Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Don't Get: Advice Columns and Those Stupid Celebrity Q&A Columns

As you can see by my two recent Don't Get posts, I'm one confused guy lately. Every Sunday, I am further confused by the people who feel the need to seek advice from Dear Abby, et. al. and ask questions about various celebrities. Just like I don't think Yakov Smirnov (please see any website dedicated to '80's pop culture if you don't know who Yakov is) is really from the former Soviet Union, I just can't believe that there are actually people out there who write to these "columnists" (not "communists" - that would be a Yakov Smirnov joke) looking for advice. I won't bore you with too many examples of these columns, but I will give a few:

Dear Abby ( She and her sister, Ann Landers, started this whole mess. I'm not sure what qualifies them as advice experts, but I'd be willing to bet that it ain't a Ph.D. in Advice-Giving-for-the-Price-of-a-Stamp. The first "letter" on Abby's site as I write this details how a female business owner caught a male employee forging a check for $1k. Despite never having "a sexual relationship" with this yahoo (that's important, how?), she is wondering what to do. Believe me, it's not important what Abby says in response. The only correct reply to this letter is "Why the hell are you wasting valuable ink and paper with dumb-ass questions like this?! Shut the hell up and go home to your 15 cats!" Suffice it to say, all of the letters written to Abby have a similar dumb-ass quality to them.

Parade Magazine ( This is one of those throw-away "magazines" that clutter up the Sunday newspaper. There are usually just as many ads for the Franklin Mint as there are articles and, for that matter, the articles usually have something to do old people in some way. Anyway, on the inside of the front cover is "Personality Parade", a Q&A column written by some joker named Walter Scott. I can picture old Walt making up these letters while sitting on the can, shuffling over to his phone to dictate to his blue-haired secretary (not "administrative assistant") and then spending the rest of his day eating too much only to fall into a food-induced coma at about 6:30. Unfortunately for us Michiganders, "Tom Seelye" of "Detroit" recently wrote in asking who started the trend in Hollywood for male leads to wear aviator style sunglasses. I'm serious, folks, this was actually printed. No heavy lifting for Walter. No questions about cancer or world hunger, please - let's just focus on sunglasses. I'm struggling to make another smart-ass comment about this because I am weeping for the future of our great state....

USA Weekend Magazine ( Just like Parade magazine this publication is best suited to wrapping fish. A recent dolt from the Show-Me state (that's Missouri, in case you are a dolt also) was looking for advice because her 16 year-old daughter wanted to get a boob job. Apparently, this chick has "saved the money needed and seen so many makeover shows that she is more knowledgeable about the procedure" than the mother-of-the-year is. Where to begin with these two?!
A: the girl is 16
B: she has learned everything from makeover shows
C: how did she get all that cash?!
Look, if you need some broad from USA Today to tell you that this isn't a real good idea, you frickin' DESERVE to live in Missouri! Perhaps instead of new tubes for your slut-daughter, you could put the money to better use by upgrading to a double-wide! As a matter of fact, why not send me the money and I'll invest it in something worthwhile like a 60" plasma TV. (Don't get me wrong, a nice rack is a beautiful thing but the kids at the local "alternative" high school don't deserve it whereas I do deserve a big TV.)

OK, last bitch about these things. Exactly how urgently do people need answers to these questions? One would hope that "Tom" could wait a while to hear back on the important topic of celebrity eyewear, but is the high school chick driving to the plastic surgeon as we speak? I'm guessing that if I ever needed help on a weighty issue ("My prosthetic leg is currently on fire and I'm confused over which type of fire extinguisher to use...") I'd be looking for a pretty quick turnaround time and because the world is full of stupid people, you gotta figure that there would be quite a few letters ahead of mine in the queue. Might I suggest a conversation with an actual person living in close proximity to handle some of your questions?

Other than the fact that it's a way for dumb-asses to see their names in print, nothing good can come of these things. Every Sunday these things suck me in to see what the stupid people are concerned about and it makes me a little stupider every time I read them and that pisses me off! Damn you, Tom Seelye!

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