October 19, 2004

Romantic Advice Straight Ahead!

Today's Musical Selection: "Sex Machine" by James Brown

Hi, everyone! Time once again for our bi-weekly installment of Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice. Today, our fun-loving couple reports in from Columbus, Ohio. Uncle Millie asked me to convey the following message: "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Rumors of my debauchery, however, are right on target!" Aunt Beatrice asked me to convey the following message: "I don't know where Uncle Millie got the idea that people thought he was dead. Perhaps I've been talking in my sleep again." I certainly hope this doesn't mean that their relationship has gone downhill again. Their contract is coming up for renewal, and another marital spat figures to throw a big wrench into the negotiations. But you didn't come here to listen to me complain about contract negotiations; you came for the advice. Very well, let me turn things over to Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice. Take it away!

- - - - -

What is Love? Well, For One Thing, It's Expensive, by Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice

UM: Hello, lads! And greetings from the heart of the Badger State.

AB: The Buckeye State, dear. Wisconsin is the Badger State.

UM: Surely you jest, my love. Wisconsin is, as we all know, the Wolverine State.

AB: No, that would be Michigan.

UM: Now you're just pulling my leg. Michigan is the Musk Oxen State.

AB: No, that's... actually, I have no idea what that is.

UM: At any rate, today we find ourselves in the fine state of Ohio due to a bit of a misconception on my part.

AB: See, last week Uncle Millie was watching the news, and he caught the political report.

UM: I'm not much of a political animal myself. I do, however, greatly miss President Clinton.

AB: As you loyal readers might have guessed.

UM: He was an inspiration to us all.

AB: At any rate, this particular newscast featured a swing-state profile of Ohio.

UM: Naturally, my ears pricked up. A state full of swingers? I booked passage on the next flight to lovely Columbus.

AB: Of course, as Uncle Millie discovered shortly after arriving and making some rather forward inquiries of the locals, the "swingers" in Ohio are swing voters. Much to Uncle Millie's chagrin.

UM: Indeed. However, I am pleased to report that, since Columbus is the home of The Ohio State University, the city is well-supplied with attractive coeds. Therefore, all is not lost.

AB: Funny you should mention Ohio State. Do you know what their mascot is, by chance?

UM: Uh... no.

AB: Well, perhaps you should stop one of those nubile coeds you keep leering at and ask. You might learn something. Such as the fact that they're not the Badgers.

UM: Ah, well, let us not tarry further. On to this week's letters!

Dear Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice,

I have a problem, or at least I'm told I do. I don't think it's a problem. See, I'm a middle-aged man, and I find myself attracted to one of those teeny-bopper pop stars. (Which one isn't important, except to me, of course.) Personally, I think my fascination is harmless (I'm not engaging in stalker behavior or anything), but my wife finds it, to quote her, "creepy and disgusting." When I even mention my crush's name, she leaves the room. She won't even listen to me about this.

This harmless (to me) fascination is starting to seriously affect our marriage. My wife looks at me like I'm a pedophile. How do I get her to see that this isn't a problem?

George in Valdosta

UM: Well, lad, I agree with you that your interest in this young woman is harmless. After all, I believe in a beneficent Creator, and why would He have given us eyes if He did not intend for us to behold the glory of His creations?

AB: Oh, please. George, you're allegedly a grown man now, and it's time for you to give up these fantasies. I'm sure your wife feels it's enough of a struggle to do battle with middle age without being taunted by vision of some nubile young vixen dancing across your imagination.

UM: You misunderstand, dear. The admiration men have for attractive young women is not unlike your appreciation for a fine piece of art. I don't assume that, because you like that David statue, that you're disappointed that I do not resemble him.

AB: You look like you're smuggling that statue under your shirt.

UM: Why, thank you.

AB: It wasn't... never mind.

UM: At any rate, lad, you must understand that your wife's reaction is pure jealousy. And truth be told, a little jealousy is good for a relationship. It keeps your wife on her toes. She'll go that extra mile, put a little extra effort into beautifying herself, if she is aware of the competition.

AB: Competition? Please. Women like them wouldn't go out with men like you unless you held them at gunpoint. We don't like you drooling over those pop stars because it's embarrassing. We can't take you out in public for fear you'll start drooling over some piece of jailbait. Ahem.

UM: College students are legal, my love.

AB: Doesn't mean it's not embarrassing. By the way, you're drooling all over your sweater.

UM: Oops, sorry.

AB: In your case, I'm not sure if it's a sign of lust or approaching senility.

Dear Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice,

I'm 22, and I just broke up with my first really serious girlfriend. It feels like hell. I don't want to get out of bed in the morning, and the daily grind feels like a sick joke. I have no interest in my classes or friends. All I can think about is how much I miss her.

My friends try to fix me up with other women; I can't even envision it. I know I'd spend the entire date thinking of the ways in which the new girl doesn't measure up. How do I break out of this skid?

Orlando in Orinda

AB: Hi, Orlando. Sorry about the breakup. I know it must feel terrible. And you've got to give yourself time to recover. Losing someone you really care about, especially your first real love, is a tough blow. Your friends mean well, but dating right now would be a bad idea for everyone involved.

UM: On the contrary, lad. I know you're hurting right now; it always hurts to lose a fine woman. But your friends have exactly the right idea. You need to "get back on your horse," so to speak. Don't spend all your time alone moping over your lost love. It isn't healthy. You need to get out and circulate! Should you expect to find a new true love in these dates? Of course not, lad. But a little casual "rebound sex" can do wonders for your outlook on life.

AB: Typical. Orlando, casual sex is like a drug: a cheap, quick high that crashes you down just as far and just as fast. It's the last thing you need. Rather, you need to take some time to get your bearings back. Take long walks and try to absorb it all. You need to give yourself time to adjust.

UM: And the adjustment process goes a hell of a lot faster if you're hip-deep in some lovely young thing.

AB: You're just a pig. Orlando, please ignore him. You need to give yourself time.

UM: Time between the sheets.

AB: Why do I even bother?

UM: Because you love me so.

AB: Just keep telling yourself that.

Dear Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice,

Can you help out a lonely sports widow? My husband, "Kirk," is completely obsessed with baseball. In particular, he's a fan of a team we'll call the "Blue Sox." He lives and dies with them (mostly dies; they have a long and inglorious history). Well, the Blue Sox are in the playoffs against their archrivals (let's call them the "Tycoons"). Kirk is in an alternate universe. When he's not watching the game, he's on message boards with fellow fanatics, mourning over the Blue Sox's misfortunes, or saying fervent prayers wishing on certain Tycoons players fates that I would not wish on Osama bin Laden. If he realizes that I'm alive, he shows no outward sign.

Here's my question: Is it ethical for me to root for the Blue Sox to lose so that I can get my husband back? I don't know if I can put up with much more of this.

Glenda in Blue Sox Nation

UM: Well, hello, my dear lass. As a sports fan myself, I'd strongly advise rooting against your husband's team. If he later finds out that you did, he might blame you for their inevitable defeat. And Hell hath no fury like a baseball fan scorned.

AB: Hi, Glenda, and you have my sympathies. Uncle Millie has been known to disappear into the Sports Fan Triangle for weeks at a time, particularly during the playoffs. If there's a way to get him out of it, I haven't thought of it.

UM: Actually, I have a suggestion. Rooting against his team is bad form and possibly hazardous to your health. But I know a surefire way to attract his attention.

AB: Oh, I can't wait.

UM: Try serving him dinner without any clothes on one evening. Assuming he's a normally-functioning male, he'll respond to the biological imperative and give you the attention you desire.

AB: I should have known.

UM: Unless of course it's an elimination game. Or the game's in extra-innings. Or tied.

AB: Uncle Millie is such a complex man, isn't he, ladies? Sorry, though, he's taken.

UM: The woman asked for advice, and I gave her advice. What do you want from me?

AB: That's an excellent question.

UM: At any rate, I believe it's time for us to go.

AB: Yes, Uncle Millie has places to go and coeds to ogle.

UM: Why must you always air our dirty laundry in public like this?

AB: I like to think it provides hope to other struggling couples out there. If we can make it, so can they.

UM: That's a pretty sentiment. I rather like the sound of it.

AB: After all, if I can tolerate a lazy, sloppy, absentminded-

UM: Okay, that's enough, my dear.

AB: -alcoholic, womanizing, irresponsible-

UM: And that wraps up yet another column. See you in a fortnight!

AB: -igorant, foolish-

UM: Happy hunting!

- - - - -

Thank you, Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice. Those contract negotiations are going to be something, I tell you.

Hey, here's a story that seems to be getting lost in the shuffle: Rep. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who is running for the Senate seat currently held by Fritz Hollings, has issued an apology of sorts for some fairly outrageous remarks he's made on the trail. To wit, in a debate three Sundays back DeMint said that he favored banning openly gay people from teaching in public schools. The following Tuesday, he expanded his remarks to say that he'd also favor banning unwed mothers from teaching. His apology, moreover, was extremely narrow: he apologized for discussing something that Senators have no control over, not for the substance of his remarks.

Why isn't this a bigger deal? Is South Carolina really that screwed up? DeMint's remarks would sink a Senate candidacy in a normal state. It's arguably the most outrageous thing said this election season by someone other than Alan Keyes or Jim Bunning. And polls show DeMint favored to win. Any South Carolinians out there care to enlighten me on how the hell he's getting away with this?

Anyhow, that's enough for me today. See you tomorrow!

Posted by Fred at October 19, 2004 07:20 PM

I saw this guy on Meet the Press on Sunday. Why would anyone want to vote for this idiot? Tim Russert did a good job of showing just how unable this man is of answering a simple question. In his closing remarks, DeMint stated that he would be a strong leader or some other such total load of crap. He didn't want to clearly state a single opinion and wouldn't back any of his previous statments. What a leader. Of course, his opponent didn't look all that special either.

Posted by: ensie at October 19, 2004 09:52 PM

The two stupidest men I have ever met were both politicians. the first, a feeble-minded friend of my family and son of a popular former vice president, was a really nice guy but he couldn't maintain a conversation for more than about five minutes without his dim bulb flickering off. He ran for governor of Minnesota in 1998 as a Democrat and came in third.

The other, the single dumbest man I have ever met and the son of a popular former football coach, can't even string together five whole minutes of coherent conversation. The man would fail a Turing test, he's a downright mean man, and I strongly suspect he's functionally illiterate in addition to being massively ignorant. This man has never lost an election in Virginia, and currently serves in the U.S. Senate.

That dichotomy tells me everything I need to know about the differences between north and south in America. When folks in the north discover that a politician is an amiable dunce, they retire him. When folks in the south discover that a politician is a cruel-hearted dunce, they promote him to a higher position.

Posted by: arrScott at October 20, 2004 08:11 AM
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