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ASK MAX

June 21, 2010 Edition

Dear Max:

I’m an aspiring writer. Could you please let me in on some of your writing tips? You seem to be quite the creative dog. Also, I saw your picture… I’m a miniature female Yorkie – in heat. Hahahaha, you know, just FYI.

– Writer’s Block

Dear Writer’s Block:

I’m always happy to help a fellow writer, especially a miniature yorkie in heat. (Or what the boys and I call a “Nicole Richie.”) My top writing tip is this: Know the best time for you to write.

For example, I never write between noon and 8 p.m., because that’s nap time. I never write from 8 to 9 p.m. because that’s dinnertime, and I need those calories to power my writing. I never write after 9 p.m., because I’ll be sluggish from dinner and winding down. Finally, I never write in the morning, because you can’t expect me to be creative before I’ve had a chance to really get into my day.

If that sounds unproductive, just remind yourself that this schedule is true for most writers, except the team of 150 interns known collectively as James Patterson.

Finally, if you really are interested in hooking up, let me know and we’ll exchange digits sometime. I have a great pinky finger I got off the mailman just last week.

Dear Max,

My favorite book EVER is your mommy’s Stupid and Contagious. It is indeed stupid how contagious this book has been in my life, as I read it at least twice a year. What I love most about this book is the way it plays out in my mind, and how much I laugh out loud at Heaven and Brady’s ridiculousness. (Cinnamilk? Genius.) I have thought many times about how ecstatic I would be to see it in movie format, but then I’m reminded of all of the train wreck screenplays that have come from fabulous books. My question is, what does your mommy think? Would a movie version of the novel destroy its perfection?

– Overborne and Self-assured

Dear Overborne:

First off – that’s cute, playing off the title. (Kurt Cobain would be impressed, and his spirit needs some good news after those Robert Pattinson rumours.) Next, let me thank you for loving my mommy’s book, because I witnessed firsthand all the hard work she put into it. Well, on certain occasions. Like during full moons, or when there wasn’t a VH-1 reality show on or an especially interesting episode of To Catch A Predator.

Seriously, I know she appreciates your love of the book. I know because she re-read your email out loud 500 times and she’s wondering whether she can blurb your comments under the name “Nicholas Sparks.” (That is you, right? If so, just say nothing. Good enough, Nick. Can I call you Nick?)

As for a film of Stupid and Contagious: Mommy would love it. It’s an idea she back-burnered for a bit while working on “other projects.”

Sure, it can be tricky adapting a book for the screen, but for every Bonfire of the Vanities (poor Tom Wolfe), there’s also An Education. For every Striptease (poor Carl Hiaasen), there’s Marley and Me. (BTW, shouldn’t someone have warned me about the ending to that one? COME ON, PEOPLE!)

One day, Stupid and Contagious might very well hit the big screen, and we hope it’ll be great. We also hope that happens before iCarly and Justin Bieber are old enough to be cast as Heaven and Brady. But whatever happens, what matters is you’ll always have the book. (Though if you lose it, feel free to buy another one. Dog food ain’t cheap.)

Dear Max:

Are all the girls wild about you or is it just the smart and sexy ones?

– Bridget

Dear Bridget:

The smart ones are wild about me regardless of whether they’re sexy… but then again, since to me being smart is sexy, I guess they’re all smart and sexy. That sounds a bit narcissistic, granted. But anything that works for Robert Downey, Jr, can work for me too. (BTW, Gwyneth: Call me.)

It’s not my fault. I was the pick of the litter, and let me tell you, that was one fine litter. (Kinda like the Kardashians, but with slightly less alliteration and dating of pro athletes.) I mean, look at me! Your table scraps can’t defend against these eyes. One hungry look and your willpower melts. Just like your leftover roast beef will when it gets between my incredibly attractive jaws.

As for the other girls, what do I care? All I need are the smart and (thus) sexy ones. Like you, Bridget. And you, Neytiri. And you, Sailor Moon. And you, Betty White. And you…

Dear Max,

My supposed ex-boyfriend is an enigma. He had been acting very cold, but texting me all day and night. When I asked him what was up, he said “it is too real” for him, but he doesn’t want to lose me as a friend. Broke my heart. But the next day, BAM, he’s texting like usual, like nothing happened. He acts like a dog, so I figured I’d ask the top dog: YOU. What is he doing? And why? He is acting exactly like he had been, minus calling me Sweetpea. What’s up with this dog?

– Unsigned

Dear Unsigned:

I’m glad you asked, because this topic has bothered me for a long time: referring to selfish, game-playing, string-you-along types like your “supposed ex” as dogs. This guy is no dog, no way, no how.

A dog is loyal and loving (especially me). A dog is caring and sensitive to your emotions (especially me). A dog will protect you and defend you from anyone and everything (especially me, and imagine the balls that takes from a guy my size).

Your “supposed ex” wants you only on his terms, in which you’re there for him whenever he needs a sounding board/ego boost/occasional mounting. (What? I’m a dog, people.) Your “supposed ex” wants to have his cake and eat it too, whereas a dog just wants to devour the cake. (And probably the plate it arrived on.)

He’s not a dog. That moniker is way too good for him. Change his status from “supposed ex” to just plain “ex” and find someone who loves you like a real dog does.

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