Sunday, December 6, 2009

Humor Bogey?

Dear Adam,

I'm afraid I might have crossed the line. Last night I portrayed Tiger Woods in a sketch mocking the plight of the best golfer in the world. Originally, I thought it was kinda funny. Actually, it was hilarious. It killed!

I don't mean that it actually killed anyone. No one was hurt in the sketch. Normally I wouldn't feel the need to clarify, but I'm feeling a little self-conscious. Some people feel like we were making light of domestic violence, and they're accusing us of being especially insensitive to our musical guest, Rihanna—a victim of domestic violence herself. But I wasn't making fun of Rihanna. I was just making fun of Tiger Woods. Or so I thought.

Now I'm not sure what to think. Should I apologize for being insensitive? Are the haters right in being offended? Do I need to be afraid of the critics attacking my SUV with golf clubs? What do I do?

Clubbed in NY

Dear Clubbed,

Man, you should not apologize for that sketch. True, there's nothing funny about domestic violence, but unfortunately the same can be said of Saturday Night Live these days. The Tiger Woods bit was the only chuckle-worthy part of last night's performance (with the possible exception of Rihanna's chain-mail headgear).

Spousal abuse isn't funny, but Tiger's public statements about the incident deserve to be lampooned. You called attention to the fact that Tiger can somehow deny the allegations that his wife attacked him, despite substantial evidence to the contrary, and get away with it. That's laughable. Your weapon is humor, and you were right to attack that.

If Tiger's story had happened to a woman instead of the strongest, most athletic male golfer in the history of the world, the domestic violence rumors couldn't be swept away so easily. As it is, Tiger's stuck with the label of "player," not "victim." Rihanna, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. She hasn't just been labeled as a victim, she's been publicly redefined as such.

Sure, there are some who would have SNL look the other way on the Tiger Woods story. Those same critics found it prudent to shine a spotlight on Rihanna . . . again. If they cared about her feelings, or battered women in general, they would have laughed and cheered at the thought of putting the bruise on the other eye.

Rihanna had no transgression to apologize for. Tiger cheated on his wife, and I'd argue that infidelity is a form of emotional abuse. Tiger gets his privacy. Rihanna gets her ER photographs blasted across the Internet. Passing on this story would have been a travesty. Seems to me you picked the perfect time to make Tiger squirm. The only thing that could have made it better would have been letting Rihanna swing the club.

As for the other 85 minutes of SNL, I'm not sure I can ever forgive you for re-airing the Swine Fever commercial.

Stay relevant, and you just might stay funny,


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Dear Adam,

I'm prepared to be incensed. When the elite liberal media report the results on election day, it will most likely skew my decision to vote. Why should I bother going to vote for a candidate if I already know the one I don't want to win won or the one I do want to win won't? Why do they have to report the results before I get my chance to vote?

Can you please stop them?

Voting in the Panhandle.

Dear Pan-voter,

Please don't vote if you're stupid enough to give credence to polling results before you go. If you're watching the news to decide if your vote still matters, if your little piece of democracy for which countless men and women have bled and died is worth less to you than the opinions of Brit Hume, or if you are planning on bringing your Blackberry with you to see if the percentages change when you punch your ballot . . . if you are basing your vote at all on the numbers and color coding reported the day of the election, please don't bother.

Vote a straight ticket. Vote your heart. Vote your conscience. Vote your gut. Vote on instinct. Vote on principle. Vote on name recognition. Vote on dumb random luck. But please don't base your vote on what everyone else is doing. If everyone else jumped off a bridge to nowhere, would you do it . . . hey, dude! You didn't even let me finish the sentence . . . (splash). 

Okay, never mind. One less undecided to worry about. Hey, look . . . the percentages did go down! Huh. Who knew?

Approving messages daily,


Friday, July 18, 2008


Dear Adam,

Is there anything we can do better?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Women, Everywhere

Dear Omnipresent Females,

You've GOT to be kidding me. I won't even ask if this is a trick question. I won't marvel at the fact that you all seemed to come to such a simple consensus. I won't suggest that you did so on that not-too-rare occasion when all the women in the world made a trip to the ladies' room together. I won't fall victim to one of the classic blunders (nor will I get involved in a land war in Asia or go in with a Cicilian when death is on the line). I won't make the mistake of lumping all women together in a single criticism. I won't take the bait and expose myself to ridicule from half the world. I won't make the lethal assumption that a request for constructive criticism is anything but an opportunity to say how much I love everything about you.

Not this time. No thanks. Not now. Not ever. I hope that helps,


P.S. Wait. I just thought of something. Here's one thing: I've said before that I don't think people should talk on their cell phones while driving. You and your male counterparts aren't listening to me, and I've come to grips with that. What I don't understand, however, is what happens when the drive comes to an end before the call does . . . women are unwilling to get out of the car until ending the conversation that began while driving. I've seen it time and time again.

I've seen women who feel comfortable zipping around a triple-trailer semi while talking on their mobile phones. I've seen women texting while merging into 70 mph traffic. I've witnessed the phenomenon of eating and putting on makeup while talking on the phone and dodging falling boulders. But I've never seen a woman get out of the car before ending her call. It just doesn't happen. Y'all can be racing to get to your destination, but you'll go no further than taking off your seatbelt before saying goodbye and depositing the cell into the cavernous recesses of your purse.

I presume the conversation goes something like this: "Okay, I'm here. I should go." And if you're talking to a woman, she says, "Oh, okay. I'll let you go. Bye." Because she understands your predicament. You're caught behind the wheel, and there's nothing you can do. You have to end the call before you die of residual carbon monoxide poisoning. She's a good friend.

So it's safe and kosher to talk while driving, but it's altogether reckless and/or improper to get out of the car before ending your call? I think not. So here's my advice. Go ahead and get out of the car. Tell your friend you're doing it before it happens, just so she can be on the alert in case your worst fears are realized. I don't know what fears those are, but whatever it is has kept you immobilized. Fear not, women of the earth. You don't have to hang up to get out of your cars.

Thanks for asking,

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Dear Adam,

I've got a tough decision to make, but it's complicated. I can't go into details. It's kind of a long story. The basic question is: should I go through with it?

On the Fence in Fairbanks

Dear Fencer,

It's not a tough decision. It's an easy decision. You want it to be a tough decision. You want the bad option to be good. But it's not. You're asking for advice in the hopes that someone, anyone will tell you the bad option is the good option. Nobody thinks that. It's an easy decision.

And it's not complicated. People in simple situations say that they're complicated all the time, when the only complicated aspect is the hundreds of layers of bull required to put a positive spin on something so obviously negative. "I didn't get fired . . . it's complicated." "I can't commit to a long relationship . . . it's complicated." "Your car isn't ready yet . . . it's complicated." "We didn't get the loan . . . it's complicated."

And it isn't a long story. People always try to cover up their obviously bad choices by threatening you with the length of the story. Sure, if you try to make it sound good, it gets real long. But if you keep them true, they are always short stories. Here are the short stories from the previous examples: "I got fired for stealing at work." "I don't want to be exclusive because I don't like you all that much." "The valet stole your car." "We have bad credit and no money."

So if you're wondering if you and the imbezzling, disinterested car thief should buy a new house together with a no-money-down subprime mortgage . . . sure, go for it. Send me a postcard from Alaska. Just spare me the complicated long story.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dear Me

Hey, you, it's me. You look tired. Anything I can do?


Dear Adam,

Go to sleep. Don't blog.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Listerine Users

Dear Adam,

I started rinsing with Listerine about a minute ago. I was about to spit it out, when I took a second look at the directions. It said to "rinse for 30 seconds. DO NOT SWALLOW." So, I'm not swallowing. But that's not really an instruction. It's a warning of what not to do. . . . So what do I do? Hurry! I have "not swallowed" for just about as long as I can and my mouth is really burning.

Gargles in South Dakota

Dear Gargles (or should I call you Burning Mouth?),

A lesser advice columnist would just tell you to spit it out. I'm not sure why the good folks at Listerine didn't give you that instruction. You're quite correct, "Do not swallow," hardly classifies as direction. But now that you find yourself in this predicament, you could turn your germ-killing quandary into a financial windfall. Johnson & Johnson is a big company with a lot of money. Their negligence could be your good fortune.

I'm no lawyer, but I think that in civil litigation, a jury of your peers might find that Johnson & Johnson informing you on the matter of expectoration is a reasonable expectation. The dentist tells you to spit. Why can't a bottle of Listerine? I'm sure the bottle tells you that failure to use the product in accordance with the directions is a violation of federal law. But seeing as though they give you no recommended course of action other than not swallowing, you could be in for some compensation. If you show up to court with the Listerine still in your mouth, that would be grand. But if you attempt to expel it through your nostrils, that could cause damage you can prove. Or if you simply fail in the not swallowing department, I'm sure that would mess you up pretty good physically (though not financially). You might even be able to find a psychologist who would conclude that the mere mention of not swallowing makes it impossible for you to think of anything but swallowing, especially given no written alternative.

But the whole process takes a long time (a lot longer than 30 seconds). Considering all your options, my final advice to you would be the following:


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

American Idol Contestants

I'm not gonna name names. I don't care what song you sing. I don't care what Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame member's song you brutalize. But please don't compare your experience on American Idol to the Civil Rights Movement.

They. Are not. The same. At all.

You being sent to the bottom two is not in the same solar system, the same eon, or the sameliterary genre as being sent to the back of the bus. If you come even remotely close to insinuating such a preposterous notion, you deserve to be sent home.