Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag.

And as the holidays approach, guess what, you’re going to end up spending more money than you thought you were. For instance, my wife just told me she’s taking our kids to a ski resort to learn how to ski while I work back home in Nashville. That’s money I never thought I was going to spend, but I totally expected it would happen because dads are a perpetual piggybank during the holidays.

If the same thing is likely to happen to you, and it is, why not go ahead and lock in a much better mortgage rate before the end of the year and save yourself a ton of money.

All you have to do is click on the link here and let my friends at The Home Loan Expert, the presenting sponsor of the anonymous mailbag, take care of you and get you the best possible mortgage rate. As an added bonus, if you say Outkick sent you, then I’ll give you a year’s free subscription to Outkick VIP.

Plus, we’ve been doing a tailgate tour all fall long and this Saturday the Outkick tailgate crew will be at Mizzou-Vandy. Come Monday we will set up a contest to see which SEC school has the best tailgate scene — you’ll be able to vote — and the winning school will have a tailgate party.
So get ready for that by watching the crew tailgating at Oxford last weekend.

Okay, on to the anonymous mailbag.

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

Here we go:

“Last night me and three other friends rolled one tree in a guys yard. We have been friends with the guy since before college (35 now). So this guy gets super pissed and calls and emails my boss. Boss laughs his ass off. Is this the biggest d-bag move of all time?”
When I was 17 years old me and six other guy friends went and rolled — or tp’ed depending on what part of the country you’re from — the head cheerleader’s house while all the other cheerleaders were over for a sleepover. We were in two cars and as we finished, suddenly a shotgun blast went off into the air.
Four guys hopped in a car parked in front of the house and took off, but three of us ran to the car that was parked behind the house. It was a dead end street so we were idiots. Two of us huddled in the back of the car and my friend Ian drove his old ass Saab car back past the house we’d rolled.
As he did so a guy across the street SHOT AT OUR CAR.
He narrowly missed the wheel — hitting the wheel rim and shaking the car — and then as we passed him he took aim at the back window of the car and narrowly missed that too, but the bullet hit the car so hard we nearly caromed off the road into trees.
That’s the closest I’ve ever come to dying, I think.
We pulled into a gas station and looked at the fucking bullet embedded in the iron body of the car.
The guy who was shooting at our car told police he thought we were robbing the house across the street and they LET HIM OFF WITHOUT FILING ANY CHARGES AGAINST HIM.
It wasn’t even his house!
And if we were robbing the house across the street, it would seem like filling the yard with toilet paper in the trees would have been a bad move to cover up our tracks.
I haven’t rolled anybody since.
But the craziest thing about this is that my dad, a lifelong Tennessean, had been predicting someone was going to shoot at us over this.
He’d been saying, “Y’all shouldn’t be rolling people because you’re going to get shot,” all through high school.
And he was right!
I just love that this is what an old school guy from the South anticipates, that we’re going to get shot for throwing toilet paper in trees.
Having said that, turning you in to the boss over this is a total pussy move by your friend, but being 35 years old is too old to roll people too.

“My wife has had the same phone for 3+ years.  The battery doesn’t hold a charge very well, and it lacks a few other features that others enjoy.  She’s also very much addicted to her phone, to the point that she let’s our 2 sons (ages 3 and 5) run wild with minimal supervision and blames the chaos on their poor behavior.  Granted, she has a side business that depends heavily on social media, but that shouldn’t take precedent over childcare.  I’m especially annoyed because she only works her regular job part time but complains she doesn’t have enough time to do what she needs for her side hustle.  I’ve brought it up to her before, but I get the brush off.

Last week, I bought her a new phone on an impulse, and she was surprised and elated.  This afternoon, she was walking out of the daycare with my younger son while trying to make a call on said new phone.  He darted into the parking lot, and in her panic to grab him, she dropped her phone and shattered the screen.  She’s already called me in tears about it and immediately blamed our son.  How do I turn this into a teaching moment without making her feel even worse from the obvious “I told you so”?”

I’m also addicted to my phone to the point that I let my three sons, ages 9, 7, and 3, frequently run wild with minimal supervision while I work. In fact, last Saturday my wife was going to put the kids in child care — one of those places you can drop them off to play — because, and I’m quoting her here, “I would rather pay for them to be in child care than come home and have to spend the time cleaning up after you’re in charge of them for a day.”

For the record, I did a stellar job with the boys all day long and our destruction of the house was minimal while she was gone. (I actually sat down the boys and said, “Mom doesn’t think dad can keep the house from being a mess if he’s in charge all day. Can you help me out?”)

Now let’s consider your situation.

So your wife has a part-time job, a side gig to make more money for the family, and she takes care of your two young kids quite a bit too? That sounds like she’s probably got a pretty stressful, and busy, day to day life.
Plus, she had to wait on you to buy her a new phone to replace her three year old one? That sounds to me like she’s trying to save money too. And now you’re going to try and teach her a lesson because she dropped her phone picking up your kid at day care when, as kids often do, your son suddenly ran away from her as she tried to make a phone call?
Honestly, you kind of sound like an asshole here.
If I were you, I’d replace the broken screen for her and apologize to your wife for treating her like a child.
“I have a bi-sexual friend who claims he gives “brojobs” to a friend/coworker.  According to him, he’s been doing so for some time now.  The coworker is clearly gay or bisexual, even though they claim to be straight.
Is the the brojob a new way for people to cling to being straight?  Is there a subset of our population that are actively participating in this bro activity?”
If another man puts his mouth on your penis, you are gay.
Period.
This is true even if you’ve been bitten on the penis by a rattlesnake and the only way for you to survive is for another man to suck the venom out.
Conversely, if a good looking woman hooks up with another good looking woman she is awesome and still straight.
These are the rules.
If this seems like a double standard, that’s because it’s twice as true.
“I have a dilemma and I’m not sure how to feel about it or how to proceed. We are a white family and live in a small neighborhood in the South that has families of all races and religions. Several months ago a black family moved in next door to us on an isolated cul-de-sac. They have a 10 year old son and we have a 6 year old son. All the kids in the neighborhood play together and generally all get along great. We have had the next door neighbor kid over for two sleepovers, feed him on a regular basis and babysit when the parents go out and we’ve had them over for dinner and the relationship is very pleasant. They have not reciprocated but that’s fine with us, we aren’t looking to get too involved with anybody but we are always happy to help. About two months ago we noticed the 10 year old neighbor was getting very aggressive with our 6 year old. We have witnessed him getting “in his face” and yelling at him. He regularly taunts him when they are playing sports games. I saw him take a running start and push my kid off his bike. The other kids in the neighborhood have confirmed he picks on our kid.

After seeing the bike incident I calmly reminded the 10 year old that he is 4 years older and he should be more responsible and understand the age difference. Since then the neighbor kid is constantly on our door step telling on my son about what he said or did. After all these incidents we talk to our son about what happened and use it as a teaching moment. I’m a firm believer in boys will be boys. Now it gets good!

From my home office I saw the neighbor kid shoot my son in the face point blank with a nerf gun. A few minutes later I saw the neighbor kid run off in a huff. Not 2 minutes later did the mom and kid appear on my doorstep. She said that my son told her son, “no black people are allowed on our driveway or in our house ever again”! She wanted to know where he learned this behavior and how I was going to handle it. I told her I would talk to him and get back to her. When I asked my son about it (remember he is 6, in kindergarten and getting the shit kicked out of him by a 4th grader) he said he did say it. I asked him why and he said he thought that was the only way he could get away from the neighbor. I explained to him that nobody should have rules applied to them based on their skin color. His two best friends at his old school were black and he’s had no issue with the black or Chinese kids in our neighborhood until this day.

So my dilemma is this: We’ve shown zero signs of racism because we aren’t racist!!!! I’ve allowed the “boys to be boys” even though there is a huge age difference. Even though it was not a good thing to say I think he was using it as a “descriptor” to allow himself some personal space around his own home. I admire that he owned it. So do I:

A) Bite my tongue and tell the neighbor that I’ve talked to him and it won’t happen again
B) Point out that she should be more interested in how we’ve treated them and all our neighbors for the last 6 months and don’t wrongly judge us based on what a 6 year old said after getting picked on
C) Explain that he has been around black kids for the last 4 years and her son is the only one that elicited such a response and turn it on her
D) Find a 14 year old kid who wants $50 in Toys R Us gift certificates to show him what somebody 4 years older picking on them feels like.”

Okay, my first thought here is this — my boys are totally blank slates when it comes to race. So much so that I don’t think either of them even know the concept of “black or white” until they learn it at school.
My second grader came home one day and said, “Hey, dad, did you know black people used to be slaves?” Like I was just going to be blown away and didn’t know it beforehand.
My first grader still calls everyone peach or brown because those are the colors he sees in his Crayola crayon set. He’s a big Michael Jackson fan and when his songs come on Alexa, and I’m not making this up, he sometimes asks my wife or me, “Did brown or peach Michael Jackson sing this song?”
I say all that for this reason — I think your son must have picked up the idea of using race here as a way to attack the other kid somewhere. Because I don’t think most kids would come up with this idea on their own. Could there be someone else in the neighborhood that he’s learning this habit from? Could he have heard it from another kid? The way he used race here was designed to exclude someone based on the color of their skin, which is the foundation of racism.
So I’d be curious where my son came up with this idea and it’s certainly a teachable moment for you to have with him. (It’s possible that your son just stumbled upon the idea of using race as a defining characteristic entirely on his own, but that seems doubtful to me. For instance, if the kid was fat or the kid was short he could have just used those physical characteristics in a way to explain why that kid can’t come over, “No more fat kids are allowed in our yard or in our house ever again,” wouldn’t have the same exclusive power since the fat kid won’t always be fat. The lesson from you would be the same, we can’t judge people based on their physical characteristics, but my guess is you wouldn’t feel as bad if a fat kid’s mom confronted you.)
Now let’s shift to the black mom’s perspective — this is probably her worst nightmare. She’s living in mixed race suburb — probably living there for the better schools like most parent’s are — thinking her son will have great opportunities and then, boom, there are racists living next door hurling insults at her elementary age son.
I actually applaud her for directly confronting you about this issue. And, to be fair, props to your son for admitting to exactly what he said too when you asked him.
What I honestly think you should do is tell her that you addressed the behavior with your son, but then take him next door to the other boy’s house when you know the mom is there and ask to have a sit down with her son, her, you and your son.
If your son is getting picked on that’s an untenable situation and I think you should address it directly with her without using it as an excuse for your son’s behavior. She may not know what her son is doing and the ten year old being put on notice via his mom may well curtail some of his behavior.
My best bet is this is more a function of age difference between the boys than anything else. For instance, my boys are separated by 2.5 years and fight all the time. The older brother picks on the younger brother. I mean, seriously, I can’t leave them alone for five minutes without a fight breaking out. I think this is pretty commonplace for boys that are separated by several years in age.
Honestly, it’s not that common for a fourth grader and a kindergartener to be playing after school together without supervision in most places, is it?
My kids don’t play outside in the neighborhood without supervision.
But I think you should address the larger issues directly too. Make it clear that your son’s behavior is unacceptable and that his is too.
The mom sounds reasonable, my bet is she’ll talk to her son too.
In the meantime, just be glad the black kid wasn’t recording your son when he said it on his iphone. Because your family’s life would be over the moment that thing went viral.
You’d end having to go into the witness protection system before all was said and done.
“So my girlfriend decides that we should pick out and buy each other stockings and hang them up in our apartment for Christmas since it is our first Christmas living together. But I have no fucking clue what kind of stocking to buy her? She already bought me a Titans stocking. But what do I buy her? She wants something unique and girly but I have no sense for any of that shit. Any ideas?”
You have your entire married life to be a pussy.
I have no idea why you’re already being a pussy before you’re even married.
You need to pull down your pants right now and make sure you actually have a dick. Because you just emailed another man asking for advice about what kind of Christmas stocking to buy your girlfriend.
I’m almost too disgusted to even respond to this question.
My suggestion: go buy her a stocking with two doily balls on it.
Because at least then there will be some balls in your apartment.
Send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.
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