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Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag to rescue you from your work, school, or election day voting line doldrums.

Go vote! (Literally the minute I click “publish” on this mailbag, I’m headed to vote in person.)

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

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Okay, here we go with the anonymous mailbag.

“My children are 8 and 5 and absolutely love Halloween. They can’t get enough of the holiday. They have their costumes picked out for weeks in advance. Earlier this week, I got an email from their private school saying that only ‘gender neutral’ costumes will be allowed this year at their school for Halloween. My kids were all excited to be Ryan Tannehill (we moved from Nashville to the Bay Area for my wife’s job) and Elsa from Frozen. The school recommended costumes like monkey, shark, or ketchup bottle(?). I pay a god awful amount of money to send them to this school. I am thinking of telling the school to pound sand and just sending them in their chosen costumes. I love Halloween and this tradition, and I want my children to experience it the way I want them to, but I don’t want to risk being the next victim of the far left woke mob. Any tips on how to deal with this?”

This email came in after last Tuesday’s mailbag so I didn’t see it until after Halloween, but my answer might be instructive for parents in the future because these Halloween costume controversies are unlikely to disappear.

I’d send my kids to school in the costumes they want to wear.

If you’re asked why your kids aren’t in gender neutral costumes, just play the woke card back on them. Why can’t a girl dress up as a quarterback? Just because your son is a boy dressed like a boy quarterback doesn’t mean a girl couldn’t dress up like an NFL quarterback too. And why can’t a boy dress up as Elsa? Are you saying it’s wrong for boys to dress like girls and girls to dress like boys? That seems wildly judgmental in this gender fluid world.

Boom, you’ve painted the school into a woke corner.

Plus, SHARKS AND MONKEYS AREN’T GENDER NEUTRAL EITHER! They are also either boy or girl sharks and monkeys. So if your son or daughter dresses as an animal, they are still going as a gendered version of those animals too.

My bet is the school just ignores the costume choices of the kids and that the email was sent to appease the vocal woke minority in the school who made the request. That is, I’d be stunned if the majority of parents and educators aren’t on your side here and rolling their eyes over this email.

If, however, I’m wrong, and the school sends your kids home for dressing in these costumes — or makes them change clothes — I’d pick a new school at the end of the year. There has to be non-crazy private school in the Bay Area you could pick where your boys and girls can still wear normal Halloween costumes.

The entire point of Halloween is to dress up as someone you aren’t.

The school’s instructions are a great example of wokeism run amuck.

Which is why I’d ignore the school’s request and let my kids wear the costumes of their choice.

“Clay, my wife and I are going through the foster/adoption process right now. It’s been a LONG process, which is fine. I understand they want to weed out the people who shouldn’t be caring for the children. However, part of the process is doing first aid/CPR classes. I am an Eagle Scout. I don’t have the CPR certification anymore, but I am well versed enough to know what to do in a pinch.

You wouldn’t believe what I came across while going through the course. I took some screenshots and attached them to the email. They’ve updated CPR instructions for COVID!

What in the actual hell?

If someone is dying and I get to a point where I have to do CPR, I can guarantee the last thing I will consider is COVID-19. Whether they’re in my household or not, I’ll be willing to take my chances to help save their life. How have we come this far? How many courses for CPR talked about people having the flu? Has anyone ever considered gloves for people who had the flu (assuming there’s no blood)? Putting a facemask on someone before I do CPR? HAHAHA what a joke!

Anyway, hope you enjoy. I’ll get back to studying how to do CPR during COVID. Can’t keep up with the COVID madness.”

These CPR instructions in the time of COVID are absolute madness.

They advise putting a mask on the person you’re performing CPR on while you’re compressing their chest. Then taking the mask off when you insert air into their passageway.

Can you imagine someone being passed out, needing to be resuscitated and the person who should be doing CPR takes the time to PUT A MASK ON THE PERSON HE IS PERFORMING CPR ON?!

I mean, all of this is just absolute insanity.

Not to mention that putting a mask on has to inhibit, in some way, the free flow of air for someone who is DYING.

Finally, the CPR advice is for children. Can you imagine how much of a pussy you’d have to be to be afraid of giving CPR to a dying kid because of COVID fears?

I’m hoping that after the election this COVID fear porn just disappears, but I’m not holding my breath. (See what I did there? This is why they pay me the big bucks.)

In the meantime, good luck with the foster/adoption process. Based on friends who have gone through it, I know how hard it can be.

“My wife and I are booked for her family’s annual vacation to Mexico in January. It’s at an all-inclusive resort that her parents are members at, and they always upgrade us at no cost and it’s an awesome relaxing trip. This year I feel like it’s even more important that we go because we just had our first kid in May and haven’t really gotten the chance to do anything fun just as a couple. I splurged on the cheaper airline prices and upgraded us to first class, private shuttle, etc. in anticipation of having our ‘first big trip away’ from baby (all refundable). I even convinced my parents to drive from FL to harsh WI winter to take care of our daughter and dogs while we’re gone (free childcare).

Yet my wife is still hesitant to go this year because of COVID fears. I should say this is somewhat founded for her: she has a pre-existing condition that makes her take medicine causing her to be immunocompromised and our daughter is as well because she’s breast feeding. She also works as a nurse in an intensive care unit. She was taken off work early before the due date because of her risk as well. However, that meant she wasn’t able to have a full maternity leave after baby arrived, and I feel like we’ve been living in a constant state of fear and stress since then. Which is precisely why I feel the Mexico trip is necessary and have argued that the reward of the trip outweigh the risks for us (still young and relatively healthy despite the medication). She’s still nervous and checks the ‘daily COVID reports’ and fear porn sent out from the MSM and won’t commit to going yet.

Her mom and dad and sister and brother-law have already committed that they’re going regardless of the ‘COVID situation.

My question is, how do I convince her that this trip is exactly what we need? Am I being too insensitive to the risk to her and my daughter, given they may be at higher susceptibility (although there aren’t a ton of documented infant cases)? How do I push her to make the trip without making it a traumatic experience for her?”

If your baby was born in May, then we’re talking about the baby, your first born, only being seven months old at the time of the trip, right? I’m betting that’s more of a concern for her than COVID. The COVID impact is just the added stress on top of leaving a baby that young.

I can’t speak for your wife, but I don’t think my wife would have left either of our parents in charge of a seven-month-old while we left the country. That’s especially the case given that she’s breastfeeding. Is she planning on stopping breastfeeding while you’re on the trip? Is she going to try and stock up a week’s worth of breast milk while she’s gone?

Have you thought of any of these details? (Probably not because you’re the dad).

So I wonder if you’re missing the larger issue here — it may not be COVID as much as the leaving the baby part that has your wife unsure about taking the trip. In fact, what you’re picking up as reticence on her part based on COVID may actually be her looking for an excuse because she knows how much you want to take the trip, and she doesn’t want to disappoint you (or for you — or her parents — to blame her for not being comfortable with taking the trip.)

Think about it. How many moms with newborns, especially their first child, are really able to relax outside the country without their baby? Have you thought about suggesting she bring the baby with you? Sure, it’s not as fun with a baby on vacation, but welcome to the next 18 years of your life, bud. Once you have a baby, your life is never the same again. You might as well get used to it now. You don’t go on vacations anymore, you go on family trips.

And family trips are often more tiring than actual vacations, trust me.

As far as the trip itself, I’d be fine taking the trip to Mexico if the baby issues weren’t, in my opinion, clearly at play here. Much of the time you’ll be spending in Mexico will be outdoors, and transmission of the virus outdoors has been shown to be highly unlikely.

Presumably once you get to the resort, you won’t travel much in Mexico either.

As far as the travel itself, there haven’t been reports of any superspreader events that I’ve seen connected to airplane flights either. Given that you’ll be outside in Mexico as opposed to cooped up in Wisconsin, you’re probably safer in Mexico than you are in Wisconsin in January.

But, again, I think you may be missing the issue with the baby more than anything else here.

Every parent is different, but I think most moms would be super nervous about leaving their seven-month-old baby, especially the first born child during a time of COVID, with anyone, even your own parents, while they left the country on a vacation.

I’d bet your wife doesn’t want to go, but she doesn’t want to disappoint you. (And maybe her family too.)

So keep that in mind when you’re having these conversations.

And maybe consider taking the trip a bit later in the spring. The Wisconsin winter lasts forever. You’ve got plenty of time to get away.

“About a month ago I got a DUI. I will lose my license for a year outside of driving for work once convicted. I made a dumb mistake. In the time since, I have began seeing a girl I’m very interested in. When/how is the right time to tell her? I’m afraid it will ruin anything.”

I wouldn’t say anything for several months. Or until it becomes a major red flag for you not to say something. For now, you can probably Uber to most dates together and if you do so, you can always explain that you don’t want to drive home after drinks.

Which is even more true since you just got a DUI.

But if, for instance, you’re invited to her family’s Thanksgiving and they live out of town a bit, you certainly can’t Uber there. So you need to be prepared for explaining why you can’t drive.

But I don’t think you have an obligation to do so until the relationship becomes serious.

And I don’t think you should be concerned about her reaction. If this girl leaves you because you got a DUI, you don’t want her to be your longtime girlfriend anyway. If anything, it’s a good test.

All relationships have challenges. Sometimes one of the people in the relationship makes a mistake, and you have to decide how to respond. Here, your mistake has nothing to do with her. You screwed up in your own personal life, as many young people often do. The end result of your decision is a punishment you probably can’t hide from her for a year. (Assuming you’re correct and you lose your license for a year. I’m not an expert in DUI law, but I’d advise getting a good lawyer who is.)

For now, I’d stay quiet about this issue until you decide this girl is worthy of being in a serious relationship with. If she’s upset you didn’t tell her sooner, you can tell the truth: you were afraid she’d break up with you and also, let’s be honest, you don’t exactly want the fact you got a DUI to be broadcast to everyone.

I’m assuming you aren’t telling most people in your life unless they are close friends or family. That seems like an eminently reasonable thing to tell her when you eventually drop the news.

In the meantime for all of you out there reading this, and this is advice I try to follow myself, if you know you’re going to have a couple of drinks or more, why not just take an Uber there and back? It’s not much more expensive than gas and parking, and it’s safer than risking a DUI.

“I’ve been following your advice and many others on the Coronavirus Pandemic: living my life like I should if life was going normally. But I’m currently in a predicament, since all over the country cases are rising currently, my dad is becoming more of a coronabro than ever. He’s taking in all of the mainstream media bull crap, and he now thinks that another national lockdown is required to stop the virus! I’ve been telling him the usual stuff like more suicides, economic devastation, and rising drug use, but he won’t let up.

Worse, my mom now agrees with my dad too.

Any advice on how to convince them to change their minds?”

Unless you’re a kid and still living at home — in high school for instance, which would mean you don’t get to make your own life decisions — I don’t think there’s much value in arguing with your mom and dad about COVID.

I think the best thing you can do is live your life as you see fit and let them live their life too. Your actions speak louder than your words in these instances.

We had a Halloween party on Friday. Lots of people, the vast majority we invited, were happy to come to the party, but some people didn’t want to come because of COVID fears.

Guess what, that’s okay!

If someone said their husband or wife was nervous about being in larger groups because of COVID, I didn’t argue with them or try to persuade them as to why they should come. I totally understood their perspective. They can live their lives and I can live mine.

We don’t all have to agree on everything.

My biggest issue with shutdowns isn’t that people shouldn’t have the right to be afraid of COVID and stay inside — we can all make our own choices about what risk is acceptable in our lives — but your fears, especially if the data clearly demonstrates many of them are irrational, shouldn’t impact my freedoms.

If you don’t want to ever leave your house again, that’s your choice. But if I want to go to a high school football game or hop on a flight across the country, I should have the option to do so.

Which is why I’m living my life without fear. We had our annual Halloween party on Friday, my kids went trick-or-treating on Saturday. This weekend, I’m taking my family to our fourth pro or college football game of the fall, and come Thanksgiving, my family is heading down to Florida to spend the holiday there. (I’ll fly. They will drive down earlier than me because the kids get more days off than I do.)

I’m not going to spend time arguing with any of my family or friends about any of these decisions I’m making and try to justify them because I respect their right to make their own choices too.

Now if a friend or family member asks me about my position on COVID, I’m happy to share it. But I’m not seeking out people to have debates with about this issue.

My parents happen to have the same opinions that I do, but if they didn’t, I wouldn’t argue with them about it all the time. They’re grown adults. We don’t have to agree on everything.

Having said all of this, if you’re a high school kid and your parents are restricting your movements in a substantial way because they are coronabros, I can get how incredibly frustrating that would be. I’d be trying to sneak out of the house, lying about where I was going, doing basically anything in my power to try and live a normal life if I were a teenager locked up in my house at home right now.

It would be maddening.

But unfortunately, you really can’t have that much of a normal life because you aren’t an adult and can’t make decisions like that for yourself yet.

I’m sure there are tons of parent/teenager fights over this very issue happening all over the country.

And to the extent we have teenagers reading this right now, and I know we actually have a bunch who do read the anonymous mailbag, as much as it sucks, if your parents won’t listen to your arguments, you have to listen to their decision.

They’re the bosses right now.

But I think you should file this away for the future when you are an adult and, eventually, a parent as well.

It’s easy to get caught up in the COVID fear porn, especially because so many people have so many things going on in their lives on a daily basis that they don’t have a ton of time to devote to researching the data for themselves.

The result? Most people in this country are intellectual sheep. They follow wherever the herd directs them.

Resolve to live your life as an intellectual lion.

Sure, sometimes it means you’re on your own in the world, but so what? Lions rule the jungle, not sheep.

Thanks for reading the anonymous mailbag, and if you live in Tennessee, go get signed up now for FanDuel and get your bet in on Tennessee at 25-1. Also, if you live in any of the eight states that neighbor Tennessee, you can place bets any time you are in the state of Tennessee’s footprint. So if you’re in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina, Missouri, or Virginia, you should be signing up too. The same thing is true if you’re coming home for the holidays or traveling to the state. The moment you’re inside the state’s footprint, you can bet. Payouts can be sent anywhere. You just have to be physically present to make the bet inside the state.

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.

One Comment

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  1. Not all DUI’s are created equal. If the guy got popped for a .081 in a 0.08 state, and he was coming home from the bar, that is one thing (still wrong). But, if this guy was mowing down saplings and crashing into parked cars, running other motorists off the road, and bouncing off walls, that is a whole ‘nother story. I hope it was the former.

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