FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).
Today, we’re talking about old man farts, parking apps, Florida, road trips, cupcakes, and more.
If you were to rank the best place on your body to hold your sunglasses when not wearing them, from least douchey to most douchey, what would it be? My ranking is:
LEAST TO MOST:
1) Brim of your hat (if you’re wearing one)
2) Hanging from the neck of your shirt
3) Top of your head (no hat on)
4) Back of your head or neck
5) On your forehead
I can perfectly picture any cast member from Jersey Shore doing #4 and #5. I think only 1-3 are acceptable in normal society. What say you?
I hang mine from the neck of my shirt UNLESS I happen to have a breast pocket handy, like on a dress shirt or a polo shirt. Then I keep those sunglasses right next to my manboob. Drives the ladies WILD. It’s also convenient and eliminates the risk of a hinge on one of the temples grabbing a stray chest hair and somehow ripping it out (this has happened to me!). If it makes me look like a dipshit, well, my face has already made preventing that impossible regardless. I prize convenience over looks, which is why I’m wearing pilled-up track pants as we speak. If you saw me right now, you’d cross the avenue to avoid coming within a five-yard radius of me. Here’s how I would rank them:
LEAST TO MOST:
1) Top of the head/hat
2) Neck of your shirt
3) Tucked into breast pocket
4) Tucked into cargo shorts pocket… HELL YEAH
5) Forehead. Somehow my forehead is too flat to make this possible for me
6) Tucked into your waistband. Like a six-shooter, baby.
7) Hanging from CROAKIES. So cool! Very modern look. I told you I’m a slave to practicality and yet even I wouldn’t dare to wear Croakies: the beer coozie of sunglass storage. That’ll change if I ever own a speedboat.
8) Back of the head. I’m not lying when I tell you I had never done this. I tried it just now and it feels weird. That’s not where glasses go, man. Please remand this entry to the very bottom of the list if your sunglasses are also upside-down back there, like you think your head is a convertible.
9) On top of a VISOR. What is a visor, really, but a shelf for knockoff Oakleys? Some visors ARE sunglasses, which is just the sharpest look. If you ever want to be mistaken for a Sarasota tennis instructor, this is your look.
I live in a suburb of Boston and we’ve recently changed the T Station parking lots to be entirely pay by phone. Who does this benefit?!? I now have to log into an app, log my license plate, location, anticipated length of stay, and pay by card in an app. It’s too smart by half. If Google can’t protect our info I definitely trust some shady parking app to hold and protect my credit card. We’ve reached a point where technology is now less convenient because someone at City Hall wants to seem smart. The future is so fucking stupid.
That happened to me in D.C. once. I parked in a public garage before a concert, scanned around like an old fart for a meter to feed, and then discovered a sign telling me I had to download ParkMobile. So there I was, out on the town, standing in the middle of some shitty garage with bad reception, waiting for an app to load. In theory, I guess this is “easier” than waiting at a gate for a ticket and then paying on the way out at a Park-And-Pay kiosk that never works. And it’s “easier” than feeding meters with a credit card, or from a supply of quarters stashed in my car’s console that will prove inadequate at the least opportune times. In practice, it’s yet another example of people taking technology that purports to make things more efficient but makes them clumsy and annoying instead. It’s like instant replay. I assume ParkMobile is ALSO a social network, where you can friend other parking enthusiasts and star your favorite garages for scoring crack. FUN.
I’m too old and lazy to reorient my parking habits to this new model. Every day I get one step closer to becoming Ron Swanson. I am in a cranky purgatory where I am suspicious of wonky tech and even MORE suspicious of tech that works seamlessly, with barely any glitches at all. Apple keeps wanting me to set up Apple Pay and I’d rather die. They probably monitor your blood sugar levels when you use it. I don’t want some fucking app to know my license plate number, much less one run by a Mike Judge side character:
“This a true validation of our vision for smart mobility and our success in delivering innovation to the market. Today, over 350 municipalities and thousands of private garages, venues and airports have adopted the ParkMobile platform. With 1 in 20 drivers in the U.S. having the ParkMobile app on their mobile device, we are getting closer to realizing our vision of powering dynamic mobility solutions for cities and operators everywhere.”
“Dynamic mobility solutions.” Man, fuck you. You’re a digital meter maid. This guy is gonna sell your car’s information and your entire driving history to the Toyota lady and she will appear, in person, at your house and knock on your window, grinning like a maniac, to sell you an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty. Please god, no. The grid doesn’t get to have ALL my shit. Some shit I need to keep for myself. If that means getting a quarter stuck in a stupid meter every once in a while, I can live with that.
Everything that should be paperless isn’t and everything that shouldn’t be paperless now is. It’s a goddamn mess. The entire health insurance industry here is still built around FAXING things. And what if you can’t afford a fucking smartphone to park with, or you just don’t have one? I wanna die. If you need me, I’ll be in my basement tinkering with a ham radio.
Has Johnny Depp ever made a good movie? I submit to you that the answer is no.
You’re thinking of Angelina Jolie. HEY-OOOOOOOOOOOO. For real though, I don’t agree with that takeage. I’ve seen Johnny Depp in a lot of good movies: Donnie Brasco, Edward Scissorhands, the first Pirates movie, Platoon (he’s in it for a solid 40 seconds!), From Hell, and more. He’s an actor, so he’s invariably got some blight on his imdb page, especially since he’s a card-carrying loon who fancies himself a Serious Artist. He almost certainly has had an entire movie set rolling their eyes as he tests out a Foghorn Leghorn accent for the role of a sitting 19th-century President.
I would tell you that Johnny Depp is such a train wreck now, including being at the center of an ugly legal tussle over accusations of domestic assault, which had people pissed about him getting cast in Fantastical Hippogriffs 4: Dobby Lobby, that he may never headline a good movie again. But I know better. I know he’ll stage a branded comeback that includes a star turn in Tim Burton’s reimagining of Green Eggs and Ham (Depp will play the eggs; it’ll make $2 billion), and then he’ll get a mandatory Oscar for playing e e cummings in Busy Monster, as directed by Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. Entertainment Weekly will take a week off from liberal cheerleading to do their obligatory handiwork for L.A. publicists and put him on the cover with the headline THIS DEAD MAN HAS A TALE TO TELL. After that, Depp will settle into a latter-day career of for-hire work in action schlock to help pay off all his monstrous debt. It’ll be like Robert De Niro’s current filmography, only with more scarves and thumb rings. That’s all coming. You can set your watch to it.
He really is (was?) a good actor, though. It’s not like seeing Rob Schneider’s name on a marquee and instinctively knowing that you’re in for 87 minutes of pure shit that they filmed in between extended margarita breaks. The man made some enjoyable movies. Arizona Dream was not one of them. I am like other people in that I have acting nemeses whose presence in a film makes me WANT to hate it. If Depp is one of yours, I understand. But I’ll save my skepticism for Taylor Lautner movies instead, provided Taylor Lautner is still among the living.
Would you rather be the only person on earth who knew and could reproduce the entire catalog of Lennon/McCartney/Harrison or would you rather be the only person on earth who knew and could reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare?
I’m so fucked in the head that I immediately framed this question in terms of money. As in: which choice would make me richer? The answer, of course, is that neither option would make me a billionaire. Even if I were talented enough to recreate the plot of the upcoming movie Yesterday in real life, no one would give a shit. I’ve met the modern internet. People are online all the time being like ACTUALLY THE BEATLES WERE TRASH and acting like that’s a new opinion. You’re telling me you don’t like music that’s decades old? I’m stunned, I am. That’s so unlike young people.
So I’d get my ass handed to me. The Beatles showed up at the precisely right time for The Beatles to show up. If they showed up now, they’d get relegated to the second stage of Coachella and forced to open for Liver Diary. So if I were The Beatles, I’d be crooning “The Night Before” to a bunch of shit-high 20-somethings all dying for a bottle of water. That’s if I were lucky. And if I reproduced Shakespeare word for word, nobody would buy it, let alone publish it. Every written play of mine would be outsold by Kellyanne Conway’s Badass Woman Of Washington . If I ever managed to get a production funded, it would close after two weeks and get replaced with an Aaron Sorkin one-man play about the life of Dan Rather.
However, that’s the wrong way to think about all this. I do support doing creative shit for money. It’s how I earn a living at the present moment, until my employers realize they’ve been throwing that money down a trash chute. But to be the sole vessel and custodian of one of mankind’s most vital artistic entities, and either choice counts as one, would be a fucking HUGE responsibility. It’s not a thing where I’m gonna succeed or be happy trying to present myself as a credible, expensive impostor for either one. It would be better (Communist voice) to spend my life IN those works and championing them, even to deaf ears. I would pick Shakespeare and then I would become so obsessive over preserving his works, while insisting that I was not the originator of them, that they would lock me up in a loony bin within a matter of months. You don’t understand! I come from an alternate past! What are those shock paddles for?!
My kid had to read Shakespeare’s sonnets in seventh grade. Her teacher gave the class a bunch of the poems printed out on a worksheet to take home, and when I read them, I was happy. They were gorgeous. I became like other people who are so transfixed by timeless works of art that they can feel their internal chemistry change at the sight of it. That’s worth more than drawing up some fucking business plan to make Shakespeare an app. I think. Okay, it’s probably not, but still. I’m gonna go read more of those sonnets and just be happy.
Why do people live in Florida?
I shit on Florida all the time because it’s a swamp full of insane people, but even I know that it’s easy to make a case for the state as a whole. You know it’s warm in Florida, right? Hurricanes be damned, the weather there makes Florida infinitely more pleasant than, like, Indiana. If you’re gonna live in a shithole, at least live in a sunny one. I’ve caught Florida on the right day, feeling the gentle breeze and standing among the swaying palms staring out into in the shimmering Atlantic, and I have felt like a complete idiot for not living there. It beckons to people. It’s warm. It has great food. It has no state income taxes. Swept clean of America’s horseshit, it’s paradise.
The bitter irony is that Florida sells itself so well that it has attracted more than enough people to fucking ruin it, so much so that it’s somehow now reasonable for you to be like, “Ugh, Florida… who would want to live THERE?” We (and by “we,” I mean people other than me) should fix Florida so that it’s pristine again. Drive out all the old people and racist sheriffs. Drive out Derek Jeter. Throw all the fucking guns into Lake Okeechobee. FIND THAT DAMN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. Florida has too much going for it to end its lifespan as a glorified dog track.
How did people plan road trips before the internet? How would you know where you should stop if there was no Yelp to recommend it?
You just ate at McDonald’s like everyone else did. The road planned your meals for you. When you got hungry, you stopped where it told you to stop. I am still lacking in ambition when it comes to road food. I just wanna stop and eat and piss quickly, and not lose precious time before arriving at my relatives’ house to stare at the wall. If that means I don’t get to enjoy a lunch of perfectly arranged charcuterie and hearth-made flatbreads on the way to Crested Butte, I’ll survive. The road is the worst place to be picky. There could be a free meal at Husk awaiting me en route and if it’s two miles off the highway, I’m not stopping. Fuck that. Once I start the trip, I want to end it. I demand efficiency.
So when it comes to planning road trips now, about the only difference in my process from back in the day was that I can use Google Maps, check the route beforehand, and then worry that the route Google Lady has chosen will either have a shitload of traffic when I use it, or that she’ll try to divert me from traffic by having me drive over Mount Rainier or through a day care center. That’s definitely an improvement from me forcing whoever’s riding shotgun to eyebang an atlas and then yelling at them because they can’t read the fucking thing properly. But it’s still not a fully optimized road trip experience. Maybe ParkMobile can think of a more dynamic mobility solution.
By the way, back before smartphones, we would print out directions using MapQuest. Remember MapQuest? We all loved MapQuest, did we not? I used to use MapQuest, and then I upgraded to a Garmin, because I adopt new technology at roughly the same rate and canniness of the President. God man, this Funbag has aged me by 90 years. This is all because I got fitted for hearing aids last week. I feel so old, man. Anyway, road trips are still as long and annoying as they’ve always been, and you won’t ever catch me going the full Kerouac when talking about them .
Earlier this year, I was at an MLS match sitting in the family section. I stood up to cheer and was immediately and rudely told by a fellow fan to sit down or “go sit in the other section” (supporters’ area behind the nets). I sat down dejected and felt like I would have been justified starting an argument or perhaps throwing a well-timed and simple curse at the man. I mean, it is live sports after all! Furthermore, my girlfriend was with me and I felt judged by her for backing down so easily, although she did say I “made the right call.” Should I have said something?
I would say yes, except that I wouldn’t have the temerity to say anything either. Like you, I would sit down then just seethe about it instead, like a chump. I’m of the mind that you should expect mass standing to be extremely prevalent when you go to a sporting event, especially if it’s a critical matchup. This isn’t particularly fair to kids, nor to short people, nor to the elderly, but I just figured that standing was now widely tolerated outside of Lambeau Field, where old cusses will smack you with a cane if you scream DE-FENSE too loud.
I took my son to a Skins game last fall and quickly realized the whole section was gonna stand for the entire game. I know it’s hard to believe a crowd in Landover would be actually excited for a home game, but it’s true. Only time the fans sat was when Alex Smith broke his leg. After that, they were right back on their feet with COLT MC-COY chants. My son had to stand on his seat to make out any of the action, but neither he nor I bitched people out about it. It was just how it was, and I wasn’t in the mood to instigate some shit with acolytes of the Dead Tree Crew. I am firmly of the mind that, unless standing causes serious physical problems, you just do as your section does. It’ll usually make the right choice: sitting for regular season baseball but standing for college football, etc. It’s an improvised sociological experiment and I almost always fall in line with the majority on it, even when that majority is comprised of a bunch of Taylors from Olney who only speak remedial Junkies-ese.
It’s apparently not on Youtube, but when I was a kid, the NFL ran a PSA telling fans to sit down during games. The ad opens up with people at a Bills game sitting and enjoying the K-Gun offense in action, until some drunken asshole—you know, a Bills fan—stumbles in and stands up the whole game to cheer. Then the whole section shouts him down by singing “Sit down! Sit down, don’t rock the boat!” Then they cut to Jim Kelly telling you to sit there during games and to please not rock the boat. I swear this ad existed, and it was as dated then as it is now.
If you are sitting in what is formally designated a family section—with scores of kids and babies wearing construction ear muffs and shit—then I understand why people would want you to sit. They shouldn’t be cocks about it, though I expect nothing less from pampered mommies and daddies. Outside of that, people shouldn’t be shocked if they discover that they don’t get to spend the game on their asses. In the future, teams will sell Personal Butt Licenses and charge you extra for a seat located in a loge-level box that’s Sitting Only. But until then, wear comfortable shoes.
So the other day my nephew who went to a kids party handed me a cupcake shaped as a 1.5" cube (Minecraft themed) and it was so easy to eat, tasted good all around, not like the usual cupcakes where the bottom part is underwhelming and you have to remove the liner. It was such a revelation, cupcakes should be cube shaped ALWAYS!
I’m fine with making that an iron law, but really the issue with cupcakes is more the size than the shape. A mini-cupcake is much easier to eat than a full-size one, where you gotta unlock your jaw like you’re a crocodile just to accommodate a bite that has a proper ratio of cake and frosting. A BIG cube cupcake would be just as cumbersome as a round one. Plus, a bigger cupcake means more cake part and really, the cake part isn’t the main attraction for me. I just want frosting delivered into my body with a minimum of fuss. If that means eating more Minecraft cupcakes, I’m fine with that so long as Notch doesn’t get any more royalties from my purchase, because he sucks.
By the way, one old foodhack is to remove the bottom of a cupcake, stick it on top of the frosting, and eat the thing like it’s a whoopie pie. I have tried this method. I was dying to like it, it seemed so smart. But what happens is that you get bukkaked in crumbs, and then all of the tasty frosting gets tucked between two stumps of dryass cake. There’s a reason layer cakes also have frosting on top, you know. They don’t just leave the top barren. Eating a cupcake sandwich is like eating a cake that a baker forgot to finish. I’m crestfallen. From now, I’m only buying cupcakes from Hostess.
Now that we’ve got openers in baseball, will we start tracking opens like we do saves? I’ve been at multiple White Sox games this year where Lucas Giolito gave up a grand slam in the first inning. Would an opener have prevented this and my suffering?
No, because you’re a White Sox fan and they’re fucking terrible no matter what they do (RIP Marchman ). Anyway, you will not see “tables set” ever become an official baseball stat. I KNOW ME SOME BASEBAW. For real though, 64 years passed between the first time a manager first used relief pitching and the sport recognizing saves as an official stat. So even if baseball adopted some way of measuring “cold opens” for pitchers, the world will be on fire by the time they do it.
Secondly, saves are a fucking horrible stat. Both nerdy stat nerds AND Phil Mushnick agree on this take. They’re a shitty way of gauging effective relief pitching. And given the impact that sabremetrics has already made on the sport, MLB would either forgo an official stat for openers, or they would devise an inscrutable-but-more-accurate stat that old sportswriters would then immediately bitch about. Fire Joe Morgan no longer exists but old timers being like, “These pencilnecks with their BUMBO stats ain’t ever stepped up on the mound!” will never go out of fashion.
A few more things while I’m pulling insights out of my ass. If you’re gonna have both closers AND openers, you may as well make every game a committee effort, as the Rays have attempted in the past. If that happens, there’s no real point in tallying save-type stats based on whatever innings a pitcher happens to work, because every inning is equally important. That’s why saves are dumb. That’s why wins and losses are also dumb. Any simplistic new stat they might devise would strictly be a marketing ploy, an easy number for to you to look at on a baseball card.
Regardless, starters will probably never go extinct. Everyone in the sport is too accustomed to them, and professional pitchers have been trained and molded for the work. Some guys thrive in short relief. Other guys are warhorses who need multiple innings to get into a rhythm and establish command. Even though the Rays won 90 games last year, it would still take years and years for the entire sport to rework itself around a new pitching model. And if there’s one thing baseball loves, it’s change! They’re super into change. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
Email of the week!
At my small, local gym, an older gentleman usually comes in while I am on the treadmill. First thing he does is close the windows that were slightly opened, which cuts off air flow in the gym. Second thing he does is get on the only other treadmill right next to me, begin his jog, and start farting. Nasty, old man farts. He has done this for the last three occasions where we have been in the gym at the same time. My question is, what gives? Do I say something? It’s kind of hard to run while inhaling old man farts.
That was me. My apologies.