Friday, May 16, 2008

Ask Mr. Expert

Welcome to my new advice column, “Ask Mr. Expert,” in which I solve all of your personal problems using my vast knowledge of everything.

All you have to do is set aside all your own instincts and common sense and defer to my profound expertise.

Dear Mr. Expert: I just received a $600 check from the government simply because I exist. What should I do with it?

You are being bribed. George Bush is paying you to pretend you are not worried about the economy and to vote Republican in the next election.

You must cleanse yourself by donating the ill-gotten funds to the nearest worthy cause or slot machine.

Dear Mr. Expert: Help! My son is 24 months old and has not potty trained yet. My parenting book said he should have done this by now! He also started talking later than other kids his age. Should I be concerned?

Indeed. All children are exactly the same and must follow a rigid, arbitrary schedule of development. Get used to the idea that your son will still be in diapers by the time he celebrates his tenth year of bagging groceries.

Dear Mr. Expert: I have an etiquette question. Is it proper behavior at a dinner party to punch anyone who says the word “lifeblood;” as in, “an informed citizenry is the 'lifeblood' of any democracy”? I mean, what other kind of blood is there? Does anyone have deathblood? Why not just say “blood”?

You have an excellent point. Be sure to use your brass knuckles.

Dear Mr. Expert: At a cafeteria the other day, I purchased some cereal in a pre-packaged “self-serve bowl.” Does this mean when I use a normal bowl someone else is supposed to feed me?

Let me guess... you didn't stop breastfeeding in time, did you?

Dear Mr. Expert: My family hates me, my career is in shambles, and I'm just about bankrupt. Please help!

You have my deepest sympathies, Mrs. Clinton, but I'm afraid the best lot in life you can hope for now is to become a member of Obama's cabinet, such as Secretary of the Inferior.

Whoooo! Did you get that? Ha ha... Inferior. I am on FIRE.

Dear Mr. Expert: My son is the best player on his youth league baseball team, even though he's only in second grade. But I can't get him to hit the ball to left field with reliable power, and he won't charge the ball when fielding grounders. As a pitcher, his pickoff move is merely average. I'm starting to think he's uncoachable. How can I get through to him?

You can't. Give up now, and don't ever mention sports to him again for the rest of your life.

Dear Mr. Expert: The new selection for Oprah's book club is Eckart Tolle's “A New Earth.” Do I really need a spiritual guru or can I find inner peace and higher meaning on my own?

When I first noticed Oprah pursuing the topic of spiritual enlightenment in her various publications and webcasts, I was very skeptical. I thought she would fall flat on her face because our society is too superficial to latch on.

Then I started watching her spirituality course online. Gradually, I came to realize something powerful and transcendent, something that opened my mind to a new world of possibilities: Eckhart Tolle, when viewed from any angle, looks like a laboratory rodent.

So I guess you're on your own.

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