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Foods That Taste Good But Aren’t Shitty For You: A Matrix

Illustration for article titled Foods That Taste Good But Aren’t Shitty For You: A Matrix
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering voodoo, Papa John, handcuffing, and more.

Your letters:


What food has the best taste-to-nutritional value ratio?

Guinness! Guinness is good for you! It even says so in the ads. It's not healthy the way I drink it, but still.


Seriously, though, I assume you're talking about legitimate health foods and not awesome foods like steak and dark chocolate that are supposedly healthy only when consumed in moderation. If we're talking about truly healthy foods, here is my list:

  • Roasted vegetables. But they have to be crazy roasted, the kind where you spend five hours chopping up mushrooms and onions and peppers, only to end up with half a cup of cooked food. If I had a billion dollars, I would hire a cook to roast up some vegetables with olive oil and a ton of salt every day and leave that out for snacking. No way I'm making that for myself.
  • Oysters. High in vitamins! And you'll fuck like a lion!
  • Berries. You have a 10 percent chance of getting really good, sweet ones, as opposed to boring ones. I chase the berry dragon all year long.
  • Most other fruit except for old melon.
  • Almonds. Again, not healthy the way I eat them. Every morning, I eat a bowl of almond butter for breakfast. This is true. I take some almond butter, I mix in some honey and sea salt, and I eat it straight. This makes me a freak and a loon, but I swear it tastes pretty good! Better than unsalted nuts. Unsalted nuts are basically tree parts.
  • Avocados. Although, have you seen the nutritional facts on an avocado? Holy goddamn.
  • Salmon. Apparently, smoking salmon introduces all kinds of carcinogens into it, and Deadspin's own Tim Marchman says farm-raised salmon has lots of poop, but fuck all that noise. I'm still digging in. OMEGAS MAN IT HAS OMEGAS
  • Sashimi. But with some soy sauce to dip it in. All of these foods need 40,000 mg of sodium to work. Anytime my wife leaves the house, I am giddy, because it means I can salt my food with impunity. ALL OF THE SALT.
  • Chicken. But you gotta season that shit well. Again, the way I eat chicken is not healthy: I take home a rotisserie chicken from the Giant and tear it apart with my bare hands. But there are normal people who can eat chicken in a pleasant and healthy manner.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Oatmeal.
  • White beans.
  • Some, like, soups.
  • Hummus and salsa. Both compromised by the dipping mechanism. I have dipped carrots into hummus and tried to convince myself it's as good as dipping a cracker, but I know that's a horrible lie.

That's on the good-and-good-for-you axis: the kind of foods that foodie mags will tell you taste way better than junk food, even though that is a lie. Shockingly, many of these foods are too expensive for people to eat on a regular basis, because BIG ORGANIC FOOD wants all the poor people to die off from diabetes so that the rich can huddle together and share all the Bluepoint oysters.

The good-but-bad-for-you axis is probably the most loaded category of food, with fries and ice cream and lobster (high in cholesterol) and sandwiches and bread & butter and pasta and candy and whatnot. It's not fair. God should take three of those foods and move them over a quadrant. Why can't I have sausage, milkshakes, and nachos be okay? Is that too much to ask? I'd never complain again. And then you've got the foods that are good for you but also taste like shit, such as rice cakes and tilapia and beets (fucking beets) and water chestnuts and brown rice, which white people swear is better than white rice and never is.


And then … then we have the special quadrant of shit that is bad for you and also tastes bad, and that quadrant is MAYONNAISE. It stands alone.


What's the strangest place you've ever fallen asleep while sober? Last night my girlfriend fell asleep halfway through a Mastodon concert.


How do you fall asleep during a Mastodon concert without being drunk? That's officially a symptom of a greater illness. Anyway, I feel asleep once on the floor of a hospital prior to back surgery. There was no good place for me to sit without being in severe pain, so I lay down on the floor. Then a bunch of trustees walked by my sleeping husk, and I was immediately roused and rushed into a holding room. Apparently, having patients sleep on the floor is not a good look at a hospital. Try it next time you need urgent care.

I am a poor sleeper, which means that I rarely sleep in most standard non-bed locations: airplanes, airport floors, trains, cars, buses, campsites, etc. My sleep game is poor. I knew a girl who could sleep standing up against a wall. That's strong sleeping game. I would pay good money for that kinda sleeping power. The only odd power nap I ever got in was on the main lawn at the Naval Academy. After I got up, there was a depression in the lawn in the shape of my body. My wife told me people stared. I got sunburn. That was a powerful display of sleep strength. I also took a nap at Dachau once, which is more a completely inappropriate place to sleep than a strange place to sleep.



Inexplicably, you make money simply by counting it. It's not yours 'til you've actually counted it, by hand, one bill at a time. No fancy stuff. This is your only income source. And it's all ones. How much money do you make per year? Buying a hamburger is a cake walk; buying a car takes hours of painfully repetitive work. Do you throw yourself into counting ones all day long and make bank or get so tired of counting money that you stop paying your rent?


Do you have to start over again if you lose track? Or can I use one of those clickers that ushers use to count the number of people who have gone into the building? I would probably invest in one of those.

Anyway, if you set aside just one eight-hour "work day" per week to count out your bills, you could earn $28,800 if you counted one bill per second. That's nearly $1.5 million a year, which would be more than enough to pay for the finer things in life. So that's what I would do. I would set up some designated counting hours and stick to them, then use the rest of my free time to fly around and eat roast beef sandwiches in various world hotspots.


I say all this knowing full well that counting is a horrible pastime. When I play hide and seek with my kids, sometimes they ask me to count to 50, and I can't do it, because it's so awful. I count to 20, then I check my phone, and then after a while I scream out FIFTY. I'm not doing all that counting. One time, my kid demanded that I count to 100. She may as well have waterboarded me. No, thank you. But if it means $1.5 million for one day's work every week (We call this the Bill Simmons Contract), I'll suck it up and get to it. Any punishing activity—counting, work, exercise, talking to other parents at school—can be made tolerable if you set a schedule and do your best to stick to it.


In high school, I worked the front counter at Chick-fil-A. I mostly enjoyed the job (save closing, which sucked), and I believe I benefitted positively from the experience, except for the fact that I now absolutely despise children. They make a mess, they piss in the play place, and are an all-around nuisance. Am I going to Hell for this, or is this hatred warranted?


Oh, it's warranted. I feel bad for every restaurant worker I've ever foisted my children upon. Children make a mess everywhere they go, but here are the people (besides parents) who suffer the most for their indifference to general cleanliness:

  • Grocery store workers. Kids will rip down carefully constructed pyramids of pudding mix and throw candy in the kiddie cart and then leave that cart in aisle six and print out a thousand numbers at the deli. It's horrible. I especially feel bad when the kid breaks something, and a worker guy says he'll clean it up on my child's behalf. It ain't right. I should have my kid get down and lick that milk-spill clean, but I never go through with it.
  • Airplane cleanup crews. This is the sole reason your flight was delayed 10 minutes when the plane was already at the gate: Some poor bastard had to vacuum up all the crumbs in seat 28Q before you got to board. The amazing thing about children isn't that they make a mess, it's that they can make it so quickly. I could spend an hour trying to make a mess, and my two-year-old could make a bigger disaster scene with one swipe of his hand.
  • Waiters and busboys and fast-food workers. One spilled drink per meal. Plates are barely used.
  • Car-wash people.
  • Teachers.
  • Movie-theater ushers.
  • Librarians.
  • Those horrible pottery places where you pay $20 to have your kid paint a clay bus all one stupid color.

I'm sorry to all those people. Constantly.


Why do QBs quiet the crowd down when the offense is on the field? Wouldn't a QB and the offense be used to it from playing away games? Or wouldn't they want the crowd to be noisy so that they can prep for playoff crowds that never let up? Take Peyton, for example. He blamed the scoreboard operator for riling up the home crowd during the Broncos game against the Chargers while he was on the field. Like, are you kidding, guy? He's supposed to be the best regular-season QB of all time, and he can't take a little noise from his home fans? Is that why he shits the bed every time he's in the playoffs, because the fans are too loud? Gimme a break, right?


There was a reader in the Broncos season preview who complained about this, and he's right! Why must Peyton be spoiled by his home crowd when the road teams aren't gonna extend him the same courtesy? LEARN TO THRIVE UNDER ADVERSITY, YOUNG MAN. This isn't fucking golf. You are not entitled to silence. Don't expect drunk fans to listen to every arm flap, you dick. You know what? I hate Peyton all over again now. I'm angry just thinking about it. I'm gonna go poop in his salad.


What is the ideal birthday? A summer birthday sounds good, but being young for your grade sucks. I also wouldn't want a birthday too close to Christmas.


You need it in the warm-weather months, because having a party outside is both fun and cheap. I'm seeing this strictly from a parenting standpoint, because a winter birthday party means you gotta pay some gym or movie theater to house a group of bratty kids, which is expensive and shitty. I say any birthday in September is probably the way to go. It's still warm. There are no competing holidays. Everyone is back in school, so they're around to celebrate. And no one has birthday-party fatigue yet, like in March. Birthday fatigue is real and usually sets in by the end of January.




My work has your standard liquid-soap dispenser above the sink. I've noticed during my many shits that the overwhelming majority of people here rub the liquid soap into their dry hands before rinsing with water. It's water first, then soap, right? Dry-soaping has to be one of those serial killer traits like peeing the bed or being left-handed or playing running back at SMU.


I do it dry sometimes. If I rinse and then soap and then lather and then rinse again, that's a whole other half a second. I've got more important things to do with my day! But Alex is right. You should rinse first and then rub the soap in. Otherwise, the soap just slides right off of your palm and you're not actually washing your hands.

Again, I would like to know the true percentage of soap dispensers in American that are operational. It's well under 30 percent.



Roger Goodell rules that the Broncos must sign Papa John and play him in at least one series a game. Offense or defense. No punts or special teams unless he's returning kicks.

You are John Fox. Where do you put Papa John?

I would personally put him at QB to inflict maximum damage upon his person. But if we're talking about from a strategic perspective, I think you have to put him in at wideout or fullback. At fullback, he can cut block incoming blitzers (not effectively, but at least he's in the way), or just run into the line of scrimmage like a moron while a useful player carries the ball. You can't put him on the line because he'll get the QB killed. You can't put him on the defense because the offense will find him and direct the full brunt of its blocking and receiving arsenal his way. (God, that would be fun to watch.) You either make him the fullback, or you put him at wideout and resign yourself to half the field being out of play. Papa John can stalk block. I'll make a stalk blocker out of him.


I just graduated college in May, and for my graduation present, my dad gave me a Rolex. Now, this sounds insane, but this was the watch that his father gave to him when he graduated college way back when, so it's got a lot of sentimental value in addition to being a nice-ass watch.

I just started a new job, and I'm wearing it to work every day because I don't want to just have the thing sit around and collect dust, but I'm wondering if it makes me look like an asshole. I don't brag about it or even talk about it for that matter, and by my own estimation I'm not an arrogant douchebag, but I still have to think somebody thinks I'm a pretentious little shit just for owning something this nice.


"So he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then, when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years." Anyway, I don't think it's a mark against you to wear an attractive, classy-ass watch to work every day. I assume there are a handful of modest Rolexes that sell for under … HOLY FUCK LOOK AT THOSE PRICES. Four figures for a watch! Goddamn! And some of them don't even have diamonds or anything! I'd have to sew it to my arm to make sure I didn't lose it. Don't wear that thing to work. Someone will club you to death and take it. And that someone is me. GIVE ME YOUR WATCH. I have car payments to make.


Assuming technology keeps improving at the same rate as today, what current technology do you think will still be around in pretty much the same form in 10,000 years? The only thing I can think of is nail clippers.


What about the fork? Forks are pretty useful. Chopsticks are more than 3,000 years old. Hard to improve on chopsticks, even if half your co-workers still have no idea how to use them. Ten thousand years from now, we'll all be dead from The Great Correction, but on the small chance we've survived, forks and chopsticks will still be around. And pockets. Pockets are still crazy useful. Your mind-computer isn't gonna carry around that ketchup packet for you.


I was on a plane yesterday, and the woman next to me started eating a whole pickled tomato like it was an apple. Aren't whole pickled vegetables on the list of most unacceptable foods to eat in closed quarters? Hard-boiled eggs and anything tuna related should be treated like contraband at security.


How did she eat it without making a mess? Did she hold a napkin under her chin? If I a cut a tomato ONCE on the counter, it bleeds like a murder victim. This woman is not of sound mind. I would alert your nearby undercover air marshal.

No one should eat a tomato like this. They are not meant for eating whole, even if you're standing over a sink (like with a peach). Same with peeled oranges (unless they're crazy stubborn and the segments don't rip away), whole onions, and peppers, like Chairman Kaga:

Cut your tomatoes, man. Don't be an animal.


If you have one arm and you are arrested, how are you restrained/cuffed?

A simple Google search says you either cuff the guys existing hand to his belt, or to his ankle, which seems cruel and unusual, especially if it's a riot cop arresting you and using those garbage-can-twist-tie handcuffs. Those things package you up like a Discman. It looks really unpleasant. If I were the cop, I'd let the guy go. "Hey, I don't have another hand to cuff! Guess you get away with one this time, Mr. Frederick Sykes! [Captures Dr. Richard Kimble instead, hauls him back to jail.]"



Is it ever acceptable for two people to sit on the same side with each other in a booth or similar table setting? I witnessed this recently and think it is absolutely stupid.


Maybe a parent and child? A booth is useful because you can trap the kid inside the banquette by sitting on the outside, giving them a miniature playground to play around in. They stand up and peer over at other booths. They hide under the table. They throw forks. But they remain CONTAINED. That's about the only reason to sit side-by-side in a booth.

Booths are overrated anyway. They look so cozy and inviting— Ooh look! A booth is open, honey!—and then you sit down in one and your ass sinks down an extra eight inches. It's like volunteering to eat inside an airplane. I want sovereignty over my own chair. I don't want permission to get up and go potty like I'm Row HH at Yankee Stadium. I need dining FREEDOM.


FYI, I'm running this next letter as the email of the week a bit early before carrying on …


Let's say you found a dildo that was a voodoo doll for your penis. Do you suck it? If so, on the first night, or does it take some time to convince yourself it's OK?


I think I would be able to hold out until, oh, the first night. If no one's around to see, I'm definitely giving that dildo a test lick. What if you put the dildo inside your own butt? You're literally fucking yourself! I think I would test it out on soft fruits and bags of goose down before I put it inside myself. Don't wanna take this too fast. I'm not that kind of boy. I'm not just gonna fuck myself on the first date, okay?

My enthusiasm for blowing myself would quickly be tempered with my fear of having anything bad happen to the voodoo penis. What if I drop it into the paper shredder by accident? What if my wife finds it, throws it away, and it gets incinerated at the dump? WHAT IF A SPIDER LAYS EGGS ON IT. You know what I would do? I would get a safe-deposit box and put the voodoo penis inside it (not in a gratifying way, alas). Then, twice a year, I would schedule a day to take it out of the box, drive it home, and abuse the shit out of it. And then I would put it back. You gotta handle those powers responsibly.



What single superpower would kill you the quickest? One morning, you wake up and find you have some superpower, but no others. Given that you're not Superman, unless your superpower is immortality, you can still die. I'm going with flying, because once you figure it out, you're going to fly into a bird or something and get obliterated. Super-speed might do it as well.


Apart from having a voodoo penis doll? Yeah, speed is no good. You would just run into a car and be dead within five seconds. What a waste. At least with flying, I would have a few extra minutes to enjoy myself before getting trapped in the helicopter blades.

Also, I think Cyclops powers would be bad. If you can blow up something from five feet away using your blow-shit-up vision, you're gonna get a piece of shrapnel in your heart. Or you would blow up your kid by accident. These powers are nothing without proper training, dammit. I'm already mad at myself for getting superpowers and hurting myself with them.



Let's say the ATP rankings continued past the top 100 and ranked every man, woman and child on Earth based on how good they are at tennis. All seven billion or so. Where do you think you would rank?


I took tennis lessons when I was a kid! Surely that gives me a leg up over the world's elderly, infantile, and disabled personnel. I can beat everyone in my immediate family: my wife, my kids … PURE OWNAGE. I think I'm in the 50th percentile. I can't do any topspin or anything, but I will kick the shit out of a Tasmanian schoolchild. Think about babies. Nothing but double faults. Those babies are toast.


I go to school in a pretty dangerous city, and on occasion I venture out to the streets to go to the local BIG COFFEE shop. Long ago I decided that if somebody ever tried to mug me on my walk back, I would quickly flip the lid off and throw a cup full of hot coffee in my would-be attacker's face and flee. Is this a solid strategy, or would it guarantee my death?


Do not do that. If you burn the guy's face off, he can probably sue you for punitive damages, and then you gotta hire a lawyer and it's a whole thing. You'll spend thousands of dollars and end up bitter and angry that you had to pay all that when the mugger was the one who mugged you. Then you would plot to kill the mugger, get caught, and be hauled off to jail. Don't you see? The cycle of coffee-related violence in this country has no end.


Watermelon is the most awkward fruit to cut, right? In the sense that first you're dealing with a big hard sphere that you need to stab with a big knife, then there is pink and sticky watermelon juice all over (and under) the cutting board; lastly, you need to filet the fruit from the inch-thick rind. Pineapple is an honorable mention.


Try a mango. Every time I cut a mango, I thank God if all my fingers are left intact at the end of it. It's an impossible fruit. It's slippery as hell, and the skin doesn't always come off clean, and the put is the size of a fucking football. Goddamn mango. You're lucky you taste good.

But yeah, watermelon is also terrible. My wife swears by a melon baller, but that feels like I'm trying to tunnel out of prison. I take a big knife, cut the melon in half, cut a crosshatch pattern in the red part, and then scoop it out with a spoon. That's about as painless as I can make the ordeal. Cutting fruit is horseshit.


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.

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