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

Adam:

How would rate the best rationalizations for overeating? Here are my rankings:

1) Kid has leftovers that would be thrown out if not eaten by you

2) Your schedule says might have to go 6-8 hours without eating, so eat like you are storing away for the winter

3) Just had two healthy days of eating to feel entitled

4) Eating at an all you can eat sushi and want to feel like got your money’s worth

5) Holiday/Birthday

What do you got?

Well, today is a Wednesday. That’s usually a good enough excuse for me. I’m gonna do some rankings for you as a courtesy, but you and I both know that if you like overeating enough, you’ll MAKE occasions to do it. Same with boozing. I remember fabricating whatever reasons I needed to celebrate any random Thursday night with a streak of Old Fashioneds and a six-pack. Now that I’m off the sauce, I have transferred those mind-bending powers over to the complementary realms of gluttony and smoking up. If I park at a meter that’s already been fed, it’s Steak Night. So I’m gonna rank these occasions. Just know that I’ll still gorge on pad thai on a whim because it happens to be Arbor Day.

  1. The Super Bowl. Duh. If you watch what you eat on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re not a real American. This is why 120 million people watch the Super Bowl every year. It’s not because they like football. It’s because they wanna house a pan of seven-layer dip without judgment.
  2. Thanksgiving. I’d add Christmas here but by the time Christmas Day rolls around, I’m so filled with shame and candied pecans from a month-long December binge that the sight of ham (or yet another turkey) fills me with dread. I am tapped out on food by Christmas. Now, Thanksgiving? On Thanksgiving, I am a landfill.
  3. You got divorced. You’re gonna be back in the dating pool very soon. You’re gonna have to shape up to make a good first impression and find new love after your marriage just fell apart. But you don’t have to do that quite yet. For now, you get the sad Ben & Jerry’s pint. And you know what? You should enjoy it. It’s really fucking good! You ain’t got nobody to impress right now anyway.
  4. You did something strenuous that day. In my suburban ecosystem, I count ANY home project as an extended sentence of hard labor. I had to spend 20 minutes hanging picture frames the other morning. Twenty minutes! You better believe I earned my triple helping of nachos that evening.
  5. You’re on vacation. On numerous occasions, I have gotten a look from my wife for ordering a whole fried shark while we’re in, like, North Carolina. And I’ll be like WE’RE ON VACATION, MAN! There are no rules on vacation. You load up the rental house with Crunch Berries and bacon. And when you go out, you leave no dish unbuttered. Those are the rules of vacation. They are hard law.
  6. YOUR BUD IS IN TOWN! He’s only here till August! You better hit that churrascaria and swallow every beef sword whole! That’s quality bonding time for you and “The Dave.”
  7. You got a job! Or a promotion! Or your shitty boss was replaced with a new, somewhat less shitty one! All valid. Also valid?…
  8. You lost your job. My wife and I made a rule ages ago that whenever we got laid off, we would go out for pizza and beer. We ended up having a lot of pizza and beer. It was a quality rule.
  9. Any wedding or reception that has good food. Wedding food is always a gamble, but when you strike upon a raw bar, you know what time it is. Same as Adam’s point up above about AYCE sushi. You only have so much time before that spread gets taken away and you’re left a hungry and destitute urchin once more. Speaking of which…
  10. Any hotel breakfast/brunch buffet. I’ve said before that the complimentary spread at your local Courtroof Motor Lodge is a sad conglomeration of old people watching Fox News on the communal TV and testy businessmen talking way too loud on the phone. But there ARE free waffles. Plus stale danishes! WHO SAYS NO?
  11. A cookout! Someone brought fried chicken! You better believe I’m using that paper tablecloth as my own personal napkin.
  12. You took a long walk. I always take long walks when I get the chance, especially if I’m somewhere new. This gives me time to see more of a city and get a feel for it, plus it gives me time to act like a contemplative priss. Mostly though, it means I can check my step count right around cocktail hour, see that it hit five digits, and feel justified in walking to the nearest dim sum palace to kill my insides quickly.

I would tick off more excuses, but those would just make me hungrier than I already am. I would put my birthday on here, but I’ve reached my 40s. The way life goes is that you start out loving your birthday, then you stop giving a shit about it, and then you come to actively fear it because Death is drawing ever nearer. I’m right between the second and third phases. It’s just another goddamn day. I literally forget how old I am sometimes. I’ve lost count. This is not a promising development.

One last thing I should tell you about overeating: A cheat day is only a cheat day if you don’t weigh yourself the next morning. If you don’t have to answer for that burrito right away, you’re gonna eat the shit out of it. This is why I spend every business trip eating like I’ve come back to civilization after being stranded in the Arctic.

Rose:

What if you had a butt in your butt? Like Alien-style where a second butt comes out of your butt for the poo poo to come out of? What do you think a toilet would look like if we had this? Oh god why am I asking this? Why did i hit send

The only thing they’d have to do is make toilets deeper. If your mini-butt dipped into the water, you’d be upset. You’ll need is to shit down a well instead. As a tall person, I support higher toilets. Toilets that are low to the ground are racist against me.

Aesthetically, all this would take some getting used to. If you’ve ever seen a horse take a shit, you know that its asshole kind of blossoms—gonna pause here to let you vomit—before a softball-sized bolus falls out. Your mini-butt would basically operate the same way. It would be a red rocket, but for taking a dump. It would also make a lot of porn somehow grosser than it already is.

Andrew:

What is the acceptable amount of times and/or situations your spouse should text (or CALL?!?!) you at work? I ask as a married father of two kids. Mind you, these are not emergency calls, but usually what I want for dinner or something that can definitely wait until I get home.

My wife is a preschool teacher, so I can’t call her when she’s at work because she has to make sure no child accidentally pees in the Rainy Day Room. Even if I could call her while she’s on duty, I probably wouldn’t. We’ve been married for 17 years. I don’t need to call my wife out of the blue at 10:30am to be like, “So, whatcha up to?!” I know she’s busy teaching and she knows I’m busy answering questions about vestigial asses. When my wife DOES call me, I’m terrified something has gone wrong. She had a car accident. One of our kids lost a limb at school. Trader Joe’s stopped selling that canned smoked trout of theirs that I like. Something urgent like that. It is NOT that. It’s her telling me that we’re out of bread, or that the neighbors are out of town and have a package sitting out that needs to be grabbed off their doorstep. Or she’s reminding me about something that I almost certainly forgot, like that I need to pick up Junior’s leprosy medication.

Everything else is strictly texting, and I never feel smothered by my wife’s texts during the course of any given workday. It’s all on an as-needed basis. Sometimes we send each other relevant links, like we’re our parents just discovering the Internet. But otherwise, it’s an occasional volley of personal news and to-dos. We’re talking, like, half a dozen texts to each other a day, if that. Overtexters are a scourge, whether you’re married to them or not. You think the thread is over and BOOM! The fucking dots appear yet again. Anyway who texts you in batches of a dozen or more, all at once, needs to be sat down and talked to.

Ian:

I was eating a sandwich (buffalo chicken) and a piece of the chicken fell out of the bun and hit the palm of my hand. I used a napkin to wipe it off but then I also licked my fingers. Is there a difference between palm and fingers? And of so, why? Guaranteed that my fingers have touched more gross shit than my palm today.

You can lick your palm. I won’t judge you for it. I’m sure I’ve licked sauce off my palm in the past. I live for the eroticism. Anyone who avoids doing so is probably worried they’ll look like a pervert somehow (licking your fingers can appear equally horny, especially if you really go to town on them, but food-wise it’s generally accepted by now), OR that they’ll make their hands clammy and sticky by doing it. I’m sure I’ve been conscious of the latter and meekly wiped perfectly viable blueberry syrup off my palm in the past. But it’s time I got over myself and got more heavily involved in palm-licking. Next time I eat chips and salsa I’m gonna make my hand the bowl. One less dish to wash.

Johnny:

Which songwriter/band has been the soundtrack to the most conception moments? Not casual sex, but the potential for some dad at Thanksgiving to confess ‘Your mom and I really enjoyed Radiohead back in the day and here YOU are’. Thinking there’s gonna be a Ray LaMontagne generation incoming.

I really like Radiohead but I hope and pray no one has ever used them as music for fucking. Like, maybe Zack Snyder thinks it would be cool to score a sex scene to “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box,” but if I tried to set the mood with that in real life, my wife would never text me beer run requests ever again. Even romantic (for Radiohead) Radiohead songs are songs like “House of Cards,” which is about adultery, or “Fake Plastic Trees,” which is about … honestly I dunno what it’s about. It’s just one of those absolutely soaring ballads of theirs that also makes me want to chug a gallon of bleach. It was the song they used in an Australian Down’s Syndrome PSA my old ad agency ran on a constant loop at the reception desk. It featured two kids on a merry-go-round. I think about that ad every time I hear that song. It does not get me hot and bothered. Someone yuppie couple out there has definitely made “Fake Plastic Trees” their own “Crash Into Me,” and I’d prefer not to think about the babies spawned from such aggressive earnestness.

I have gotten wildly off track here. I could list off some obvious answers for you: Elvis, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Sade, Otis Redding, Bob Marley, etc. etc. Those folks have all been the preferred soundtrack for intercourse– monogamous or otherwise—over the past 100 years. But the real answer is probably some big Christian artist like Amy Grant. That’s the shit Tim Tebow puts on when he’s ready to enter into blessed union with his girlfriend AND the Lord. Or it’s the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go wash my mind out by cranking it to “Pyramid Song.”

HALFTIME!

Andrew:

During your conversation about the disappearance of song ringtones I stopped and got a donut. While I was in the donut shop I heard a phone ring and the ringtone was “The Next Episode.” The Dr. Dre ringtone market is still alive in suburban New Orleans.

I appreciate that. If I heard that blaring from a phone around here I’d beam with pride for ten seconds before turning back into a grumpy dickhead and going THAT LADY’S RINGTONE IS TOO LOUD JEEZ ALOO!

Ry:

As a fellow work-from-homer and lazy person, what’s your take on the best way to shave? I tend to go four or five days in between because no one other than my wife sees my face, which leaves a relatively thick growth of back-country, swarthy Italian stubble. All electric shavers feel like they’re specifically designed to yank that one hair out when you least expect it, leaving the whole experience a pain in the ass. And I’ve yet to encounter a Schick with enough blades to make the experience any more pleasant with shaving cream–not to mention the fact that it leaves me with two hands, a shirt, and a sink scattered with a hair-flecked sputum-looking mess. What am I doing wrong?

Have you tried shaving in the shower? I used to shave at the sink with shaving cream until, years and years ago, I read some article that said shaving cream was a scam and that you could get a better shave by doing it in the shower, even if you use no cream at all. And that post was RIGHT. The steam from the shower opens up your pores and your stubble comes right off. I have to note that I am a pathetic facial hair grower. I still use a Mach 3 blade for my face and it does the job ably because my beard is still as wispy as a 17-year-old virgin’s. If you’re a swarthier fellow (and you say you are), you’ll probably need to cry out FUCK EVERYTHING WE’RE DOING FIVE BLADES. But combining your Schick Babemagnet Cinco with the shower method might be the best way to keep your grill smoother and softer than a baby’s butt. Plus, you don’t have to clean up. That shit all goes right down the drain.

I never use electric shavers. Even with my downy-soft stubble, those shavers violently uproot my hair and leave my skin looking like I just made out with a fucking T-Rex. Every time they introduce a new electric shaver that’ll go easier on your face, it’s a lie. I know this because they used to run ads for the Panasonic wet-dry shaver back when I was a kid, with some Clay Travis lookalike shaving in the shower with a goddamn electric razor while also making out with his lady as the water’s running. The tagline was SMOOTHER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT YOU’D BE, which was actually true, just for the wrongest possible reasons. Never use an electric shaver unless you already have a beard and just need it for touch-ups.

I used to go a few days without shaving because I always felt like my stubble was so threadbare as to be unnoticeable. That’s changed with age. Now that my hair leans more toward salt-and-pepper, I look like absolute SHIT when I’m unshaven. I look like someone kidnapped me and then left me outside an abandoned bus station. If I ever make a billion dollars I’m gonna get that pulse laser treatment that supposedly removes unwanted hair permanently. I’m sure it has no unintended side effects.

Billy:

While at a standard outdoor picnic/bbq recently, we had a large platter of shrimp cocktail. The kind you get at the grocery store with the ring of shrimp and a container of cocktail sauce in the middle. My friend was grabbing multiple shrimp, two, sometimes three, in one hand, running all of them through the cocktail sauce, and then eating them all in the same bite. He wasn’t eating the tails or anything, just taking the normal bite, but with multiple shrimp at the same time. It had honestly never occurred to me that you could eat shrimp cocktail this way. Is he a genius? A serial killer? Or just a kind of weird dude?

Are you NOT supposed to eat shrimp this way? Because I do. Please consult the first email in this post for reference. If I spot a shrimp platter out in the wild, I’m hoarding that shrimp like the oceans have already been drained. That’s free money for my tummy. I’m sure other people might find it rude to hog shrimp by the fistful, but I’m a considerate man. I’ll leave at least, like, three of them for the rest of the picnickers. I’m not a monster. But if there’s free seafood sitting out, I think you should expect other people will go full Super Bowl on it. Otherwise the shrimp will go bad! And that would be the rudest outcome of all.

I am bad at mouth portioning. That is to say, I am not satisfied with small bites. I’m talking literal small bites, and not Small Bites listed on some breezy Santa Monica restaurant’s charcuterie menu (though those are dissatisfying in their own way). I want a lot of food in my mouth. All the time. I have been the little boy who almost choked because he ate too big a bite of steak, and I still am that boy. If I like something, I want to chew on a baseball-sized wad of it. That goes for shrimp, noodles, pizza, sushi, burritos, human flesh, you name it. This is not a healthy practice, nor is it a particularly refined one. But in my defense, we’re talking free shrimp here. I’m not obligated to abide by some bullshit decorum when it comes to giving myself mercury poisoning.

Laura:

If Donald Trump was told that he could guarantee re-election, but only if he did not tell a single lie between now and Election Day, could he do it? I’ll even give him the handicap of saying his statements don’t have to be factually true, only that he sincerely believes them to be true. I think no shot.

See, but your little handicap is the same handicap that the Chuck Todds of the world give Trump every day, and they ALWAYS let his bullshit fucking slide as a result. For that reason, I’m not gonna let that clause exist in the bet. You know why? Because Trump knows he’s lying when he lies. He enjoys lying and he never wants to stop. So no, he could not pass your test. And in this world, he’ll NEVER have to pass it. The Senate will make sure of that come tomorrow. Grab a pitchfork.

Sash:

My friend and I were having this debate at work the other day—what’s the proper etiquette for spacing in an elevator? Presuming one gets in with a host of people at the ground level and the crowd starts to thin as you make your way up the floors, I always make a habit of moving to any vacated areas if I’m standing directly in front of, or behind someone. My friend is a psychopath who will just stand there, inches from the other person, until he gets to whatever floor he’s going to, even if 90 percent of the elevator floor space has opened up. That’s weird, right?

That’s weird. The right idea is to give everyone as much space within the elevator as they can have. I always try to get a corner spot in the elevator so I can lean back, stare at my phone, and look like a cavalier young go-getter. I don’t wanna stand too close to people and, more important, I don’t want them thinking I’m some creepy asshole TRYING to stand near then so that I can grab them or tell them I can smell their panties or something. I want it to make it crystal clear to everyone, through both my positioning and my body language, that I’d rather be anywhere else than stuck in an elevator with a bunch of strangers. Go ahead and triple that desire when the doors open at an odd floor and someone pushing a dolly the size of a fucking Jeep Wrangler needs to squeeze in. That’s always a fun mild panic attack to have. My man the bellhop just needs to get this luggage cart down to the lobby and yet I’m thinking excuse me but this is MY elevator sir how dare you.

Vitor:

I need your definitive old man take—is Billy Joel awful or awesome?

I like some Billy Joel songs. I mean, it’s easy to shit on Billy Joel because every elderly Mets fan within a 40-mile radius of Long Island thinks he’s the voice of God. Both Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen inhabit their own genre of boomer music written expressly for people who like to pretend their lives are harder than they ever were. I don’t seek out Joel’s music, but I also make fun of it because that makes me feel like I’m hip and I’m with it. Meanwhile, I like to get stoned and listen to old Queensryche songs on Friday nights. So I’m not exactly an exemplar of modern tastes.

Also, I liked a lot of Billy Joel songs when I was growing up. I knew all the words to “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” I rocked out to “I Go to Extremes,” a song that does not rock much at all. I thought him doing a cover of “Back in the USSR” IN the USSR was cool, and I still do. I sang “Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel)” to my kid when she was a baby, because it’s a pretty song. You don’t become as huge as that guy without knowing your way around how to write a song, even if it’s a song you yourself end up hating:

So I respect Billy Joel. I wouldn’t let him drive me anywhere, but I respect him. But the people who have been to all 980 shows of his at the Garden? That’s too much. Try some newer shit, man.

Tori:

When I was a kid, my mom always used to open the egg cartons at the store and inspect the eggs before buying them. If there were a cracked or broken egg inside, she’d swap out a good one from another carton, the rationale of course being that she didn’t have the time or money to pay for broken eggs or sort through every damn carton to find a completely intact one. As an adult, I now do this too, but lately I get disapproving looks from fellow shoppers. Is ensuring a carton of unbroken eggs through judicious swapping an asshole thing to do?

I think swapping them out is weird. Why wouldn’t you just grab a carton that has no broken eggs in it, instead of raiding it? Most of the cartons at the store ARE fully intact. A broken egg is usually a rarity. You’re just spinning your wheels robbing Peter’s eggs to pay Paul’s if you swap out individual eggs. I inspect my eggs like a good little boy, but I don’t put my hands on the merchandise. I’ve got a nasty bout of coronavirus and I don’t want to give it to anyone else, save for maybe Nick Bosa.

Email of the week!

Mike:

I’m an HR director at an office of about 45 people. I went in early last Wednesday to prep for a meeting so I was first in. About ten minutes into my prep, I developed horrendous gas from draft beer and wings the night before. After a couple bombs left my office smelling like a dead raccoon, I decided to take the next one elsewhere. The bathroom is a long walk and since I have keys to all of the offices, I decided to just open the office next to mine and trap it in there, figuring it would dissipate before the woman working in it got in. After all, she’s pregnant and never arrives prior to 8:30 which was 40 minutes away.

Just as I closed the door, here she comes around the corner and I turned white. I tried to stall her but she wasn’t having it. As she put her stuff down, I heard her say “oh god” as she grabbed the garbage can to puke in it. She made maintenance take apart the vents because she was sure a small critter had died in the duct work. I obviously can’t admit the truth. I wasn’t invited to the baby shower but I should contribute something to that right? You know, to lessen my guilt and all.

Definitely. May I suggest a package of Windi as a gift?



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