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ASK MAX

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Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010 Edition

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Dear Max:

I have misplaced my monocle. It was a gift to me when I was but knee high. I can’t even begin to think of where to find one as grand as the one I had. You were the first person (after Tom Ford) that I thought of to ask. Help please?

- The John Blog

Dear John:

You lost your monocle? Poor vision is a bit of a theme today, but we’ll get to that later. It must be nice to live in a world where Mickey Rourke is still pretty, though that harkens back to, say, 1986. I’m sure you get that reference, and I’m sure you also use words like “harkens,” because John, you must be at least 175 years old. Who else wears a monocle these days?

Who are you really, John? Are you The Penguin? Hogan’s Heroes’ Colonel Klink? Colonel Mustard from the board game Clue? That must be it. I know where your monocle is, John! It’s in the Billiard Room, next to the candlestick and the body of Professor Plum.

I never understood the idea behind a monocle. You have two eyes, but you only want to see clearly out of one? I can only think of one circumstance where this would be handy, and that’s if you’re standing in front of Paris and Nicky Hilton. And if that happens, make sure you have the monocle in the correct eye. Look too closely at Paris and she’ll blame you for stuffing drugs in her purse.

Wish I could help, but styling as I am, monocles aren’t quite my thing. I’m more of a sense-of-smell kinda guy. However, if you happened to wrap your monocle in roast beef immediately before you lost it, give me a ring. I’ll find it in no time. And eight-to-ten hours later, it’s all yours.

Dear Max,

If they were to make an action/thriller biopic about you and your wild life, who do you think would be the best actor to portray you? Also, I like to play A LOT so maybe we could hang out sometime and tug on a rope or a dish towel.

- Jack the Boston Terrier Puppy

Dear Jack:

Hey, Jack. Sure, I always like to make new friends. I’m totally down with a little tug-of-war. We could tug on a rope, a dish towel, or my neighbor Timmy’s leg. I’m telling you, once you get a taste of Timmy, no other spoiled brat will do. We could also play hide and seek: Timmy hides, we track him down and bite him. Or chutes and ladders: Timmy climbs up a ladder, we wait until he slides down the chute, and we bite him. Or Marco Polo: Timmy yells “Marco!” and… we bite him.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m mostly kidding. I’m a sweetie. I’m kind, thoughtful and giving. This is why it would be pretty hard to find a Hollywood actor who could portray me. I mean, when you think “dog” in Hollywood, you think Charlie Sheen. And I just can’t see my mommy scratching Charlie Sheen behind the ears or rubbing his belly.

And I’m a little afraid Charlie Sheen might be reading this right now, which means he’ll be scratching at the door in a few minutes, panting and howling and humping the umbrella stand. You know, just like he does every Tuesday.

He’ll be wearing his studded collar and leash, of course, because he always forgets to take it off after his appointment with Mistress Midnight. Although he does have good hair. And pretty good comic timing. Come to think of it, maybe Charlie Sheen would be a fine choice.

Dear Max:

I noticed that one of your eyes looks slightly to the right. Is this so no one sneaks up on you? Does your overbite come from hanging out with Ben Affleck?

- Mikey

Dear Mikey:

You know, if I didn’t have such phenomenal self-esteem, I might be a little upset about how you’re characterizing my appearance. One of my eyes looks slightly to the right? News flash: Both of them do. And both of them look slightly to the left. And up. And down. Because they’re eyes. They can do that.

Actually, I’m a little more concerned with your eyes, Mikey. If you’re in the market for a seeing-eye dog—and I’m pretty sure you should be—I can be had for a reasonable stipend plus an endless supply of Beggin’ Strips. Seriously, I have a wild eye? You’re barking up the wrong tree. An overbite? Dude, it’s an underbite, and it’s adorable.

That’s why Timmy down the street has the most adorable underbite scar on his thigh, and he’s lucky he got away with that.

I’ll let you off with a warning, Mikey. But don’t dog my boy Ben Affleck, who played the blind superhero Daredevil, which is I believe is thematically relevant. Ben is the proud parent, with his wife Jennifer Garner, of a lovely dog named—and I am not making this up—Martha Stewart. (I’m guessing she only lands in the doghouse if she gets on E*Trade.)

Dear Max:

I’m staying at my in-laws next week and their house is full of spiders. I’m afraid of spiders. But I don’t want them to see that I’m afraid, because I don’t want them to think their son married a coward. What should I do?

P.S. I love you so much I want to eat you like a Hot Pocket.

– Cloudya

Dear Cloudya:

Aren’t you too sweet? I love you too. Though I don’t want to get too attached, because if you actually eat Hot Pockets on a regular basis, I’m not sure you’ll make it through 2011. Heck, you might not make it through the in-laws visit. If I were you, I’d be a little less concerned about the dangers of arachnids and a little more concerned about the dangers of distilled monoglycerides and L-Cysteine hydrochloride.*

Don’t be so worried. Just because spiders freak you out, that doesn’t make you a coward. I’m as tough as the Terminator, but a few things unnerve me a little bit. Like a running vacuum cleaner. Or a thunderstorm. Or fireworks. Or Jeff Goldblum.

Okay, come to think of it, maybe I am a coward.

And maybe you are too. And that’s totally fine. So what? Seriously, if the in-laws’ house actually is full of spiders, if it’s really that bad, the in-laws deserve whatever reaction they get. You could storm in the house, pull the triggers on a couple of Hot Shot foggers and scream “I love the smell of napalm in the morning!” (Just make sure you get the pets out. Hell, get only the pets out. These are in-laws, after all.)

Lots of people are afraid of spiders. I’m not, because cats like to knock around spiders, and I like to knock around cats. It’s a wonderful knock-around food chain. But it’s fine that spiders freak you out. Try to enjoy yourself, but don’t hide your fear. Live by the immortal words of the sage philosopher Geena Davis: “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

(*Yes, these are actual Hot Pockets ingredients. And you thought what they put in dog food was bad!)

August 22, 2010 Edition

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Dear Max:

Do you think your Mommy would ever be interested in writing a book about supernaturals where you could be a small side character?  You are a bad-ass talking dog after all. Would you like to be in one of her books? :)

- Super K

Dear Super K:

Great idea, but you’re aiming a little too low. A small side character? Not even a big side character? I’m a star. You can’t expect me to stand in the shadows just because my faux reality show was canceled or I’m divorcing my mentally challenged husband or my plastic surgeon just plummeted off a cliff while he was tweeting.

Whoa… that was weird. I don’t know what possessed me there. That really was supernatural. Suddenly I feel so… artificial.

Actually, I’ve already written a supernatural book starring my favorite subject: me. It’s called Team Max: I’ll Show You Whiny Vampires What A Bite Really Is… Oh, And Could You Just Scratch Behind My Ears Real Quick? Right There. Yes, That’s The Spot. Just Keep Going. Oh, That’s Heaven.

It’s 250 drool-covered pages of me fighting all sorts of hideous, vile, scream-inducing monsters, from vampires to werewolves to the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Mommy was kind enough to pass it along to her agents, who must really love it because she said it’ll be published “when hell freezes over.” With all the climate change going on, that could be any day now!

Dear Max:

You’ve given me hope to woo your Mommy (or a reasonable facsimile), but I still lack sufficient funds.  Can you recommend any surefire get-rich-quick schemes?

- Mr. Confidence

Dear Mr. Confidence:

First off, you say I’ve given you hope to woo my Mommy, which makes me think I should have been a little less candid in a previous column about her even-greater-than-average susceptibility to Rohypnol. I tell you, any freak on the street can hand her a Coke and she’ll drink it, no questions asked. It’s like giving candy to a baby.  Don’t worry, I’ve apologized to her. Granted, she was unconscious at the time.

Anyway, you want to take a shot at Mommy, and yet one breath later you’ll settle for a “reasonable facsimile? There is no reasonable facsimile for Mommy. Maybe when they perfect cloning, dude, but not until then.

As for surefire get-rich-quick schemes: I’m writing an online advice column, so I’m the wrong canine to consult. (I’ll never forgive myself for turning down those Air Bud movies.) That said, I hear Ponzi schemes do well, as long as you don’t mind living out your golden years in a country that doesn’t believe in extradition.  I hear Rwanda’s lovely this time of year.

Dear Max:

I have two cats, one of whom has a penchant for peeing on my favorite shoes when she’s upset or protesting the state of her litter box. Any idea of how to get her to stop? Otherwise I’m going to send her to live with you and your mom.

- G

Dear G:

Much as I hate to turn down a free dinner, I think you’d better hang on to your cat. We only have so much room here at Casa Max. (And yes, I am referring to room in the fridge.)

I appreciate that you’re dealing with a tough issue here. Cats are complicated, and when I say complicated I mean insane, and when I say insane I mean evil. I don’t mean evil in a bad way. I just mean evil in a vindictive, cruel, malicious, destroy-your-most treasured-possessions-just-to-get-back-at-you way. As opposed to dogs, who have no malice in our hearts. We only destroy your stuff because we’re bored.

I don’t know what’s upsetting your cat in general, although as a species I know the felines are pretty pissed that they made another of those awful Cats and Dogs movies. (The canine coalition is none too pleased either.)

As for the litter box—it sounds safe to assume you haven’t been changing it as regularly as you could. Let me ask: If you had to rely on someone to flush your toilet, and this person only got around to it every three or four days, how pissed would you be? The cleaner and drier you keep the box, the cleaner and drier you keep your shoes.

Alternately, you could just keep your shoes somewhere your cats can’t get to them. For example, if they’re really nice and expensive you’re a Size 9, now you have something you can send to Mommy!

Dear Max:

I noticed you’re wearing a tux in that one pic.  Did you Mommy make you wear that? Did you have a fancy date?  Wondering if it paid off for you?  Do you think your Mommy would be impressed if I wore a tux and ordered a “vodka martini—shaken, not stirred?”

- Dressed-Down Dude

Dear Dressed-Down Dude:

Did my Mommy make me wear that? Don’t be ridiculous, Triple D. I’m a dog. Mommy can’t make me do anything. Except go out and potty when she tells me to. And eat when she says it’s time to eat. And stay off the furniture and not shred paper towels and show her what’s in my mouth when I really don’t want to show her what’s in my mouth and when she’s trying to pry my jaws apart to see what’s in my mouth but I don’t really want to her to know where her missing bracelet is and how yummy it tastes (because it’s, you know, bracelet-flavored) and okay, so maybe Mommy can make me do a few things. Like sit quietly in the corner while she goes out to buy a new bracelet.

I actually wear a tux every single day. It’s a matter of personal choice. I read sometime that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And I want to be bartender at weddings, bar mitzvahs and other special occasions. (I don’t know about shaking and stirring, but if you can lap a martini out of a bowl, I’m on the case.)

August 12, 2010 Edition

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Dear Max:

I often refer back to TV shows or my interests when I talk to people, and I’m pretty sure all my friends and family have had enough. I know I need to tone down the Family Guy/Facebook/Green Day talk a notch, but it’s kind of hard to not bring it up. Any tips?
- People Sigh Heavily When I Talk To Them

Dear People Sigh:

Believe me, I understand. I find myself talking about the same things all the time. I’m always going on about eating, sleeping, being scratched behind the ears, an academic exploration of the astonishing similarities between protagonists in Ayn Rand novels and guest stars on NCIS: Los Angeles, chasing squirrels and eating.

Then again, I’m a dog. I’m not supposed to be all that complicated.

(I am complicated, mind you, but that’s because I’m special.)

If you’re really finding yourself stuck for little else to discuss than Family Guy, that’s a pretty good indicator it’s time to diversify your interests. At least it’s good that you’re aware of the problem. Go see some local band you’ve never heard of before—it’s cheap and you never know– you might discover the next Green Day. Go to a bookstore and open up some books at random—you might discover something fascinating. Go to a deli and order a pound of roast beef and a pound of turkey and maybe a couple pounds of ham. Then bring it over to my house and give it to me — you might discover a very grateful dog. What? Oh, never mind that one. “Big Brother” is apparently watching. Try this one: Go give a dollar to the crazy drunk guy on the corner screaming obscenities at passerby. Then fascinate your friends with your tale of meeting Mel Gibson.

But here’s one other tip: If you’re talking about your interests so much, you’re probably not doing enough listening.

Take it from a dog. We sit around and listen to people go on all day and never interrupt. (Well, except for me—but like I said, I’m special.) Also, we can hear a much greater range of sounds, including those emanating from Mariah Carey (she’s actually brilliant, but you just can’t hear it).

Long story short: Listen. Ask other people what they’re interested in. That way they enjoy the conversation and you might learn something new. It’s like killing two cats—um, sorry, I mean two birds—with one stone.

Dear Max,

I just flew in to LAX from Newark. This flight is painful enough under ordinary circumstances, but the entire “cast” of “Jersey Shore” was also on the flight. After spending six hours in close proximity to these mooks, I now feel that life has no meaning and suicide is really my only option.

My question is this: what method should I choose?

- Seth

Dear Seth:

Wow, another week, another Jersey Shore question. I almost feel bad for these kids at this point. Is it really fun to make fun of the “differently abled,” even if they haven’t been technically defined as such? (Well, I’m sure Snooki was at some point, but those records are sealed. Sealed with baby oil and hairspray.)

Then again, since you actually had to share an airplane with this bunch, I’ll allow you special dispensation. Quite honestly, I’m just wondering how you managed not to asphyxiate on the vapors of hair gel, cocoa butter and Axe body spray. Which, as we all know, is the worst way to go.

I’m a little disappointed to hear that the cast was allowed to ride in the plane cabin, since we pets always get segregated into our own special section, and The Situation alone is far more of a dog than I’ll ever be.

I understand your concern for the future of society once this bunch begins to breed, but there’s no need to plot your own demise. Life is full of purpose: just sit quietly under the dinner table and reap the benefits of table scraps to see what I mean. I mean, you actually spent six hours in a confined space with the worst people on earth and survived. (That said, take it from me: a flea dip would be highly recommended.)

Don’t you get it? You no longer have anything to fear. And unless you find yourself with the unique opportunity to be nuzzled to death by a Kardashian (pretty good way to pass on to Doggie Heaven in my book)…choose life! Go skydiving. Go running with the bulls. Have a kid with Mel Gibson. Let’s face it, you’re invincible. Enjoy it!

Dear Max:

Is it true what Prince said, that “The Internet’s completely over?” I’m concerned because I like the internet.

- The Boogens

Dear Boogens:

Yes, Prince is 100 percent right. The Internet is completely over. He’s also 100 percent right when he claims televised golf is interesting, cats deserve all nine of their lives and Prince still says things that are in any way relevant.

Look, I don’t mean to pick on Prince, but since I’m bigger than he is, what’s he going to do about it? Every few years he peeks out from the shoebox he’s been sleeping in and tries to remind the world that he’s still alive. And if saying something completely counter to reality gets headlines for Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, why shouldn’t it work for a paisley-covered Cabbage Patch Doll?

Relax. The Internet isn’t going anywhere. Much like… Prince. The Internet is no fad. The fact that you can solicit such well thought out and life altering advice from an adorable Shih Tzu is reason enough to believe that the Internet is here to stay. Celebrity mug shots may have something to do with that as well.

You’ll still be able to read Ask Max, enjoy awesome blog posts by my mom,  read Ask Max, gamble your children’s college funds away at an offshore poker site and read Ask Max to your heart’s content. Now hurry up and finish reading this column before they suddenly turn off the Inter

Dear Max:

How does a shy (but nice) dude impress your master? (Mistress?) I’m not asking for me, but I have this friend….

- Shy Dude

Dear Shy Dude:

First off, make sure you get your Ask Max column written and turned into by the deadline. Trust me on this one. You do not want to be in Mommy’s doghouse.

It’s sweet that you’re curious about how to get on Mommy’s good side. But I was just kidding a minute ago. Mommy has nothing but good sides. Well, as long as people are buying her books. And retweeting her tweets. (They put that “retweet” button up there for a reason, people. Come on, it doesn’t cost you anything.)

Want to impress Mommy? Don’t wear Ed Hardy, even ironically. Be incredibly sweet to the most important man in her life. (I think you know who that is.) Send her $1,000 in unmarked, non-sequential bills, preferably none larger than a $20. Bring a nice selection of deli meats to her door. Scratch her behind the ears for somewhere between five to 5,000 minutes. (Oh, sorry, that was how to impress me. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much the same thing.)

Outside of that, be genuine. Make her laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously, but take what you do—whatever that is—very seriously. Be sweet to children, especially animals, especially cute, sweet, furry animals with big brown eyes and advice columns on the soon-to-be-completely-over Internet.

Finally, don’t be Mel Gibson. (Heck, with his behavior, at this point you’d have a better shot if you were Debbie Gibson.)

August 5, 2010 Edition

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Dear Max:

Is 7 a.m. too early to start drinking if I don’t have to go to work? What about Bloody Marys? Are those okay?

- Breakfast of Champions

Dear Breakfast:

It’s never too early to start drinking. Come to think of it, why even wake up sober? Isn’t that the worst time to be coherent? You know, you could even invest in an I.V. to pump intoxicants into you while you’re in bed. What’s the worst that can happen? I mean, Michael Jackson does that and look how good it works for–wait. Scratch that.

Let’s start over. Man, I’m always the last to hear about everything. RIP Michael.

Here’s the thing: I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. I’m all about shucking off the leash and running free. But a 7 a.m. Happy Hour might be taking it a touch too far.

At least you provided the “don’t have to work” caveat, so I won’t have to worry about you having a three-martini breakfast before your crossing guard shift or seeing your first dental patient of the day.

Still, that’s awfully early to hit the sauce.

Sure, a Bloody Mary’s okay — if you skip the vodka and just go with the tomato juice. This is known as a Virgin Mary, or as I like to call it, a “Jonas Brother.” Otherwise,  just say no.

And remember, it’s perfectly fine for me to spend a morning chasing squirrels in the park and peeing on trees. But if you do it, it’s called “drunk and disorderly.”

Dear Max,

Have you made your list of the qualities that your ideal mate will possess, and if so, can you list your top five?

- Gina B.

Dear Gina:

Funny you should ask, Gina. I conveniently did compile that exact list! And to make sure no one stole it, I buried it in the backyard. Though I can’t recall exactly where. So I made another list and buried it in the backyard. Though I can’t recall exactly where.  So I made another list… and you can probably guess what happened.

Nevertheless, I think I can remember most of the list, and what I can’t, I’ll fudge. So here you go:

MAX’S IDEAL QUALITIES IN A MATE

  1. Exceptional adeptness at finding all the crap I buried in the backyard.
  2. Flea-free for at least 18 months, though I’ll possibly make an exception for Dalmatian No. 73 from 101 Dalmatians. You remember her—she was the really hot one.
  3. Hot, heavenly hindquarters.
  4. Sense of humor. (Duh.) For example, she enjoys watching my Mommy scream at the computer when her last brilliant tweet fell just two “retweets” short of her goal number. Yep, it sure would be nice if people knew how much Mommy appreciates it when they hit that “retweet” button. I wonder if she’ll ever think of a subtle way to communicate that. But I digress.
  5. Totally cool with doggy-style.

(Note to readers: I appreciate reader “Dr. Rand Pink,” who was kind enough to send me 10 questions at once. That’s cool, Doc, but my plan to make the most of every day means I can’t let answering every question that ever occurred to you for your entire life get in the way of eating, sleeping, eating, getting scratched behind my ears, eating, looking adorable, eating or eating. Not to mention eating. Thus, we’ll knock out one question today. Maybe we can get to a few others in future editions.)

Dear Max:

Who would you like to be adding as the new Idol judge?

Dear Dr. Rand Pink

Doc, I’m not a huge American Idol fan, I must admit. I hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone, especially former judge Paula Abdul, because I fear she was the reader who inquired about whether booze is an acceptable breakfast beverage.

I think the thing I have against Idol is that I can’t stand the contestants. Or the judges. Or the performances. Or the host. Or the songs. Or the concept. And I especially hate the one jackass every year who tries to get 15 minutes of fame by being the “quirky” contestant. Go on about “pants on the ground” all you want, pal, but if I happen across your pants on the ground, you’re never going to see them again. And I won’t even remember where they’re buried.

Now, if Idol got an interesting judge, I might check it out. For example, I think Roman Polanski would be great. I’m a dog, and he’s an entirely different kind of dog, but whatever. I’m an animal, and he’s an entirely different kind of animal, but whatever. I poop in the backyard, and he… okay, that was just a rumor, but whatever. Would you put it past him?

There’s no way this infamously evasive director could turn down the opportunity to judge so many attractive young performers. In fact, I think he’d be so dedicated you’d have trouble keeping him away from at least half of them. So consider this my personal invitation to Roman Polanski: Come back to America and head over to the American Idol set.

(Oh, and don’t mind those guys with the handcuffs. Lady Gaga accidentally left them behind the last time she was there. It’s all good.)

Dear Max:

My boyfriend may be about to get full custody of the dog he shares with his ex. I already have a very good relationship with the dog, but have only seen him sporadically.  And my boyfriend and I are discussing moving in together…at my place.

I know the dog has been through a lot of upheaval since the split, and can only imagine what it would be like to suddenly have not only a new Mommy, but a new house as well!

How do I make him feel comfortable in my home, and what do I need to do to build a strong relationship?

- StaceyBee

Dear StaceyBee:

First, let me thank you for being so caring and considerate of the feelings of your (possible) future family member! I think you’ll be joining the long list of great dog chaperones. (I prefer the term “chaperones” to “owners” because, let’s face it, no dog really is “owned.”)

(Well, except for Scrappy Doo. He got owned a bunch of times, but everyone knows that’s because he’s a tool. That’s right, I said it. Get off my lunchbox, you stupid little Season Nine addition.)

Sorry, where were we? It sounds like you have most of what you need to provide a happy, emotionally fulfilling home for the dog: A caring, empathetic relationship. You don’t need to do much. You’re right, that’s a lot of change, and he’ll probably be a little out-of-sorts for a bit.

Go slowly with him, give him some time to find areas in the home where he feels secure. Respond to his signals; if he seems like he wants some scratch-him-behind-his-ears time, give it to him. If he gets up to walk away, don’t press the issue. He’s figuring out boundaries and levels of trust. It’s like any other relationship.  Except the ones on Maury.  How many paternity tests can one 16-year-old need?  Who are these people?

But I wouldn’t worry too much. You seem like a great person and I’m sure your new dog will take to you quickly. Just do all the things Mommy does for me: Feed him steak for every meal, preferably prime cuts. Buy him new toys daily. Let him sleep in your bed, and if he takes up too much room, you should sleep on the floor. And always keep in mind that tearing the stuffing out of expensive throw pillows just gives them character.

Oh, and finally… oops, I hear Mommy coming. Gotta go. Good luck! And remember, prime cuts!

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