PETTY QUESTIONS: Either Way/Written In Reverse

By Owen Bates on December 18, 2010


Hey. I'm writing this at 2:36 a.m. listening to Wilco. So anyway, that's what's up with me.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Noah Baumbach are getting a divorce. This really bums me out. I know I shouldn't care about celebrity relationships, but I like both of them a lot and I thought they were going to last. Can any relationship last? Or do they all have life-spans and expiration dates? Is there a time we can expect to divorce our wives and friends and cities and everybody we know? Does that just happen sometimes?

I'd be up for some questions.


When does it stop?


It doesn't. You just keep going at it and hopefully you get some happy good moments.

Who am I kidding? You guys aren't here to listen to me sulk and wax this or that. You're here for an adventure story. Sure, I've got one up my sleeve, but it's going to cost you - your attention, that is! Please pay attention to me.

THE TRADE WINDS blew us way off-course. We thought we ended up in the Canary Islands due to all the islands everywhere, but we weren't sure. Basically we were lost.

"Starboard aft forward jig up," Captain Swarthmore yelled at us, but no one budged. We were already on vacation-time at that point. I was sipping a virgin colada; the real men had real virgins everywhere. We were already low on food before the girls appeared and started eating all the good stuff. But what were you going to say? Pirateman's Rules, Section 4c.

A mischievous turtle winked at me. My straw dropped to the sand. "That's the last time, asshole." I reached down to school him but he scurried away. In his place was a big X.

"Hey fellas, I think this X marks the spot!" No one cared about what I said anymore. No one gives a short guy the time of day on a ship of clocks. "Piss off. I'm busy making sure the clock ship doesn't sink." Yeah, right. Clocks are made out of light, hollow wood. They don't need maintenance.

The X just ended up being an extreme turtle. In all fairness, though, I clinically cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality, so the virgin colada might have been a non-alcoholic beer or something.



My brother and I share a bathroom. I love him to bits, but he never uses a towel to dry his feet and lower legs. When I come in after he's taken a shower there are pools of water everywhere. Either I'm wiping up his water or I forget to look and - whoops! - I've got a wet sock. I've brought it up before, but he shrugs it off and continues. What should I do? It's driving me up the wall!

---Dry Clean

It's 6:28 p.m. now, and Spoon is playing. I feel a lot better! Sorry for getting so down earlier.

OK, DC, I'll fix your problem. Watch a wizard perform his magic tricks of the trade. You're going to need to lay a hand on your brother.

Beating tends to get a bad rap nowadays. Parents are not supposed to hit their children, yet children are still required to hit their parents. That's what the critics say. You know what I say to the critics? "I'm going to beat you up, loser. Shut up or I'll beat you up at your workplace in front of your friends! They will not be your friends anymore!"

Think of it as survival of the fittest. If you can break a guy's nose with your fingers then people are going to think you're really fit. So we're on the same page: fit = attractive = ladies = jets = real rum coladas = x2 ladies (virgies).

It's a Monday morning and your brother is late for school, ‘cause like whatever. Maybe he always sleeps through his alarm clock and the ‘rents have to wake him up. Maybe they get constantly annoyed so much doing this that they form a low-level bias against every action Brother does, good or bad. He gets skewed as irresponsible and lazy in the house, the neighbor's houses, the whole village. Brother loses job opportunities and he must stay home forever. The shtick supplants the personality. Let's cut the shit---parents suck.

Brother walks into the bathroom, closes the door. Whisks off his nightie. He draws the shower curtain open to turn on the water. But instead of water out come...hands! Your hands! You scare him silly and then he never takes showers again. Dry floors, here we come! The trauma will not be isolated. Brother will be equally uncomfortable around hands and shower curtains.

Then you beat him up for being crazy! If it wasn't clear, you're hiding in the shower. Ahh!!!!

Let me know if that works, DC. If not, I will beat you up tomorrow night at night school.

"Hey, what's up next?" "I think it's the Parade of the Painted Elephants Column." "Awesome dude thanks."

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