Ask Max Archives

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

April 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

September 2009

August 2009

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005


(back to ask max)

Archive for June, 2006

June 29, 2006 Edition

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Hey Max,

The guy I allow to live here with me says he wants to come to your mom’s NYC book signing in July. He’s also told me about you (thus my Q’s)… I want to glom onto him and come with, in hope of meeting you, but he keeps saying “nope.” What can I do? Stow away in the back seat? Hide out on the train somewhere? If I can’t do these things with him, what’s the date, and how can I find the bookstore on my own? (PS Please tell your reader, “Bewitched,” that my guy is all your mom would want from a man/dog lover.)

Keisha in Connecticut

Dear Keisha,

Dogs can’t read, but we have excellent hearing, and that’s why I think the “reading/signing” is definitely for you.

Where: Barnes & Noble Chelsea, New York

Address: 675 6th Avenue Click here for directions

Date: Thursday, 7/6/06

Time: 7 pm

You’ll hear witticisms from my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through bn.com, amazon.com (click here), and fine booksellers everywhere. Careful – if you go through the line to say “Hi,” she ends up writing in your copy. Geez – that’s private property! But depending on how far away in CT you live, stowing away in a car can be tough work. For instance, you don’t want to sit up and strap on the shoulder restraint – too much of a dead giveaway. So you bounce around back there like a thought in a politician’s head, this way and that, clocking your noggin against the doors but unable to squeal out, “Hey! Slow down around the corners!” Nor can you feel the rush of wind in your face, which is why dogs originally invented cars. I’ve never tried to stow away on a train (too afraid of the *clak clak*). If you do get here, note that the Brooklyn Bridge is not for sale. On the matter of Bewitched, hey, I’m just the piano player around here.

Dear Max:

My Shih Tzu(s) would like to know why you spell Shih Tsu with a “S”…when it is spelled with a “z”?? Just wondering…? A bunch of Shi Tzu’s! PS – 1/2 are Champions and the other 1/2 are almost Champions.

Magic Shih Tzu

Uh oh it’z Magic:

It’z not zurprizing you would zend zuch a queztion. Of courze, zome zpell Shih-Tzu with an “s” and zome with a “z.” But I refuze to zet azide zuch a zweet zuggeztion, and never let it be zaid thiz Shih-Tzu doezn’t lizten (like some intranzigent soo animal) — ztarting today, a shih-tzu I will be … and why not … it’z time I brought a little sezt to thiz zite! (By the way, congratz to the Championz, and almost congratz to almozt Championz…!)

Dear Max,

I am mad at life.

Phillip H.

Dear Phillip,

Don’t be.


June 22, 2006 Edition

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Dear Max,

I have been searching and searching, where can I buy Cinnamilk? Mommy is so kind to make me some in the morning with breakfast, but I would really like to buy the pre-made kind just in case mommy forgets to make it for me. Please help, She has already forgot one time!! And I can’t live without my Cinnamilk!!!

TannerFlatFacePuffyPaws *Craving Cinnamilk*

Dear T,

Ah, Cinnamilk. This cinnamon and milk delectation, for those not in the know, figures prominently in my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere. One day, it will be as ubiquitous as The Da Vinci Code (which is available in your produce section), but for now, it’s like the stars of American Idol – not bought but made. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal residue in milk is the home-cooked version, but one day, it’ll eclipse plain milk like salsa took out potato-chip dip. I won’t spoil the ending of the book, because then you wouldn’t need to read it, and I’d be back begging for scraps, doing the old soft-paw on 42nd St. (Not pretty — I have two left feet.) Nor will I spoil the ending of real life. Because, keep your eyes peeled: Cinnamilk may be coming to a carton near you. And when it does, leave my cut in my bowl; I’ll take it from there.

Dear Max,

What do you think about MySpace?

My dog has a MySpace…

Dear My My,

I love it. I’d say we’re two peas in a pod, but I don’t have a dog. Like golf on the guy’s t-shirt, a bad day at MySpace beats a good day at the office. At the same time, I realize it’s the Internet equivalent of the pet rock. Sure, it lets you meet people you might otherwise never have stumbled across, unless you happened to be at the bar on a night when they were binging. Then again, many MySpaceCadets aren’t of “legal” drinking age, so the bar won’t do. (By the way – kids, you’ll have all the time in the world to meet lascivious perverts in the real world; leave MySpace for exchanging band advertisements.) But like the pet rock, MySpace is bound in the end to do not much more than produce a few hundred million dollars for its creators. So blog away! And next year, when you’ve found something new we can do together let me know first. I could do a lot with my half of a few hundred million.

Hey Max:

I’m completely and hopelessly in love with an amazing girl. She said she didn’t want to be friends anymore and won’t even speak to me since I told her how I feel. I don’t know what to do, I always think about her. Was it wrong to tell her?


Pat Pat Pat:

It’s never wrong to express your true feelings. With this case being the one possible exception. What was in your head? Women are inscrutable; they simply can’t be scruted. I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to let her go. Or get her back, which could be harder. Try this: tell her you were just kidding – “wasn’t that fricking hilarious!” — and you want to resume the friendship on a new, more sarcastic level. For instance, if she wants to play-act tongue-kiss with you, or horse around with her top off, that would be hysTERical. Naturally, she’ll be confused: that’s when you say, “GOD! I can’t believe you thought I was serious! Why would I ever want you? I mean, you’re all *right* and everything, but I’m not *into* you.” That, of course, is guaranteed to make her fall for you. This is why most marriages seem so miserable. Two crazy knockabouts, madly in love with each other – both afraid to express their true feelings for fear of repelling their mate. So I predict marriage is in your future. Someday. To someone. As my friend with the parks department says, there are plenty of fish on the beach.

June 15, 2006 Edition

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

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!

June 8, 2006 Edition

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Dear Max,

I want to go to the Caprice Crane book reading/signing in LA, 7:30 PM, Thursday, June 8, at the Santa Monica Barnes & Noble. How do I get there?

(Don’t Want to Be) Lost in LA

Found in LA,

Wow, that sure was an odd way to phrase the question. The Barnes & Noble Web site has a direction-finder … click here and plug in your address! Or try the Google Maps version … click here to pinpoint it! Or drive around LA and just ask people. How far can it be?

Dear Max,

My “master” steals my food, right out of the bowl. He usually does this while drinking foul-smelling liquids. I have given him the full range of disapproving expressions (from incredulous to aggrieved), to no effect. How do I make him stop? Is biting allowed at this point?

Emaciated in Seattle

Seattle Slim,

You can call me a lot of things, but don’t call me late for dinner … and don’t ever call me over to a dog food bowl that a human being is dipping his/her dirty paws into. For the love of Lassie, people – you deprive us of darn near everything else culinary… now you got to get all up in my monkey chow??!! The foul-smelling liquids might explain why he has any palette for your dinner at all (the uprights usually don’t like the taste of dog food, which is part of nature’s great equilibrium), but I’ve got news for you on the facial-expression approach: hang it up. Stand in front of your owner sometime and assume a crystal-clear expression of amazement that dinner hasn’t been served yet. I mean, really layer on the consternation and disgust. Here’s what you get, invariably: “It’s too early, Maxie. It’s still another two hours.” I’m *constantly* aggrieved, frequently agitated, and once I was mortified. I still live life largely unfulfilled.

But you’re crossing over into dangerous territory when you consider taking matters into your own teeth. Evrey dog I know regrets every bite of a human being he or she ever took. On the surface, they apparently don’t taste very good – like sweat fighting Fresh Spring-scented antiperspirant. But deep down, it’s even worse: you’re chewing at a special bond between companions, one that takes longer to heal than any flesh wound. Consider that before you chomp. Plus the fact that you’re likely to get your butt smacked *hard*. Then just wait ‘til he passes out –- and climb over his body to the honey turkey in the fridge.

Dear Max:

What up dog? (LOL) I’m a member of a popular online blogging site, and like the rest of the world, I waste too much time there which leads to my question. Too often kind flirting and joking banter leads to whomever I’m chatting with mistaking my intentions for more than the desire for a platonic “relationship” in whatever capacity natural to us both. I’m all for deeper friendships Max, but what am I doing wrong in creating these unwanted and crowding, one-sided affections … or in making her feel as if I want anything more than to admire her and be in her life as a friend she can trust? *belly scratch*

Coffee in the Keyboard


Typically queries like yours end up with a *head* scratch. But I know where you’re coming from – I also have a very hard time reaching my head. It drives me nuts! I’ve taken to rubbing my noggin against chenille shams, textured wallpaper and carpeted hallway floors just to get some relief. Of course, if you meant to send a belly scratch my way, I appreciate the gesture, and sorry I mistook the meaning. And thus we arrive at our point: it’s easy to mistake intentions, because every message has a sender and a receiver, and they don’t always see eye to eye, or mouth to ear as it were. It takes two to tangle, and we do it all the time. A man goes out with a buddy, then meets his girlfriend later and says, “I saw Sheila out at the bar tonight. She looked great.” But the girlfriend actually hears him say, “I have no interest whatsoever in getting any tonight. None.” The counterpoint, of course, is that you’re asking for it — out traipsing through the Internet wilderness, where a little witty self-exposure can easily be interpreted in romantic terms by the unattached masses, yearning to be … attached. You’re dipping your worm in a well-stocked pond, because you like fishing for the fun of it – no wonder you get the occasional bite, and hook a sucker through the lip. I suggest you simply be clear as Whitney Houston’s future career path with them when they seem to be getting more serious than you. Frankly, anyone who’s LOL at the line “What up dog?” could use a little more serious in his life.

Or maybe a little more *fun* — in which case you should read my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere. (Man, that wasn’t even much of a segue into the plug.)

June 1, 2006 Edition

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Dear Max,

Would you like to meet Bagel? Your mom thinks that he is cute!


Dear Alan,

Finally, someone who speaks my language! Who wouldn’t think a bagel was cute? Yes, I want to meet bagel. Of *course* I want to meet bagel. I also would be interested in meeting croissant, muffin, doughnut, brioche and any other bread products. Krispy Kreme? Twinkie? Max says “Just say no to Atkins and bring on the carbs!”

Now, where and when can this meeting take place? Will you be at my mom’s book signing in Los Angeles? It’s this Thursday, June 8, 7:30 PM at the Barnes and Noble in Santa Monica. I can’t guarantee that I will be there because someone needs to hold down the fort while she goes gallivanting all over the country, but if you bring food I will ask my mom to make sure she gives it to me. A t-bone steak is also a welcome gesture. I’m just saying.

Dear Max:

How do you tell a co-worker that he/she has food in either their teeth or on their face so as not to make them feel too self-conscious?

Wipe your face man

Dear Wipe Your Face, Man:

Such a confounding conundrum! On the one hand, you want to respect that person’s privacy and not embarrass the co-worker in front of others. On the other, you feel strangely attracted to that food. I find myself wondering, how can I get that morsel, however small, to fall on the floor, where I have better access to it (let’s just say I’m a little vertically challenged). In matters of manners, I don’t stand on ceremony too much. Heck, you’re asking this of someone who jams his snout in strangers’ butts whenever he gets the chance … so we dogs are dubious advisers when it comes to etiquette.

Still, I find it’s best to reflect a little on how *you* would want to be treated in a similar circumstance. Would you want to walk around oblivious to the fact that you’re accessorizing the corner of your mouth with a streak of dried mustard or mayo? What if you had an important meeting, a job interview, another futile attempt to get that hot guy/girl from human resources to notice you? I think any awkwardness will quickly give way to appreciation. Then it comes down to delivery. “Yo, you’ve got some s*** on your face” is never good form; but a smiling “Excuse me – you have a little something at the corner of your mouth” can save the day, and perhaps launch a career, a first date, or at least a less humiliating rejection. Of course, there’s always the risk that the ketchup you spot on your boss’ cheek may be an illicit lipstick smear. But it’s all right – you hated that job anyway. And in all your new-found free time, you can read my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere. (I may not know much etiquette, but I know who’s buying the kibble around here.)

Join my mailing list