That Time I Had a Super Power for Three Minutes

Andrew Genser (Gensie or Gens)Today, while sitting in a coffee shop working, a cute girl walked in. Like any creature with enough testosterone to be rightly designated as “male,” I looked at her for a few seconds, idly wondered what she might look like naked, then moved on with my life. The whole process took under five seconds and was hardly noteworthy.

Minutes later, I’d completely forgotten about the girl and was just about to begin closing the seventeen windows I had open and really buckle down and focus dammit — tap tap, I turn and see the same cute girl tapping on my shoulder.

“Hello, would you mind I ask a favor?” she said in a nice accent I would later learn was French-Canadian. I must have nodded my head because she then asked if she might quickly plug her phone into my computer to charge it enough so she could use it. She was stranded in Santa Monica and needed to be in Reseda where she was couch-surfing and needed to contact her friend and—

“Yes, of course, absolutely,” I said. After all, everyone knows that no one is more willing to help cute French-Canadian girls who are stranded in Santa Monica and couch-surfing in Reseda then yours truly (Me. Andrew Stephen Genser).

So she pulls out her iPhone cord, hooks it up to her phone and hands it to me to plug in when I think — wait a minute. Is this a scam? This isn’t my first time around the block you cute French-Canadian girl who is stranded in Santa Monica and couch-surfing in Reseda (fine, I’ll just call her a CFCGWISISMACSIR). I plug your phone into my computer and next thing you know you somehow have all my information and days later I get a call from my bank asking me if I spent 30 grand on gold-encrusted beaver pelts (a classic French-Canadian indulgence). So my concern for my bank account as well as the dwindling beaver population of Los Angeles manifests itself in the form of the blurted out sentence, “Uh, wait, this isn’t like gonna give you my stuff, is it?” She shook her head no. She was legit. Everyone knows a criminal would have had to answer yes.

So she sits down across from me – where she can’t see my Laptop screen – and I plug her phone in. Immediately things start popping open; namely, iTunes and iPhoto. Crap, here we go, it IS going to start, like, giving you my stuff, isn’t it? I quickly close iTunes then click over to iPhoto and — wait, these aren’t my photos. I’ve never been in that foreign-seeming bar smiling at the camera, nor have I been lying under the covers smirking while someone with knuckle tattoos stroked my hair, and I DEFINITELY haven’t been standing completely naked in front of that mirror with my beautiful breasts being gra — and I quickly clicked off iPhoto. Yup, these were her photos. The cute French-Canadian girl who is stranded in — sorry, the CFCGWISISMACSIR, who I had so gallantly rescued in her time of need, and who had so suddenly entered my life when I idly wondered what she might look like naked, had made sure I had to wonder no more. Her phone was trying to upload her pictures to my computer.* Sitting across from me was this beautiful, completely clothed stranger, and yet if I looked one inch down at my computer screen, I could see the same beautiful stranger completely unclothed.

It was the closest I’ll ever come to having X-Ray Vision.

*no, I’m a gentleman, I did not actually upload.

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What To Do When Your Wife Wants Bangs

MANagementTommy in Trenton, NJ: MANagement, after seeing Obama’s second inauguration, my wife is now contemplating a shorter haircut with bangs cut across her forehead like Michelle Obama’s. I’ve begged her not to do this, but she says it’d be easier to maintain and kind of “funky.” How did this hairstyle become popular? It sounds shallow, but part of the reason I love my wife is how sexy she is. If she gets this haircut, it’ll be like making love to Captain Kangaroo. Is there anyway I can prevent this from happening? Can you imagine sleeping with a woman looking like this: image001

Ted: Thank you writer, I almost threw up thinking of Captain Kangaroo in bed. But know this: you should feel no shame for trying to stop your wife from this horrible decision. Men get criticized all the time for commenting about their wife’s appearance. Men are demonized if they tell their wives or girlfriends they are starting to put on weight, or their hair looks like the Dutch Boy logo. What people don’t realize is that the men know their women better than anyone. Maybe men see their girls scarfing Doritos at ten at night. Maybe they know their wives feel a little insecure about their weight after having a baby. Men know their women are sometimes so desperate to look good, they’ll listen to anyone to tell them what looks sexy. Want proof? Although the hairstyles are the same, only one of the following individuals is a fashion magazine editor: image002image003


Do you honestly believe either one of those people should be telling your wife how to do her hair? The only thing you can do is keep up the pressure on your wife. Explain to her that you’re not talking her out of this for you, but for her. In ten years, she’ll look back at pictures of her haircut and want to throw up the way I do when I picture my wife with a Captain Kangaroo ‘do.

Brian: Ted, do you think this guy could convince his wife when Barack couldn’t? You think Obama didn’t try to talk Michelle out of that freakshow cut? You know Obama was crying on those two Bibles as he said the oath staring at Michelle with eyes being stabbed by her hair. I guarantee you his range of emotions before that day ran the full spectrum. He started with the sarcastic disbelief, “you’re not really going to put a bowl around your head are you?” He followed that with varying degrees of begging and pleading, “please don’t do this . . . your haircut will steal the thunder of my speech. . . ” When that didn’t work, he tried out his inner thug using threats of force and Executive Orders outlawing her hairdo. “Dammit, Michelle, I told Secret Service not to let you on the stage like that!” Unfortunately for Barack and for you, all the power and stealth of a drone strike can’t wipe those cuts off the face of the earth, or the inaugural stage. Learn to accept it and move on. Barack still said the oath just fine, and you’ll be fine too.

Frank: Personally, I like bangs. I remember in high school hooking up with a girl and getting to the point where things were at a sexual tipping point and I didn’t have a condom. My girl pulled one out of her six inch high power bangs.image004

When I asked why it was there, she said her parents used to search her pockets before she went out for the night, so she stored it in her bangs. Good thing too – if she didn’t have it, I definitely would have gotten syphillis. Your problem is the new look for bangs is to have them hanging in women’s faces, so low they scratch their eyeballs – which is awful. You definitely can’t hide a condom in there. In order to win this argument, you have to make an alliance with the other influential women in her life. You have to understand, women don’t dress to impress men. They dress to impress other women. Then the other women judge them based on what they think men would think of them. Of course this is completely circular logic. Instead of just asking you what men would think, she asks her girlfriends what they think men would think. Could you imagine if men did the same thing? We’d all wear our favorite jerseys and sweatpants to the office. Then all the other men would comment on how the jerseys complimented our pecs and the sweatpants properly framed our package. It all makes about as much sense as women’s sizing. If getting her friends on board with you doesn’t work, the only thing you can do is live and let live. I remember when my parents visited me at college one day and found out I had dreadlocks. My parents threatened to cut off my tuition and make me live at home. I happily took them up on that threat and have lived in their basement ever since – dreads still intact. Be careful what you wish for. I hope you’re reading this Dad.

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In Support of Wolves

Steve RudnickAn article in the L.A. Times recently caught my eye. It seems a Belgian writer has
admitted that she made up her best selling “memoir” depicting how, as a Jewish child, she lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust. Misha Defonseca’s book, “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years” had been translated into eighteen languages and was even made into a feature film in France. It’s a story of survival. It’s a story of the horrors of the Holocaust. And it’s also a total figment of her imagination.

This offends me on many levels. Firstly, as a Jew. The Holocaust was heinous enough without people making things up. It offends me as a writer. When we write fiction, we hope to make a connection with the human spirit. And when we write fact, we strive to make sure our story is drenched in verisimilitude. But most importantly, it offends me as someone who was indeed raised by wolves.

I’m sure my lupine mother is turning in her shallow grave as word leaked out about Mrs. Defonseca’s spurious story. I called a friend of mine as soon as the news broke. He was raised by an American Black Bear, and they lived in a cave not too far from ours. He hadn’t seen the story and was as shocked as I was at Misha’s fabrication. All of us who have been raised by wild animals share in this disappointment. My sister (raised by raccoons) choked on an acorn when I told her.

Defonsca joins the pantheon of others, most notably James Frey whose bogus bio, “A
Million Little Pieces” nearly brought down our beloved Oprah when she championed his sham of a “shocking true story.” These counterfeiters must be stopped. They put an erasable stain on all those who write poignant autobiographies, from “One Small Schlep,” the true story of the first man to walk on the moon (my Uncle Irwin) to “Going, Going Gone,” the memoir of the man who hit eighty-six home runs in the 2006 Major League Baseball Season (my cousin David Solomon).

We who have been raised by wolves (and there are hundreds of us) take umbrage. Ignore the posers. Listen to our stories. They’re real. And reality is the backbone of the genre.

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Comedy Writing Secrets…Revealed by Shmeo Shmenvenuti (not real name)

img_4995-2I am a professional writer. I’ve written on a dozen TV shows and sold as many movies. You may ask if the hundreds of writers that I’ve worked with are funnier than you? My answer would be “no.” What they have that you don’t, is “comedy writing secrets.”157_leo065

Almost every writer working in show business implements the following “trade secrets” on a daily basis. Why don’t you know about this? Well, for one, the Writer’s Guild of America’s bylaws forbids it. Number one rule of WGA: The WGA doesn’t exist. The number two rule: Never reveal comedy writing secrets to the public… UNTIL NOW, (which is why I don’t use my real name in this article). I will let you in on this exclusive, esoteric language, the professional verbiage that sets the profession apart.

Let’s begin.

The Switcheroo: take something and do the opposite.
To Tee something up: setting up a joke or situation.
To make Edgy: make something dirty.
The Send up: take something and make it funny.
To Irish it up: take something and put an alcohol twist to it.
The Upsie Daisy: a big build-up with immediate letdown with comedic twist.
The Titsy McHooterman: a laugh received by employing a funny character name.
The Penile twist: a comedic turn that ends in pain or discomfort.
The Voce Dominus: take something and make it louder.
The Gran Rippen Gauche: ripping off somebody’s big idea or concept.
The Petite Rippen Gauche: ripping off somebody’s line or joke.
The Reach around: take something, dismiss it, re-introduce it through some back door method, then employ a bodily function to pay it off.
To do a Miss Hobenhabermish: take something and do it like Jerry Lewis would.
The Punani Mon Amore: anything analogous to the complexity of the female reproductive organs.
The Labia Majora: The big broad joke or take.
The Labia Minora: a subtle joke or take.
To Put the stones to it: similar to a “send up” but with a sexual innuendo payoff.
The Shaking the bush, boss: a non edgy misdirect.
The Piss pot porridge: an edgy misdirect.
A “Robert Fulton”: an obscure reference.
To Pop a queen: adding insult to injury.
To Pop a queer: adding insolence to injury.
To Pop a quince: adding obnoxiousness to injury.
To Pop a pimple: An outburst.
To Poo in a piddle: telegraphing a joke.
The Clitoral Hood: a capper to a capper
The Dagoba System: any ethnic joke

Before I learned these terms, I used to say, “How can we make it funnier?” but that’s when I sounded like an amateur. There are literally 1000’s of tools employed by professionals to say just that. But the more you know, the more precise you can be in achieving your comedic goal and the more precise, the more professional.

The following is an actual, eye witnessed account taken from a television writer’s room. I’ve labeled the players by their credits as to protect their identity and their standing in the WGA.

A room of ten writers, all with script in hand look to the Show Runner who stands behind a podium. A spotlight isolates him.

Show Runner: I don’t like how this next scene plays out. It’s like we need some kind of Voce Dominus in there somewhere.
Writer One: Piss pot porridge?
Show Runner: I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Pause.
Writer Two: May I pitch a send up?
Show Runner: We don’t have time. Let’s concentrate on just this scene.
Writer Three: How about we take the existing scene and put the stones to it?
Writer Four: Yeah, yeah! But with a Robert Fulton.
Show Runner: You might be on to something. Labia Majora?
Writer Five: As long as we don’t poo in the piddle and don’t lose sight of the switcheroo.
Show Runner: Of course, of course.
Writer Six: Can we start with a reach around?
Writer Seven: Yeah, start with a reach around and end with a penile twist!
Show Runner: (laughing) Brilliant!

The rest of the writers join in on the laughter. There’s a knock at the door. They stop laughing. An ordinary man delivering lunch enters. The writers dart their eyes back and forth in a sinister way. One writer sneers at the man, who’s beginning to feel very unwelcome. One writer snickers. The man puts down the food and leaves. The writers burst into laughter.

Actual conversation from a real writer’s room. Can you imagine if these comedy writing secrets got out to the general public? Yes… this elite, secret sect, known as the WGA would have to hire from the outside, decimating its highly paid and exclusory group of fat cat writers. Why am I doing this? Well, I don’t want to pop a queen here but this punani mon amore patronage system has to stop.

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The MANagement: When Home and Work Collide

MANagementEugene from Chicago ‘Burbs: MANagement, my boss is a family man with four kids and seems to lead a nice life, although he is quite preachy about family values. I’ve met his wife on several occasions – she’s a real mousy/bookish type with a conservative look and seems very straight-laced. They’ve been to our house on several occasions and she and my wife have become fairly good friends – which I’ve always encouraged as I believed it would lead to greater job security. The other day my boss and I went to lunch and as we were walking down the street, I happened to notice that he had a hickey on his neck. Figuring it was kind of weird, I told my wife what I noticed. She surmised that he must be having an affair because his wife does not seem the type to do that to her husband. My wife now feels it is her duty, as a friend, to tell his wife. I swore her to secrecy, but think she may be right. Should I keep looking the other way or confront this head on?

Ted: Maybe your boss banged his neck on the shower head. Maybe his wife is a closet freak who just read 50 Shades of Grey. Either way, its none of your business. There are some things that you learn about people’s personal lives at the office that must remain secret. When I close my office door in the afternoon and dream of a better life with CNBC’s Melissa Lee, my secretary knows to leave me alone. My secretary may know I’ve got my junk in my hand while I watch, but she doesn’t ask questions. She also knows not to divulge this harmless habit to my wife, who may or may not feel threatened by Melissa’s strict adherence to supply side economics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOa2nkXIbKQ. Keep your head down at work and tell your wife to keep her trap shut.

Brian: I remember my first day on a job, I was getting trained by a guy who had so much ear hair, it looked like a caterpillar had crawled up on his ear and died. I stared at his ear, wondering how any person could allow that to go unchecked. I pictured myself working at this company for 20 years and getting so beaten down that I wouldn’t care what my ears looked like. I knew right then I had to quit. Now, I realize I was wrong. One of the things you have to understand is that as men get older, they don’t give a crap what other people think of them. Go ahead, let your wife tell his wife all about it. He’s not going to care what some associates’ wife who never saw his neck thinks he’s doing on the side. The only one who is going to look shady here is your wife. Tell your wife to proceed at her own peril.

Frank: The old man is just trying to have some fun, with or without his wife. Tell your wife not to be so quick to judge. I remember being flattered when a couple of my bosses invited me to go to lunch with them. They were quite a bit older than me, but I thought it’d be good to schmooze with the higher-ups, so I went along. We spent an hour and a half talking about their heart problems, the medications that reduce their heart problems, the exercises their doctors recommended for their heart problems, the foods they could and could not eat because of their heart problems and on and on. Finally, I looked at both of them and told them all this talk about their heart problems could not be good for their heart. They laughed, then moved on to more fascinating stories about their kidney stones. By the end of the lunch, I was so bored I thought I was going to have a mid-mid-life crisis. I would have gladly accepted a hickey, a purple nipple, or a bent prick just to end that conversation. So your boss is having a little fun. Let the man live a little.

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Idiot Dad

Rick Hall  square editLast week my thirteen year old daughter’s dance teacher at school asked if I could prep the girl’s dressing room for remodeling by taking out some electrical conduit and water pipes. “Sure,” I said.
I welcome any volunteer opportunity that doesn’t include boring meetings or selling over priced junk. I even entertained the idea that my daughter might think it was cool that her dance teacher needed her big strong father to do some manly work around the classroom. Ha!
The night before I was scheduled to go, my daughter sat me down and laid out the ground rules for my behavior while on campus.
• Don’t talk to any students.
• Don’t tell stupid jokes to the teachers.
• Don’t sing or whistle while you work.
• “And, most importantly, don’t take off your shirt!”
Come on. Why would I ever take off my shirt at school?
The next day the teacher showed me the electrical conduit and water line she wanted removed. Then she said the words that would shape the rest of my day.
“The power and the water should both be off.”
The key word being should. That’s what Mary Todd Lincoln said to Abe on the way to the Ford Theater.
“Come on, Abe. It should be a fun evening.”
With electricity I don’t take any chances. I tested every outlet. No power. But I approached the water line with less caution. The head of the dance department walked into the dressing room as I loosened the cap on the line. I almost had it off when some sludge started to ooze between the threads so I stopped. “Are we sure the water is shut off?”
“Should be.”
Those words barely left his lips when the cap blew off the end off the end of the pipe and a gusher of rusty water shot across the room. This was not a little water line like you have at home. This was an industrial line pressurized to service a commercial building. It was like awakening a sleeping monster. Water shot out with a vengeance, flooding the dressing room and heading toward the expensive hardwood dance floor.
It was like a scene from “I Love Lucy”, but without the laugh track. I tried to get the cap back on, but the pressure was too much. It was akin to putting a cork back into an exploding champagne bottle. Eventually the cap shot out of my hands and across the room to disappear in the murky lake. I tried to plug the pipe with my thumb, but all that did was direct the water into a focused jet that began eroding the skin off my face. I finally gave up and stood there watching as water shot across the room, exploded on the opposite wall, and flowed toward the dance floor.
Ten long minutes later the maintenance man figured out where the shut off valve was, and the water slowed to a trickle. I left the dressing room to see the extent of the damage. It was bad. Water was pooling under the teacher’s desk, the book cases, and the filing cabinets. I started to pull off my soaking wet tee shirt to wring it out, when rule number four popped into my head, “Don’t take off your shirt.”
Just then the door of the dance studio opened and a horde of young girls started to come in. They stopped in their tracks at the sight of me, dripping wet, standing in the lagoon. Okay, what are the odds that my daughter would be in this class? There are eight periods a day so the odds are 1 in 8, right? Even with the odds in my favor I lost. Her horrified face was the first one in the doorway.
“Dad, what are you doing?”
I didn’t lie. I just left out details. “Um, a water line broke and I had to fix it.”
The class moved to the other dance studio while I sucked up water with a shop-vac for the rest of the afternoon.
When my daughter got home she didn’t even mention it. Yep, I may have flooded the studio and possibly ruined a hardwood dance floor, but at least I didn’t tell a dumb joke, sing in front of her friends, or heaven forbid, take off my shirt.

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The MANagement on Workaholic Bosses

MANagementBill from Chicago: Management, I’m hoping your vast experience in the business world can help me out with this one.  I’ve got a boss with no friends and no family. He stays in the office all day and night, including weekends.  He insists I “commit” to the business the way he does, and keep similar hours. The real problem is that whenever I go into his office, he’s watching CNBC, tweeting about a game, doing fantasy football, or some other distraction that is the furthest thing from “work.” Last weekend, he called me into the office, then we watched the game on his office TV, then went to lunch. We worked for a total of 10 minutes. Guys, when I’m in the office, I work my tail off.  But I’m married with small kids. There’s no way I can be in the office that much and no way I need to be.  The last thing I want to do is “work” 24/7. Is there any way I can get out of this without losing my job?

Ted: Listen you slack jawed punk.  You have no idea the amount of work and stress that goes into building a business.  You work 24/7, sacrificing time with your family, friends and vacations just so that other people can make a living off of the security you provide them. Your boss watches CNBC?  So does every CEO in America, loser. He does fantasy football to find some way to take his mind off of the work that puts food on your table. All he asks is that you care about putting food on your table the same amount that he does. You should walk into his office thanking him for busting his nuts for you. Pat him on the back for providing you a way out of the grease pits and degradation of finding employment at a fast food joint. If it were up to me, we wouldn’t even be helping you by answering this letter, you ingrate.

Brian: Ted, calm down. Like the writer, I’ve been suckered into all day “work” weekends when all of the work could have been done during the week. What you need to do is invite your boss over for dinner.  Tell him you appreciate so much working for him that your wife insists he come over for dinner.  After a lovely dinner and your kids running around in their pajamas and giving him a hug good night before they go to bed, no hard-hearted businessman will ignore a plea for common sense. In the off-chance that doesn’t work, start pulling fake all-nighters. Set your alarm clock for 2am and send him remote emails and voice mails. Then, wake up early and beat him into the office. When you are about to leave for the day, just tell him you need to go grab something to eat, then you’ll be back for another all-nighter. After two weeks, he’ll be so annoyed by the late night phone calls, he’ll be begging you to go home, take a shower, get some sleep, and have a healthy meal. You’ll have made yourself a legend at the office, secured your job, and earned serious quality time with your family.

Frank: If you do what Brian said, you’ll be giving your boss exactly what he wants. Your family as his pseudo family or endless time at the office. Instead, take a different route. Sounds to me like you’ve got keys to this place. If so, whenever you need a break, wake up in the middle of the night and go to the office. Unplug the computer server or cut the phone lines. What you’re looking to do is cut off whatever resource the office provides, but is also available at home. Burn the place down if you have to – whatever you can do to get both of you out of the office for a while.  You need to offer to stay but because you have a computer/phone at home that is functional, you’ll just work from home that day.  Your boss will have no choice but to do the same. If possible, find a new client and tell your boss you brought him in because you were out of the office for a while.  Either way, you’ll get time with the family and your boss will discover that time away from the office won’t kill the business. Maybe he’ll even find a friend. Win-Win.

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How I Started Blogging…

The day my former co-worker Pete Schwaba asked me to blog for his spectacular website?  Yes, yes I remember it well.  Pete had just returned to the office after a terrifically trying day of work.  In his attempt to spearhead a secret coup of the Cuban government with the aid of Cuban exiles, he had failed miserably.  Things did not go as planned, and many were massacred.  Pete, just three months into his presidency, was certainly left with egg on his face (Don’t be confused.  It’s just a saying).

I, Henry Kissinger, did my best to console him.  But, being of German descent, I knew little in the way of sympathy or comfort.  My clumsy attempt to dry his tears with a broken tree branch ended in confusion.  Confusion and blood.

But then she walked in.  A knockout if ever there was one.  And there was one.  And it was her.  Wearing her world famous white dress, she sauntered into the office with all the confidence of a teenage astronaut.  She paused.  Eyeing her victim.  Suddenly the wind from the sewer grate in the floor of the Oval Office gusted upwards, blowing her dress up around her waist.  Playfully, she batted her eyes and pushed the dress back down.  Oh, she was as coy as a teenage astronaut.

But her saunter didn’t end there.  No, of course not.  When you get a saunter going like that, you want to push it for as long as possible.  And she did.  The hour grew late, and the sun set.  Then the hour grew early, and the sun rose.  Finally, when the hour grew on time, and the sun was just sitting there, she stopped sauntering.

Not a word had been spoken.  I farted loudly, to ease the tension.  It worked.  It always did.  Pete seemed to relax, though his eyes never left the girls.  It was love I was witnessing.

Eventually, minutes after I drifted off, she spoke: “Sit down, Mr. Man…”  He did as he was told.  She began to sing: “Happy Birthday, to you…”   She started to move her face slowly towards his, I guessed so that when the song ended she would be close enough to kiss him.  But she misjudged the distance, hitting his face with hers after the first verse.  Not wanting to admit defeat, she left her face there and sang into his mouth.

“Happy Birthday, to you.  Happy Birthday, Mr. President.  Happy Birthday, to you…”

Finally, Pete took his eyes off of her and gave me a look.  I knew that look.  It was a look that said: “I’m in love.  I’m in love with this woman.  Also, would you like to blog for my spectacular website?  Great.  Now have my secretary hold my calls.  Oh, and I’m hungry.  Please get me a steak.”

“With Whirled peas?”  I questioned with a look.

“World Peace would be nice but it’s unlikely!”  He retorted with his eyes.

“Hahaha,” we both laughed with everything but our mouths.  So that’s how that joke started.

Anyway, minutes later Pete started this spectacular website and I wrote this blog.

Then I ate his steak.

 

 

 

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The MANagement on Tattoos and Branding

MANagementPaul in Chicago: Management, I started dating a great girl about three weeks ago. We really fell into it in a heavy way and it was real cool. The problem is that the other day as we were laying in bed, she talked about getting a tattoo. Thinking she was kidding because we’d only been dating for three weeks, I made a joke that a tattoo wasn’t enough because you can always get a tattoo removed. I suggested we should each get branded with the other’s name. We both laughed it off and got breakfast. I called her again after a business trip, she told me she had a surprise for me, but wouldn’t tell me what it was. When we met, she turned around, lifted up the back of her shirt and lowered the waist of her pants to reveal my name branded just above her rear end. She’s obviously crazy, so I have to dump her. But how can I do it without her going psycho? Also, should I feel guilty about dumping her because I kind of put her up to it?

Ted: This is hilarious. This tops anything I’ve ever done. She professes her love to you, and you turn it into a practical joke. You have set the all-time record for most insensitivity ever. It almost makes me jealous in a way. My suggestion for breaking up with her is to move to Africa, buy a burner phone, send her a text that you are breaking up with her, bury the phone in the desert, then move to another undisclosed location. Either that, or fake your own death. She’s obviously got the crazy gene. So you need to realize that when you tell her that you’re breaking up with her, she is going to take every means possible to hunt you down and kill you. In the offchance that you disregard this advice and actually survive, please at least refrain from taking on any other girlfriends for at least a year, as you will be subjecting them to the potential of bodily harm the likes of which haven’t been experienced since the rabbit in Fatal Attraction.

Brian: You can’t break up with her now, you just can’t. After a couple more dates, tell her that you’re concerned that the two of you are going too fast. You can’t do this right now, or she will sniff out a break up coming and go crazy the way Ted described. Wait for a few dates, then tell her you are scared because you’ve fallen for her way too fast and you’re scared. Your feelings are so strong, you don’t trust yourself. That will buy you time. If she starts to break out the freak in her, tell her you’re doing this not to break up with her, but to save your relationship. If that doesn’t calm the waters, tell her you think the two of you should go into couple’s counseling. This accomplishes two potential goals: 1) you have a third party who could possibly navigate you through an amicable break up; and if that doesn’t work, then 2) the therapist can be the chief witness for your family at her criminal prosecution for homicide after she kills you. Good luck.

Frank: This is quite a dilemma but neither Ted nor Brian’s advice will work. You can’t break up with her like Ted suggests, because she will kill you. You can’t let her down slow because she will insist you get a tramp stamp of your own. My question is why would you ever break up with her? Freaks are fun! Sure, she’s got the crazy gene, but so what, she’s crazy about you. This means anytime you want to go out with the boys, you got it. Any time you want her to cook, she’s whipping out chicken wings. Any sexual fantasy you have, she’s in. Of course, she’ll probably insist you get a stamp of your own, so make sure when you do, its nowhere near your ass, and is some word that can be easily changed to something else if this bubbling pot boils over. Only then, after you’ve got your own brand are the scales leveled to the point that if you want to dump her, you can do it guilt free. But if you don’t want to get branded, go to the failsafe: tell her you’re gay.

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Choosing the Right Gift

This advice is for those of you who have been married for over five years or those who have two or more children in the first five years.

Never buy your wife clothes. Never. It actually bears repeating. Never buy your wife clothes. There are some exceptions. You can buy her a hat or stockings. But these are not really considered romantic (unless you’re buying her a nice hat in the 1950’s or some expensive silk stockings during WWII).

Here’s why, in one word: size. It’s a lose/lose/lose situation. There are only three sizes you could choose. One is too big. One is too small. And one is the right size. Let’s examine them in reverse order.

Buy her something that is the right size. What does this say? To you, a man, it says, “I got it right!” To her, not a man, it says, “How did you know my size? Did you see a woman at the store with my build and ask her what size she wore? I bet she thought that was rather sweet. Did she help you pick the color? Did you have a good time? Maybe you two shared a cup of coffee afterwards to celebrate the experience. How cozy.” It could go on for days.

Okay, now let’s imagine you estimate her size. You pick out a nice top or a skirt or a lacey undergarment and you hold it up and eyeball it. “This looks like her size,” you say to yourself. You have it gift-wrapped and wait for what you know will be a loving and appreciative response. She unwraps the gift. She loves it. Then she notices the size you got. It’s a size too big. “Did you pick this size?” she asks. You realize by the tone in her voice that there is no good answer to this. “Uh… well, I was alone and I kinda guestimated…” “Is this how big you think I am? You think I’m fat? You think it’s easy losing weight? I don’t see you getting into shape. I’ve seen you get winded tying your shoes.” And on and on.

So now you’re thinking to yourself the only safe thing is to get a size you know is too small. Surely, she’ll love that. “How sweet, you think I’m this petite. I love you,” is what you imagine her saying. But she opens the gift, looks at the size and gives you that look. You know the look I mean. “If you want a woman who can fit into this why don’t you just go out and have an affair? And don’t bother coming home after. You and your skinny little bitch can both go to hell!”

So stick to perfume or jewelry. But be careful of these, too. Don’t give her perfume at the end of a busy day where she hasn’t had the time to shower. “You think I smell bad?” And it goes without saying; never give her a diamond ring when she’s retaining water. “You think my fingers are fat!” Happy Shopping!

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