Friday, December 28, 2007

Would the Bangles get old?

You'll be part of a two-year mission to Mars in a windowless spaceship. Do you want to bring along your favorite book, your favorite movie, or your favorite CD?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So long Buffalo wings or the Buffalo Bills?

Pick one to give up at bars: eating food or watching television?

If you give up tv in this bargument, then assume no bars you enter will have a functioning television. If you pick food, you just can't eat any.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Questions that keep comic geeks up at night

If you like comic books, which I secretly do, you'll like this bargument posed by Dave Campbell in his comics blog, Dave's Long Box. He basically goes through his old comic book collection and offers commentary. Very funny stuff.

One recent entry has him setting up this superhero face-off:

Thor vs. Superman -- who ya got?

I wouldn't have thought this was worth arguing -- much less barguing -- but Dave points out some superhero trivia I'm proud to say I did not know. Such as: While the Superman of old was so strong he could reverse the orbit of planets and travel back in time (remember Lois Lane and the earthquake in Superman II?), the current Superman is much less powerful. Also, magic is a big weakness of Superman, and Thor's hammer uses magic to do damage. Thus, Dave thinks Thor would win.

I still put the smart money on Superman, but I guess we've got to go with Dave's expertise on this.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hangovers or love handles?

That's the worst way to look at this bargument, of course. It's almost not fair to ask barguers to ponder giving up drinking, so advance apologies for this cheap shot. But today's bargument -- which you must answer now that it's been posed -- is:

Would you rather give up sweets or alcohol?

Answer in the poll, which you should find nearby.

There are Richard Dawson biographies selling better...

As I write this, Barguments the book rapidly approaches the one millionth sloth on, a level reserved for the most obscure books out there. It doesn't help that Barguments hasn't been releaesd yet, but pre-orders in the past have gotten it as high as the 60,000s.
Interestingly, just recently began offering alternatives on its Barguments page -- books and products you might like if you were thinking of ordering Barguments (whoever that person might be).

Some Barguments cousins, according to Amazon:
REHAB-- an adult drinking game
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, a collection of essays by self-described asshole Tucker Max.
And, oddly, Scattegories by Milton Bradley.

Friday, December 14, 2007


For some reason in the last 48 hours I've felt the irrestible need to hear "We are the World." This morning, I spent 99 cents downloading it on iTunes. This was a mistake for several reasons, one of which being I could have just watched the video for free on youtube.

The best part about the video is the display of pop protocol then. Lionel Ritchie gets the first solo, followed pretty quickly by Kenny Rogers. Then Dionne Warwick and Steve Perry. They stick Smokey Robinson in the chorus, but Kenny Loggins gets a solo. For some reason, Dan Ackroyd is there.

Also, did we realize at the time how weak the words were? How did Bob Dylan not walk out when they handed him a lyrics sheet that included "It's time to lend a hand to life, the greatest gift of all" and "If we just believe, there's no way we can fall."

Watch the video for yourself and answer one or all questions in this multi-part Bargument:

Of all the solo singers in the We are the World video, who was the biggest star then? Who ranked on the very bottom of the list then? (Note: you must be able to name the singers in order for them to qualify as an answer.) And who are the biggest and lamest stars from that group now?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sneak peek at Barguments the Book

Big news from the publishing front., the Simon & Schuster website, sent out its first Barguments e-mail alert. I signed up for a Barguments alert the moment they posted the book's cover on the site way back in June, but this is the first time they actually had anything to update.

The news: they added a description under the book. It reads:

If you could marry into any family, which would you choose?
Who talks about
sex more: men or women?
Is it harder to be a pitcher or a running back?
Name the best television theme song of all time.
Who would win in a war:
Texas or California?
These are just a few of the entertaining,
endlessly debate-worthy questions in Barguments. Spanning the
full spectrum of
life's crucial topics -- sports, television, food, music,
sex, and, of course,
drink -- Barguments is the perfect addition to anywhere
friends, colleagues, or
strangers gather with a little time and plenty of
opinions to share.

Not sure they're the best gems in the book, but they give you a pretty good idea of what you're getting for your $9.99.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Going Down!

Would you rather spend a year in a submarine or in prison?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Warning: They'll Look A Lot Older in Person

This bargument comes from my old high-school buddy, Kurt, who not only knows bars but also knows what it's like to be thrown through the window of one. It goes:

What's the oldest celebrity you would sleep with?

Kurt explains in an e-mail:

This came up at about 2:30 AM on Saturday while playing poker and I thought I would pass it on:

We were discussing your book (I should get a commision) and [that] question was asked...

The details are a little blurry but I think that one of the Golden Girls won.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The word "bargument'' made the second edition of the Urban Dictionary, though the definition is flat wrong. The writers claim a bargument is defined as:

A confrontation physical or verbal stemming from or taking place at an establishment that serves alcohol.

The drunk guy started a bargument with the bouncer and got dropped in the alley.

Not really. A bargument isn't just a fight that takes place at a bar. That's a bar brawl. A bargument, of course, has to be an argument you would really only have at a bar, over a question that can prompt hours of debate.

You can find much better definitions at the excellent website. I should challenge those guys to a bargument over the definition of "bargument.''

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Women or Men?

This bargument comes from a friend of a friend who I met at a bar in South Beach (not always the most friendly Bargument territory) and quickly recruited to the Bargument bandwagon. Check back at this space to find out his name, which currently escapes me.

From now on, you will be banned from listening to male singers or female singers. Which do you pick?

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Everyone promises to go to the gym after Thanksgiving, but what if you didn't have to?

You can be rid of one thing for life. Pick from: exercise, hangovers or dentists.

Assume there will be no negative consequences from your choice. That is, you'd maintain a healthy weight even if you pick exercise and you could still avoid cavities if you choose dentists.

Vote in the poll nearby. [Jan. 5th update: To make way for a new poll, I'm removing the box for this one from the blog. The results: After 33 votes, Hangovers won handily with 50 percent. Dentists and exercise tied with 8 votes each. It's a shame to close this with a tie for second, but life in the blogosphere must move on...]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Does Spinal Tap count?

I recently watched a fantastic documentary called "Who the $#@! is Jackson Pollock?" about this woman, a trucker, who buys a funky painting at a flea market for five dollars and then comes to think it's a Jackson Pollock original.

The first lines of the movie are her narrating:

We all know a fairy tale begins with 'Once Upon a Time,' but when something
happens to a trucker, we say 'You're not going to believe this shit.'

I thought there had to a bargument there, possibly about art. But then I thought-- I really didn't know who the $#@! Jackson Pollock was either. So I'm going to go more low-brow with this:

You must forever foresake one genre of movies. Pick from documentaries, cartoons and romantic comedies.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Form of an ice kegerator!!

I've been watching the Justice League Unlimited cartoons lately --- no snickering, thank you -- and that prompted this bargument.

Pick a super-hero for a new roommate: the Flash, either Wonder Twin, or the Invisible Woman.

Things to consider: Yes, the Flash could clean the bathrooms quickly, but would all that energy stress you out? Would the girl Wonder Twin shed (or worse) all over the place, and would the boy Wonder Twin leave moist spots everywhere? And how freaked out would you be to see the Invisible Woman suddenly appear in a chair by the couch?

Technology vs. Ten-Gallon Hats

When I'm introducing Barguments to a new audience, I find this one divides a crowd pretty quickly. You can also find it in the book.

Who would win in a war between Texas and California?

The Watchdog breaks the Barguments story

Dan Ricker, local government columnist and occasional barside companion, became the first journalist outside the publishing trades to write about Barguments. His frequent vodka tonics at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club bar gave him the inside track. Here's the report from his weekly email newsletter, the Watchdog Report:

>>> Miami Herald business reporter Hanks has new book out, Barguments
and it is funny given some of the scenarios

Doug Hanks, III, age 36 and a business reporter at The Miami Herald
has written a new book called Barguments and it is not only funny, but also
forces one to consider both sides of a question after some libations and the
different scenarios can produce decent arguments and disagreements. The book’s
subtitle is a Bargument is “A debate with no right or wrong answer that must be
uncomplicated enough to discuss after three beers.”

One favorite of
mine was what animal would win a fight, a bear or a lion? Would it matter if the
match-up occurred in the jungle or in the woods? Hanks told me they actually
called a zoo and the staff, after discussing the matter thought the bear would
win. Another one is “Of all the U.S. presidents which would make the best
drinking buddy?” And there many other examples and many are just hilarious even
if sober, after one thinks through the many different questions. To check out
the book go to or Barguments by Doug Hanks and
it is Available for Pre-order at the price of $9.99. >>> Editor’s note:
Hanks is a friend of mine and I normally would not plug someone’s book because
of that relationship, but the book is funny and worth checking out. Further, I
am not condoning excessive drinking in anyway.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Barguments Buzz

Here are some photos from a recent Saturday night with the Barguments review copy.

The couple above were from a table of 3M execs from Minnesota in town for the NASCAR race. They were seated at a table near the bar at Berries in Coconut Grove, where I was throwing out quite a few barguments at the time. They asked for their own reading. Things got a bit ugly when some guy at their table asked why I kept interupting. His group clearly liked me better than him.

The guys above are long-time bartenders and new Barguments fans, thanks to perusing the preview book at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club bar. The guy on the left even liked the widely criticized bargument on whether Jonny Quest or Speed Racer is a better cartoon.

Here's Hector, CGSC bartender and long-time Grove bar fly, at Flannigan's late night with the Barguments review copy. Laura, the bartender, looks on -- probably disagreeing with him on a bargument. She's a fan, though I don't think I got any free beers out of it that night.

This morning I definitely know which one I'd choose in this bargument, which is also in the book:
In your dream kitchen, would you rather have a beer tap or a Slurpee machine?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Steak or sleep?

Starting tomorrow, you will remain one of these things until you die. Pick from a mild insomniac or a strict vegetarian.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Presidential Cage Match

The Democrats had a debate in Vegas last night and the headlines this morning say the candidates sharpened their attacks on front-runner Hillary Clinton. But they're not really attacks-- just arguments and criticism. As usual, this bargument uses physical confrontation to resolve contests:

If you put all the Democratic presidential candidates in an Ultimate Fighting steel-cage match, who would come out the winner? What about on the Republican side?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Big news from the publishing world: Barguments has skyrocketed to No. #89,891 in the Amazon sales rankings. Given the book has dropped below the one-million mark before, we shouldn't let this milestone go unnoticed. In fact, Barguments currently ranks No. 69 on Amazon's "Questions and Answers'' subcategory, where The Book of General Ignorance holds the top slot.

I feel those readers are my demographic, so I'm encouraged. To help topple TBOGI, please click here.

When do you age-out of Facebook?

A friend of mine from high school recently convinced me to start a Facebook page as a way to reconnect with old classmates. That never happened, and I'm starting to think that's because I graduated Easton High in 1989. Maybe the rest of my old friends realize they're too old for Facebook, domain of teenagers and early 20-somethings. In fact, the whole Facebook experience does remind me of people constantly getting their high school yearbooks signed.
With that intro, I present this blog's first poll, which you should find nearby.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Belushi vs. Murphy

This video of a Saturday Night Live skit sparked this bargument:

Name the all-time-best Saturday Night Live cast.
Do Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, and Bill Murray (78-79) beat Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Dana Carvey, and Mike Meyers (90-91)? You can get a complete list on the SNL site here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lion vs. Bear

Who would win in a fight between a lion and a bear?