Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday and the anonymous mailbag is here to rescue you from your life’s doldrums and solve all of your life’s problems.

As always, the quality of the anonymous mailbag is a 100% reflection of the quality of the questions you guys send in. You can send your questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Okay, here we go:

“It’s become an annual increasing over exaggeration when the calendar turns to June and large corporations eagerly await like a Christmas morning for the clock to strike June 1, 12:01AM. When everything becomes endowed in every color of the rainbow and the corporate over pandering to black history month of February is long forgotten; when the word “inclusive” is used more than “regards” a the end of an email.

My wife, works for a semi-large corp. June 1 on the dot, she received an email from corporate HR about how exciting it finally is this time of year to celebrate LGBTQ and whatever other letters and symbols are included in the everchanging acronym now. The email touched on the typical points on inclusion, LGBTQ pioneers, and a weekly featured employee of the company on a specially created council to discuss LGBTQ issues. Here’s the issue:

The corporate memo asked that all employees now include the pride flag in their company email signature with a small few word quoted slogan about pride. My wife ignored the email and went about her day. Hours later she got an email from her very overly feminist Karen-like regional director asking why she hadn’t changed her signature yet; my wife afraid for her job, immediately obliged.

I was not made aware of the exchange until my wife got home from work where she was a bit upset and confused because we are practicing Christians and she feels like she was morally obligated to support a cause that we (don’t not support) but more we just don’t interact with because of our faith. I asked her if they’ve ever been asked to insert an American flag or patriotic quote in their signature?To which my wife replied “no”. Conversely, I was put in a similar situation where my company actually held (multiple) moments of silence (without telling us first) over Zoom meetings for George Floyd and corporate memos were sent out to raise up your minority colleagues and go out of your way to promote them in the workplace, acknowledge the success etc and chip into the corporate donation my company was making to BLM. Both of us have received multiple emails regarding causes like BLM, Pride, supporting Ukraine, but NEVER anything pro-America (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veterans day,) to promote. Why are companies afraid to be pro-America anything?

My question is this, I feel like this is the Christian cake baker situation, and what would’ve happened if my wife stood up and refused to change her email signature with the flag and pride quote? Being the way my wife’s boss is, I know had my wife not immediately given in, she would’ve gone out of her way to make my wife’s work like a living hell or attempt to oust her. What should my wife have done in your mind?”

First, I’ve never had an email signature and roll my eyes when I see most of them. I even delete the stupid, sent from my iPhone notice that pop up on emails from your phone because who cares how I sent the email?

But I know these email signatures are becoming increasingly common in the woke, corporate world. Every time I see someone with pronouns in their email signature, I think to myself, “Welp, I would never hire this person.”

Which is why I think your wife’s situation is very analogous, in many ways, to what happened with the Tampa Bay Rays players and the rainbow flag symbol the team wore on their sleeves a couple of weeks ago. Five players chose not to wear this symbol, which I see as roughly analogous to your wife’s email signature, and the sports media, predictably, lost their minds over this decision.

The players said they weren’t anti-gay, they just didn’t feel like they needed to celebrate the fact that other people were gay, which makes complete sense to me. I don’t care if someone is gay, but I don’t have a pride flag outside my house either.

What’s clearly happening here is corporate mandated speech — that is, your wife’s employer made a request in an email, your wife chose to ignore it, and almost immediately was harassed about her failure to undertake the action “suggested” in the initial email. Your wife’s boss’s email makes this feel very close to forced speech, which I’ll discuss below in a moment. Increasingly, it seems to me, this is the way “tolerance” works in American society. First, people demand their own rights. Okay, many say, that’s fine, I’m not going to aggressively fight against, for instance, gay people being equal under the eyes of the law. Then that equality happens and that interest group then has a celebration of their newfound rights and their uniquely individual perspectives. Yay! Good for them, celebrate all you want. People who are really excited about this can participate in a celebration if they would like and have a grand ole time. But then we have what I’d call celebration creep, where we move from voluntary celebrations to mandated expressions of approval.

And that’s where we are right now, where “tolerant and inclusive” people now act like hawks to ensure that everyone is equally tolerant and inclusive of how special they are. We have forced celebrations now. How do they do this? They insist on direct action of approbation, silence is violence, after all, and all must genuflect before the pride flag.

Which is what happened to your wife at work.

Just about everyone reading this right now, at least anyone who works at a large corporation or large state entity, can probably point to something similar that has occurred at their work in the past several years. We now require overt woke genuflection before identity politics interest groups. Personally, I just wouldn’t participate in something like this, which is admittedly easy for me to say now because I owned my own business for a long time and have a job that allows me to say exactly what I think.

What’s more difficult are situations like your wife’s, where she disagrees with the compelled speech being forced by her employer, but probably needs or wants the job she has now and doesn’t want to rock the boat, necessarily, to fight back against this work requirement.

But let’s pretend that she did want to fight back. How would she have done that?

When her boss emailed and demanded she add the pride flag to her email signature, your wife could have replied, “I don’t do email signatures for any issue, it’s a personal preference.”

Then what happens?

Your wife’s boss could have issued a direct order to do so. (At which point it’s definitely employer mandated speech and your wife has the requirement in a written email to prove it.) Your wife’s boss could have also called her in for a meeting and requested the same, but not sent an email. Or, probably more likely, your wife’s boss could have taken it to her own boss to see what the corporate bureaucracy hierarchy would do with this kind of employee intransigence.

My bet is that ultimately this wouldn’t have ended in a change your email signature or else style ultimatum, but instead would have ended with an angry stalemate where your wife’s boss is now watching her like a hawk looking for any reason to fire her and there might eventually be whispers spreading among both the woke crew and the non-woke crew who pretend to be woke to preserve their own jobs about how “intolerant” your wife is for her pride email signature refusal.

My own position, as I’ve established on this site for over a decade now, is I don’t care who adults sleep with as long as other consenting adults are involved. But I’m also not the kind of person to overtly celebrate any event by changing my email signature. And I would imagine that if your wife’s employer had mandated a Memorial Day or July 4th signature change that many of the “tolerant and inclusive” group would have cried foul. Because many of these people hate America and the idea of celebrating the country in any capacity.

Which is why I would have loved if your wife had responded, “I’ll change my signature for pride when the company also mandates Memorial Day and July 4th email sigatures for how awesome America is.” (Note, I disagree with this for the same reason I disagree with the Pride signature, because I don’t believe in employer mandated speech, but it would at least be kind of entertaining for your wife to object to the pride requirement because she doesn’t believe your her company is being tolerant and inclusive enough in the events they celebrate. This, I find, is always fun, when you flip the script on the woke army and accuse them of what they generally spend all their time accusing others of. From a sports perspective, this is like pressing a team that also likes to press, they don’t exactly know how to beat their own style.)

Ultimately this turns into the old Seinfeld episode where Kramer is being harassed for refusing to wear the ribbon during the anti-Aids march. Back in the 1990’s this kind of militant, forced virtue signaling was played for laughs, now it’s deadly serious. Which is why I think humor, in the end, will save us. I keep waiting for this extremely public social justice warriordom to become a loser way to behave. Back when I was in high school people who were super political teenagers were, to be fair, considered total losers. No hot girls were like, “You know who I want to bang? The save the whales dude, he is so hot!”

I have no idea how high school — or college — culture is right now, maybe it’s still the same and the performatively woke online are still losers in their schools, but it definitely seems like that isn’t true. And that teenagers are taking cues from other teenagers and engaging in this performative woke nonsense because they think it’s cool. Or, more likely, most teenagers are just afraid of stepping outside the herd and so pretend they agree with everyone else.

Finally, in the event your wife had refused and been fired over this, I think she would have a really interesting lawsuit that might well win in the courts. The problem, of course, with this is you would have to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort on this lawsuit and then your wife becomes known as the person who fought against pride signatures in her emails, which defeats your entire perspective in the first place, which is you just don’t care that much about celebrating pride, but aren’t angry at other people who do want to celebrate.

In general, I think we need more woke defiance, because the vast majority in this country are fed up with our censorious culture. But the challenge is so many who want to defy these rules need to keep their jobs. So the charade continues.

“I need a debate between my wife and my friends settled. I don’t know if it’s the covid era curbside stuff but restaurants asking for tips when doing the bare minimum has become a thing. I am all for tipping a good waiter/waitress. But if I order something through a website or app, I don’t see the point in tipping nearly as much or really at all. Or if I walk up and order and have to get my own drink, I don’t see the point in tipping. My wife and a couple of my buddies think this is the new way of tipping. Who’s in the right here? Am I being cheap? Is a buck or two for those situations the best play?”

I’m an overtipper because I decided in my early days of radio that people might be able to say awful things about me, but no waiter or waitress would ever say I shorted them on a tip.

But even I, as an overtipper, agree with you that tipping has moved from a spot where you tip to reflect actual service you receive to the point where you’re supposed to tip even when you do most of the work yourself. That is, if you order food and then walk in to pick it up, who exactly is getting your tip, the girl who hands you the bag? Does she really deserve to be tipped for that? Now I’ll admit that I don’t know how these bag handers are paid — are they salaried or working for tips? — so I usually just add a couple of dollars to the tip. Not the 20% or so for a typical waiter or waitress, but just a couple of bucks on top of the cost. But you’re right that in the past five or so years, certainly accelerated by covid, there are always tip lines on just about everything we buy now.

Some of the rules on tipping and how much you should tip are really confusing now too. For instance, how do you tip at the airport valet? I fly out of Nashville’s airport and valet park every time I fly. I know, I know, insert your rich guy insult here. But my issue is, should I tip a set amount all the time regardless of how long my car is parked or should I tip based on how long my car was on the lot?

Let’s say I’m gone a week, that’s roughly $175. But what if I’m gone one day, that’s roughly $25. Generally speaking I tip similar amounts no matter the duration because my thought is the work required is similar: take the car, park it and then retrieve the car. In other words, the length of my car’s tenure at the valet doesn’t really impact the work required by the valet.

So I’m tipping based on the work done as opposed to the length of time it’s at the airport valet.

But, admittedly, I don’t know the valet job at the airport that well. So I feel like I should have a sit down with the airport valet crew and see what they think about this. And also, I can’t be the only person who feels like he’s flying blind here. I feel like the anonymous mailbag could do a great service for all of America here by setting universal tipping standards for a variety of things.

I’ll give you a couple of other examples on tipping that totally befuddle me. What do you do for the guy who shows you to your room? Not carries your bags or anything, just walks you to your room and shows you around there. (Admittedly this is a fancy hotel move.) I don’t really want this guy to take me to my room. I’ve never gotten to a hotel room and been confused with how to use it. But there he is. Don’t I have to give him something? What about when someone tries to take your bags to help you on arrival or departure from a hotel, but you don’t need him? But then he takes your kid’s or your wife’s bag before you can get to it first. (Because you’re probably tipping the driver dropping you off.) What about the guy who whistles to get you a cab and opens the door for you? And what if you only have a limited amount of cash in your wallet so you have to ration your tipping? What about when you only have a twenty, but you feel bad asking the guy to break the twenty into four fives? Or even worse, you have to stand in a crowded carport and ask him to turn the $20 into a ten, a five, and five ones? Tipping has come to feel like an elaborate hustle routine that’s happening all day long.

Speaking of which, I said I like to tip well, but a ton of valet places only accept cash. I only have cash for two reasons — strippers and babysitters. Everyone else gets paid with a credit card. But a ton of these valet guys only take cash. And we’re to the point now where a huge percentage of valet guys know me. (Valet guys must overindex for sports fans and Donald Trump supporters.) I mean, it’s uncanny. I was in Louisville last year at the hotel valet and the guy was a monster fan and I had no cash on me. He was actually reading my Twitter feed at the stand when I walked up. So I ended up venmo’ing him cash. Don’t even get me started on how hard it is to find the right venmo account either by the way, “So you’re Jon, double underscore, not single unscore, 519 underscore gohogs64 underscore?” Also, while I’m at it, fuck underscores. If I could remove any key off the keyboard it would be the underscore. Why did we create a keyboard symbol that exists to look like nothing is there? I don’t need a visual representation for a married man with kids sex life on my keyboard.

The underscore is the worst keyboard invention ever.

And when did tipping hotel room cleaners become a thing?

I didn’t tip hotel room cleaners for almost my entire life and now everyone tips them. How much do you tip them? And do I have to leave a note for them too? Does the note have to be in Spanish too?

When things like this arise my mom has just taken to saying, “We’re old, we don’t know any better.” I can’t wait until I can use this excuse. I’ve got like ten more years and I’m dropping this line for everything.

Anyway, you can tell I think a lot about tipping.

“In an effort to prevent writing a novel I’ll give you quick overview as detailed as I can.

Married, 40, two preteen kids. Normal 1-4 times a week sex life. Sex toys, try new stuff. Not exactly prudes. Discussed threesome, from wife, only when supremely intoxicated, but has never happened. She has put on weight and it has had a huge negative on her willingness to engage.

More or less out of the blue, while sober, my wife says something like, “I love you, but sex is like a chore for me now. I honestly don’t care if you have sex with other women and I don’t have to do it all the time.” She then came back with clarifiers, again sober, “Hey, if you have sex with another chick, I get at least 3 days off. Can’t be a chick we know.”

I don’t even know how to process this or what to do. “Hey babe, watch the kids tonight I’m going to the bar to find some new pussy! Don’t wait up!”

Wtf, help!”

Okay, I’m not an expert on women, far from it, in fact, but I think what your wife wanted to hear from you was, “I don’t want to sleep with anyone else, you’re all that I need.” She’s probably feeling insecure about the weight that she’s put on, feels unsexy herself and believes that you also find her unsexy, meaning she’s looking for you to tell her that you still find her sexy. Since she feels unsexy it has probably undercut her own libido, meaning she often feels that sex with you is a chore.

Again, I’m not an expert, but this is me translating woman to man, based on the limited information you’ve given us here.

What you heard is, “I get a free hall pass to bang anyone that I want!”

Yes, that’s what she said in a literal sense, but women almost never say what they actually mean. They expect you to translate their thoughts and emotions. Men, who generally have limited thoughts and emotions, are not, predictably, very good at this.

What I’m here to tell you is that your wife is probably not happily giving you the ability to bang whomever you want with no consequences. Sex is not and has never been free. It always costs something.

So what are the table stakes here? Potentially your marriage. Let me explain why I think this. Now I don’t know where you live, but unless you’re in a massive city you’d inevitably end up banging someone your wife knows or someone who knows your wife. Which, even if she was being truthful, which I don’t think she was, would violate the one parameter your wife put in place.

Think about it, how often do you go out in your town and see someone you know where you go out? All the time, right? That’s because most of us run in similar social circles and see many of the same people time after time. You live in the same neighborhoods, your kids go to the same schools, you eat at the same restaurants, you do the same social events, it’s just not that easy for you to go out socially with someone else and not get noticed.

My point here: you are probably going to bang someone very similar to you because that’s the people you’re most likely to meet. And if you don’t do that, you’re going to bang some crazy ass chick because, let’s be honest, how many completely normal hot single chicks want to bang middle aged married guys with kids with zero strings attached? (By the way, this is how many actually want to do this, not how many girls married guys with kids fantasize want to bang them. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the smoking hot college lifeguard probably isn’t fantasizing about getting banged by the dad bodded father of two trying to keep his kids from drowning at the community pool.)

So your wife will, eventually, find out. (At least if you’re truly chasing random ass all the time.) And then her friends will find out and you’ll eventually have a conversation where you say, “But you told me to do this!” And then your wife will say, “But I didn’t really mean it, I wanted you to tell me that you still loved me even if I was fat and you wouldn’t want to sleep with anyone else! And you didn’t do it because you really do hate me and now I’m going to a divorce lawyer!”

Then she’ll divorce you, lose all her excess weight, and start banging everyone all the time.

And you’ll be like, why didn’t you just lose the weight and bang me all the time instead we would still be married!?

But, again, women.

Again, I’m not an expert in women, but I feel like I’m basically laying out the next couple of years of your life here.

So if you want to stay married, you need to convince your wife you still love her even though she’s fat. But you can’t mention the fat part. In fact, you can’t even admit you’ve noticed that she’s fat now. You have to pretend nothing has changed. So you have to tell her you still love her and somehow convince her to be healthier so she might start losing weight, at which point she might feel more attractive, at which point your sex life can come back to some form of normalcy.

And I can feel every guy out there right now reading this and just thinking, “Holy shit, this is going to be a fucking brutal situation to manage.”

And you’re right, it will.

This is why half of marriages end in divorce.

Good luck.

“You’re a lawyer and you’ve represented criminals (I’m a lawyer and so have I). What would be your advice to District Attorneys when it comes to dealing with the career criminals who commit most of the crimes? As you know, plea bargaining is an essential part of the criminal justice system, but should there come a point where DAs say no deal, based on the individual who committed the crime rather than the crime itself? Example: a 5-time felon shoplifts at Wal-Mart. Most shoplifters would get a slap on the wrist, pay a fine and move on. But if that individual offender is a career criminal, and there is an opportunity to lock up him or her up, even for a petty offense, should that happen, based on that offender’s risk to society? I’m not talking about habitual offender laws, 3 strikes and you’re out, which are mandated in some states for felonies, but more to misdemeanors. Could we prevent larger crimes by coming down harder on smaller crimes?”

Being concerned we punish criminals too much is a luxury of a low crime environment.

We are no longer in a low crime environment. Which means that luxury no longer exists.

What’s been frustrating about our rapid increase in crime in this country is it feels like the late 1980’s and early 1990’s all over again. We know what will reduce crime: 1. putting more police on the streets 2. putting criminals behind bars for longer sentences when they break the law. Yet we seem unwilling to commit to either of these policies. In fact, we’re doing the exact opposite.

As a result, crime is skyrocketing all over the country.

So if I were a DA, I’d be throwing the book at people, especially anyone with a conviction for violence on his record at all. Criminals talk and they respond to incentive structures. If they suddenly realize the era of no punishment is coming to an end, they will adjust their behaviors accordingly.

Plus, we will enable police to do their jobs again in the process.

How often are police now deciding arresting someone isn’t worth the effort because the person they arrest will be right back on the street with no consequences for his behavior? All the time.

We have to end that.

And we have to end that now.

Thanks for reading.

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.

5 Comments

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  1. She is testing him. She wants to see how dedicated he is to the marriage. Maybe she wants out , but she is letting him step out and look like a cheater. Then she takes him to the cleaners.
    Don’t do it.

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