Dear Ann, Now that you’re dead, who’s going to take over your column?
Sadly, there will be no reply to this question, because, poor Ann is dead. At 83, Ann Landers has written her last column, and she never answered my question, even though I wrote her weekly: Everyone talks about length, but no one talks about girth, which begs the question: is having a long-thin dick better than having a short-thick dick? She died before she could tell me. Maybe that’s what killed her: she was testing the theory with a variety of marital aides.
Ann always said her column would die with her and, oddly enough, Ann’s dead but her column will continue on for another month. Which seems odd when you consider how many asking advice for issues that seemed so time sensitive: “I’ve got a lump…” “Who do I call when there’s a fire…” “I’m getting married next week…” (Wouldn’t it have been awful for some poor schmuck to get back from their honeymoon, pick up the paper and read Ann’s reply: “Don’t marry that freak!”)
Then again, Ann wasn’t always well-timed. She seemed to be still stuck in the 50’s at points, especially on women’s issues. I believe within the last year she mentioned something about women staying home while the man went out and worked! Yet, she still encouraged young people to practice safe sex. A 50’s sensibility in a 90’s world?
That chick was enigma. Who else could offer advice on issues on the subject of family harmony, keeping the peace, and being the better person in personality quarrels, all while carrying on a 20-year feud with her twin sister? Actually, the answer would be her twin sister: Dear Abby!
Well, Abby isn’t getting any younger, so I think someone needs to step in and start answering those questions. I think they need to be concerned for others. I think they need to be witty. I think they need not be a they, but a me.
“Now, Chris,” you are undoubtedly saying, “how can you say that you are the most suitable person to answer questions from the heavy-hearted and the easily confused?” Short answer: I’m not. Long answer: I’m not, please write me at my column and I’ll have an answer for you there… someday.
Let’s get started on “Dear Chris” (The Queen is dead… Long live the new King!) Here are some actual letters to Ann and how I chose to respond to them:
Dear Chris: My neighbor has an 18-year-old daughter who attends a prestigious high school. She was recently notified that the girl will not graduate because she has missed too many days and no longer meets the graduation requirements. She has been given ample opportunity to make up the missed work but has chosen not to.
Her parents informed me today that they still plan on throwing her a graduation party the afternoon her classmates graduate. They have asked me not to tell anyone their daughter did not actually finish school. Should I attend the party and bring a gift? -- San Jose, Calif., Neighbor
Yo San Jose! Dude, I know you! Rock on!
Okay, your question is good, but doesn’t give the important information: will alcohol be served? What about the free food? While it’s not your place to say anything, you can always get drunk and let things ‘slip.’ Or get really drunk and tell everyone in a really bad toast.
On your way out, be sure to pick up your gift and return it…
Dear Chris: My husband and I enjoy sleeping in the nude. It makes us feel comfortable and intimate. We have two children, ages 5 and 8, and we are careful to be dressed before they wake up in the morning. Although we do not lock our bedroom door at night, we have taught the children to knock before entering. We keep our bathrobes close by to put on quickly.
Last week, our 8-year-old daughter had a bad dream and ran into our room without knocking. She was shocked to see us naked. To make matters worse, she told her grandmother. My mother-in-law has told several friends and family members about our "lewd practice," making it seem ugly and shameful.
Please, Ann, what should we do? My husband and I are both embarrassed that it has become everybody's business. -- A Family Matter in Maryland
Dear Lewd Naked Mama: Have you ever heard of locking the fucking door?
Dear Chris: I have three grandchildren, the oldest a 6-year-old girl, "Krissy." This girl is very bright and very pretty, but unfortunately, she is very spoiled. I work every day and can see my grandchildren only on weekends. Krissy's other grandparents see her more often.
Last week, Krissy said to me, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, Grammy, but my other grammy is my favorite." She said this in front of my daughter-in-law and 4-year-old grandson. No one said a word. I was embarrassed and hurt, but I decided to let it go. Yesterday, she did it again, saying, "I love my other grammy better than you."
I realize children sometimes say cruel things unintentionally, but I think Krissy is old enough to know better. It bothers me that her parents do nothing to curb her trouble-making tendencies.
Right now, I am avoiding Krissy and her parents, but obviously I have to find a way to resolve this. Any ideas? -- Less-Loved Grandma in Virginia
Dear Grandma: Next time Krissy makes a remark like that, you need to do three things: 1) smack the smile off the little brat’s face, 2) say something to the effect of, “well, that’s a relief because your brother is my favorite grandchild,” and 3) tell her mother that none of the jewelry is being left to her or that monster Krissy. If you don’t have any nice jewelry, start buying some with the money you would have spent on the brat and that bitch of a daughter-in-law. You’ll soon see a turnaround in the behavior as they will spend the rest of their lives sucking up to you. If there is another granddaughter, start buying the kid jewelry.
Dear Chris: My 17-year-old son, "Jordan," is a casual pot smoker and has no intention of stopping. As a result, my husband and I refuse to let him drive our car alone until he tests drug-free for three months in a row. One of us always accompanies him. We also told him he has to get his grades up enough to qualify for a "good student discount" so we don't have to pay such high premiums on his insurance. He is smart enough to keep a "B" average but doesn't bother.
Jordan insists he would never drive while under the influence, but I can't be sure. He constantly complains that all his friends own cars and he is tired of walking or biking everywhere. He wants us to buy him a car, and I have to admit, it would relieve us of a huge burden. Any time he needs to drive somewhere, either his father or I have to accompany him.
My husband and I don't want to be the bad guys in this relationship, but Jordan is so insistent on having a car that it is creating problems at home. What do you think we should do? -- Mom in Denver
Dear “Mom”: What kind of parent are you? Who let’s their kid “casually” smoke pot? Your job as a parent (and yes, it is a job) is to forcibly guide the kid into the future, making him a better person and citizen whether he wants it or not. Your kid is a spoiled brat that will feed off the teat of society for the rest of his life or until your life insurance pays out. Get some balls and be a fucking parent. Tell the kid that if you catch him doing any more pot, he’s going to military school. In the meantime, get him a bus pass and tell him those are the only wheels you’ll be supplying him until his grades are up.
Dear Ann Landers: My boss and his wife like to socialize with his employees. Yesterday, he suggested my husband and I meet the two of them for dinner at an upscale restaurant.
Ann, I don't want to socialize with my boss. My job is stressful, and I look forward to going home and relaxing. My boss is OK professionally, but I can only take him in small doses. If I had to see him evenings and weekends as well, I would lose my mind.
Several of my co-workers feel obligated to see the boss socially, but I don't agree. I don't want to hurt the man's feelings or put my job in jeopardy. Can you suggest a tactful way to deal with this problem? -- New York Employee
Dear New York Employee: Wow, you’re the guy that still has a job in this shitty economy. Okay, I feel for you: lousy job, annoying boss, and spending your off time with both. Best bet, for you job and your sanity, is to go out every third time. This way you are not too predictable, don’t look like you’re sucking up and don’t look like you’re avoiding him.
Dear Chris: One of my son's friends has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. I was stunned because he is so young -- in his early 20s. I decided to research the subject on the Internet and discovered that testicular cancer is the most common cancer among males aged 15-35. Yet it is curable if found and treated early.
I asked my male relatives and friends if they ever performed a testicular self-exam to check for lumps or swelling. Imagine my astonishment when not one of these guys had ever heard of it.
Please spread the word that men should be doing a monthly self-exam. Women can help by insisting that their husbands and sons take care of themselves. Maybe if men can get past their embarrassment about this sensitive subject, they will go to a doctor if they discover symptoms. It could save a life. -- Mary in Indiana
Dear Mary: Who would admit to a woman they check their balls? Besides me? You must be fun at parties: "Hi, I'm Mary, how often do you exam your balls?" Here’s what you do: the next time your son is locked in the bathroom for hours on end “combing his hair,” just mention to check his nuts for testicular cancer. This will accomplish two things, 1) he will get a much needed exam, and 2) he’ll get off much quicker and your bathroom will be freed up.
Dear Chris: My 16-year-old daughter received an invitation to a baby shower for a classmate. The father is a 21-year-old family friend who is well-off and has promised to be a responsible father. My daughter knows we disapprove of sex at such a young age, but I am afraid she will think having a baby is wonderful if she attends this elaborate shower. Should we permit her to go? -- Confused in Ohio
Dear Confused: What’s to be confused about? Simply explain the situation to your daughter this way: “It’s a good thing that “John” got “Sue” pregnant, because if it were you, he’d be in jail for statutory rape and you’d be big as a house your life would be ruined and what guy would want to date a girl with a kid? Have fun at the shower!”
If you have any questions you want answered, be sure to send them to me at email@example.com and put “Gimme Some Answers” in the subject line. If anyone actually asks a question, I’ll eventually answer.
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