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July 27, 2006 Edition

Dear Max,

My name is Bruschi and I am a 1 yr old Shih-tsu. I came to my Mama because the woman who had me before kept me in a cage all day and knew it wasn’t a good life for me. She gave me to my Mama in Oct. 2005 which is when my name was changed to Bruschi from Bosco. (My daddy loves the NE Patriots and Tedy Bruschi is is fave player) Anyway, my Mama has this habit of constantly giving me new ‘nicknames’. I went from Bruschi (pronounced Brew-ski) to Bru-Bru to Baby Bru-Bru to Moo-Moo to Baby Moo-Moo to NeeNee Moo-Moo. What the heck!?!? I mean, I answer to them all, but sheesh! Why does she do this? Is she mentally deranged? Should I fear for my life?

Sleeping with one eye open

Eye Opener,

First off, sleeping with one eye open is no better for you than driving with one eye closed — it messes with your perception. Tom Cruise made “Eyes Wide Shut” with Nicole Kidman, and look what happened to him? (Now, by the way, he has the same problem as you — what, with the “TomKat” and the “Cruise Missile” and the “Dangerous Lunatic” you hear so much about the poor actor.) As loyal readers will know, we trod this ground once before, because I suffer the same affliction. Everything has an assumed name these days — “what’s the diff,” “Cha” (for “yeah, right”), “perp,” “whatev.” Is it really so much harder to just go the extra syllable and say “Whatever”? I don’t mind, because I think they’re all terms of endearment, and they signify love coming my way, which frequently is the precursor of either food or its sad surrogate — a scratch behind the ears.

In your Mom’s case, have no fear — she’s not crazy, just lazy. Why put in all the work of “Bruschi” when “NeeNee Moo-Moo” is so much more efficient? But the love thing is clear. Think of it: she took you on *after* your cute puppy phase and freed you from your daytime prison? She ought to be canonized. Of course, she dodged your house training period, so it wasn’t *all* bad. Besides, Bruschi is already on a dangerous path — that name lends itself to more bastardizations than Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, the cute little bastard. When Sting said, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da,/Is all I want to say to you,” he was actually saying “What do you look like without any clothing on?” so sometimes a little verbal misdirection is necessary. If someone says, “Hey, Mealy Worms for Brains!” and drops a sliver of roast beef on the floor in my direction, I still come running.

What you need to take your mind off your troubles is my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere. I’m not sure that will help you, but it may help me, so we’ll call it even.

b>Dear Max:

Do you prefer beef or chicken?



Yes. And not “or.” “And.”

b>hay max:

my owner jus got a kitten and i am afraid that she may forget about me. also she might make her a myspace as well. what should i do i have been in my cage for the past 3days and i am always out of my cage but not now since there is a kitten around what should i do? does my owner still care about me or is it the end of me?

Flower the rabbit

Dear Flower Child:

Your note proves something I’ve suspected for a long time: rabbits don’t know how to use the shift key. And nice touch, spelling “Hey” like “hay” — you crazy hare! You must be one of those younger rabbits, who came up texting everything. An entire generation now refers to our great country as the “usa” and me as “u.” And forget the apostrophe or proper use of quote marks or diacriticals. why? microsoft word doesn’t like it one bit. if i try to sneak by a sentence or an “i” without capitalizing it, word freaks out and second guesses me. hey, word — i’m trying to appear hip and young here! give a column-writing dog a little credit.

But you asked a question — why isn’t your owner letting you out of the cage with the kitten around? A little zoology lesson here: many felines stalk and mangle little furry things. And from the fact that you call yourself “the rabbit,” I surmise that you fit that bill. Myspace, with something like 87 hundred million users now, is big enough for the both of you, and so is your owner’s heart. Another thing: kittens grow up to be cats, and they’re borderline worthless. So you’ll always have the upper hand in that respect. Just so long as you remember this about humans: that rabbit’s foot they carry through casinos wasn’t very lucky for the rabbit. So sleep with one eye open.

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