This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Before I get into the Funbag, I must first set off the PLUG chimes and tell you that my third novel, Point B, is coming out tomorrow. HOLY SHIT. Right now it's only available at Amazon but I am feverishly laboring to make it available everywhere else as well, both as an ebook and in print. This is tricky because a) I am self-publishing and b) everything is collapsing. But by God, I will get a copy of this book onto a Target shelf one day. I'm also gonna do a live reading from the book tomorrow night at 8pm over at YouTube. Go to my Twitter feed (@drewmagary) and I'll have a link pinned the second I have it ready to go. Join me and my vicious circle of literary heavyweights, won't you? (Actually it'll just be me.)
Also, while you're stuck in quarantine, send my ass some quarantine questions. Neither of us has anything better to do. And I am a lifelong expert on sitting around, bored out of my fucking mind. I am a certified veteran of the slugabed process, my friends. So please, let me guide you through this extended journey into sloth. Your letters:
I'm at my office, and just had a bag of Cheez-Its with a bunch of crumbs at the bottom. I saw nobody looking at me, so I tipped the bag to get that good good Cheez-It crumbage. What is the most bag-tippable snack? I say cinnamon-sugar pita chips.
It's Doritos. They should sell Dorito crumbs by the bag. Or you know what? Make it a can. Then I can hold it my hand like it's a yard of beer and chug some crumbs whenever the mood strikes. What better time for such a product than right now, I ask you? No one outside of my house would see my with my Dorito bong. No one could judge me. It'd be the perfect quarantine food. And yes, in theory I could grind up a bag of normal Doritos and then pour them into an empty Pringles can. But that would make me a slob. Much better if a company MAKES the can so that I can buy it and then say to my wife, "It's not my fault! The evil suits at BIG CRUMB made me buy this! I bet they don't even pay their workers fairly!" Then I'd be all good. I also want a can of Cheeto nubs on hand to pound. Not full Cheetos, and not cheez balls, but just little Cheeto nuggets. Cheeto granola. Cheeto pebbles.
Second place goes to barbecue potato chips. As for your pita chip nomination, that's like eating the end of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch bag. I ain't against it, but even I have my limits with that much sweetness all in one go. That's why I pour milk into the CTC dust. I am diluting all that sugar with a slightly less sugary liquid. See how that works? Much better for your health.
Know what the worst snack crumbage is? PEANUTS. You empty out the Planters can into your palm and what happens? A fucking deer comes and licks you. You gotta put that last inch of peanuts through a goddamn strainer to clean them off.
I went to high school with "Boots" del Biaggio and later met him at Sharks games when swindling millions from his friends and ruining his father's business were still a glimmer in his eye (he was a shitbag both times FWIW). It was nice to see a scumbag like this end up in jail, though for not as long as he deserved. So who's your top 10 team owners you'd like to see in jail? Bonus points for what they get convicted of. Kraft at #1 for prostitution is a good call but who's next?
Oh no no no, I didn't wanna see Kraft go to jail for getting his hog kneaded. I DO want the tape of it to leak so that everyone can make fun of it, and then I want him to go to jail for being one of Trump's official Classy Friends. But for the Orchids of Asia thing? No. Given that there was no human trafficking involved, I'd rather compile a list of 10 team owners who have done things for which they haven't been deprived of sunlight even though they should have been. Let's jail some of 'em right now!
- Jimmy Haslam (Browns)
- Zygi Wilf (Vikings)
- Mike Brown (Bengals)
- Eugene Melnyk (Senators)
- Jim Irsay (Colts)
- Gayle Benson (Saints)
- Tilman Fertitta (Rockets)
- Dan Snyder (Skins)
- James Dolan (Knicks)
- Dean Spanos (Chargers)
I'm not certain about actual crimes here, but really, you were asking for a list of owners who ought to be jailed out of SPITE, because they're horrible people. And James Dolan fits that criteria perfectly. I was a fool to bring the concept of justice into this answer at all. If they threw Jerry Jones into fucking solitary for eating a hot dog on the bus, I wouldn't protest.
Is there an athletic equivalent to The Simpsons ? Like, is there a player who was the absolute best in the league for eight years or so, then was perfectly cromulent for a long time after that? I thought maybe Frank Thomas would work, but he had a 1.061 OPS in Year 11 and that doesn't work.
Would Joe Mauer work? Joe Mauer was MVP of the American League in 2009 and then spent the next decade as the kind of guy you aren't excited to see at the All-Star Game. That's about as close as I can get to the analogy.
By the way, The Simpsons should go off the rails now. Old fogies like me have been bitching for them to cancel it for two decades, but no one involved with the show wants the gravy train to end. So they hire their nieces and nephews and ex-wives to churn out _Simpsons_-like episodes that no one ever remembers except when they're racist. Given that fanboys like me don't even acknowledge that the show existed past season eight (ten if you're being generous), Al Jean should do a shitload of peyote and then alter the show's DNA to suit his mania. Make Bart 10 years older but no one else. Have animals talk. Kill off Homer by having Marge slit his throat. Introduce the Wonder Twins as recurring characters. Give Mr. Burns permanent heat vision. Go fucking crazy. Who's gonna give a shit besides people like me who stopped watching at the turn of the century?
My dad STILL does the Austin Powers "Yeah baby," with the British accent and everything. The first Austin Powers came out in freaking 1997. He's been doing this shit for over 20 years. That's gotta be a peak dad move right?
It is. I know because I'm a dad and I do it. GRRR BABY VERY GRRR! One day they'll reboot the Austin Powers franchise with Timothee Chalamet as Austin and the only two people who'll throw a shitfit over it will be me and Mike Myers.
The first movie is still a great movie. The two sequels are fucking unbearable, but the first one basically destroyed James Bond so thoroughly that they had to redesign that entire franchise around Daniel Craig to save Bond's reputation. Austin Powers aged the same way most any piece of pop culture that old has aged, but I'll still throw out an ONLY SAILORS WEAR CONDOMS BABY when I'm feeling naughty. It'll be cool again one day, you watch! Mom jeans are back in already! All I gotta do is bide my time.
By the way, I showed the original to my oldest kid and she liked it. Got a little awkward watching the Alotta Fagina striptease together, but I may as well get over that shit now instead of later. My folks have a little Dr. Evil figurine they keep on their kitchen counter that goes ONE MEELLEEON DOLLURSE any time you push its button. Whenever we visit them, everyone pushes the button. All the time. Doesn't get old. They've never had to change the battery in that figurine. It may be haunted.
Which is better: Having a job that you truly care about and thus makes you feel absolutely spectacular when things go well, but equally shitty when things go poorly; or a job that you don't give a fuck about and leaves you in a constant state of meh? I have had both and honestly don't know my answer.
The former. Take it from a guy who had to quit that exact kind of job. I would rather have that job as it was, before Great Hill destroyed Deadspin, than toil away as a fucking pencil pusher at General Mills or something. In my experience, you start off your career with a job you either hate or don't care about (or both). Then, once you get your sea legs in the workforce, you figure out what you wanna do and who you'd like to work with. And you begin to shape your career around it. Now, that kind of career trajectory has become instantly antiquated now that a bazillion people have lost their jobs. So being picky about WHICH job you get is a goddamn luxury right now.
But hop in the time machine with me and let's travel to a plausibly distant future in which shit is more or less the way it was before the virus hit. FINGERS CROSSED! In that familiar little dystopia, it's better to have a job you give a shit about. You'll feel better and you'll DO better. If you don't give a shit about your job, you're just preparing yourself to lose it anyway. Ideally, you evolve into a job that you're deeply invested in, with a joint that rewards you handsomely for that investment. Deadspin was that place for me for a long time. Was. Alas. I loved that job, but better to have loved and lost etc.
Anyway, it pays to give a shit.
Picture this: you're at the supermarket and you have your choice of an aisle—spices or condiments. Whichever aisle you choose to go down, you are now locked in for life and forever relinquish your claim to having the other. Which do you choose?
I have to choose spices because the salt in that aisle of the grocery store. Without salt, food is inedible. So it's a landslide. I enjoy dousing my burger in a sea of ketchup, but I'd rather have a plain salted patty than save all that ketchup just to put it on a hockey puck.
If you exempt salt from this, then the matchup evens out. After all, many condiments HAVE spices in them. So I don't need to buy cayenne pepper when I can just grab a gallon of Red Hot instead. No one wants to make homemade hot sauce besides 30-year-old dudes who wish they still went to LSU. All of the baking supplies are in the spice aisle, but I can deal with that by buying ready-made cookie dough that comes in the same tube packaging as Jimmy Dean sausage meat. I like to bake shit at home—especially now, with everything so dire—but I'll hang up my apron to preserve my access to hot pepper relish.
Why is it so hard to name a child? My wife and I are having a girl and we want something unique but not too trendy and not too weird. I've read literally thousands of names and I feel like I'm losing my mind. How do we go about settling on a name that won't preemptively ruin our future daughter's life?
The problem is quantity. You know why so many kids have A names? Because that's the biggest goddamn section of the baby name book. The As alone will drain your will to live, and then you have 25 more letters to go. No one has ever made it through a baby name book in its entirety. Hence, there are now 78 million Addelynns sucking down formula while in quarantine. You can't look at those books. I liked flipping through the Baby Name Wizard when my wife was pregnant because it charted the popularity of each name over time and even gave you a pocket review of each one ("Harold is an old chestnut, but it still has a tangy zip to it!"), plus potential nicknames from a root name so that you won't be surprised if your Elizabeth becomes a Bitsy down the line.
But when we settled on a name for each of our kids, it was always a name we either had in mind well before conception, or a name we fondly remembered hearing in the past. Like, I had Shep on the list for one of my sons. This was because there was a Shep at my middle school who was cool and popular. My wife was not swayed by this background information.
Do you think professional golf would be more entertaining if every golfer was allowed one mulligan per round? Maybe not on putts, but let's say someone shanks their drive and decides "I'd like to try that one again". It could add a layer of drama to big tournaments, plus it would make all the "sanctity of the game" purists lose their minds. WHO SAYS NO?
I do, because the whole point of watching golf is to see golfers humiliated. I don't want fucking Phil Mickelson or some other pair of Bass bucks to be FORGIVEN when they shank a ball directly into a bear trap. That's literally as difficult as life will get for Mickelson, so fuck him. PLAY IT AS IT LAYS, SHITBOY. Mulligans are for me when I'm playing Mario Golf. Every other golfer deserves to suffer.
To that end, the PGA says that they will be back in June, which makes sense given that it's not a contact sport and that galleries are only important when someone makes an impossible chip-in to win a tournament, which happens about as often as super blood moon does. I will watch the shit out of it. I'm so horny for sports that I'll gladly tune into all four rounds of the Hobby Lobby Kester Open, coming to you LIVE from Lushbird Country Club in Mill Lakes, Ohio. I am not afraid. And when I watch that golf, I want it to be real. I want missed shots to HURT. These rich assholes gets to be out playing golf! I'm not giving them mulligans. I'm gonna penalize them a stroke for not inviting me. That's what I'll do.
I have 3.5 and 0.5 year olds. It occurred to me that I will soon be entering the phase of life where I will have to start going to sports/concerts/recitals/etc while also getting an earful from my wife to stop looking at my phone and pay attention to my kid. I am pre-exhausted. This did give me the opportunity to ponder what are the absolute worst sports to have a kid force you to sit through. An otherwise great sport like Soccer takes place in utterly shit conditions. A lame sport like bowling asks next to nothing of a spectator. Swimming would be fine if you weren't stuck in a hot ass chlorinated tank and also forced to spend 80% of your time watching the divers. Golf is fine, but watching crappy untalented kids golf is agonizing. My take:
20. Basketball / Cheerleading
18. Ice Hockey
13. Water Polo
12. Dance / Gymnastics
10. Baseball / Softball
9. Football / Cheerleading
8. Skiing / Snowboarding
7. Swimming & Diving
5. Indoor Track & Field
4. Field Hockey
3. Track & Field
2. Being fed into a woodchipper
1. Cross Country
Obviously Jim sent this question in prior to the pandemic ruining everything. So right now I would behead a newborn fawn to take my older son to one of his soccer games. He was due for soccer this month. My daughter was gonna do diving. My younger son was gonna do flag football for the first time. That's all gone now, and I see it wearing on them to be stuck at home without friends to play with or games to play in. They get impatient and tired and logy. They've mostly had a great attitude about all this shit, although kids don't always tell you when things have taken a toll on them. Their eyes are your only guide. So once the quarantine is gradually lifted, I will drive 900mph to take my son to a goddamn flag football game.
But not to a swim meet. Those are the fucking worst. They last ALL day, and you're not even allowed to swim in the pool while you wait. Double the agony if it's an indoor swimming meet and you gotta take an involuntary steam bath in the stands while trying to get a shitty WiFi signal. Any sort of "meet" is a war crime. You have to block off six hours to watch your kid compete for a grand total of seven minutes. And they don't even tell you when your kid is up. At least with a game, there's a clock. And you always know when you kid is on the field or on the bench. They're not hidden somewhere in a haystack of other kids on the other side of the pool, all bored to death in the heat. I say DOWN WITH MEETS, quarantine or no.
I've been trying to find a way to make a good batch of cauliflower rice but I can't get it right. It keeps coming out kind of bland and flavorless. I use healthy doses of garlic, parsley, etc. but think it's missing something. Should I add some kind of meat or what am I missing?
You're missing actual rice. I like cauliflower fine, but my rule is that I never want to eat a vegetable that's pretending to not be a vegetable. Impossible burgers are the exception. Those genuinely taste good. But every other form of vegetable in disguise—cauliflower pizza crust, tofurky, beet ham, carrot brisket—is garbage. Those are the vegetarian foods that turn me into a standup comedian from 1991. YOU BELIEVE THESE HIPPIES WITH ALL THEIR SOY MILK? YOU ENJOY THAT SOY MILK, MOON UNIT… I'LL BE WATCHIN' FOOTBAW'!
Anyway, if you still wanna make that rice work, add butter. Fat is flavor.
You once quoted a study about when NFL teams should decline punting and opt to go for it on 4th down. And of course why coaches never make that risky decision. So why not remove the choice for the coach in order to enhance exciting competition? Shouldn't the league just update the rules so that teams can NOT punt within 4 yards of a 1st down and/or within their opponent's 40?
I'm typing this from the toilet at work. My question is: What did people do on the toilet at work before smartphones? Obviously at home they read or something, but did people just stare at the stall door at work? Or bring newspaper and set it on the floor in a gross public bathroom when paperwork was required? Seems like a lot of inconveniences.
I used to read the newspaper on the can. Tabloid though, not broadsheet. It would not be relaxing to unfurl 14 sections of the Times while you're trying to give birth to Kuato down below. By contrast, the New York Post is both perfect in size AND content for a session on the throne. At my old office, there used to be copies of it lying on the bathroom floor. It was like a Little Free Library, but for poop-stained tabloids. I never hesitated to pick up a copy, or even a thin section of USA Today as a treat.
Apart from that, I don't remember what I did on the can to pass the time. I mostly thought. The old saw is that you get your best thoughts on the can, but it's not like I was writing Moby-Dick in my head while squeezing one out. I was just thinking normal, useless thoughts about TV, or about sports, or about girls I wanted to hook up with. Same as when I was bored in any other situation. I used to know how to be bored. That's gone now. Sixty seconds without looking at my phone and I break into fucking hives.
How much do cops hate regular people for suddenly driving the speed limit when they see a cop in their rear view? My commute on rural two-lane state highways can vary by 15 minutes based on whether or not any kind of patrol vehicle is out that day. Roads with a posted speed limit of 45-50 cruise easily at 60, but can back up to below speed limit if there is a cop. I always feel like the cop would rather just ride along with everybody at the higher speed and gets annoyed by getting stuck behind speed limit drivers on roads that are clearly safe at higher speeds.
Yeah it has to suck. You have free rein to drive as fast as you want, except every other car on the road slows to a crawl the SECOND they spot you. That's fucking torture. I'd be irritated if that ever happened to me. No wonder cops are so eager to shoot you the second they pull you over. They want you out of the way.
Assume you go back in time to your childhood self with all of your current sports knowledge intact, but you can't profit off of it a la Back to the Future 2 . Do you continue to support your sad sack local teams, start bandwagon hopping across all of the fun winning teams, or commit all of that free time to some useful endeavor?
Well I know for certain that I would NOT commit any of that freed-up time to a useful endeavor, because there are no sports on right now and I have not used that time to invent cold fusion, or pioneer a COVID vaccine, or even learn to play guitar. I haven't even watched that shitty Jordan doc. Mostly I've played Madden. So it's clear that if I could time travel but not profit off it financially, I would still use the technology strictly for personal gain. Instead of killing baby Hitler, I'd probably go back to 1987, introduce children to Tecmo Bowl, and then beat the unholy shit out of them at it.
As for real sports, I would not turn into a filthy bandwagoner. No matter where I go in time, I can't erase the sports fan I've already been. It's not like I turn on ESPN right now and root for the fucking Patriots when they show an MNF rerun. I'd still root for the Vikings if I time traveled, but I'd also know the outcomes so it wouldn't really matter. So I would probably ignore football and spend all my time going to the beach because no sane person can do that right now.
Email of the week!
Whose responsibility is it to clean up the leftovers of a workplace prank? One coworker made the mistake of saying "I hate Tom Hanks" out loud once about 5 years ago, and another coworker periodically pranks them by filling their office or other spaces with printed out photos of the Oscar winner. Most recently, this involved taping up pictures of Tom Hanks eating in our communal office fridge. So now, whenever I go to get my lunch out, I have to see Tom Hanks nibbling that tiny corn from BIG, among others. Should the coworker who pulled the prank have to take them down, or is it the responsibility of the person who hates Tom? All I know is that it won't be me.
It's the prankster. Pranksters are, as a rule, horrible people. They should clean up their own messes.