>>
<<

Ask Max Archives

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

April 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

September 2009

August 2009

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

ASK MAX

(back to ask max)

Archive for January, 2010

January 20th, 2010 Edition

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

QQ Dear Max,

If your therapist never offers advice or suggestions but just nods empathetically and asks you “how that made you feel,” wouldn’t you be better off just talking to someone who *doesn’t* charge you by the hour?

— Say Something

Dear Say Something:

That’s a good point. Why spend the equivalent of Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery bill on someone doesn’t provide any input? Here’s why: You’re not paying the therapist to tell you things. You’re paying the therapist to tolerate to your insane ramblings and to not expose your weird kneecap fetish to TMZ.

Face it: You can’t expound on your anxieties, aggravations, attraction to pan flute performers, childhood secrets, frustrations, homicidal impulses toward mimes, curiosities, tendency to cry at the theme music for Judge Judy, fear of fanny packs, dreams, nightmares and pandaphobia to just anyone.

Therapists don’t get judgmental. They won’t burden you with tons of undesired (and clueless) advice, like some guy friends will. They won’t divulge your deepest, darkest secrets after a Sudafed and two Grey Goose martinis, like some girlfriends will. And they’re unlikely to use gender stereotypes for comic effect, like some doggie columnists will.

That said, you don’t have to pay big money to share the few personal thoughts you consider untweetable. The solution is simple: Get a dog!

We listen to all of your crap with doting attention. We love you no matter how screwed up you are. We don’t care how many new body parts your Hills money paid for, as long as you still smell the same. We won’t divulge your inexplicable attraction to Donald Trump or the fact that instead of reading the Ayn Rand book you claim to love, you were actually watching According to Jim.

All we ask in return is a little love, some food, the occasional belly rub and your prompt attention when we need to do our outdoor business. If you have a therapist like that, congratulations. But if you have a therapist like that, you’re not the one who’s most in need of help.

QQ Dear Max,

Why is it that whenever it rains in Los Angeles, it’s all anyone can talk about? Do people in Los Angeles melt?

— Stop Whining About The Rain, You Babies

Dear Stop Whining,

I smell what you’re cooking. (I’m pretty sure it’s meatloaf. And I want some.) You think we’re all a bit spoiled here in L.A. You think we can’t relate to “Middle America.” You think we’ve lost touch with the common folk, just because most dogs have a retractable leash while I have a doghouse with a retractable roof.

But it’s not easy living in L.A. Our state has more trouble managing its money than M.C. Hammer. The air quality is worse than the conference room on Mad Men. You can’t even get a half-decent job serving tables until you’ve had three failed television pilots. And if you do snag a good gig, you have to pray Jay Leno doesn’t hear about it.

So damn right we want our sunshine. It’s the one thing we should able to count on. That’s why they call it Sunny California. Hundreds of face lifts get ruined every time there’s an unexpected deluge in L.A. Hundreds of cabana boys miss out on the $20 tip they’d get from spreading lotion on Mrs. Goldenstein’s leathery back. And hundreds of dogs get caught in the rain and end up smelling like – wet dog. I get shivers just thinking about it. (And when I get wet, you do not want be nearby when I shake.)

So cut us some slack. Because here comes the sun, and I say: It’s alright.

QQ Dear Max,

I have been bewildered by a phrase for a very long time now and I was wondering if you could provide clarity. Why do people say “the proof is in the pudding”? I know the meaning from its use but where on earth does that phrase come from? How did it start? Were puddings actually involved? Thanks for your attention to this pressing matter.

— Too much time on my hands in Washington D.C. (as have many of my peers working in the Hill – which I must differentiate from The Hills – Speidi outranks us in idiocy which is really saying something!!)

Dear Too Much Time:

“Proof is in the pudding?” Really? You really do have to too much time on your hands. I’m getting the impression the only people who do any work in D.C. these days are lobbyists and Gilbert Arenas’s gun dealer.

Reliable sources (Wikipedia, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Mickey Rourke) inform me that the original phrase was “the proof of the pudding’s in the eating.” It means you don’t know whether something’s good or bad until you actually try it out. Amen to that. And speaking of, if there’s any pudding around and you need proof, let me at it! I am an excellent eater.

The phrase actually is credited to Cervantes’  Don Quixote, the source of many great phrases, including “tilting at windmills,” “show me the money” and “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. Of all time!” Which confirms what we’ve always suspected: Cervantes was a jerk.

QQ Dear Max,

Lately I have been getting attention from women who are all, like, 14 years younger than me. It makes me feel creepy. But they are hot. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Old enough to remember the first Melrose Place

Dear Old Enough:

Or should I say R Kelly? Seriously, how many times to we have to have this conversation? It’s time to start hanging out with girls women your own age. Also, if I was able to learn when and where to pee (on tree, good; on cheerleader, bad), so can you. That’s all I’m sayin’.

I guess we need some more information here, pal, such as just how old you actually are. For example, if you’re George Clooney, a handsomer-than-ever 48, then a 34-year-old lady friend is right in your sweet spot. (His current squeeze is 31.) However, if you’re George Clooney, you clearly don’t need dating advice from anyone.

If, however, you’re 29 – which is certainly old enough to remember the first Melrose Place – then this interest is coming from high school freshmen.  If this is the case, you probably should feel creepy.

But let’s presume you’re more like 37, and this interest is coming from the fresh-out-of-college-or-maybe-still-there crowd. What are you so worried about? It’s not like you’re doing the pursuing.  These ladies are showing interest, they’re legal, they’ve been around the block at least a little, and they’re hot.

Be proud that you still strike young ladies as a catch even as you close in on 40. You should be thrilled you even have the option to hook up with ladies 14 years younger than you. For dogs, that’s not so much an option. Even for the geezers who make it that far: talk about robbing the crate. Also, next time? Less math and more bacon. That little gem is perhaps the key to life. Definitely the key to mine. Counting on my paws isn’t easy and I’m hungry.

January 5th, 2010 Edition

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

QQ Dear Max,

I’m an Indianapolis Colts fan. (As all clear-thinking people and dogs should be.) And I am torn about them sitting their starters the past two games to protect them from injury for the playoffs.  They gave up the chance to have a perfect season. That irks me.  On the other hand (paw?), if Peyton Manning got injured, they’d be screwed. Where do you come down on this topic?

Sincerely,

Pigskin Perturbed in Peoria

Dear Perturbed:

I’m a football fan, too. I like the Colts, because unlike many other teams, they never use the Wildcat formation. (Blegh!) I also like Peyton Manning. Not only is he a future Hall of Famer, but he’s still the funniest athlete ever to host Saturday Night Live. I actually saw the game you’re talking about, since I can only watch Air Bud: Golden Receiver so many times. I’ve never seen such an irate crowd. Yes, I think the Colts should have gone for the undefeated run.

The offensive line has always protected Peyton very well, and he’s never had a serious injury. If the Colts wanted to rest Peyton, that’s understandable, but they should have done that from the get-go. Instead, they let him play for more than half the game, and then yanked him (and other key starters) with the Colts nursing a small lead. The fans were booing, the starters appeared disgusted, and it left all parties with bad tastes in their mouths. Kind of like this green kielbasa I found in an alley once. But that’s another story.

Ironically, one a week later the New England Patriots decided to start Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker in a game that didn’t matter for playoff seeding — and he suffered an awful season-ending knee injury. So… there’s an argument to play it safe.

What would I have done? I’m a dog. I live life to the fullest. I chase after shadows, bark at loud noises and will protect my turf with near-rabid tenacity. (Don’t call 911. I said near-rabid.) The Colts should have gone for the jugular, locked on and not let go until blood sprayed everywhere. (Wow, that was dark, huh? I think in my previous life, I was a pit bull.)

Ultimately, though, I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl. “Why,” you ask? Because the NFL doesn’t have any dog mascots, but cats are all over the place. Jaguars, Panthers, and Bengals, are you kidding me?!?!

QQ Dear Max,

People seem to always ask you questions about themselves, but I would like to know a few things about you. First off, who is your favorite renaissance artist? I have always been partial to Titian, but obviously have great respect for others, especially Michelangelo. In my mind, Donatello was kind of a hack. I mean, look at his “David.” Unnecessarily sexy if you ask me. But oddly enough, he is my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. If you were a ninja turtle, what weapon do you think you would use? I think I would use a bowstaff.

My final question is: If you could be any other kind of dog, what kind of dog would you be? I have a Chihuahua, but I think she thinks she is a Great Dane because she loves to tussle with the big dogs, and she only sits still if we read the Marmaduke comic strip to her. What will that crazy pooch do next? Anyways, if you wouldn’t be anything other than a Shih Tzu, that is a completely acceptable answer and maybe we can all learn something from you. Thanks for your help. You are a good boy.

- Jason from the suburbs.

    Dear Jason:

    Thanks for the opportunity for me to be a funny furball again, Jason. A twofer, huh? That’s getting more bang for your buck. And guessing from your first question, you’re going to need that extra cash for pizza. And snacks. And beer. And lava lamps. And DVDs of The Big Lebowski.

    (Please note, Max does not condone the use of illicit substances. I’ve seen too many young feline lives destroyed by catnip. And let’s not even get into some of my poor brethren, who have taken to chewing on rawhide every day, sometimes even before noon. Simply shameful.)

    Let’s see… you were wondering about Renaissance art, Ninja Turtles and something called a “Bowstaff,” which I believe is a piece of expensive home gym equipment that before long, you will primarily use as a place to hang your laundry.

    Art kind of stumps me. Studious as I (obviously) am, I’ve never attended a Humanities class. This is likely because I’m not a human, and no one ever offered a Caninities class. (I mean, just how long can you study Dogs Playing Poker, Dogs Playing Blackjack, or my favorite, Dogs Playing Free Bird?)

    Renaissance artists? Not my strong suit. Heck, until last week I still thought Caravaggio was an appetizer of thinly sliced beef. (Whatever you call it, I’m glad I stole some off the table at mommy’s last cocktail party.) I also believe you were angling for a Titian joke, but I’m way too classy to go there. I mean, I’d hate to make a boob of myself. I’m just keeping you abreast of the situation.

    As for weapons, I have no need for them. I come fully armed with sharp teeth, powerful claws, a desperate need for attention, and a love of belly rubs, having my ears scratched, cozying up on mommy’s feet.

    Oh, and a .38. (Don’t worry. It’s awfully hard to shoot with paws.)

    Finally: Would I be any dog other than a Shih Tzu? What, are you, crazy? Have you seen me? How cute am I?

    (Answer carefully. Remember, I’m packing.)

    QQ Dear Max,

    Sometimes my boyfriend is the sweetest guy on the planet and sometimes he can be brutal. He doesn’t hit me or anything like that but he can be a real bully when he doesn’t get his way or sometimes if he’s just in a mood. Is there like a percentage of “good times” that is a good basis to decide if he’s worth it?

    Signed,

    Pretty In Percentages

    Dear Pretty:

    You know how dogs can just tell when a guy isn’t a good guy? If someone is sweet and friendly, we can just tell, so we’ll start wagging our tails and roll over for belly rubs right away. But if someone strikes us as a threat, we’ll growl and bark and protect our “people.”

    After reading your question, my fur is on end, I’m growling like crazy, and I don’t even need to get in a room with this guy to know he’s bad news. I don’t mean to bum you out by going all Cujo on this one, but this is a serious deal and I need to deliver the straight Shih Tzu:

    A few things you said raised huge red flags. You said “he doesn’t hit me or anything like that.” I’ll be doggone if that’s any consolation. If this guy didn’t seem dangerous, it would never occur to you to bring up such a thing. You said he can be a “bully” and “brutal.” That’s awfully strong language. Take it from a pup who knows what’s behind a bark: Your boyfriend is emotionally abusive. And if you do some research, you’ll see that almost all relationships that become physically violent started off with emotional abuse. Even if things don’t reach that point, you should never have to put up with behaviors like bullying and verbal brutality from someone who claims to care about you.

    Take it from me: There are lots of great guys who will treat you with respect and care all the time. You want to know the percentage? That’s it. You deserve T.L.C. exactly 100% of the time. That’s the percentage you deserve, and no less. Nobody’s perfect. But you can and should always know that you are loved, even when you’re having a disagreement. Go find someone who doesn’t need to feel better about himself by making you feel bad. You’ll find someone great. I know because you’re one of my correspondents, which clearly means you’re awesome.

    QQ Dear Max,

    I got a sweater for Christmas. Yeah, right. I guess they were all out of coal. I’ve been giving my Mistress exasperated “You’ve got to be kidding, bitch!” looks, but she remains oblivious (communicating with these bipedal dingbats is hard without a voice box – as I’m sure you know). How do I tell her to stop this uncool and undignified nonsense? I’m at the end of my leash: the neighbor dogs are laughing at me, and I’m considering running away (or at least forgetting my toilet training).

    - Mortified in Manhattan.

      Dear Mortified:

      Wow, have I ever been inundated lately with puppy prissiness – or is that pissyness? – over overly outfit-obsessed owners. (I really have to get over this alliteration thing. There’s a brand new resolution, people.)

      I hold to the notion that not all canine apparel is appalling. Personally, I have no trouble communicating what I like or don’t like with my bipedal beauty, mi bonita mamacita. (What? If you’re going to buy that I can talk in English, is Spanish that much of a stretch?)

      Mommy knows me like the back of her well-manicured hand. She would only adorn me in doggie dress if it was particularly cold out, or if she wanted to protect me from a particularly sunny day, or if she thought she found something that was particularly adorable, or if she was just bored or drunk. So basically, I deal with it pretty much every day.

      Long story short: As long as your mom isn’t dressing you in Ed Hardy, don’t get so stressed. Any sweater you don’t like, you eat.  Eventually she’ll realize that like Matthew McConaughey, you’re at your best au naturel.

      Join my mailing list