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ASK MAX

August 31, 2010 Edition

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!)

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