Saturday, February 18, 2006


…and more weighty issues dealt with
by the crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m fat. My wife says so. Now I say so. A hundred and fifty pounds ago I might have been able to do something about it. Now, I just don’t know. My wife’s been a positive influence so far but I’m afraid I’ll disappoint her.

Niles in Connecticut

Dear Niles:

The only person you need worry about disappointing is yourself. Your wife sounds like good people to me. If she’s stuck by you through the thick of it, she’ll also be there for the thin. Since you haven’t told me your height or total body weight I’ll assume that the hundred and fifty pounds you did mention are at least half of your total body weight.


Okay, this isn’t the time to feel guilty. This is a time for action. Provided you don’t need the Jaws of Life to get you from the fridge to the can, I would recommend that you and your wife go out tomorrow and enroll in a nutritionist’s and cardio program at a local gym. Make this the day you decide to get healthy for yourself and your wife.

I’ve seen some fairly chunky masses get svelte on “The Biggest Loser” – which is an erroneous name for the show, because anyone who reshapes themselves as much as those folks do should be considered big winners. You can be one too. But you have to want it, and I think you finally do.

Now, before I get a litany of hate mail from fat people who tell me that there’s nothing wrong with taking up three seats in coach – I want to say that, yes, there are those people out there who will profess to being perfectly happy with themselves at three hundred pounds…poor delusional devils! Or maybe they’re just IT store greeting card models.

The point is, there’s not a physician that will back their claim of fat n’ fabulous. In fact, that excess lard you’ve been lugging is unhealthy and dangerously stressful on all of your internal organs – mostly your heart and lungs.

If your wife wants to help from now on then the best thing she can do is to participate in your recovery from food addiction by adopting a more healthy lifestyle for the two of you. No more cases of Coke or tubs of donuts, okay? Try some celery sticks and tofu for filler.

Moderation is always the key. It would be CRIMINAL of me to suggest the proper diet you should follow. That’s why I say, consult a nutritionist tomorrow and get their take on the best course of action. Then follow that course without deviation.

It’s the only way you’ll whittle yourself down to that one hundred and eight pound ideal you’ve been storing up and carrying around in your mind’s eye. You can do it, Niles. I have that much faith in you. Your wife has so much more.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m 38 and recently discovered a gray hair. I’m so depressed. Does this mean youth is over?


Dear Gary:

Congratulations. I was 18 when I discovered my first gray hair. I’ve acquired many since.

What Miss Clairol number have you been using thus far?

But I must say that a full head of hair – regardless of its color – is more satisfying than none at all. Just ask any man with a crater or fringe if he wouldn’t rather have a thick mane of gray sprouting.

I used to get my hair cut at a salon where every time I sat in the cutter’s chair the cordial lady clipping my locks would say something to the effect of “You know, for about forty bucks I could wipe out that bit of white creeping in on the sides.”

Each time she made this comment I simply and politely declined.

However, after ten or twelve visits with each conversation starting off the same way I grew rather tired of her insinuation that I was somehow less attractive simply because a few choice follicles had decided to decamp from my general consensus of deep chestnut.

So the next time I made an appointment and sat in that chair and was greeted with “So, you think you might want to dip that mop in a bucket of paint” I quietly stood up, gave my cutter the once over and replied, “If I’m going to come out the other end with your rainbow harvest and split ends, let’s just forget it.”

And so we did. I never went back to that salon again.

Personally, I’ve always felt that one is as young as one feels. On occasion I’ve been known to awaken and feel like a good 200 years old. Then again, I’ve had days where I’ve felt as good as – if not better than – a sixteen year old.

My point is that 38 (like 18 or 200) is a number.

It says nothing about the boy you were or the man you’ve become.

Stop obsessing over the fact that your not twenty-one anymore and get on with life. Unless you’re planning on getting hit by a semi the next time you leave your couch, there’s an awful lot of living left to do. Get busy with it. No one stays twenty-one for life.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear C.C.:

My girlfriend wants me to get hair plugs. She says she doesn’t want to date an old man. I’m 41. She’s 29. I never thought my baldness bothered her. I’ve done everything to stay young for her; working out, running, dancing, body piercing, tattoos. Should I get the plugs?

Marshall in Spalding

Dear Marshall:

If you ask me, you’ve already bent more than backwards for this babe.

What sort of Frosty the snow princess did you hook up with?!?

At 41 you should have been marketing your carcass to another 41 year old. My range for dating has always veered five degrees in either direction. That means the youngest for you ought to have been 36.

Your girlfriend’s clearly not interested in you so much as she has been in the security you’ve managed to afford her until now. At 41 I’m assuming you’re established with a house, bank account and financial means to indulge her taut tuckus with vacations, nightclubs, etc.

The point is, you’ve reached an age where perhaps your physical appearance is starting to appear out of place.

For example – I wouldn’t expect my grandpa to be flying around on his ass inside of a Mosh Pit.

It’s just not something those old bones would likely endure. We used to have a single male neighbor living down the street from us when I was a kid who drove a sporty red convertible with his shirt undone to his navel. I suppose he thought that plume of white chest hair blowing in the breeze made him particularly sexy to the much younger trade living on the block. It didn’t. In fact, the ladies of the area used to frequently get together with my mother to share a laugh over “the old fool in the convertible.” He wasn’t fooling anyone but himself!

Working out? Tattoo? Body piercing? I don’t even want to know where. You’ve done everything humanly possible to reverse the passage of time. The tragedy is that time only moves in one direction – forward.

You were given a very brief window of opportunity to be the young stud on the block. I hope you took advantage of that time because the window has since been shuttered up.

You’re not OLD, Marshall!

But you’ve matured beyond the ditzy glam-bam of bumping into fresh bodies like the two of you are in the comics. At this point in your life you should be celebrating yourself for that new found maturity – instead you’re daydreaming with some bimbette who thinks you’re too old simply because you don’t want to fall ass over tea kettle while rollerblading!

I most definitely WOULD NOT get the hair plugs. But I think you’ve run your course with Pamela Plaything. Time to start looking for that significant other that will want something more significant from you other than a full head of hair to hang on to during sex.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

My wife is having an affair with my brother. He’s a decade younger than me and was always considered the good looking son by my parents. In fact, looking back on it now, I think my wife was staring at him during our reception. I love my wife. What should I do?

Barry in New Brunswick

Dear Barry:

Tough call. Your wife DOESN’T LOVE YOU! That’s painful but it’s also true. If you suspected that she’s been eyeballing bro’ across the gift table since your reception, I would have confronted her and him right then and there. It wouldn’t have made for an America’s Funniest Home Videos archive…but there it is. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have married her to begin with. Here’s a story you might appreciate:

I once attended an almost-wedding that had been arranged by the two families of the almost bride and almost groom. Apparently, the bride’s family thought the groom a handsome catch and were determined that their daughter marry this studly meal ticket before he ran off with the next available gold digging cheerleader. One problem: the bride in this equation didn’t love the groom.

So when it came to that moment in the nuptials when the priest says, “Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband…” the bride – as deadpan as Buster Keaton – simply said,
“No!” to which, after several hushed moments of shock and amazement, the game priest continued with, “Perhaps you didn’t understand my question.”

The point is, she did and the wedding – or wedding that might have been – died right there in front of a gathering of several hundred ‘close’ friends. (Aside: I’m always amazed at the size of weddings. I don’t think I’ve met several hundred people worth inviting to any wedding I might have!)

The moral of my story is that – try as we might – we can’t make someone love us.

Your wife loves your brother – probably for reasons so superficial and disgusting that to even mention them herein would embarrass us both… and I don’t blush that easily! So my advice to you is to pack your wife an overnight bag. Then, when she comes home, give her a peck on the forehead and say – “let me know where you’ll want the rest of your things forwarded” even though you probably already know the address by heart.

Yours truly
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

My life is over. I came home from work one night last month to find my house empty – literally. My wife had movers relocate everything accept my clothes to her boyfriend’s place. When I came home that evening from work the neighbors were staring at me funny. One of them innocently said, “Don’t you remember you moved?”

I was so ashamed. My wife took my kids and now she’s living with some guy who’s got a ton of money. I hate him. I hate him for ruining my life. Do you think I should sue for custody of my kids?

Mathias in Darlington

Dear Matt:

I would.

You seem to love your kids a hell of a lot more than your wife does or she would have thought twice before literally ripping them from the only home they’ve ever known to go shack up with the Wonder Schlong.

Bless you for mentioning your children first and not asking me about the best way to sue and get your stuff back. Your priorities are definitely and solidly grounded.

But I wouldn’t hate the guy just yet.

I mean, how do you know your wife didn’t feed him some “I’m so unhappy I could almost see my roots change” story, with a hint of, “he’s a bad man” and some “I’m afraid of what he’ll do to the children,” thrown in for good measure? This guy's no Prince Charming - that much is clear - but he might be stepping up to play the part of a misguided hero.

If she were so afraid of what you’d do then she wouldn’t have tantalized your rage by decamping Casa Mathias in the middle of the afternoon without so much as leaving an air fern behind.

Bottom line: this women is not worth her weight in dirty pantyhose.

If I were you I wouldn’t have anything more to do with her.

DON’T show up at her new place or attempt any contact with either of them.

Consult an attorneynot just any…a barracuda! You want this bipartisan cutthroat to smell blood in the water at the hearing. I can’t imagine ANY judge in the free world not being sympathetic to your plight and awarding you whatever you ask for in reparations – including time to be alone with your children.

Finally, although I’m fairly certain I don’t have to remind you of the following, I nevertheless will – this is going to be the WORST time in the history of your children’s lives. It’s going to be up to you to soften the blow. Although I don’t know your wife’s intensions, I can be fairly certain in my assumption that she’ll not want to part with the kiddies without first implanting all sorts of unscrupulous propaganda into their heads about what a demonic and destructive presence you are or will be in their lives.

The WORST THING you could do after getting custody of your family is to BASH their mother’s REPUTATION with equal aplomb. If the kids bring up anything about her in your presence you should merely preface their concern with “you know - mom’s made a choice for herself that we’re all going to have to learn to adapt to. But I’ll always be there for you when you need me. Don’t think that I don’t care and don’t ever forget that I love you. But mom is no longer my concern.”

You have my sympathies, Matt. You’re going to be strong and recover from this setback. Have no fear - you’re already the right kind of father. I expect great things.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

@ The Crabby Critic 2006 (All rights reserved).


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