Clay Travis charges $50 to wish your dad a happy birthday

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So I was just skimming the wildly entertaining—land where one can pay Flavor Flav $250 to say, “Sorry about the bed wetting! Yeah, boy!” and Danica McKellar $85 to utter, “I liked Kevin, but I love Barry Smith. Happy anniversary, Barry and Len!”

It’s an amazing place; a one-stop-shopping boutique for everyone from Gilbert Gottfried and Ice T to Randy Couture and Stuttering John to Ron Jeremy and Omarosa. They’ll bid you farewell, they’ll say hello to your cow, they’ll smile and nod and recite movie lines and burp and (maybe) fart.

It’s also home to Clay Travis.

If you don’t know, Clay is a conservative sports guy and founder/king of Outkick the Coverage. To his credit, he’s created a very impressive brand of sports/conservative politics. I’m not being snide—in an age of repetition and limited originality, Clay found a niche and dove in and turned nothing into something. Am I a fan of his approach? No. Do I share his leanings? No. Do I listen regularly? No. Do I think he understands the intricacies of American politics? No.

Can I respect the hustle? Absolutely.

That said, while skimming Cameo I stumbled upon Clay and thought … hmm.

By Hmm, I don’t mean, “Hmm, that’s amazing.” I actually thought, “Hmm, why are you doing this?”

You’re Clay Travis. You exist because readers follow you, because listeners listen to you. Your followers are loyal, they’re intense, they dig what you do. So why, oh why, are you charging them $50 to say, “Happy birthday, Millie”?

I’m no Clay, fame-wise. Not even close. But on those occasions someone has asked me to send encouragement to a sick relative, or speak with a daughter who’s struggling through journalism school—I do so. As do the vast majority of people I’ve worked with. Why? Because we’re humans, and not everything has to come with a price tag. Want me to wish your sister a merry Chanukah? No sweat. Want to hear about my struggles early on? Happy to. If it can make someone’s day a bit brighter, you do it. For free. Out of goodness.

You don’t always have to charge a fee.

Especially when the people you’re charging are the people who make you.

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PS: That said, I want 15% of all sales Clay makes through this blog post.