Sunday, March 30, 2008

QUESTIONS, CONFUSIONS & QUANDARIES

Dear Crabby:

I think my daughter might be the victim of an online sexual predator. She’s fourteen and started talking to some boy named ‘Jake’ a few months back. But last week a man called our house. My husband took the call. He asked when our daughter would be home and told her to dress nice and tight…clearly he didn’t know he was talking to my husband.

Anyway, my husband said the man sounded fairly mature – though there’s no way of knowing for sure. My husband also told this man that if he ever came by out house he’d be a dead man.

When we confronted our daughter when she came home from school she confided in us that she’s been receiving very ‘weird’ emails from ‘Jake’ and let me have a look at some of them. They are disturbing to say the least. The shirtless boy in the profile looks about 18 but my husband says the man on the telephone sounded about 40.

I want to contact the authorities. My husband thinks the guy is just a crank and it will pass. What do you think?

Sincerely,
Jesoline in Merrill Wisconsin




Dear Jesoline:

I think your husband needs to take a more proactive stance against this fruit-loop who’s harassing your daughter…or start preparing a snapshot of her for the back of a milk carton right now!

Are you serious?!?
You need me to tell you this?

Do you have any idea how many little girls and boys go off to school each day after talking to someone on line and then never come home again?!?!?

Here are a few things I want you to do
– right NOW!

First, I want you to call your local authorities pronto. If I were you I’d have them on speed dial. Talk to an officer involved in internet identity theft and kiddy porn/sex crimes because that’s exactly what this ‘crank’ correspondence is shaping up to be.

Depending on where you live and the size of your law enforcement you may not have an officer dedicated to such crimes. If your local police station doesn’t have someone in charge of this particular unit, I still want you to talk to an officer – not some phone jockey – and get an email contact so that you can forward ALL of the correspondences this weirdo has sent to your daughter to the officer investigating your case.

Second, I want you to go into your daughter’s bedroom and disconnect the internet and the computer and relocate both to a more central part of your house where you and your husband can keep an eye on her while she’s using it. At fourteen, she may need a computer for school work, but that’s about all she needs it for and she can do her work from the comfort and safety of your living room just as easily as she can from her bedroom.

If your daughter complains about this decision, as in “I need my privacy” simply explain to her that personal privacy and a computer – like a telephone (which is the other instrument of technology I want you to yank out of her bedroom after you read this) is a privilege – NOT A RIGHT!

She doesn’t have that right any more!

Your daughter’s already proven that her hormones have run away with her head. She’s also shown a decided lack of good judgment by falling for the posted image of some 17 year old shirtless stud – who’s probably a middle-aged potbelly pervert doing sick things to himself in his rat infested basement apartment while he’s typing ‘sick-nothings’ to your kid on the internet with greasy thumbs.

I’m not an alarmist, Jesoline – but the last thing this world needs is another prepubescent body dragged out of a dumpster or abandoned field. I’m counting on you to make sure this scenario doesn’t play itself out.

Finally, I want you to get your husband to get a grip on reality. This ‘crank’ is serious about your kid otherwise he would have forgotten about her after one or two emails. He’s developed a real taste for talking to your daughter and that won’t likely go away just because she’s decided she doesn’t want to play the game anymore.

Get busy. There’s lots to do. And best of luck.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic




Dear Crabby:

I’m sick of dating. I’m 28 and I go out with men who act more like boys. They don’t interest me. I get bored real fast. Any advice on what to do to attract a guy who thinks about more than his bling and Gameboy.

Frieda in Sullivan New Hampshire




Dear Gal with the Grief:

Stop dating Democrats.

(I’m kidding!)

Seriously though, you may be gravitating to the same old circle instead of branching out for more options. There’s something about you that says ‘I Like Immaturity’ and I’m not exactly sure what that might be. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself. I can give you a few pointers.

First up – a very old cliché:

Clothes make the man!

I’m not suggesting that you only go after the power broker and politico set in their business suits, dress shoes and carrying attachés with their cell phones glued to their ears. However, if, when you first meet some guy he’s generally unkempt; long greasy hair, wearing his baseball cap turned backwards, chewing bubble gum in open0toed sandals with feet that haven’t been washed since the Reagan administration while carrying his skateboard tucked under one smelly armpit – then that might be a definite indicator of exactly where his mindset is.


Second – avoid the ‘club’ scene!

I don’t know of a single personal friend who found a lasting relationship after the third “ooo, you look kind’a sexy there, girlfriend.”

True, some people do marry the guy they meet while shaking their business like a hoochy mama in heat – but generally that guy isn’t a man of quality interested in more of your intellect than your booty.

Third – be up front.

This one sounds easy enough but I am amazed at how many people don’t even know the basics about the person clinging to their arm.

Two examples: I have an impulsive friend who told me he was thinking of taking a girl he’d just met to bed because she was hot. When I asked him what color her eyes were my friend had to confess that he didn’t know.

Clearly, eyes weren’t first on his list of things to ogle but I should think that anyone worth bedding is worth recognizing in a crowd first!

Maybe that’s just my mistake!


I have another friend who married last month and only recently discovered that his new wife wants a big family. He’s an only child and doesn’t want ANY kids.

Oh, right!

Like that one’s going to work itself out to a happy conclusion!

Now, when I say ‘up front’ I don’t mean you have to find out whether the guy you’re interested in is circumcised, enjoys cow-tipping and likes to shoot heroin biweekly while watching fetish porn. Remember, people rarely present that side of themselves they don’t want others to see in public.

However, you can jump start the conversation and learn a lot about the other person by mentioning things in a third party context. In other words, if you want to know if a guy wants a family you don’t say, “So, you wanna have kids?”

Instead you say something like, “Gee, the other day a girlfriend told me her guy hates kids and she’s known him for almost a year. Can you believe that?”…then see where the question leads.

If the guy says, “Hey, I’m down with that! Kids suck!” and you want twelve running around the house by the time your 35 then this cat is not the right howl for you!

Last, but not least – I find too many people these days desperate to marry because ‘time is flying.’ That’s the WRONG reason to get together with ANY ONE – either on a pay per view basis or more lasting relationship!

Love is not an Easter Egg Hunt!

You don’t get first prize for discovering the rabbit in his pocket before the next gal!

If you see someone who interests you and they haven’t noticed you from afar, it’s perfectly acceptable to make the first move; reach out and touch someone. But after the initial contact’s been made it’ll be up to you to find out what else is right and wrong with them.

If all else fails I suppose you could take out an ad in the lovelorn section of the Classifieds:

Classy woman seeking mate with real moral values, solid judgment and a sense of self. PS – No Gameboys allowed!

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic




Dear Crabby:

I think I’m a man. I mean, I think I want to be one. I was born a woman and according to my parts I am one still today. But inside I’ve never felt feminine. I like all the guy things. But here’s the problem. I have this huge crush on this guy in high school. But I’m not a girlie-girl. Is there something wrong with me?

Phoebe in Pontiac




Dear Phoebus:

Well, that’s what our name would technically be if you became a dude for real.

But I want to get a few things straight in my head first. One, you say you don’t feel feminine, but you haven’t really defined what ‘feminine’ is for you. Your comment about not being a girlie-girl suggests to me that you’re more into blue jeans/T-shirts than high-heels and nylons. So was Katharine Hepburn. So what?

You also hint about ‘some guy’ in ‘high school’. I’ll take that to mean that you’re also in high school – at least I hope so; otherwise we’re taking about a middle-aged transvestite who’s into picking up little boys. E-yuck!

Okay, now let’s get serious!

The fact that you’re boy crazy leads me to deduce that you haven’t a lesbian bone in your body. So, ‘becoming a man’ just to have artistic license to wear manly attire doesn’t really sit well with me. That doesn’t mean that you might not be gay. I mean, if you want this other man as a man than you might have male homosexual tendencies. I don’t know this for a fact. You’ll have to ask and answer that question for yourself.

Do you want this boy in high school to take you in his arms as you are right now – a.k.a. with a vagina – or, as you would be if you two both came from the same anatomical junk yard?

When you say you like guy things – apparently you also like the guys who can do guy things.

That makes you a Tom Boy all right.

It doesn’t make you transgender.

So, let’s drop these options and discuss what I think is the real problem at hand.

You want to meet some guy in your class but are afraid that he won’t like you because you’re into the same stuff he is. Here’s a flash – have you considered how ‘hot’ that prospect might be for him?

I mean, most girls hate talking football stats and tuning up cars. If you can do both and so can he you might have an instant lead in to this guy’s heart that the gal applying her war paint and hiking up her skirt in the girl’s bathroom has not. Okay, stereotypes aside – maybe you’ll always be like a sister…er – brother…to him rather than the gal he wants to take to the senior prom.


But I think you’re approaching this all wrong. If you can read this guy and know he’s after a prom queen, but fancy yourself more the aggressive pit bull, then I suppose one of two things have to happen. Either you’re going to have to soften your image to suit him or he’s going to have to accept you for what you look like.

If you’re confident enough in yourself to make this work without a quick trip to the hair salon and cosmetics counter then I say ‘Go for it!’ Give it your best shot. If he shoots you down for trying then he’s not the right guy for you and its better you find out now.
If, on the other hand, your personality wins him over – and in my opinion, personality goes a hell of a lot farther than rouge and eye shadow – then you’ve scored a point for your side and on your own terms. That’s most admirable.

Finally, I’d be interested in knowing what it is exactly that you don’t like about girlie-girls. Is it that you don’t like the actual dressing up in all the many softer garments that women need just to get by in life – or is it that you equate a certain stupidity, weakness or cheapness to looking what you call ‘feminine’?

If the answer is (A) you just don’t dig the clothes I’ll just point out that today’s woman has a ton of fashion accessory options that don’t involve lacy frilly things. If, on the other hand, you think that soft clothes mean you’re on your way to selling out and becoming an airhead then I would suggest you’ve bigger issues coming out of your closet rather than what’s hanging in it.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic

@The Crabby Critic 2008 (all rights reserved).

Monday, March 24, 2008

POLITICS/SIDE SHOW: REDUX - An Update for Jo

Dear Crabby:

I have been reading your column and noticed your Kwame-bashing. I suppose this means you’re damn happy the mayor’s going to prison!

Jo in Lansing

Dear Misguided:

No. I’m not happy. Human stupidity in all its forms is never cause for my rejoicing.

With regards to ‘Kwame-Bashing’ – since when is it considered ‘bashing’ to merely re-state facts that have already come to light elsewhere in the media?

You want my opinion?

I feel that Prosecutor Kym Worthy did her job admirably –something Mayor Kilpatrick hasn’t been doing at all for some time. By indicting the mayor for his crimes, Ms. Worthy has taken the first step in liberating the City of Detroit from this very egotistical and absolute monarch.

In her televised decision today, Ms. Worthy spoke eloquently about the law before proceeding to the business at hand. She explained how even children understand the basic concepts of the law (do right, never lie and always be accountable for your actions).

She further reinforced that the oath of law that every witness is required to take when giving legal testimony in a trial does NOT read “I hereby solemnly swear to give some of the truth, some of the time, when it suits me and everything but the truth!”

In my books, Ms. Worthy is top-drawer; a credit – not only to the legal profession – but also to the citizens of Detroit. Win, lose or draw at trial time – she has done her duty as a prosecutor and lived up to the level of public scrutiny ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS should.

Raise your level of expectation Jo - both of others and yourself.

Prosecutor Worthy didn’t arrive to her decision today or at the 12 counts of perjury lightly. Rather, she ran a fair, impartial 59 day investigation through 40,000 pages of evidence with a highly skilled team of prosecutors.

The evidence in the now infamous text messages uncovered that the mayor and his former Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty clearly DID NOT tell the truth. The fact that a jury awarded the wrongfully dismissed police officers in that case a shared settlement of $8.4 million dollars suggests to me that at least 12 Detroiters thought the mayor had something to hide – even then. No testimony counter to that decision has emerged since to suggest that the monies allocated then were ill gotten gains.

There are really only two aspects about this case that baffle my better judgment. First, that Mayor Kilpatrick has been allowed to run amuck with depraved contempt for the law for so long, and second, that he still believes the charges levied against him are unfounded.

In his televised speech this afternoon, the Mayor said he expects he will be fully exonerated in a court of law. That’s either wishful thinking or utter cheek and indifference – that the law somehow does not pertain to either him or his situation.

As for my ‘personal interest’ on this matter: I hope for only one outcome at trial – a just one.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


@The Crabby Critic 2008 (all rights reserved).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

POLITICS: THE SIDE SHOW THAT THINKS IT'S THE WHOLE CIRCUS!

Hey Crabby:

I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been reading you for about a year and I think your advice is fabulous. It speaks from the gut rather than the heart…the latter, never a reliable appendage for solid thought. Anyway, a while back you had some stuff about a Detroit Mayor who’s in it up to his eyeballs. I was fascinated by the scandal but don’t see much of it on the news anymore. PS – I live in Hawaii. Anyway, just wondering if you could get readers like me up to snuff and thanks.

Malikaya in Honolulu



Dear Grass Skirt Gal:

Thanks for the praise. It’s always appreciated. With respect to both the gut and the heart – I would hope I touch my readership on both levels, though I respectfully leave that for others to decide.

Not much new with Kwame Kilpatrick – the mayor of Detroit. Since I last reported in this column, the mayor’s approval rating – according to a recently conducted independent poll is 97% in favor of his stepping down from his job; something Kilpatrick absolutely refuses to do despite the fact that all but one of his city council members believe that the recent scandals have irreversibly damaged the city’s credibility for outside investments.

The mayor has hired himself several high priced attorneys and an even hirer priced spin doctor to launch his comeback. Will all the smoke and mirrors work?

So far, the answer seems to be – no! Various religious and business leaders in the community have raised their voices in protest – including the Union representing Transit City workers – all in favor of the mayor’s resignation.

To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve never encountered a guy like this before; so utterly misguided in his bull-headedness that he actually blamed the media for their ‘lynch mob mentality’ in exposing his foibles in print and on the air as part of his ‘State of the City’ address.

Now that takes guts!


Even the state of Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox has called for Kwame’s resignation but to no avail. Legally, no one but the state governor – in this case, Jennifer Granholm, can actually depose the mayor from his office. Will she do it?

She may not have a choice if Prosecutor Kim Worthy decides to file criminal charges against the mayor for his…uh…‘alleged’ indiscretions. I think there’s enough evidence compiled to support a charge of perjury though I suspect Worthy is waiting until such time as more evidence will lead to weightier charges. If that happens, Granholm will surely have to remove Kilpatrick from office. After all, affairs of the city (no pun intended) can hardly be run from a prison cell.

Let’s just put Kwame into context for a moment, shall we, and compare his scandal to that most recent debacle involving New York’s Governor Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer was practically flogged by the press for Pretty Womaning it with $4000 of his own money and high class whores. His penitents - an immediate apology and a resignation.

Mayor Kilpatrick is accused of perjury, spending ‘city tax dollars’ on private pleasures for him and his family and is suspected at some level of involvement in the mysterious murder of dancer, Tamara Greene shortly before she was to be called as a star witness in the now infamous ‘Whistle Blower’ lawsuit.

Aside: Interestingly enough, a former city clerk – now retired – claims to have seen an official police report that alleges the Mayor’s wife, Carlita physically assaulted Tamara Greene at the Mayor’s home with a ‘wooden object’ on the night that the Mayor claims no such party at the Manoogian Mansion took place.

Miss Greene sustained injuries and was attended to by paramedics. This city clerk (who shall remain nameless herein because she has since gone on record as saying that she fears for her own safety) was so civic minded that she immediately telephoned her local unit of Crime Stoppers to report her news after the Mayor’s scandal broke in the press.

The clerk called Crime Stoppers twice. Crime Stoppers went on record with the local media as saying they had no documentation to sustain the claim that this clerk had in fact called. Afterward, the clerk was able to produce two unique and traceable confirmation numbers to prove that she had. Clever gal. I hope she lives to tell the tale in court.

While the Mayor’s involvement in Ms. Greene’s death has yet to be proven – the other charges pending would topple most fat cats from their political throne. Yet King Kwame sits atop his without any great shame.
According to him, everyone else is at fault for his woes and problems. It’s a media thing, a race card played badly. He’s just as pure as the driven snow – only he’s drifted!

Anyway, this story is far from over though it’s anybody’s guess where the final pile of manure will land. One thing is for certain, Kilpatrick’s initial branding by the Democratic Party as a ‘rising star’ is over. He’s a falling star.

If you’re interested, Wikipedia.org has an exceptional chronology of this mayoral debacle that – if you have the time – will provide far more details than I ever could herein. Here’s the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwame_Kilpatrick

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic






Dear Crabby:

I was wondering what you thought of the most recent Barack Obama scandal involving Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

Faoud in New Jersey


Dear Politico-Watcher:

I think Wright is all wrong.
I also believe that Obama’s spin doctors made a gross error in judgment by suggesting to the media at large that Wright’s comments were taken ‘out of context’ – an utterly moot point, since the ‘context’ of Wright’s remarks is a pulpit inside a house of God in which vicious rhetoric was meant to insight anger, hatred and anti-Americanism from his congregation.
Wright’s ‘context’ was set in neither the right time nor the right place to spread big-mouthed/closed-minded evil!
Besides, whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

The fact that Obama has gone on record as saying he could no more disown Wright as a spiritual guide than he could walk away from black people is a rather disturbing statement that ought to be raising more than a few red flags inside the Democratic Party and elsewhere amongst the popular vote.

Red Flag #1: Obama claims that he never heard his pastor spew such foul hate-mongering readily depicted in the sound bytes we’ve all had a chance too often to hear. That’s a curious statement coming from the man who wants to be your next President.
Obama and his family have been regular attendees at Wright’s church for over 20 years.
It seems to me that anyone going that steady to a place of worship would likely have tuned in to at least one ugly sermon of hell fire and brimstone from the pulpit by now – especially since there are so many of them readily available on You Tube!

Will any of this muckraking damage Obama’s credibility?
Not according to recent polls which still have Obama leading Hilary Clinton by a narrow but nevertheless evident margin.
Red Flag #2: Obama’s a smart cookie. But hiring Wright as an advisor on his campaign committee was not smart at all – even before the scandal involving Wright broke in the news. Obama had to know that somewhere, someday Wright’s past would come back to haunt him in the public arena – especially with all the taped evidence to condemn his actions.
Red Flag #3: Michelle Obama’s statement, that for the first time in her life she feels like an American resonates a big problem with me. Aside: to my readership I would appreciate someone informing me exactly what exactly ‘feeling’ has to do with ‘being.’

Either the Obamas are American through and through or they’re not.

Either they embrace the constitution and principles of the country or they don’t.

You can’t feel your way around the prospect of ‘being’ President of the United States.
It’s not a state of mind. It’s a state of the union and a huge responsibility and an afforded respect in carrying on time-honored traditions that have made the country great.

If Obama can’t even step up to the plate and admit that having Jeremiah Wright as his spiritual advisor was akin to asking the anti-Christ for Holy Communion, and furthermore, that to place Wright on his political campaign was a colossal misstep, then in my ever not-so-humble opinion Barack Obama certainly isn’t up to the challenge of disseminating ‘truth, justice and the ‘American way’ throughout the land as its commander and chief.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic



Dear Crabby:

Call me crazy, but I live in Windsor and think I saw you on the six o’clock news the other day. Did I, or was I just drinking the weird Kool-Aid?

Jessica in Windsor

Dear Jessica:

You did and regrettably I wish I hadn’t agreed to putting both feet in my mouth at the same time with the local press. ‘Context’ is everything and the points made by yours truly and showcased in my thirty seconds of fame on CBC’s Channel 9 were grossly spun in a direction I had no desire to entertain.

A bit of background needs to be covered here for everyone else who doesn’t live where you and I do. I recently attended our Mayor Eddie Francis’ State of the City address – an extremely abysmal speech in my opinion.

Most disappointing for this life-long Windsorite was listening to the Mayor’s incongruous rhetoric, as paper thin as a Barak Obama speech. Mayor Francis called for every constituent to “change the conversation” a catch phrase he repeatedly used that was meant to suggest Windsor’s most recent decline and lack of prosperity was largely due to its own residents bashing the city in public with blame and bad thoughts.

Never mind that our Mayor spoke of the loss of 10,000 manufacturing jobs, yet chose to focus of his entire state of the city address on stimulating more manufacturing jobs. Let us be honest, blunt and fair. Manufacturing has already departed for the halcyon plantations of Mexico, Bangladesh, Taiwan, China and so forth – where labor is cheap and the quality of life cheaper still.

Why employ a Windsorite at $25 an hour when a Cambodian toiling in deplorable sweatshop conditions can do the same job faster, cheaper and without any complaints that his/her civil rights in the workplace are being violated?!?! No union. No defense.
Other oddities in the Mayor’s speech included the recent acceptance of a plan to construct a retirement home that will eventually employ 50 people. Sorry if, after being told of the 10,000 who lost their jobs, if I don’t get overly excited about the meager 50 who’ll benefit from this new project.

Tragically, another retirement home in our city does not make Windsor a retirement community – just a sad derelict of what I consider shameless ‘prisons for the elderly’ – where anyone over the age of 60 is segregated to a gated community and pretty much forgotten while they wait to die. You want a retirement “community?!?” – then take a good look at Miami. It’s that and so much more.

The Mayor also mentioned how welfare recipients finally went off the dole into retail jobs. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the mayor when was the last time he held a ‘retail’ job and was able to support a wife, children, house and car with those earnings?

Or is it simply that in the Windsor of tomorrow, “after the conversation has been changed”, that we will all be driving rickshaws and bicycles in some park infested utopia where everyone sings Kumbaya while facing that other Mecca in the West – Toronto!
My dismay rose as Mayor Francis continued to tout manufacturing. “We need to get the Ford deal done” - his exact words.

My question was “Why?”

It is high time that our City Council wake up to the realization that Windsor’s love affair with the automotive industry is – sadly – at an end. It behooves me not one ounce of pleasure to make such a statement. Windsor’s bread and butter has been ‘cars’. But to simply ignore the fact that GM, Chrysler and Ford are a dying breed in our midst is like telling someone with AIDS and brain cancer that they ought to have a Coke and a multi-vitamin to get them back on the road to good health.

A deal between the City of Windsor and Ford Motor Company is a band-aid solution at best. It will keep a skeleton crew of highly skilled workers employable for another 3-5 years until a contract dispute sends the company packing to greener/cheaper pastures in Tennessee, Mexico or elsewhere. Let’s be reasonable – Ford can’t afford high priced labor!
I also heard a lot about building a bigger airport to service planes on route from Toronto to Chicago – per say, and the construction of another bridge to the United States so that more traffic could pass to and fro en route to destinations unknown.

Great – more truck traffic/more pollution. More people going from Toronto to Detroit and waving goodbye as they drive overhead.

Still no re-stimulating our lagging local economy. The only economic stimulant in that package will be for the Bridge Commission’s toll collection and McDonald and Harvey’s trade in burgers for the gridlocked truck drivers.

The Mayor’s speech was big on asking “how do we keep our people here”, answered haphazardly enough with the response that we ship out all of this city’s viable breadwinners to some Godforsaken parts out west but encourage them to leave their families behind in this city – thus ensuring that the City of Windsor reaps the tax dollars from both property, trade and business from this exodus.

I heard NO talk of bringing enticing job prospects to THIS city. Rather I heard a lot about how the Mayor’s office was in the process of brokering an arrangement with companies out west so that if one of the newly departed ‘loved ones’ wanted to attend another ‘loved one’s birthday or funeral in this city an allotment of time and possibly financial aid would be afforded the weary traveler on his return. How quaint, gosh and anti-community can you get?!?!?

I have a reply for Mayor Eddie Francis to his question of ‘how do we keep people here’ – if he’d care to hear it.

You keep people in Windsor by making Windsor a destination, not a pit stop to somewhere else. You create a tourist Mecca on par with Clifton Hill in Niagara or the strip by the CNE in Toronto. One Casino and a bunch of bike trails DO NOT a TOURIST DESTINATION MAKE!

They don’t even MAKE GOOD BUSINESS SENSE!!!

You make Windsor an exciting place to be – period!

You DON’T BLAME the Federal Government for refusing to pour more money into a dying pile of bull and then encourage modest anarchy from your constituents who are encouraged to write angry letters to their members of parliament on mass!!!

You don’t put up silly billboards around town encouraging citizens to get proactive when they’ve been used to top heavy municipal “we’ll do it on our own – thanks” for at least 5 generations.

You don’t look without – flying to Germany and so forth – to attend ‘motivational’ conferences that just talk the same blasted rhetoric I heard in the Mayor’s speech!

You look within! Tragically, I found NO WITHIN in the Mayor’s speech. Instead, I perceived a gutless city administration with hollow weary promises and no guts to look beyond the Big Three; no solid plan to do anything other than make it easier for more people with better prospects elsewhere and the good sense God gave a lemon and the wherewithal to leave Windsor for good! How utterly sad, tragic, misguided and misinformed!

“Need to change the conversation?”
I think Windsor needs to change its plan of passivity into REAL ACTION – FAST! All these points were made to the CBC reporter who interviewed me.
Regrettably, she chose to air none of them. I was not amused!
Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


@The Crabby Critic 2008 (all rights reserved).

Sunday, March 02, 2008

FROM THE ALL-SEEING EYE TO THE ONE EYE

Dear Crabby:

Twenty years ago my sister told me she didn’t approve of the man I was going to marry and, to prove her point she put a Sicilian curse on my house. Well, nothing bad ever happened to us in those twenty years. In fact, my husband and I were talking about it the other day and we both agree that as marriages go, ours has been totally charmed. My question to you is my mother telephoned the other day to say that my sister is dying of bone cancer. We haven’t spoken in all this time. Should I try to go see her or do you think I should just leave well enough alone?

Filomena in New Mexico

Dear Superstitiously Charmed:

Evidently, your sister thought she could scare you. Instead, you married exactly the person you were supposed to and proved what I’ve suspected all along – that no mortal can put a ‘curse’ on another mortal. If we could, people would be dropping dead left and right under the most mysterious of circumstances and a lot more of us would be winning the lottery on a regular basis.

True, I’ve known a few fairy Godmothers and wicked witches in my lifetime. The former were saints; the latter - plenty ‘mean’ but ultimately powerless and none too scary.

Looks like, if anything, your sister’s wicked ways have caught up to her in a big way. Actually, I don’t believe that either. She’s just unfortunate. She’s become one of the too many who have this terrible disease. She has my sympathy. I speculate herein that she also has yours or you wouldn’t be writing to me.

However, you and your sister have not spoken in twenty years. It seems to me that she’s been able to hold a grudge all these years while you’ve been living in paradise. Have you considered that she may not want to see you?

Any attempt to bond at this late stage may be misperceived as you coming to gloat about all your happiness at her expense. I’m not suggesting that you are. Just be aware that your sister will more than likely misread your honorable intensions as such.

My best advice would be to find an intermediary – someone close to you and your sister who could approach her with the request that you would like to see her. If that person returns to you with an emphatic ‘No! Don’t come!’ then you should respect that wish. It will probably be your sister’s last.

I wouldn’t burden your mother with this problem. She’s doubtless aware of it anyhow. But, if I’m doing the math correctly, you and your sister are roughly in your mid-forties which means mama is at best a spry sixty. She’s preparing to lose one of her children – a burden no mother should ever have to go through. So, find that other person who can approach sis’ – an uncle, cousin, mutual friend, whoever. Bottom line: I want you to be prepared for another rejection from your sister.

It sounds to me as though she’s very bitter. Illness will not mellow that animosity. If you really want to do something nice for her from the goodness of your heart then my suggestion is that you pray for her now; for divine mercy, a quick death and redemption of her eternal soul after this life has passed into the next. Then cling to your husband for support. Regardless of what your sister thinks, he’s been a keeper – something your sister should have been for you.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


Dear Crabby:

I think my husband’s leading a double life. The other day I came home early from work and called to him. There was a lot of noise upstairs and when I made it to the top of the stairs my panty hose that I left to dry on the towel rack were still hanging there but they were stretched out. It’s not my imagination.

About a month ago we were on our way out to a dinner party. I sprayed some perfume on my wrist and my husband asked if he could have a whiff. I held my wrist to him, thinking he wanted to smell me, but instead he took the bottle out of my hand and sprayed his wrist with the same perfume.

Am I crazy? Is my husband gay or a transvestite or something? I’m scared. We’ve been married for six years and I thought everything was fine but now I think there’s a problem and it’s making me paranoid. Yesterday, I actually hid my panty hose behind the furnace in the basement so that my husband won’t know where they are. I’m creeped out. Please advise.
Jolene in Arkansas

Dear Sexy by Proxy:

I’m not a clinical psychologist. I can’t diagnosis what your husband is – if anything. But a brief bit of research on my part concluded a few facts I’d like to pass along. First of all: men of the homosexual persuasion rarely accompany their secret double life by dressing in women’s apparel. Gay men want other gay men to love them for being men. So I don’t think your husband’s gay.

Second: transvestitism and homosexuality rarely go hand in sequined glove. True male transvestites dress in women’s apparel to achieve a sexual satisfaction by pretending to be women. If you’re husband is dressing up for this reason he may in fact want to be a woman, rather than be with one. I can’t make that fine line of distinction for you.

Third: studies have shown that some men borrow their wives’ attire in private to pretend to be their wives during prolonged separation from their spouses. I’m not exactly sure how or why this is comforting to the male psyche but I’m willing to concede that certain fellows are up for just about anything to relive that magic time they spend with their gals. The real problem for you now is to discover which of the aforementioned reasons make the most logical sense. That won’t be easy.

I mean, if I were you I wouldn’t just come out to your husband with something like, “Okay, what gives with you and my hose?” A modicum of sensitivity is required to make things work out.

Your woes about some sort of ‘double life’ seem grossly unfounded. I mean, you went upstairs and your husband was alone with your panty hose. That’s kinky but it cannot be classified in the same sentence as marital infidelity. If you want a more authoritative explanation, I would suggest you contact a psychologist in your area and go by yourself to explain your suspicions. Perhaps, then you’ll have a greater understanding of what you’re up against. I can understand and sympathize with your level of frustration.

Finally, consider this – that in our culture women are frequently afforded acceptance to don male attire; blue jeans, sweaters, work boots, etc. without any sort of societal stigma attached. Men don’t rate that same level of acceptance. At best then, your husband’s guilty of being a closet dresser in ladies fashions. While that might not fit with your idea of the big, burly jock you thought you married, we can’t rightfully say it makes him a nominee for the Norman Bates Mother of the Year Award either.

Your not crazy. Stop being creeped out. But by all means, get some solid answers as to where all this is going. You deserve the truth.
Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic

Dear Crabby:

I know you won’t approve but I’m a very contented bachelor who enjoys the company of many women. I don’t feel the need to settle down and I don’t think that everyone who doesn’t stay monogamous is, as you’ve often said, ‘a gross pig of a human being.’ There are many cultures – present and past – that don’t subscribe to our own North American sense of narrow-minded Christianity and seem to do alright. My two brothers disagree with me as I suspect you will but I think what I’m doing is right for me.

Josh in Barnham

Dear Testicle Juggler:

Your right. I don’t agree. But I won’t try to convince you that you’re wrong. Might I at least suggest that you’re unhappy?

Why the need to prove your prowess into the triple digits? I mean, where’s the level at which the number of conquests becomes redundant and boring. Just as polygamists think monogamy’s a snore, so too will the bed-hopping get to be old hat at some point and then where will you be?

I would like to address a few things you mentioned. First of all – I consider any man or woman who thinks nothing of sleeping around with multiple partners a gross pig of a human being. If the partners you frequent don’t much care how often you stray to and fro in between sessions with them that simply suggests to me that you’ve sunk to a level of familiarity where everyone involved enjoys slurping the swill from the same trough.

Just because you found a bunch of other like-minded fools to compliment your own lifestyle doesn’t mean that your place in the animal hierarchy has risen. Fools seldom differ.

What you would suggest is ‘narrow-minded Christianity’ I would offer up as a standard convention that has a precedence of several thousand years to back itself up as the proven path to discovering personal fulfillment. Perhaps you don’t want that level of involvement. Perhaps it scares you. I would suggest there’s a lot more out there that’s equally – if not more scary.

Your brothers aren’t prudes. They know you’re playing a dangerous game with yourself and they’re worried about you. Take the hint. Start worrying about yourself before parts start falling off.

Finally, you haven’t introduced the concept of disease into your equation so permit me that luxury: every one night love affair you encounter has the potential to impact the rest of your life in a very negative way. Pregnancy, STD’s and AIDS aside – you’re mixing with a crowd who obviously have no discernable nature when it comes to partnering up for sex.
They’ll sleep with anyone.
They proved it.
They slept with you.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


Dear Crabby:

I’m 37 and want a baby. I don’t have a guy so I’m contemplating something my girlfriend suggested. She said I should pick out someone who excites me and who I think would make a good-looking kid; then, get pregnant by him and take the baby and raise it on my own without telling the guy. It kind of makes sense and it may be my last chance. What do you think?
Helena in St. Martin

Dear Desperately Seeking Stupidity:

I think you and your girlfriend sound like a verse and chorus from that truly awful 80s pop song by Heart – ‘All I Want To Do Is Make Love To You.’ Not only are you willing to betray some poor bozo you’re planning to pick up and toss out like the trash, but you’re also plotting to deprive an embryo of its right to a two parent upbringing.

That’s sick, twisted femi-Nazi logic. Somewhere in that brutalized claptrap you call a mind you came to the conclusion that men are expendable sperm donors. But get a clue – this is one game where the issue of ‘plug and play’ comes with far more severe consequences!

My advice to you is simple. Want a baby? Then, find a man who’s willing to marry and support you and a child and start feathering your nest together. Otherwise, you’re nobody’s idea of a mother.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


Dear Crabby:

My girlfriend says I don’t satisfy her anymore. I’m wondering if there are any books you could recommend that would fix my problem.

Todd in Pennsylvania

Dear Book Worm:

I don’t know what your problem is, exactly. Off hand, I’d say it’s time to take your heads – both of them - out of any book and start getting creative in the bedroom. I’m not big on texts that report to suggest ‘self help’ for something as basic and self explanatory as fornication. It’s not rocket science. If you need a few pointers, the rental of a filthy movie will probably suffice just as easily as fifty dollars worth of Doctor Ruth.

If you’re stumped for a lead in, why not ask your girlfriend what she would like to have you do to her the next time you two get naked? I’m sure if she’s that bored with your technique she’ll have no shortage of self-help suggestion.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


Dear Crabby:

I don’t like sex very much. Actually, not at all. The problem is that my husband loves it – a lot! We usually make love first thing in the morning. Then he comes home for nooners almost every day and we do it pretty regularly at night too – at least three times a week. I don’t want my husband to think it’s his problem or that he’s doing something wrong. I just don’t really get into the mechanics of lovemaking like he does and I’m afraid if I tell him he’ll take it the wrong way. Any thoughts?

Sheila in Queensland

Dear Aussie Angel:

There’s a definite problem here. I’m just not sure whose problem it is. It’s yours to start, I suppose, for picking a guy who can’t get enough in a 24 hr. period when you knew that once or twice in a lifetime would more than satisfy you.

I’m surprised you didn’t figure this one out during the dating process. That you never confided as much to your husband gave him the green light to go ahead and ravage you silly at his beckoned call. He probably thinks he’s doing you a favor by coming home in the middle of the day for seconds…or thirds – I’ve lost count.

Now, as a guy I think it’s your husband’s problem too. From a physiological standpoint, I would certainly have to say his friskiness falls into the gifted program for the sexual arts. I mean three times a day and still ready for action the next morning. Hi-o-silver! Seriously though, his sexual habits have become more than habit forming. They're slightly obsessive. He’s on a mission.

If you want to stave off your husband’s affections without making it appear as much I have a few suggestions, starting with making yourself unavailable during peak times in creative ways. For example: after a morning kanoodling session you may want to inform your husband that you’re not going to be home for lunch because you’ve been asked out by a girlfriend. Don’t lie about it.

Actually, make plans with a girlfriend for lunch and then go. Do this a few times a week or schedule routine trips to the bank, mall, grocery store during the lunch hour. If your husband suggests its cutting into his time with you, you can always claim that his bunny-busting in the bedroom is hampering your ability to manage an efficient household. As a man, we’re sensible creatures. That’ll probably make sense to him from an economic standpoint.

As for the evenings; why not plan things for you and your husband to do outside of the bedroom. Surprise him at the door with a new dress and dinner reservations, outings with mutual friends, exciting trips to nightclubs, museums, raceways, casinos, bowling alleys…whatever diversion strikes both your fancies. Your husband has a lot of energy to burn off. He also must have a hobby other than you. So, indulge it.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic



Dear Crabby:

I broke my hip last month in an automobile accident and have been in a lower body cast since. The woman I was with wasn’t so lucky. She died. Her sister comes by almost daily to visit and comfort me at the hospital. Here’s the problem. She thinks that me and her sister were a couple and feels an obligation to look after me in her sister’s absence.

But the truth is that this woman who died in that car was just giving me a ride home from the place we both worked at when we were sideswiped by a drunk driver in an SUV. We weren’t lovers or even friends. Just colleagues. I wasn’t even supposed to be in the car with her that evening. My car died on the parking lot and she offered me a lift.

I don’t know what to do. Her sister is very kind but I feel as though I am deceiving her for sympathy and treats. Am I being cruel? Am I wrong? Should I tell her the truth?

Boris in Mount Vernon

Dear Boris:

Under normal circumstances I would have suggested you tell this woman’s sister the truth. In most cases the truth is always best. But the truth of the matter in your situation is that this woman has lost someone who was very dear to her. She is using you as her therapy to get through a difficult situation. In some way, she probably feels as though she’s still connected to her sister through you. If she sees you, she keeps the memory of her sister alive.

Consider this: it’s not a total lie. After all, you and her sister did work together – ergo you weren’t total strangers! Her sister knew you well enough to feel comfortable offering you a ride home. Most women wouldn’t give just any male coworker a lift to be kind. There’s just too many weirdos out there.

Clearly, there was some connection between you two – however platonic. Her sister trusted you enough to feel safe in your company away from the work place. In my opinion, telling this woman who is caring for you now that you didn’t love her dead sister would be cruel and unusual.

Yes, you’re reaping the nurturing benefits of a grieving relative. However, this woman is also gaining mental solace and strength from being in your presence. Her commitment to you has kept her going. In her mind, if she can restore you to health then her sister’s death will not have been in vane.

My advice: let this angel of mercy perform the ascribed duties of a caregiver for as long as she sees fit to do so. Your recovery is doing her a world of good. As long as you don’t fabricate some great romance between you and her sister, you’re not exactly feeding into the lie.

I think you’ve assessed this situation all wrong. Re-examine it from the perspective of what you might be able to offer that would help this woman recover from her loss more quickly and you may find that your friendship will be more lasting than either of you ever suspected. Above all else – keep your strength up and keep the faith. A speedy recovery to the both of you.
Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


@The Crabby Critic 2008 (all rights reserved).