Monday, May 26, 2014

50 Isn't Pretty

Time again for my weekly court-ordered anger management class in which I answer advice column letters with the advice morons should have gotten the first time but did not. Unlike some more popular advice columnists, I’m the rabbit who tells it like it is, no BS, no punches pulled. Nope, I’m the guy who points out idiocy when I see it, which is staring you in the face every time you look in the mirror. And away we go… 

Dear Unqualified Advice Columnist: Today is my 50th birthday. I'm a person with a few close friends, but I'm not widely social. The members of my book club knew it was my birthday when we met a few days ago. I had mentioned it before our meeting but nothing was said when we met. My best friend is going on vacation and hasn't remembered. My husband asked me what plans I had made for us to do today. My sister, bless her, has been wonderful and feels responsible to try to make this day special for me. Is it really my job to plan a celebration and remind everyone I'm close to dying? [She’s not that close to dying; I just threw that in there.] I have talked enough about how important this particular birthday is to me. I'm hurt that no one feels I'm worth the effort. Am I making too big a deal out of this? – Signed, 50 going on 2

Dear Fiddy: Are you making a big deal out of your fiftieth birthday? Considering no one’s ever lived past 50 before, why yes, it is a big deal. I mean, 50 is so special; you’ve gone around the Sun 50 times, whoa nelly! And you got there by reading books. No, no dangerous activities for you. Why, you might have accidentally killed yourself with a knitting needle by now, but you’ve been so careful that now you want people to give a damn. Do you know why your friend going on vacation hasn’t remembered your birthday? Because she’s taking the time to actually enjoy life for five friggin’ minutes. Meanwhile the best you can do is hope everyone around you acknowledges your special achievement. 50 might have been impressive 100 years ago lady but these days everyone’s doing it. It’s not that you’re not worth the effort, it’s that being 50 isn’t the big deal it used to be. (Or, you really aren’t worth the effort and I’m just being nice because someone spiked my carrot juice with Prozac.) But if you think this is a big deal, then you’ve got to take matters into your own hands. You know what they say, if you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself. If you haven’t learned that by now, well, you may be 50 but you sure haven’t done a whole lot of living.

Dear Unqualified Advice Columnist #2: My 4-year-old is in love with pink, princesses, fairies, things that sparkle, accessories, nail polish, sassy shoes — all of it. I assumed she was just drawn to those things because she found them fun and aesthetically pleasing (I too love a good ruffle or sparkle), but now she’s becoming preoccupied with “pretty.” After she gets dressed or I brush her hair, she asks, “Am I pretty now?” My wife and I have tried to limit talking about things like flowers or butterflies as being “pretty,” though we do slip and tell my daughter she is pretty at times (because, come on — she’s my gorgeous little girl). We try to emphasize things she can control, like trying to learn her letters, hit a ball, etc., but only “pretty” seems to be registering with her at the moment. I don’t know how to respond when she asks me if she’s pretty. I end up saying something lame, like, “You’re always pretty, sweetie” but that response is not resonating with her. I think she knows I’m trying to avoid telling her she’s pretty, but she backs me into a corner and asks me point-blank! Help! – Signed, Pretty Stupid

Dear Pretty Stupid: Whoa, whoa, whoa. A four-year old is backing you into a corner? To start with, you need to grow a pair and tell your precious little girl “No one puts baby in a corner! Be-otch.” Now, it would probably be easiest to dismiss this behavior as a phase and just tell your daughter what she wants to hear, but what fun would that be? I mean, if it’s not a phase, the crafty little devil questionably sprung from your loins recognizes the value of beauty in manipulating people, case in point being yourself. The downside of her reliance on beauty is that she’s going to wind up pregnant by the time she’s 14 and on welfare with 3 kids by the time she’s 21. My advice is to start curbing this fascination with prettiness stat, which can be done in several ways. First, when she asks you if she’s pretty, ask her if she means pretty on the outside or pretty on the inside. This will start making her think and you can tell her that if she if only concerned with being pretty on the outside, no one will ever really love her because she doesn’t really love herself, or some crap like that. If this sounds like psychological warfare, well, it is. After all, you are dealing with a 4 year old which is twice the terror of a 2 year old. Or, you can tell her no, she’s not pretty, and she needs to start developing some life skills unless she plans to move to Brazil, the plastic surgery capitol of the world where she’ll probably wind up in a drug lord’s brothel. Or, you can start using the word ‘pretty’ in a different context, as is “You learned your letters, that’s pretty good,” or, “You hit the ball, that’s pretty special.” But I’m sure all of this has occurred to you since you stopped a minute to think about any of this. Oh, that’s right, you didn’t, because of you don’t think. You were distracted by how pretty your wife is and that resulted in a child. You know what? Let the kid do what she wants. I can’t wait for her letter 20 years from now asking me whether she should put her mentally ill father in a home or have him euthanized. Oh, the fun we’re going to have with you, pops.

If you’d like some advice from me, That Angry Rabbit, send your letters via email to Letters/Pathetic Sob Stories that I respond to will have the privilege of being lampooned by yours truly. Hasta la vista, baby.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Inner Circle of Jerks

Welcome again to another one of my self-prescribed anger management classes in which I answer advice column letters with the advice morons should have gotten but did not. Unlike some more popular advice columnists, I’m not going to hold anyone’s hand and tell them everything’s going to be fine. No, I’m the guy who points out idiocy when I see it, which is all the time when it comes to human beings. Let’s open our first letter…

Dear Stupid Advice Columnist to Whom This Was First Written: This week, I had it clearly spelled out for me that there’s an inner circle of moms in our neighborhood, and I’m not in it. The message came from someone I’d actually considered a good friend, which made it even harder to swallow. My confidence is shaken. While I won’t seek out any of these women in the future, it’s difficult to avoid them entirely. I would love your thoughts on how best to move forward, apart from putting on a brave smile and staying close with true friends. – Signed, Shaken Not Stirred

A question back to you, Shaken, is to ask you exactly what is this ‘inner circle’ of moms doing that makes you feel left out? Do you not get to frolic naked in the woods with them as they prepare for a blood sacrifice? Do you not get a say in how the local PTA is strong-armed run? Or is it that you’ll have less people to share your feelings with, people who I assure you don’t want to hear about your problems to begin with? Kidding aside (not really), your main problem is that you base your worth as a person upon what other people think of you. Your confidence isn’t shaken; it was an illusion to begin with. So I say fuck putting on a brave face; brave faces aren’t brave, it’s a sign of resignation and defeat. What you need to do is accept who you are – which means accepting whatever it is this group of harpies doesn’t like about you – and shove it in their face. Maybe they know you slept with Sally’s husband. Don’t try to avoid Sally, make a scene in public about how much her husband complains about her bedroom skills. Or hire a detective and get some dirt on these bitches. You know what they say, always bet on blackmail. Stop putting all the power in the hands of wo-MAN and fight back. If your true friends are really true, they’ll help you hide the bodies.

Dear Anyone Who Will Give Me Advice: Back in high school, I had a crush on a senior. I never knew why, but he and his friends tormented me: They started rumors, told their girlfriends horrible lies so they'd want to beat me up, and just made my life as miserable as possible. Since then, I graduated from college in three years, now work for a top fashion website as an editor, travel, and look damn good. All in all, I'm A-OK and lead a pretty fabulous life. And what are those cool, popular guys up to now? They're either in jail, rehab for drug abuse, or trying to make it as white rappers. So wouldn't you know...after seven years of no contact, many of them have found me on social-networking sites and have contacted me! One in particular keeps telling me how beautiful I am and asks me out repeatedly. I've been polite, but in no way have I encouraged conversation. Yet he's persisting! I find him revolting, but I feel guilty not responding because his life is so crappy now. How do I nicely convey that I don't want anything to do with him? Or—shudder at the thought!—am I being a jerk for holding a grudge for so long? – Signed, A-OK I’m Retarded

I will once again begin my response with a question back to the letter writer. A-OK, why do you feel guilty about someone having a crappy life when you know full well that your high school tormentors never felt guilty about making your life crappy? Screw them for thinking they could parlay high school popularity into a meaningful life while you worked hard to get where you are. But also screw you for giving me this “I’ve been polite” shtick when it’s quite obvious that you like having the tables turned even if you say you have no plans to respond to any of these white rappers down in the crapper doing hard time getting poked in the behind. Why would you even contemplate responding to any of these asshats if you didn’t like the attention? You say you want to be nice about the persistent messages, but even you know you’re trying to be passive-aggressive. You’re a psychiatrist’s wet dream for shit’s sake. On the one hand, you seem to think of yourself as some kind of benevolent goddess, but on the other hand the sarcasm at the end of your letter indicates you know that you’re a jerk for holding onto the grudge. Holding that grudge so long means you’re not a hell of a whole lot better than they are; you’re all jerks, the only difference being the past and the present. You don’t need to be a jerk anymore, A-OK, you got your revenge. Either let it go or in no uncertain terms tell your drug-addled admirer to FUCK THE FUCK OFF! since coke heads need these things spelled out for them. (Of course, he’ll just wind up calling you a ho in one of his songs, so be prepared for that.)

If you’d like some advice from me, That Angry Rabbit, send your letters via email to Letters/Pleas for Salvation From Your Pathetic Life that I respond to will have the privilege of being lampooned by yours truly. Have a nice day.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Four Non-Fat Lattes and A Funeral

Hey there, hairless monkeys, welcome to my new blog. I’m That Angry Rabbit and if you’re wondering why I’m angry, just imagine you’re a rabbit, you’ve been neutered, and you live in a hat. You’d be angry, too, goddammit. Problem is, my doctor says all that anger leads to heart disease and that I should find ways of managing my anger. I sort of took his…advice…meaning I’m not going to manage my anger so much as focus it. You see, something that really makes me angry are advice columns. Who do these people think they are to give advice? Did anyone ever stop to ask, “Hey, Abby, can see some credentials?” It reminds me of something Obi-Wan Kenobi once pondered, “Who’s more the fool, the fool or the fool who follows the fool?” So what I’m going to do is review recent advice column letters and dispense the advice the actual advice columnist – who is usually an idiot – should have given. Sound like fun? I thought so. Let’s get this party started!

Dear Name Withheld for Fear of Copyright Infringement: I’m a recent grad who just began working part time as a barista this past week, and so far I really enjoy my job. My best friend was employed by the same coffee company last year but was fired within a month and is still pretty angry about it. She keeps asking me how work is going whenever I see her, and I feel like I can never say a single, positive thing about my experiences so far without her making some sarcastic aside. I understand her frustration, but this is making me so uncomfortable that a part of me just wants to tell her to stuff it and make peace with the fact that I’m happy. Do you think there’s any way I could approach this with her without setting off another rant or starting a fight? – Signed, Beaner Boy (I made that name up).

Actually, Beaner Boy, there are many ways you can approach this situation without starting another fight. One way would be to tell your friend that you like the job because you’re a simpleton with o interest in using your recently acquired degree. (I shudder to think what your degree is in.) For your friend to still be bitter after a year makes sense if she spends a lot of time thinking, something you obviously don’t do or care to do. I suggest acknowledging your friend as the mental giant in your relationship and advise her to focus that mental energy on getting a job that will still be around after those moronic Middle Eastern terrorists finally wise up and destroy the coffee supply. Or, you could take the simpler route and just lie to her, telling her that the manager sucks but you enjoy spitting in the lattes. By the way, who the fuck drinks lattes? Just microwave some goddamn almond milk in a dirty mug and it’s practically the same thing. Anyway, a third option would be to hang out with your friend less often. You’ve been making coffee for a week and you’ve seen your best friend enough times in that week that she’s annoying you? Let me tell you who my best friends are, they’re the ones who leave me alone most of the time! Maybe you should spend more time at work and less time with your friend since you like your job so much. Or you could take that part of yourself that wants to tell her to stuff it, let it fester until it’s all of yourself, then tell her to stuff it! Now, re-read my advice since your itty bitty brain didn’t catch it all the first time.

Dear Another Name Withheld for Fear of Copyright Infringement: My father passed away, and it was his wish not to have an obituary published. Nor did he want any type of funeral service. He was cremated, and we have his ashes, yet our family feels a lack of closure without some type of memorial. I have thought about hosting a "life celebration" or "remembrance gathering" that would allow us to meet with immediate and extended family and friends, but are we going against his wishes?Signed, Alive but Clinically Brain Dead (yup, made that one up, too.)

I’m going to share something with you, Alive but Brain Dead, the reason why I hate most philosophers; you see, most of the time, when an argument’s not going their way, they just redefine words to suit their needs or frame a debate so they can win an argument. You’re doing something similar; you acknowledge that your father doesn’t want any type of funeral, but you’re trying to insinuate that a “life celebration” or “remembrance gathering” is something completely different your father would approve of. If you really want to respect his wishes, you won’t play that tired game. I don’t care, and obviously your father didn’t care, that you need closure. Aw, poor baby needs closure? You’re not the one who’s dead! Talk about selfish. On the other hand, yeah, your father is dead. He can’t stop you from disrespecting his wishes nor is he in a position to care. What, are you afraid to anger his spirit, that he’ll come back and haunt you? No, that only happens when you’ve murdered your parents they haven’t found the bodies yet. No, no haunting for you but you’ve sure got a lot of cobwebs in that noggin of yours. Stop worrying so much and live your own life. You’re already celebrating your father’s life by not killing yourself thereby letting his genetic material live on. Not that I think you shouldn’t kill yourself, you are, after all, an embarrassment so obvious to your father that he didn’t want you eulogizing him. While you might feel guilty for wanting to disrespect his wishes, at least feel guilty for the right reasons, namely that it should have been you instead of him. Gah! Humans!

If you’d like some advice from me, That Angry Rabbit, send your letters via email to Letters/Heart Wrenching Tales of Woe that I respond to will have the privilege of being lampooned by yours truly.