Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday and I hope you all are back at work, school, or planning on attending sporting events in the near future. Here in Tennessee high school football officially gets underway — with fans! — on Friday. It’s way past time for people to get back to normalcy in their lives.

So props to the Kansas City Chiefs for announcing they will have fans present September 10th for the NFL’s opening game.

As always you can send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Okay, here we go:

“At 3pm on a Saturday – I pooped in the ocean.

I made a quick Panama City Beach run from Nashville. Had a lovely Friday night, started with a drink Saturday morning, then lunch, where I had one of those stupid large drinks from a chain restaurant near the water. We waded out to bob in the water for a bit. I pulled down my trunks and made it happen. I WAS PAST THE FIRST SANDBAR, and I was totally alone. I made the mistake of mentioning it to the girl I was with and haven’t heard the end of it.

Fair or foul?”

Foul, really, really foul.

Look you can pee in the ocean. We all understand this is a reality. But I don’t think anyone expects to be walking in the ocean and suddenly have poop roll over their feet.

I think you can make (a limited) poop exception if you were really far out in the ocean. Like in the deep water, for instance, if you were attempting to sail from Europe to America on your boat. But your average guy spending the weekend on the Florida gulf coast can’t poop in the water at the ocean and justify doing so because he was out past the first sandbar.

Let’s just play this out, if a lifeguard came by on a jet ski and saw you naked in the ocean mid-poop, I wouldn’t have a problem with him arresting you for that. (Or at least giving you a citation). I doubt anyone else at the beach would disagree with that ruling either.

Simple rule: once you have to remove your pants to do something in the ocean, it’s impermissible on a public beach. That means peeing is permissible in the water, but not if you pull your entire bathing suit off to pee. (Sidenote: I’m not good at water peeing, lake, ocean, or river. I can’t do it. Not even when I’m on my own. I can’t have a conversation with someone and pee at the same time in the water. I envy people who can do this. I prefer to pee and poop in silence by myself. I would have been the guy who got scalped by Indians after leaving the wagons to go poop by himself in the old west. Anyway, I can’t pull off peeing in water. This is weird because I have no issue at all peeing outside in the open air. But put me in water and I can’t perform. I’d like to be able to explain it, but I can’t.)

Anyway, back to my your pants have to stay on rule. For instance, you can cuddle your girlfriend in the waves on a public beach. (Everyone will hate you for doing this, but you can’t do it). But the minute you pull your pants off — or to the side so that they’re effectively off — and start going to town on each other, that’s unacceptable ocean behavior.

I’m not saying you can’t do it, just that it’s unacceptable behavior.

I mean, in theory, you could swim out past the first sandbar and jerk off under the water while looking either back at the beach crowd or off into the distance of the ocean. (Which is creepier by the way, the jerk off staring into nothingness into the deep ocean or the jerk off staring back at the crowd at the beach? I’m not even sure here. Both are next level creepy).

Think about this conversation with a buddy.

You: “Hey, man, did you just run out there to pee? You were out there pretty deep for a while.”
Buddy: “No, man, I just decided to go jerk off.”

I mean, that dude needs to go straight to jail. I don’t know what else he’s into, but it’s not good. Put him in prison now.

The only exception I can see here is if you have a totally unexpected and uncontrollable sudden bowel explosion and your only options are to poop all over yourself on the beach or do so in the ocean. Then I think you can rush to the ocean and start swimming madly as far away from the beach as you possibly can to try and poop there.

The funniest thing about this is picturing people back on the beach thinking you’re just really committed to your workout. “Man, look at that guy way out there swimming!” (You ever notice how when you’re on the beach you make a big deal out of anyone who goes out very far in the ocean? That and making sure your kids don’t drown are like the only two things you talk about with your wife at the beach. “Boy, that guy’s out really deep!” “Hey, where’s our youngest kid?” Meanwhile if you’re at the beach with your guy friends there isn’t a girl within four hundred yards who passes by that isn’t mentioned by one of you. Guys are like the Ferdinand Magellan of hot chicks when it comes to them walking on the beach. Walton County is right next to Bay County down on the gulf coast and I’ve seen dudes pointing out good looking girls that aren’t even in our county yet. “You sure about that? That chick is still in Bay County!”)

Anyway, as a man who has pooped all over the lid of his toilet — if you need a (gross) laugh, go read this right now — I feel like I’m an expert on explosive and unquenchable diarrhea.

This is not an acceptable move by you.

And I don’t blame your girlfriend for giving you a hard time. She’s thinking, rightly, I can not mix DNA with this man and create a new human.

And she’s probably right about that too.

“I’m a professor at a mid-sized public university in the South. We start class on Wednesday in a mostly hybrid (some face-to-face) format.

Most of the faculty think this is only going to last until Labor Day, and then everything will move back online. University administration will not provide any details regarding what specific number of cases or percentage of cases on campus or individual classes would trigger a move online, by the way. We’ve been assured there are “decision trees” in place, but it looks a little arbitrary from the outside.

Am I wrong to feel that starting off the year on campus is just about cynical optics–that the university wants its constituents in a semi-rural, mostly conservative area to think that it is moving forward and trying to return to “normal” when in reality it just wants to get as much money as it can in the form of tuition and housing fees before retreating back into a safe virtual world? (We tried, but, you know…COVID!) Our department meetings were pure hysteria last week. The adjuncts–who are mostly in their 20s and early 30s–all want to know who will take over their classes when they’re hospitalized and today my department head asked me if I thought there would be corpses in the hallways. Our administrative assistant is going to sit behind a plastic tarp hanging from the ceiling that’s wrapped around 3 sides of her desk! It’s insane! It’s like she’s trapped in some renovation hell.

Like all universities, mine is now struggling financially. Wouldn’t a quick move back online be a PR disaster? If I was a parent who had spent money on everything needed to furnish a dorm room, including expensive stuff like a new laptop, and then gone through the trouble of moving them in according to the pages of socially distanced guidelines only to move them back home again a couple of weeks later, I’d be really ticked off.

This is to say nothing of the money that university has spent on signage, wipes, hand sanitizer, plexiglass panels, masks, etc.

Do you think administrators are really going to pull the plug this quickly? The faculty here seems to really, really hope they do.”

Well, the University of North Carolina has already waved the white flag and gone online only, right?

I suspect many universities will follow their lead.

But I’m with you, I’d be furious about this if I were a parent who was paying full tuition — plus room and board! — for my kid to get on wifi every day at their dorm room. Why did I spend all this time moving them into dorms if a week into the semester everything’s going online.

I could have saved thousands and thousands of dollars and had them take classes at home.

This feels like a move designed to maximize university revenue by ensuring the dorms don’t sit open for the fall. (After the dorms were empty for the summer).

It totally feels like it’s for show.

I also understand why parents want a refund or plan to sue for a reduced tuition cost these semesters. We’re not getting their full bargain when it comes to online classes. And, by the way, if online classes are just as good as in person classes, why does college even exist at all? Why would anyone pay $75k a year for education if we could all pay a fraction of that and get the same quality of education?

Heck, why would public schools exist? Why do we need all these buildings if our kids could just get on wifi and get the same instructional value?

My nine year old loves his online classes because he’s done much faster. He says they’re more efficient, but every time I come downstairs he’s playing video games.

I just think the education system in general is ripe for disruption.

Colleges and universities seem to me right now like taxis a decade ago. Do you remember how hard it was to get a taxi in most of the country a decade ago? It was virtually impossible outside of a few cities like New York. I’d try to get a taxi out to a bar in Nashville and calling to get someone to pick me up was nearly impossible. Then I remember Lyft and Uber showed up in Nashville and I couldn’t believe how much cheaper and more efficient the process of getting a ride was.

Overnight the taxi industry basically ceased to exist.

Because the service was poor and it was too expensive.

Doesn’t that sound just like higher education?

If you can truly get the same quality of education online as you get in person, why do in person schools even exist now? (I tend to think most of the value of college comes from your interactions with other students. But that would mean all the university is providing is just a place for you to meet other smart people. Is that really worth paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for? Doesn’t that mean that universities are just escort services for smart kids?)

Finally, who are these crazy people unable to realize they have almost no risk of death from the coronavirus? You’re talking about highly educated professors at colleges. People who have been rewarded for their educational achievement by permitting them to teach the younger generation life lessons.

Yet these people are unable to comprehend basic probabilities?

Your administrator hanging the plastic tarp is far, far more likely to die driving to work than she is from the coronavirus. Hell, she’s more likely to get murdered. Yet if she showed up on a college campus wearing a holster and a visible gun, she’d probably get arrested by campus security.

Increasingly, I feel like people have lost their minds over this virus. I have been going out to restaurants and working out in my gym for months now. Maybe, possibly, you could have been freaked out in March, but how can any adult under the age of sixty with a functional brain and decent health still be afraid of the coronavirus today?

All of this is just nonsensical.

“I was a professional poker player in my early 20s. A lot of friends not in the gambling world would ask me if i knew anywhere to get bet a football game. Of course I did, but eventually got tired of seeing how much money that dude was making so I became a bookie myself.

Ten years later I am making all that money (and paying taxes on it) but that is where the question lies. Given the gray area at best of the sports betting world with regards to legality, what am I to do? Keep printing money? Stop printing money? Or something creative in between?”

I think there’s always going to be a market for a local bookie, but I think your business is going to get disrupted in a big way by the legalization of sports gambling.

The only advantage I can see you having is the ability to extend credit. Most online sports books — and casinos — aren’t going to extend credit as freely as a bookie who knows his customers can extend.

The risk, however, is that as sports gambling becomes legalized across the country there’s going to be a crackdown on those people who are “illegally” accepting wagers. Why will that crackdown happen? Because your business is competing with the people who are buying legal licenses in the state.

So I think that legalization is going to work against the average bookie. Sure, there will be way more people gambling, but I think there will be less people using your services.

“Until football is cancelled or I’m told fans aren’t allowed, I’m planning on going to football games to watch the University of Tennessee this fall. I don’t want corona, but I’m not scared of corona being healthy and 26. So I’m not going to go to a game against South Carolina, but you can bet your ass I’m going to a game against Georgia or Bama.

Here is my concern: I live with my parents who are at risk. They haven’t told me I’d have to quarantine or move out, but I feel like I would be protecting them if I did. So my question is, does it make sense to spend $1000 a month more to go to a couple of football games? I work remotely and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.”

This isn’t a football question, this is a life question: If you can afford to not live with your parents, why would you live with your parents?

I mean, I get it, you’re trying to save money, but unless your parents live in a huge mansion, doesn’t it feel kind of embarrassing to be trying to date a girl and then tell her she has to come back to your parent’s home after dinner?

At some point you have to start living and independent life. Continuing to live at home seems like it’s just prolonging your adolescence.

As for attending football games, I’m more excited to attend football games this fall than I am for usual games because there have been so few social events for the past several months.

So I kept my season tickets for the Titans games and plan on going — with my kids — to those games if fan attendance is eventually allowed. (So far it isn’t).

And I’m also excited to go to SEC games if fans are allowed for those as well.

In fact, and maybe I’m rare in this, I PREFER going to sporting events that aren’t crowded. I can’t think of anything better than having a ton of space around me. I don’t like being scrunched into a tiny seat with some huge dude in front of me so I have to maneuver my kids around so they can see the field for the entire game.

I Tweeted this out a while ago, but I would pay five times as much money to have one-fifth of the people around me in a stadium.

This is the entire reason for luxury suites — or club suites — to give people more room than they would ordinarily have at a football game. You pay for space. So I love the idea that some people will be afraid to come to the games and I’ll have better seats and a better view than I ordinarily would.

Plus, think about how much easier it will be to deal with traffic before and after the game. Socially distanced stadiums sound kind of awesome to me.

I know, I know, some of you will inevitably email me that a huge part of the experience at games is the crowds, but I completely disagree. I care about the outcome of the game, my view of the game, and the quality of the game, in that order.

In other words, if I’m going to a game I care about whether my team wins, how well I can see my team win, and the quality of the game in that order. (if my team wins 45-3, that’s perfect, I’m willing to give up the quality of the game in favor of my team getting a blow out.)

I really don’t care about anything else, especially not the size of the crowd.

The fewer the fans there are in the stadium the better of a view I’m likely to have, so I’m fine with reduced attendance at these games. In fact, I’d even pay a premium for this experience.

Send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

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.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. If I had had a child of freshman in college age, I would absolutely require two years at a community college for this child right now, and then transfer. The four year colleges don’t have the “secret knowledge”, and classroom education is superior BY FAR to the online experience, in all respects but the commute.

    But, the deal would be, save me some money now for the same education, and the last two years, you can choose to go to a more prestigious four year, if you so choose.

  2. This is anonymous for us. But for Clay, he knows the name of a man that is living in his city that pooped in the ocean. This is something that could eat away at Clay to the point where Clay has to find out where this guy lives in Nashville and ensure they aren’t in the same neighborhood.

    There are still some degrees that need human interaction to make the degree worthwhile. I got my degree in mechanical engineering. There were group study sessions 3 times a week to figure out difficult homework problems, semester-long design projects that required multiple people working face to face, and so on. Without this constant interaction, my degree and experience would have been hollow. On the other hand, I took many classes like Mesopotamian History (which did expand my views of the world), and can find the exact material on Youtube nowadays for free.
    Conclusion- don’t keep math majors and engineers isolated. Social interaction will prevent the next Unabomber! Universities need to pivot to being the place to go to get a hands-on degree and life experience. Shed those degrees that online educators are offering and focus on making the other degrees a really immersive experience for students.

Leave a Reply