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Funbag

Lemme Fucking Tip People!

A waitress serving a couple at a diner, USA, circa 1935. (Photo by Keystone View Company/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
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Time for your weekly edition of the Defector Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. And buy Drew’s new novel while you’re at it. Today, we’re talking about the WFT, fighting yourself, gunslingers, and more.

Your letters:

Ryan:

Curbside delivery. Is the tip a percentage or flat amount?

Tip as much as you can. Everyone is short on cash and dying right now, and tipping people directly is a nice way of helping. I’ve been tipping $20 for every curbside pickup and delivery order. If that’s too much for your budget, I understand. Just tip whatever you can tip. Throw out the percentages and all the finicky calculations you made in The Before. Those don’t fucking matter. Some of the best moments I’ve had during the pandemic were when I gave someone a tip and that tip clearly made their day. That was money well spent. Plus, as always, I got to feel like a mafia don.

To that end, some of the bigger chains won’t LET you tip employees. I tried tipping the lady at a Krispy Kreme drive thru and she kicked the cash back to me, saying she couldn’t take it. She was downright nervous to even have it in her hand, because some companies will actively punish employees for taking tips. Same thing happened when I got takeout at Chick-fil-A. I know CFA is shitty in a lot of other ways, but they had a reputation for treating their employees decently otherwise. Turns out that no, no they’re evil in THAT way too. You can’t tip at McDonald’s. You can’t tip at Panda Express. You can’t tip at Best Buy, or Walmart, or Home Depot, or Kroger. Everywhere you turn, the higher-ups at BIG CHAIN are trying to prevent you from daring to overcompensate someone who needs/deserves it.

It’s shitty. I hate it. I have money. Let me give it to people. LET ME FUCKING TIP. I know some employees will brave it and take a little bit of extra paper under the table, but they shouldn’t have to be AFRAID to do it. If you’re a boss who forbids tipping, I have a tip for you: go run your dick through a table saw.

Jackson:

What are we calling people who play for the Washington Football Team? Washington Football Players? Washington Football Team Members? I vote for “Washington Footballers” although I know the FOOTBAW MEN would never go for it.

Everyone should call their players Scrubs, but it’s not necessarily their fault that they suck, and it’s not their fault Dan Snyder is Dan Snyder. I think I’ve been using “Washington player” or “player for Washington,” which is clumsy and part of the reason I kept using R*****n long after I should have. I was like calling them Washington sounds weird and lame! as if calling them fucking R*****ns was somehow more fun-loving.

I think the obvious choice is to call them Hogs, the way the team itself should be rebranded as the Hogs. Defector has no hard mandate for what you should call them, but Burneko suggested “Teamsters” and I also like that as well.

I think the general football universe is using clumsy terms for the players for now because they believe that the team will be rebranded as the Washington Deporters or some other shit name come this offseason. But Snyder has already indicated he may keep the WFT moniker, in which case you and I have to sort out a name for these players before the BRANDS take control of the conversation and start calling them Pizza Hut Buddies. We don’t time for an unofficial term to come about naturally, the way they have in soccer, with its Gooners and Red Devils and Lime Puddings and what not. We need to act fast, even if Dan Snyder handed us a blank canvas for the whole season. Let’s use Teamsters until I change my mind.

Sean:

Are Bob Mould and Josh Homme (Homme to a lesser degree but for hard rock it works for this argument) the least rock looking rock stars who have had extended success? From a “you would never see them and think, oh absolutely a world class artist” perspective. In fact one could argue BIG MUSIC has held Bob Mould back because he never had long hair.

I have met Josh Homme in person and I promise you that you would not have a modest opinion of the man on sight. Ginger Elvis is eight feet tall and looks like he could crush your head like it’s a fucking grape. Obviously I’m a fanboy so I’m biased, but even a cursory image search of Homme shows he’s a striking individual. You might get him confused for a lumberjack, but not an accountant. And if someone told you he’s one of the biggest rock stars alive, you’d be like oh yeah I can see that.

As for Bob Mould, no he never looked like a traditional rock star, but you have to remember what traditional rock stars looked like back in the 1980s.

Bob was a modest-looking guy by comparison. Who the fuck wouldn’t be? As such, his personal aesthetic—and his music—weren’t what ’80s record company executives were looking for at the time, and Mould himself wasn’t interested in pleasing them (when Husker Dü finally did sign with a big label in the middle of that decade, Mould deliberately made the lead track off their first album for Warner Bros as abrasive as possible). Of course, Mould and Husker Du paved the way for the alternative rock movement that dominated the ’90s, but by the time Nirvana broke, he wasn’t new enough to fit into THAT scene for the industry, either. He got fucked. Bob Mould should be richer than GOD, I tell you! Also, he’s fucking jacked now. Both he and Homme could put me through a wall if they felt like it.

And really, what do you expect a world class artist to look like? Bob Dylan looks like a hobo. Post Malone looks like a nightmare prom date. Madonna was a dirtbag working at a fucking Dunkin’ Donuts before she became Madonna. James Joyce looked like a failed pederast. Art has no face. All of those people used their considerable gifts to create an artistic persona for themselves, and had the considerable talent to get people to buy into that persona. I have seen Bob Mould play live. When that man plugs in and starts melting your fucking face, you KNOW he’s a rock god. There’s no confusion about it. Great artists can disarm you like that. Making you think they’re merely human at first glance is their neatest trick.

Anyway, the least-rocking looking rock star of all time is Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney looks like a doctor you end up hating.

Will:

How do you think you would do if you had to fight a clone of yourself? Would you anticipate your own moves, or would it just be flailing/bro punching until you both collapse from exhaustion?

Well, I have literally fought myself and somehow lost. So I have factual evidence of potential outcomes here.

But let’s go ahead and examine your question in more painstaking, needless detail. My clone is an exact copy of me in every respect, yeah? He’s not any more determined to kick my ass than I him? Then we’d just do the flailing thing. I’m a coward with a bad back and a dented skull. I can barely spend three minutes arguing with my children before I collapse in a heap. The only thing I have going for me is that I’m tall, so that I LOOK mildly imposing to small dogs and what not. Otherwise, I’m a gimp. One clean shot from myself and I would slap the canvas to go get a cookie.

The other problem is that I like myself, so I wouldn’t be terribly inclined to mete out any punishment to my doppelganger. I’m sure it would be therapeutic for some people to beat their own asses. It would be like punching a pillow in anger, only WAY more satisfying. You’d get to work out every issue you have with yourself, MANO A MANO. But I have literal therapy for that and it seems to be working fairly well (fingers crossed).

There are things about my kids that drive me nuts that are obvious character heirlooms that I’ve passed down to them. So when I get mad at my kids, sometimes it’s because I see something in them that reminds me either of my past self or my current self, and it’s something I don’t like. I’m arguing with myself. “It’s a gorgeous day outside, boy! Stop looking at screens!” I’m trying to purge them of whatever qualities I had that made me a shitty teenager back in the day.

But really, the only way to purge my kids of those qualities is to swap out their DNA for John Legend’s, which is not possible (yet). I can’t argue that kind of shit out of them, and I definitely can’t BEAT it out of them. I’d only end up hating myself more, and that’s true even if you gave me the chance to dish out an unholy amount of whoopass onto a temp clone of me from any era of my life. STUPID TEENAGE DREW WHY ARE YOU SO NEEDY?! [breaks teenage me’s jaw]

I’ve gotten too long and dark with this answer. The point is that I would suck at fighting myself.

Dylan:

Seriously, what does “gunslinger” even mean anymore for quarterbacks? A guy who throws well? Not well? Throws for the fun of it? I saw Sam Darnold labeled a “gunslinger” recently, and I’m pretty sure he can’t sling anything. I guess people are just trying to compare other QBs to Brett Farve, saying “now THIS GUY can still be a legend and Hall of Famer even though he threw 100 picks last season!” It’s just a label to make people like Jameis Winston, Jay Cutler, and whatever other mediocre scrubs sound better than they are. I hate myself and I hate football, but I hate myself more.

It’s just shorthand for an appealingly reckless player. Everybody fucking hates a game manager. I know I do. Everybody wants a QB to make bigass plays, and that of course means having a QB who’s willing to take risks. If Rex Grossman cries out FUCK IT I’M THROWING IT DOWNFIELD and chucks the ball 60 yards, that’s more fun than watching some pud orchestrate a 17-play drive than ends in a missed field goal. If Rex gets picked off after an arm punt, well at least your QB tried to make some cool shit happen. Thus, he gets extra credit for this from announcers in the form of being called a gunslinger, even if he’s fucking terrible (which Rex Grossman very much was). He’s a gambler. A rebel. He don’t play by the rules. HE’S LIKE A KID OUT THERE.

The funny thing about Brett Favre is that he was, you know, a really fucking good quarterback. The only time announcers called him a “gunslinger” was to basically excuse him whenever he fucked up. If Favre went off script and got away with chucking a deep ball after the fact, that was a smart play. This is what Aaron Rodgers now does every other down. But if, unlike Rodgers, Favre got picked off because of his arrogance, well then that was just because he was so charmingly erratic. He was entitled to all the metaphors he could eat.

There are players in the NFL right now like Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes who are so fun to watch I can hardly fucking stand it, only they don’t get labeled gunslingers because they don’t fuck up enough for announcers to go covering their asses for them. Also, Wilson is such a dipshit in real life that it seems off to label his game as having swagger. And yet that man has fucking NEUTRON BALLS when he gets out there. I’m not sure I like watching anyone play football more than I like watching Russell Wilson play it. Every gunslinger either turns into Rex Grossman or they graduate to becoming just a kickass overall passer.

HALFTIME!

Dan:

Which NBA player brought a real doll to Orlando?

None of them. Do you think it’s that enormous of a challenge for any NBA player to get laid, no matter where they are? You could hermetically seal up James Harden inside a fucking coffin and he’d still manage to fuck nine people in it. The cockmanship on hand is just that efficient. No inflatable dolls necessary.

Also, I think the NBA quietly allowed single players (and fuck it, married players too) to invite a dozen or more “special guests” to the bubble. The +12s get tested. They have to follow safety protocols. They all have to stay in the Poland tent at Epcot Center or some shit. And they’re free to visit players in their rooms any time a player requires company for the evening. I don’t know how you’d make a bubble season work WITHOUT making sure everyone inside can have sex with other people. This isn’t a fucking monastery. You gotta give players and their assorted girlfriends (or boyfriends!) the chance to fuck each other. Otherwise, you end up with Danuel House getting drunk on his own boner and trying to fuck a rona tester. I have no proof that happened, but I’ve been alone and horny enough to know that that’s what I’d try to pull.

Bryan:

Does Trump eat cereal, and which cereal is his go-to? 

Sure he eats cereal, why not. He’s a man of nonexistent taste, so I doubt his breakfast repertoire has expanded much beyond a bowl of Corn Pops in the morning. Like I bet he only eats the cereals you get in the old Kellogg’s variety pack: Corn Pops, Cocoa Krispies, Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, and Frosted Flakes. I bet he’s eaten your mom’s weight in Frosted Flakes. I think other sugary cereals, like even Fruity Pebbles, are too exotic for him. He’s such a completely basic motherfucker.

Jake:

Lately, the weather has started to cool down and I started wearing flannel shirts during the work day. I’m an IT consultant, so I feel like I’m treading a fine line between the businessy people still wearing shirts & ties on calls and the feckless goobers wearing Jack Daniel’s t-shirts in front of a dirty kitchen. My question is: Is there any etiquette for the current era of remote work? Are we all just figuring it out? Will business casual begin to mean hoodies are acceptable as long as you’re wearing a novelty tie with them? WHAT ARE THE RULES HERE?

We’re clearly still all figuring it out. They didn’t teach you and me Emergency Pandemic Nazi Uprising Video Call Attire in school. The good news is that they ARE teaching it to my kids, because they have no choice. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the more draconian rules that some school districts have implemented, like NO BARE FEET. My kids’ school has some fairly basic rules for e-class that could easily double as rules for virtual work. Here are a few of them:

  • Be dressed
  • Be sitting up and not lying on a bed or anything (I took a doctor’s appt once and the connection from the desk was bad so I tried Zooming from the bed, and buddy does that give off a weird impression)
  • Have your video camera on so that the teacher knows you’re actually there
  • Don’t eat on camera

There are more, but none of them get Puritanical. I’ve been in Zoom meetings with teachers and they’re all dressed in what amounts to business casual. None of them are wearing suits. Offices went full-time casual a while back, so I think if you dress and act the same as you did on any given Friday in The Before, you’re fine. A good rule of thumb would be to ask yourself if you’d be fine looking that way for an in-person meeting. You can smell any way you want, but look like you’re out in the real world.

Of course, I’m a horrible person to ask because I haven’t had an office job in over a decade. I’m in a t-shirt and hoodie around the clock, as are many of my Defector colleagues. If I get on a call with Roth, I’m not like SIR PLEASE WEAR A TIE WITH THAT FLANNEL SHIRT SIR. When I put on jeans, my kids wanna know if I‘m going to a wedding that day. My grasp of proper work attire is not to be trusted.

Christopher:

I’m experiencing a slight recoil every time someone on TV or in a movie is at a group outing, sitting next to someone, or talking up close. Doesn’t happen often, but enough to know this COVID mess is impacting the psyche. How long will it take us to feel “normal” again? 

Oh you’ll never feel normal again. Everyone in America is enduring a collective trauma that only manages to get worse with each passing week. So it’s not like a vaccine will show up and everything will feel exactly as it did before. These are gonna be scars you carry with you forever. To this day, my mother-in-law still stocks up on canned goods in bulk amounts because she grew up during the war, and food where she lived was incredibly scarce at the time. The same kind of shit is gonna happen to everyone here. Like, I bet a large number of people will never stop wearing masks. I don’t know when I’ll be able to. I barely remember what normalcy feels like, because shit has been fucked for years and years now and only seems to be getting worse. It’s less a matter of getting back to where you were and more a matter of learning to live with shit as it presently stands.

That said, I have no problem watching movies. That bit of rona-dar has faded from my consciousness, particularly with shit that was filmed prior to the outbreak. They’ve booted up some filming during the pandemic, especially ads, and THOSE productions have distracted me a bit. But I don’t freak out watching episodes of, like, Outer Banks. It’s the exact opposite, really. I live vicariously through those shows and movies. It’s how I feel freer. LOOK AT ALL THOSE PEOPLE PARTYING AND GETTING LAID! THAT’S NICE! Makes me more hopeful than anxious. Even if that hope is a lie, it helps me get through. Also, the pier kiss scene from Outer Banks makes me happy. If anything, I wanna see MORE actors getting close on camera. And I don’t even mean that in a porny way.

Chris:

Of all your previous columns I’d wager your most famous is the one about your daughter’s Christmas list. I read it every year, possibly I should get out more. As she’s a teenager now is she aware that she’s the subject of that column, and does she give a damn?

My daughter, now 14, has no idea that column exists. I’ve been tempted to tell her about it, because she’s like every teenager in that Likes and Views mean a LOT to her. It’s what she’s angling for on TikTok and Insta constantly. So it would be funny to say to the girl, “Oh hey by the way you’re actually famous already.” But I haven’t done that yet because A) my wife says it’s not time yet, B) the girl is already online enough and needs no further encouragement, and C) she and I were actually invited onto a TV show to talk about the list and I said no because I wanted to keep her identity private, and if I tell her THAT part of it she’ll gut me with an oyster knife.

I’ve been a decidedly rude blogger for my children’s entire lives, and I assumed that I would have to reckon with them finding that out at some point. The funny thing is that I finally said to my daughter the other day, without mentioning the Christmas list thing specifically, “Hey man, you can read whatever I write, I don’t care,” only SHE didn’t give a fuck about it. I’m just a shitty old boomer to her and she has no interest in any of my work at all. She just wants to get the hell out of this house. And now my posts are behind a paywall! So, in a grand sense… I think I won. I think I pulled this off with accidental deftness. Plus the girl wears a FUCK TRUMP necklace at the dinner table, so she’s already a chip off the old block whether she knows it or not. THREE CHEERS FOR AVOIDING THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR OWN ACTIONS!

The eight-year-old Googled me the other night, though. He was like, “Google says you’re afraid of the ball!” I was like, “Uhhhh stop Googling me, boy. Have a donut instead.” Not out of the woods jusssssssssssst yet.

Matt:

There’s all this talk about how quarantine is the perfect opportunity to do that thing you’ve always said you’d do but “never had time.” Write your novel, take up gardening, get in shape, remodel your home. Taylor Swift made a whole album! Am I the only person who sat inside and used all of my energy to just try to keep my job and not die? Am I a lazy ass for not losing 15 pounds or building a shed?

Nah nah you’re not the only person who did nothing in quarantine, and you’re not a lazy ass because of it. Everyone is depressed right now. And when you’re depressed, you’re not motivated to do anything. You have a fleeting amount of energy and, like you said, you used yours just to keep your head above water. That alone is enough. You are surviving, and that takes a lot of work. Don’t bother with striver dickheads and Rosanne Cashes who act like this is some magical Carpe Diem shit. Things are bad and you’re allowed to take them badly. Besides, without seeing other people and being able to visit other places, how are you SUPPOSED to find any motivation? Creativity and productivity both require stimulus. I have grown dumber and more incompetent without either of those things.

But I HAVE managed to sort out life on The Outside now that I have a firm grasp of masks and distancing, etc. I’m engaged with the world far more than I was during the initial onslaught in March. The kids are back in (e)school. My son is playing soccer again. I can go to a retail store without feeling like I’m gonna break out into spontaneous lung bleeding as a result. I’m getting a little bit of that stimulus back, which is good because otherwise I would have started dabbling in autoerotic asphyxiation just to burn the clock.

Email of the week!

Russ:

As a 5 year old living in Rochester, NY, I really looked up to my Dad. Everything he did, I did. He always used to bring a newspaper with him to read when he went to the bathroom. Looking back, he was probably just looking for a little quiet time, but he would go in there with the paper, and I would eagerly wait for him to come back out and play with me. Yet I began to associate the bathroom with reading, and as I learned to read, my parents would find me in the bathroom, door closed, sitting on the toilet reading, but not pooping.

So one afternoon my friend Timmy and his little brother (don’t remember his name) come over to play. And we are in my room playing with toys, and Timmy starts bugging me a little. So I grab a book and go into the bathroom, sit down, and start reading. After a few minutes, Timmy knocks on the door, asking when I am coming out. “Almost done” I say, though not actually pooping. I’m just reading.

A few minutes later, Timmy knocks again, saying, “When are you coming out?” I say, “Hold on, hold on.” And read another few pages. When I finally come out, I walk into my room, where I find Timmy’s brother all by himself. “Where’s Timmy?” “He went home.” I think that is a little strange, but not as strange as the quarter-sized brown spot I see on the rug in the doorway. As I look at it, I notice there is another spot around the same size closer to the stairs and away from my room. I walk towards the top of the stairs, and see spots going down the stairs towards the front door … dark spots roughly every other step.

I notice this is weird because I know what a diligent cleaner my mom was. I turn around and go back upstairs, where I see Timmy’s brother playing next to my bed. My bed is unmade, and the comforter is on the rug. Which is strange because I know Mom made my bed and cleaned my room because Timmy was coming over. So I pick up the blanket to put back on my bed and uncover a large pile of liquid poop. With big spots leading to the doorway. Right next to Timmy’s brother, who was still playing nicely with my toys. Timmy had shit himself and my rug because I wouldn’t get off the can because I was reading and not pooping. And then he ran home.

I have not kept in touch with Timmy.

Poor Timmy.