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And Now … Dad Sounds

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Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday at Defector during the NFL season. Got something you wanna contribute? Email the Roo. And buy Drew’s new book, The Night The Lights Went Outthrough here.

My parents were married 58 years ago. They didn’t live together before their wedding, because 58 years ago. They didn’t even live in the same city during their engagement. So after they got formally hitched, they still had a good amount to learn about each other. And what my mom learned, quite quickly, was that my old man made a lot of strange noises: coughs, grunts, incredibly loud sneezes, farts, odd hacking sounds, etc. When my dad makes a false move these days, he makes a sound like he just tore his ACL. My mom doesn’t even bother to look up anymore, she’s so used to the racket. In fact, when I got engaged to my wife 21 years ago, my mom pulled my then-fiancée aside to give her a proper warning about it.

“I didn’t know he’d make all those sounds!” she told my wife, assuming that I would go on to make many of those Dad Sounds myself.

Reader, I did.

I have only just begin my journey toward becoming a fully operational Dad Sound Factory. Every winter, I adopt a nagging cough that lasts roughly five months. My wife assumes that I have some kind of perma-COVID strain, but no. No, that’s just me doing my coughing thing. When I sneeze, I have to warn everyone about what’s coming. Sometimes I even go into a different room before the bomb goes off. When I’m on the can, I sound like I’m wrestling a live bear. When I get up in morning, I start farting right away. No grace period. I get out of bed and butt trumpets immediately announce my rousing. I’m not trying to fart, mind you. The farts act of their own accord. They’re like We’re tired of being cooped up in your old-man body all night. WE WANT TO BE FREE.

Those sounds are merely the symphony warming up. I have a whole bag full of Dad Sounds in my arsenal that will make you ask yourself, Is that man normal? I’m a human alarm system. When I drop something, I sound like I just dropped my own kidney. When one of the kids fucks up, I go OH!!! like Andrew Dice Clay. One OH!!! from me and the rest of the house knows that hijinks have transpired. When I eat something good, I don’t just go mmmmm like a normal human. I go UNGH!, like I’ve been attacked with umami-tipped weaponry. If you tell me something funny, I’ll let out a single HA! that sounds fake but is somehow not. I’ll even say “Oh that’s funny!” instead of actually laughing. And when I do laugh, it’s even stranger. Normally when you laugh, it’s contagious. Other people laugh because you laughed. When I laugh, people stare. They are disturbed. What could be so funny? Did that guy just murder an orphan and get away with it? Is that the deal here?

I am an auditory lab animal. A curio. There are things that come out of me that require extensive study. The other night I was sleeping when I woke up to a distressing sound. Sounded like some sort of weird creaking/howling noise. Maybe it was a strange animal lurking outside. Maybe there was a storm. Maybe a murderer had already broken into our home and was approaching the bedroom in stocking feet. Then I realized that the sound was me exhaling out of my nose. I had been woken up by my own gross dad breathing. Not the first time!

Sports have their own, permanent wing in the Dad Sound exhibit. When I watch football, I’ll say very obvious dad things like, “Oh come on!” or, “That’s gonna be holding.” But the real gold is in the wordless sound blobs that spontaneously emanate from me on any notable play. Imagine if Dr. Seuss had been allowed to write the callouts during a Batman fight. ZWIMM! URGA! PFLARP! Listen to me during a football game and you’d think I was speaking in dead tongues.

But this transcends football. I was watching the Olympics the other night. Every time a skier fell, I reflexively went OOING!, as if myself had fallen right alongside them. My wife started imitating every sound I made. The kids joined in. All of them were over on the couch going GRUNG! and MERT! and ZORJ!, and I had no defense. I laughed until I cried. Then another skier would fall, I’d try to not wince like was a polar bear that had just been shot, and then I’d make a weird noise anyway. I can’t help it. I am a one-man band of biological false alarms. When I have no Dad Facts on hand, Dad Sounds are there to fill the void. And fill it they do. Often.

This is who I am. Normally, when people say they can’t help how they are, it’s because they don’t want to change. But ohhhh, I’d like to change. I’d like to be as silent as a sleeping bat. I am not. I didn’t ask to make these noises. I didn’t ask to be cursed with farts that sound like a hissing radiator. But these sounds are a part of me as much as my vital organs are. They are my burden to carry, and then drop, and then go OOOOOBA! when I do. I wish my mom had warned me about it.

The Games

No games. Season’s over. Here’s your last batch of random crap before I shut down the Jamboroo for a bit:

• Even back when I paid attention to the Super Bowl ads, my patience would run out sometime into the third quarter. No one gives a fuck about the ads by that point. If the game is good, you’re focused on the game. If the game sucks, you’re focused on leaving the party. No one is sitting there at the two-minute warning, breath sufficiently baited, being like I can’t wait to see what Chevrolet has in store for us this ad break! If you spent $5.5 million for your big Coinwire ad and they stuck it three hours into the broadcast, you wasted your loot.

• When I was a kid, I thought the Sharper Image was the coolest place on the fucking Earth. Anytime I walked into one, I felt like I was in the future: lightning lamps and massage chairs and what not. That’s what the future looks like to any moron kid, but I believed in it with all my heart. Sometimes I would ask to go to the mall just so I could hang around the Sharper Image. I never had enough money to buy anything in it, I just wanted to be in the presence of all the cool shit inside its walls. Then I grew up, realized everything they sold was crap, and then the company went broke. What I’m saying is that I think this Touch of Modern company has some real potential.

• I watched Transformers: The Last Knight (the Marky Mark one) with my son the other night because he likes that kinda shit, and lemme tell you: That was the single most incoherent movie I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen Caligula, mind you. Not a goddamn word of The Last Knight made sense. Somehow King Arthur was involved. And Merlin. And Anthony Hopkins. Also, Marky Mark becomes like 20 percent Transformer at the end of it, because he’s the chosen one or something. I’m used to Michael Bay torching the script and shooting an epileptic seizure instead, but usually I can discern SOME kind of plot from his movies. Usually I know why he’s got two Ferraris chasing each other through a crowd of extras who all happen to be supermodels. Not this time. Even my son was like, “That was a mess.” He’s 9 but he’s not a fool.

• I wrote the opening to last week’s Jamboroo right after waking up from a colonoscopy, and I’m not really thrilled with how I ended it, because I was too exhausted to really get to the core of why I love excess. So let me do that right now. See, it’s not just about the idea of excess. You’re an American, so you already know the appeal there. For me, it’s the mechanics of excess that I treasure. I love taking big honkin’ bites of food. I have never eaten a solitary potato chip, unless it’s some freakshow Ruffle fresh out of the bag that’s the size of a platter. I prefer grabbing a stack of chips, pushing them inside my face, and then savoring the spit-saturated wad of chewed potato and MSG hanging around in there. A single measly chip can’t offer me that priceless experience.

Nor can a single sip of fluid. Even though I no longer drink, I’ll still chug anything: water, seltzer, soda, beef broth, you name it. I want my mouth full (your snide jokes are noted). It triggers all of the pleasure sensors, and I doubt I’m alone on that. Every time someone eats or drinks too much, you usually only hear about the consequences of all that gluttony. But sometimes, man, the gluttony is well worth it. Makes me feel like a king to have my jaw working on a fist-sized forkful of spaghetti. That’s the highest form of living.

That’s what I would have written if I hadn’t needed to take a nap at noon last Thursday.

Super Bowl pick: 1-0

Overall: 8-5

Offseason Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall

"Structure of the Seance," by The Chasm! From Mexico by way of reader Luke:

Metal is not usually my thing, but my brother, a metalhead of long standing, sent this to me yesterday and I was instantly rewarded. The song opens like a punch to the head and doesn't let up for the next seven minutes. It made me want to throw something heavy and then, yes, run through a wall. Enjoy.

Everyone agrees that Mexican death metal is better than American death metal, and that’s because Mexican death metal uses real cane sugar.

Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!

Pat O’Brien Chevy! No, no that Pat O’Brien. An even scummier one! From Ryan:

This commercial asserts, with astonishing earnestness, that a pudgy Boomer reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in front of a green screen is a persuasive reason to buy a Chevy. And we wonder why the American auto industry continues to tank. My only access to Ohio commercials is through my MLB Extra Innings subscription, and this thing airs at least five times a game. I can’t fathom how often folks who actually live in Northeast OH are subjected to it.

I have no proof, but I’m willing to bet that this is the most successful car ad in middle America. Every other car ad merely hints at pandering jingoism for racist suburbanites. This one cuts out to the middleman. Can’t believe Pat O’Brien wasn’t holding a gun while they filmed it.

Fire This Asshole!

Is there anything more exciting than a coach losing his job? All year long, we’ll keep track of which coaches will almost certainly get fired at year’s end or sooner. And now, your potential 2022 chopping block:

Ron Rivera
Mike McCarthy
Kevin Stefanski
Robert Saleh
Matt Rhule
Pete Carroll
Dan Campbell
Lovie Smith
Kevin Stefanski
Frank Reich
Arthur Smith
Pete Carroll

I thought only, like, four coaches would get fired in 2021. Instead, nine got the gate. That’s deeply satisfying, especially given the way that both Jon Gruden and Urban Meyer stuffed their reputations into the paper shredder.

But that means the current class of head coaches really have their work cut out for them to approach that number in 2022. You know what? I think they can do it. I believe in these men. I believe that all of them will find vast reserves of incompetence they never knew they possessed. I believe that nothing they do will measure up to Imagined 2023 Sean Payton Return Engagement. I believe they’ll REALLY fuck the clock. Like, take that clock and jam their dicks in it until the gears come flying out. I believe all that. Let’s shoot for ten firings a year from now. It can be done.

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader PK sends in this story I call THE POOGITIVE:

A couple of years ago, I decided to go for a run on a weekend afternoon along the lakefront in Chicago. My wife and I lived a few blocks from Soldier Field and one of my normal routes was to run through the neighborhood and take the bridge just south of the stadium to get to the lakefront trail. Before I left for my run, I did my normal pre-run routine which consists of hydrating and pooping to prevent any running related incidents.

So, I started out my run and planned on running five to six miles depending on how I felt. Everything was normal for the first two miles or so but as I approached 2.5 miles, I started to feel some discomfort in my stomach. I decided that it was best to turn around and make it a five-mile run just in case the discomfort was more than a cramp. 

About a half mile into my return trip home, the pain became too much so I decided to walk for a few minutes and regroup. After 5 minutes of walking, the pain was gone and I decided it was safe to start running again. Within a minute of the restart the pain came back and I quickly realized that the pain wasn't a cramp and I needed to get home as soon as possible. 

As I approach Soldier Field, the need to go is becoming more and more urgent and I'm starting to question whether I can make it home in time. In a moment of clarity, I decide that there has to be Porta-Potties outside of the stadium so I change course and start to explore the surrounding areas for a place to relieve the pain. I'm running through a parking garage next to the stadium looking for somewhere to go and decide to abandon hope for the Porta-Potty and just pray that I can make it home in time. 

I start to head back to the bridge to get home and as I approach the bridge, I realize that my stomach is about to explode. I look around for some cover and the best I can come up with is a concrete pillar that's next to the Lake Shore Drive overpass. I squat down next to the pillar and as I pull down my shorts, hot liquidy diarrhea starts flowing out of me and covering the grassy area next to me. After a couple of minutes of emptying my bowels, I decide to pull up my shorts and run home. 

I peak out around the corner of the pillar and don't see anyone so I take off running hoping that I can make it home before the next round of diarrhea. I make it across the bridge and I'm less than a half mile from home, but the pain comes back. I modify my stride and decide to go with a power walk/jog stride that allows me to maximize my clench. 

My building is finally within sights and I'm starting to breathe a sigh of relief but then it dawns on me that I have no plan for getting up to my apartment on the eighth floor. I decide to focus on maintaining the clench and make a game time decision on whether to take the stairs to avoid people or take the elevators. 

As I enter the building, it's clear that I'm in no position to climb eight flights of stairs even though it ensures that no one will see or smell me in my current state. I head to the elevators and pray that no one else is waiting. When I turn the corner, I'm relieved to see no one else waiting so I get on the elevator, hit the 8th floor button, and repeatedly hit the Close Door button. The door closes without any issues and I finally think I'm home free but as the elevator starts to approach the fourth floor, it starts slowing down. 

Knowing that I smell like diarrhea and likely have some in my shorts and on my legs, I decide that I can't share the elevator with whoever is about to get on. As the doors open, I put my head down and walk out of the elevator as if it's my floor. 

At this point, I give up on the elevators and head to the stairs. Somehow, I made it up the remaining four flights of stairs and inside my apartment without another accident. Luckily, our apartment had a bathroom right next to the door, so I headed in there and started another round of diarrhea. After a few more minutes of pain, I clean myself up, throw my clothes in the washer, and head straight for the shower. 

I like to tell myself that no one witnessed me shitting next to the Lake Shore Drive on a sunny weekend day in Chicago and that the two guys who walked in the elevator couldn't smell my crime, but deep down inside, I know the truth. There were many witnesses that day and those neighbors knew what happened the second they stepped on the elevator.

Oh man, the dreaded outdoor jog shit. I go on long walks instead of runs now, but I still have those moments where my butt starts to act up at the farthest possible point away from my home. Never a good moment.

Snack Of The Offseason

Frozen taquitos. I bought these at the grocery store for the Super Bowl but, incredibly, we already had too much food for Sunday. So I left the box of taquitos in the freezer and there they sit. I have never eaten a frozen taquito from the store. I wonder what they taste like. I’m a guy who sprints to order flautas at any Mexican restaurant, so if these bad boys are even half as good as those (doubtful), I think I’m in for a real treat.

Cheap Beer Of The Offseason

Zorok! If that sounds like the name of a comic book villain to you, that may be no accident. From Carson:

Vietnam has a number of tasty domestic beers. However, Zorok is not one of them. A proud SABMiller product, it's pretty much the cheapest shit they have. This warm single from a bodega in Nha Trang was 7500 dong (they pronounce it "dwam"), or about 35 cents. I couldn't resist the weirdly Eastern bloc name or the ginger ale graphics, but I should have. It combines that painful, nails-in-the-throat carbonation of Old Milwaukee with a nasty aluminum aftertaste. YOU MUST NOT HAVE IT!Go Mules.

Nasty aluminum aftertaste is why I prefer drinking out of cans to begin with. You don’t scare me, Zodok! DO YOUR WORST.

Dan Campbell’s Clump Dog Of The Week: Matthew Stafford

“So proud of our guy for gritting his teeth and bringing a championship home to Detroit. Credit where it’s fucking due, brother: These Lions fans have wanted a Super Bowl for decades now, and this guy delivered. It was an honor just to coach him vicariously, to be honest.”

Offseason Movie Of The Week For Jaguars Fans

Sergio Leone’s Duck, You Sucker! If you’re wondering if they say the title of this film IN the film, the answer is yes. Many times, in fact. Anyway, this movie was Leone’s followup to Once Upon A Time In The West and features Rod Steiger—who was very much NOT Mexican and forced on Leone by the studio—playing an aspiring Mexican bank robber who befriends an Irish terrorist (played by James Coburn, sporadically trying on the accent) and accidentally ends up in the middle of the Mexican Revolution. It’s a complete fucking mess of a movie, but not in the Last Knight way. Because it’s Leone, this thing has enough crazy-ass shit in it to keep you interested, including:

    • Distressing close-ups of rich people’s mouths as they eat and trash the poor at the dinner table
    • Doctors who are secret revolutionaries
    • Steiger making really weird faces like he’s in a Farrelly Brothers movie
    • Trains rigged with dynamite
    • Confusing Irish flashbacks where Coburn shares a girlfriend with another dude
    • Bank robberies that turn into prison escapes
    • Shit blowing up real good

On that last one, I’d like to make a special Movie Knower request for this final Jamboroo of the season. After watching a bunch of classic movies—from this one to Butch Cassidy—I also now consider myself a Pyrotechnics Knower. Here is what I have learned in my self-administered film school: 1) All explosions in movies should be real, and 2) None of them should be shown in slow motion. The temptation is to milk a pyrotechnic sequence for all its worth by slowing it down five times over and gilding it in CGI. That ruins it. When there’s an explosion in a movie you don’t see coming, and it’s fast and violent, it WORKS. You jump out of your seat. More sudden arson, please.

Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“Rock and roll had become stagnant. ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ was seven years away. Something had to fill the void. That something was barbershop.”

Enjoy the offseason, everyone. See you again in April for the draft.

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