It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag to distract you from all your work or school related obligations.
My new book, “Republicans Buy Sneakers Too” has been out for two weeks today. It’s a national bestseller according to USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly — despite the New York Times refusing to put it on the list and it’s $16 on Amazon. I don’t ask for much from you guys — in fact, all of my content has always been free on this site, on radio, and on Periscope and Facebook — but I would really appreciate it if you would go buy a copy of my book — I also personally recorded the entire nine hour unabridged audio if you’d rather listen to me read it.
If you want an autographed copy of the book — I won’t be able to do as many public book signings as I would like because my radio and TV obligations make travel difficult now — you get a free autographed copy of the book as part of a yearly subscription to the VIP.
Week seven college football picks are up on the VIP message board and we’re at over 59% winners so far this year.
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Here we go with the anonymous mailbag.
“My wife, 2 kids and I have lived in our neighborhood for the last 5 years. We live in a middle/upper class gated neighborhood in Orlando, but have never really socialized with our neighbors much. With our busy school schedules, work and the fact that we go to Disney all the time, we just never get around to bumping into neighbors and hanging out.
This week we had a ton of Amazon deliveries and the boxes that I broke down for recycling filled our large bin which is collected once every 2 weeks. One 8×8 box with a milk carton in it kept being blown out. I noticed our neighbors bin hand plenty of room so I tossed it in there so it wouldn’t get blown out again and have to wait another 2 weeks for the recycling to be collected again. The truck was coming within the next few hours that day anyways.
Lo and behold my wife says the neighbors were furious for this breach of etiquette. My first internal reaction was, “what a stupid thing to get all worked up over.” I wouldn’t care if someone put something in my half empty bin the morning a recycling truck comes.
My dilemma is do I approach the neighbors (who we don’t know and won’t socialize with anyways) and #sbap by apologizing or let the problem just go away on its own and if they insist on discussing tell them to #dbap?”
How do you know they were furious, did they come by your house to complain? That seems absurd.
I’d just leave it alone, honestly.
Do you know how unhappy you have to be in your life to be upset that someone put a piece of recycling in you recycling bin, which wasn’t full, on the day recycling is picked up? I mean, think about all that has to happen here. First, your neighbors had to be watching when you did it. Second, they have to care enough about it to be furious and confront your wife about it. I mean, how much free time do you have to get upset about this?
I’d completely ignore this because if I had a conversation about it with them, I’d be more likely to call them losers than anything else. Which would probably make the situation worse instead of making it better.
The only way I could see this being an issue is if you got charged based on how much you were putting in your recycling bin, but that’s clearly not the case here so being upset by at it at all seems totally absurd.
I honestly have no idea why people get upset about the things they get upset about. For instance, on Sunday the wife and I took all three boys to go see “Venom.” (The boys loved it and wife and I both thought it was pretty decent.) So we get to the movie theater and all five of us slide into our seats. (Sidenote: the fact that most movie theater seats are reserved right now is fabulous. Otherwise it’s impossible for a family of five to ever find seats together.) We slide into our seats and we’re getting the kids situated and I notice this guy, older than me, probably approaching fifty, is sitting by himself in the handicapped row directly in front of us and he’s looking over his shoulder at us. Honestly, I’m used to people looking at me and trying to figure out why the recognize me, especially in Nashville, so I didn’t think anything of it at all.
A couple minutes later, while the previews are still going on, he turns around and just explodes, “Can you keep your kid from kicking my chair!”
Now mind you my seven year old is sitting behind him and this guy’s got his handicapped seat reclined all the way back — he’s not handicapped — and he’s in a superhero movie matinee at four in the afternoon on a Sunday. We have been in our seats in the movie theater for maybe three minutes total and we’re all still in the process of getting the kid’s candy open and making sure they don’t spill their drinks.
So I’m completely taken aback by this and legitimately stunned that a fifty year old man is this angry over a kid, at most, lightly tapping his seat in an afternoon weekend superhero movie.
It’s not my kid’s playing the drums on his seat.
And the movie hasn’t even started.
This situation may sound different than your situation, but I think it’s similar in that you’re faced with a clear overreaction from another adult and have to calibrate your response as a result.
My kid is also terrified because this old guy is yelling about his behavior and he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. So you have to walk that line between this dude attacking me in “Venom” and also not allowing him to just totally browbeat your kid.
So I say, “First, you need to calm down. He hasn’t been kicking your chair very much at all. Second, I’ll ask him not to kick your chair.”
My kid is terrified of this angry man in front of him so he sits with his feet up in his chair the rest of the movie. (My wife said I should move him to another seat, but then he would have had to sit next to his brother and I know they would have ended up fighting and rolling around in the movie theater aisles. But part of me wanted to switch seats and bump that guy’s chair every twenty minutes for the rest of the movie.)
But here’s the deal, what I have found is interacting with angry people is pretty much a total waste of time. If you are watching a superhero movie by yourself, at fifty years old, sitting in a handicapped seat even though you have no handicap, on a random Sunday afternoon in suburban Nashville and you’re getting mad because kids are there lightly tapping your seat on occasion, you’re an asshole.
There is truly nothing you can do to cure this person of their assholedom.
It’s not about me, and it’s not about you and it’s certainly not about my kid.
Sometimes it’s just about another person being an asshole.
So I’d just ignore your neighbors.
Because if you didn’t do anything wrong, why would you apologize? Is it really a better option for your garbage to get spread in the neighborhood? Of course not. Did it cost them anything at all? Of course not.
“I have recently gone from working in higher education to working back in the “corporate world” and have discovered something I hoped I wouldn’t: the percentage of employees who use the public bathroom and don’t wash their hands after is STAGGERING. Now I am a male, so I don’t have firsthand knowledge of the female percentages, so I’m guessing it’s lower but really, isn’t any percentage of people not washing their hands that is greater than zero alarming?
Is there any way to tactfully confront someone about their handwashing (or lack thereof) habits? I’ve racked my brain and can’t come up with a way to bring it up and not make things incredibly awkward, piss them off, etc. so I figured who better to ask.”
Did more people wash their hands in higher education? If so, maybe it’s because kids are filthy petri dishes and people are always sick in schools? That would be my hypothesis anyway.
Now let me offer a reasoned defense of non handwashers.
I’m not a consistent handwasher because sometimes I’ve just gotten out of the shower and given myself a full wash and I know my dick is clean.
So I’m a sometimes handwasher not an always handwasher. It depends on my situation.
My non-handwashing seems to always happen to me at the airport. I do the radio show, take a shower, and then hop in my car to drive to the airport. Before I get on a flight I always want to get a pre-flight pee in so I don’t have to fight my way into those tiny bathrooms and try and pee in there.
So on my first pee after a shower and a wash, I actually think you get more germs by washing your hands than you do by just zipping up and walking out.
If you confronted me, I’d tell you my dick, which no one but me has touched, is cleaner than the sink, which everyone has touched. I wonder how you’d respond to that logic. I know my dick is clean, it just went from the shower into my pants. There’s no way it could have gotten dirty and germ-ridden during this timeframe.
To me, that’s flawless logic.
Now if you poop I think you should definitely wash your hands then.
Furthermore, I should also admit that I use those hand sanitizer dispensers all the time. Every time I walk by one I use it. I even get upset when, as inevitably seems to happen, I try to get clean hands and the dispenser is out of hand sanitizer.
Anyway, whatever you do, you can’t confront anyone about this at work.
That’s a psycho move.
It’s far better to be the non handwasher than it is to be the handwashing police.
“Throughout the entire Kavanaugh hearings, I kept reading the phrase “he was credibly accused of sexual assault” from all major media outlets and everywhere on social media.
This is a phrase that shouldn’t even exist, right? “Credible accusations” aren’t accusations at all. If it’s credible, that means you have actual hard evidence and facts to support your claim. You’re determining the result of the case before even going through the evidence. How messed up is that?
The only time I think it’s right to use that phrase is when you’re looking back at a case that was ultimately proven to be true. If I stole an orange at the supermarket and someone reported me, and the police reviewed the cameras, saw that I did it and arrested me, then you could look back and say, “Yeah, he was credibly accused of stealing an orange,” because we know for a fact it happened. But in reality, you’d just say he was convicted of theft for stealing an orange.
Where am I wrong here?”
I think the phrase “credible accusation” is, honestly, about the accuser. People judge whether the accuser seems credible. Dr. Ford was a highly successful woman. So people consider her more credible than they would, say, a woman who has been arrested for prostitution and drug possession a dozen times in the past twenty years.
Back when I was practicing law a woman filed a lawsuit accusing Bill Gates of keeping her as a sex slave. It was a pro se plaintiff — meaning she filed the claim herself — and the complaint was riddled with errors and clearly delusional. So she would have been a good example of a woman without a “credible accusation.”
That’s why I think you have to examine the facts in every case and not just believe someone because you agree with her politics.
The larger issue with the phrase is the clear intent is to make it seem like more than what it is, an accusation. And what’s required to be a credible accusation? That someone isn’t a habitual felon, insane, or alleging something that is proven factually inaccurate on its face? That seems to be a pretty low bar for credibility. Because this accusation had no corroborating evidence at all — she had no idea of the day, the month or even the year. No witness supported her story, there were huge blind spots — how did she get to the house and leave the house, where was the house, even the stories she’d told about this event were wildly inconsistent.
As Maine senator Susan Collins pointed out in her outstanding floor speech explaining her decisions, this wasn’t a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, but it also didn’t even meet the preponderance of the evidence standard. The only reason (some) people chose to believe Dr. Ford was because they wanted to believe her based on their politics or their own life stories.
And that’s incredibly scary to me.
The Kavanaugh case is, I hope, a watershed moment for the idea that you should believe someone based on their gender, race, or ethnicity even in the absence of facts supporting those allegations.
The number of otherwise intelligent people arguing you should automatically believe women because they are women is absolutely staggering.
Did we have to believe the woman in the Duke Lacrosse case? Even though she made up complete lies? Furthermore, do people making this argument not realize they’re making the same argument that pre-Civil Rights racists would have made in the South. Do you know why Emmett Till was lynched and murdered? Because Southerners automatically believed a woman (who later admitted she lied about it). Now they weren’t just believing a woman, they were believing a white woman, but all of it represents a particular failure of identity politics, namely it causes people to believe whatever they want without looking at the facts.
The scary thing here to me is what if this woman’s friend had claimed she remembered this party and this incident in question even if it weren’t true? That is what if two “credible women” just decided to lie to keep someone they disagreed with from every achieving power. (To her credit this woman’s best friend from high school was honest and said she didn’t remember this incident at all, but think about the amount of pressure you’d feel to back your best friend in this situation? And think about how easily you might misremember something from high school or college thirty years later.) It would be virtually impossible then to proven these two women weren’t being truthful.
I think Brett Kavanaugh wouldn’t have been confirmed to the Supreme Court if even one witness had corroborated what this woman alleged. (And I’m not saying corroborate it in the sense of, “Yes, I saw it happen, but merely in the “yes, she told me it happened,” back then sense.)
In the Kavanaugh case we had three different women who had no extraneous corroborating evidence — all of whom, by the way, were alleging non-criminal acts. The final accusation by Stormy Daniels’s attorney was so ridiculous, however, I think it worked in Kavanaugh’s favor. Because then it did really start to look like a witch hunt. Whether you like Kavanaugh or not nothing he was accused of would have led to criminal prosecution in the 1980’s or today. Yet the Democrats said these uncorroborated allegations were disqualifying.
It’s a scary time, honestly.
As the father of three boys, I find the idea that if a girl claims one of them behaved inappropriately we should believe her just because she’s a girl to be completely crazy.
I have a wild idea, I think we should look at all the facts and not consider race, gender, sexual orientation or any other identity politics laden detail in our determination of what happened in a particular case.
“I have a buddy, let’s call him Jimmy, who has one of the greatest shit stories of all time but I wanted to get your take on his actions. The story goes, he is outside of this hotel for job training and ripping a few cigs. It’s early in the morning so there are not many people in front of the hotel or in the lobby.
He is finishing up his last smoke when he gets the bubble guts and has to rush back up to the room. To his dismay, as he’s standing there waiting for the elevator a perfect pebble of a turd skirts down his leg and rolls onto the floor.
At that moment he had to make a split second decision. Option A: Leave the turd on the ground for the poor soul cleaning that day or Option B: Reach down and palm the thing like Shaq does a basketball. He chose option B. So now, Jimmy has scooped his on excrement and is hiding it in his hand like a makeshift magician. The elevator opens and it is empty, only thing Jimmy has going for him at the moment.
He hopped on and immediately presses the “Door Close” button to escape further embarrassment. He makes it to his floor without any interruptions and tight cheeks it to his door. Here comes his second predicament. His room key is on the opposite side of his free hand. While he is trying to decide whether or not to pull a turd crossover, a few more pebbles fall out of his shorts and go rolling on the floor. Since he’s already contaminated, he dropped the chocolate marble on the floor with the rest of them, scanned his room key, picked the plethora of pellets off the ground and dashed off to the toilet.
Did Jimmy make the right decision? Would this security camera footage have made him an internet sensation or at least got him on one of those “World’s Most” shows? What would have been the best way to handle Jimmy’s problem?”
Is your friend Jimmy a deer?
Who only poops in pebbles?
Notwithstanding that, he’s a true hero who behaved heroically on the field of poop battle.
But I sure hope he immediately washed his hands.
Thanks for all your questions. As always send your anonymous mailbag questions to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.