cargo hold with a band of feral cats if I can save money on a roundtrip ticket. I can suck it up. It’s just one of those things that people have a hard time spending extra money on, because it’s not something you keep. You endure the flight for a couple hours, and you emerge in the jetway with 10 extra dollars in your pocket because you elected to sit in the shitter.

Also: If I’m booking something on Expedia, and all other circumstances are equal (number of stops, flight times, etc), I’m taking the cheapest option no matter what. I don’t think about the agony of being wedged into an American Airlines bumbo seat for the duration of the flight because I’m making the reservation on the ground, from the comfort of my office. It’s not an issue NOW. Before booking, they should really have a warning window that pops up to say WAIT! THIS AIRLINE IS GARBAGE. YOU SURE YOU WANNA DO THIS? I’m also so used to being lied to by airlines that if they offered me some dream seat without babies or poodles, I would just assume they were tricking me into sitting next to a live bear.

So there you go. Your idea for No Fatties Airways would never get off the ground. Sorry, man.




Would you rather have pubes for teeth or teeth for pubes?

Teeth for pubes. You want pubes in your mouth for the rest of your life? Gumming your food like crazy? That would be torturous. No, give me the patch of molars growing out of my ballsack. You know how many bar bets I could win by eating a Twinkie with my dick? I’d be the richest freakshow in the land.



With concussions and all, is it not inevitable that professional football players will be replaced by robots? Different types of robots can be created—quarterbacks, receivers, linemen, kickers etc. Coaches could program in plays from the sidelines. Violence could return to the game, because who cares if the Butkus1000 clotheslines the BradyBot on a quarterback sack and takes the robot’s head off?

Even if robot technology gets to the point where they could realistically simulate humans playing football, we would never embrace the Robot NFL as an alternative to the regular NFL. And I say that as someone who was addicted to playing Cyberball as a teenager. The whole reason I watch football is BECAUSE it’s people, doing things most people can’t or shouldn’t do: jumping high to snag the ball out of the air, getting blowed up real good on a crossing pattern, busting through the hole for a 90-yard touchdown run, etc.


Those are all fun things to watch because they are dangerous feats that tend to exist outside the human condition. A robot doesn’t need the fearlessness a real person requires to perform them. Plus, I get to admire the athletic feats AND pretend that I can do them myself. That’s the point. Take the humanity out of it, and it’s boring as shit. It’s like watching Battlebots, which is fun for a couple of weeks until you realize you’re cheering on some megalomaniacal MIT engineer fuckhead who is WAY too cocky about the fact that he managed to weld a table-saw blade to a Roomba.

You have to care about the actual participants, even if pro athletes change teams practically on an hourly basis. I want to see my team win, but I also want to see what they do WHEN they win. Imagine watching the Super Bowl and seeing the winning team power down into HIBERNATE mode after a tough win, instead of seeing real humans jumping and smiling and pouring Andre all over each other. It’s not the same. It would be like watching a team composed ENTIRELY of Russell Wilsons win something. Fuck that. You need real people, because real people are interesting, and because they can get hurt.


Do 3-year-olds have some sort of innate, biological ability to get directly in your way? No matter which way I’m walking, he somehow is always exactly in my path forcing me to trip, or just blocking me from getting where I need to go. It’s like the most sophisticated AI known to man. Mind you, this is a child who can barely get his pants off by himself.


Yes. They are superhuman in this way. I have stepped on my own children numerous times because they are little dwarf wizards who can magically teleport instantly to the exact place where I intend to walk. They don’t even have to be in the same room as me. I take a step … BOOM. There’s my kid, bitching because I stepped on his foot somehow. Why are you here? Can’t you see I’m trying to put the sugar away?

My kids will also walk right into me. For no reason. The other day, I was standing on the sidewalk, with plenty of room around me. My kid tripped over my foot and did a face-plant into the concrete. WHUH? HOW? WHY? I wasn’t even moving, man. Can’t you see I have legs attached to my body, kid? I gave him chocolate and Motrin to quiet him down.

Kids also stand in doorways all the time, for no reason. I have a 3-year-old, and the 3-year-old will open the storm door to the house and stand there, with the door open, for no fucking reason. And I’m like CLOSE THE GODDAMN DOOR. You can’t be inside and outside all at once. You are not God.


And you know what? This will only get worse. I’ve seen teenagers in action. Teenagers have NO problem blocking every conceivable passageway. They have nothing to do and all the time in the world at their disposal, and so they elect to spend that time skateboarding in front of the drugstore entrance. I will kill them all with my bare hands.


How much money would someone have to offer the U.S government for them to build a statue of Hitler in Washington, D.C? I’m talking someone offering to wipe out the national debt—is there any point where the U.S says yes?


Congress would never approve it, no matter the price, and no matter if it made perfect fiscal sense. I mean, we SHOULD erect a statue to Hitler if it helps wipe out the debt. That could help create millions of jobs and provide us with enough money to help update the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. I’d make that deal in a second. So there’s a Hitler statue on the White House lawn. Big deal. We could invite kids to deface it on a daily basis. It could be a valuable teaching moment for everyone. You won’t forget about Hitler’s misdeeds if his ugly mug is sitting center stage in the nation’s capital at all times. That’s a win-win. President Obama, I urge you to build the Hitler statue.


I have two kids, which means I have approximately 24 water bottles (but only 19 lids) at my house. It also means that holy hell breaks loose if, by chance, I leave the house without fully loaded water bottles for each child. I never had a water bottle growing up, regularly drank from hoses, and don’t recall ever losing a kid to dehydration. How did we get here, and is there any way to reverse this trend? (And don’t even get me started on BPA-free bullshit.)


There’s no way to reverse it. It’s the worst. And cleaning them is terrible, because plastic water bottle for kids now have 15 different parts. I thought I was done with baby-bottle washing, but no. No, you simply move onto the next pain-in-the-ass fluid vessel.

My wife is always the last person in the car because, at the last minute, she must assemble the array of water bottles and small bagged snacks and reading materials required any time we travel a distance of more than 300 feet. It’s rage-inducing. I just want to GO. We will find water somewhere. This isn’t California. There is water to be had elsewhere. Sometimes I just want to make like Bear Bryant and let the kids roast in the heat for eight hours without any hydration. It will teach them character, by God. Sometimes I just leave without the bottles and then buy bottled water on the road. And when I bring half a Dasani bottle back home, I get the look of shame, because I have contributed to world pollution. It was worth it. It was worth not waiting in the car for three extra minutes, and I stand by that.

By the way, if you are a lousy parent like me, you will find that, through the wonders of heat and air conditioning, children never want to go outside anymore. There are three days over the course of the year where the temperature outside is tolerable for my kids. The rest of the time, it’s either too hot or too cold out. I have created climate-sensitive organisms who cannot last more than 10 minutes at any playground that stands in exposed sunlight. I’m not doing a good job. IN MY DAY YOU PLAYED IN THE DIRT WHEN IT WAS 100 OUT AND YOU DIED AND YOU LIKED IT.



Can a new father think that his newborn baby is ugly?

Oh, sure. Newborn babies ARE ugly. They’re discolored, and their heads are disfigured from exiting the birth canal (the head miraculously assumes its normal shape a few days after the birth), and they’re covered in dried blood and vernix. They can’t smile or even open their eyes. It takes a few days for the Adorable Gene to kick in. And even then, the baby might still seem like a wild animal someone left on your doorstep. Like I said before, it takes time to get to know a new kid and bond with it, same as with any other person you meet. The Hollywood thing where you pick up the baby and it’s instant love isn’t always accurate. Of course you love the kid, but it takes a while to figure out exactly why you love it. Before that happens, you are mostly bewildered by the goddamn thing. Why is it throwing up all the time? Is this poop a normal color? What is that gurgling sound it’s making? Is it gonna spit acid on us? All perfectly normal reactions.



What would it take for Jimmy Garoppolo, in the first four games, to permanently replace Tom Brady as starting QB (beyond career-ending injury) a la Brady-Bledsoe? I feel like he could play his dick off in those first four games, and fans still won’t settle for anything less than having Brady under center for the Indy game.

I don’t think there’s any circumstance where he could unseat Brady, even if he threw for 600 yards and six TDs every game. If that happened, Tommy from Quinzee would call into WEEI every five minutes to demand a trade. WE COULD GET FIVE FIRST ROUNDAHHHHHS FAR BRADY RIGHT NOW DO THE RIGHT THING BAWBBBY KRAFT!


But I still don’t think Janeane Garafolo would start the fifth game. It’s Tom Brady. You can’t bench a healthy Tom Brady. Unless the Pats know he’s lied about even more stuff than deflated footballs! I say we bench him for ETHICS …


QUESTIONABLE: QB Tom Brady (ethics)

Email of the week!


So, while dropping some dumpage at work a second ago, the guy in the stall next to me, while still sitting down, starting puking onto the floor. My first thought was to look and see if he had turned and was puking in the bowl, but nope! Still saw his feet in the “I am currently a pooping person” position. Then, he puked again. Then, as I flushed, another guy who was at a urinal said, “Can I help you out with anything?” Shitbarf Guy said, “No, no.” Am I a huge dick for not showing concern, and for immediately just thinking, “I’ve got to tell my brother I was in contact with a Shitbarf Guy, because that shit is like seeing a unicorn”?


I think it’s okay to be horrified by a man openly barfing on the bathroom floor. That guy asking the Shitbarfer if he needed assistance went above and beyond the call of duty there. That’s a solid fellow. More than I would have done.

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 Jim Cooke.

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