Happy Thanksgiving, all y’all! Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Stretch that stomach out in advance by feasting on the tastiest dish of all: your letters!

Kyle:

Everything bagels are clearly the tastiest bagel option, but which toppings are the best? I’m referring to the things baked into the bagel that make it an everything bagel, not condiments like cream cheese. Can you rank them please?

Before I do, I just wanna note that we bought the everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s a while back and the label called it a “sesame seasoning blend,” like sesame seeds were the accepted lead dog of the mix. I don’t recall being invited to the meeting where this was decided. I like sesame seeds a lot but where is the DEMOCRACY, I ask you? Well here are MY rankings. And, by the natural order of things, what I declare is also what ALL people demand. Everyone knows my bagel logic has no… hole… in it. Huh? Huh? Man, fuck you. Let’s get to it.

  1. Coarse salt hunks. This is a pretty lame first choice but if I’m thinking deeply about everything bagels—and why wouldn’t I?—I understand, intrinsically, that I love them because they’re salty as shit. I know I could just order a salt bagel to get that fix, but salt alone feels actively unhealthy, like I’m deliberately trying to get my blood pressure up to Instapot levels. I need the other shit in there to pretend that I’m not just in it for the hypertension.
  2. Onion pieces. These are usually burnt to a fucking crisp. Just how I like ‘em. Other times, I have dug into the bag and hit a tiny piece of WET onion that then immediately clung to my hand and didn’t wash off for a solid two days. Mmmm… sticky weird onion things.
  3. Sesame seeds. I also love everything bagels because they are a texture party. A good deli knows to load up the seasoning cannon and blast the shit out of every last everything bagel they got. I wanna feel like I’m biting into a packet of sand. Sesame seeds do that job the best.
  4. Garlic bits. Honestly, I get them confused with the onion bits. But they’re still good of their own accord. All you gotta do is bite into one little garlic nugget and your skin will reek for the next month. Again, this pleases me. If I smell, then no one will come up to me and interrupt my little bagel moment.
  5. Poppy seeds. Whatever. This is true: I had to look up photos of everything bagels for this post, just to make sure they were part of the mix.

Here is another true story: My wife and I moved from New York to DC 15 years ago. Once we got here, we missed all the good bagels. We missed our friends too, but really the bagels were the greater loss. So every time I went back to New York after the move, I would bring back a dozen everything bagels from Tal Bagels on the train. I would put them on the overhead rack, but that didn’t stop the entire train car from reeking of onion bits. I deserve to roast in hell for that. Satan will sprinkle my flesh with Maldon salt and a touch of sumac for added flavor.

Thomas:

Would Donald Trump federally legalizing marijuana do enough to drastically sway public opinion of him for the good? Maybe enough for say, reelection?

Drastically? No. If Trump legalized weed at the federal level (almost certainly because Melania told him that another mom at Barron’s school smelled weed coming from the boys’ room), haters like me would just hand it to him for roughly five seconds before reverting directly back to wanting him launched into Saturn’s ring belt. Legal weed isn’t worth all of his other bullshit.

We’re already moving toward mass legalization at some point anyway. California made it outright legal while Trump was in office. It’s an even nicer place to visit these days. Other states, like Washington and Colorado, have essentially ignored the antiquated federal laws that designated marijuana as a Class I schedule narcotic, rendering it “illegal” still across all 50 states. The only place where that conflict makes things awkward is right here in DC, where weed is “legal” but brick-and-mortar and pop-up dispensaries still get busted by overly zealous, dickhead cops … essentially forcing the industry into being delivery-only.

But every other state that wants weed for all has already made strides toward making that happen—strides that I never ever thought would be realized in my lifetime. I remember watching Pulp Fiction in the theater in 1994 and, like the rest of the audience, listening raptly to Vincent Vega espousing the exotic wonders of legal weed in Holland. That’s the West Coast now! The West Coast is Holland! And it has better food! Goddamn.

As a flipside to all that, Trump calling the dogs off of the weed industry wouldn’t stop the more uptight states—like, say, Iowa, where I traveled recently and did a bit of Googling around to see what the weed options were; I was advised to go hang out on certain street corners—aren’t gonna just instantly legalize it at a local level. They’re too stubborn and too fucking dumb to move that quickly. So, again, what Trump does about weed at the federal level doesn’t really make that much of a superficial difference for you at home. His fruit vape ban was WAY more impactful … terrorizing mango Juul fiends all across our great nation.

Weed needs to be legal everywhere, and you should be able to travel with that shit without worrying about some TSA dickhead spotting it and remanding you to a Supermax for 30 years for it. But Trump is never gonna be part of making that happen and even if he was, he’d still absolutely fucking suck anyway.

Joe:

If Big Auto doesn’t want us to drive a vehicle like they do in their commercials, why advertise that the car is capable of it at all? I find myself getting more annoyed at this lately. My wife says I’m just getting’ old and should shut the hell up already.

Who says Big Auto doesn’t want you doing donuts on the Bonneville Salt Flats? That disclaimer is only in the ad because BMW’s lawyers made them put that in there. But those companies don’t want you to actually OBEY motor vehicle laws. They want you to want to buy a Porsche and then try to drive that fucker right up the Joker stairs. They don’t give a shit. They just want everyone to know that they can’t possibly be sued for it if you do. Those are legally binding supers. [Lionel Hutz voice] Un … break … able.

More important, if you’re annoyed about a car ad not depicting real life usage of a product, well then I got bad news for you about the rest of advertising, amigo. No one taking Humira is frolicking about in grassy meadows without a care in the world. Bud Light is NOT the prized asset of local medieval kings. And no one goes to Taco Bell while sober. All of that is made up, and with good reason. They’ll throw you in the asylum for daring to practice truth in advertising, you know. More important, all that kickass rolling footage of a Nissan Murano jumping over Lake Lucerne WORKS. I complain about The Brands as much as any other testy Gawker Media alum, but I’m also as susceptible as anyone to advertisers stretching the bounds of credulity to make their shit appear much more aspirational—and fun!—than it actually is.

That’s especially true for cars. When I’m looking for a car, I already know the basics of what my life will be like with that car. I will sit in traffic. Some asshole in the Whole Foods parking lot will bump into it and then drive off without leaving a note. My kids will treat the interior of the car like it’s a fucking garbage can. At some point I will have to pay a zillion dollars to get the brake pads replaced. All of that is already known to me and none of it is exciting. If I’m gonna take out a lease on something that costs tens of thousands of dollars, I need a moment to DREAM a little bit. I have never driven my Kia across the Gobi desert, nor have I subjected it to the 24 hours of Le Mans. But I’d LIKE to. Those ideas are right there on my Bucket List of Things I Wanna Do That I Would Actually Never Do Because They’d Be Both Impractical And Kinda Miserable.

But I still like the IDEA of having maximum freedom to drive my car anywhere and at any speed I please. And even though those ideas aren’t feasible—they’re probably lethal, actually—they’re still powerful enough to make the car shopping process more attractive and, therefore, somewhat closer to tolerable. The ads are so powerful that they work on me even after I’ve bought a car. How many times have you sat in traffic and daydreamed about pulling a Fast & Furious and moving over to the shoulder to gun that fucker? That’s all I do when I’m stuck on the Beltway. I wanna be the supercarman. I wanna outrun violent drug lords in my Soul and then pull up to a luxury reception the Burj Khalifa, with power brokers and sexy ladies and the paparazzi all vying for my attention.

But I don’t do any of that. Instead, I turn on Google Maps to see how long the delay is, look at the number, and then mutter “Jesus fucking Christ” under my breath.

Mark:

So the Colorado Springs AAA baseball team, the Sky Sox, moved to San Antonio, TX. Now we have a single A team, the Rocky Mountain Vibes. Seriously, how bad is this name? It’s gotta be up there with the worst, even knowing that minor league baseball embraces weird names. Help.

Well, the “good” news for you is that the Vibes are currently slated to be axed as part of MLB’s proposed minor league bloodbath, which calls for 42 teams to be eliminated. Is that a just fate for this poor little Colorado Springs franchise, which happens to be one of them? Let’s look into the history of the Vibes to see how the name originated:

“Colorado is a super-transient state, so many people are from somewhere else,” said Vibes general manager Chris Phillips. “You hear things like, ‘When I moved here, I was such a happy camper…’ But what makes the people here happy campers?” he continued. “It’s the outdoors, the sunshine, that feeling you get when you live here in Colorado. So what’s that feeling? How do you describe that?” And thus, a name was born. It’s those Rocky Mountain Vibes.

Okay I hate The Brands again. The Vibes mascot is a flaming s’more. I think the weed implications are fairly evident, are they not? But no, oh no, those VIBES I get come mainly from chillin’ in the Springs and lookin’ at a really sweet megachurch. Sure. Anyway, as much as I hate all the bullshit Rovellology this team deployed to ideate its name, I can’t bring myself to hate the team itself THAT much. At least they didn’t name themselves the Bulldogs or some other nickname that’s been used by 6,700 other teams. They took a risk. A small, hilariously lame risk. But I prefer that risk all the same. And I’d prefer they not be contracted.

HALFTIME!

Matt:

It’s the future, and there are sex robots. How dramatically does this increase the percentage of couples who engage in a three-way (of any configuration)?

Well wait, you said of ANY configuration. So, in theory, a single dude could have a three-way with two sexbots. This would happen ALL THE TIME. And it wouldn’t just be Redditors doing it. Every teenage boy in America would lose his virginity this way. I know I would have fucked two robots back in my teenage years if I could have. Instead, I had to wait 20 goddamn years to have sex. And it was with a real person! What a raw deal.

But you were talking about “couples” and so I assume you’re restricting the question to configurations that only include two humans or more. In that case, there’d probably be a small initial bump in threesomes. Couples use sex toys all the time. A robot, in theory, would just be a new sex toy in the arsenal. So couples looking for a spark might order a Robot Janelle Monae to help liven up shit in the bedroom. And then everything would go wrong because the guy would pay more attention to the robot than to his wife, and then the wife would be like, “Why didn’t we get a man robot? Why is it just about your needs?” And then they’d buy a Robot Chris Evans to even things out, only the husband would get mad watching an android Cap bone his own wife. And then he’d grab a gun and start opening fire.

So, to sum up: Yes, threesomes would increase slightly, and then taper off, and then horrifying murders would increase a whopping 700%. Also, the sexbot would become a Nazi.

Cliff:

Would you rather: Four consecutive Patriot Super Bowl wins in 2021-2024 or Trump/Pence win re-election. I feel like this should be an easier question than it is …

It’s extremely easy. I take the Pats winning all those Super Bowls. I’ve already lived through that version of football hell and survived. I’m STILL living in it. It’ll never fucking end! But I can keep enduring it. Hell, I’m not obligated to write about football anymore. I’m not sure VICE here even wants me to! OH THE IRONY. So I know how to cope with the Pats and all their miserable bullshit. They win and then every BarstoolRoy out there acts like he’s been vindicated for dabbling in revenge porn. The process is automatic now.

Still, my superficial NFL fanboy needs aren’t terribly important compared to, like, us not dying in a Sino-Russian-American nuclear hoedown. I am willing to make the EXTREME PERSONAL sacrifice of watching Julian Edelman win four more Super Bowl MVPs if it means that we don’t have, you know, Clueless Satan running shit into the ground until 2024.

Drew (not me):

I was washing my hands at the office today and saw a guy come out of one of the stalls with BOTH headphones in (and not just those flashy airpod buds, but full cord and everything). I think being on the toilet with earpods seems like utterly psychotic behavior, but I can’t exactly explain why. Is this a normal thing to do? Am I the insane one?

It doesn’t strike me as all that strange. I’ve taken a shit with earbuds in before. I go to the gym, I get my workout clothes on, I put on Spotify to amp myself up for CRUSHING 45 minutes of hardcore elliptical trainer cardio (manual setting) … but then, oh wait, I gotta take a shit before I leave the locker room!

Please note that I don’t dangle my cord into the toilet like I’m going fishing. I am listening to Liam Gallagher in a relatively sanitary fashion, as those things go. Why wouldn’t I? There’s nothing else to do while I’m shitting one out. May as well use that time productively. In my opinion, it’s a much more egregious offense to NOT use headphones and listen to music/watch video out loud while you’re in there. I will call the goddamn police on people who do this.

Paul:

Am I crazy or is BIG television conspiring against us to put all their channels on commercial at the same time?

But they’ve always conspired to do that. Scripted shows are deliberately structured so that there are commercial breaks after X, Y, and Z minutes. Part of that is to accommodate advertisers, but it’s also a natural format for 22- and 44-minute story structures. I know this because I got hired to write a TV pilot once (the show was never made) and when I turned in the script the producers said “Uh, Drew? An hourlong show has five acts. You only have three acts in here.” I did NOT know that was the format. (Still got paid though.) Nonscripted shows are also neatly divided in similar ways for the sake of editing and pacing.

Anyway, that’s why the commercials appear synced on your TV. Of course, it also happens across multiple sporting events, and THAT I cannot explain away quite so easily. I know that the NFL and other leagues are beholden to take scheduled TV timeouts and what not, but there are definitely times when I’ve flipped around looking for live game action and hit ads across, like, four different channels. And then the other game is at halftime. It’s black magic. I hate it. I just wanna watch Bowling Green square off against Akron so that I can tweet about how badly it sucks.

Cameron:

I’m traveling with my family for spring break this week. I’m fascinated with the free hotel buffet breakfast culture. The best analogy I can come up with is when a pack of hyenas kill a lion and all feast on the carcass. It’s quite a spectacle.

I wish it were that compelling. It is not. I’ve traveled enough to have experienced the full range of midlevel hotel breakfast buffets. They are all inevitably populated with old people, impatient businessmen, and conventioneers all wearing the same hat. No one cares about anything other than the bacon and the coffee. There’s one TV and if it isn’t playing Fox News, it’s about to. It’s all very staid and depressing, even if we’re talking about a place where you can eat all you like. I never stick around longer than, like, five minutes. Sometimes I stop by the buffet on the way back from the gym to grab coffee and bacon, and then I just take that shit to my room to enjoy. Alone. It’s a better atmosphere.

By the way, every hotel breakfast should be free. And I’m not talking about some bullshit continental breakfast, where all you get is an old croissant and a school pack of Froot Loops. You should get bacon, eggs to order, pancakes, a tray of freshly baked kouign-amann, and an array of smoked fish for your choosing. I went to a hotel last month that had a legit full free breakfast buffet for every guest and I had to ask, like, three times if it really didn’t cost extra. It didn’t! Make TravelLodge offer the same shit.

Jack:

When do pro athletes start seeming young? I just turned 30 and have been a sports fan all my life. I guess I still look at the players with the eyes of my younger self because they seem like older men. Then I have a brain implosion when I realize, “this guy is much younger than me.” Or “this guy is my age!” It’s a mind fuck. When does that go away?

I don’t think it ever does. At least not for me. I am nearly a year older than Tom Brady. But, on the 24-hour sports channel inside my brain, I don’t feel older than him at all. I am the sad pud lounging at home, waiting to get called up to the big time. Meanwhile, he’s already there, racking up titles and spitting out strawberries and packing more into his briefer span of existence than I possibly could, even if I managed to live twice as long as he does (unlikely). On an existential level, he’s lived more than I have. Also, he’s older than most of his peers, so he SEEMS older than he is. Most pro athletes do. They may not have exceeded me in age, but they very much have exceeded me in size, talent, and development. I still look up to a lot of these guys. I wanna be them when I grow up. I don’t have much of a problem ignoring the fact that I already have grown up and that I missed my chance to be where they are. I never even had a chance.

But it’s no fun to watch sports and recognize that. Why shrug off the daydream factor if you don’t really have to? It’s the same shit as buying a car, really. I’d rather just enjoy my illusions. If I didn’t do that, if I watched sports cognizant of my innate oldness, I would turn into fucking Mike Lupica. I would call all the athletes “kids,” and then grade their game tape like I was coaching them, and then chide them for taking selfies in the stands. I don’t wanna resent young athletes doing cool shit. I still wanna DO the cool shit. That’s more fun.

Ian:

I was sitting at my work desk just now, and rather loudly cracked my knuckles on both hands. It occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever noticed anyone else do it in the years I’ve worked here, have I just tuned it out for all this time, or is it not as common as I expect? Is it rude of me to do this?

I think it’s “rude” if you go by some Victorian etiquette manual currently sitting on a coffee table in a New Yorker editor’s corner office. My brother used to crack his knuckles all the time and it drove my mom nuts. She told him his knuckles would grow to the size of golf balls if he kept doing it. He kept doing it. Also, he taught ME how to do it properly. He really is good at it: Beethoven of the metacarpals.

So maybe my mom would beg to differ but, by modern standards, I don’t think it’s all that huge of an offense to crack your knuckles in public. I don’t ever recall noticing someone doing it in public, let alone being bothered by it. This is unusual because, now that I’ve entered my 40s and am half-deaf, EVERY ambient sound pisses me off. That goes for toilet YouTubers especially. Unless you’re cracking your knuckles every seven seconds, I don’t think you’re being all that obnoxious. If anything, I’d like you to teach me your ways.

Email of the week!

Pete:

Sophomore year, I moved out of the East Quad at Michigan and into an apartment. I made the mistake of taking one of those slips of paper with a phone number on them off a bulletin board. “Need a roommate?” I did. Let’s call him Tim. Tim’s parents helped him furnish his bedroom and bought a couch/tv for the living room. I worked almost full time so I didn’t enjoy the benefits. Anyway, one day, I came home, and the stuff his parents bought him was all gone. Just gone. No signs of a break-in or anything, just gone.

When Tim came home, he told me that he sold all the stuff his parents got him and was going to use renter’s insurance to replace it. I was irritated, but other than the impending insurance fraud, Tim was okay, so whatever. Two days later, I was out jogging, almost back to the apartment, and a cruiser chirped behind me, flashed its lights, and told me to stop. The officer got out of the car and asked me who I was and if I had any ID on me. As I was jogging, and this was before GPS on phones, I said no. He asked me what I was doing. I was covered in sweat.

“Jogging.”

“You fit the description of a suspect.”

So I had to wait in the back of the car while he checked out my story. After he let me go, I came home and there was a police officer just leaving the apartment. Tim had filed a police report and gave them my description as the thief.

I moved out the next day.

Probably the right play.

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