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I Should Host 'Wheel Of Fortune'

Time for your weekly edition of Drew Magary's Funbag. Today, we're talking about piss volume, littering, arts & crafts, meatballs, and more.
February 11, 2020, 7:00pm

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

Andy:

My wife and I went to see a taping of Wheel of Fortune in February 2018 while on vacation in LA. It was a stupid thing to do but was absolutely fun. Anyway, the best part of it for me was watching how visibly annoyed Pat was at how long it took to tape three episodes. He must have asked the production people a dozen times to pick up the pace, what time they were leaving, why things were taking so long. He just wanted to leave the entire time. So you're totally not imagining his boredom on screen.

I'm definitely not. He looks fed up every fucking episode, man. He smacks the cue cards against his hands like he's waiting for his number to get called at the deli. And this motherfucker gets paid $15 million for the privilege. $15 million to work a grand total of 36 days a year. They cut to Pat and Vanna standing on a beach in Maui doing a promo and he looks like someone made him go to the DMV. [Bernie voice] It is a TRAGEDY … when ONE PERCENT … of ALL Americans … get ALL the cash and prizes … That is NOT justice … and that is why we are going to win … BECOSS the Pat Sajaks of this country believe … that it is ALWAYS theyuh turn.

I'm not done complaining. Wheel takes 22 minutes and yet somehow features 10 minutes of needless padding every episode. The bonus round happens 15 minutes into that shit. Also, they've fucked around and added a zillion mini-games and novelty spaces to the wheel, ostensibly to keep you interested but really just to keep Pat interested. Fire this man. Let him fuck off to his manor in Severna Park and drink Riunite on ice with all his boomer friends. Give me his job. I mean it. Let me host. I can do it. I don't even have a full-time job anymore. I can squeeze 36 days of amiable game show hosting duties into my schedule.

Hear me out: I'm the man for this job. I will show up to the studio in Burbank every day, on time. I will wear pants. I will spin the wheel with a centrifugal force that would make astronauts in training wince. I won't berate the crew. I won't give Vanna the silent treatment off camera. I won't act like this is some kind of horrible existential chore. We're gonna bring Wheel BACK. We're gonna ditch the mystery spaces and all the dumbshit crossword puzzles, and we're gonna bring back the prize gallery. Remember the shitty prize gallery?

Oh yeah. I'm gonna let the contestants spend their money on tasteful Seiko watches and wholesale pallets of Ban de Soleil. And I'll show GENUINE interest in those contestants, too! I won't talk to them like I'm being forced to socialize with other parents at a kiddie birthday party. I will absolutely ask Randy from Omaha why he's wearing a Nebraska Cornhuskers sweatshirt, and then I will commiserate with him over the fact that their football team is dogshit now. I'll also make sure the puzzle solutions aren't just random garbage like ENCHANTING VISTAS. All my phrases will be phrases people actually use.

I will NOT use the end of the show to workshop discarded Jay Leno monologue jokes with Vanna next to me. We're gonna play Wheel right up to the final whistle. After the bonus round is over, we're immediately into the 8pm block of The Bachelor: Horny In Manila. Pepper in promotional considerations where you need to. But let's make sure we're packing this bad boy with ACTION from wire to wire. I'm not gonna be like Pat and treat this gig like it's a golden parachute. And I'm not gonna be like Drew Carey and treat it like high-paying career killer. Of all the Drew -ar(e)ys, I am the superior model.

Also, I'm gonna make the bonus round winnable. No more solutions like QUIZ BOX that are specifically designed to have letters no contestant will ever pick. That's bullshit. This is a show that makes $125 million a year. We're gonna let people win it for once, and we're gonna expand the audience past the Centrum Silver set as we do. That's it. That's my pitch. Give me the Wheel. It's what I deserve.

Ryan:

This question has crossed my mind on several occasions while walking/driving around any normal city: Which identifiable brand is responsible for the most worldwide litter? If I am walking down the street anywhere in the world and see trash in the gutter, which brand is the most prominent? Initially I thought McDonald's was the most likely culprit but as I am typing this I am starting to lean towards random Coke bottles and cans.

What about Budweiser though? If you stop next to any babbling brook, you WILL see an empty Bud can from 1982 lolling down it, pinballing amongst the rocks. One time I found a Bud can on the ground that had a pull tab on it, it was so old. I almost kept it. I was like THIS COULD BE WORTH A LOT OF MONEY! But I decided against it. Clearly my loss. Aluminum cans do decompose, but it can take up to 200 years. That's found money that we're ALL missing out on. I should quit writing and collect these cans, perhaps amassing them inside in a shopping cart of some kind. Whole new way of disrupting the job sector.

But Ryan is correct. Coke is the #1 offender when it comes to global waste. That's not me doing my usual dad bullshitting. It's been measured by volunteer groups. The beauty of soda is that it will not only rot your insides, but its waste will also choke the life out of everything else around you. Now that's a win-win, folks. Can't wait to visit the Grand Canyon and see it filled to with brim with ice cold Coca-Cola. What majesty. What effervescence. I am shedding tears of pure, high fructose corn syrup as we speak.

I should note that the volunteer study linked above is flawed because of sample size and because it was strictly limited to plastic waste. They didn't count nuclear waste, which is definitely a type of litter. And they didn't count, like, oil spills. Nearly five million barrels of oil spilled after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, with just under a fifth of it recovered. Oil is a fun kind of litter because you can't pick it up. Instead, it spreads around and gets into everything. Why, you could be eating some of that spilled BP petroleum right now! If you don't mind, I'm gonna drill a hole into your skull and install a tiny derrick on top of it to extract that sweet, sweet oil. RED GOLD.

In my personal experience, the litter I see the most often comes from … Subway. If there's a cup or a wrapper sitting in a ditch somewhere, it's from Subway. You're all eating way too much Subway. The bread there is a worse crime than whatever Jared did. Honorable mention to pretty much every bottled water brand currently in operation. "We captured naturally effervescent water from the Vergèze spring for Perrier, and then lovingly encased it in the same material that will one day clog up that spring and destroy it." The irony is so clear and sparkling!

Frankly, I'm stunned that open littering isn't back in fashion yet. One day, Trump is gonna be like, "Why can't we litter anymore? We never WIN littering and it's terrible!" and then Ben Shapiro and every other loyal take dumpster will fall in line and start chucking used Fig Newton sleeves out of their car windows.

Jess & Joseph:

We're weird and can't agree on the difference between arts and crafts. How do you define them? Does it even matter?

I can define them. Art is fun. Crafts are torture. Take it from a parent: Craft time will break you. I will die young thanks to the mass prevalence of glue stick toxins in this house. And every preschool in America is a crafts sweatshop. Little kids spend all day making dreamcatchers with tongue depressors, and then I'm forced to save them like I'm the official curator of the Smithsonian. YOU TALK ABOUT LITTER.

For your question, I went and consulted the dictionary like a complete hack. The answers I found there didn't satisfy me, so I'm gonna over ride both Merriam AND Webster and tell you that arts are for form and crafts are for function. When you make a homemade map of the world—complete with North America in the shape of diseased tree—that's a craft. You're making something to use it for something else. You're painting pottery, or writing signs, or cutting out decorations for a Christmas party. It's not art for art's sake. Crafts are practical, or at least as practical as an anatomically correct human skeleton made from dog treats can be.

Alan:

What's [VICE editor Tim] Marchman's stance on heat in the winter? AC's s a necessity because you can only take off so many clothes. Naked in 120 degrees is still fucking hot. But you can add infinite layers and save energy all winter. Just the keep the house at 45 or whatever to keep the pipes from freezing.

I asked Marchman your question and here was his reply:

"Heat in the winter is bullshit. We keep the house at 62 and wear robes around if needed. I tried to turn the heat up to 68 when everyone was sick this week and got yelled at by Sarah, who had the flu."

Please note that my temp VICE boss says that heat is "bullshit" right before openly admitting that he does, in fact, use it all winter long. Never underestimate Marchman's determination to be both wrong AND physically miserable simultaneously. As for you, please use your heat in the winter if you have it. People die without heat every year, especially the homeless. The few times I've had to sleep in the winter during a blackout, I thought I was gonna have to hunt down a seal and use its blubber for lamp oil. Meanwhile here's Tough Guy Tim acting like heat is for losers. I'm offended by him on your behalf.

Ben:

How many kids does one need to have in order to have wiped someone else's butt more times than your own? You have said that you have three kids, have you wiped their butts (collectively) more times than you have wiped your own?

Not a chance. I'm been wiping my own ass for over 40 years now. By contrast, I've been parenting for just 14 years, and all my kids learned to wipe themselves years ago. I know that kids, particularly babies, shit a LOT more than adults. Give a baby some oatmeal and suddenly their ass becomes Kīlauea. But my kids would still have to shit at a rate of, like, six times an hour and need to be wiped until age 10 to match my personal career tally. And to exceed that tally, I'd have to have as many kids as the Duggars and both my parents would need to be in hospice.

It's easy to make jokes about changing diapers and wiping your kids. I know because I get paid to do it. But there's also an enormous intimacy to the whole process. My kids are growing up and learning to fend for themselves, but there was once a time when they were so small and so helpless that my wife and I had to assist them with basic bodily functions. You never forget doing any of that work. It tethers you to your kids in a way that lasts forever, no matter who they grow up to be. And THAT is why guys who brag about never changing a diaper are terrible people. It's not just that they're prudish, and that they're forcing someone else to do a job both parents should be doing. It's that they're deliberately skipping over a strangely vital bonding moment that can never be reclaimed. They don't GET parenting and they don't want to. They suck. Change a fucking diaper.

HALFTIME!

Brian:

Are meatballs sausage? I had a vehement disagreement with a coworker over this.

They're not. They're meatballs. Sausage comes in link or patty form. A meatball is a ball. Whole other thing. Also, this isn't a hard and fast rule, but a lot of meatballs are made with breadcrumbs mixed in for added texture. With sausage, you're usually just getting the good stuff. And by "good stuff," I mean pig lungs.

By the way, frozen meatballs are a good value if you're ever in need of a quick meal. I've tried making meatballs from scratch, using this recipe. They were good. Were they better than the ones I could get from the freezer aisle? Not enough to make up for all the time it took to cook them. I could have been on Twitter that whole time, Ina. Dick.

Parker:

On the Deadcast a few months ago you mentioned people calling the Wizards the 'zards, which is pretty bad. But my dad calls the Orlando Magic the 'gic, mostly to make fun of me for following the Magic. Can you think of a worse nickname than that? There probably is one but I'm struggling to come up with it.

I remember SportsCenter people calling the Colorado Avalanche the 'lanche for a long time before they switched over to calling them the Avs. These sportscasters are all roughly as lazy as Pat Sajak, if not more so. You can't even be bothered to say a two- or three-syllable word? Telling me what's going on with sports teams is your literal fucking job. You are not ingratiating yourselves with all the hip millennial sports fans by Topher-fying every team's name. No one calls the Houston Texans the 'Xans. Actually that would be better than "Texans" but THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is that if you're gonna be that lazy, every team name should just be a fucking emoji. John Anderson would probably shorten it to half an emoji anyway. "Big night for the SHRUHS."

Steve:

How the hell do you get the charcoal to catch fire without wasting an hour of your life? I've heard lighter fluid is bad for you so I've just been lighting pieces of paper on fire but that takes forever. Please let me know what you use before my wife and kids stop letting me grill.

You have to buy a chimney starter. You can find them at Home Depot or on Amazon for less the $20. You stuff the bottom of it with newspaper knots. You load the top the charcoal. You light up the bottom and BOOM! You got yourself a fire. That's magic.

I was like you once. I believed I could start a fire with my own bare hands. I was a MAN. I believed that I could arrange a tasteful pyramid of briquettes and will the flames to arise from them. Then I bought a chimney starter and realized I was an idiot. Chimney starters are easy and reliable. Best of all, when you light one, the fire billows up right away. It's deeply satisfying, not to mention efficient. Sometimes I wanna grill shit just so I have an excuse to start a fire with mine. Never again will I waste my time trying to get a pile of Kingsford to light itself. Again, I could have been on Twitter with all those spent hours.

Garett:

What do you think is the best flavor of milkshake? And I mean your regular ice cream shop milkshake flavors, without added ingredients like candy or whatever. Here's my ranking:

1) Butterscotch
2) Cookies 'n' Cream
3) Vanilla
4) Mint Chocolate Chip
5) Chocolate
6) Strawberry

Chocolate is totally overrated flavor and vanilla is always underrated, right? And strawberry milkshakes are just as terrible as strawberry flavored milk.

You have to slow down, Garett. I was not ready for that many bad takes crammed into one letter. You and Marchman should sit in a cold house together. I have never had a butterscotch milkshake and have no plans to. Also, strawberry shakes are among the most dependable shakes in the world. Even McDonald's does them justice. And strawberry milk is good too, while we're at it. [_And I have the bad takes?—Ed._] What I'm saying Garett is that I must now hunt you down and kill you. YOU FUCKER.

Also, you have Oreo shakes listed on here despite the fact that you banned add-ins like candy. What difference does it really make if the cookies or candy start out in the ice cream? And there's no point in drawing a line there because most every ice cream shop offers add-ins anyway. Only burger joints that hate you offer just basic shakes. I require the full shake menu, and I want every last piece of candy blended into my shit. The best flavor of shake is the one I'm having at any given moment. It usually has Reese's, Butterfinger, and Heath bits in it.

I take milkshakes personally. They mean a lot to my inner fat kid. I treat myself to one anytime I go on a business trip, because I've earned one. When I look at the shake menu at a Cookout, my heart opens. So I refuse to go the full Simmons and tell you which ones are properly rated. Shakes transcend Internet-ese.

Jim:

If Trump said one day, "I don't pee or poop. Never have, never needed to. Peeing and pooping is for losers," what percentage of his base would believe him? And how would they explain his lack of a need of excretion?

It's not that they believe any of his lies, it's that they want him to lie and get away with it. So they'll gladly assist him in the task by saying that only babies and sissies poop and that their fearless leader doesn't. The lie doesn't matter. Only the getting away with it does. Trump is a living wet dream for every dickish asshole who drives a pickup truck and believes they deserve to be king of everything. To see Trump chase the same shallow aspirations and somehow NOT get tossed down a well for it is their eternal wellspring of inspiration, and it's the reason they'll vote for him even if he murders their children. Oh look, another thing our boy Don got away with. THE BALLS ON THIS GUY! WE LOVE IT!

Zachary:

My 10 month old has recently been semi-entrained by Sesame Street. What's the official "Magary Power Rankings" of Sesame Street characters? All I recommend is Elmo get the traditional last spot after getting hit by a bus.

You know what's weird is that my own kids never got into Sesame Street. When I was a kid, I used to fight with my sister over the TV because I wanted to watch Sesame Street and she wanted to watch Little House on the Prairie, which sucked. My own kids blitzed right past both of those relics and dove headlong into the netherworld of shitty Disney sitcoms and YouTube clips of other people playing video games. So I haven't watched a full episode of Sesame Street in a long, long time. But FUCK IT WE'LL DO IT LIVE. Please note that these rankings will not include any Muppets. I know Muppets occasionally visit the SSCU, but I'm gonna keep those add-ins off the list for the time being.

  • Cookie Monster
  • Cookie Monster
  • Cookie Monster
  • Ernie
  • Grover
  • The Count
  • Oscar
  • Guy Smiley
  • Bert
  • Zoe
  • Big Bird
  • Snuffleupagus
  • The aforementioned bus crash
  • Elmo

Ernie will always be better than Bert. Bert's such a tightass.

Ryan:

Could you completely fill a toilet with urine and how long would it take (assuming you only use it for pissing)? You start with a standard amount of water in the toilet and let's say no smell accumulates during this process. It seems doable but you'd have to have a good main toilet for your pissing efforts.

I tried googling the average toilet bowl volume to make give you a highly scientific answer, but everything I found measured toilets in flush volume, as is how much water drains from the tank every time you flush. The average is around 1.6 gallons. Seems like we'll need all that water for more important duties down the line.

So let's think about it this way: how many times can you flush a clogged toilet before it overflows? I am veteran of clogging toilets, and in my experience you get two flushes if you're lucky. That second flush races up to the lip of the bowl and you're like OH GOD PLEASE DON'T BREACH THE LEVEE. You will not get a third flush. That makes for a three-gallon limit. Now, the average human urine output per day is between 800 and 2,000mL, which is annoying because now I have to do conversions from metric. Lousy metric system. If I split the difference between 800 and 2,000mL and say you piss 1,600mL a day, that's .37 gallons. That gives you just over eight days to fill that toilet with used Michelob. Make it a party.

Jon:

My mother-in-law babysat my kids the other day. At some point, she decided to make muffins out of some overly ripe bananas we had in the kitchen. We were out of both butter and vegetable oil so, scrambling for an alternative, she found a recipe that called for ... mayonnaise. I regret to inform you that the muffins were delicious.

Oh that's fine. As much as I hate mayonnaise, I'm not gonna bitch about it as a baking ingredient. I love the cake shake at Portillo's and everyone on Twitter is like, "Drew, bro, they make that cake with mayonnaise!" Well, yeah. But they don't put it on TOP of the cake. It's just part of the batter. It's not really mayo anymore. I don't eat raw flour either, but I'll accept it in cake form. So don't apologize to me when people use mayonnaise the right way: by hiding it.

Email of the week!

Patrick:

I'm a contractor at a large retail company based out of Minneapolis. It's the second week into my contract so the nervousness and excitement are still running pretty high, but I've gotten to know a number of people well enough and am just beginning to get comfortable and friendly with my coworkers and superiors. So I'm in the elevator preparing to take my first bite into my pre-lunch Honeycrisp apple. One of the enormous, cartoonishly juicy ones grown here, not one of those bullshit ones they grow out in like Washington (and then some times ship to MN?!). There are maybe six people in the elevator, one of whom is my boss' boss. A nice woman and excellent leader who I greatly hope to impress over the course of my six-month contract. We exchange a friendly nod and smile and settle into a comfortable silence as the elevator doors close. As the elevator begins to ascend, I bite into my apple releasing a forceful jet of delicious, sweet, tangy, and sticky apple juice directly sideways into the temple of my boss' boss. This isn't just a light spray or gentle misting either. It was a hefty load of apple juice.

I did nothing. She did nothing. We both just stood there, me chewing my apple and trying to be quiet (not possible with a Honeycrisp). Her, standing silently looking ahead, not even flinching as apple juice runs down her face, just past the corner of her eye. The elevator stops, I walk directly ahead, and she continued upward. In the split seconds after the apple juice…. erupted… from the apple, I somehow decided that apologizing would only make things more awkward, and that the correct play was to just stand there and not break the code-of-elevator-silence. I'm pretty sure that that decision was not the correct one, but I still don't know what the appropriate thing to do would have been, and am even more unclear on what the normal, adult thing to do moving forward is. This happened about 3 hours ago.

What do I do?

Stick to bananas, I guess.