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Anonymous Mailbag

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It’s Tuesday, and as always, I’m here to solve all your life’s problems with the anonymous mailbag.

I’m heading to Houston shortly with my 11-year-old for Game One and Game Two of the World Series. He’s a monster Braves fan, so clearly that’s going to be awesome for both of us. So if you’re going to be at Game One, look for us.

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

Okay, here we go:

“Big fan of everything you do. Last summer, my extended family was staying at my uncle’s lake house in the West. There’s a lot of boys in the family so out of the 10 of us, the only girl there is his girlfriend (he’s mid 40’s and she’s late 20’s). We were partying pretty hard all week but everyone went to bed around 11pm this one night because we were waking up early to go hunting the next day.

Now the reason I am writing: I get up around 12am to go to the kitchen to get some water and am looking out the window at the massive thunderstorm that’s dumping rain and lighting all around. That’s when I notice my uncle and his girlfriend having sex on the deck. Me and my uncle made eye contact but that didn’t interrupt the sex session I was witnessing. Once I realized what was happening, I quickly left.

Keep in mind his teenage kids are at the house too. The next day he tells me his girlfriend has a thunderstorm fetish and they have to have crazy outdoor sex every time a storm rolls in (I didn’t ask any questions). I kind of feel like it’s awesome but also this girl must be crazy. Is this one of the best fetishes you’ve heard of, and do you think they’re a little too passionate since they’re doing this when everyone is there?”

I mean, this is an amazing fetish unless you die because of it.

Now I don’t know what your lifetime risk of death during lightning would be if you had sex outside every time there was a thunderstorm, but I’d think they have to be fairly high, right? Like way higher than your risk of dying of COVID, high.

Golfers die in lightning storms all the time, which is why they have the airhorn and bring everyone inside when there’s lightning. Presumably sex on a dock in the middle of a lake is also a decent risk of lightning strike. Although the positive here is there’s probably no chance of a tree getting struck and killing you by falling on you.

Side note: have you ever known anyone who was struck by lighting while swimming? I feel like the odds of dying in a pool when lighting happens is way overblown. Yet every person I’ve known my whole life, including me, has been quick to get out of the pool when lighting comes.

In fact, just a couple of months ago I was down in Florida swimming in the pool when a lightning storm came on suddenly and I got out of the pool so fast I slipped, flew up in the air perpendicular to the pool side, and then slammed down fully on my back. (Luckily I didn’t hit my head and knock myself out.) Anyway, as I was laying there recovering from the fall, I started wondering whether it was more dangerous for me to jump out of a pool quickly while wet than it would have been to just stay in the pool during the thunderstorm.

I mean, the ocean is huge, right? I’ve been at the ocean a ton of times during storms, and I’ve never seen someone in the ocean get electrocuted there. In fact, have you ever seen the ocean struck by lightning at all? I haven’t. So I feel like the chances of being struck by lightning in a pool are really minuscule.

Side note: Inevitably, I’m going to get like twenty emails about people dying of lighting strikes in a swimming pool — or the ocean or the lake — but I’ve just never seen it happen. The other option here is I’m going to die of lighting strike in a pool, and all of you are going to remember this answer and none of you are ever even going to considering swimming in a pool during a thunderstorm. Anyway I’m wondering whether you are really that much safer out of the water on the side of a pool — where you’re still in the open air exposed — than you are in the water.

It seems like I’d know, or at least have heard of, someone who got killed because lighting struck the ocean, or the lake or the pool.

This reminds me of that old wives’ tale that you’re not supposed to get in the pool right after you eat because you might get cramps and drown. (Am I the only person whose parents told them this?) Now that I’m older I’ve eaten and drunk a ton of times in the pool and never had any issues at all. Basically I think a ton of our pool wisdom is bullshit.

But this is all a big distraction. Docks, decks, whatever.

This chick is clearly crazy.

Which probably makes the sex amazing.

Which is why your divorced uncle in his upper forties is dating a crazy chick twenty years younger than him.

Ultimately, I can’t say I disagree with his life choices.

Although there’s a 100% chance if he dies of lighting strike sex after a divorce that his ex-wife is going to say, “I told him if he ever got divorced from me his stupid ass was going to be dead within a few years. Did he listen to me? Hell no. Did he immediately find some skank ass whore who wanted to have sex in the goddamn lightning? Yes.” Long pause. “I just feel bad for the kids.”

(Picturing an ex-wife with a Southern accent makes this even better.)

“Settle a debate for me and my buddies. What is appropriate etiquette for using a bathroom with pee on top of a toilet seat in a stall? For example, if there is pee on top of the seat already, should you lift the seat up and pee? Or can you go ahead and use the toilet with the seat down and whatever gets added gets added? Or is it your responsibility to clean the seat off from the previous user(s) and then lift the seat up and go?”

I think the broken windows policing theory applies to bathrooms too.

Do you remember the broken windows theory? Well back when police were able to do their actual jobs, the theory was that low level crimes — like broken windows in buildings — ultimately led to high rates of crime because the broken windows send the signal that lawlessness is acceptable in a particular community. Applying this theory to policing was revolutionary because most people focus on the high rate of violence crimes — murder, for instance — and assume that by focusing on those alone, you can reduce crime. But the broken windows theory was that if you didn’t allow any crime to flourish, significant or relatively minor, then you were able to contain all of it, from petty vandalism, like breaking windows, to murder.

Okay, what’s my analogy here?

The cleaner the bathroom, the more I’m likely to respect the bathroom.

If there are only a few drops on the toilet, there’s a decent chance I’ll wipe it off and lift the toilet seat. Or at least if I didn’t wipe it off that I might lift the toilet seat.

But if that thing is already drenched in urine, there’s no chance I’m doing anything put peeing. And if it’s really disgusting, I might not even reach out and flush the toilet. Or I might use my foot to do it instead of my hand.

And if I open the stall door and there’s poop in it, I’m immediately dry heaving and going somewhere else.

So most people’s bathroom etiquette, I would suspect, is influenced by the state of the bathroom when they arrive.

“Here’s my issue. I have a great job as a financial advisor making more money than I thought I ever would. I’m 36 and have been growing at about a 20-30% clip the past few years. Here’s my issue, my employer is moving towards the mandatory vaccination hole. I’m firmly against it as science, data and everything else say that I’m 99.99% fine.

My family has even had very mild cases of COVID (and have antibodies). I feel that I have a very strong bond with the large majority of my clients and feel they would come with me. However, as the dad of 3 young kids, I have no desire to leave and build back to where I am due to the time and effort it takes to get where I am.

Question is, should I pursue this on a legal basis or just try to continue to run out the clock until this goes away?”

I’d probably get the COVID vaccine in your spot.

The one caveat I’d add is this, if you have been at all thinking about going out on your own, this might be a decent time to do so. I feel the same way about moving states. If you’ve been ready to do it and this happens, I might take it as a sign that it’s time to move.

I get this question every week now and I’m just going to keep giving the same answer: if you don’t have a better job than the job you have now — or a different job that you’d rather have — then I wouldn’t quit your job over the COVID vaccine mandates.

Again, I respect people who are willing to take this principled stand, but I just personally wouldn’t do it. In fact, I wouldn’t advise quitting any job you have right now if you don’t have a job to replace it.

“My daughter started kindergarten this year and we live in the Midwest. We are a mask up to slow the spread state, which is why I’m writing. With vaccine approvals imminent I’m nervous about how that roll out will impact my child. I personally have been vaccinated but the data does not convince me that my child needs to be vaccinated. My wife and I have no plans at this time to vaccinate my child due her limited risk, and quite honestly, we’ve been to hot spots on vacation so she’s likely already had it.

My question is – I’m debating on writing into the school board to voice my opinion. We’ve had a lot of turmoil recently within our district, not just COVID related, but there’s been school closures which created a very emotional/volatile environment around our little community (we’re approx 50k population outside a metro area). How do I communicate my opinion that we as parents should be allowed to choose our path with our kids in a meaningful way? What’s my best mode of communication? I know quite a few people within the community and I’m nervous about public perception, and I know some of my closest friends are all over the map (yes, we’re all still friends even though we disagree politically). I want to present facts but am struggling to put my thoughts together in a meaningful and emotion-less way. Advice?”

The civil war coming over vaccinating young kids for COVID, I think, is going to make the battle over masking children seem like a water gun fight.

Honestly, it’s going to get wildly contentious and I suspect what’s going to end up happening is most blue states are going to require the COVID vaccine for young children and most red states aren’t. And the red states, in my opinion, are going to be correct here.

Yes, blue staters are correct that we require some vaccines to attend schools, but those illnesses we require kids to be vaccinated for are typically far more dangerous to children than COVID is. My kids are vaccinated for measles, mumps, polio, you name it. That makes total sense because the risk factors are much higher for kids when it comes to these diseases than they are for COVID.

We don’t require the yearly flu shot, for instance, for kids to be able to attend school, and the seasonal flu kills far more young children on a yearly basis than COVID does. Yet I’m not aware of any school district that has ever mandated the flu shot.

Malaria is wildly dangerous to kids of all ages, but fortunately, not to kids in America. Therefore we don’t require the malaria shot.

So, to me, the logic here is pretty clear, deciding which shots to require for kids should be predicated on which illnesses actually present significant dangers to children. And fortunately COVID provides virtually no risk to young children. It’s the one saving grace of COVID. If young children had died at the rate the elderly have died, everything about this virus would be different, and I might have even turned into a coronabro. I suspect we really would have locked down then, and I think the lockdowns would have been justified.

The risk analysis here for young children is just far different than it is for elderly people. And, significantly, children aren’t primary vectors for viral spread either.

So if vaccines offer no real protection for young children and children don’t spread the virus widely to elderly people, why are we even considering mandating vaccines for them at all? This should be a parental decision, just like the yearly flu shot is.

Okay, I’m off to Houston for Game One of the World Series.

Let’s go Braves!

And let’s go Brandon too!

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.

7 Comments

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  1. I’ll be the first about lightning. I lifeguarded for 10 years. One stop was a military pool and a public beach in Virginia Beach. Storm rolled in, pool was closed, we were on the deck putting stuff away and a bolt hit the pool. Deafeningly loud, everything went white, and fortunately we were all okay. I can tell you that if you were in that pool, you’d be flash-fried. This wasn’t a frequent occurrence, but it also wasn’t unusual. Saw several more strikes on that pool that summer from inside the guard shack.

    As for the ocean, saw quite a few lightning strikes off the coast. I don’t know if you’d be killed by them, given how far out they were, but I wouldn’t risk it.

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