An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Ofuckinglympics

Dear Ofuckinglympics:

Why you go away?

It makes me sad.

I want you to stay here.

I like you.

I hate sports-- but, I like you.

You make me a very, very happy Apron.

You have increased couch snuggling time with Mrs. Apron exponentially and, for that, I thank you. Thank you for keeping the cauldron of eternal snuggle burning brightly, you with your rings and your perfectly coiffed commentators.

Bob Costas, you have an errant rod up your asshole, but you're a pretty cool guy-- because your appearance on my television heralds the Ofuckinglympcs, and that's nice for me.

I have gained a few pounds over the course of the last sixteen days, and there is no salsa left in the house, but that is to be expected: it's the Ofuckinglympics, y'alls, and what better way is there to celebrate the absolute epoc of fitness than by consuming copious amounts of sodium and sugar whilst beached on an Ikea couch?

God, I'm going to miss all of this shit when that flame is extinguished tonight.

Please, come back soon, Ofuckinglympics. I'd make a Johnny Weir joke at this point, but it's already been done.

It's all been done.

Yours Faithfully,
Mr. Apron

Friday, February 26, 2010

Knucklehead, Part II

Well, folks, it wasn't meant to be.

This is going to be a relatively short blog post-- my in-laws are coming in to stay with us, and there's a very large air mattress on the floor of our office, so I'm blogging on my phone, like a metrosexual. Nevertheless, risking arthritis of the thumb, I thought you deserved some closure on the small, crazy beagle I introduced you to a couple days ago: Knucklehead.

When I told Mrs. Apron about Knucklehead, her immediate response was, "I don't want a beagle."

Well, I worked my sorcerer-like magic on her, and she relented. Well, she relented enough to agree to meet Knucklehead, accompanied by our dog, Finley, for a little compatability test.

It could have gone worse. But it could have gone alot better.

Apparently, "Knucklehead" is a more apt name for my new friend than I'd even originally thought. He was uncouth to the hilt, wowing my wife with a display of constant innapropriate behavior. Skittering, neurotic, spacey, unfocused, spastic, howling.

Oh, and cock-sucking.

Knucklehead, for whatever reason, could not seem to get enough of Finley's penis. He attached his mouth to our dog's dick and went at it like it was a cow's udder. Maybe, I theorized out loud, he thinks Finley's his mommy and it's mealtime.

I tried my best to redirect him, but he went straight back to my dog's cock, working like a mouth Olympian. And my dog didn't seem to mind. The only problem was the sporadic moments where Knucklehead would forsake Finley's dick and shove his beagle nose in Finley's face. And Finley would growl. And Knucklehead would not be deterred, and he'd try again.

We're not giving up, but Knucklehead will haveto turn someone else's life upsidedown. He's not the worst puppy in the world. But he sure sucks a mean dick.

Well, Ball-n-Chain Me, It's a Special Marriage Edition of... DEAR APRON

They say that "love & marriage go together like a horse & carriage." Well, if that's true, then morons & Dear Apron go together like Doritos and decaf coffee: strange to think about, but pleasurable to behold.

So, without more bullshit, I give you some unhappily married dunderheads who need their balls and chains immensely straightened out by DEAR APRON!


The other day I asked my husband a question and told him to be honest. If given a choice between giving up wine or giving up sex with me, which would he choose?

You guessed it. He said, "Giving up sex with you." I think I knew the answer before I asked the question, but hearing it out loud devastated me.

I know every woman wants to be No. 1 in her husband's life. Am I wrong to feel so heartbroken? -- LOST THE BATTLE TO CHARDONNAY


I'm very sorry to hear that your husband is an alcoholic and not a nymphomaniac. How utterly disappointing for you.

You must be a terrible lover. Tell me-- do you prefer the British method of sex, which consists largely of lying there, inert, like a corpse? Because, lots of guys aren't into that. I know, that's a personal question to answer but, hey, you started it.

I have a couple ideas for saving your doomed marriage:

1.) Since your husband is a zealot when it comes to all things grapetastic, why not consider pairing wine with sex? Let him drill you whilst wearing one of those hats with the funnels and straws that were so popular on college campuses and NFL games in the late nineteen-eighties? You might be able to score one on ebay, perhaps one with a built-in FM radio, too, which would be super-cool. He could fill the pockets with his favorite red or white and sip his nectar while exploring your peach-pit.

2.) Tell him that you want to spice up your sex-life, since it's obviously on dialysis at the moment. Tell him to lie face-down on the bed. Tie all four of his limbs to the bed-posts. Then, fuck him up the ass with a full bottle of Dom Perignon.

3.) Divorce your husband and re-marry a piece of cheese, preferably something like a good Stilton that goes well with a sophisticated red wine, so it really drives home the irony.

4.) The next time you get the urge to ask your husband a question like the one you asked him that prompted this whole debacle, just remember that shutting the fuck up makes life a lot easier for all of us.


My wife is constantly passing gas. She does not care where she is or who is around. I have worked in the trucking industry for almost 30 years and never ran across anyone as flatulent as she is.

She is young and attractive, but there is nothing less appealing than feeling "frisky," getting into bed and hearing the trumpet sounds. I have recommended she see a doctor, but she laughs it off and says, "Everyone does it."

I can't believe I'm the only one with this problem. I could really use some "sound" advice, Apron. -- BLOWN AWAY IN ALLIANCE, OHIO


You're blown away?

I'm blown away, friend. I don't know where to begin. But, you can rest assured that, if I were in Alliance, Ohio right now, I'd begin by eating at the closest Mexican buffet and sitting naked on your face.

I'm sorry your wife farts so much. Why don't you leave her and become a whino?


My husband and I have been married 13 years and have two children, 7 and 9. About a year ago, my 41-year-old husband befriended an 11-year-old neighbor girl, "Lacey." Lacey is charming, friendly and plays with my children.

I like her and her family, but I'm bothered that she and my husband have a relationship that seems questionable to me and his friends. Lacey texts him daily, to which he quickly responds. They have conversations in our driveway, and they text each other constantly at neighborhood socials even though they're in the same room.

I have told my husband I am concerned and that it may be an unhealthy relationship, but he becomes angry and insulted and says it's an innocent friendship. Others have also voiced their concerns to him because they see the same things I do. On the other hand, her parents think the friendship is innocent.

Apron, am I overreacting? Should I view it as an innocent friendship, or could there really be a problem? -- WORRIED WIFE DOWN SOUTH


Of course you're over-reacting! Every middle-aged man I know has perfectly innocent, outwardly disturbing relationships with pre-teen girls. The dynamic between your husband and Lacey is perfectly acceptable. I have no doubt that they have many mutual interests and a litany of shared experiences. Like, for instance, when Lacey was forced to sell her Malibu Barbie summer home in foreclosure, no doubt your husband was able to share some of his experiences with the mortgage and real estate industry.

Your fine husband is engaging in the noble act of friendship and mentoring with young Lacey, and your constant paranoia and incessant interference is a detriment to this blossoming and totally puritanical relationship. Why don't you join a book group or start collecting recycled aluminum can tabs or something to take your mind off all of this. You can start worrying when Lacey turns up on your doorstep pregnant. Until then, the Olympics are on, and you're blocking the TV. Sit back and enjoy.


My husband and I have been married six years and have two wonderful children. Lately, my mother-in-law has made several comments in front of family members suggesting that one of our kids bears no resemblance to my husband -- implying that I have been unfaithful.

At first, I took it as a joke. Now I'm wondering if she really believes it. My husband isn't concerned, but I wonder if I should set her straight. What would you suggest? -- NO LAUGHING MATTER


The time has obviously come to confess your sins, you insufferable harlot. I am disgusted that you can face your mother-in-law knowing full well that you have defiled the honor of her son by allowing yourself to be inseminated by some gruff workman's cock. Obviously, your towheaded son's miserable appearance has betrayed your contemptible and lascivious behavior, and has shown you as the whore that you are.

You're right: infidelity is no laughing matter, and you won't hear me chuckling at your fall from grace.


And now, a special snow-covered bonus letter.....


I love my wife very much. I like giving her back rubs, massaging her feet, cuddling and kissing her. In return she does the same -- to her dog, "Barkley."

Barkley is the only one who benefits from her affections.

The dog does nothing for me except allow me to pick up his droppings. What am I missing? -- DOGGONE PUZZLED IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA


Oh my God-- you gave the dog a pseudonym? That's fucking hilarious!

I love this non-sequitur: "The dog does nothing for me except allow me to pick up his droppings."

What, exactly, is "Barkley" supposed to do for you-- give you a hummer? Oh, no, wait-- that's supposed to be your wife's job. Good luck with that.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meeting Knucklehead

What do you call a malnourished, hyperactive, A.D.D. one-year-old who wriggles around like a worm, crawls under cabinets like a cat, and goes to the bathroom wherever and whenever it pleases?

If it's a beagle, you call it "Knucklehead."

There's an old song by Tom Waits called, "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You." It goes like this,

"Well, I hope that I don't fall in love with you.
'Cause fallin' in love just makes me blue."

I know, I know-- rhyming "you" with "blue" isn't exactly W. S. Gilbert territory, but it's a great song, about the rough, down-n-out people Tom Waits knows so well, and loves almost against his will. The song's about people, of course, eyeing each other in a bar, drinking and smoking, and missing the chance to connect, and, even though it probably would have ended in disaster, regretting it forever. The song, though, could just as easily have been about setting eyes on a dog. After hearing a brief summary of this beagle on the phone from the adoption agency on Monday, I knew one thing very, very clearly: I should not, under any circumstances, go down and meet it.

Yesterday, I met the dog that I quickly named "Knucklehead." He bounded into the smelly, kennel-filled room as if there were a lit firecracker up its ass. Nose diligently to the ground, in typical beagle posture, it proceeded to vacuum every square inch of the room with its nose, barely acknowledging my presence. Until I said, "Hey, you knucklehead!" His head perked up and he pounced at my knees and immediately fell onto his back and lay there until his belly was appropriately rubbed. His eyes rolled back into his head as his rear legs twitched with delight.

"Well, you two kids have fun," the adoption agent said to me, smiling, as she left the room, closing the door behind her.

"God, I hope this fucking sucker takes that crazy-ass beagle," I'm sure she said to herself.

I didn't know exactly what to do with the dog, who was now standing on its hind legs, trying very hard to get at a fat black cat who was in a locked kennel marked "QUARANTINE."

"Uh... no! You don't want to go in there, Knucklehead," I said as my eyes scanned the room for something to distract it. I found a little tug-of-war knotted rope toy.

"Here!" I cried, "look at this fucking thing!"

Knucklehead turned his distinguished nose and brow in my direction and his eyes lit up like a nuclear winter. I'm 6 foot tall, and I swear to God this little dog leapt right up to my hairline as I jerked the rope-toy up into the air. He proceeded to do another series of Olympian vaults as Quarantine Kitty watched him warily from inside her forced confinement.

"Sonofabitch! You can jump!" I yelled as he latched his jaws onto the toy, his tail fiercely wagging. I looked at Knucklehead, obsessively chewing on the rope-toy and I thought two things, "Uh-oh, is this love?" and "Charles Schulz never set eyes on a fucking real beagle in his life."

"No!" I said and, immediately, is mouth opened. He stared at me and said, "NO? I'M A BEAGLE, MOTHERFUCKER!" This he said by a series of classic beagle howls-- but short, controlled ones. But tenor, nevertheless.

"No, Knucklehead. Sit," I brazenly commanded. And this dog, who, for nine months of his life was left out in some asshole's backyard, almost completely untrained, sat.

"Holy shit," I said, out loud. Then I uttered the more traditional, "Good boy!" and gave him the toy he desired. Then he proceeded to climb into an empty cage and smell it from corner to corner.

The adoption agent came back in.

"Sounds like a party in here," she said.

"He sat for me," I said.

"He knows sit?!" she exclaimed.

She made no bones about this dog. "You're about to meet the worst puppy in the world," she said, but with a smile.

"Are you the worst puppy in the world?" I asked Knucklehead, as he wriggled around in my lap and attacked my face with his tongue.

Didn't seem likely, but how do you know until it's too late? Well, fortunately, with an adoption center, it's never "too late," they'll always take a dog back rather than read in the paper that you smashed its head with a cinder block after it ate all your mortgage papers and throw pillows.

"I can't emphasize the importance of crate-training enough with this guy," she said, "but he will grow out of this teenager stage and he will make an outstanding dog," she said, turning up the sell. I looked around the room.

"Where the hell is he?"

"He's crawled underneath all the cages-- he likes to pretend he's a cat."

The long-and-short of it? He's on hold for us until Friday at 3:00pm. That's the witching hour. I know that bringing Knucklehead into our home and our lives will turn our home and our lives upthefucksidedown. I know that a one year old, un-housebroken beagle will be something like a medium-sized nightmare. I know my wife will flat-out say "no."

"I want a dog, I don't want a project." Well, Knucklehead isn't emotionally damaged or disordered like the charity-case dogs her mother insists on adopting every seven minutes, but emotionally and developmentally, he's probably about half his actual age, which isn't much. But he's affectionate and energetic and re-directable. He's part dog, part project.

This is what I do. This is my nature. I fall in love with cars that are totally impractical-- make absolutely no sense for my needs or my lifestyle and I try to bring them home. The house we bought, we bought mostly with our hearts-- our brains were somewhere around the block, struggling to keep up. Fixer-uppers, not-quite-theres, from the dubious to the out-and-out insane, my heart is a wayward, untameable, nonsensical beast-- rather like Knucklehead himself. I've never been in the position to have to make a dog out of a puppy before-- Finley came to me at five years old-- already a stately gentleman.

And, yes, he's still very much here. So what would he make of Knucklehead? Would Knucklehead give Finley a second puppyhood? Finley's still kind of having his first puppyhood, inspite of the odd goiter here and there. What would these two nutjobs do with, and to, each other? I just don't know.

I've got beagle fur all over my pants. And I miss him already.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Hoodie

You might be surprised to know that my favorite article of clothing is a hoodie.

Of course, in 2010, the hoodie is easily the most ubiquitous and obligatory element of clothing for people my age, and ten years younger, and older. Christ, every asshole you meet these days is wearing one, whether they're male or female. It's great because, in today's world, if somebody pisses you off, or tries to steal your purse and make a break for it, just grab onto their hoodie and choke the balls off of them.

The hoodie is like the leash and choke-chain of humanity. It's great.

Lots of people who wear hoodies look like hoodlums-- and I guess it's no accident that you can't say "hoodlum" without "hood." I don't think, personally, that I look like much of a hoodlum in my hoodie. Then again, I wear it over a dress-shirt and neck tie, and nice pants. Not only that, but, on the left breast section of the hoodie, I wear an enamel pin from the late 19th century with a beautiful rendering of the Union Jack and the words "Victoria League" engraved on it, which significantly deceases any potential hoodlumness. I don't think neckties and Victorian man-jewelry are the traditional accessories for those who typically don hoodies. I would never wear a white hoodie, because I think I'd look too much like a K.K.K. member with an identity crisis.

My hoodie is green, Philadelphia Eagles green, actually, though that is not the reason why I like it so much. You know me-- I could give as much of a shit about the Eagles as I do about Icelandic tap-dancing. My hoodie was given to me by my father, and maybe that's why I like wearing it so much. I don't wear everything he gives me, though. He's in the garment-making business, like all Israelis who aren't engaged in diamond-smuggling, camera sales or international espionage. He once gave me a pair of boxer-briefs to wear that his company made and I wore them once for six minutes and promptly threw them in the trash.

"They were crawling up my asshole like a tactical assault team," I complained. "No thank you."

But I do like the hoodie. A lot. I'm beginning to think, maybe too much.

When I look at pictures of me on Facebook, or pictures that wind up on other people's cameras, I find that I am wearing the green hoodie with uncomfortable regularity. There I am, sporting it in Pittsuburgh on my sister-in-law's couch!

Oh, there I am, shoveling snow in my green hoodie.

Hey-- I'm on vacation in beautiful, sunny Maine in my hoodie.

And now my hoodie goes to the Poconos! Looks great with my new green pants-- I'm a fucking St. Patrick's Day float.

When my wife taught pre-school at a small, Quaker elementary school, there was a child who had some definite Aspergian tendencies-- very rigid and literal. Oh, and he wore the same coat to school every single day, regardless of the weather, and regardless of whatever odor happened to be emanating from the coat-- he was oblivious to everything but his unalterable desire to be thus attired. In the Indian/Pakistani comedy, "East Is East" there's a young child who also exhibits this constant need to be attired in a huge, puffy coat with a fur hood, in spite of the contraindicated temperature. And his father routinely refers to his mother as a "bah-stad beetch," which is nice.

I worry sometimes that my irrational childhood tendency to obsess over a particular food or article of clothing or car have not transferred over into my adult life, because that could mean several unsettling things about who I am. I can justify it however I want-- I don't like wearing big coats, and the hoodie is insulated. It hangs on one of my bedposts and it's just so easy to throw on. It serves the purpose of a coat and a hat.

Um... I'm obsessed with it?

I suppose I'm not completely obsessed with it. I mean, I'm not wearing it today, and that shows that I can take a break, right? I wash it regularly, so I know it doesn't smell of salad dressing and generalized funk. I've never reached into the pocket and had the sensation that some insect or small mammal was crawling all over my hand. And that's good, right?

When I was a boy, I had a quilty piece. It had once been a quilt, but when the quilt had been loved and worried into near oblivion, all that was left was the quilty piece, a ratty, gray, smelly, knotted thing about the length of two inchworms having sex. When my father decided it was time for me to stop sucking my thumb, an activity always done in concert with fondling the quilty piece, he hid the damned quilty piece from me. Several times. I always found, of course, my eyes lighting up like the heavens as soon as they laid eyes on it, under some books, or inside his bedside table. Now I feel like it's almost time for some responsible adult to hide my hoodie from me, though I know I'll be very sad that.

Not as sad as I was when my quilty piece was M.I.A., of course.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Like Sad Songs

Oh, Eva Cassidy. You kill me.

And it can't be easy for a dead woman to kill a living man-- but you do it, and you do it swiftly, surely, but without an ounce of cruelty or malice. To be killed beautifully by your air-like voice is a blessing, a fate I accept with open arms. Your renditions of "Dark Eyed Molly" and "Fields of Gold," well, they're quite simply too much.

I like sad stories.

I like to read about Roger Ebert battling oral cancer, bereft of his voice (thank you for posting that, Adam) but never his words. I like to read about people, far braver than I, doing battle with demons in the dark and trudging their way through an unfair, mean, shitty world. I like reading about people who are introspective and sensitive and maybe even a little brooding. I like these people, and I like their stories. I like it when they triumph, and I like it when they fail. I doubt they do, though.

I like religious paintings.

I don't exactly know why, but I do. I'm not religious, and I'm certainly not the religion of most paintings that are featured in art galleries. One time I went to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. and I fell in love with a painting called "St. Jerome & the Angel" by Simon Vouet. There's St. Jerome, old as hell, sitting at a desk and trying to write, and there's this angel bothering him, trying to get his attention, and Jerome is giving him this look like, "Jesus Christ, will you leave me the fuck alone already? I'm trying to write a shopping list here and I've forgotten whether I want brown eggs or white eggs. Now fuck off already."

I love that painting. For some reason, I also love paintings where some saint or whatever is collapsing in the arms of some beautiful woman. There's a lot of those in art museums, and I love every one of them.

I can't stand depictions of the crucifixion, though. It's like-- enough already with that shit.

I like winter clothes.

I'm not particularly fond of winter as a thing by itself, but I do love that the temperature necessitates that we bust out our corduroys and our sweater vests and our blazers and our overcoats and our hats. In the summertime, I look like I have an eating-disorder. In the winter, well, I can wear what I really love to wear. I don't like that the world's boobies are all hidden away, but it's okay, because I have a toggle-coat from Brooks Brothers, and wearing it makes up for that.

I like old cars.

You've heard this rant before, so I'll spare you. All I'll say is that I don't care that they're inefficient and unsafe and unreliable. Fuck that, man. Fuck all that.

I like who I was.

I was a very sweet boy. When I was a little boy, I was very sweet, and the world made sense. The only thing I was really ever scared of was my parents dying, or me dying, and I was able to be reassured that this wouldn't happen for a long, long, long time. Today, I'm scared of everything, and nothing placates me anymore. My wife's arms and legs wrapped tightly around me under flannel covers at night is a big help, though.

I like blogging.

Sometimes it's a challenge to come up with new material every day, but not often, and this is a very good substitute for never making it as a paid writer. Nobody tells me what to do or when to do it, and, though most people recognize this blog as "funny," I don't feel any particular pressure to be funny, or to shield my blogdience from the tenderer moments of life. In fact, I don't feel any pressure at all.

I like my house.

Sure, the dishwasher is from 1964 and there's a hole in the kitchen ceiling, and the 1st floor toilet makes funny sounds when it flushes, and the lilac tree was felled by the blizzard, and they painted our bedroom the wrong color, but when my key slips into the lock after a day of work, it's like Eva Cassidy is singing, right through my heart.

Monday, February 22, 2010

If You Took My TV Away...

...I would cry.

And I didn't even cry at Aunt Mickey's funeral. But I would cry if you took my TV away.

Taking my TV away during the Olympics would be an especially cruel thing to do. If you took my TV away while the Olympics were on, I would not only cry, but I would set fire to your pubes and kick over all the gravestones of your ancestors and take a shit in your mailbox.

There would be Mad Apron. Mad, I tell you.

Some people are able to pinpoint exactly how much TV they watch in a given week. I really don't know how much TV I watch, and whether it's a lot or a little in comparison to, say, the average American my age or, say, the average 2-year-old. Honest to God-- last night, when my wife and I were driving home from a particularly putrid rehearsal, we passed a Scion xA being driven by a Brittany Spearsalike and there was a huge (for a car) TV screen, probably about eight inches playing some insipid children's crap to entertain her toddler in the back seat.

Her toddler, motherfuckers, her toddler. I'll bet, however much TV I watch, I watch less than that kid.

I enjoy an eclectic variety of programming.

The Today Show
Project Runway (love me my Tim Gunn)
Teen Mom (at least it's not "Jersey Shore")
Antiques Roadshow

Strangely enough, the only show on this list that I love unconditionally, without qualm or complaint, is COPS. I could watch COPS 24 hours a day, which I admit is a bit unsettling, but I like it for the same reason that the cops on it like being cops: because you never know what is going to happen, and even the most banal, benign situation can turn exciting in a heartbeat.

All the other shows that I watch, I watch with at least one great reservation. You know my beef with The Today Show, and that beef's name is (come on, say it with me now): "Meredith Vieira." Yes, we despise that leathery, sychophantic, post-menopausal twig-woman. Yes, we do.

Project Runway I am very much taken with. I love the drama, the cattiness, the gayness, the bleeped-out-ness, the Gunn-ness, I even love me some Klum-ness. But I cannot stand that product placement. The "Thank you, Mood!" and the Garnier hair salon, the Loreal Paris make-up room, the accessory wall ("thoughtfully!") and the shots of the stupid HP compu-notepad in every fucking episode that none of the designers actually like using. The product-placement on that show is atrocious. Still, I make it work.

My problem with Jeopardy! is Alex Trebek, mostly. I don't particularly fancy his holier-than-thou attitude, and he's gay without being gay, and that's annoying to me. My biggest problem with the show, though, isn't even Alex, it's the terrible, awkward, stilted, painful interviews that he insists on conducting after the show returns from its first commercial break with the Aspergian, wall-eyed, socially-retarded contestants.

Alex: "So-- I understand that at one time you had a very interesting experience on a camping trip in the Kodiak Mountains..."

Dork With Ponytail and Buck-Teeth: "Um... well, yes, Alex. Actually, um, it was me and several of my Mensa compatriots... we, um, were doing a study on the effects of, er, high-altitude conditions on scrod and, well, um... one of us got a splinter and contracted AIDS and, well, we forgot the scrod back at our lab and we, er, ended up watching old "Golden Girls" episodes on my my friend's iPhone. Well, he's not actually my friend. But I secretly love him."

Fascinating. Will somebody please shove a pickle fork through my left eye now?

Teen Mom is almost the perfect show. It's got comedy, drama, little sluts running around half-dressed, behaving badly and screaming at their martini-loving mothers. What's not to like? However, there are far too many commercials. It's an hour show, and there's around sixteen minutes of actual content, if you can call it that. And that's not cool. Plus, if there's going to be that many goddamn commercials, they should all be for local gynecologists offices, Pampers, and Nuva-vag.

Antiques Roadshow is a show that I thoroughly enjoy, even though it tends to be soporific, and I admit that it's hard to justify liking a show that you can fall asleep during, but I really do love it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for an early 20th century 18-karat white gold Patek Philippe pocket watch, but I can't get enough of that shit. I don't like the following things about Antiques Roadshow:

1.) When people bring in shit that they think is old and find out it's fake. I know you'd think I'm the kind of asshole who would revel in other people's embarrassment, but really, I don't. I get so embarrassed for them it's hard for me to look at the TV.

2.) When people say, "Oh, I'd never sell it!" after hearing that their signed Babe Ruth jit-rag is worth $7.6 million dollars. Fuck you, you saggy old lizard-- of course you're going to sell it.

3.) The segments that they do half-way through the episode where Mark L. Walberg interviews some dried-up motherfucker about goddamn windmills or boot spurs or something. And who the fuck is Mark L. Walberg anyway?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sailing the Friend Ship

Most people don't know what they want out of life.

This is why there's lots of fast food restaurants and different cuts of engagement ring diamonds. We say we want this, but it changes. Maybe, later, we'll want that. Tacos might be fine on Tuesday, but, come Saturday, you might find yourself wanting Indian.

Last night, Saturday, I found myself having Indian, alongside my wife, and across the table from an old friend of mine and her husband. I hadn't seen this old friend of mine in eight years, and we dined happily on Boti Kabab and Navratan Korma and chatted away like no time had passed, even though, for my wife and my friend and her husband, there hadn't been any time to have passed at all.

When I came out of the bathroom (where I had to go immediately upon entering the restaurant) I blurted out something patently ridiculous. "I had this idea in the bathroom," I said to my dinner party, "about a sketch I wanted to write about a guy-- who-- you know how sometimes you get distracted in the bathroom," I said, now to my friend's husband, to whom I hadn't exchanged seven words with since we arrived, "and sometimes you come out without having done up your fly?"

He nodded.

"Well, I wanted to write a sketch about a guy who's so distracted in the bathroom, so haphazard, and he's in there peeing and his phone rings and he's answering it and washing his hands and everything, that he comes out of the bathroom without remembering to put his penis away."

Hi, friend I haven't seen in eight years and new husband I've never met: I'm totally inappropriate and bizarre. Who wants naan?

Making friends, being with friends, reconnecting with friends, going out with friends-- it isn't easy. Not for me, not for anybody, I don't think. After you graduate from college, the rules all change. It's no longer acceptable to sit around in a small room with clunky wooden furniture and talk about bullshit until four in the morning. There are no more groups of six or eight or twelve people to bum around with, to go en masse to a shitty local diner-- there's no more of that. It's different.

While my wife and I were driving to the Indian restaurant and were stuck in merciless traffic, I turned to her and said, "Why are we doing this? I just want to be at home snuggling with you on the couch under a blanket watching the Olympics." My wife said, "I know-- me, too. But we have to make some sort of effort to get out there and be at least semi-social-- not all the time. But sometimes. When we're sixty, I think it will level off and we can become hermits."

I nodded. Sixty. "I suppose I can endure thirty more years of this."

Because I felt so comfortable in the company of my wife and my old friend and her husband, and because I have no concept of how the things that come out of my mouth might effect other people, I turned to my old friend and said to her, "You know, on the way up here-- I told my wife that I'd rather be at home with her watching the Olympics."

She smiled and her eyes widened in identification.

"I know! Me, too! No offense, of course, I'm having a wonderful time with you guys-- but we're just such homebodies, and we love being together at home, and that's kind of the whole point, isn't it? Falling in love with somebody that you just want to be with all the time."

It made me feel good to hear her say it, too. It is the whole point. It really is.

Maybe I'm just saying that as someone with no real, true, consistent friends in his life, or maybe I'm saying it as someone who played the slots and came up a big winner in the wife department. But it's a constant struggle. "Friends require a lot of maintenance," my mother warned me a few years ago, "that's why Daddy and I don't have any."

And she's right-- you have to constantly worry about when you last called so-and-so and whose turn it is to do thus-and-such and who last paid for dinner or who last Facebook'd whom. That shit takes a lot of work. And you only know it's time to call a friend when you get that guilt pang in the back of your brain that says, "Oh, shit, it's been a month since we last spoke to Schmenkman and Blatsdorff-- I wonder if they hate us?"

Well, Jesus Christ-- that's exhausting. It's even more exhausting than getting stuck on the highway on the way to get Indian food.

I don't particularly know what friendship is anymore. I feel like someone who's been stuck on a deserted island for twenty years and has forgotten what Lobster Thermidor is, or what vinyl car interior is-- or Smart Start. I know it changed somewhere along the line, and I know it's different for everybody, and I know I have to leverage going out and socializing with my immense, overwhelming desire to putter and putz around the house, to sit and write while my wife sews, so that, every so often I can turn and steal a glance at her and smile and be thankful for what my life is, even though it is bereft of so many of the people who used to know me and count me as their friend.

It's funny, though. I had a great time last night. And I'm thankful for that, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

With a Guilt-Trip on My Knee

I'm ceasing banjo lessons.

I tell myself it's only temporary, and I really hope it is.

There's lots of hang-ups in this house about musical ability and musical potential and music instruments being dormant, with a thin or not-so-thin layer of dust on them in the basement. There's my wife's clarinet and her bassoon. There's the piano lessons we both took in our youth that are now very ancient memories.

There's the ukulele my mother-in-law gave me for Valentine's Day that I'll never learn how to play, because I've already started to learn the banjo, and all the chords are different, and I know I'll drive myself insane if I invest myself in two stringed instruments that are totally different from each other.

There's a lot of hang-ups and a lot of guilt, and it's wearing me down, frankly.

I feel like a little boy today, having to call up my teacher and muster up the courage to tell her that I can't come to lessons anymore right now because I didn't practice for two weeks, lessons cancelled because of a blizzard and a weekend trip to Pittsburgh. I practiced once during that two-week period, for maybe 20-25 minutes.

It's not enough.

It's not enough to justify going to my lesson, embarrassing myself, sweating through my button-down shirt, and wasting my teacher's time.

I love playing the banjo-- don't get me wrong. But I don't practice. Maybe it's because I'm working full-time and rehearsing for two different stage productions-- I don't know. Maybe it's because I'd rather be watching the Olympics. Maybe it's because I'd rather roughly strum my way through life, than delicately finger-pick.

Maybe it's the guilt and the history.

My wife's music teacher in college fired her, because she wouldn't practice-- and that's a hard pill to swallow for anyone, no matter how big your ego or your gullet. I don't want to have to go through that particular conversation, so I'm taking a break. My teacher will convince me to stay, and I'll convince myself she's convincing me to stay because she wants my money, which she most likely does-- unless she's a nun or something.

But there will be no convincing or negotiating today. And I'll be back. Because I love that silly shaped, long-necked, round-assed piece of wood and metal, leaning against the wall air conditioning unit.

I love it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Limousine Farts; Part II

Remember Aunt Mickey?

Well, unless you joined the My Masonic Apron fold recently, you probably do. If you don't recall hearing her name, or remembering her name, or hearing of her limousine farts, read up.

Aunt Mickey finally died on Thursday, February 18th. "Finally died." That sounds like such a silly thing to say. Of course she finally died. We all die, finally, and, as Basil Fawlty once said about death through clenched teeth, "I'd say it was pretty bloody final."

Pretty bloody final indeed, Basil.

According to her doctors, she should have passed away somwhere around January 10th or so. "You probably won't make it through the weekend," they told her on Friday, January 8th. Well, they were wrong. Doctors sometimes are, you know.

My mother called me Thursday night at 8:43pm. My wife and I were taking a rare break from the Olympics, snuggled up together on the couch like two pretzels in a bag, watching "Julie/Julia" when the phone rang. I know I sound like a bad son when I say it, but ordinarily, when my parents call during a movie, I let it go to voicemail. But, ever since Aunt Mickey mounted her epic Dying Odyssey back in early January, every time my parents call, I pick it up. I always take a moment to summon up the strength to hear the news before I hit that little green button on my cell-phone. Strangely enough, I didn't think Thursday night was the night.

I'm going to talk a little bit about "Julie/Julia" for a minute-- I hope that doesn't make me sound like some emotionally-detached wackjob with Aspergers who doesn't comprehend the enormity of the matriarch of his family passing away. I do. But Aunt Mickey loved the entertainment industry-- and she loved movies (remember "The Hornymooners?") so I don't think she'd mind, if she were alive to mind.

I didn't like "Julie/Julia," barely at all. I think Julie Powell is incredibly narcissitic and obsessive, and not in a charming way, either-- and I don't think Amy Adams brought anything remotely affirming or sympathetic with her wooden, whiny portrayal either. I think it's very obnoxious when you have a character who is self-absorbed and a bitch, and then thinks that she's likeable because she admits to being so.

The performances of Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci certainly elevate the film, and these scenes are filmed, directed, and acted with palpable affection and sumptuous detail for a bygone era, but I didn't think they were enough to save the movie, to justify its existence. I would hope that, if Julia Child had ever met Julie Powell that she would have had enough sense to smack Julie Powell upseide her head with a rolling pin-- and a rolling pin from the 1950s, not one of the cheap, crappy ones that are made today.

Then, the more I thought about it, I thought, well-- you didn't hate "Julie/Julia," you hate Julie Powell, because she's a blogger who is famous and wipes the Boeuf Bourguignon off her chin with money and you are a blogger who will never squeeze a book deal out of this bizarre cacophany you call a blog and you get Kraft Lite Ranch salad dressing on your pants with disturbing regularity.

Or maybe I didn't like "Julie/Julia" because I'll always associate it with the phone call I got at 8:43pm on Thursday night, February 18th, 2010.

Speaking of phone calls-- I didn't make mine. When we were all told that Aunt Mickey was sent home from the hospital, we, my mother's children were told that we could call her before it was too late, before she slipped into her inevitable coma and then organ failure took her away. I didn't call. Now, you know me. Well, some of you do, I think, and pretty well, too. I think you know that I'm not going to turn this blog upside-down and make of it a soapbox upon which I will stand and lecture you in my guilt about the importance of saying goodbye when faced with death-- about how you'll never get another chance to say farewell to loved ones who are slipping mercilessly away. To tell you how wracked with regret I am. To say I'm sorry to whomever's listening.

Well, you know I won't do that. Am I sorry? Oh, yes, I suppose I am. I suppose I "should" have called my Aunt Mickey, on whose freshly-waxed parquet floor I used slide in my white cotton socks, in whose Cadillac I quietly prayed we would arrive at our destination safely, at whose chic country club I feasted on countless corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. I suppose I should have called her.

But I didn't know what to say.

Isn't that funny? Me-- the man who's been blogging every single day for three hundred and seventy-seven days, who shoots his mouth off at work with reckless disregard for the consequences, who makes flip and crass comments at every family dinner, sending everyone into hysterics and head shakes, whose ruthless commentary and remarks have more than once made my mother, Aunt Mickey's little niece, remark, "You're murder," her cheeks red with embarrassed laughter.

I didn't know what to say.

And I was afraid-- of crying, of making her cry, of saying something stupid, of saying nothing at all, of wishing I hadn't called at all, of everything. Of nothing.

I didn't know what I'd say to her youngest son, who was at her bedside from the first day returning home from the hospital to the moment when she breathed her last. Her oldest son had been to Vietnam and came back completely fucked up-- but I think this must have been a thousand times worse. I didn't know what I'd say to him if he'd picked up the phone.

After I put the phone down on Thursday night, I looked at my wife, who knew already because you can hear conversations had on my cellphone if you're in the same room and I said,

"Well, that's that. It's going to be on Sunday and we'll see if we can go," and I pressed play on the DVD remote.

I was kind of alarmed at myself at how apparently callously I took the news, especially considering that, several years ago, when my mother called me to tell me that my pediatric allergist had collapsed and died suddenly of a massive heart attack, I fell into the living room rocking chair and sobbed hysterically in my wife's arms. When I think about Dr. Greene, sometimes tears still fill my eyes, to this day. Maybe it's because he was 55 and it was so shocking-- this passing was anything but. It was a goddamned shame.

"She could have been playing tennis today if she'd had that operation," said my uncle.

Well, maybe. Not for us to say, really. It was her choice, and it was her life. Her's till the end.

I read about a BBC reporter yesterday afternoon named Ray Gosling. He's an elderly man and, while filming a documentary about the right-to-die, he made a startling confession whilst walking through a graveyard on a blustery Midlands day.

"I killed someone once," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "...he was a young chap. He'd been my lover, and he got AIDS. And, in a hospital, one hot afternoon-- doctors said, 'There's nothing we can do' and he was in terrible, terrible pain. And I said to the doctor, 'Leave me, just for a bit.' And he went away, and I picked up a pillow and I smothered him until he was dead. Doctor came back. And I said, 'He's gone.' Nothing more was ever said."

Ray Gosling, 70 years old, was arrested after Nottinghamshire Police reviewed the documentary and interviewed its producers.

After watching the clip of Gosling, walking through the cemetery, his thinning white hair blowing about as he made this astonishing confession, I realized something my father had said to me back on January 9th. He told me on the phone that Aunt Mickey had told him that she wanted to die, and that she wanted him to 'help her with that.' He had said it, and I'd heard it, but it clearly didn't register that Aunt Mickey had asked my father to help her end her life. Of course, he refused, instead agreeing to arrange hospice care for her and to plan out her funeral in exact detail. Her obituary, for instance, will not be released to the newspapers until exactly two weeks after her burial. That's Aunt Mickey, pulling the strings even from beyond the grave.

Now, just like I don't want this blog post to be about guilt, I also don't want it to turn into a debate about assisted suicide. You think what you think, I think what I think, and maybe what I think will evolve over time after I've had enough experiences with life and death. Maybe yours will, too. I don't know. I just know that my Aunt Mickey's dead, and that I didn't like "Julie/Julia" and that being a blogger is very, very good for me.

Thank you.

Well, Light My Torch & Give Me the Gold, It's the Moron Olympics With... DEAR APRON!

Here at Dear Apron, an advice column that's low on advice and high on paint fumes, we think that every person who writes an obnoxious, cloying, insipid letter to Dear Abby belongs on that Olympic podium.

So, let's shove a figure-skate up their asses with a snow-covered salute to all the helpless fingerbangs of the world. Yes, it's DEAR APRON time, bitches.


I am a 29-year-old registered nurse who has never been married. Recently I bought a home, and soon after, an old boyfriend, "Gary," started coming around. I was happy about it at first, but he's been staying here at my place for two months now and hasn't paid any rent.

Gary buys his own beer and has brought home a few grocery items from time to time, but nothing to speak of. He had the electricity turned off at his place so his expenses are minimal. He also brought along his cat, but never cleans out her litter box.

He does no housework and comes and goes as he pleases. I do not want him sharing my home without contributing anything. Is there a way to tell him without wrecking our relationship? -- CANADIAN JOAN


You know, Joan, as I was reading your letter, I was very confused. I mean, I know that most letters written into Dear Abby basically answer themselves and the people who write them already know what the answer is and are just waiting for some perceived authority figure to weigh in, stroke their ego, and tell them to do what they already know they have to do-- but your letter was so patently obvious that I couldn't fathom why you were even bothering to write.

And then I saw it.


Joan, take the maple leaf off of your big, sweet pussy and attack Gary. I mean physically. Hit him in the face with a frying pan while he's sleeping in a pathetic drunken stupor on the couch. Excuse me, YOUR couch. Stick your goddamn fingernail straight through his Adam's Apple. You're a Registered Nurse, right? You know all about veins and arteries and potentially toxic narcotic combinations. Experiment on this charming ex-boyfriend of yours.

Be MEAN for once.

I've been watching the Vancouver Olympics, Joan-- religiously. You Canadians need to get a little rougher around the edges. People in America think you're all gay. Now, tell me: do you think you're improving Canada's image by representing Canada, and all the other "Canadian Joan's" out there as impotent losers whose obese, foul-smelling, unemployed, unshaven, Dorito-consuming ex-boyfriends continually sponge off of them, masturbating in the kitchen while you cook whatever it is Canadians eat for him. What do Canadians eat, Joan?

Let me ask you another question, Joan-- do you think Dear Apron would be much fun to read if it were polite and nice? Do you think folks would get pleasure out of watching me getting used like a doormat or toilet paper in a public city library? Do you have any idea what goes on in the bathrooms in those places, Joan? Think: homeless people + copious amounts of liquid soap and water + newspaper made of underwear = something we don't even want to think about.

Do you have homeless people in Canada? Michael Moore doesn't think so.


I'm a freshman in high school who has trouble making friends. My grades are good. I'm learning how to play a musical instrument, and I think I'm a nice guy.

My problem is so many of my schoolmates judge others by their possessions -- cell phones, iPod, laptop, etc. It matters what brand of clothing you wear and how much money you have. If you don't have those things or your parents aren't rich, you're treated as an outcast. Character or talent doesn't matter, apparently -- only money. This has started affecting my self-esteem. What do you advise? -- JUST A NICE GUY IN ARIZONA


Being gay in high school is never easy. Back when I was in high school, I knew a kid who was so obviously gay flowers would wilt when he walked past them. And he was so ashamed of it that he pretended to like girls, he would make vaguely sexual comments about girls that would pass in this reedy little gay voice, with lisp complete, and that made the Irish Catholic kids with the lacrosse sticks just want to beat him up even more. To make it worse, even the gay kids at school didn't like him-- he frosted his hair which looked ridiculous and he had these little bologna tits that you could see under his shirt. He had the build of a slightly overweight seventh grade girl, but he was a tenth grade boy.

Jesus, it was awful.

So, I feel for you. But you just keep at that French Horn and I'm sure good things will come your way. Maybe a $1,000-a-year scholarship to Indiana University of Pennsylvania or something cool like that. And, when you get there-- your troubles will be over. Because even the most fucking pathetically awkward of God's creatures usually wind up having sex in college. I did.


My wife has been criticizing my table manners ever since our wedding. When we're having dinner, if we're having meatloaf, broccoli and mashed potatoes, I eat all of my meatloaf and then all of my broccoli before starting on the mashed potatoes.

My wife claims it is proper etiquette to rotate one bite of each different food rather than consume all of any one of them before moving on to the next. I have never heard of this rule and neither has anyone else I have asked.

Am I violating a rule of etiquette, or is this something else my wife has "cooked up"? -- RUMINATING IN RIO RANCHO, N.M.


Not only are you violating a rule of etiquette, you are violating one of God's basic covenants: Thou Shalt Not Question Thy Wife.

I don't know if you've watched a lick of television over the last ten years but, if you have, you will have undoubtedly learned that American men possess an I.Q. equivalent to that of a retarded caterpillar. This fact was on prominent display, I heard, during many of the ads aired during the last Super Bowl.

The fact that American men's brains have been shrinking is an indisputable scientifict fact and can be read in some journal somewhere.

Now, fact: men are drooling hooligans. Fact: men need careful and diligent instruction on how to comport themselves on a daily basis. Fact: men get married so that they may receive constant instructions/life-coaching.

Fact: your wife knows how to eat meatloaf, broccoli and mashed potatoes. Question her again, and you will be brought before the Oprahatic Council for Estrogenenics, who will most likely recommend ritual sterilization.


I walked into my dorm room and heard my roommate having sex in the bathroom. I promptly called my girlfriend to ask if she wanted to meet me. No sooner had I entered her number than I heard my girlfriend's ring tone coming from our bathroom.

It was her.

I clicked off, left the room and stayed at a friend's for the night. Please tell me, did I do the right thing and what do I do now? -- BETRAYED IN TORONTO


Oh my God, another preciously polite Canadian. NO, YOU DIDN'T DO THE RIGHT THING! You should have either, a.) gone in there with a baseball bat and killed the both of them (people on college campuses are killing each other a lot nowadays, so it's not like you'd be the first or anything) or b.) taken your pants off and joined in!

I'm sure they would have welcomed your presence-- I mean, fine, maybe it would have been a little awkward at first, but college is the place to try new things-- especially in the dorm bathroom! It's not everyone who can say that they graduated with honors from college AND had a threesome on a filthy toilet with their girlfriend and roommate.

See, gay French Horn loser-- what did I tell you? Everybody has sex in college!


I am shocked at what my young children tell me they have overheard while other "carpool moms" chat on their cell phones as they ferry children back and forth to school. Cell phones have opened up a whole new adult world to children.

My children have heard mothers bad-mouth teachers, other parents and even their classmates. They have also had to listen to adult arguments that were none of their business. In one extreme case, my son had to endure hearing the carpool mom relay the circumstances of his own father's sudden death! Can you imagine how painful that was?

Parents, please remember that little children have big ears and listen to everything you say! -- HANG IT UP IN COLUMBIA, S.C.


Classic. These bitches are doing your sorry ass a favor by schlepping your booger-eating kids to school so you can hang out at home and fuck the Maytag repairman, and now you want to complain about what they talk about on their cell-phones? What exactly are these women supposed to talk about? Raggedy Andy and candy corn?


Why don't you drive your own fucking kids to school? Or, better yet, why doesn't the Maytag repairman drive them-- they're his kids anyway.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Remember Charla Nash?

She's the woman who got attacked in horrific fashion by a chimp named Travis last year. Travis, who went completely bullshit, as wild animals sometimes do, ripped Nash's hands off, and her lips, eyelids and nose.

If you've seen the episodes of "The Today Show" or "Oprah" in which Nash appears, you can maybe partially understand the absolute horror of that event. Maybe. No offense is meant to Nash, but she now resembles something concocted by a Hollywood special effects department, and her physical and emotional health has been seriously compromised by the attack.

It's very difficult to look at Charla Nash but, when you do, it's very easy to understand how she has been traumatized. If you look at Frank Chiafari, you wouldn't be able to tell.

Frank Chiafari was one of the Stamford, Connecticut police officers who responded to the call for help at Nash's moronic friend's house that day. Travis went right for Chiafari, while he was still in his police car. The leviathan ripped the rearview mirror off the driver's side door, tore the door open and lunged at Chiafari. The officer managed to unholster his weapon and shoot the blood-soaked chimp, ending the maniacal rampage. Chiafari filed a worker's compensation claim, stating that he suffers from PTSD following the incident-- that he has difficulty sleeping, experiences flashbacks, anxiety attacks, night terrors.

The claim? Denied.

Why? Because, in Connecticut, only police officers who shoot people can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

That's the rule. Sorry, Frank. I guess 200-pound Travis, covered in Charla Nash's lips and blood ripping open the door of your patrol car and coming within inches of eating your face just isn't scary enough to warrant your psychiatrist bills being covered by the state of Connecticut. I guess the message that Connecticut is sending with this law is that they acknowledge that shooting a person can be an upsetting event for even the most manly cop-- but you've got to be a real fucking pussy to get all blubbery and anxious after shooting a rabid dog lunging at your jugular vein, or a goddamn chimpanzee trying to nibble your nuts.

This not only blows for cops, it's a blow to cops. For decades and decades in this country, the stereotype of the police officer was macho-macho-man. They were expected to be the tough of the tough, to not take any shit from anybody, and to not be affected by anything, no matter how brutal or cruel, and police officers are often forced to witness some absolutely terrible things.

There was a time where a police officer could easily lose his job if he sought counseling from a mental health professional, and there's a generation of cops in America who would never dream of going to a shrink's office. There is a stigma that surrounds cops who seek counseling, and that's a terrible thing. Only very, very recently are officers being encouraged to talk openly about stressful situations they encounter, and are beginning to feel like their jobs will not be jeopardized if they do so.

Now, with its patently ridiculous decision in the Frank Chiafari case, the state of Connecticut is reverting back to the old way of doing things: take a brave police officer who was truly engaged in a fight for his life, and embarrass him, belittle him, pretend that his mental anguish after shooting a chimp isn't as great as it might have been if he'd shot a person.

According to an article I read about the case, "Ann Marie Mones, the city's risk manager, declined comment yesterday."

Well, I have a comment for you, Ann Marie:

Why don't we put you inside a car, give you a gun, and then sic a goddamn psychotic animal on you that is twice your size and has just already obliterated somebody else's face and body. Okay? Now, it tears your car door apart, it's gotten it open and it's comin' right at you, covered in blood. First, let's see if you even have the goddamn presence-of-mind, not to mention the balls to shoot it, and then, if you do, let's see if you can freshen up, comb your hair, brush your teeth, and report for work at 8:00 o'clock the next morning, making small-talk by the copy machine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blogsumer Confidence

Citizen's Bank wants you to know that there's still loans and credit available for your small business.

Toyota wants you to know that their engineers are hard at work, toiling around the clock to figure out ways to prevent your Camry from becoming the Herbie Antichrist.

When consumer confidence gets shaken, companies with a lot to lose often spend some serious advertising dollars on feel-good, security-blanket-covered ads that are supposed to let us know that, yeah, they know they've fucked up-- but they're working on it. With these commercials in mind, I thought I'd send a little message out there to my readers because, really, we're not immune from feeling insecure or fearful of the future. Right?

Dear "My Masonic Apron" Readers:

These are troubling times.

The blogosphere is awash in a sea of witticisms, snarkitude, YouTube clips, "Lost" commentary, and banal stories about how so-and-so blogger encountered thus-and-such homeless guy and had an inspirational experience, only to realize later that her wallet and iPhone were missing and she was now peeing seafoam green, with a red shank around her anus.

We cannot spend ten minutes in the blogosphere without reading the word "random" or the paraword "WTF," and we hunger for a blog post from a 20something blogger that does not include a quoted drunk text, a reference to Lady Gaga, or a bright pink background. Indeed, surfing the blogosphere is a dangerous and often thankless endeavor, and that is why I created "My Masonic Apron," as a place where we can all go for ribald rants and unfettered unction, and inquisitive individualism, unmarred by pictures of clowns or intoxicated chicks showing their left nipple or song clips from "The Black Eyed Peas."

But, lately, this blog has been failing you.

The posts have gotten shorter and perhaps more obtuse. My attention often wanders while I blog, and, while I would never disgrace you by blogging completely in the nude, I have found myself so absent-minded of late that, at times, I have observed that my fly is down mid-blog. And, while you couldn't possibly have known that, I feel that you are so observant, so tuned-in that you can't help but notice that something's up, even if you can't put your finger on it. You may not know exactly what the problem is, but you've got a hunch, and sometimes that's all Columbo, T. J. Hooker, and Mr. Tibbs had to go on.

Let's level with each other. You know one thing and one thing only: your blogsumer confidence has been shaken. And I know that you know, and now you know that I know. So, now: we know.

I want you to have my assurance, as the Chief Executive-Officer, Founder, Creator, and Almighty Exalted Uberominlordio Christifferous Leader of "My Masonic Apron," that underpaid East Indian technicians with unpronouncable names, outdated eyeglasses, and patchy facial hair are hard at work on this problem. They are working around the clock in their chambray shirts with visible wife-beaters and ambiguous gold chains embedded in countless layers of thick, black chest hair and will not stop working until this problem is solved. Our commitment to excellence has faltered, and, at times, cracked-- but we at "My Masonic Apron" have never promised perfection, and is not the Liberty Bell more beautiful for its cracks?

We think so.

Because, in these uncertain times, you deserve a better "My Masonic Apron."

A "My Masonic Apron" that consistently delivers-- on time, undamaged by sun, heat, or rain-- a "My Masonic Apron" that works for you, that's there when you want it, when you need it.

A "My Masonic Apron" that you can can be proud to tell your friends about, to speak about with your head held high in the confessional, to gleefully hyperlink to in your own blog, to admit that you read on your Blackberry under the tablecloth at banal family dinners and insuferable faculty meetings.

A "My Masonic Apron" you can follow with apron-waving pride.

You haven't gotten that "My Masonic Apron" lately, and we at team apron know that, and we're hard at work on a solution.

Trust us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Won't You Be My Enemy?

I've been thinking a lot about enemies lately.

Although I don't know for sure, I think I've gone through most of my life without having made many enemies, which some of you who read this blog might find astounding or unbelievable given the apparent size and profanatory proclivities of my mouth. Sure, I've offended people here in there-- like that fuckstick over there-- but enemies? People actively plotting against me and conspiring to have a hefty hand in my doom or demise? I don't think I have many of those.

Then again, I could be wrong. I was recently elected board president of an amateur theatre group. If you've seen "Waiting for Guffman" you know this can only portend very bad things.

As president, I'm bound to do things that will piss people off-- this is an inevitability that folks like Barack Obama and Warren G. Harding can attest to. In fact, I suppose it's rather fitting to write about enemies on President's Day (you're reading it the day after President's Day, because I've finally figured out how to delay posting and ensure regularity without the use of "Fiber One") as presidents have had to contend with a whole slew of enemies at different times in this country's life.

Can you believe there was a time when we were scared of the Russians?

I mean, seriously. Don't those people eat raw potatoes and old stockings for dinner? Don't all of their women over the age of thirty-six look like Andy Rooney? They build cars out of antique washing machine components-- and we all went and hid under our school desks over them.


We were pretty afraid of the Germans back in the day, too, but that at least made sense. Under Hitler, they were an enemy worth gnawing your fingernails and shitting your pants over. Same with the Japanese. Fortunately, neither are very scary these days. I mean, say "Germany" to the average American and ask for an immediate response and you'll get "Oktoberfest" or "Heidi Klum" and the descendents of kamikaze pilots are now stone-faced businessmen, jostling for position on the train in their jet-black suits, black ties, and Nokia cellphones from which colorful "Hello, Kitty" charms dangle and jangle.

We've never been particularly scared of the Irish or the Icelandic people. America never seems very scared of Israelis. I am, but then, I was raised by one. I thought we might not be afraid of any country that begins with the letter "I" but then I remembered "Iran" and "Iraq" and we need to sleep with the light on as long as those two exist, churning away at nuclear weapons and generally killing everybody.

We're more afraid of the Tata Nano than we are of India. I suppose we were bothered by Mussolini, but not really Italians in general, since we all think that they're just a bunch of fat, jovial chefs with curly black moustaches who run around going, "Aye! Dat's a spicy meat-a-ball-ah!" all day. Nobody in America knows where Indonesia is, so I guess they're not scared of Indonesians. I wasn't particularly scared of Indonesians on our honeymoon in Bali. At least, I wasn't until I witnessed the flight crew of our plane getting frisked by the police on the runway in Jakarta before take-off.

As the Olympics roll along their merry way with only one fatality thusfar, and accidental at that, everybody's talking about how we're so friendly with Canada, and how Canada isn't our enemy. All this talk reminds me of how my old high school classmate, Ted, who used to bike three miles to school in the winter wearing shorts, a wife-beater and a down vest, once remarked,

"Yeah, we love Canada-- until we decide that we need a big parking lot. Then we'll go over there and bulldoze the whole fucking place. AND THEN NUKE THE MOON!"

Sometimes I wonder who our next national enemy will be. Sure, it could be predictable like North Korea or maybe that lingering fear... China. But I like to fantasize about an enemy that comes at you like a surprise birthday party, jumping out from behind the curtains screaming, "SURPRISE!" in that shrill, unexpected way that makes you jump and pee yourself, just a little bit. Like, what if we got invaded by Corsica? Or maybe Wales gets a serious bug up its ass and decides to obliterate East St. Louis or Natchez. I would like to see Tonga try to fuck our day right up-- wouldn't that make for an amazing headline? I think the time has come for an exciting enemy-- an unexpected enemy. An enemy we can enjoy having, for Christ's sake. How about the Moldovans? I wonder what are those quiet little fuckers up to these days.

God. Russia. What the hell were we smoking?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh, Shit-- Was Yesterday Valentine's Day?

Dear Mrs. Apron,


I can't believe I neglected to recognize Valentine's Day, the universally and officially ordained day that commemorates and publicly celebrates the love that you and I share together. I feel like a Four-Star D-Bag. I mean, really-- a Brigadier Major-Fuckwad, if you want to get specific.

I didn't realize that yesterday was the day I was supposed to go out to the drug store and buy you a red, cellophane-wrapped box shaped like a goddamn heart containing low-quality chocolates filled with odious, sticky substances that resemble toothpaste, rubber cement, and baby tonsils.

I completely blitzed on getting you a $4.00 Hallmark card with cloying naked-assed cherubs playing harps or whatever. (You know, Valentine's Day is the only day where you can openly buy and give people cards with pictures of naked children on them-- I just thought I'd point that out.) I forgot to buy you a card with a meaningless, maudlin, neutral, nebulous poem written by Sandra Boynton's pomeranian, written in script that is so elegant it's practical illegible. Oh, and I forgot to laminate it to protect it against the projectile vomit you would inevitably hose in its cardinal direction after reading it.

I also totally didn't

* take you out to a candlelit dinner

* give you a gift-certificate for a day at a spa, or even a lousy ten-minute massage from some nineteen-year-old chick from Hong Kong with a lip-piercing

* go on a long walk on the beach with you

* rent a Rom-Com with you

* spread rose petals all over the floor, bed, toilet, roof for you-- nor did I present you with dozens and dozens of them, or even one dozen of them-- and I certainly didn't do anything especially creative with roses, like staple a petal to each of my eyelids and force myself to vomit pre-digested roses onto you in a Romanesque celebration of our love. Although I thought about it.

* tickle your asshole with Forget-Me-Nots or whatever when you weren't looking

* feed you those gross candy hearts while you were lovingly draped on the sofa, watching that Rom-Com that we didn't rent

* dress you up like a sex doll in edible red, flank-steak-flavored underwear and ravage you like the tiger did to that gay magician guy-- you know who I mean-- Dr. Oz?

* go to Jared's

* ask you to marry me again-- although that's not a bad idea... we are running low on cut glass bowls and the coffee-maker is looking kind of pathetic

* recite Shakespearean love sonnets to you while you bathed in lilac blossoms and I strummed a lute wearing big poofy knickerbockers and a blonde wig, a powdered face and star-shaped mole.

* buy you a fucking Lexus or Winnebago or something and wrap it in a big, red bow

* dress the dog up as Aphrodite and make his dog-bed look like a clamshell

But I'm pretty sure I told you that I loved you, several times, in fact.

Just like every other day of the year.

Cherubically yours,

Mr. Apron

Sunday, February 14, 2010

People Don't Change

Boys call their mothers for all kinds of different reasons.

Sometimes we call our mothers because we've run out of clean socks or underwear or plates and we don't quite know what to do about that.

Sometimes we call our mothers because we're afraid no woman besides her will ever love us.

Sometimes we call our mothers in tears or in hysterics or in our boxers or in despair.

Sometimes we call our mothers because the world is mean and shitty, unfair and unkind, oppressive and fucked up.

Last week, I called my mother to tell her that my sister was selfish.

It wasn't some random comment that just flew out of my mouth when I wasn't thinking. I had just gotten coffee at Wawa and was on my way to pick up the work mail from the P.O. Box and I pulled out my cellphone on the way to the post office, having made up my mind to tell my mother that I thought my sister was selfish.

I was full ready for justifications and defenses and excuses and heavy sighs. Miraculously, at 60, my mother is still able to surprise me.

"You're right," she said. My jaw dropped.

"She's always been selfish, she's always been all about her, and that's the way she's always going to be."

"But I thought," I stuttered, "that, when she became a wife and a mother that she would..."

"No," my mother said flatly, "she won't. She's always going to be like that. Her selfishness is one of her most unattractive traits. You have some traits that are very unattractive, too, you know."

And then, for my benefit, my mother proceeded to list them for me. She's so thoughtful that way. But I was barely listening to her as she recited my personality flaws, so enrobed I was in the rapture of hearing, for the first time ever, my mother admit that my sister was selfish. It was like tasting Caffeine Free Diet Coke from the Holy fucking Grail itself.

"And you're always going to be like that, too," my mother said, interrupting my reverie, "people don't change."

I don't always agree with my mother, but I always like listening to her theories, especially about human nature and how my sister is selfish. That might be my favorite topic of conversation to date. I don't know whether or not I believe people change or they don't or if they're capable of change or if they change so slowly, so creepingly, so intricately that it's impossible to tell.

Maybe they do change and we just can't see. Maybe it's our fault. Our failing.

When I look at the people around me, the people I've known forever, I try hard to figure out if they've changed. I think I've seen changes in my father-- in some ways. He's become more of a pussy about the snow-- that's one easy thing to spot. This week, he stayed home on two weekdays. When I was a child, that crazy bastard would go to work in blizzards, he would shovel out the entire goddamn street-- the idea of staying home from work because of snow was about as crazy to him as suggesting that he dye his shoulder-hair pink and march at Mardi Gras in a pair of clear vinyl chaps. If my father knew what chaps were.

He's gone from not knowing how to pronounce "internet" to sending copious amounts of text messages from a smartphone every day. He's gone from tooling around in Oldsmobiles and Buicks to enjoying the leather-swathed surroundings of Saabs and BMWs.

But he's still the same old crazy Israeli motherfucker. He still has coffee flowing through his veins, he still threatens to grenade the cars of people who have the audacity to park in front of his house, he still calls his wife and all of his children "Mummy," and he still thinks it's acceptable to go out in public wearing "sveatpants," loafers with no socks, clutching an engorged wallet secured by a rubber-band.

Tonight, visiting Pittsburgh with my in-laws, I was in a car, wedged between the door and my wife, who was wedged between me and her brother. He demanded to be taken to an establishment that served milkshakes simply by repeating the word, "Milkshake" over and over again until his desire was met at a Cold Stone Creamery. At 10:15 at night. When my wife asked him what flavor milkshake he got, he turned to her and replied,


He's twenty-six years old. And, though I didn't know him back in the day, I'm told that he hasn't changed a bit.

"I'm still wild and hilarious," he declared with typical loudness.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Yo, Phrom Philly Wit Brotherly Love

You've gotta hand it to Philadelphia-- not even three feet of snow, the result of a historic blizzard, can keep its young sons from killing each other in the streets.

On Thursday, while most people were fast asleep under cozy down blankets or having massive heart attacks from too much shoveling, two young men were slain, in separate incidents, on the streets of North Philadelphia, the latest victims to drown in Philly's brotherly bloodbath.

Now, say what you want about lazy people in the inner city, sucking on the teet of unemployment or SSI or resorting to nefarious proto-occupations like pimp, crackhead or burglar, but you've got to be a pretty industrious S.O.B. to make your way out of your house onto an unplowed North Philly street and take the initiative to put four holes in some other motherfucker's torso, probably over a bag of dope no bigger than my cornhole.

Now that's Philly pride.

When we get bitchslapped by Mother Nature, we don't cower in our rowhomes, we fight back-- against each other, of course. And we don't bother to wait for the cover of darkness to commit these acts of brutality-- the first fatal shooting took place at 10:50am, illuminated by the glow of the sun bouncing off the endless mountains of snow. We don't care who sees-- after all, who's going to stop us? The overworked, underpaid, mismanaged Philadelphia Police Department?


No way, man. We've got work to do. There's tons of asses out there to be capped, yo, and Philly is always up to the challenge.

The police have often relied on poor weather to reduce crime rates, citing the fact that, in normal cities, bad weather drastically reduces crime because even hardened criminals historically don't like to get wet or slip on the ice and bruise their tussies. "Rain & snow are the best police partnership in the world," high-ranking cops in white shirts have often said. Well, not in Killadelphia, they're not. Rain? Please-- I'm reloading. Snow? You better duck, motherfuck, 'cuz it's payback time on Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

If you think Philadelphians are going to be deterred from blowing unnatural holes in each other by a little fluffy white stuff, think again. It's like throwing a toy poodle in a black and white striped shirt into the middle of a rabid pit bull fight and expecting it to referee.

You may have your own opinions on murder, but you've really got to respect the dedication to task. I mean, I work for a small non-profit, and I couldn't even be bothered to shovel out my car this morning to go to work, and yet, there are shitskins and fucktards roaming Philly, armed to the grills, who are totally undeterred and undaunted by whatever precipitation threatens to stand in their way. Not only that, their potential victims even find a way to get outside of their shitty, pointless dwellings to offer themselves up as visible targets. And, even as their blood colors the snow a sickening sanguine crimson, I applaud their sheer pluck in just fulfilling their destiny as another dead Philadelphian.

Forget Rocky-- we should build a statue commemorating you, dedicated crime victim, and put it in front of the Art Museum. It would be bronze, of course, and, instead of a triumphant, imaginary figure wearing boxing gloves with its arms upraised, it would be a bronze cast of you, sprawled out on the sidewalk, like a 3-D chalk-outline, and tourists could lie down on the pavement next to you, their limbs grotesquely splayed and their friends could take pictures of it and post it on Facebook. This would require much less energy than running up and down the museum steps.

Yup-- that would be just fine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Come On, Baby, Light My Torch

While I'm supposed to be working, I just happened to glance at "Yahoo! News" and saw the headline, "Gretzky's Not Lighting the Torch." Now, while I'm supposed to be working, I'm going to blog about that, even though I've already done my duty for today (see below for a post that's all about a gay cruise-a-palooza!)

While I know that it's fun for the Vancouver Olympic Committee to shroud the identity of the cauldron-lighter in secrecy, I've decided that it's time to stop all of these shenanigans and tomfoolery and just get it out there in the open.


I'm lighting the fucking thing.

That's right. Mr. Apron hisself. Yeah, I called up VANOC and said, "Listen, Tedd-o, stop jerkin' me off and telling me it's Natascha McElhone using her left hand-- I'll do it for $76 mil and a 1963 VW Beetle that's had a frame-off restoration and retrofitted shoulder seat-belts."

That's what I said to him, and he was like, "Okay, but my name's not 'Ted'."

And I said, "Fuck you, Horrace-- now it's $77 mil."

Then he hung up, but I'm pretty sure it's a done deal. Now, hold onto your spoiler alert, because this is how it's gonna go down in Vancouvie tonight:

I'm arriving at around 6:30pm EST at Mountie Provincial Airport under heavy guard. From the airport, I'll be whisked to the Stadium Olympique du Provencal au de Toilette Faux Francais in a 1987 Plymouth Caravelle (the Canadian version of the thoroughly unpopular Plymouth Gran Fury) and I will be dressed as Chester Cheetah to avoid suspicion from curious onlookers. At the olympic stadium, I will be taken to a private area where I will be cavity-searched for drugs and stolen Olympic memorabilia and then my entire body will be hot-waxed and spray-painted gold. I will then be coated from toe-to-former eyebrow in Shed's Spread Country Crock Light.

Seven minutes prior to the torch-lighting ceremony, I will be summarily fondled by the members of the German Women's 2 Bobsled team who will then attach meathooks to both of my shoulder blades. To prevent an unfortunate scatalogical gaffe from occuring on live television during the opening ceremony, my asscheeks will be sutured shut by Olympic physicians utilizing a sterile needle and steel banjo strings.

I will then climb into the mouth of the sole remaining British Columbian ruffled stork after shoving the Olympic torch up its asshole. It is a little known fact that the British Columbian ruffled stork actually has a vestigal appendage shaped just like a human hand in its asshole, so this part of the choreography is bound to proceed flawlessly.

Just as the stork is 300 metres away from the torch, I will receive the go command from Olympique Centrale to tickle the stork's gag receptor, which is shaped exactly like the human clitoris, and the stork will proceed to vomit me out. As I fall, I will need to exert superhuman strength, grabbing onto the stork's beak while I pirouette below its taint, summarily grasping the burning torch with my other hand. I will then drop the torch into the cauldron, setting it ablaze in a haze of Olympic glory and showmanship unequaled since the last Anita Bryant concert.

Details on how I will survive remain sketchy, but I was assured that it will "work itself out."

Don't forget to tune in tonight to see it all! Ofuckinglympics, baby!

Facebook's Unsure of My Sexuality

A little while back, I penned a blog post in defense of my heterosexuality. Sorry I'm too lazy to hook you up with the hyperlink, but I've been shoveling snow for a week straight and, right now, I'm just not that into you.

In that post, I talked at length about how I'm really not gay, though societal conventions would have you believe that I am decidely light in my loafers. Actually, I just bought my first pair of Doc Martens, which means I'm even more far gone than being a gay man, apparently I'm a lesbian from the late 1990's.

I also went on and on about the various aspects of my personality that might lead one to believe that I am a homosexual: my intense love for Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, my unmatched penchant for matching clothes, my ability to take an interest in my wife's crafting projects, and my predilection for tears.

Of course, we in the blogosphere and specifically the My Masonic Apron fold banded together to rally around my heterosexuality, disclaiming society's distasteful tendency to lump, stereotype, codify and categorize a person's sexuality based on a random collection of traits.

Plus, I freak out when my underwear seam rides up my butt, so you can imagine....

While my friends and my wife are convinced that I'm straight, Facebook, it seems, remains unconvinced. Last night, I uploaded some fun, wintry pictures of my wife and me outside, frollicking about in the 3-foot-high snowdrifts and, occasionally, shoveling when I noticed a peculiar ad on the upper right-hand corner of my screen, a spot which, according to advertising studies, is the spot on a screen or paper your eye goes to first.

The ad featured four or five jovial looking, bare-chested men of Adonis-like proportions, their sand-colored hair swept back serenely suggesting they were photographed in a, well, Caribbean situation. To support this notion, the text below the handsome lads read as follows:

"Sail the world's most beautiful ship with 2,800 gay men to the best of the Caribbean. Great deals available now. Join Atlantis today!"

I looked quizically at my wife. What could there possibly be on my Facebook page that would lead online advertisers to think I would be a prime target for a gay cruise to the Caribbean?

1.) I am not gay (I'm tired of saying it, too) and I am listed on Facebook as "married."

2.) I have never been on a cruise and have no desire to be on one, ever.

3.) I have never been to the Caribbean and have no desire to be there, ever.

4.) It's the pictures of me in G&S roles that made them think I'm gay, isn't it?

I never knew there was such a thing as a "gay cruise." Maybe I'm just so young and innocent, but I had always assumed that a cruise ship was basically a microcosm of the larger world: with paralyzed people and black people and affluent people and stupid people and people with b.o. and people who insist on walking around without bras even though they're forty and older, people who wear eye-patches and people who wear Panama hats, people with skin lesions and Herpes sores and knobbly knees and dental veneers, people who eat gefilte fish right out of the jar and people who perform necropsies on other peoples' deceased pets for a living.

You know, I kind of just assumed the gays mingled with the straights on cruise-ships. And, I guess, on some cruise ships, they do.

But I now know that, on some cruise ships, they don't.

I wondered, upon viewing the website, if enough wealthy homophobes could band their resources together and buy a ship to sail to St. Bart's or wherever on a "Straights Only Cruise" and how the A.C.L.U. would feel about that. I also wondered if the Captain and First Officer of the "Gays Only" ships were required to be gay, too, and how difficult it must be to find a gay Captain and First Officer with the experience to pilot one of these tremendous ships. I also wondered, too, if the lobsters served on-board had to be gay.

Like gay cruises, internet advertising fascinates me. Once I switched to G-mail from Yahoo, I started noticing startingly accurate banner ads. The first one that almost dropped my jaw to the floor was an ad for a theatre company in Palo Alto, producing "Gee & Ess: An Original One-Man Gilbert & Sullivan Show." Then there was an ad advertising EMT training. Whatever G-mail does in terms of I.P. snoopery is working, because their ads are consistently on the mark.

Speaking of targeted internet advertising, I now understand that I will be bombarded at every turn for ads about gay cruises, man-thongs, tussie-lubricant, and Toyota RAV-4s because I had the audacity to Google "gay cruises" to get to that website. And now that you've clicked on the hyperlink, you will be, too.

Facebook's ads, though, could use a little work. Why? Because the very next ad to pop up on my screen after the gay cruise ad was one from Proflora Flowers, Inc. It bore a picture of red roses on it and it gently advised me that...

"Your wife will love these."

Indeed. I'll have them sent to her from sunny St. Bart's.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hey, Is That Snow on my Taint? No, it's Just DEAR APRON!

Yes, I know it's one day early and that "Dear Apron" is traditionally your Friday reward for making it through another lousy week, braving Balding Bob's inept sexual advances in the lunchroom and picking up a week's worth of dog shit. But, oh happy day, the joy of Dear Apron just couldn't wait another minute. So, without more ado, here we go!


I am 20 and live most of the year on my college campus. I'm on a full scholarship, so my parents are not paying my tuition. Most of my mail -- bank statements, etc. -- still goes to my parents' house since I don't have a permanent address.

For the last two years, my mother has opened my bank statement and read the entire thing. She then calls me and goes through all of my card charges and checks, and asks me to explain where I was and what I bought.

I have tried telling her that I am an adult and that what I buy is my business, but she continues to do this every month. When I explained that I am capable of managing my own finances, she told me she was just worried about me and that "a mother ALWAYS has the right to worry about her only child."

I understand she will always be concerned about my well-being, financial and otherwise, but this is taking it too far. How can I explain to her that it's not OK to invade my privacy? I know she means well, and I don't want to hurt her feelings, but it's really becoming a hassle. -- COLLEGE CO-ED IN WILLIAMSBURG, VA.


I have to say, I feel incredibly cheap and tacky addressing a letter "Dear College Co-Ed." I'm also undeniably aroused. Do you perchance have a webcam I can bookmark?

Now, getting back to your current dilemma, I agree with you 106%: your mother has no right to investigate your bank and credit card statements. Certainly "a mother ALWAYS has the right to worry about her only child" but that only child also has the right to some fucking privacy.

She obviously needs something to distract her, to divide her attention so it isn't constantly focused on you. Is she still young enough to have another child? Granted, her clamburger has probably dried up like a piece of Turkey Jerky by now but, if not, I would suggest that she start slamming your old man once she's ovulating. Barring that, maybe she needs to get some cats.

If this doesn't fix the problem, you could ways resort to paperless statements (I can't take credit for this environmental, practical suggestion-- see Mrs. Apron) that are delivered to your email, but I don't think this solves the root problem: your mother is an interfering little twat and needs to be dealt with accordingly. I can think of only one logical resolution to this problem:

Have her arrested.

No doubt you are aware that opening mail that is addressed to somebody else is a federal crime. Your mother is nothing short of a brazen criminal, and she needs to be punished accordingly. I think a few years in a federal penitentiary will smarten her up a trace. The U.S. Postal Police (or the United States Postal Inspection Service) may be reached at 1-877-876-2455. On hold for too long? Try the FBI or the U.S. Marshalls. Believe me, once this bitch eats pavement with the shoe of a federal agent on her neck, and once she's dyked over at some prison in Quantico by Squeaky Fromme, she won't open your goddamn bank statements anymore.


After my mother died two years ago, my sisters and I divided up her household items, parceling out equally objects of material and sentimental value. One item, which went to my younger sister, "Beth," was a brightly colored handmade Native American rug our parents bought in the 1950s in Arizona. It had been displayed prominently for decades on a wall in the house where we three children grew up.

I visited Beth recently and was shocked to see that she had taken the rug out of storage and was using it as a floor rug in her family room. I shuddered to think of the damage that a daily trample by her three little kids, she and her husband and a sadly incontinent dog will do to this family treasure. I politely asked her to reconsider and find somewhere else to display it. If she couldn't, I offered to trade it for something of her choice from my parcel of the family possessions.

Beth took offense, reminding me that it is, after all, a rug, and that it now belongs to her. Emphasizing that her small house has limited wall space, she implied that I was trying to get the rug for myself. She feels my desire to see it displayed is no more valid than hers to see it used. Am I wrong in thinking she should not trash this heirloom? -- SENTIMENTAL IN HARTFORD, CONN.


Ah-ha, another "Am I wrong in..." letter. Don't you just love it, folks?

No, sweetie, you're not "wrong." You're just a judgemental cuntslug.

I realize that your main issue here is your sister's disrespectful treatment of this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind handmade object, crafted diligently and expertly by a long-suffering native people. In honor of your faithful and steadfast devotion to the Native American cause, I would like to bestow upon you a traditional Wampognah Indian name: "Covets the Rug".

Listen, if you want to teach your sister that keeping the rug on the floor is wrong, the next time you go over there, the moment you cross the threshold, drop trou and squat right there on the fucking rug. As she and her kids and the incontinent dog watch in horror, do a finger-painting with the feces on the rug, shove your shit-covered hand down your own throat and raulpfgh all over it. If that doesn't send the right message, slit your wrists with your car keys and let that native blood, you sentimentalist, you.


"Katy" and I are in a loving relationship but have an ongoing argument in our home. Katy always sets the alarm clock for an hour before it's time to get up -- then hits the "snooze" button five times before actually dragging herself out of bed (which is usually even later).

Because I am a light sleeper, I'm forced to listen to the alarm clock and end up waking up earlier than I'd like. Can you please offer a solution? -- SLEEPLESS IN SOUTH CAROLINA


Sure. A divorce would fix this quite nicely, I think. Why don't you two kids run along and try that out, hmm?


I am 25, and have been in a relationship with a wonderful man I'll call "Tom" for a year. Tom is attentive, caring, funny, self-sufficient and comes from a great family. In short, he's everything a woman says she wants.

So why do I still constantly look at other men? I always worry that there's someone better-suited to me and that I'm just settling. Tom is definitely the best man I've ever met, and he would make a wonderful husband and father one day. So, how do I learn to appreciate what I have instead of always seeking something better, which very well may not exist? -- WANDERING EYE IN BUFFALO, N.


From what I've read in this little missive, Tom's probably gay. Most "almost-perfect" men are, so that's what I'm thinking. Now, you have to ask yourself, "am I okay marrying and having children with a probably gay man, even though he's got plenty in the bank, dresses and smells nice, barely ever farts, chews with his mouth closed and only occasionally masturbates to 'Physique' magazine in the bathroom while pretending to shave?"

If you're okay with that, I'm okay with that.

Oh, and you'll never stop that wandering eye of yours until you pluck it out with a shrimp fork, which I would highly recommend if you want to keep this relationship of yours intact.


I am a single woman who has recently started a career in local government. In my position, I am often invited to functions with federal, state and local officials. On more than one occasion, "royalty" has attended as well.

At these events, I am often introduced to officials or dignitaries after I am already seated. Should I stand when introduced as the men do, or as a lady, should I remain seated? I have watched other women, including a few old "pros," and the results are split. Can you please tell me what is proper and respectful in these situations? -- PROTOCOL-CHALLENGED IN INDIANA


How the fuck should I know? I've certainly never been at some fancy soiree sitting across from the Shah of fucking Persia.

Thanks for rubbing it in, though.