Thursday, March 30, 2006


...and more of your fine questions attended to by
the crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m a second year student in a nude figure drawing class. I’ve always thought I was above such things but over the course of this last semester I’ve been developing this severe crush on one of the models. I don’t know what to do about it. Clearly, it’s not the most ideal of circumstances. I’d think it was pretty tacky if the tables were turned and I was the one not wearing anything. Could I approach this guy? Should I. Please help.

Helena in Oakville

Dear Patron of the Arts:

At this point I’ll assume the only reason for your crush is raging hormones. I took a nude figure drawing class once. The models weren’t allowed to speak to us or us to them.

So, let’s get real for a minute.

You like what you see, above and below the equator. But consider the disadvantage on his part. He hasn’t a clue whether you’re hiding a jelly roll under a girdle or svelte from horn to hoof.

I’ll assume since this guy isn’t ashamed to show all of himself to whoever’s taking the class that he also won’t be terribly modest about accepting advances from anyone in the class.

Here’s the thing – you have to be extremely tactful about how you carry it off. You can’t just go up to him as he’s slipping into his BVDs after a session and say something like;

“Hey, Mr. Fuzzy-Long…I think you’re just my size, life’s too short and besides I’m legal and test driven and going absolutely nuts (no pun intended), having been forced to sit on this side of the easel and drawing gesture and impressionistic odes to your girth in charcoal.”

My advice:
don’t even make sultry eye contact before, during or after the drawing session. You don’t need or want to set yourself up to the scrutiny of the class. If you think this model is your romantic ideal, chances are some other aspiring Mona Lisa in the audience is using her mental Xerox too and making triplicates of all the same places.

Find out where this artful asset hangs out after hours. Then go there and hang out too. Let’s face facts: you don’t even know if he has a girlfriend. He might. I mean – cute and single rarely go hand in hand for very long. Chances are someone’s already snapped up this Renoir Romeo. But, on the off chance that they haven’t – I really can’t see any problem with you pursuing this guy behind the scenes.

Word to the wise: NEVER - even if things work out between you two and you’re planning to pitch a little rice before graduation - NEVER expose this secret crush to anyone in the class. You’ll instantly become a cliché and the brunt of all on campus jokes.

Yours truly
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Last night I discovered the…uh…girl I’ve been out with on three dates is really a drag queen. I’m so ashamed. I always thought I could spot one a mile away. The only reason I found out was that we were getting ready to…you know…and suddenly she leaned into me and said, “I’m really a guy.” At first I thought it was a joke. Turns out the joke was on me. Obviously that killed the mood. My question is where do I go from here?

Chad in Manhattan

Dear Mislead:

Obviously not back to the same club where you picked up Victor/Victoria.

Whoa! Sounds like you had a bad rewind of ‘The Cryin’ Game’ or Rocky Horror Picture Show over at your place last night. What’s distressing is not the fact that you went out, made out and nearly laid out with a man who obviously was clever enough to deceive you into thinking him Ms. Right, but that you were deceived – period.

Clearly, the cross-dressing imbecile you were with thought it a conquest to latch on to a heterosexual man – for what purpose, I can’t say, since as a heterosexual man you were no more inclined to move south of the border than he was to turn north. Not all drag queens are devious, although this one clearly was.

If it’s any consolation: not knowing doesn’t make you gay – which is what I suspect you’re wounded male pride is concerned about. But in the future, may I suggest the Crocodile Dundee approach to finding out. Rent the movie if you don’t catch my drift. G’day, mate.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Last night I ate crab legs at a friend’s house party and barfed my lungs out till three a.m. Do you think I’ve developed an allergy to seafood?

Mike in San Francisco

Dear Mike of the Up-chucks:

It’s a possibility, although without hives and your throat swelling I suspect that maybe you were merely the victim of a really bad case of food poisoning. My first bit of advice would be for you to contact this friend who gave the party and ask if anyone else became sick after mowing down a plate of fish. If they did, then you know for a fact that food poisoning is what you had and not an allergic reaction to what you ate.

If your friend claims that everyone else made it through the night unscathed, or doesn’t know if they did, then my next bit of advice would be to seek out a qualified allergist and have a simple test done to either confirm or deny that you are allergic to shellfish. Either way, you should take the initiative to find out what’s wrong. After all, if you are allergic and continue to scarf down raw fish at parties, you might run into a situation one day where you wind up as cold and dead as that crab meat.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Last night I did a bad thing. I went to my sister’s graduation at this ski chalet and ended up sleeping with her husband and her teacher whom she’s having an affair with. I feel real bad now. Should I tell her?

Trish in Sarasota

Dear Crotch-o-Matic:

Obviously the flush is wearing off!

I don’t know how you have the gall to ask this question.

Not only did you bang the buck who put a ring on your sister’s finger but you screwed the pond scum that’s hooking fish outside of his own waters.

And now you want to tell your sister?


What could she possibly gain from that knowledge?

That her husband’s a philandering pig?

That her own sister is an indiscriminate one?

Well, as far as confession for the soul goes, I suppose sis’ deserves this; a sort of revenge of the romantic slut-junkie rides again.

Last night you did indeed do a bad thing – two of them. But I’m curious to know what you got out of the experience of playing Rita the Receptacle for the Mutt and Jeff sperm bank.

Clearly, you wanted to ruin your sister’s permanent and misguided stab at romantic happiness. That makes you despicable times ten in my book. Your sister is merely disgusting times one. Or maybe it’s the only one that you and I know about. Lucky her.

My advice to you: stop being the ‘assembly-line hump!’

Want more advice? Drive to the free clinic for a Pap and AIDS test. Then try driving a bit of common sense between your ears.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Okay, this is embarrassing. I had a disastrous sexual experience last night with a girl I really like. I mean I just couldn’t perform no matter how hard I tried. Finally, I just gave up. The girl said it was okay but I felt like a total idiot. Should I try again or see a doctor or something?

Farley in Maine

Dear Fisherman’s Friend:

Sounds like Sea Biscuit had a misfire while trolling the oceans of romance; happens to the best of us…and the worst. That it happened to you at a moment when you were out to impress is unfortunate but maybe a mixed blessing. Maybe your one eye had a sixth sense about Babe-o-lina.

But here’s a thought to put any lingering doubts about your prowess to rest – have you tried getting excited without an audience? Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. If you can still raise the flag poll just by thinking dirty thoughts I don’t think you have to worry about erectile dysfunction.

ED is a chronic condition that plagues over 30 million men and is often a precursor of other things like heart disease.

You don’t just have misfires.
You have NO fires.
Not even blanks.

But if you can still whittle yourself into a hardy mast by having x-rated visions dancing about your head (see picture, right for inspiration), then maybe it’s time to try and shiver your beloved’s timbers again.

Just remember this Chris Columbus – in order not to have another failed voyage around the world you’re going to have to block out that first dry dock experience completely from your head…both of them!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer. I’m only twenty-one and terrified. I don’t want to have an operation or Chemo or anything even though I know I have to. I read you often and you make me laugh. Is there something you could say to get me through this? I hate my life right now.

Erin in Marlin

Dear Erin:

You don’t hate your life. You hate the illness.

Hang on to that hate and translate it into courage. Often life throws us many curves that seem insurmountable at the start. But like all great journeys we have to face the adversities head on with a smile and defiance that proves – if only to ourselves – what we’re made of. There’s a greater strength building inside you today that wasn’t there the day before.

You have a cause and a purpose and the guidance of those that love and care about you on your side. Yours will not be an easy journey – I make no such claim. I am a realist first and foremost. For me to state that you’ll get through cancer unscathed would be a lie and I suspect deep down you know that.

But I will offer you this little pearl of wisdom to hang onto – you will emerge from the fray with your dedication and hard work. Never give up, Erin. Fight the good fight however best you know how. No one will think the less of you for trying – even on days when you feel as though you’ve miserably failed.

Don’t look back. Consider what might be gained at the end of this journey rather than what’s been lost from the start. Everyday that you are able to look up into the heavens and feel sunlight pass across your face is a GOOD DAY.

And on that morn when your doctors officially pronounce you in remission and cancer free we’ll all drink a toast to your recovery. I’m going to start chilling that bottle of wine for the occasion right now!

Your truly,
The crabby critic

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


…or just a girl who’s done well for herself? more of your frantic inklings answered by
The Crabby Critic

Dear Crabby:

Last month my boyfriend took me on a trip to the Caymans. We’ve been seeing each other for six months. Yesterday, he surprised me with a gold bracelet – a very nice one. My sister says because I’ve accepted these gifts and we’re sexually active that makes me a whore; gift equals payment for services rendered. Does it?

Jeannine in Monroe

Dear Money-grubbing Slut

I’m kidding…In my opinion accepting tokens of affection offered to you by your boyfriend does not make you a whore. It also doesn’t make you a gold digger. It would be an entirely different matter if you were seeing several men at once and taking things from all of them without actually expressing an interest in any of them as a steady beau.

But that isn’t what you’ve done!!!

I think your sister might be a tad jealous because you’ve managed to secure a man who is not only financially successful, but thinks enough of you to share that wealth.

I’ll concur with sis’ this far – that it would have been nicer if he had given you a gold band on bended knee as a token of his affections; after all – if you’re good enough to sleep with, you ought to be good enough to live with on more than a rent-to-own basis. But perhaps that too will come to pass.

Bottom line: your guy sounds like a keeper. Your sister sounds like a sexually frustrated twit.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

The other day I went to one of those sexy lingerie stores and bought my husband a silken thong. But when I surprised him with it in the bedroom he just laughed it off and said ‘It’s not me, babe.’ I mean, he hasn’t even tried it on once. I want my guy to be hot. What should I do?

Deborah in New York City

Dear Horny and Disappointed:

Maybe he’s just not. You married him. What do you want from me? Egberts have their appeal too – some women have such peculiar tastes. But if you kissed a frog expecting him to morph into some Joe Studly Prince Charming/Don Juan derivative in the bedroom – WHOOPS…sucks to be you…or doesn’t and that’s the problem!

There’s nothing wrong with sexing up your bedroom foreplay with some erotic clothing, but if your guy is just not into thongs, power tools or other implements with names like ‘The Jolly Pecker’ then I suppose you’re out of luck – sexually speaking, that is.

Clearly you fell in love with your husband for reasons other than his choice of underwear. Getting back to that original frame of reference sounds like the best creative outlet for you – otherwise the two of you will be miserable trying to turn him into Barrie the Boner. And anyway, if he's not all that I suspect you're more Kathy Bates than Jessica give the guy a break!

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m only twenty-one and going bald fast. At first I thought I was just thinning out but now I actually have a crater in the back of my head. I hate it. None of my friends are going bald. My dad still has a full head of hair and he’s 51! What’s wrong with me? Do those creams and pills they advertise really work like they say they do?

Joe in Fresno

Dear Joe:

The short answer to your inquiry of “what’s wrong with me?” is – NOTHING!

Unfortunately, man pattern baldness or ‘androgenic alopecia’ remains one of those great mysteries of the human condition that medical science cannot entirely explain away.

The myth used to be that baldness was a trait derived from the mother’s side of the family – but there is absolutely no scientific proof to support such a claim. Genetics too have been ill-precursors to the folly of the fall out. I for one have a father who by my age was considerably bald, while I have yet to experience a similar fate.

If it’s any consolation (and I realize it's probably not), most men experience a considerable loss of hair at some point in their lives. While it’s certainly true that the younger you are the more rarified it is to find a smooth pate in nature, you are decidedly not an exception to the rule.

Now, with regard to creams and pills – there are a ton of products out there that claim to be able to grow fuzz on a billiard ball. Not many are effective and some are outright frauds.

All come with a litany of side effects.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to place other organs of my body in jeopardy just so when they look inside the casket at day’s end they can say, “Boy, he was a jerk…but his hair looks fabulous.”

Depending on how much cash you have to spend, the number of options at your disposal will vary. Everything from Rogaine and micro-grafting to cheap wigs that look like wigs, I guess.

Only, here’s a thought; why not concentrate the bulk of your concern on expanding the amount of personal charm, charisma, wit and knowledge you have stuffed between your ears rather than needlessly fussing over that dwindling fringe decorating its canopy?

You’re a smart guy, Joeget a clue.

Women love guys for all sorts of reasons. Would you honestly want a woman who loved you only for your head of hair? There are such creatures out there. Superficial to the end and not at all responsive to guys who get old, saggy, sick or senile because they’re too busy checking in for a perm, pedicure and bikini wax.

Want my advice – go the Montel Williams route and smile with confidence. After all, being bald is definitely not the worst thing that could happen to you.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

The other day two friends of mine and I were horsing around near a farmer’s old barn out in the county when one of my friends – I’ll call him, Larry – thought it would be a cool idea to strip naked and throw our clothes in a pile inside and then set the barn on fire. The trick was to see who would wait the longest until the barn was burning to rush back in and save their clothes.

Only the barn was dryer than we thought. It went up fast and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere without our clothes. Here’s the problem. I left my wallet in my pants. So far nobody’s come around to ask what I was doing there so I guess they don’t know, only the farmer has an insurance claim and I don’t want to get caught. What should I do?

Terry in Idaho

Dear Au naturale:

Okay, so we’ve established Larry.

Which one are you – Moe or Curly?

In between comparing Johnsons you played juvenile arsonists and torched some geezer’s loft. So much for the concept of ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time…’

What ever happened to chores?

I thought life on the farm kept one busy and out of trouble.

Cock-a-doodle-doo, and guess again!

But now is not the time to turn chicken, Terry. You have to acquire a set of giblets and come clean.

The three of you acted like some misguided pigs in heat. In the grand scheme of things I suppose you did nobody any great harm, except obviously the barn.

Boys will be boys, eh? Time to step up and be men.

If I were you, I’d go over to that farmer and tell him it was you guys who did this foolish thing. If the barn was of no use to him – he’ll probably be good natured about it. After all – he was a yungin country bumpkin once too. Maybe, he did something just as inane and colossally stupid at your age. But I doubt it. He was probably too busy feeding the hens.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Dear Crabby:

I've somehow found myself in the midst of a blogging war with no idea of how I got there or how to get out.It all started when a friend asked me to comment on his friend's blog to encourage her in her blogging endeavor. I made a few friendly comments here and there, only to find out that she's been spreading rumors about me via the net.

Apparently she has written male participants with the claims that I'm a lesbian (I'm not) and that I am "over-rated". I know about these letters because my friends are sharing them with me.I am perplexed as to why she would do this.

She's a pretty girl in her own right, and seems very nice to everyone else but me. I've not said or done a thing to draw her ire.I know she reads my blog quite regularly. Should I say something or just ignore her?Signed,

A Fan of the Crabby One.

Dear Overrated Fake Lesbian:

Don’t underestimate the power of the little green-eyed, thin-lipped monster. Petty jealousy, thy name is woman! Sad, but true – more women than men tend to indulge their spiteful side in this sort of cowardly character assassination. This internet babe is despising you from afar – for what reason, who can say? I’m not entirely sure why.

Now, before I get a litany of hate mail from female readers calling me a sexist dog for insinuating that ‘all’ women are spiteful I want to say two things – first; I never said any such nonsense. Second, I’ll wear the moniker of ‘dog’ proudly any day of the week.

A dog is loyal, loving, trustworthy, faithful, devoted and a true companion throughout the years. Cats, on the other hand, are finicky, temperamental, shifty, vindictive and independent to the point of cold-shouldering you – except if they require food and refreshment of their litter.

Put bluntly – you’ve a hellcat on your heels right now. Wouldn’t you have preferred a Doberman Pincher instead?

You say this wench is attractive – gee, like only ugly girls have low self esteem?!? NOT! On the contrary, there are a lot of beautiful women out there today who simply are not very attractive on the inside – a shame, since they have every other deportment to make them a fine companion for anyone…except the one essential – an understanding heart. Without that, any woman who fancies herself the goddess might just as well be made of bronze and decorated with pigeon excrement in the courtyard of some fashionable district. She’s of no use to herself or anyone so long as her tiara isn’t allowed to slip just a bit.

Here’s the deal with jealousy. We all have an innate bit of it in us. Some people grow out of it as they mature – that is, it creeps up now and then, but remains a passing thought rather than at the crux of some deep seeded anti-sentiment. But some people never part company with their less than flattering alter ego. In fact, they fuel it almost daily with more jealous thoughts darting about the ravaged recesses of their mind.

I’ll bet my reputation on the fact that you’re not the only woman this girl hates. In fact, she probably has more women lined up on the list of flying daggers than men. That’s a shame, because she’ll never be able to bond with ‘the girls’ in a way that is healthy or beneficial to her own outlook.

There are many reasons one might hate another person – most of them superficial. But here’s the real deal. If she hates you because you’re beautiful, then she’s going to hate a lot more people the older she gets. Because no matter how attractive one is at the outset of youth – the numbers increasingly change (and not in one’s favor) the more mileage gets attached to the chasse. That’s why jealousy is such a waste of time – you can’t win with it – EVER!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m dating a guy who I love but is not my equal physically. I’ve always been considered attractive. He’s not. But he’s a great guy and he makes me laugh. The thing is, I feel uncomfortable with the stares we get when we’re out together. It’s like everyone’s saying “what’s she doing with that ugly guy?”

What should I do?

Brenda in British Columbia

Dear Self Inflated Ego Tripper:

That isn’t what people will be saying about you after they read this. They’ll be saying, “Why is such a great guy hanging around with that arrogant, self-indulgent airhead of a princess?!?”

If you truly loved this guy his looks wouldn’t matter – AT ALL and PERIOD! You’d find his inner-self ultra sexy and think that anybody who didn’t get the reason why you two are a couple complete and totally superficial idiots. Sadly, for the guy – I mean, you’re just as hung up on physical attraction as the rest you report to find misguided. Here’s the deal with attraction – personal or otherwise: it comes from within.

Personality is a far more enticing accoutrement than firm pecs or blue eyes. The problem with you, sex kitten, is that you still can’t classify personality because you can’t see it.

This guy is the hottest property in town – but you seem to think that quality pales because he doesn’t look like Antonio Sabato Jr. in his Calvins. What a pity. I only wish your man would write me for some advice. I’d start by telling him not to invest so much of his personality in you – you clearly haven’t invested in his.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Who do you think you are? You give out advice without knowing anything about anything. You’re not a doctor, shrink or any other kind of comfort.
You suck!


Dear Brazen Coward:

The least you could have done was attach a first name to your insult. Clearly, you didn’t spend much time reading my column or did but didn’t get much out of what little you read.

Sorry – I’m not for everyone. I never pretended to be. And you’re right – I’m not a psychiatrist, therapist or any other sort of medical doctor. But I know who I am. Who the heck are you?!?

As for sucking? I can only say, not since I was weaned off the nipple many years ago.

Now, about not knowing “anything about anything” – I beg to differ. For example: I know that by the tone of your remark you’re bitter about something that has absolutely nothing to do with me. Whatever that is – get over it and grow up.

I also know from your lack of identification that you didn’t feel secure enough in your content to tell me who you are so that I could face you on a level playing field. Oh, well. Chicken liver for dinner tonight, I suppose.

Finally, everyone’s entitled to an opinion. You’ll forgive me if I don’t give a damn about yours.

- C.C.

Dear Crabby:

I read you a lot. In your opinion is everyone who has more than one sexual partner a slut?

Chelsea in Wheatland

Dear Chelsea:

Certainly not. And I’m not going to put a fixed number on partners one should have – as say, ‘under ten’, your still a little princess, after eleven you’re working for Heidi Fleiss.

But I do wish more people would refrain from swapping bodily fluids as casually and regularly as they do their handshake.

Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. The basic ones are that you don’t want to contract a disease that will leave you baron, or, wind up pregnant with unwanted children from someone whose name you can’t even remember once the pants have been zipped.

But the more important reason is this – that as a human being with a divine soul and solid logic one is worth infinitely more than the simple sum of their erect and stimulated body parts.

Are you going to tag Mr. Right on the first try out? Probably not. But why not cut your bitter breakups down by a third by waiting to find out whether the guy (or gal) you’re with is worth pitching your modesty and underwear to in a ball on the backseat. What have you got to lose by waiting for Mr. Right instead of offering yourself on the alter of a lot of Mr. Wrongs, in the hopes that one of the frogs you’ve kissed will magically mutate into a prince?

You’ll meet a lot of people in this world, Chels.’ Only some are worth knowing intimately. The rest are barely worth knowing. Given those odds, wouldn’t you rather not know as many quite so well?

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I don’t know. At forty, I’m getting tired of it. My boyfriend hits me sometimes. He says it’s okay because it doesn’t leave a bruise.

Debbie in Maine

Dear Doormat Deb;

Indeed, then at forty take a good whack at him someplace where the impact won’t show. Are you serious?

Honey, here’s a clue – anybody who occasionally mistakes your misshapen butt for a punching bag isn’t dating material. More like material waste.

I don’t care what the reason is behind his giving you a light - or not so light - smack now and then. In every instance, he’s an absolute pig for doing so. Okay, so it doesn’t leave a physical scar – small comfort. What’s it done to your pride, self worth and self esteem?

You want some solid advice – pack your suitcase and leave. Tell buddy boy that if he wants to fight, there’s a sport called boxing that’s right up his alley. Oh, but I forgot – that wouldn’t be quite so fun. After all, those that take the punches in the ring are apt to hit back…and that would be a pity…because sometimes those bruises do show.

Deb, leave! – now – right now!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Yesterday we had my daughter’s sweet sixteen with friends and family. Everything was going fine when my daughter rushed upstairs in tears. When I asked her what was wrong she said that a boy at the party told her she was so ugly that no guy would even consider ‘raping’ her!

My daughter is a very beautiful girl but she doesn’t think so. She’s so upset by this comment but she doesn’t want me to talk to the boy who made it.

Harold in San Francisco

Dear Harold:

I concur with your daughter. Don’t talk to that repugnant little urchin – talk to his parents.

Be calm and rational about it even though as a father I know that your first intuition will be to go over there and dislocate a couple of shoulder blades. Regardless of whether your daughter is Cinderella or the Hunchback of Notre Dame she didn’t deserve that crude snap assessment of her physical ‘worth’ by some guy who’ll be impregnating cheerleaders in a few years with his demon seed.

To be kind about the situation would be for me to say that Johnny Big-Mouth didn’t really know what he was saying – but at sixteen he knew damn well the impact his words would have. That was the whole point of the exercise – total humiliation. He succeeded – but only slightly. You see, your daughter’s going to come away from this experience with a better understanding of how some people operate in this world – by tearing down their contemporaries in order to make themselves feel better.

Be calm, Harry and comfort your daughter – the only princess in the room that or any other day of the week. The clod who made the comment is hardly Prince Charming.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

The other day I came home from school a total wreck. My boyfriend and I broke up. My mother says it’s no big deal. Life begins at thirty. I’m seventeen. What does she mean by that anyway?

Arlene in Kansas

Dear Arlene:

Technically speaking, life began when your father impregnated your mother. Emotionally speaking, I think your mother made a fairly accurate statement about what you can expect out of life in the next few years. You see, when we’re in our teens and twenties we tend to treat every accomplishment – however minor – as the greatest deed in the free world. We also tend to view every little disheartening moment as the most cataclysmic event that narrowly escaped shattering our mental psyche.

But a wonderful epiphany takes place right around the thirty year mark. Suddenly, all the scary parts of life even out until there is only that which is presented to us as a challenge and that which challenges us to move on to better things without all the angst and terror we generally associated with the circumstance before.

You broke up with your boyfriend. So what? True, you’re not the only fish in the sea. But have you considered that he’s not the only hook?!? Let’s face facts, Arlene. You probably weren’t going to marry this guy next month, next year, or maybe never. While the circumstances of your split might seem a bitter pill to swallow now (more bitter than the one your hopefully on to prevent any little Arlene’s from entering the picture), in the long run you’re going to look back on this moment in your life and think – “Gee, wasn’t this silly?”

The answer to that contemplation would be – “Yes…it was”, but a necessary part in the evolution of growing up. Don’t wish for thirty to get here too soon. Enjoy the years between. But realize that one day all of life’s big problems will merely be specks on your tapestry of life.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Monday, March 20, 2006


More of your questions answered by the crabby critic

Dear Crabby Critic:

I’m fed up with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for four years. I’m tired of him not wanting to do anything after he comes home from work. I’m tired of his lack of initiative. I’m tired of the fact that he’s tired all the time. I’m sick and tired that we don’t spend more time together. What can I do to get him to do the things I want to do?

Marlene in Edmonton

Dear Marlene:

Oh, you sexy little love Nazi, you. Sounds to me like you’re just tired of your boyfriend – period. The real surprise is that he hasn’t tired of you…YET! But don’t worry – he will. See, men have a threshold for tolerance in any given relationship. As men, we tolerate a great deal – either because we’re ‘tired’ of the constant conflict and complaining or just because we’re plain diluted into believing that we’re still in love with you goose-stepping vixens.

But get a clue, Frau Hitler. Eventually, the Romantic Reich will come a tumblin’ down! As men – we’ll reacquire our testicles from your gas chamber and decide – hey, you’re not the only sweetheart swastika waving to us from the front lines. When that epiphany hits – baby, it’s Armistice Day. Let freedom reign.

You want my advice – get off your boyfriend’s Messerschmitt long enough for him to take in a silent breath without the aid of a gas mask. I’m sure you’re hardly the perfect little fraulein.

So instead of criticizing your boyfriend for what he doesn’t do – try praising him for something he does do. The old adage is still the best; you’ll get a lot more flies with honey than fly paper. Quit swatting around. Or just move on to the next unsuspecting male for four more years of war. Seriously, you’re not set up for peace time yet. Yodell-ah-hee-hoo!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

What is your opinion on body piercing?

Dave in New Zealand

Dear Dave:

There’s no denying that in some cultures the piercing of human flesh with various implements has tribal significance. To those societal mores, I make no comment. North America – however – is not such a culture.

Today, body piercing has acquired the rather tactless in-vogue stupidity for wayward youth who think it hip and exciting to make puncture wounds in their skin like some live stock animal being tagged for the slaughter house.

Perhaps I can enlighten you with my opinion by way of a story. Last spring I was doing some gardening in my front yard when I heard the light rattle of chain link gaining on me from behind. We have several families in the neighborhood who have pets, so naturally I assumed the sound I heard was coming from one of them taking their dog out for a stroll.

Not at all. I turned to see a punked out wannabe athlete in his early twenties jogging shirtless toward our drive with two gargantuan nipple rings clanging like a pair of door knockers. They were linked together by a rather heavy bit of chain link glistening in the sun.

With every stride this fellow took the weight of this chain jerked his nipples back and forth like a pair of schizophrenic shock therapy victims conducting an orchestra. It was really quite a freak show and it looked fairly painful. I couldn’t help but stare.

By way of being an arrogant fool, this misguided clod noticed my disapproval and without looking where he was going said, “What’s your problem?” whereupon he missed a space in our walk and fell flat on his chest in front of my drive, knocking the wind out of him.

Not wanting to be unkind I hurried over to this man, helped him up, went in the house and brought back a glass of water and a few bandages for his wounds. You see, one of the rings had been…shall we say…yanked from its tender lobe. Yeeeoowww!

After this fellow recovered he thanked me for my hospitality, then asked why I was staring at him. I replied by inquiring why he had bothered to pierce two of the most tender spots on the human body with a hole the size of a small pencil tip. Neither of us had a satisfactory answer to offer the other.

So when anyone asks me, ‘what is your opinion on body piercing’ I simply relay this story with the conclusion that if I hadn’t been staring at this man he wouldn’t have fallen on my driveway. On the other hand, if he hadn’t been a damn useless fool of a rebel without a clue and staple-gunned his nips, I wouldn’t have had any reason to stare.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I don’t know where to begin. Last night I attended a wedding reception where my cousin and this girl that he knows I like were. When I approached the table where he and another girl and this girl that I like were sitting he introduced me to the group as “This is my gay cousin.” I was humiliated. Later on he pulled me aside and said, “Hey, no hard feelings…I like her too” but I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. I’m so embarrassed. I’m not gay!!! What should I do?

Alvin in Georgia

Dear Trumped:

Sounds to me like you were outed before you were in!

You were more graceful than I would have been. My scope of response would have ranged somewhere in the vicinity from “what are you trying to pull?” to “I think I’ll beat the living snot out of you right here and now.” Not for the gay comment – but because your cousin knew just how much you liked this girl and thought nothing of destroying your reputation and credibility just for kicks. That’s despicable behavior. I wouldn’t be friends with your cousin any more. Neither should you.

Want my advice? Call this girl up. Better still, see her in person. Come clean with your affections and your sexual orientation and explain that your cousin was just being a homophobic jerk. If she’s any kind of a woman, she’ll be just as repulsed by your cousin’s behavior as I am. She’ll find your ‘explanation’ heart felt and tender. You can win some points here and get to know her better. If she’s not sympathetic to your reply or she just doesn’t believe you or laughs it off and thinks your cousin was a hoot, then – as painful as it may be – let your cousin have her. They were made for each other.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Is there life after death?

Gabriel in the San Fernando Valley

Dear Gabriel:

Interesting question; one that I’m afraid I have no legitimate answer for. Some of the waking population firmly believes in an afterlife; everything from reuniting with lost loved ones that have gone before them, to visions of a white fluffy place with naked cherubs strumming harps; the latter scenario I’ve always found a rather sick amusement for the closet pedophiliac with a Philadelphia cream cheese complex.

But to be serious for a moment – there’s just no proof that either the cherubs or heaven exists or will be waiting for us after we take our last breathes. On a more comforting side – there’s no definitive proof that heaven doesn’t exist! Agnostic nay-saying aside, I believe there has to be something more to the end of life on earth than simply a pine box and six feet of dirty laid overhead.

If you choose to believe the religious explanation of death – then the bodies we inhabit are like great cloaks that our souls wear to make them visible on this planet to other souls. When the body has at last outlived its usefulness it jettisons the soul to a higher place where it achieves immortality as a guardian angel or – if you go the Sylvia Brown route – a ‘spirit guide’.

I may be stepping way out on a hypothetical limb here…in point of fact, I am. But I think if you aim to get to a place where earthly strife is a non-issue, then as sure as Gabriel blowing his horn, you will get there.

That’s the best that I can offer off the top of my philosophical noggin – especially since I cannot back it up with any hard fact-based truths. Sorry. If it’s any consolation at all – one of these days – either sooner or later - I’m going to find out the same answer as you.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m a divorced parent with a daughter who doesn’t want anything to do with me since her mother and I split. I was the one that asked for the divorce. My wife had been unfaithful, though she denied it at the time. A month after I left she married the man I suspected her of having the affair with. I would have thought my daughter would have been bitter at her mother but instead she seems to hate me. She’s even gone so far as to tell me, “You quit on us.” I don’t know what to do anymore.

Brad in Sarasota

Dear Brad:

This one’s going to sound cold but for the time being I would suggest you leave your daughter alone. Even if joint custody says you get her two weekends out of the month, I would let your daughter to decide whether or not she wants to spend that time away from her ‘mother’.

At present it doesn’t sound like she wants to be within three counties of you. That’s a shame. But I also believe it’s probably the fault of your wife pumping her full of ‘daddy’s pond scum and you should avoid him like the plague.’

Boy, that’s some ditch pig you picked to birth a baby. But now that the damage is done, I’d let the scenario play out on the ol’ farmstead.

Let’s face it – your wife isn’t Susanna of the Mounties or Sweet Polly Purebred. She married less than 30 days after you decamped for less stressful pastures. Right now you’re daughters emotionally wounded and receptive to any explanation for the lousy way she’s feeling. Your wife’s struck the right chord in her and the net result is ‘you’re the bad guy’. But here’s the wrinkle; ma’s awfully busy with stud #2 right now.

She’s going to be investing a lot more time in getting to know him than in babysitting an irrational teen. Eventually, your daughter will recognize that you weren’t the bad guy. You were the wounded party – just like her. She’s going to come around, probably sheepishly and feeling ashamed for treating you like the prodigal bull. When that time happens – the best you can do is to welcome her back into your fold with open arms. Be understanding, as I know you can be and you’ll have ‘daddy’s little girl’ once more.

Just be patient, Brad. I expect great things. More importantly, however, so will your daughter. Don’t disappoint her on that score.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

My brother is taking piano and is really into Liberace. Does this mean he’s gay?

- John in Ohio

Dear John:

Gee, I don’t know. Is he also into candelabras, flashy sequined bathrobes, peacock feather-trimmed fur coats and glitter-toed slippers? (These are stereotypes, I know…but I’m trying to prove a point).

If he is then I suppose he might be. Or he might just be one of those people who, for lack of taste, place velvet Elvis paintings on par with the works of Picasso and Da Vinci.

But you’ve given me little to go on. If your brother is listening to the CDs to assimilate the texture, quality and fingering of Liberace’s playback then I suspect he’s just modeling his own esthetics during his practices on a great master of the piano. That’s called homage – not homosexual!

- C.C.

Hey, Crabs:

Are you ever going to get down off your rhetorical high horse and just expect that people are human and will all make mistakes?

Hal in Australia

Dear Hal:

I never reported to be perfect. Nobody is. I’ve my flaws as much as the next man – but unlike quite a few of my contemporaries, I’ve made a personal commitment to reduce the amount of idiocy I allow myself to indulge in. I respectfully decline to subscribe to our current Machiavellian societal principles of ‘do whatever feels good and whatever you want, even if you have to step on an army of people to derive your own personal pleasure.’

That’s a very sadomasochist world view, if you ask me. If everyone would just stop worrying about having themselves put upon and instead invest a bit of self reflection in how they could stop putting themselves upon others, we’d all live in more harmony than our current skewed state of insurrection critically allows for. You don’t have to be perfect, Hal. You just have to be willing to try for the best that you can be. Prove me right – improve yourself…starting now!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I think my mother might be bisexual. The reason I say this is that the other day I came home from school and asked my mom if I could borrow some money to go to the store with friends. She told me to get it from her purse. Inside I found a pack of matches from our local Motel 6 with the inscription – ‘thanks for yesterday, Cheryl.’ My family doesn’t know any Cheryl. We’ve never stayed at any Motel 6. I want to confront my mom or tell my dad. What should I do?

Tina in Michigan

Dear Tina:

Okay – I’ll admit the message in the matchbook sounds mysterious. It’s also a curiosity that the matchbook came from a motel you say your family never stayed at. But have you considered the other possibilities?!?!

Maybe your mother borrowed the matches from a coworker at work and then forgot to give them back. Or maybe she and your father were traveling somewhere together when you weren’t around, stopped to make a telephone call and took the matches from the motel register – not realizing that there was an inscription inside. Or maybe your mother was out playing Florence Nightingale and wanted to thank your mother for her kindness in some small way. There are all sorts of logical reasons for the book being in your mother’s purse. Bisexuality isn’t one of them – at least not one in the top ten short list. I think you’ve jumped the gun on your assessment of your mom.

Why are you so willing to believe the worse about this woman? If she had been neglectful to either you or your father, or was spending a lot of time away from the family that was unexplained, then I’d say maybe you had a bit more to go on. But before you start listening in keyholes, Nancy Drew – I’d recommend being upfront with your mother about what you found. Get her side of the story. Otherwise, your sort of snap analysis without facts to back it up is just rumor bordering on fiction.

Yours truly
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I'm a gay male in an office where it’s not chic to be gay. In fact, a bunch of my coworkers don’t have any problem making off color jokes about homosexuality. So far I’ve pretended that I’m okay with everything that’s going on but last week my boss offered to set me up with his single sister-in-law for the company picnic. I told him to let me think it over. What should I do?

- Gary in Manhattan

Dear Gary:

My best advice – quit! Not because you’re gay but because you’re gay and don’t want to admit it to your coworkers and are in an environment that is not conducive to your sexual orientation.

In this day and age – and in particularly in Manhattan – I find it shocking that there are still these homophobic enclaves. Nobody should have to put up with that sort of bigotry. Clearly, however, you do. In a perfect world you would come out of the closet and declare your gayness to the steno pool and they would say something like “way to go, Gar’…” and “We’re behind you, 100%.” But that’s not what’s going to happen here and you and I both know it. If you come out you’ll be met with open hostility or quiet rejection – both equally painful and insurmountable obstacles, in my opinion.

Depending how many years you have with the company it might be difficult to quit without first securing another position. So, if I were you, I’d go to the picnic with the boss’s sister-in-law and fake it. Nobody, least of all Sally Blind-Date, will expect you to throw her down for some heavy petting behind a potted fichus after cupcakes. Be polite and enjoy the afternoon.

But right now, start going through the want ads. Make inquiries. Find a place that you can be happy and at peace with in your line of work. You’re entitled to happiness as much as the next guy standing around the water cooler who wants to jump the secretary in the Xerox room. There’s no shame in moving on. There’s also no shame in being gay. The people in your office will never understand that.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

@ The Crabby Critic 2006 (all rights reserved).

Monday, March 13, 2006


...well okay - not really...

and more of your questions answered by the crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

What did you think of the Oscars this year?

Tallulah from Austin

Dear Texas Rose:

Not much!

AMPAS (The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) has never been a philanthropic organization disseminating accolades to genuinely deserving artists. In fact, The Academy was originally conceived as a guild-busting anti-union vehicle to keep all its artisans in check.

Recall, if you will, that Garbo never won an Oscar. Neither did Hitchcock. Perhaps it’s because neither was deserving of one – but I seriously doubt that.

I’ll be darned if 3-6 Mafia didn’t walk off with the little gold bald guy this year, just like a bunch of oversexed caribou tricked out on spun sugar, for their atrocity on our eardrums “It’s Hard Out Here To Be A Pimp.”

That wasn’t Best Song material, if you ask me…just noise masquerading as, well, noise.


Help. There’s this guy in a Calvin Klein ad that I can’t stop thinking about even though I don’t know his name. He’s kinda thin and has blond hair – I think: the photo’s black and white. Who is he? He’s gorgeous.

Sandy in Wyoming

Dear Dirty Girl:

You’re probably referring to Travis Fimmel – the attenuated and effeminate looking Australian who was recently spotted having dinner with actress Meg Ryan at New York’s fashionable Nobu restaurant.

E-yuck…she’s old enough to be his mother.

Fimmel looks about 15 but he’s actually in his mid-20s. He left home at 17 and was discovered (barefoot no less) inside L.A. Models by Paul Nelson at age 21. His beatnik decree of “I hated school with a passion, man. It bored me to death,” seems to have worked in his favor. He’s since become a hot property almost everywhere and typical of young Hollywood today – cute but deadly vacant in the cranium.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of his current trend in infantilized men; hairless, slightly buff and with all the appeal of a sport and shave Ken doll. Clearly though, he has his admirers – mostly sycophantic groupies like yourself who don’t give a damn whether he can put two sentences together and come up with one coherent thought and just want to get in his circle of friends and his pants faster than you can say Calvin Klein.

Don’t stutter, darling. Just get a fresh change of underwear.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

What is it with Fabio?!? I never found the guy attractive but amongst my girlfriends he’s something of a male ideal and sun god. I just don’t get it. My sister jokingly says that’s because I have ‘lesbian’ tendencies. What do you think?

Fran in Kentucky

Dear Fran:

Not that I have homoerotic tendencies…but ‘NO’ I never found the ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ romance poster child/heartthrob attractive either.

I remember being inside the food court of a local mall in the mid-eighties, having lunch with a female friend. When Fabio’s fabulous image appeared astride a white charger on the overhead Trinatron a bunch of women gave their Chicken Crunch a break to cluck and swoon and sigh.

Unmoved by this obvious display of immature kiddy-lust I turned to my friend and said, “What’s the big deal?”

She replied, “I don’t know. He’s okay, I guess, but I think his nipples look like a couple of tattooed pepperoni.”

To this day I have trouble looking at any pizza in the same way.

I’m not jealous. I just think there’s something off putting about a forty something guy with a chest that has more separation than Aretha Franklin’s and a do of burnt out frizz masquerading as the stale remnants of a lion’s mane.

If that’s sexy I’m glad I’m not.

Cheer up, Fran. My gal pal didn’t think he was anything to look at so you’re lack of attraction to him is placed with good company. And please…no more pepperoni!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Is Ellen DeGeneres really gay?

Sarah in Queen’s Park

Dear Royally Confused:

If not - she’s certainly given a grand imitation of it.

I think it’s safe to assume by now that the Emmy-winning ‘schlock’ show hostess and former sitcom star isn’t spending her night time hours fantasizing over what Antonio Sabato Jr. looks like without his Calvins.

I suspect that your question stems from the fact that for a brief period in her public life, Ellen was linked romantically to Anne Heche, a confused little nympho who eventually decided she wasn’t into girls and instead married cameraman, Coley Laffoon – who looks, at least in some photos, as though he might be waffling over to the other side. I remember the crude rebuttals Ellen received after the news broke about the wedding. “Geez, Ellen…just how bad a lay are you?!?”

Almost none of the media coverage had anything nasty at all to say about the reformed Ms. Laffoon – who clearly was exploiting the trendy “it’s chic to be gay” cliché to its fullest.

For a while it looked as though all these media eggs being lobbed at El' were going to broom DeGeneres from the hen house. Certainly, I never could figure out why she headlined San Francisco under the banner of “the funniest person in America.”

Oh, right…it’s Frisco!

Still, her ratings tanked after she ‘came out’ on her sitcom. The show was cancelled shortly thereafter and Ellen disappeared from the stand up circuit all together. Ah, but then came the talk show – that nattering annoying travesty of ‘can we talk’ with a trendy gay slant masquerading as hip journalism.

I can’t say that I care for El’, her stammering monologues, intrusions into other women’s purses or her frenetic gyrations that daily take on the flavoring of a break dancing chicken. But there’s no denying she’s popular in that disposable ‘of the moment’ way that most celebrities of her generation are. Will we be talking about her in fifty years? Try, not even in twenty – except maybe to laugh about how idiotic she was and how moronic we were for following her every move.

And please, Ellen…if you’re reading this – stop dancing.

Yours truly
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

Are you anti-gay?

Denise in Santa Monica

Dear Denise:

No. I’m anti-people who think I’m anti-gay. Take the stuffings out of your ears – Butterball!

- C.C.

Dear Crabby:

You’ve gone on record for criticizing people who are…shall we say…sexually experienced. What’s your glitch? Why are multiple partners a big “no-no”?

Brandi in Jonestown

Dear Brandi:

Because you don’t want to be known around town as a little

- C.C.

Dear Crabby:

Is jerking off evil?

Jerry in Brownstown

Dear Jerry:

You must have been raised Catholic. But to answer your question simply – ‘NO’ masturbation is not evil. I mean you won’t grow horns (well, maybe one), go blind, go mad or go to hell for spanking the monkey.

I tried to find some history on where all these crazy curses began. Swiss physician Samuel Tissot gets the first nod in 1758 for his moderate condemnation of ‘chicken choking.’ But it’s really Sylvester Graham who translated the research into mass hysteria. Tissot merely speculated that masturbation might induce pimples, rheumatism, muddle-headedness, headaches and hemorrhoids.

But in 1834, Graham translated masturbation into a sadomasochistic form of self abuse or self pollution in which the ‘victims’ were awkward, suspicious and dirty individuals doomed to “a body full of disease, and with a mind in ruins…(a) loathsome habit tyrannizing…with the inexorable imperiousness of a fiend of darkness.”

So much for fact based medical science!

Seems the bigger the lie the more people believe – or at the very least – fear it. But there’s absolutely NO TRUTH to the rumors that whacking the walrus will give you acne, grow hair on your palms, make your member shrink or grow, give you cancer, lead to chronic fatigue, hair loss or lower your sperm count.

A recent study estimates that about 98% of the population has gotten up close and personal with themselves/by themselves at least once in their lives…we can’t all be crazy, infertile and condemned to eternal purgatory. Bottom line, Jerry – the fact that you’ve either done the deed or are about to, makes you normal…at least by the rest of our population’s standards.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I’m tired of hearing about Natalee Holloway. How many girls go to some tropical paradise every year to screw and drink their brains out and come home with some STD they pass on to their boyfriends. As far as I’m concerned she got what was coming to her.

Brian in Charleston

Dear Brian:

Indeed – what did she give you?

You sound like a guy who’s been burned by one of those boozin’ ballin’ babes from the Bahamas.

You know, I remember all too well having a similar conversation with a friend of mine around the time Nicole Brown Simpson had her throat slit like a stuffed pig en route to the slaughter house. My friend’s justification was pretty much the same as yours for Natalee – “She’s a tramp. It wasn’t her first time screwing around. She’s hardly an innocent…” and so on.

Oh, pardon me…but where in the penal code does it say that a crime of murder will only be prosecuted if the victim died in a state of chastised grace?!?

But back to Natalee: do I think that girls like her, who go on vacation expecting to drink to excess and possibly have multiple one night affairs with guys they barely know deserve the congressional medal of honor for expanding the boundaries of alcoholic and sexual tolerance?

Decidedly not!

In my book, Nat’s hardly a little princess. She deserved a light smack to set her straight – and not by you or me - but by her father the first time she came home clueless, hung over and wearing her underwear on the inside out. And ‘NO’ I don’t think that Joran van der Sloot – the media’s prime suspect in the case - had anything to do with her sudden and untimely disappearance.

But did Natalee deserve to die?
Are you serious?

I’d hate to be living in a country where you were President.

Too many Pina Coladas?
More than one lover in a five year span?
Dumping a dead head boy toy for Mr. Right…hell hath no fury, eh?

I’m a fairly moralistic guy, Bri – but it’s beyond me how unprotected sex with a total stranger can or should equate to the death penalty. Perhaps if the burning, itching frustration of seeing Natalee Holloway on the nightly news is too much for your tender moralist sensibilities to bear then you should find some other festering wound to treat or scab to pick. No doubt you’ve plenty more where this one came from.

But incidentally, Brian – they make a cream for that!

Yours truly
The crabby critic

@2006 (all rights reserved).