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All-Nighters Are Lawful Evil

Time for your weekly edition of the, uh No Longer Deadspin Funbag. Today, we're talking about fires, jarred farts, picnics, underwear flaps, and more.

by Drew Magary
Dec 31 2019, 7:00pm

Image via Youtube

Happy New Year, everyone! I’d spit on 2019’s grave and tell you that the coming year can’t POSSIBLY be worse than what we just endured, but I’ve been leaning on that crutch at the turn of every year since 2016. I’m not a fool. So bring on all your bullshit, 2020. You’re gonna suck really bad, but at least at the end of it maybe there’ll be video evidence of President-elect Klobuchar eating salad with a fucking comb.

Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Your letters:

Aine:

How do you properly pull an all-nighter? Like do you wake up, stay up all night, and go to bed the following morning OR do you wake up, stay up all night, stay up all day and then go to bed the following night?

This is where I confess that I have rarely pulled an all-nighter. I never pulled one in school. Instead of staying up all night to cram for a test, I just crammed until, like, midnight and then crashed anyway. If I didn’t get enough studying done, so be it. The sleep was worth the risk, in my opinion. I’ve also barely ever stayed up all night for a job, with the exception of a couple of night photo shoots. One of those shoots took place at a convenience store in rural Virginia. There I was at 4am, staring at cans of Dinty Moore beef stew as the director and DP held us hostage, exhausting precious darkness trying to figure out the best way to light a cash register.

I have stayed up on all night on redeye flights from LA, but that doesn’t count because I was very much TRYING to fall asleep. I have also, in my swingin’ swingle days, stayed up all night to drunkenly hook up with women, but that doesn’t count either. It’s a casual, consensual hookup. It’s not a terribly stressful situation, at least until you gotta get it up. Otherwise, no walk of shame is really all THAT shameful. I used to strut like a hobo peacock back to my apartment after the fact.

So I have not perfected the all-nighter process the way your average UChicago Adderall fiend probably has. All I know is that whenever I pulled an all-nighter—or at least stayed up deep into the wee hours to work, or to enjoy a marathon viewing of the entire Police Academy octalogy—I didn’t prep for it by changing my normal sleep patterns the day prior or the next day. I definitely napped at some point the next day. Hard. But I didn’t sleep the ENTIRE day. Your body has a circadian rhythm to it that an all-nighter disrupts. It doesn’t help you get back onto that rhythm by disrupting it a second time in some grand overcorrection. That’ll only make things worse. Also, your body probably won’t even let you pull it off.

As such, the best way to pull an all-nighter is to return to normalcy as quickly as you can after the fact. Also, don’t pull any all-nighters. The cult of the all-nighter starts somewhere in high school to prepare you for a worse all-nighter cult in college, which in turn prepares you the even worse all-nighter cult that pervades the workforce once you get out of college. I’ve had some decent ideas come to me during these extended sessions, but usually the only thing they’re good for is telling people you pulled an all-nighter. “We worked ALL NIGHT on this presentation, Mr. Flippers!” Oh, so you dicked around all day, then slogged through a full night with bleary eyes in order to work up a PowerPoint deck no one will ever read? Bully for you.

All-nighters are a fucking scourge. They still pull all-nighters at SNL and the only thing those all-nighters produce are word-for-word reenactments of press conferences with a surprise cameo from Matt Damon tossed in to make the audience go WOOOO! All-nighters leave you dumber, crankier, and more tired. They’ll kill you young, and anyone who holds them up as some fabled talisman of the American Work Ethic should be thrown into a tarpit. All-nighters are for hookups and that’s IT.

That includes tonight, by the way. What happens after the ball drops? I’ll tell you what happens: Ryan Seacrest teases a special performance by Meghan Trainor after the commercial break. Go to fucking bed. You and the world will be better off for it.

James:

Is there anyone alive who's had sex with someone who was born in the 19th Century and someone born in 21st Century? Basically this would require them to have both had sex with someone elderly in the 1960s/70s and an 18- or 19-year-old recently.

Yes. That person? Jack Nicholson.

Daniel:

Is there anything more simple yet purely satisfying as building a good fire?

There is not. I went to my parents’ house for Christmas and one of the main draws of heading up to the boonies to see them—apart from, you know, seeing them—is that they have a kickass fireplace and I get to build and stoke fires all through cocktail hour and beyond. At my own house, we have a gas fireplace. It’s very easy. It even has a remote. You push a button, there’s a fire. No rolling up a newspaper and tying it up in a knot. No stacking logs in a crisscross pattern to allow for the flow of oxygen between licking flames. No watching logs slowly burn and then suddenly collapse in a sudden, crackling frenzy. No bed of coals glowing in the midnight darkness, asking to be fed. No creating your own miniature backdraft by maneuvering smoldering logs close to one another, watching them smoke—just ACHING to burn—and then giving it a light to set off a rejuvenated blaze.

I regret the gas fireplace a little. Don’t have to sweep the chimney though. That’s a plus. Chimneys are a quiet menace when it comes to homeowning expenses. I had to get ours relined years ago and I think it costs as much as a fucking tank. Also, no stacking cordwood when you have a gas fireplace. I enjoy lumberjack cosplay as much as the next yuppie but I’m also old and lazy and don’t want to carry 500 logs a grand total of 10 yards, five logs at a time. I could get a splinter! Horrifying.

But building a real fire is, indeed, richly satisfying and never gets old. Even building one inside a charcoal grill is fun. I like to stare at the flames and have super deep thoughts. I am hardly alone in this need. Makes me feel like I wrote the Bible.

Damon:

Let's say, for instance, you farted into a jar, and that jar was mixed up with a bunch of other people's fart jars. Let's assume the farts all maintain peak freshness. Would you be able to pick yours out of the lineup?

The answer right now is no because I lost most of my sense of smell back when I injured my head a year ago, and I have yet to regain it. HOWEVER, I do remember smelling my own farts, and I do remember liking the smell of my own farts much more than other peoples’ vinegary output. So I’d like to think that, pre-accident, I could have identified my own fart out of a jarred lineup.

But that’s vanity talking. When I know a fart belongs to me, I find it much more interesting, because I am a selfish prick. But to a blind nose, a fart is a fart. I would choose the “best” fart of the bunch, anoint it as mine with unwavering certainty, and then be like WHAAAA? when the fart turned out to be Post Malone’s.

Zach:

Does Donald Trump brush his teeth?

Yes. He’s a physically repulsive man but he’s also a famously meticulous one in odd ways. He’s always dressed in a suit. He fears handshake germs. He likes his underwear crisply ironed. Keeping clean appeals to Trump’s vanity. He wants to look like he has his shit together, even if he’s got wet toilet paper still lodged in both his ass and his brain. Such fastidiousness also indulges some of the deep-seated neuroses that Trump would never cop to suffering from but that he exhibits on a second-by-second basis.

So yeah, he brushes his dentures. He might even soak them in Super Polident so that they’re nice and gleaming when some war criminal arrives for a state dinner. Trump’s cleanliness and formality are, arguably, the most consistently funny things about him. He’s desperate, at all times, to look impressive and charismatic. And he NEVER actually reaches that goal. It’s incredible. He’s the ultimate sap with dignity. Trump could get a head-to-toe glow-up from the best grooming experts and cosmetic dentists and fashion designers on the planet—literally, he could do this anytime he wanted to—and he’d still look like he asked his mom to dress him up for seventh-grade band practice.

Alan:

How long do you think you'd need to go without hearing any song by Nirvana or Sublime—or some other chronically overplayed but critically revered '90s band—to be able to actually appreciate hearing either band without it immediately becoming part of the background (as it does now)? I'd say at least 5 years?

I have to take these one at a time because I was never really into Sublime to begin with. This is an upset given that I am a middle-aged white boy who used to drink 40s back in college to look cool. A bunch of ska posers should have been right up my alley. They were not. I require more RAWK in my RAWK. So Sublime was always dorm party wallpaper to me. I don’t hate Sublime. But I don’t give a shit if I ever hear one of their songs ever again. So I can’t rediscover a band I never appreciated much even when it was in its prime and its frontman was still alive.

Nirvana’s a different story because I was in high school right when they broke and it as the biggest shit ever. No rock album will ever again have the impact that Nevermind had, which is good in a sense because I burned out on that album in 1993 and I’m still burned out on it. I even rolled my eyes like a complete dick when Kurt Cobain died by suicide. I went the full Wilbon. I was like, “The man just recorded a song called ‘I Hate Myself And Want To Die,’ for the Beavis and Butthead Do America soundtrack, folks. So am I surprised by this? NOT IN THE LEAST.” This version you see of me right now? This is somehow more mature than what came before it. Impossible but true.

So you could blot out “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from existence for half a decade. But even after that, I’d hear the opening bars and think to myself, “Hey, it’s been a while!” before I went right back to tuning it out again. That’s a bike you never un-learn to ride. The one wrinkle is that my kids heard “Come As You Are” in the car a while back and liked it, and it was cool to hear it through their ears instead of my own. That’s about as fresh as that shit can get for me now.

The only Nirvana song I still listen to consistently is, strangely, “You Know You’re Right.” That was a demo recording that they added to a definitive Nirvana compilation years and years after Cobain died. It plays like a classic Nirvana song, with all the quiet-loud-quiet-loud parts. But since it wasn’t beaten to death by AOR radio, I never got the chance to resent it. Nice little parting gift he left for everyone.

HALFTIME!

Tom:

Say Steph Curry’s shots stopped going in during games. He still makes all his normal shots in practice, warmups, etc. But nothing—no layups, no 3s, no free throws—goes in during the game. How long before he retires?

Derrick Rose is still in the NBA. The last time Derrick Rose made a jumper was in, like, 2011. So I think Steph would stick around for a bit during his hexed cold streak. First of all, his contract runs through 2022 and pays him over $45 million in the final year of it. I ain’t retiring before I can collect that money. I’d run around naked with a candlestick hanging out of my asshole for that much money.

Secondly, Steph could miss 50 million shots in a row and fans like me would STILL expect his next made basket to be just around the corner. He’d expect it, too. Wouldn’t you? Every headline during the curse would be like WHAT’S WRONG WITH STEPH? and FOR REAL THIS IS PRETTY FUCKED UP. Stephen A. would demand the Warriors cut him. All of the usual sports-take apparatus would be set up around Steph’s sudden and baffling ineptitude. But again, $45 million. If I were him, I’d be too proud to accept my fate and then I’d keep jacking up ill-advised threes. John Starks built an entire career out of this so I see no reason why Steph couldn’t adopt the same philosophy. He’d get mercy benched a few weeks (months?) into the slump, come off the bench to continue it every once in a while, and then the Warriors would cut him loose at the end of his contract, putting them and him out of their respective miseries.

And then the Knicks would sign him for half a billion.

Dan:

I just bought some new boxers and boxer briefs, and the boxers have a button on the flap. I'm thinking this is the most useless "functional" button because goddamn if when I gotta pee I don't need another barrier in my way. I just want to unzip, do my thing and go. Is there really a need for this button?

Why, yes. I can attest to this AS A FATHER. If I leave that button unbuttoned, chances are my dick is gonna hang out of the flap. This is not because I’m hung like a rhino. It’s because most every dick has a habit of poking out of things, especially if you’re like me and you prefer your boxers to be relatively snug. Also, I’ve probably gotten too fat for those snug undies, which means the flap is stretched open at all times, like a window you keep open to let air into the house.

None of this is a problem if you don’t have kids. If you live alone and your dick is hanging out in the morning when you make a bowl of cereal, it doesn’t matter. You’re not gonna blink. But if you have three kids, and they’re no longer toddlers, and they make seemingly deliberate attempts to walk in on you when you’re about to get into bed, that stupid dickflap button is the only thing standing between them and Oedipal trauma. My wife once told me, “Drew, you GOTTA close your boxers.” Since then, I’ve been vigilant about it. No one in this house wants dad’s penis to be a surprise tourist attraction.

By the way, after testing underwear for GQ last year, I am firmly on the side of Team Flap when it comes to underwear. You guys who rock boxer briefs with no dickhole… I don’t know how or why you put up with it.

Ryan:

What is the most acceptable non-flip-flop summer footwear? I'm thinking walking the dog, running to the corner store, picking up the mail, etc.

I just wear sneakers for all that. I spend the first 25 years of my life HORRIFIED by flip-flops for some reason. I never wore them. I thought it was strange that other people did. I am the opposite of a foot fetishist. The anti-Tarantino. I didn’t want to see a bunch of pasty dudes, myself included, walking around with their spider toes hanging out. So I wore sneakers instead, even to the beach. Never wear sneakers to the beach if you plan on removing them. I also wore docksiders. That was my summer shoe when I wanted to impress the ladies. They were NOT impressed by a pair of Sperrys my mom grabbed for me at the local JC Penney.

I have since sworn off such preppy accoutrements, even though I literally went to prep school. I fancy myself too PUNK for docksiders, even though I look like someone made a pair of docksiders into a living being. So I just wear my shitty Asics when I need to hit the grocery store in August. I can’t really think of a decent type of footwear between light sneakers and flip-flops for the job. Aqua socks? No. Tevas? FUCK AND NO. Slides? Those are flip-flops, as far as I’m concerned. Leather sandals? What is this, ancient Rome? No. Wearing loafers bareback? No. All I got for you are sneakers, fancy ones if you’re a sneaker guy. Maybe you’re the type of old man who wears slippers outside in the summertime and doesn’t give a shit if they get dirty and your feet stink, but I have shockingly yet to cross that threshold of boomerdom.

Someone in Palo Alto right now is planning on disrupting the tweener men’s summerwear space, I promise you. Two years hence, a former Warby Parker executive will unveil breathable court jester shoes upon the marketplace. His company will receive a valuation of $5.6 billion.

Kenneth:

Do you think Trump can do basic math? Like if someone asked him what 11 x 32 is could he actually answer the question?

Kenneth, I’m not sure I can answer that that question. It’s 352, right? Hang on.

[opens calculator]

NAILED IT. Not bad. Anyway, again I’m gonna go against the grain here and say that Trump can do basic math. For more advanced calculations, he relies on Jews …

... but for addition and subtraction and what not, I think he’s all right on his own. He certainly knows math well enough to fudge it. Even if he sucked at math—and not on purpose!—I couldn’t really blame him. I’ve forgotten more math than I’ve retained. My children’s homework reads like Swahili to me. Even when I do know how to solve a problem, I don’t know how to solve it the RIGHT way. They teach kids number lines and place values now so that they can do mental math in a jiffy, but I’m still carrying the one like I’m living in ancient Egypt. For Back To School night this year, my son’s fifth grade math teacher told us, “I have good news for you guys! We’re teaching some of this shit the old fashioned way this year! You can actually HELP your kids!” I still haven’t.

Anyway, Trump knows how to tally up kickbacks. Calculating a restaurant tip? Far more undesirable a task for him.

Paul:

Can I have some good picnic food ideas? I just turned 30 and it's no longer okay to bring Trader Joe's cheese and crackers to a picnic.

Like a literal picnic? With a blanket on the ground and a basket and shit? Are we at an outdoor John Tesh concert? Or are we just talking about a regular-ass cookout with park tables? If that’s the case, then the answer is Popeye’s. The answer is ALWAYS Popeye’s. I’m still aghast that people got horny for the Popeye’s chicken sandwich when their regular chicken was already perfect and already there. Bring that shit to a picnic and everyone will kiss you on the mouth.

When I was a kid, my mom used to take us out on picnics. She had a little foldable table she brought, along with cold sesame noodle salads and cans of Wispride and all that. No Popeye’s, though. I liked those picnics. I would take my own kids out for one, but sitting on the ground for longer than five seconds triggers agonizing sciatic nerve pain, plus my kids would just bitch to be on screens instead. So my picnicking days are likely over. About time Gen X killed a cultural artifact instead of those nasty millennials doing it.

Todd:

I’m 45 and live in a studio apartment as the result of a divorce (no kids). And I love it. It’s a new construction so everything is nice and clean and all the appliances are brand new and top notch. It’s a nice, large, studio apartment with a half wall to section off the sleeping area, ample room for my office setup and bookshelves and a nice kitchen. It’s not too big, so I don’t have to fill it up with superfluous furniture, or have too much to clean, and everything I need is within arm’s reach. It’s inexpensive, so with the low overhead I can afford to golf whenever I want, and take trips wherever I want, and whenever I want. Needless to say though, this does not play well with the types of women that I want to date, and I’m a little embarrassed to bring one home, even though the apartment is perfect for me. So, I ask you, am I a loser? Or have I got it all figured out?

No, I don’t think you’re a loser. You seem to have found an ideal spot for your rediscovered bachelorhood. Why doesn’t your type of lady like it? Because it’s lacking furniture? You can probably fix that by heading to West Elm and buying a coffee table you’ll never use. Otherwise, if you keep your apartment clean and organized, it doesn’t strike me as a dealbreaker when you’re trying to get laid. If you’re worried it’s too small or sparse, you can just insincerely warn a date before you take her home. “The joint’s a bit of a mess. I apologize in advance.” That way she’ll be pleasantly surprised when she walks into a fully functioning BABE LAIR.

I’m biased here because I revere studio apartments. A studio is a bedroom. It’s a dining room. It’s a TV room. It’s everything! That appeals to me on a primal level. Also, Vince Neil lived in one in the “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” video and I thought it was the coolest shit ever. That guy’s bed is dead center in the middle of everything! That joint is all about the sex happening! When I was in my 20s, I had a studio apartment of my own. I did well for myself in it. So many romantic all nighters to be had. It was just nice enough to look like I had a job, but just sloppy enough to let the girls know I was a BAD BOY who lived life his own way. I think that apartment’s why the woman who would become my wife got into me. That and the boogers I smeared on the walls. Super cool shit. No matter where you live, act like you live like a millionaire.

Email of the week!

Mike:

What is the most expensive dump ever taken? Ever stop to think about literally how much money you are flushing down the toilet? Take a minute to consider all the various costs that constitute every number 2: the cost of food & beverages, the water used to flush, the toilet paper, electricity, etc. You could even factor in costs like tax and tip if you dined out, or the cost of a babysitter if this dump followed some fancy date night away from the kids. And then there's travel costs, especially if this dump took place on vacation.

I don’t think travel costs should factor in. You don’t book a trip to Fiji just to take a shit there. Well, unless you’re me. My goal is to shit in every country on Earth before I die. I’m already far … behind? Huh? Huh?

Anyway the answer is some dump a sultan took after eating a bar of solid gold. Pricey dump.

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