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Archive for July, 2006

July 27, 2006 Edition

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

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.

July 20, 2006 Edition

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Dear Max,

When I was in college, one of my roommates decided that we should get a dog as a group so that we (read: he) could meet women.

I was expecting something like a golden lab, but he came home with a Lhasa Apso. His name was “Caper” and he was freakishly cute.

All was going well, women of all kinds were stopping to talk to Caper. In fact it worked TOO well. Women would pay all kinds of attention to Caper and barely any to my roomie.

What is the “cuteness cut-off” for using a puppy to meet ladies? Or what breeds of dog are cute enough to stop women, but not so cute as to steal them.

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Dear Seemed,

First, I’m going to answer the question you didn’t ask: Is it reasonable to use a living, breathing being—most importantly—a dog as a community “pawn” in a tail-getting scheme?? The lifespan of that Lhasa is upwards of 12 years, and your roomie’s college career is what—maybe six or seven tops? Unless he’s thinking of going to grad school after that. I just hope upon all that is holy that someone in the group has a permanent claim on the care and feeding of the “chick magnet.”

Now, onto your question. I think once you venture into letting a dog do the talking with the ladies, you’re setting yourself up to be a permanent sidekick and second banana. Because no matter which breed you choose, it’s hard to out-cute a canine. We’re irresistible! Just look at my mug shot upper left corner of this column. Tell me you wouldn’t rather spend more time scratching and teasing that than your roomie’s mug. Instead, I say it’s time for you and your lovelorn roommate to assert yourselves. Take charge and turn the tables in this romantic bait-and-switch: wear the collar and leash yourselves and have the dog lead you around. Pretty soon, you’ll know the joys of having co-ed after co-ed bend double to snatch you up, press you to their cheek, and say, “Oh he’s sooo adorable. What kind is he?”

(You can also try impressing the ladies with your excellent taste in literature… by reading my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere.

One reader said the book brightened his outlook on life, cleared up his athletes foot and got him laid. )

Dear Max:

I am a one year old black teacup Chihuahua. And my mom is a bit of a Ho. Should I worry about her not putting me in my crate and leaving me to roam around and witness these dirty night-time acts? I mean I have heard this phrase “you dirty dog, you” but I haven’t met a mutt yet to match the misses of my house.


Dear Lucy:

Ay Carumba! Which as very few people know literally translates to: “Who’s that guy under my mother?” With you at such a tender age, I am shocked that she doesn’t take better care to shield you from the shenanigans between, above, and beside the sheets. However, I bet any fellow pet would tell you the same. Humans have no shame when it comes to acts of intimacy. Have you ever seen animal planet?? It’s basically just a poor excuse for a big build up to a mating scene. I know it’s “all natural” but give a wildebeest a little privacy will ya?

I’d say open up the lines of communication. Let her know it makes you uncomfortable by whining incessantly and pawing at the foot of the bed when she’s attempting the nasty. If that doesn’t work…maybe try another angle: when her prospective partner du jour looks good and ready…chomp his weiner. Once. Decisively. Trust me…you will no longer need to bear witness when she bares all.

Dear Max:

My Shih-Tsu is always itching & wants his lower back scratched. He weighs 18lbs and is 7yrs old. What can I give him to stop the itching. Also he has very bad breath. Any ideas? Help. Thanks,


Dear Muff:

This dog sounds like he is really fun to be around. I recommend you brush his teeth and give him milk-bones for better dental health (the source of his bad breath), perhaps a minty-ball if he’s into the chase, and a quick trip to the vet to make sure the itchiness isn’t something serious.

I know weight can be a touchy subject, but I have to point out that he weighs much more than he should. His health could be in jeopardy because of it (so go easy on those milk-bones). Most likely, the itchiness will be fleas, dry skin, or a skin infection (yeast or bacterial). Your vet will know which one and what to do.

As much as we pets go into panic mode in the waiting room of any veterinary office…you’ve got to admit: they’re the best deal in the entire service industry. For about $50 bucks you get loads of love and affection, solid health advice, and someone who generally cares about what they do. Try to get that deal out of your friendly neighborhood streetwalker.

July 13, 2006 Edition

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Dear Max,

Recently my momma has been whining incessantly about her ex. EVERY time we go out for a walk she instructs me on how I am to attack him when we meet again. I think I would just rather chew my soccer ball, to be honest. My question is, do I tell my mom it’s unhealthy to plot such things, or do I just go ahead and eat this guy?

Gatti the Rottie

Dear Doggie Gatti,

Although your name is spelled differently than the famous gangster’s, your mom seems to be guiding you down a similar path. (Hint: he’s dead (died in jail, no less), and his daughter’s and grandkids’ TV show got whacked.) Clearly, this guy’s a LOSER. He couldn’t recognize the glory that is your momma, so now she wants to exact revenge on him? Try pity. I have a new attitude about people who don’t like me: they have bad taste, so I can’t respect them.

As for you, aggression gets you nowhere but K9 boot camp or the pound. Before giving in to fantasies of vicarious viciousness, your mom ought to get in touch with her inner attack dog and ask… why? They say the best revenge is living well (actually, the best revenge is probably watching the guy publicly humiliate himself, but living well is a close second)… so if your Mom wants the guy to walk away miserable and full of regret, she should lead you past him heads held high, livin’ large, getting’ along just fine without his sad, unperceptive self. Hopefully your momma knows that when one door closes, another one opens – and odds are, there’s a *new* guy standing there, waiting to be an unresponsive dolt. But right after that, a *third* door opens, and there’s Mr. tall, bark and handsome. I’ve told readers before: St Thomas Acquinas said resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. And Max says resentment is like peeing down your own leg and hoping the other person gets wet. Your momma could use a laugh, so my final recommendation will come as a HUGE shock to regular Ask Maxians: she should forget her troubles, c’mon get happy … by reading my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through amazon.com (click here), bn.com, and fine booksellers everywhere.

Dear Max:

Brown Mustard or Yellow Mustard…?


Dear Dale:

I myself have never eaten mustard but, like my mom, I have opinions on foods I haven’t eaten, movies I haven’t seen, books I haven’t read…and I’m usually right. I would say your choice between brown and yellow seriously depends on what you are putting the mustard on. My mom puts the spicy brown kind on her popcorn at the movies. It’s messy and weird but she seems to like it. (The popcorn/m&m combo is also recommended.) If you were having a ham sandwich—I’d suggest you opt for brown (and give me a taste of that ham). A hot dog? Yellow all the way (I’m also open to sharing the hot dog with you).

It would seem to be partly a taste thing but also just common sense: your “blue collar” foods seem to go better with yellow (If you’re turned off by the French thing in French’s… I know, I hate the French too. But it’s actually made in New Jersey by R.T. French so it’s okay.) and anything fancy might be better paired with brown. I’m just going by the commercial…you know the one where the stuffy guy in the fancy limo rolls up next to the other limo? Well, he asks for Grey Poupon. (By the by, whenever I poupon something, nobody wants to put it on a sandwich but that’s another story.)

I’d suggest I have a taste test and give you the results but I can’t. Mustard seeds are very dangerous for doggies. I’m not allowed to have mustard. (Or chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, raisins or grapes. Much as I’d like to. Man would I like to.) And for my devoted readers who seek answers, I wish I could mustard up the courage to do the taste test for you…but then I might be dead. And you’d have no column next week.

July 6, 2006 Edition

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Hey Max,

Will you be accompanying Mommie Dearest to her book signing July 6th? If so, what can I bring you?

Christina Crawford

Dear Christina,

Yes, I will be there! How could I deny my fans?

Besides…I recently overheard someone tell a friend that she thought The Da Vinci Code was cheesy. I am a well known lover of cheese. And I understand they just might have a stray copy or two of this cheese at

the Chelsea Barnes & Noble.

Just so you have all the details:

Address: 675 6th Avenue Click here for directions

Date: Thursday, 7/6/06

Time: 7 pm Sharp

As for what you should bring? Just your smiling self. And $12.95 for a copy of the book. It’ll be good times. We’ll hide behind a rack in the self-help section, and snicker at the people who secretively flip through the pages of “Sex For Dummies” when they think no one is looking. And then when no one is looking…we’ll secretly flip through the pages of “Sex For Dummies.”

By the way, if you can’t make it you can always order my Mom’s new book, Stupid and Contagious, available now through bn.com, amazon.com, and at fine booksellers everywhere.

Dear Max:

I think my mechanic is lying to me. Is there such a car part as a motor mount?

Skeptic, But Not A Pedestrian

Dear Skeptic,

Dogs tend to mount many things: other dogs, people’s legs, pillows, virtually anything that doesn’t move. But I have never seen a dog mount a motor. However, a quick search at Popular Mechanic told me there IS such a thing as a motor mount.

Now, I’ve never personally seen a motor mount, but I have seen motors. And I can’t imagine wanting to mount one. Seems uncomfortable. I’d advise you to keep a safe distance in case sparks fly and the motor gets any ideas. (Now be careful not to confuse this with a motor mouth—which many people possess.  When one of those starts running, the damage sometimes requires a very costly repair, and not all mechanics are up to the job.)

Test your own mechanics voracity by asking him the following tell-tale questions: What Would Jesus Do…if I rolled this car into his garage?

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