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Archive for February, 2006

February 23, 2006 Edition

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Dear Max:

I highly regard your advice and thought I’d ask what to do about my horrible neighbor. She complains that we’re too loud all the time, that we walk too loudly, that we hang mirrors too loudly, etc. Meanwhile, we hear her screeching and talking to her little toydog (don’t know what breed—i’m SO sorry—but i KNOW you wouldn’t want to put your nose in its butt!) and stomping around in her high heels…and we can practically smell her blond dye through our walls. We don’t want a war with her but we have one. How do we get her to stop interfering in our lives??


Dear AVA,

Your first problem emerges early in your question: you highly regard my advice? Truth be told, my view of the world is quite limited. I’m easily pleased, and I don’t stay mad for long. Throw a squeaky toy across the floor, and you’d think that I won the Power Ball jackpot. But your situation is very tricky indeed, and it doesn’t please me. When people live in close quarters, tolerance and mutual respect are critical. If it’s war, and you don’t fret over the risk that UPS deliveries will start disappearing, or a hint of smoke in your place will be allowed to grow into a major blaze before the authorities gets a heads-up, I think the time for sheepish smiles and “Sorry!” in response to her complaints is done. Tell her to live and let live; you’re not breaking any laws or even creating a real nuisance. And if she wants to enjoy total silence, she can move to Saskatchewan. Guaranteed – her little “snowball” will appreciate the soundness of my argument.

Hey Max:

I have a boyfriend named Dewey, and I love him dearly, but your picture is so sexy, I am wondering if it is OK to have more than one boyfriend at a time? I wonder if I were to ask you to meet me in the dog park, would Dewey be jealous? And would you consent to meet me there? I just don’t understand all the doggie etiquette rules for dating. I think it is OK to play the field, but what do you think?


Dear Zoe,

So, you’re into the Maxman? You need an injection of canine perfection? You got bit by the underbite? You … okay, moving right along. Let’s put it this way: what if Dewey were to ask if he could see other Zoes from time to time? And you saw him laughing, and fetching stuff, and getting the behind-the-ears finger dance with that zombie smile on his face. (If he’s a boy, this is even *more* unsettling.) Apply the golden rule, and nearly every seemingly “harmless” thing we do in life loses its innocence. I translate it this way: having more than one boyfriend at a time means having no boyfriends at a time – and that may be fine. There’s a time for playing the field, and there’s a time for settling down to a routine of mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and fertilizing regularly. Wait — that sounded totally sexual, and I’m as shocked as you are. Anyway, I utterly deplore this whole dog park suggestion, and I’m going to distance myself from it now, by walking right over … here. In conclusion, what time were you thinking, and what will you be wearing?

February 16, 2006 Edition

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Dear Max:

Kudos on the spork resolve, I too was astounded by your discovery. This leads me to believe you could get to the bottom of my question. Why is it that in movies when everyone is trying to save one person, why is it that it is okay for everyone else to die to save that one person? This question plaques me to this day. Why, damn it, why!


Dear Caesar,

I like your name. It evokes salad, and while I don’t like salad, I would still eat it. Your question reflects a heightened appreciation of human life, which may be what distinguishes you from most Hollywood scriptwriters. But these story decisions are at least partly practical: if we had to witness the grief and teary funerals that naturally would follow every character’s death, every film would be longer than an Oliver Stone flick, and we’d be living on Snocaps and JuJuBes. The Bible, which has been adapted for the screen many times, turns your question around, to good effect: one guy dies and saves everybody. Perhaps the seminal cinematic exploration of this topic is “Saving Private Ryan,” in which we’re left to wonder whether it was worth it to lose Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Giovanni Ribissi, Vin Diesel, and Barry Pepper to save Matt Damon. Very tough call.

Dear Max:

Umm….How would I go about taking over the world?

The Master of Disaster

Dear M.O.D.

This is a difficult question. I’d suggest starting small – then working your way up to world domination. Quaker Oats decided they wanted to take over Snapple, so they used the weapon that works in most any situation: money. They bought it for $1.7 billion dollars. Four years later, they sold it for $300 million dollars. Three years after that, the buyers sold Snapple to Cadbury Schweppes for $1 billion dollars. So, not all takeovers are everything they’re cracked up to be. Look at what happened to Castro: Fifty years into his plot and he still can’t sell a cigar in the U.S.

February 9, 2006 Edition

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Dear Max:

My name is Molly and I am a Maltese. We have actually met before, your mom is my Aunt, which I guess means we are cousins. I need your advice… I love to stick my tongue far up my mothers nose and all over her mouth when I am giving her morning kisses. She doesn’t seem to mind it at all. In fact, she loves it! I can tell. My problem is that my future father thinks it is gross and doesn’t like it. How can I let him know how pure and clean I am and that I don’t have any germs? Even if I have been known to lick my privates every now and again. I would like for him to understand this and ultimately get to a point where I can kiss him the same way!

Miss Molly

Dear Kissing Cousin,

This is a difficult dilemma indeed. He’s your future father, from which I surmise your mother is betrothed to him. And you don’t want to blow that, with what psychologists call it when a pet dog is so close to a human that he/she repels the human’s chosen snuggle bunny — clinically known as Rin-Tin-Tintimacy. It may help you to know that I, too, am a long-time licker. In fact, I can lick a person’s leg for about 25 minutes without a break, which is a long time. Maybe try working your way into his heart before you work your way too far up his nose. I like to do the bit where I wrestle with a towel or a t-shirt, then walk slightly forward so only my snout and eyes emerge, and look up, all bewildered. It KILLS ‘em! And as for anyone who doesn’t know how clean dog privates are — why do you think we spend all day and night licking them? It certainly isn’t the taste.

Dear Max:

What the f*** is up with the total lack of metal sporks? Have the fork and spoon gotten together and decided that the spork is just to cool, and had it murdered?

Justin Z.

Dear JZ,

Conspiracy theories abound, but they’re usually just that — theories. For a real conspiracy, look into the cost of a gallon of milk. Jeez. But the fork and spoon couldn’t plot the elimination of the spork, metal or otherwise, to save their lives (the fork is still ticked at the spoon for running away with the dish, or so “Us Weekly” would have us believe). In fact, while trying to get at the results of some poor human decision-making recently (translation: discarded KFC fragments), I found a perfectly serviceable spork — wedged in the pages of a grease-soaked “Us Weekly.” And a quick Web search turned up this source for a very handsome-looking metal spork (though I prefer to just use my face): Click here for a titanium spork from T.A.D. Gear So that’s what the f*** is up with the sp***.

February 2, 2006 Edition

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Dear Max:

If our ears burn when people are talking about us, then what happens when people are thinking about us?


Dear Rodin,

Well, this question assumes it’s true that our ears burn when people are talking *about* us, which I don’t believe. My ears burn mainly when I’m sleeping too close to a heating vent. Sometimes my ears burn when someone is talking *to* me — or rather, yelling *at* me, just because I wanted to know what was in a plastic garbage bag. PLEASE! I’m just investigating, to make sure the humans didn’t carelessly toss something edible. There are starving people in Africa, for gosh sake! Sometimes, that adventure gives me *heart*burn, so I’m not sure if that’s related. But to your question, I have observed that when people are thinking about us, and then look at us, and smile, and scratch us, we get all warm and oogy inside. Try it out: think about someone now, and go scratch them, and then ask them what they feel.

…cont. from previous column

“Trapped In The Closet”

by Max Crane

I’m hungry

But what else is new

Eat and play is all I do

I’m chillin and maxin

Round my crib

If it’s dinnertime

Then I’ve got dibs…

But now you be tellin’ me

We’re out of food

I heard that before

And it’s never good

Is there food in the closet?

(Must be food in the closet)

Check for food in the closet

(Maybe back of the closet)

Have you thought of the closet?

(Usually some in the closet)

And then it hits me —

What I seen before

Disappear ‘round that closet door

It was on the tube

When I was small

Close my eyes, still see it all…

A covered wagon, racing past

A little dog who said, “My a**!”

The dog gave chase

But came up dry

The covered wagon rumbled by

Then it went in the closet

(It was CHUCK in the closet)

Purina CHUCK in the closet!

(CHUCKWAGON Dry in the closet)

Just add water for gravy!

(That could make it so tasty!)

Why not check in the closet?

(The wagon went in the closet…)

Maybe still in the closet

(That ad don’t lie ‘bout the closet…)

Ohh-ohhhh-ohhh ohh-ohhhh…

Woooo-oooh-oooh oooh-oooh

Howwwllll howwwoooooool…

Dear Max:

Six years into this new century with all of our technological advances over the years, how is it that white folk can still get away with performing rap music?

Cil Y-D

Dear Cil Y-D,

White artists have been stealing black music since Mozart ripped off Don Giovanni from James “Daddy” Crawford’s “Playuh” in 1785. And since audiences have an inexplicable but undeniable predilection for “their own,” black music performed by whites often means big bucks for everyone involved (except the black songwriter) — and the human spirit is nothing if not relentless in its pursuit of the benjamins. Lots of theories have been offered; maybe white audiences see a white singer doing what’s essentially “black” material and think, “Wow — we can be soulful, too!” It’s sad, but as Elvis Presley said, “That’s All Right Momma.” Or, wait — that was Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. Oh well. At least we live in an age where black musicians and music can make it on their own. And look at it this way: what white musician is EVER going to try to steal R Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet”?

« Continued in previous column…

(Upon further consideration, I decided to take a stab at it myself. Look left for Max’s version of Trapped In the Closet)

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