Before I begin, a bit of news: This is the LAST Funbag at VICE. My contract is up and that’s that. Will this be the last time you EVER read this column? Of course not. I’ve beaten this fucking thing into the ground for over a decade. No point in stopping now. Once I sort out the Funbag’s next destination, I’ll blurt it out over on my Twitter feed. For now, open up a bag of pork rinds and enjoy this final (for now) round of disturbing questions.
If last year’s Little League World Series champions faced a team made up of elite sumo wrestlers in a baseball game, who would win?
The kids. Do you know how good those kids are? It’s fucking VILE how good they are at baseball. I can’t watch the Little League World Series because I hate those kids so much. Little Timmy, the coach’s son, knocking the ball 400 feet out of the park? Revolting. When I was Timmy’s age it was a miracle if I could jerk off properly. I resent advanced children deeply.
I digress. The kids are baseball prodigies. Chances are, they’d beat the shit out of an adult rec league team. That includes your hypothetical squad of sumo wrestling champs. I’m well aware that sumo wrestlers are legit athletes. If you still think they’re just fat guys rolling around in diapers, you also probably just waved your AR-15 around at a bunch of protesters in St. Louis. These guys are basically NFL offensive linemen, only with quicker feet. But they’re not trained for baseball. Some of them might be naturally good at it, and others might be as crazy for baseball as a lot of other Japanese sports fans are. But if the sumo batting order has five or six neophytes in it, they’re getting fucking smoked.
And which one of the wrestlers is gonna pitch? Does Akiseyama have stuff? You need someone with stuff to beat these little shits. Frankly, I’d rather watch the baseball kids try to sumo wrestle the legends rather than the other way around. Little Timmy just getting fucking BURIED in the dohyo. That’d be my shit.
What’s the biggest Dad Move? I feel like leaving a sporting event or concert early to beat traffic has to be number one. My dad even left a Stanley Cup final game early once to get a head start.
It’s not rubbing sunscreen all the way in. I used to laugh at my old man constantly because he would show up to the beach with a big white handprint plastered across his chest. One time he got a sunburn and the shape of that hand was the only part of his skin left intact. Now I’m a dad and I do the same shit. It was destiny. The doctor said use only zinc sunscreen if you don’t wanna get skin cancer. Well, zinc sunscreen stays on you like oil paint. All summer long, the crevices in my skin have little zinc curdles nesting inside of them. Sunblock gets into my dad stubble and doesn’t come out until I shave it off. When I go to the beach, I look like a poltergeist because it’s all over my face.
I’ve stopped caring. I could rub that shit in for an hour and it would still be visible, so I just let it sit on me. The wife and kids laugh at me, but they do that all the time anyway. For every reason. The biggest dad move is leaning into the fact that you are now a punchline.
Is it ethical to keep reading Deadspin?
Sure. I never read Deadspin anymore. That’s not a boast or anything. When I heard it was relaunching, I knew it would suck (it did) and I decided there was no point in reading it just to get all worked up over what the owners of the site did to it. It just would’ve been a waste of my time. I’ve seen screengrabs of shitty headlines and paragraphs from it here and there, but I haven’t gone over to Deadspin and read a new post there since I left. Honestly, it’s an easy habit to keep. I haven’t lost sleep over quitting the site cold turkey, and I don’t think many other people have either. As far as I’m concerned, Deadspin no longer exists.
But I’ll still link to old shit I’ve written there, or shit my old colleagues wrote there that has proven relevant lately. Those posts still mean a lot to me and I’m not gonna avoid them just out of spite, or because my click might earn Great Hill Partners a whopping half a penny in extra revenue. I’m not tacitly approving New Coke Deadspin when I revisit the classic model. And even if you DO read the new shit, I’m not gonna hassle you. It’s not unethical to read it. It’s not FUN, but to each their own. If I had to guess (and this really is a guess … I’ve also made a point of avoiding inside intel about the site since it relaunched; and yes I know you think that’s a lie), I don’t think Deadspin will be around much longer in any form. The owners hated the site. They wanted it dead. They killed it. Now the pieces of shit in charge over there are just floating its corpse downriver for a bit so they can say “Well we tried!” before shuttering it. That way, they can blame the site’s ruin on anyone but themselves.
So if you wanna click over and watch a dead cat fail to bounce, go for it. I sure as shit won’t hold it against you. Your brain might, though.
Why is legal weed so expensive?
I don’t think it’s expensive. I’m doing fine in the money department so I’m biased, but what I spend on weed isn’t anywhere CLOSE to what I used to routinely spend on alcohol. I got my weed card earlier this year and went to the dispensary to buy four cartridges. The half-gram carts cost roughly $50. The one-gram carts, $100. These carts last for-fucking-EVER. I bought my last round of carts a year ago and I’m STILL not finished with them. And it’s not like I go out of my way to ration that shit out. I vape my fair share. My ledger is still black as midnight. $100 is a lot of money, but not when you consider how far it stretches. Being green and sober might prove even better for my wallet than it has for my health.
That calculus obviously changes if you smoke weed from dawn to dawn every day, as I think MILLIONS of Americans have been compelled to do while the country asphyxiates. If you’re out of a job and need a constant intake of THC to get by, suddenly that $100 makes you wince. And if you don’t vape, flowers probably cost even more than that (once I realized that carts gave you the same effects without the hassle, and lasted forever, I never looked back). But think how much other vices cost. I’ve used to routinely pay $100+ on a trip to the liquor store. I’ve probably paid $100 to settle my own bar tab at the end of a single night. Everything in this country is still a goddamn ripoff. Once weed is legal everywhere, the suits taking over that industry will find a way to make weed a horrendous ripoff as well. But for now, I still deem it a fair and EXTREMELY necessary price.
One more thing: The weed I bought with my new card was staggeringly good. I was aghast. I felt like I had just smoked a bottle of Pappy. The best shit I’ve ever had, by a mile. Must be the cocaine they mix in.
I'm in my mid-30s, have a wife and a kid, and I don't pay for cable TV because my retired parents let me use their password to access different networks' apps so we can watch sports and Chopped et cetera. My question is: Ethically, should I offer to pay part of my parents' cable bill, and how much seems right? If it helps, we could afford cable with little issue, and my parents would likely pay for cable regardless of whether I used their passwords.
Then fuck it, keep stealing your folks’ cable. I’d tell you it’s more ethical to pay your own way, especially since you can afford it IN THESE TROUBLED TIMES, but that money would just go to fucking Comcast if you did. I’d also tell you to be your own man, but even men who are their own men like a bargain here and there. Take the money you’d pay for cable and donate it to, like, a food pantry every month instead.
The only thing I’d warn you about is that your parents may not wanna know your viewing preferences, and vice versa. One day your mom might open up the DVR and see that BARELY LEGAL FUCK FLIGHT 6 is in the queue, with only 8% of it watched.
What is the obligation for telling someone their fly is open, especially in a work setting? I typically don't tell the person. It just seems more awkward to call it to a person's attention, especially if we're not friends. At the same time, I realize I'm putting them at risk for an even more embarrassing encounter.
Thank you for that question about open flies … Peter.
I’ll tell another guy his fly is open but I’m discreet about it. I wouldn’t scream it out loud to him in front of a kindergarten class or anything. But if I can save a guy by giving him a PSST and then just mouthing the words, I will. I may even quickly point down to my dick to expedite the lip-reading process. I’ve had guys do this for me, and I’ve never been mad at them over it. I’ve been mad at myself for leaving my fly open for my cock to come ambling through. But I’m always grateful to anyone willing to help a brother out to identify and fix the issue before that can happen.
I’m probably more likely to alert guys I know to an open fly, but I’d like to think I have the courtesy and the GUMPTION to help out a stranger with the same problem. If he’s angry because he thinks I’ve been staring at his crotch the whole time, that’s on him for still living in 1988.
When will it be uncommon to hear “Trump” in a normal conversation or through the day? Will my kids have to be indoctrinated in the daily crazy? When the fuck will it END?!
I have no idea. I want this to end, too. I’ve wanted it to end for years now. Every day I wake up to eat breakfast and I check my phone, hoping I’ll see a text from someone telling Trump stroked out while taking a dump. No such luck yet. I thought, at the beginning of the year, we might get out of this shit alive. Now 127,000 people and counting are dead, so I got that wrong. I keep waiting for an end to this hell and it never comes, so I’ve more or less accepted that things will be batshit insane from here on out, no matter who’s in charge.
I know people are still going STOP NORMALIZING TRUMP! on Twitter and what not, but honestly: how am I supposed to keep my shit together WITHOUT accepting that all of this is now a matter of routine? Trump is a fucking fascist. Republicans are scum. The police are Nazis. Americans are too selfish to wear a fucking mask to help stop mass death and unemployment. I should be eating my own feces right now in a fit of permanent mania. But I haven’t, because going insane at all this abnormality isn’t gonna change anything. Quite the contrary. If I keep my shit together through this instead, then I can maybe do some good AND salvage some semblance of happiness. You can only control the normal around you, and that’s that.
I was eating an orange Tic Tac the other day (yes, I am 41 and sometimes still eat like a 12-year old) and it dawned on me that I don't think I have ever actually sucked on a Tic Tac like you are supposed to and I never take them one at a time. I just plop however many fall into my hand when I tip the little box over, pop them in and start chomping. So I started thinking, what is the list of the hardest things that you are supposed to suck on until completion that never make it to the end. I have tit-tacs number 1, but no one ever finishes a Life Saver or a Jolly Rancher or a Christmas candy cane. Blow Pops forget it: you are just looking for the star on the wrapper on that one anyway. Anyway, what is your list of the most impossible sucking foods to actually suck?
I’ve finished a Jolly Rancher without taking a bite. I learned my lesson with Jolly Ranchers a long time ago. Normally, you get Suck Fatigue with a hard candy and eventually give in to chomping down. This is especially gratifying with a Blow Pop, because the lollipop shards get embedded in the gum and turn to little crystals. But when I bit down into a Jolly Rancher for the first time, I discovered that it was a FAR less gratifying experience. Your teeth fuse together and then the paramedics have to fetch the jaws of life to pry them open again. Jolly Ranchers make you pay for your hubris. They cannot break apart.
Anyway, you asked me which hard foods are the most impossible to suck, but you don’t mean it literally. Otherwise, I’d just say jawbreakers and move on. What you’re asking is which hard foods are impossible to resist biting into, and my answer to that… is NERDS. I give in to Nerds real, real quick. The irony is that, like Tic Tacs, it wouldn’t take very long to melt a Nerd with your saliva. But I don’t want to wait that long. The satisfaction is in loosening up a handful of Nerds by sucking the color off of them, and then crunching down. It’s like eating sand! And who doesn’t love to eat sand?
I’ve been on a Chopped binge lately on Hulu. As a former Chopped champion, can you rank the biggest mistakes made in the Chopped competition (forgetting ingredients, uncooked rice, blood in food, not enough salt, etc.)?
I won Chopped in part because my opponents undercooked their rice, which is weird because rice really doesn’t take that long to cook. It takes 10-20 minutes (except for wild rice, which takes 75 years to cook), and yet Chopped contestants still manage to fuck it up! Maybe the rice they supply to the Chopped kitchen is trick rice. Some ultra long grain shit that absorbs water about as quickly as a piece of glass. Or maybe contestants just forget to start cooking it early enough. It’s probably that. You’re given fully preheated ovens and already-boiling water to start every round, and yet.
So let’s go through some of the other, most common death blows to a Chopped dish:
- Failure to include a basket ingredient. The obvious frontrunner. They chop people based on hard scores, so missing a basket ingredient puts cooks so far in the hole that they rarely get out.
- Super underdone meat. Every episode includes a judge going, “I love what you did with the flavors, and the fact that you made this sauce in just 30 minutes is a real testament to you and your dead mother… BUT [cut to a beauty shot of an ostrich breast that still has a punctured artery hanging out of it]… you didn’t cook this long enough.”
- Al dente rice.
- Use of truffle oil. They put that shit in the pantry specifically so that some idiot will use it and play themselves right out of the studio.
- One judge’s plate isn’t like the others. You gotta make four plates of the same dish every round. Three go to the judges. One is taken to the side for camerawork. The best looking plate gets the camera, which means that if you fucked up one of the plates, a judge is gonna have to eat it. And if that one judge didn’t get béarnaise sauce but everyone else did? You’re fucked.
- You cut your hand and didn’t put a bandage on it. They’ll eat your dish if you took pains to stanch the blood flow. A woman I competed against cut herself but put on gloves after that, and the judges had no problem with it. It’s when Brayden the punk chef lops off the top of his pinky and keeps going without first aid that there’s a big problem.
- Too much raw red onion. Of course.
- Mislabeled food. YOU CALL THIS AN AUTHENTIC STREET TACO?!
- Your dessert was too sweet. It clearly needed more smoked salmon.
- Underdressed salads. Every first round on that show includes a chef tossing all the basket ingredients into a fucking terrible salad. That’s lazy enough, but then they forget to dress the thing. Please dress the shit out of your salad, regardless of venue.
I’ve been trying to limit my phone usage, the screen time feature showed me I was on my phone for a little over 4 hours a days, I’m aiming for something closer to two hours while limiting the amount of pickups as well (I don’t have social media and have all notifications turned off). What do you think is the average screen time for the average social media millennial?
Do you really mean millennials? Because they’re old now. If you mean Gen Z, the answer is probably 10 hours a day. I see my daughter about three times a day, for five minutes. The rest of her day? TikTok. My wife and I get exasperated with this sometimes, but we’re the ones who let her buy the goddamn phone, so we have no one to blame but ourselves. Also, I myself stare at screens for the bulk of my day, too. I can say this is for work, but I’m eye-fucking my phone even on weekends. I didn’t even bother turning on the Screen Time counter on my phone because I don’t wanna know the stats. I’d rather fucking weigh myself.
I can do the old man thing and bemoan this state of affairs, and then do the yuppie thing where I consciously limit my phone time. But I’d rather dick around on Twitter instead. My biggest phone breaks these days come when I play golf on the PlayStation. That counts as screen free time for me. I have some regrets about this, but not enough to change my ways.
Everyone is on their phones all the time. That’s just how it is. If you want a really out-there take, here’s one: Being online is a skill best developed while you’re young, the same as learning foreign languages or playing musical instruments. My kids are much much better at being online than I am. Part of the reason the world is a mess right now is because it’s run by people who didn’t grow up with the Internet and are therefore HORRIBLE at being online. All of those people, myself included, need to die off so that generations weaned digitally can take control of everything. They’re the ones hardwired for this shit from early on. Us boomer types want all the money from the Internet while simultaneously bitching about its very existence. More screen time is probably gonna be NECESSARY in order for these kids to rightly overthrow us.
Does Trump know what a shuttlecock is?
While puttering around the house last weekend, my significant other was singing the chorus of Bob Marley's "Trench Town Rock" ("So hit me with music…"). This sparked a debate over which musical instrument would make the best weapon. I went with saxophone due to heft and maneuverability (it's basically a club), but he throws upright bass out as his choice based solely on it having a stabby part on the bottom. Granted, he's 6'3" and I'm 5'4", but this seems an unwise choice at any height. Is there a better option we've both overlooked?
I’ve seen so many people assaulted with guitars, mostly because I grew up watching pro wrestling. If you wanna do some real damage to a person, you go electric. Acoustic guitar attacks are just for show. A Stratocaster to the dome lets people know you mean business.
But hey, that’s a predictable answer. Let’s explore some other handy weaponized instruments.
The didgeridoo. Long and hard! You could use one as a kendo stick.
Bassoon. Same deal, only it has little buttons on it that could rupture skin. A nice bonus.
Drum sticks. Simple yet deadly. There’s an entire martial arts discipline to be created from wielding drum sticks. They’re like nunchuks, but UNCHAINED! No holding those bad boys back. I get you could royally fuck up someone with a pair of drum sticks.
Piano. Like, if you dropped it on someone.
Cello. A violin is too small to do real damage and your man’s upright bass is too cumbersome. A cello is just right. Plus is ALSO has the stabby thing on the end. Everybody wins, except for your victim.
Triangle. Very hard!
Banjo. Same as a guitar, but it’s got those little metal securing things all around the pot. Pound for pound a banjo might be the deadliest musical instrument in the world. Do not piss off Steve Martin while he’s playing one.
Email of the week!
The County Fair was in town last year so I took the family for our annual visit. We do the typical things: a few rides, walk through the animals exhibits, eat overpriced shitty food and people watch. But the games. Specifically the basketball shooting game. I know it’s rigged, but I have to play every year. I finally hit a shot last year and my wife and kids went crazy. I felt like THE MAN after that, but I’ll admit I was a little surprised how happy my wife was to carry a 4 ft oversized inflatable soccer ball prize around all day.
So how would you rank carnival games? I got:
1. Ring the Bell (can’t pass up a chance to wildly swing a sledgehammer)
2. Basketball Shot
3. Shoot the Star out of the Paper
4. Toss to knock Milk Bottles over
5. Shaky Ladder Climb
6. Stand up a Coke bottle with a fishing pole game
7. Ping pong toss to win a goldfish
8. Ring toss
30. Getting hit by Bus
31. Darts at balloons
Hey where’s the frog pond? The frog pond belongs in there somewhere. Not at the top, but in the middle. Love to launch those frogs into the sun.