Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Ask Thag, and You’re Asking for It.

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It’s time for another edition of Ask Thag, the only information and advice column ever to earn the Nasty, Brutish and Short Award for Achievements in Alienation.

Dear Thag:

Why does water go down the drain in a swirly pattern?

Jake, age 7, Chattanooga, TN

Dear Jake:

It goes down that way because your drain is not clogged. Judging from the plumbing in my house, drains are supposed to be clogged, and proper disposal of liquid waste is accomplished by dumping the offending material in the neighbor’s yard when she’s not looking. Ideally, you should choose a neighbor who gets upset at you for doing normal things, such as retrieving a ball that happens to land on her lawn, but any neighbor will do.

If your drains continue to operate in the unusual swirly fashion, stuff as much hair and wadded toilet paper in them as possible.


Dear Thag:

Whenever I ask my husband to do something, he says he will, but either doesn’t do it or waits a long time before doing it, and I feel disregarded. How can I make sure he realizes how much it bothers me without seeming petty, controlling or ignorant of his needs?

Frustrated in Coral Gables

Dear Frustrated:

I don’t give this advice to everyone, so I beseech readers not to interpret it as appropriate for their relationships; it’s only for you, Frustrated.

I happen to know your husband. Sandy hair, about five-ten, medium build, fondness for cheesesteak? Name’s Gordon, goes by Gordo? Yeah, we’ve met. Trust me: this guy needs to be hit over the head with it or he’ll never get it. The first dozen or so times you ask him to do something, such as putting away laundry, literally hit him over the head with a raw chicken (not frozen, please), as you admonish him to take care of the task immediately.

As for the rest of you out there wondering whether anything like this would work in your marriages, please do not try this. I know Gordo. If your husband happens to be named Gordo and you have a similar difficulty in your relationship but you are not the Frustrated who sought my input here, you can go right ahead, but I hereby divest myself of all responsibility.


Dear Thag:

Whenever I put my car in reverse to leave my garage, I can’t get it to proceed until I jam down the accelerator, which sometimes means speeding out into the street at dangerous speeds. What does this mean?

Mystified in Portland

Dear Mystified:

It means it’s time for you to find Rover a better place to sleep.


Dear Thag:

What wine goes best with anchovy pizza? My wife insists on port, while I favor sherry. Who is right?


Dear Thirsty:

I’m happy you asked, because it gives me a chance to use my new keyboard. See, I just puked all over the old one and it no longer works. Thank you.


Dear Thag:

Where do babies come from?

Sadie, age 5, Augusta

Dear Sadie:

Before I give you a direct answer, I must call out your parents for punting on this one. When you asked them, they decided to foist the burden onto me instead of assuming their parental responsibility. For some reason, on this sensitive point, which demands discretion and trust, they wish to cede control to a complete stranger with a reputation for pranks and malice toward all.

Sadie, babies come from several possible places depending on what kind of babies they are. White Christian babies come from God and are delivered by storks. Black and Arab babies are formed from the droppings of apes and camels, and East Asian babies – the kind with slanty eyes – grow in rice paddies. Hispanic babies might come from God, but no one knows because they’re too busy killing each other over soccer or drugs, or because they’re too busy sneaking into the United States to take away jobs from real people. Jewish babies aren’t really babies at all – they’re just miniature capitalists designed to pounce on your money when your guard is down.


Dear Thag:

I take issue with your answer to Squeezed in Scranton, who feels sandwiched between caring for an ailing husband and aging parents. You recommended she make an appointment with a financial adviser, then rob him blind in order to finance caregivers for her family members and give herself a well-deserved vacation in the Bahamas.

I am a financial adviser, and take offense at the implication that we all have enough money for such things. I struggle to make ends meet, as opposed to some of my clients, who don’t have to think twice about installing another Jacuzzi in their Gulfstreams.

PO’d in Peoria

Dear PO’d:

Thank you for your input. It is only when we see clearly through the haze of facts and perceive the important elements that we are in a position to help others.


Written by Thag

September 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

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