This article originally appeared on VICE US.
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What's the most despised dish to hand wash? Tupperware has to up there, along with any mugs or cups that aren't dishwasher safe.
I’m gonna go ahead and strike baby bottles from consideration here, because many of you do NOT have kids, and you don’t need me griping endlessly about having to wash Dr. Brown’s bottles and about sports bottles and about all the other domestic booby traps that await you in the future. I’m only gonna rank grownup dishes here, for your sake and for mine.
- A fat separator. This thing. This fucking grease bong will haunt your dreams, especially when you could have just used a spoon to take the fat off the top of your gravy instead. The idea behind a fat separator is that you can pour out all the natural juicy goodness from the spout connected to the bottom while all the fat on top stays in place. Does it ever REALLY work out to those exact specifications? Fuck and no, it does not. Grease still gets everywhere: in the spout, on the counter, up the dog’s asshole, you name it. Cleaning the spout is impossible. And cleaning the rest of it is a futile task on par with cleaning …
- Tupperware. Carson is right. Washing Tupperware by hand is a nightmare. It’s never clean. Whatever you stored in that Tupperware will leave a film on its surface that will remain there long after mankind has perished from the fucking Earth. I can wash and dry the same piece of Tupperware five times in a row and still feel that film on my fingers. Makes me feel gross and also like a total failure. I’d much rather toss that shit in the dishwasher, even if it means releasing an extra 5,000,000,000cc of fresh carcinogens into the atmosphere. Treat yourself to some of the Pyrex storage containers if you have the means. They’re glass. Glass can be cleaned.
- A waffle iron. In a rare bit of truth in advertising, making homemade waffles really IS as easy as the back of the Hungry Jack box claims it to be. You add some eggs and oil to your pancake mix, pour it in a $30 iron from Bed Bath & Beyond, and PRESTO! Waffles. Easy. The cleaning part? Not so much. Take it from me: never ever ever make, like, blueberry waffles with one of these irons. You’ll be picking out charred berry scraps from it until the day you get sent to assisted living. Burnt sugar of any kind is a death sentence when chore o’clock hits.
- Non-nonstick pots. I know real chefs despise nonstick cookware, but I don’t own or run a restaurant, so I’m under no obligation to exclusively use pots that will end the night with a half-inch thick layer of cheese and rice welded to the bottom. Not a chance. Teflon is my closest ally.
- A foil pan. Every time I scrub out a foil pan, a little devil appears on my shoulder and whispers in my ear, "Just throw that shit away."
- A tea kettle. Fuck you, kettle. I’d rather boil some vinegar in the thing to get the job done.
- A strainer after you’ve drained boiling potatoes with it. You scrub and scrub and scrub and guess what? There are still potato flecks all over the thing. This is the dark side to potatoes that God never told you about.
- A really dirty sheet pan. The average sheet pan is longer than the average sink is wide. In some ways, this helps things because you can prop the cookie sheet up against one side of the sink and run the water over the grease. It’s like a waterfall of solidified brisket fat! So pretty! Still, one false move and suddenly the rest of your kitchen becomes the sink.
- Deep glasses/jars. My hands are too fat to reach the bottom. CURSE THESE BEAUTIFUL CHAMPAGNE FLUTES.
- Grill parts. These don’t really count since, in order to clean a grill grate, you need a bucket, some soap, a fire hose, a spare oil drum filled with carbonic acid, and a fistful of vegetable oil to keep the grate "seasoned"(my hot take: all cast iron seasoning is a lie). I don’t wash any of this in a sink. In fact, I don’t wash my grill at all. I just make a bigass charcoal fire and let the flames do the dirty work for me. Good job, fire!
Which is the proper way to reference the Memorial Day holiday/weekend? Is it, Memorial Day weekend, or Memorial Weekend? There’s a furniture store that runs ad spots on the radio and they always reference their sale as “The Memorial Weekend Sale.” It drives me nuts. I’ve always thought it should be the “Memorial Day Weekend.”
You are correct. I’ve never heard it called Memorial Weekend, not even by alt-right troophumpers like Gobby the Iowa trucker who go out of their way to remind you of the blood sacrifice our men and women—and by extension they—made for your freedom. It’s Memorial Day weekend. All the mattress sales tell me so.
Which would be faster? An average schmuck throwing the hardest fastball he can, or Aroldis Chapman but he has to throw two baseballs, one with each hand, and at the same time? Chapman can take the faster of the two, but he's gotta actually try to throw both not just do his regular motion and kinda toss with the other hand.
Chapman still crushes the average schmuck. Ever go to a carnival and test out a radar gun? Every dude—and by "every dude" I mean me—who steps to the rubber for that game thinks he’s gonna hit triple digits. Then the readout blinks 52 and that same dude (again, me) declares the gun broken and demands a refund. If you’re a grown man and you can hit 70, you’ve got a certifiably live arm.
No matter. Chapman’s fastest pitch clocked in at over 104. He can juggle faster than you can pitch. So if you forced him to throw righty at the exact same time, yeah it would fuck with his motion and what not. But he still has enough raw arm strength, particularly on his left, to get those balls smoking like they just re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. It’s a sobering realization. Depressing, really. Aroldis Chapman is a shitbag. Why can’t COOL people have all the bitchin’ throwing skills instead? Why does every farmboy bumper sticker enthusiast get those skills instead? It ain’t right.
My entire banana eating life, I have eaten them by peeling them from the top (where the stem is). Recently, I was informed that this was incorrect, and that the proper way to peel a banana is from the bottom. Apparently, this is how monkeys do it. This can't be true, right? Opening the banana from the bottom feels like the action of an insane person.
It is, indeed, true. I learned this little hack from a Funbag reader years and years ago and I still deploy it, especially when the ripeness of the banana is iffy. If you yank on the stem of a banana that isn’t quite all the way ripe yet, you know what happens. The peel doesn’t break open and you end up mushing the top of that nanner into a fine puree. That risk is eliminated when you just pinch the bottom. Watch this actual monkey peel it from the bottom using his teeth. Not only is that monkey efficient, he’s also ADORABLE. Be more like the monkey. In fact, HIRE the monkey to peel the bananas for you. It’s the path of least resistance.
Would you eventually go insane if you could never again use a blanket? Sure you could get some soft PJs and turn up the heat, but I don't think that would be enough. I know the animals do it. But I think eventually you would go straight up nuts if you couldn't avail yourself to a cozy a blankie. Am I correct?
So NO covers of any sort? Just you and a mattress? I think it would suck for a while and then you would get used to it. Ever nap without covers? That’s pretty easy, right? I think you could adapt to sleeping at night in a similar fashion. It would be horrible at first, but then your physiological need to fall asleep would eventually beat out you need to have a fluffy comforter draped over your body, and then it would only get easier on successive nights.
Relatively speaking, blankets are an obscene comfort, because comfort—at least in the modern, material sense—was something that mankind neither needed nor had until recently in its lifespan. (I remember the author Bill Bryson talking about this in his At Home book.) I am very much a creature of the 21st century. I need blankets and duvets and hoodies and recliners and fleecy robes to keep my body and mind happy. I have zero interest in going back to the days where people slept on cave floors and shit. Because I do have some experience with roughing it at night. I have slept in abandoned school buses. I have slept on the floor of an airport terminal. I have slept on the cold hard ground. I have slept on trains and in cars. I didn’t like ANY of it and I’ll never do it again if I don’t have to. But I did manage to fall asleep, if fitfully, those times. My ancestors were able to sleep without accessories and somewhere deep within me is the ability to do likewise. Does that mean I’m not as tough as they were? WHO GIVES A SHIT. All I know is I want my robe time.
So this past weekend, I was over at a buddy’s house for a day of Indy and NASCAR. About midway through the day, their Labrador retriever was ripping ass with death blow ferocity. Now - I'm partially to blame for this after fueling him up on guacamole and chips, little smokies and other shitty things a dog will eat. This dog cleared the whole GD room ... TWICE! But what I found amusing is I was looking at this furry bag of shit and I swear to God he was smiling like he knew exactly what he was doing. So, Drew—what do you think? Dogs know when they're crushing people up with farts? I say yes.
They know when they’re shitting somewhere they’re not supposed to. I have encountered spiteful dog turds in my home. Those shits were not shat by accident. Those shits were premeditated. So it stands to reason that a dog could also use its limited cunning to make your TV room into a giant Dutch oven. That’s what I WANT to believe. In reality, dogs are fucking stupid and probably just farting to fart. But I’d much rather construct an elaborate series of motives and thoughts behind a dog’s actions in order to deepen my relationship with it: a relationship that the dog may not even be aware is, like, a thing happening.
Also, don’t table feed a dog, especially if it’s not YOUR dog. I don’t table feed my dog because I don’t want him barking for food every time I sit to fucking eat. So when other people assume they have free rein to feed loose chicken scraps him, I wanna throw them into traffic. Those farts you smelled? That was the smell of KARMA, sir.
Is it just me or did Rage Against The Machine get totally boned by being 20 years too early? They wrote catchy, ANGRY songs about racism and the evils of unchecked capitalism. They practicality predicted the last 10 years beat-for-beat. But it seems like they will eternally be associated with dudebros that want to scream "Fuck you" in public.
Those same dudebros would have co-opted Rage Against The Machine in all the exact same ways if they had come onto the scene today. Take it from a white guy: there’s nothing you can create—no song, movie, book, or even meme—that we can’t rudely claim as our own, no matter when you created it. Also, like I said last week, virtually every form of rock has been put into cultural dry dock for the rest of eternity, so it’s unlikely that RATM would blow up at all in 2020. They could only have existed when they existed, and the best artists are the ones who put out their shit well before the rest of the world is ready for it. If that band came out now, they’d just be dismissed as some thirsty guys trying to take advantage of the dreaded cancel culture (that phrase was invented and used exclusively by assholes who have been cancelled) or some shit. Better to leave them where they were. Also, I don’t want to wait any longer for "Bulls on Parade" to be released than is necessary. I don’t like RATM all that much but that song remains a total fucking rampage.
When you hit it big and you can afford to fly private, do you, or do you pull an Al Gore and still fly commercial (or pretend to)?
Money gives you license to indulge your deepest hypocrisies, so hell yeah I’d spring for a private plane if I had a billion dollars. I’m a thoughtful guy but I’m not stupid. I crave ULTIMATE LUXURY. One time I saw pictures of the Seychelles resort where Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned and I was like THOSE LIMEY FUCKERS. How dare those two lovebirds get to bask in absolute paradise while I’m stuck in a warm and pleasant house with central air, efficient WiFi, and two cars in the driveway? It’s a CRIME, I tell you.
For all my corny liberalism, I still BEG to be filthy rich. I wanna fly in private planes. I want membership at every country club. I wanna stay in the biggest rooms of only the nicest hotels. I want to have whatever the nicest Mercedes is. I want a vacation house (mansion) in Mustique. None of my nascent Bernie Broism has curbed those appetites. I want a utopian world where everyone has access to healthcare and a living wage, and I also want be a fucking billionaire in that utopia. I would buy a plane from the Emirates fleet to call my own. The flat beds. The caviar service. All that shit. Very safe, but also very prickish.
I would not fly in helicopters, though. I’m not being flip about that. I lived through NASCAR legend Davey Allison dying in a helicopter crash, and now I’ve lived through Kobe Bryant and his kid and seven other people meeting a similar fate. I’ve ridden shotgun in a helicopter. It was fucking terrifying. In 2017, your odds of dying in a helicopter accident if you took a ride in one were a mere one in 500. Helicopter safety is a legitimate issue and, when all of the initial Kobe grief has been absorbed, I hope that the crash that killed him spurs SOME kind of action to make choppers safer or, in the interim, to figure out ways to dissuade or even outright prevent civilians from riding in them, no matter how practical they may be for a wealthy and eager father on the go. Kobe’s death, along with the deaths of his daughter, pilot, and co-passengers, was eminently preventable. That’s a big reason why it was so shitty.
According to my three minutes of internet research, there are three FBS football teams within a three-hour drive of New York City: Rutgers, Army, and UConn. None of those teams are very good. Since NYC is a large, underserved college football market, would there ever be a motivation for some really rich guy to establish a new college with the sole, unspoken intention of making a profit off of the football program? You buy 100 acres somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, hire a faculty, get the school accredited, then use discount tuition to get the enrollment where it needs to be for FBS (say...4,700, like Tulsa).
There’s no motivation to ever do that. If you’re ass rich, you can already buy off a current college football program and sort out ways to profit off your black market investment. That’s how much every Power Five school operates right now, especially the haughty ones like Notre Dame that like to pretend they’re above all that shit. Why try to make that happen in New York, where you’d have to compete with two NFL teams plus infinite other entertainment options? There’s a reason Rutgers has never amounted to fuck all, no matter how much money they pour into that godforsaken program. You’re not gonna have any better luck with, like, Fordham Two. Much better to set up shop in someplace like Tuscaloosa where college football is the only thing anyone cares about.
I lived in New York for six years and it is very much a college football wasteland. That city thinks of itself as too big and important to concern itself with such provincial sporting concerns. You can go to counterfeit "barbecue" places like Brother Jimmy’s to swill bad punch from mason jars and pretend you’re still a diehard Virginia Tech fan, or you can go to an apartment with a scattering of Big Ten alumni who labor under the continuing delusion that their conference plays interesting football. But, in general, New York doesn’t have the fans, the isolation, or the terroir to support some instant State U dreamed up by Carl Icahn. College football is big where it’s big for very specific reasons, and small where it’s small for equally specific reasons. Besides, there’s no place to tailgate in Manhattan.
Is there anything more infuriating than reheating some tasty leftovers, then discovering that they cook at vastly different rates? I made some damn good chicken, with greens and plantains yesterday and popped them in the microwave for lunch today for a couple of minutes. The greens and plantains were steaming hot -- too hot to put in my mouth -- but the chicken was cold. I had to put it back in for another minute or so to get the chicken to a safe temp, but this took the side dishes to fucking nuclear temps. I'm not gonna sit here and microwave all three separately and combine them into one plate. If I wanted to cook a whole damn meal again, I would have done so. Is there anything that can be done about this?
Are you at an office doing this? I’m at home all day, so I can deal with staggered microwave times by putting the longest cooking part of the meal on the plate first, then adding the other shit to it as needed while it’s nuking. But that’s a luxury you probably can’t afford if you’re at an office or somewhere else away from your own fridge. All I can offer you are a couple of ideas I’ve stumbled upon during the course of my long and productive microwaving career.
First off, don’t nuke everything on high. Use the REHEAT button if your microwave has one. Mine does not display a time countdown when I press it, which traps me inside a living purgatory wherein I must endure the strangely endless agony of watching food turn in a microwave while also not knowing precisely HOW long it’ll be stuck in there. But the lower the power setting, the more evenly the food will heat. Also, put a damp paper towel over the whole plate. That’ll act as a loose cover for the dish as it cooks, AND it’ll prevent the kind of explosive spattering that ends up painting the walls and ceiling inside the oven. Ever hear a piece of chicken explode while it’s microwaving? It’s not a comfort.
Top to bottom, which profession has bigger assholes, coaches or chefs?
Chefs. I’ve played football. I’ve worked in restaurants. Chefs are bigger assholes by a distressingly wide margin. I graded my chef bosses not by whether or not they were assholes, but whether or not they were LIKABLE assholes. That was best card I could draw from that lot.
I’m sure things have changed in the more visible corners of the hospitality industry since my days as a table runner. But rampant chef worship has only gotten worse since then, which means that somewhere, in some halfway decent gastropub no one is paying close attention to, there’s a raging prick who graduated from the Sorbonne tasing his own staff when they fail to garnish his celery root bisque properly.
I’m at an airport and they keep announcing that all terminals are “designated smoke free areas” and they make the same announcement on the planes. How much longer do we need to announce this? Does anyone actually think you can smoke on a plane? At some point this has to become a given.
It’s a given, yes. But they have to announce it by law, same as your doctor’s office’s automated menu telling you to hang up and call 911 if your kidneys are falling out of your body. It’s rote and forgettable at this point, but you’ve met smokers. If you give a smoker ANY opening to light up, they’ll seize on like they just found the Hope Diamond sitting in the gutter. Also, vaping is huge now and vapers are even more liable to bend the rules because, compared to cigarette smoke, a cloud of vape has far less odor and dissipates quickly. They’ll vape on a plane. They don’t give a shit.
I have weed carts at home and I do the whole vaper sleight of hand thing everyone does, where I conceal the pen in my hand and sneak in a couple hits while I’m walking the dog. It’s as close to engaging in modern espionage tactics as I’ll ever get. Every vaper thinks they’re tricky like that, no matter where they happen to be. And that is why the safety video for Virgin America will have to remain 57 minutes long indefinitely.
As someone who is graduating this May, what life advice do you have to offer? Everyone is simultaneously trying to figure different shit out all at the same time, and so far, it’s a massive guessing game. I have a trip to Europe planned and I am also waiting to hear back from a few companies. The fact that everything is so open/undefined is a bit worrying, but also slightly exciting. Should I go to Europe and never come back? (jk but not really, but possibly?)
Yeah, fuck it! GO. Get the hell away from this shithole backwater of a country while its power grid is still functioning. Other countries have beer too, you know.
Honestly, it seems like you’re in a good spot already, what with fancy trips and potential job offers looming. You also happen to be in the best possible position anyone can be in if any of that shit goes awry. Go ahead and ENJOY the open-endedness of your present situation. Because once you get a job and maybe start a family, those open ends seal shut for a long, long time. You’ll have responsibilities and those responsibilities are worthwhile, but they also prevent you from fucking off to tend bar at a ski resort for a year if you feel called to it. Like, if I elected to do that right now, my wife and kids would have a few questions for me. It’d be a whole THING. Waste time while you can. You won’t always be able to afford to.
Email of the week!
I was recently at a movie theatre when a tornado warning hit the area. The staff sequestered everyone in the theatre in the designated shelter areas--the bathrooms. I was crammed into the men's room with 20ish other people of all genders. The social contract at this point is that no one is using the bathroom for its designated purpose now, right? Well, this one guy comes walking through the crowd, makes eye contact with people, closes himself in a stall, and proceeds to take a very colorful shit. After he finishes, he lets himself out, makes more eye contact with people, and heads out into the hallway without washing his hands. I guess my question is, what did you think of the Aladdin remake?
I bet it wasn’t as good as watching that guy drop a deuce like a true baller.