Anonymous Mailbag

Charlotte McKinney, Kliff Kingsbury

Yesterday I clicked publish on the anonymous mailbag and it vanished. Just totally disappeared. The result? This was the first Tuesday since we started the anonymous mailbag that it hasn’t been up on Outkick. People were furious with me.

To make it worse, I immediately delete the anonymous mailbag questions and then click empty my trash folders as soon as I cut and paste them into the body of the article so there is no record of anyone’s anonymous mailbag questions. Yep, I lost those questions forever. 

The positive is, once I empty the trash and delete them forever they really are impossible to find again. 

Yep, somehow I managed to Georgia the anonymous mailbag.

So here we are again, a day late. 

Please forgive me. 

Let’s roll:

I just read the Dead Great Grandmother Story in Anonymous Mailbag. I worked in a funeral home while I was in undergrad during the Peyton Manning era. One day we had a guy come in to plan his very recently deceased mother’s funeral. She died late on a Wednesday, so Saturday was the most logical day for the service and burial. Her son was absolutely adamant that we wait until Sunday. That was fine of course, but the funeral director wanted to make sure he understood that there would be extra costs involved. Apparently gravediggers get time and a half on Sundays. The son shut all of this down with “Mom’s dead forever. Vols kick-off at noon.”

“Mom’s dead forever. Vols kick-off at noon,” would make a great t-shirt.

This guy definitely buries his mom on a Saturday during the Derek Dooley era, right?

“I think about apocalypses all the time and I’ve wondered this for a while. If a Walking Dead situatution happened but all the zombies died out, how long would it take the survivors to bring living conditions back to where they are for us now? Let’s say 100 people survive. There’s not likely to be anyone that knows how to build iphones or knows how to run an oil refinery. There’s no internet so all they have to educate themselves are books. Are we talking decades, generations, or hundreds of years?”

Hundreds of years. Let me explain why. 

First, let’s assume that all hundred people live together. This is actually important because if the 100 people are spread out in tiny groups of ten or less you’re probably talking thousands of years, if ever. I say that because you need large groups of humans to allow specialization to take place. That is, someone has to provide for a consistent supply of food and water and reasonable shelter before someone else is concerned with rudimentary technology.

There is a ton of knowledge that we don’t have anymore that we would have to relearn to survive. For instance, how many of you feel comfortable you could kill an animal without a gun? Could you trap a squirrel or rabbit? How about a deer? Because eventually you’d run out of ammunition or canned goods or the last gun would break and you probably wouldn’t be able to fix it or make a new one. Now, maybe you’d have access to a large supply of guns in a Wal Mart or you’d be located near a town where you could pillage people’s property for years, but if you’re the last survivors of an apocalypse isn’t it more likely than not that you’re in a rural area? I think so. 

And eventually you’d run out of supplies from modern day, right?

Here’s the other issue, you’d need to try and find antibiotics. Can you imagine what giving birth without doctors or nurses would be like? People used to die of all sorts of absurd ailments because they had minor injuries that killed them. Break an arm or leg and without a doctor or antibiotics, you’re screwed. How about a minor cut that gets infected? You’re dead. So the first thing you’d need to do is raid a hospital. How long would antibiotic pills remain effective if they were stored in home without heat or air? Hell, how long would it take for air conditioning to exist again? Electricity doesn’t exist. You’re out of gas and generators pretty soon, right? You’d be on a constant quest to find as much gas as possible.

Survival would take precedence over reinvention. And if you’re down to 100 people how long would it take to repopulate the earth and allow specialization to take root? I’m not talking about getting back to seven billion people, I’m talking about getting back to, say, 10,000 people. If there are only 100 people alive how many are women capable of having children? 15? How many of those women survive multiple kids, how many of those kids survive to adult hood? I mean, at a population of 100 the survival of the species is a legit concern. One illness, minus antibiotics, and humanity can die out. 

On top of all this, how long would it take you to be confident that the zombies were all dead? You’d probably live for generations believing that you had just found a safe haven from the zombies. So long as there were people alive who remembered the zombie terrors, do you really think anyone would have a hankering to go exploring? Maybe someone would rig a HAM radio to try and search for other survivors with radios, but I suspect you’d probably try and not attract attention for fifty years or more. 

Finally, keep in mind that many of our communication devices are unnecessary if our population is small. Why do you need the Internet or cell phones or radio if everyone in the world is within a few hundred yards of you? Entertainment would become what it was for most of humanity, a bunch of guys and girls sitting around the fire telling stories. 

So it might end up being thousands of years before we worked our way back to being able to use any modern technology. 

But I would say medical supplies would be our top necessity. You’d need antibiotics and penicillin and things like that because I don’t think you’d be able to recreate that for a very long time. 

Also, you’d need access to a fantastic library since there would be no knowledge stored elsewhere. Doesn’t that seem unlikely that you’d be very close to one? So you’d probably be trying to cobble together human history based on the book purchases of random people in the middle of nowhere. What are the odds they have medical textbooks in their houses?

I find this totally fascinating. I would love to watch a show about the final survivors of America trying to refashion American life. 

“Need some input on some recent events in my life. Though not as sordid an affair as most of your tawdry tails, I thought it was pretty entertaining. My girlfriend of one year broke up with me not because of the usual man-child actions of drinking and partying, but because I work too much and she thinks I don’t care about her. I am a resident at a hospital, who works 80 hour weeks. That set the stage, but the catalyst was she got in a car wreck (no injuries, not her fault, and her car was driveable). I texted her several times to see if she was ok, which she was, and she texts me that she is going home to take a bath. I assumed she wanted to be alone because she was shaken up. I did not call her (a mistake in hindsight) because it was late (around 11:00), I had to be up at 5 am, and I had worked the previous 12 days (admittedly not great reasons).

For the next week, I receive maybe 1-2 texts per day when we usually text multiple times throughout the day. When the weekend rolls around, she calls me at work to tell me she is having a girl’s night on Friday and going to a sporting event on Saturday to which I was not invited. That weekend marked the first day off that I had in 18 days. To top it off, when I ask her is she is breaking up with me, she says, “I don’t know.” Quite the ringing endorsement!

On Sunday, she finally works me into her busy schedule and to make a long story short, she breaks up with me because she keeps saying how she wants more. I have to be honest, I don’t really know what she means. Granted, I am in my mid-thirties, and I have never been married, so my emotional maturity is potentially pretty stunted. Our discussion leads to how we never made any plans for the future (essentially true).

The next day, I concoct an ill-fated plan to propose. I’m looking at rings, trying to conceive of something more romantic than me on one knee in her living room, and I actually go so far as to ask her parents for their blessing to marry her, to which they were kind enough to acquiesce.

Before going to sleep that night, I texted my her some drivel about not giving up on me and this plan I have to win her back. Needless to say, she texted the next day with a swift rebuttal of how I need to move on.

I am of the opinion that the punishment did not fit the crime. What do you think? And how awkward would it have been if I actually proposed? The moral of the story, never buy a ring without a guaranteed return policy.”

I’d love to know what percentage of engagements are this poorly thought out.

 

Women dream of a romantic proposal all their life and instead their Romeo proposes mid-sex act. 

Here’s the deal, the punishment didn’t fit the crime at all, but you are a resident. What did this girl expect, that you were going to have tons of free time to spend with her after her car accident — in which, by the way, she wasn’t even hurt that bad? You work 80 hour weeks! I understand that women — or men for that matter — want to spend time with their significant others, but doctors and lawyers and thousands of other professional people aren’t going to magically have teacher hours. One year you aren’t going to work from 7-4 every day and get off two weeks for Christmas, a scheduled spring break and months in the summer. Your job requires you to bust your ass. That’s why you get paid what you do.

And that’s not going to change for the next 25 years or more.

So I think this girl may well have done you a favor. You weren’t giving her what she wanted and it wasn’t just because of who you are, it’s because of what you do. She decided that didn’t fit her lifestyle. 

I’d play it cool for a while and see if she comes back to you.

Because here’s the deal — she may decide that she doesn’t want to spend that much time with her boyfriend. Being married to a guy or girl who works a ton can be ideal if you like time to yourself for your own hobbies or crave time to spend with your friends. Maybe that’s her. If it’s not, that’s who you need to find. Or, and this also happens a ton, she may realize that if she wants to live in (insert neighborhood here) and drive (expensive car here) and send her kids to (expensive school here) there aren’t too many guys or girls working forty hour weeks who are going to allow that to happen.

We all make choices, right now she wants a guy who is available all the time.

That might change.   

“I came home from work a couple Tuesdays ago to the dreaded “I’m fine.” After this goes on for an hour or two, I come to find out that the one time I forgot to read the anonymous mailbag right away is the time there’s a story that could’ve come from me, and my wife of course assumes that I submitted it.

When she finally breaks down and tells me why she’s mad, I can’t stop laughing, which of course infuriates her more. It took at least 30 minutes to convince her that I didn’t submit the story. I used to think it was cool that she reads Outkick, but it sucks. It’s hard to enjoy The Best Thing On The Internet™ while also dreading that a story is going to be similar to something she would be pissed at me for sharing. At least this time when she gets pissed it will be for something I actually did.

There’s no way I’m the only person this has happened to, so it got me thinking that there have to be relationships that have ended because of the anonymous mailbag. There’s some girl out there who got proposed to on a group vacation to a foreign country and is now confronting everyone else on the trip to see who her (likely innocent) fiancée slept with the night before. And some mid 30’s dude whose wife sends him naked pics is never getting another one again because she thinks he’s laughing at her. How far are you going to take this thing? How many relationships must end before the madness stops? Is this all part of your plan to make everyone who isn’t a gay Muslim miserable?”

There are tens of thousands of people who read the anonymous mailbag every week. So the odds of it being your spouse or friend or boyfriend or girlfriend submitting a question are really low. 

Having said that, I pick questions or situations that I feel like lots of people have faced. While we like to think our lives are all unique, the fact is most of us are dealing with many of the same issues. Especially if you’re relatively young, college educated, and reading Outkick on a regular basis.

The emailer (insert spooky music) could be anyone.  

“I’m in my late-20’s, out of shape, and was never a very good athlete to begin with. I’m also a huge UT fan. Let’s say that in the Tennessee-Alabama game two weeks ago, in order to hypothetically bridge the talent gap, Tennessee was allowed 12 players on defense, but the 12th player had to be me, suited up in pads, with other similarly unskilled backups to replace me when I inevitably get hurt. Here’s my question: could this unskilled 12th man make a difference? I wouldn’t make a solo tackle all game (I’d jump on some piles to pad my tackle stats, though), but wouldn’t the offense have to account for me to some extent? If I blitz someone has to at least pick me up, otherwise I might be able to get Coker in a bear hug until Derek Barnett comes in to finish off the sack. Similarly, on running plays, of course I’m not taking down one of their running backs, but I could force him to change directions and help others get tackles. Could the unskilled 12th man have been the difference between a win and a loss? And how many points would the unskilled 12th defender be worth in Vegas?”

The unskilled 12th man would be worth no points in Vegas. Because the odds of you impacting the game would be minimal. Even a really good player going down to injury doesn’t impact the game much — generally only quarterbacks adjust the line. So no way an unskilled 12th man works.  

Having said that, I think you put this 12th guy at the short side of the field and blitz him on every down. 

Since you’re on the short side of the field you have a shorter distance to the quarterback and you also, at least in theory, could get in the way on any plays run in that direction. I don’t think you’d ever make a tackle, but you could “help” there the most. Any other place on the field I think you’d be more likely to just get in the way of the players with actual talent. 

Here’s the most entertaining Vegas line, how many regular 12th men get injured in a full length game. Figure you’re on the field for 80 defensive snaps. No way your average dude lasts more than 10 snaps, right? I mean, so many of these guys would get totally destroyed too. Can you imagine trying to tackle Derrick Henry on a toss sweep? What about a screen pass when the offensive linemen get out moving? Hell, have you seen Coker standing next to Nick Saban, he’s a damn giant, he would destroy most of us in the open field. 

I say there’s an average of eight injuries for the 12th men, many of them of a gruesome angle.

And I would definitely love to watch this. Imagine how good of a television show this would be, it’s like the SEC’s own “Hunger Games,” random dudes get selected as they walk into the stadium — it’s even better if, as would be the case, many of them are drunk — they are obligated to play for the honor of their school, they get hustled down to the stadium locker room, put on pads, get the pregame speech instructing them on what to do, and the next thing they know they have to play in the game. 

Must. Watch. Television. 

“I’ll try and condense this down as best I can and still give you all the right information. I have been married for a little over 3 years (been with her for over 6) and a few months ago, my wife said she was unhappy and we are two different people. She asked if I would go to counseling and I agreed. I was trying and trying and she seemed to pull back a lot. Then after a few months of counseling, she said she thought it was best to go our separate ways at this point.

After some emotional back and forth, I said I would give her what she wants, even though I was devastated. A few days later, I was at work and my phone rang. It’s the phone call you only see in movies or hear about from friends. It was a woman telling me that her husband and my wife were having an affair for the last few months. I was stunned. My appetite went away completely…I was a mess.

I confronted my wife. She admitted it. A couple of ROUGH days went by and we finally talked when things settled down and I was stunned…STUNNED when she said she doesn’t want a divorce and wants to work it out. I told her I would think about it over the next few weeks. I haven’t told my family and only a few very close friends know the situation. I always thought this would be a no brainer, end game if something like this happened. I think everyone tells themselves that. Then it happened to me. When she said she wants to work it out, my appetite returned immediately and I didn’t feel like a mess anymore. It seems like my head is telling me, “are you crazy…drop this girl and deal with the divorce.” My body and heart seem to be saying the complete opposite and to work it out. Not sure if you have any friends that you know have worked this kind of thing out or not, but thought I would see if you have any advice on this. I should add, there are no kids involved in this.

Thanks, in advance for the anonymous mailbag. Not sure you know, how in some instances, it may help some people.”

First, no one can tell you what to do. That’s a decision entirely for you. Many couples have dealt with infidelity and stayed together.

Now let me give you the best advice I can for your situation. And I’m going to begin with a question — is the man your wife cheated with staying with his wife? I ask because the cynical part of me wonders if your wife hoped he was going to leave his wife for her and she found out he wasn’t going to do it. As a result she’s come back to you. Basically, I’m wondering what changed for her? You went to counseling with her and made an effort at fixing your marriage and she pulled away until the affair went public. So why does she want to be with you now? I’m wondering if it’s because the guy is staying with his wife. That’s important because it wouldn’t mean she was choosing you and admitting her mistake, it would mean she was choosing you because the option she preferred isn’t available anymore. (By the way, “the option she preferred isn’t available anymore” is why like 99% of us ended up married to our wives in the first place).

Second, you don’t have kids. As far as I’m concerned you shouldn’t even call it a divorce until there are kids involved. Right now you and your wife just had a relationship that didn’t work. Sure, you got married, but is it really that much different than a relationship ending between two people who lived together? You can both go your separate ways and never talk to each other again and there’s no issue with that. It’s really not much different than a regular relationship ending. I think the lack of kids is significant. To me, once you have kids, it’s like being in a bunker and getting shot at during a war, you can’t abandon your army.  

Ultimately you have to answer two questions to decide whether to stay in this relationship: 1. can you trust your wife again? and 2. can you fix whatever was wrong with your relationship that led her to cheat? Women cheat for different reasons than men cheat. Men cheat because we’re dumb and like sex with as many women as we can sleep with. We aren’t really concerned with emotions most of the time. That’s why every married man — if he was being totally honest, yes even your husband, ladies — would be totally fine with having casual sex with strange women. Hell, it’s why prostitution exists. Men like no strings attached sex. Most women don’t. It sounds like your wife was cheating because something was broken in your relationship. What was that and can you fix it?

Finally, I implore you, if you stay together DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. Many couples that are in the midst of difficult situations decide that the way to make their marriage stronger is to have a kid. THIS IS THE DUMBEST DECISION YOU COULD POSSIBLY MAKE. Kids make relationships much tougher, not easier. If your relationship is already tenuous the last thing you need is kids, this is the equivalent of lighting a match in a dry forest and tossing it over your shoulder and hoping the resulting fire will keep you warm at night.

Regardless of what path you choose, good luck.

The anonymous mailbag runs every Tuesday on Outkick the Coverage. Total anonymity is assured and I promise that only I will see your emails. Send your questions to clay.travis@gmail.com 

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.