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The Friday mailbag is here so you guys can stop pretending to work.
It’s time to relax and dive in to an escape. And, honestly, make sure you read the final mailbag question.
It’s a work of art.
Our beaver pelt traders of the week?
The Prancing Elites of Mobile, Alabama.
They’re an all male Alabama dance squad.
This video will make your weekend.
I know you’ve thought about how to get away with a murder. Everyone has. (By the way, please don’t use my actual name because I don’t want my top Google result to be how to get away with murder. It could cost me my job, plus it would kill my ability to get away with murder.) No matter who you are we’ve all thought about this at some point.
So how is Aaron Hernandez so bad at murder?
He goes out publicly with the victim the weekend leading up to the death, the victim texts about being out with him, there could be at least three people who were there when the murder happened, they dump the body one mile from his house, somehow they left behind evidence that confirms one of this three rental cars was also there. Then he panics and destroys his surveillance system and his cell phone? His cell phone, really? Doesn’t he know that destroying his cell phone does nothing but make him look more suspicious?
I mean, how stupid is this guy?”
He’s very stupid.
Perhaps, incredibly stupid.
I mean, would it shock you if Aaron Hernandez took a picture of the dead body on his cell phone? It wouldn’t surprise me at all.
The guy is an idiot.
But that’s common, right, the people who commit murder are typically not very smart. That’s why they’re committing murder and getting caught.
So how do you get away with murder?
Okay, here’s what I’ve gleaned about murder based upon some criminal work as a lawyer and lots of reading.
First, the victim almost always knows the killer. Most people are afraid of random acts of violence, but those are incredibly, incredibly rare. If someone kills you, it’s almost always someone you know pretty well. (This, by the way, should be much more terrifying than it is.) So if you really want to get away with murder, your best chance would be to commit a random act of murder in a city that’s several hundred miles from where you actually live. Then the motive isn’t easily discernible, you aren’t in close geographic proximity, and you’re probably going to get away with it.
This is how truck drivers become serial killers, they kill their victims in a disparate geographic region and are all transient.
Second, if you’re not a sicko and you still want to kill someone, you have to provide no evidence trail on your end that connects you to the victim. Don’t call your victim near the time you’re going to kill them, don’t text or email. You should probably go completely dark for a month or two prior to your murder. Yes, you have to be cold blooded and clinical about it. Of course, most murder involves passion, so this is easier said than done.
Third, don’t move the body. Moving the body leaves a pretty substantial DNA trail and makes you susceptible to capture during transit or disposal, you need to kill someone in a place where you can leave easily. Preferably, outside in an area where there aren’t very many witnesses. Commit your deed and then calmly drive away. For god’s sake, don’t speed. And make sure all your taillights and tags are in working order so you don’t get pulled over for something unrelated.
Fourth, make sure your victim is dead and do the act yourself. Once you decide to kill someone you can’t go halfway. A surviving witness puts you in jail for a very long time. You also don’t want an accomplice because then there’s a witness. Plus, you have to rely on that person to not crack and to not do something stupid to draw attention to himself after the murder.
Fifth, throw the murder weapon in a deep lake that is nowhere near your house. Or bury the murder weapon in a field that is nowhere near your house. Basically, dispose of the murder weapon. It’s amazing to me how many people keep the murder weapons. What, you can’t buy a new gun at some point down the road? Get rid of the weapon, idiot.
Sixth, have an alibi. It doesn’t have to be airtight, but it should be something other than I was sitting at home by myself. (Ideally your victim won’t be uncovered immediately, which means that pinpointing the exact time of death is more art than science. For instance, go to a three hour movie by yourself. Keep your ticket stub. Exit through the side door of the theater during a moment that you know is an apex of excitement. The odds of someone noticing you leave — and of there being a camera catching you leave the theater through a side door — is minimal. Plus, chances are you won’t get questioned about your alibi for a long time. By that point the people in the theater are likely to have forgotten and the movie theater’s tape is likely to have been erased.
If you commit the murder while the movie is still going on, you have a decent alibi.
Anyway, that’s my murder advice. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than what Aaron Hernandez managed to pull off.
Chris F. writes:
“I got a group of 20 buddies headed to New Orleans for a bachelor party in July. We’ve rented a house that is owned/operated by a swinger couple…the chick is actually sexy, which surprised me. In all our banter over the last few weeks about booze, strippers, casinos, etc we could not have imagined what was possibly in store for us. The organizer of the party got a call from the owner of the house and there is a guy that wants to produce a reality series about the couple and people that stay at the house. What’s in it for us? They pay for us to have a VIP room at the best strip club in town, provide strippers at the house, and drive the party bus (complete with stripper pole) that is part of the house we rented. They will only film at the house and on the bus. Here’s my question for you – would you sign on with this? The demographics of our groups is young professional ranging from single to married. I think it sounds awesome. What are the chances that some joker producer actually gets this reality series on HBO?
The groom has decided that he is waiting on your ruling.”
Oh, man, this is a lot of responsibility.
Okay, here’s the cost/benefit analysis, they are giving you access to free strippers. Plus, the VIP room, where there will be no cameras allowed to film. In exchange, you guys are going to allow them to film your bachelor party antics. You have no idea whether the show will ever air anywhere, but that seems unlikely given that the vast majority of spec show filming doesn’t pan out. It is, however, highly likely that you will all be drunk and playing it up for the cameras because drunk guys on bachelor parties are not known for their spectacular judgment there.
So what do you do?
Allowing the filming seems like an awful decision to me.
Let me break it down for you.
You have twenty guys there. (By the way, that is a massive bachelor party. There is a 100% chance that someone is getting arrested or sleeping all night in a cobblestone ditch with a Pat O’Brien’s hurricane cup as a hat). Let’s say that all of you threw $250 into a pot for stripper-related expenses. That’s $5k. Do you know what you could get three or four strippers to do in New Orleans for $5k? Especially on a random July weekend when not much else is going on and you bring them to your swinger house for a show?
Rather than just spend the money on strippers yourselves — which, by the way, will inevitably end up happening with the camera crew too — you imperil every job and marriage — who knows what the footage actually shows? — to get into a strip club VIP room.
I just don’t think the payoff is good enough here.
That’s an awful trade.
I’d advise no cameras and no to the reality show.
Andrew C. writes:
“Clay- I will preface this by saying I am 33 and still play Xbox but…. what do I do now that my 6 year old son is beating me and is way better than me at games I have been playing for years? I have come up with the options 1) I don’t allow him to play Xbox 2) don’t allow him to play unless I’m playing so no more practicing/getting better while I’m at work providing the money for the Xbox, games, house, electricity, furniture, etc……. 3) just roll with it.”
I feel your pain.
My oldest son is five and in love with Angry Birds. He plays it all the time on his iPad. I play it with him too only I’m much worse than he is because I don’t get to play Angry Birds for an hour or so a day. (By the way, I would totally play Angry Birds for five hours a day if I had the time. It’s astounding how addictive this game is.)
What’s more, he trash talks me in a patronizing tone. He’s always like, “Daddy, you’re really not very good at this game.” Then he’ll pat me on the shoulder and say something like, “Let me show you how to do this, Daddy.” And he’ll take the iPad from me and immediately beat the level.
The same is true, by the way, with puzzles.
My five year old is a puzzle savant.
Have you tried to do a Disney jigsaw puzzle, lately? The damn things are 500 pieces and all subtle differences in color. I had no idea there were so many different shades of pink. He had a Snow White puzzle recently that almost drove me insane.
Anyway, my advice is play the more violent video games that he isn’t allowed to play yet after he goes to bed. Whenever he beats you in a game he’s allowed to play, say something like, “Yeah, you’re really good at this little boy game. When you get old enough to play them, I bet you can be pretty good at daddy’s big boy games too.”
At least until he finds your DVD porn collection searching for daddy’s big boy games while you’re at work.
Interlude for an email from a friend of mine about the NBA Finals.
So my college friend Sam grew up on Miami Beach. We’ve visited him several times over the year — both college and after — because his parents are incredibly nice and because he lives in Miami Beach, which is amazing. In particular, his mom Honey, a five foot Jewish mom and grandma, has never met a stranger and loves everyone. She jogs every morning on the Miami Beach boardwalk with several of her other Jewish mom friends.
Yesterday morning her friends were out of town so she was jogging alone.
So she added a jogging partner.
“This morning my mom was running on the Miami Beach boardwalk and as she approached the end there was Magic Johnson, in town for the NBA Finals, taking a short break from his own morning run. My mom approached him and asked if he’d mind running together. He said, “Sure,” and so they ran together and talked for the next 25 minutes – just the two of them. They talked about a whole gamet of things from basketball (my mother’s new found love for Ray Allen and a recent documentary on Kareem Abdul Jabbar) to their families (Magic’s oldest is joining his business and sometimes doesn’t want to listen), he was impressed by my Peace Corps Service, and the conversation went on to the French Riviera where my parents just visited and Magic and his wife are taking a yachting vacation after the NBA finals. Just another day on the Miami Beach boardwalk for my mom.
How awesome is this visual?
A sixty-plus year old five-foot Jewish grandma jogging down the Miami Beach boardwalk with a 6’9″ giant discussing their family life for nearly a half hour?
Okay, back to the mailbag.
Rob. K writes:
“Clay, with all the stories about the NSA spying on people and the number of people who had security clearance, don’t you think that a rabid SEC fan has been spying on coach’s messages and phone calls? What would happen if instead of a guy like Snowden, who was concerned about our government’s national spying and wanted to draw attention to the programs, it was just a random SEC fan who turned over reams of documents about a rival SEC school cheating?
Could the NCAA use the information?
Isn’t this likely to happen?”
I mean, the IRS had to discipline employees for checking out famous people’s tax returns. And George Clooney’s medical records got hacked by nurses.
So an SEC fan at the NSA is definitely spying on a rival program.
This is actually a fascinating question about the release of documents. What if a fan published illegally seized content from a coach that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that coach was cheating? Would the NCAA use it? I mean, there’s no constitutional protection here, the NCAA isn’t a governmental entity. So the NCAA would have to act, right?
What about specific player spying too? You know there’s a huge Bama fan in the NSA apparatus somewhere. Are you telling me he never checked Cam Newton’s call log? Or dove into his email and text messages? Does the NSA know who paid Cam?
This is a fabulous question on so many levels.
Somewhere in the NSA there is no doubt that an SEC fan has been snooping on a rival fan base.
If you want to leak your findings send them to Outkick the Coverage.
Justin M. writes:
My wife is an avid sports fan and we watch a lot of different sports and games regularly. Last night during Game 7, my wife told me she “felt so bad for him” when Tim Duncan missed the shot to even the score late. This got me thinking about multiple other occasions where she has told me she felt bad for a player or team: missed free throws, missed kicks, dropped touchdowns, etc. My question has two parts: are men supposed to “feel bad” when a player or team essentially screws up their chance to win? I never do. I’ve never watched a field goal kicker miss the game winning field goal and think “ah man, I really feel bad for that guy” even if I have no cheering interest in the contest. The second part of the question: is this a common trait for female fans? I have heard this phrase multiple times from female fans in the past. I just don’t understand this notion of “feeling bad.” Do you think most fans that are women don’t enjoy watching other players or team fail even if it’s against their team?”
Women are, in general, more empathetic than men so I would think that’s a more common emotion for them.
Having said that, I always feel bad for players too. I thought everyone did. Using your Tim Duncan example, right after the game I felt awful that he missed that shot too — a shot that he makes nine out of ten times — so I had the same thought at the end of the game.
I always feel the same for field goal kickers who miss the winning kick. I’m always rooting for someone to succeed rather than fail in end of game situations and I feel bad for the players who fail.
But I’ve always thought that was pretty common for all sports fans.
Is it not?
Am I weird? (Clearly, but in this instance, too?)
Caroline R. writes:
“Hanging out alone in my place watching the Finals prompted me to ask this question: I love sports but I haven’t met many other students in graduate school that also love sports (mainly because they all went to undergrad out of state and out of the SEC). On a scale of 0 to Monica Lewinsky, how desperate/sad is it for a girl to go to a sports bar and watch a game alone? What would you think if you saw a girl by herself watching football or basketball? Also, are the rules different for guys? I think guys can pull this off and not look quite as sad.”
I would think this was awesome.
As would most men.
I also think you’d be surprised how many women go to the sports bar alone in big cities to watch their favorite teams play. If you don’t know anyone in a city, it’s actually a great way to meet people.
Just buy your own drinks.
Jim H. writes:
“In a few weeks I’m traveling to Rome for a honeymoon. To get me in the Rome sprit, I decided to watch the movie Gladiator. While watching that fight scene when Maximus fights the tiger it sparked a question: who would win in a fight – a typical Roman or a modern Joe?
The Romans have the benefit of working manual labor all day and building strength Rocky IV style. On the other hand, modern guys have the benefit of better nutrition. The average guy today is likely taller and weighs a good deal more.
So which regular guy would win: an ancient Roman or a modern dude?”
I spent an embarrasssing amount of time trying to figure out how tall ancient Roman men were. Based on my research the average ancient Roman man seems to be around 5’5″ whereas the average American man is 5’9.5″.
We’d also weigh quite a bit more, but a decent amount of our weight would be fat. Assume that the average Roman who survives to manhood is also hardier than the average American man who survives to manhood today. Remember we’re talking averages too. The average American man is actually not that strong and doesn’t take advantage of modern advances in workout technology. The top athletes do, but the average American is not that tall, probably fat, and not very strong. (The average man would bench press about 135 pounds).
So my guess is the average Roman, based on his Rocky like workout, is infinitely stronger, in better shape, and tougher than our average guy today. Plus, my guess is that the average Roman is probably better trained in fighting because he would be more likely to fight than a modern man in America would.
The question you have to answer is this, would the Roman toughness and superior physical fitness outweigh our height and weight advantage in a fight to the death?
I think the answer is a definite yes so I believe the average Roman would win.
Mike C. writes:
“Do you think the guys on 790thezone in Atlanta should have been fired or just suspended? The ALS comedy bit involving former player Steve Gleason was extraordinarily tasteless and not at all funny, but part of me thinks there was a little overreaction. This leads to the salary dumping conspiracy theory.”
I hate to see anyone fired for what they say on live television or radio because as someone who makes a living doing both I want the standard to be as broad as possible. I don’t want a simple mistake to end a career. Plus, I think that our Twitter and Facebook era is, as I’ve written before, remarkly susceptible to fauxrage, where everyone reacts with false outrage to make themselves feel better even though they really don’t care that much. There’s a race to see who can be the most outraged.
Here a two minute radio bit turned into national news because everyone was fighting to see who could be the most outraged on Twitter. Often, whether or not you get fired for something like this comes down to how long your story stays in the public eye. Basically, until someone else does something stupid to divert the attention from you. (The best example of this is former Congressman Gary Condit. The guy’s life was ruined because he slept with a former intern and then she got murdered. He had nothing to do with it, but there were no other stories that summer. Come the end of the story, 9/11 happened and no one cared about him at all). Here, if they’d just suspended the guys for a week, Aaron Hernandez and Games 6 and 7 would have bumped these guys off the news.
The bigger issue here is that the planned bit wasn’t funny and the target wasn’t even famous. If I’d been listening live, I would have had no idea who Gleason was or why they were making fun of him. It wasn’t really live radio, it was planned radio, which changes my standard a bit. Live radio is more likely to get a pass than planned radio.
Would I have fired them for this?
Probably not if they were otherwise great at their jobs.
But I definitely understand why they were fired. By the way, I don’t know why this has become our default reaction in situations like these. Why do we immediately want someone fired?
Now were these guys also fired because they weren’t making much money for the station? I’m sure that’s part of it. But I don’t buy that this is a conspiracy, I think it’s just an economic reality.
As a general rule when your problems exceed your talents you’re going to get fired no matter where you are or what you do for a living.
Here these guys problems exceeded their talents.
“I swear on my child’s life that I didn’t make this up. If you think your day is bad, consider this case that a guy in my firm is handling: the plaintiff took a vaccine for hepatitis B and had the most f’ed up allergic reaction to it that has ever occurred in the history of the world. Apparently, in about 1:1.5 million vaccines, people develop a severe blistering and peeling of their skin – as in, the skin peels OFF your body and doesn’t return. This poor bastard not only had this, but had it on his penis. It was so severe that his penis literally fell off his body. What followed is something I cannot believe missed national news: he got a penis transplant from a dead black guy (the plaintiff is white). While that may sound like an upgrade for most white dudes, unfortunately, this guy’s new big penis does not work. How cruel is life that it not only allowed this guy’s johnson to fall off, only to be replaced by a large “new” one, but one that doesn’t work? And what must the wife think when she looks at her husband’s groin and sees a large black penis. Talk about f’ed up.
[If you publish this in the mailbag (and really, how could you not – it is unfreaking-believable) please just use my first name (Ryan) as this is a real case currently in litigation.]”
Emails like this are why the mailbag is my favorite column to write every week.
This has to be a movie starring Will Ferrell as the white man who gets the black man’s penis transplant.
Hope y’all have a great weekend.