Good morning and good morning!
*Sigh.* I've really got to start writing these blog posts on Thursdays, before I've got a chance to read the comments. There really is nothing like reading Slate comments to put a blight on a spring day that would otherwise be full of sunshine and candyfloss. The day could start out wonderful and then *BAM*, Cousin Jackal is reminded that the world is full of people who are thrice as judgemental as she is and who have the gall to lob the words "selfish" and "immature" at anyone who does not worship the Cult of the Glorious Infant. Well, let's get on with it. The original DP letters can be found here.
My aging granny is dangling a juicy family secret over my head, hinting that my father is not my grandfather's son. I've questioned her, and pried, and wheedled, and cajoled, and now I'm ready to move on to rougher tactics. Can you tell me how to build a Salem-style dunking chair so I can wrest the information I want out of the old witch? Or should I just put her on the rack?
Dear Hey Torquemada, Whaddaya Say?,
Granny is either hoping (stupidly) that giving you this information will ease your fears about your father getting Alzheimer's, or she's gone batshit caring for your grandfather all by her lonesome. And yes, she's *given* you the information, because you don't need a magic decoder ring to get the message here. If she dropped any bigger of a hint it would make a crater the size of Lake Tahoe. In any case, howsabout we play some chess? This is a special kind of chess that tells the future. Intrigued? Okay. It goes like this: Take a course of action and mentally follow it through to its natural conclusion. See the end product. Decide whether it will benefit you. Got it? Good! You could, A) Demand the truth from Granny-->Tell your father he's adopted/illegitimate/from another planet/whatever-->watch Dad's heart break-->watch Granny's heart break when Dad asks her about it-->watch Granddad's heart break, if he's got any faculties left. Sound good? Or, you could, B) Look at that juicy dangling secret just hanging there waiting for you to grab-->Leave it-->Continue on with your life. Which of these two outcomes is most likely to benefit you and all concerned?
My ex-wife is a crazy fricking psychobitch from the fourth dimension. She's papering the neighborhood with fliers besmirching my character and the character of my new lady-love. We're afraid our neighbors may look down their noses at us. Can I type up a rejoinder and stick it on everyone's windshield, just to make sure they're on my side?
Dear Self-Conscious Litterbug,
Cousin Jackal has a thing about unwanted mail that doesn't concern her. Cousin Jackal especially has a thing about fliers. In fact, Cousin Jackal has been known to take "Come To Jesus" church fliers off her car's windshield, carefully place them under a wheel, and then run over them several times just to make the point. So if I'm one of your neighbors, Sunny Jim, you better realize that if I wasn't looking down on you before, if you make me aware of your petty little ex-relationship problems, I sure as hell will look down on you now. See, if you were friends with your neighbors, they'd probably already know your ex was the PsychoBitch From the Fourth Dimension and ignore her ongoing idiocies. But they're not your friends, are they? They're strangers. And you know what, Sunny Jim? If you and your neighbors are strangers...fuck 'em. Fuck 'em and fuck what they think. Dirt. Fucking. Simple.
My sister Eileen is a drama llama and wants to schlep her husband and newborn to my sister Karen's house for a layover during a trip. Karen doesn't know what to do. I'm a passive-aggressive sort who likes to pointedly refrain from giving advice under the guise of making people deal with their own problems. What to do, what to do?
Oh, sorry, for a minute you sounded like Prudie. Contrary to popular response on the comment forums, this has nothing to do with the baby. The baby is the MacGuffin. Who knows, and who cares, why Karen doesn't want to lose sleep over hearing the little slug wail all night. Maybe she works 24-hour shifts. Maybe she works graveyard shifts. Maybe she has her own embarrassing reason for not being able to have guests in, and that was the most convenient lie to tell. Doesn't matter. The actual problem here is that the whole family is walking on eggshells not to disturb the delicate sensibilities of MacGuffinMomma Eileen. What exactly is going to happen if Eileen gets upset? Here's Cousin Jackal's advice: Karen, say no. Eileen, shut the fuck up and find an EconoLodge. And you, LW, butt the fuck out.
What? Oh, you thought Cousin Jackal was going to go on a rant about babies? I could. I can't stand the little fuckers. And I mean that in the sense usually reserved for things like cockroaches and dried cat sick found behind the sofa. (For the record, I have no siblings and no friends who have children. I live in a mercifully baby-free vacuum.) I don't find them cute. I don't melt in awe over their miraculousness. It annoys the living hell out of me to be commanded to treat the concept of someone's noisome little spawn as a gift from the gods, when all I see is a swaddled bundle of cooing vomit. Baby animals I adore, but baby humans are just somehow wrong. They have no consciousness in their eyes; they bend in the wrong places; they're alien, wriggling things I cannot fathom and avoid at all cost. It amazes me that people who call Karen from Letter 3 a heartless bitch for not flinging her doors wide open to admit a baby would wholly support her in denying guest privileges if instead Eileen's "child" were a big dog, or a small yappy dog, or a Scarlet Macaw...even though a baby rivals all three in the ability to make noise and get shit everywhere. Hypocrisy, I tell you! *Sigh.* There. Rant done. Happy?
My coworkers are, like, old and stuff, and they, like, think my mom got me my job. How do I totally make them realize what Epic Fails they are and ruin their lives when they're, like, not even on Facebook?
Dear Gen Why,
Listen, kiddo, Cousin Jackal's mental aging process might have stopped at 16 but I've got some grownup news for you: You can't "make" these older farts (who are probably, what, 29? 35? *gasp* 40?) stop giving you gauche advice about getting older. When they look at you they see someone so cute and fresh and wet behind the ears that they just want to hand you a towel to dry off. Yeah, they're being a little awkward about it. Just smile and go on with your work. It's mindless office chitchat and it's not gonna hurt you. Oh, and as for your mother getting you your job? She did. I know, I know, you applied for it yourself and she works in a different department, blah blah blah...but you better fucking believe that if your mom was an incompetent screwup they NEVER would have taken a chance on you. Welcome to the wonderful world of Human Resources.
Well, that's it for this week. I'm off to go run over a few fliers.