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June 15, 2006 Edition

Dear Max,

Make no bones about it, pal. I want to marry your mother, whose book has me flipping. I need a laugh? I open up to any page! I only wish it had a force to help me kick this terrific cigarette habit of mine. You are extraordinarily lucky. How do you suggest I propose to her?

Bewitched in Bora Bora

Dear Bewitched,

To start with, if you want anything from me, using “no” and “bones” in the same sentence is a very bad idea. I love me some bones! They are a delicious way to spend a rainy afternoon and they also happen to be very good for my teeth. I haven’t read my mom’s book because to be honest with you, it’s taken up a lot of my sweet momma’s time for the past 2 years. Time that could have been better spent figuring out if dogs prefer a hard cheese like say, a cave aged Pecorino to a softer cheese such as Chabichou and I am taking a stand against such inhumane treatment. I am glad you like it though. Maybe if she sells enough books (to wit, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere) she’ll throw me a bone or two. Now, as far as marrying my mom goes, that’s a tall order my friend. Even though it bugs me that she treats perfectly good table scraps like nuclear waste, she’s quite a catch and has so far remained “off leash” if you know what I mean. I would start by getting off the cigarettes. They make you smell and I tend to choke on the butts. I would further advise you to shower me with attention and lavish gifts. The quickest way to my momma’s big heart is through her little man and the quickest way to my heart is a bag of snacks. It’s like a form of affection osmosis. I hope that helps BiBB, I could use another guy around the place.

Hey Max,

What do you do when a neighbor is constantly hounding you to go out with them…dinner, movie, whatever, to the point where you hide inside for fear of running into them (if not over them), in the street outside of your house because you know what they’ll say. Help!

Jarrod “in hiding”

Dear J:

I just hate those awkward social situations. I had the same thing happen to me with a clingy wire-haired dachshund back in my dog park days. It’s not that he was a bad dog, just not my cup of puppy chow. So I had a few choices. I could go all doberman on him, show some teeth, growl a bit, maybe take a nip out of his owner. Or, I could just poodle-up and deal with him, pretend he was part of my pack. But, as luck would have it, I am a descendant of probably the most ingenious breed of all, the noble Shih-tzu. I went with a plan of attack, so sneaky, so fool-proof, I am almost afraid to share it with the general public. I pretended to have fleas. He’d get within 30 feet of me and I’d start a scratchin’ and niblin’. You better believe, home-boy kept his distance. I was ready to unleash some mange or even kennel cough on his co-dependent ass if need be, but he backed off in record time. And in the end, he went away, nobody got hurt and I didn’t have to get a flea bath. My advice to you would be to come up with a good rash, maybe not bathe as often and if you get desperate, vomit seals most deals. Especially if you go back and eat it afterwards. Then, enjoy your new found freedom!

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