A deep sea diver on a toilet
Illustration by Hunter French
Life

Where Would Be the Most Appealingly Strange Place to Take a Dump?

Time for your weekly edition of Drew Magary's Funbag. Today, we're talking about boogers, hot dogs, Fridays, very large monsters, and more.
March 24, 2020, 6:00pm

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

Mike:

Driving down the highway I passed a construction site with a Porta Potty on the other side of a concrete barrier separating the highway from the site. It got me thinking that I bet pooping in that Porta Potty could be quite pleasant (if it were clean). The sounds of the cars passing by would somehow make it an enjoyably place to do my business. What's your choice for odd location bathroom that you'd find pleasure in doing your business?

Before I make my choice I just wanna say that I would NOT want to shit in the road work biff. I want peace and quiet when I take a dump. I want to surrounded by gentle streams and hear lazy birds chirping. I do NOT want to sit there, pushing out a tray of brownies, scared that some dickhead in a pickup will get angry at a Prius in front of him, swerve into the work site to pass that Prius, and plow right through the shitter. Too much angst. That's not a pleasurable location to do my business. I'd rather shit in a Japanese tea garden. And by God, one day I will.

Anyway, my #1 answer is the Vatican. And I don't mean I wanna shit in the visitor's bathroom there, which I think I've already done. Uh uh. I want a toilet mounted in the center of the Sistine Chapel. No one else gets to enter or else armed guards mow them down. Then I would drop anchor while staring at the painted heavens above. It'd just be between the Lord and me, as my finest dumps always are. One day I'd like to shit inside a confessional for good measure.

PRIEST: Do you have anything you'd like to tell me, son?

ME: Yeah. Chipotle is still the devil! ****BIG OL' GRUNT****

I have also taken a shit on top of a mountain. It was at a ski resort in Montana. I rode up the slopes in a chairlift, realized I had to go, and LO AND BEHOLD there was a little outhouse just a few yards away for skiers in need. Very thoughtful. I popped my skis off and sprinted for this bathroom, which was blessedly unoccupied. I wish it had been a peaceful, bucolic moment. But have you ever tried to shit with ski boots on? Don't. It's karmic punishment for white people. On the plus side, right next to that shitter was a taco stand.

Jeff:

If you had to redistribute the balls used in the four major sports, what, in your opinion, would be the best configuration? For example:

The NFL uses a baseball instead of a football

The NBA uses a football

MLB uses a puck

The NHL uses a basketball

I'd give the NHL the baseball because, like a hockey puck, a baseball is small and dangerously solid. You could kill a man by slapping a baseball into his throat, which would keep the thrill level of hockey mostly intact in the transition. Then I would give MLB a basketball, but I would cheat and make kicking the ball legal, then I would make it legal to tag a runner out by pegging his ass with it. PRESTO. Instantly better sport. These are things that our sports overlords should be thinking about during the COVID outbreak. Ron Manfred would implement my plan all wrong, but I stand by my request for DISRUPTION.

As for the other two sports, I would give the NFL the puck. For this question, I wanted to throw a hockey puck out in my yard to see how far it would go, but I couldn't find the single hockey puck we own. Shit. Let's just say I could toss the fucker a couple dozen yards anyway, especially if I throw it Frisbee-style, like I'm an idiot hanging out in the middle of a college quad. You'd have to give the receivers special gloves so that they don't break their hands. Also, fumbles would go extinct but fumbles are annoying anyway. But I think we could make puck football work.

We could not make football basketball work. The whole enterprise would be a fucking disaster, and it would rob NBA players of their ability to do cool shit. To make this exchange program truly thrive, I would need to add soccer into the mix so that the soccer players can use a football (still not optimal) and basketball players can use a soccer ball. My son told me once, "A soccer ball can be a basketball but not the other way around," and I've missed enough three pointers with a Mizuno ball to know he's right.

VJ:

Sometimes I get stubborn sticky boogers that won't dislodge even with the heartiest of blows into a tissue. Is it socially acceptable to pick my nose through a tissue? (i.e., insert finger into nose with a tissue "condom" if you will.)

What other use IS there for tissue? The only reason I reach for the Kleenex is so that I can pick my nose without judgment. So long as the Kleenex is in my hand, I can do what I want to my nose. I can forage for boogers deep inside of it. I can show it hardcore pornography. NO HOLDS BARRED.

Of course, touching your nose at all when you're outside right now is a poor idea both for public health and for your reputation. You don't wanna be the nose toucher guy. I have done my best to limit picking my nose once I step out the door, which of course only jacks up the urge to pick it by 500%. But once I get back inside, forget it. My nose is a playground. I can pick all day and all night, and I do. Feels great.

John:

As soon as Donald Trump is not president of the United States, will Twitter deactivate his account?

You're assuming there'll BE a United States a few months (or, ugh, four years) from now, and that's one shaky-ass bet. But yeah, let's pretend that the virus pisses off and we somehow miraculously go back to being the same shitty country we were in 2019. Let's also pretend Trump finally fucking leaves. I know that banning his account just as it becomes politically irrelevant would be a primo Jack Dorsey move, but it's an even MORE primo Dorsey move to let Trump continue tweeting endless bullshit that keep 30% of the country intent on killing themselves and taking everyone else with them. Because that makes for a much healthier public discourse.

So no, they ain't ever deactivating his account. They'll ban you for suggesting it, though. You're affordable collateral damage to the powers that be. I think this month has proven that in manifold ways.

Peter:

The Friday at the end of this current week: is it "this" Friday or "next" Friday? It's technically both, right? To me, it's "this" Friday, because it is the closest Friday in the future. How do you determine "this" vs. "next" day of the week?

There's a whole Brian Regan bit about this, where "this" and "next" are somehow interchangeable. When it comes to days of the week, I adhere to "this" week being anytime in between this PAST Sunday (stay with me here) and the COMING Sunday, which marks the beginning of a new "this" week. That means the Friday at the end of this current week is, to me, this Friday. Next Friday is a week from this Friday. Once we get to Saturday, "this" Friday remains the day prior, because we have not yet crossed the Sunday threshold.

I know that begs the question, "Okay, well then if Sunday is your line of demarcation, how do you keep your Sundays apart?" I don't. That's not my problem. I don't do anything on Sundays anyway, so there are no plans to reference. I get up, I put on my robe, I make pancakes, and then I tell the kids to turn the TV down. That's every Sunday, so there's no need to distinguish between any of them. By the way, EVERY day is Sunday currently. And there isn't even any football on. This is hell.

Patrick:

What's better, a sliced hot dog on a hamburger bun or crumbled hamburger on a hot dog bun?

I have to crumble the burger first, like I'm eating a poorly designed sloppy joe? I don't think I want that. I've cut a burger in half and laid it on a hot dog bun out of necessity. It happens to the best of us. That's not the same as eating a LONG, McRib-shaped hamburger, which I just found out is called a "longboy burger." ([Butthead voice] Uh huh huh huh they said "longboy.") That's just a normal, albeit long, burger. That's not a desperate picnic move.

Re-purposing a normal burger patty onto a hot dog bun very much is. It's not better than a dog burger. Like Patrick said, if you cut a hot dog in half, then slice both halves lengthwise, you've got four meaty Kit Kat fingers you can stack to approximate the shape of a hamburger bun. It's not better than a plain hot dog, but it does the job. Make sure you slice them lengthwise, though. I've tried making a burger out of straight frankfurter halves and, as you might have guessed, those little piggies go rolling right out of the bun. So sad. You know what we need? Round, flat hot dogs: hot dog patties that fit on a leftover potato roll. You could even play football with them! I can make this happen. I've got the time! All I need is 500,000 kg of lips and assholes and a series of jerry-rigged processors and extruders. (put on foil hat) AND THEN…

Nate:

Most folks dislike going to the dentist. I have a full-blown phobia. I'm not afraid of needles, the sight of blood, or any other common thing that make people squeamish, but those metal tools scraping my teeth is the stuff of nightmares. I've found a super nice dentist that I like as a person, she's on board with hooking up nitrous oxide and Novocain in the event she needs to drill or do other invasive work, and my insurance covers almost everything. I STILL cannot bring myself into the office every 6 months, which then leads to long gaps between cleanings, inevitable cavities, and the screeching drill that sends shivers down my spine. Is there anything I can do?

You gotta ask a professional about it. UNLESS you have a crippling fear of going to the psychiatrist, which would be a real catch-22. Asking me, of course, is arguably the LEAST effective way of addressing the problem.

The good news is that you're hardly alone in being terrified of going to the dentist. According to this article (which includes tips for calming yourself down when Dr. Giggles calls), 15% of people have aggressive dentistphobia. It makes perfect sense. If early 90s standup comedy taught me anything, it's that everyone hates going to the dentist. Also, your first memories of going to the dentist are probably horrible. Your parents drove you to a strange office. A hygienist in a surgical mask barged into your mouth to poke and prod at your teeth and gums, and that was before they bust out the fucking polish, which tastes like sandy Trident gum. They then flossed your teeth with piano wire. Then they told you that you were a horrible person.

That's the kinda shit DESIGNED to inflict trauma that will manifest itself in lasting, damaging ways. Again, you ain't alone. In fact, I'd say a solid 90% of the population is terrified of going to the dentist at this very moment. The remaining 10% of Americans who think being afraid of a deadly virus is just virtue signaling don't have teeth anyway.

HALFTIME!

Moe:

When someone uses "so sue me" to emphasize a statement or opinion, do you think anyone's actually done it?

Have you MET our President? He's about to sue the fucking coronavirus for libel.

In all seriousness, my answer is yes. First of all, there is almost certainly some asshole out there who has used "so sue me" in a situation that genuinely merits litigation in response. Some landlord who's like, "Yeah I deliberately ran the building's tap water through the septic tank. SO SUE ME." It's an antiquated form of "sorry not sorry."

On the other side, there are professional litigants like Dan Snyder who CONSTANTLY sue people because they're both bored and uncreative. Give Danny Snyder any opportunity to have his lawyer send you a threatening letter and he'll hop on that shit faster than a yacht orgy with Clinton Portis.

Christian:

Why are giants/gigantic creatures nearly always shown in slow motion on film/TV? If I was 50 feet tall, wouldn't it take me the same amount of time to make a stride or pick up an object as it does when I'm at my normal height, assuming body/weight/muscle mass remains the same? Aside from a few flying dragon scenes in GoT, I don't think I've ever seen a large creature move with the same speed in relation to their size. I'm 50 years old and I think about these things.

It's a visual cheat. If Godzilla lumbers through San Francisco on the big screen, it's easier for the filmmakers to slow his ass down so that you have more time to look at him in awe. And it gives the effects team more time to linger on shots of him crushing apartment buildings under foot. If Godzilla existed in real life, you wouldn't get as much of that visual drama. You would get grainy, distant footage of him sprinting across Chicago, and then long, extended shots of rubble after the fact. It's like tornado coverage. Tornados don't slow down for a closeup.

Garrett:

You know how most of us in relationships have shortened/or short form versions of our partners names? "Em" for Emma as an example. Given this, how does Tom Brady approach this scenario? Truly, he can't be heard screaming around his house "JIIIIIIIZ, WHERE ARE MY SPECIAL BLUE SOCKS?" or even worse (or better?) "JIZZY? ARE YOU DONE IN THE BATHROOM?" I mean, how does he avoid this? What's the alternative? "ELLE" is a total cop out that I won't accept.

He just uses a pet name instead, like "honey" or "babe" or "coach" or some shit. Also, you can shorten Gisele to "Gigi" or some other, non-seminal variant without that much fuss. Or you can just lean into the gag and use JIZZ at will. I know that's what a fun couple would do, but fun has too much gluten in it for Tom Brady's liking.

Also, Brady is exactly the kind of person who would establish a laborious workaround to avoid even the mildest of unpleasantries. He's a fucking prude. So yeah, he probably calls his wife "my one and only" or something equally cumbersome and beat so that he doesn't give people the idea that he's actually an enjoyable person. Because I've seen him take a 97-step drop the second people have gotten that impression. "The blame-and-shame media will do ANYTHING to make my wife's name sound like jizz. It's really disappointing!"

Tito:

Do you think it sucks to be in a car with a siren going off? I was stuck in traffic on the highway on my way home while an emergency organ transport car was trying to make its way uptown and while it drove ME nuts for the 15-20 seconds or so it was in my general vicinity, it got me wondering what it's like for the drivers of ambulances, cop cars, fire trucks, etc.

Apparently emergency vehicles have special insulation so that if you're inside one, the siren isn't blasting at 200db. This is necessary because it would be bad if every paramedic in the country was driven insane by their own equipment. I already know these people have problems, okay? I've watched the trailer for Bringing Out The Dead. EMTs need relative quiet to do their jobs, just as I need it when I'm taking a duker.

YOU, on the other hand, are in the way while you sit there idling in your Bronco. Therefore, it is vital that any passing fire truck obliterate your eardrums as it passes. I'm 43 years old and I STILL get angry about these vehicles being too noisy. They blitz past and I'm like, "Okay okay, WE GET IT! You need room, jeez buddy!" Meanwhile I nearly died in an ambulance 16 months ago. Perspective is for the weak. Since it's so nice sitting in that police car, maybe you guys should let ME drive it. HONK HONK WOO WOO OUTTATHEWAY EVERYONE THERE'S A POSSIBLE 5150 DOWN THE BLOCK AND I GOTTA MAKE A COLLAR.

John:

I waffle between cutting my fingernails pre-shower, when they are nice and crisp and I get to enjoy watching the shards dart across the bathroom but have to pick them up later, and a nice and smooth post-shower cutting, when they are soft & supple and I can gently direct them into the toilet. The one thing I don't do is cut them over the kitchen sink like my Dad. That's gross.

According to my wife, whose mom advice is far more accurate and reliable than my dad advice, you're supposed to cut your nails after you shower, when your extremities are warmer and more pliable. Do I listen to her? John, I do not. Instead, I clip my nails like I'm impulse-buying a Twix bar at the supermarket. If I notice one has gotten too long, I'm like I better go cut this. This doesn't happen after a shower. This happens, like, during church. In my case, there is a reason for it. I'm a lifelong nail-biter, I HAVE to clip an overgrown nail before my teeth get to it first. It's my only way of beating back the temptation, and that it why I have to clip my nails during your sister's wedding. She'll understand.

Olaf:

It seems like movies are using more montages these days for when characters go experience life-changing events. 'A Star is Born' and 'Always be My Maybe' used an inordinate amount of montages in my opinion. I like a good montage but when it's half the movie I feel kind of robbed and find it to be lazy filmmaking.

That's because it IS lazy filmmaking. The Team America montage sequence—which itself IS the greatest montage sequence in history—exposed the whole scam just over a minute. A montage is a narrative shortcut: a way of flashing forward without having to get into any intriguing detail about how you arrived at the next point in the story. So my rule is that you get ONE montage per movie, maximum. That's it. If you need more montages than that, you're not making a movie. You're making an extended trailer.

Also, if you're making a TV show, you get ONE solemn music sequence per season. And it's not allowed to happen during a finale. Scrubs was an entire show made out of solemn music sequences. Biggest scam running in show business. Leonard Cohen's estate could buy a fucking island chain with his "Hallelujah" TV royalties.

Matt:

Would you consume an entire jar of mayonnaise if it meant a Vikings Super Bowl victory? No sandwich or other food, just a big spoon and Joe Buck in the background.

Yes. Also, with all sports going dark, I am BEGGING the networks to broadcast simulated games. Use live announcers (working from home, of course). Use the same graphics you'd use for real games. Let Stephen A. rant for hours on end about the Virtual Knicks kicking customers out of the Garden for sipping their drinks too loudly. I know it would be easy to tune out at the beginning. But I'm so hard up for new sports right now I'll watch ANYTHING. Fake sports is better than nothing. You could even ban replay from these games! Then the real deal will come back and everyone will be like, "The fuck are these challenge flags for? Piss off." Just like in the real world, this is an opportunity to identify and eliminate practices that we NEVER should have been doing in the first place.

Justin:

London broil is underrated. My parents fed it to us all the time growing up but I never really ate it again until I had kids of my own. Now it's one of my go-to beefs because it's 1) cheap, 2) easy, 3) delicious. My kids eat it without complaint and so long as you don't slice the whole thing at once. It's actually even better the next day on garlic bread.

You will not believe me when I tell you I had no idea that garlic bread subs were a thing until, like, this year. Think of all the congenital heart disease I've been missing out on. HORRIBLE. Anyway, my in-laws marinate London broil in orange juice and soy sauce and then toss it on the grill. It's a wholly reliable dinner, and it beats dryass cheap cuts like eye round.

But enough about that shit. Let's talk garlic bread sandwiches, because the next time I brave the grocery store, I'm gonna buy one of those frozen garlic bread loaves and then pile the insides high with ham, capicola, salami, mortadella, provolone, and then more salami. If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna do it MY way.

Brad:

You once quoted a study about when NFL teams should decline punting and opt to go for it on 4th down, and about 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'T punt within four yards of a first down and/or within their opponent's 40?

Hell yeah they should do that. They could do that in a simulated season. The NFL loves endlessly tinkering with its rulebook. What better time to do it than during a slate of fake games? Sometimes I play Madden and I'm like, "This is TOO much like actual football." Well, here's a chance to broadcast football that's A) easier for the rest of us to digest, and B) not the XFL. The NFL is about to re-up their TV deals and somehow make even MORE money while the rest of us are left to rot. They could use a cancelled season to improve the TV product virtually without sabotaging real games to do it. Then, when the players are given the okay to come back, they could apply what they learned from the sims to make real football more watchable.

Of course, that's me confusing dreams with reality. Instead of learning anything useful from a randomized video game season, Roger Goodell would force every subsequent real-life NFL kickoff to have a loading time of 37 minutes.

Email of the week!

Peter:

I recently turned 50 and unlike many of your readers who are newly or soon-to-be married, I've been married for 20 years. As a veteran of sorts, I've learned that you get used to your spouse's little foibles and start to hardly notice them as the years pass. However, there is one thing my wife does that, while not new, has started to bother me.

I work from home when I'm not traveling, so I've taken to doing the family laundry. (I find it strangely satisfying to tackle a mountain of laundry with bloodless efficiency, and will even walk the house looking for the last washcloth or sock to top off the final load). As I separate the laundry to put it in the machine, my wife's clothes are always in some various stage of being inside out which I find a little annoying but fine, no big deal. Her pants, however, will have her underwear still completely intertwined within them with the pants legs through the leg holes, which means she takes her pants and underwear off in one fell swoop, usually resulting in one leg inside out and the other kind of partially rolled up. Sometimes there is even a sock stuck in there. She makes no effort to separate these items before throwing them in the laundry bin.

This is not normal, right? Should I say something, or just deal with it and hope age further numbs my brain?

My wife got sick of me throwing my shirts inside out into the laundry and, to teach me a lesson, now leaves them inside out whenever she has to fold them. That made me come correct REAL fast.