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ASK MAX

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Archive for October, 2010

October 19, 2010 Edition

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

 Dear Max:

I’ve heard a lot about you from my mommy and she tells me that you are the handsomest and the smartest dog in the world. Now she also tells me that I am the cutest and smartest cat in the world. I think we could go for world domination together but in your last column you mentioned that you find cats disgusting. Is there any way that you could get past that for world domination? Cats aren’t so bad you know, if you meet the right one…

— My name is so long I can’t remember it

 Dear MNISLICRI:

How dare you even address me, CAT? Don’t you know you’re supposed to walk ten paces behind me at all times, which shouldn’t be an issue, considering your wee widdle kitty legs are even shorter than mine, CAT?

**Sorry, dude, I just had to keep up my cover. Brilliant creatures that we are, you and I both know that humans are incapable of reading between double asterisks. Just like they can’t hear a pin drop from two blocks away or automatically salivate at the sound of a can opener. Sad, pathetic humans.**

World domination? With YOU? That’s absurd, CAT! The very thought of it robs me of my appetite!

**Dude, I’m totally making that up. Nothing robs me of my appetite.  A Snooki/Dick Cheney/Carrot Top ménage à trois couldn’t ruin my appetite. Close, though.**

Why would I even consider dominating the world, CAT? I love humans!

**I hate humans. Well, most of ’em. I love cats. Well, most of ’em. (Don’t start, Sylvester. You know what you did.) And actually, dude, that world domination thing is a great idea. Other than my mommy and Jessica Alba, we can turn all of humankind into slave labor for all I care.**

Begone, CAT! Never darken my door again!

**See you Tuesday. Bring snacks.**

 Dear Max:

My family puts the fun in Dysfunctional. Between all the extended family from various marriages/divorces/etc., it seems like everyone’s got crazy drama. Is it too much to ask people to be considerate of one another and not take stuff so seriously?

— Walter on the East Side

 Dear Walter:

Your question’s a bit ambiguous, I must say. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here, which of course won’t keep me from diving on in and giving you advice anyway. (Look, I give things on the street two sniffs tops before deciding to lick them, which I do 50 percent of the time, or go ahead and eat them, which I do the other 50 percent. I’m not what you’d call inhibited.)

So your family’s dysfunctional and full of drama, huh? Brother, do I ever know how you feel! It’s not easy being No. 9 in the litter when your mom only has eight nipples! You want to talk about sibling rivalry, I was lucky to get two sips in. I’m telling you right now, I would have been bigger than Marmaduke if I hadn’t been so malnourished as a pup.

Sure, you could ask your family members to “be considerate of one another and not take stuff so seriously,” but they’re probably exactly the sort of people to take that way too seriously. They’ll get offended and start a fight with you, because let’s face it, they’re drama queens.

I think it was Norman Rockwell who said, “Screw family — you don’t need ’em.” Well, it was someone, at least. If the fur flies every time your litter get together, blow it off! Unless you think you’re going to need an extra kidney soon — then just try to hang with the people whose company you can tolerate.

 Dear Max:

Woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof?

— Mike

 Dear Mike:

That’s some pretty heavy stuff to lay on a brother. I don’t know if I can answer all of that in a few paragraphs. But I’ll do my best. Because your question covers three distinct and complicated subjects, let me divide them up.

First, I believe that our spirituality rests deep within. With every wag of my tail or lick of my tongue, I feel I’m expressing my spirit and testifying to my own personal doggy deity. We all experience this crisis of conscience occasionally. You’ll get through it. I suggest reading up on some Gandhi, Viktor Frankl, and Danielle Steel.

Second, I have to go with Julie Newmar. No offense to Eartha Kitt or Lee Meriwether, both lovely ladies, but Julie Newmar’s enough to make a dog fall in love with a cat.

Third, woof woof woof woof, woof woof, woof woof. Furthermore, woof woof woof, woof woof, woof woof woof woof woof. Oh, yeah: woof.

Hope that helped. Stay strong, dawg.

 Dear Max:

I keep waking up at 4:37 a.m every single morning.  I can’t get back to sleep, and then at the end of the day, I’m a wreck. I pass out early wherever I happen to be, and then drag myself into bed, only to wake up again at 4:37 a.m. Luckily, the only person disturbed by this is me (and now you — well, maybe not you so much). Anyway, how well do you sleep? Any advice?

— Insomniac

 Dear Insomniac:

How do I sleep? That’s easy.

I sleep like a dog.

Next question…

(Yes, Mommy. I know I need to write more. But I’m tired. Look deep into my big, sad, puppy dog eyes and let me hypnotize you into letting me take a break. It’s working, huh? Look how sad I am. You can’t resist these eyes. Poor widdle Max needs a slice of roast beef, doesn’t he? Doesn’t he? Hey, you’re not looking into the eyes. The eyes, dammit! Look into the eyes!)

Sorry, Insomniac, I’m back. Dude, if you’re not Jack Bauer or Tara Reid, there’s no reason to be awake at 4:37 in the morning. I mean, unless you’re just trying to not get killed by Freddy Krueger, you need to crash.

Perhaps you’re just not exhausting yourself sufficiently during the day. For example, I chase my tail for a good two hours every day. I know this works for humans, too, because my buddy Dave says he chases tail constantly, and he seems to be pretty worn out afterward.

If that doesn’t work, apply for a meteorologist job at the Today show. You’re up early anyway, and the skinny Al Roker still freaks me out.

October 7, 2010 Edition

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Dear Max,

I have a question about greetings that’s baffled me for a while. What is proper friend greeting etiquette? I know butt sniffing works for you, and I know to hug a friend I haven’t seen in a while, but what about the rest? Are the French onto something with their standard two kisses on the cheek?

— Hugs and Kisses

  Dear Hugs and Kisses:

All due respect, Hugs, but as it relates to appropriate social behavior, I’m not sure you want to go with the French. I mean, they produced and sheltered Roman Polanski. Their idea of a sex icon is Gérard Depardieu. Hell, the best thing in France is Johnny Depp, and he’s from Kentucky.

Regarding butt sniffing, that’s only one of many greetings my brethren and I use. We do that around the humans just so you won’t suspect anything. When we’re out of sight, it’s all paw bumps, paw slaps, chest bumps and… well, okay, there’s a little butt and crotch sniffing then too. I’ve found this to be especially true whenever I meet up with a Goldendoodle, a Yorkie or Patrick Dempsey.

Now then, what should you do? I’d suggest you use a very different approach with your human buddies — unless you happen to run into Patrick Dempsey, in which case, I sure hope you cleaned up thoroughly that day.

It’s easy for women: You can hug anyone you want. Hell, you can wander up and start sniffing with impunity. That’s what I do. (Granted, I’m adorable. It helps.) You are a lady, right? I’m presuming you’re a lady, seeing as how I haven’t received a letter from a dude that was signed “Hugs & Kisses” since, well, let’s see… since Mike Tyson and I were pen pals.

Dear Max:

Since men and dogs are similar, I’m asking for advice about my boyfriend. He’s SO SPOILED, and it’s my fault! I set the wrong precedent by cooking all the time, giving him regular massages and catering to him. My fear is that he’s becoming selfish, and that he doesn’t understand the concept of reciprocity.  What should I do?

— Gina B.

  Dear Gina:

I don’t know what you mean about men and dogs being similar. I realize that you wait on your guy hand and foot, but that’s nothing like my life. I spend my time… well, let’s see… I spend my time lying around the house, waiting for Mommy to scratch my ears, rub my belly and bring my lunch and dinner to me.

(Okay, so maybe you have a point.)

Males of every breed are not that complicated. We respond to positive reinforcement, such as giving us a treat when we do something right, singing our praises and rubbing our bellies. We also respond well to negative reinforcement, such as calling us “naughty” and giving us a little smack or leaving us locked in a crate on the rare occasion we do something wrong*.

(*I’m awesome, of course, so my Mommy has never has never beaten me or locked me in a crate. Though I think she did that to a boyfriend or two. I don’t remember them doing anything bad… that’s odd, huh?)

So if you’re asking me whether you should punch your boyfriend in the face and lock him in the crate, my answer is… maybe. Because here’s the other thing: Guys, like dogs, are kinda simple. They don’t get the subtle digs and the passive-aggressive behavior.

If you want to your guy to wake up and get his stool sample together, you need to do things he’ll notice. “Accidentally” put the parental block all of the ESPN channels and “forget” the password. Tell him the showing of The Town you planned to see is sold out, so tonight you two will be watching the Kristen Bell-Jamie Lee Curtis vehicle You Again. Tell his friends he can’t come out for poker anymore on Tuesdays because his new favorite show is Glee.

Trust me: he’ll be “reciprocating” in no time.

Dear Max:

I see how dapper and handsome you are. You also have a way with words. What I am curious about is your title, “The Straight Shih Tzu.” Are you referring to straight in the “just down with the bitches” way? If that is the case, have you ever dabbled in letting a male dog sniff your butt or just never had the desire to?

— Tam

  Dear Tam:

Why, that’s a very personal question. The title simply means that I’ll always be honest with you. I could tell you right now that there’s something more to that, that I’m as straight as Victoria Beckham’s silhouette. I could tell you that all the bitches line up as I sashay down the street (okay, maybe “sashay” wasn’t the right term), or that I’ll bend over backwards to meet the hottest bitches in town (okay, maybe “bend over” wasn’t the right phrase).

But why distinguish myself? You’d love me whichever way my tail wagged, right? You’ve seen Mommy rocking the duct tape for NOH8, and while I occasionally wish she’d have left it on a little longer, you get the point: We don’t care who you love, as long as it’s not NFL star Antonio Cromartie, who has fathered eight children with six women living in five states, and when asked on camera, couldn’t remember all of his kids’ names. He’s done enough loving for three lifetimes.

For the record, though — I’m straight. Straight Outta Compton, baby!

(Mommy’s note: He’s not from Compton. He just puts on the tough guy act to impress bitches.)

Dear Max:

We recently welcomed a dog into our family. He’s a mix of all kinds of different breeds. I’ve never lived with a dog before and I’m often appalled at what he considers wonderful or even interesting. He sniffs (and sometimes licks!) stuff I wouldn’t go near in a Hazmat suit. My question is, is there anything dogs consider disgusting?

- Mocha’s Mom

  Dear M & M:

This sounds like a great time for a Top 10 list, so, in ascending order…

Ten Things Dogs Consider Disgusting

10. Vegetables. You were going to feed me vegetables? What’s wrong with you? You can wrap that baby carrot in bacon all you want, but rest assured: When you walk away, I’ll be spitting out carrot.

9. The fact that people still marry Larry King on a regular basis.

8. Steven Seagal from 2001-2010.

7. Anything on the TV show Hoarders. On the other paw, we’re totally down with anything on the TV show Hors D’Oeuvres.

6. The fact that the cat gets to go everywhere and we’re not even allowed on the couch. Dude, look how cute I am. I’m adorable and irreplaceable. And that’s… a couch. Now build some wee widdle doggie stairs for the couch, dammit.

5. Botox, collagen, liposuction, plastic surgery and whatever the hell else Mickey Rourke, Priscilla Presley, Heidi Montag and countless others have done to themselves the past decade or so. Have you seen Diane Lane lately? All natural and gorgeous. I’d sniff her butt all day. That’s high praise.

4. Steven Seagal from 1999-2000.

3. All-natural, organic, no-preservatives-added dog food. I know you want us to live forever, but don’t tell me you don’t have a cheeseburger on occasion. Life is meant to be lived, people. You’ve already hacked off our naughty bits. At least let a brother eat.

2. Intolerance. Hatred. Two wars we don’t need still to be fighting. Cats. Partisan politics. Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin clones. Mickey Rourke in closeup. Cats. The notion that reading and writing are somehow passé. The Real Housewives of Every Single City in the United States. Carrot Top naked. Cats. Real-life medical dramas on the TLC channel. Mickey Rourke’s fingernails. Ed Hardy. Repeated jokes in doggie advice columns. And, finally… cats.

1. Steven Seagal. Whenever.

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