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December 29th, 2009 Edition

QQ Dear Max,

Every year I make New Year’s Resolutions, and you know the story: I stick with them for a week or two, and then my resolve falls apart and I go back to my old habits. I really want to make some permanent changes this year. Does anyone actually make a New Year’s Resolution that sticks? What’s the secret?

- No Stick-to-it-ive-ness

Dear No Stick:

You’re not alone. According to a resolution study I found on Wikipedia (What? I don’t sleep all day), 52% of participants were confident in their goals, but only 12% actually achieved them. (Way to go, Jon Gosselin. See? “Become the most unlikeable person in America” wasn’t so hard to achieve after all.)

How can you improve your likelihood of being in the almost-one-in-eight? That depends on whether you lift a leg or you – um, I mean, it sorta depends on your gender. The straight poop: Men achieve their goals 22% more often when they set specific goals such as “lose a pound a week,” rather than “lose weight.” As for women, they succeeded 10% more when they made their goals known publicly and got support from their friends. So consider that.

As for me, I keep my resolutions simple, and they always work out. Let me look over the past year’s list, and how I did:

Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 1: Stop snarfing down every morsel of food that lands on the floor.

Resolution accomplished? YES. (I now ignore anything that’s not meat-based. Just like Aretha Franklin.)

Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 2: Stop spinning around, chasing my own tail.

Resolution accomplished? YES. (Now I only spin around to chase that tiny furry thing that keeps hanging out right behind me. Damn, that sucker’s fast.)

Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 3: Look ridiculously cute an extra three times a week.

Resolution accomplished? YES. (I know. Let’s be honest. It happened more than three times a week. I was trying to be humble.)

Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 4: To respect our nation’s heroes, stop peeing on fire hydrants.

Resolution accomplished? YES. (Now I pee everywhere.)

QQ Dear Max,

I have been telling people how adorable I am for so long that I’ve begun to believe it.

So my questions are: 

1) Is it possible that I am not quite as adorable as I think I am? 

2) How can I be more adorable? 

3) Whatever happened to that chick who played Lisa on Saved By The Bell?

Thank you, 
Adorably(?) Canadian

Dear Adorably(?) Canadian:

The best way to be adorable is to own it. If you truly believe you’re adorable, you are. Granted, it helps that I’m actually, objectively, adorable. If you look up “adorable” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of me. Well, you’ll find one if you look in my mommy’s dictionary, anyway. She uses pictures of me as bookmarks. Why? Because I’m adorable, of course.

While it’s possible you’re not as adorable as you think you are,  it’s still better than the reverse. There are too many humans out there with low self-esteem already. These people keep makeup companies, sportscar manufacturers and Botox technicians in business, and we only tolerate them because L.A. would grind to a halt without them. Someone has to appear in VH1 reality shows, after all.

It’s cliche to say you’re as beautiful as you think you are, but there’s a lot of truth to that. Have you ever seen a dog with low self-esteem? Doesn’t happen. When we hit you with the puppy-dog eyes, we know you’re going to feel like a monster if you don’t share a chunk of that warm, juicy roast beef. (And in truth, you are a monster if you don’t share. Hook a brother up!)

So never doubt that you’re adorable. If I can dig through a trash can looking for a paper towel to rip to shreds and still be adorable, you certainly can too. Plus, you’re from Canada, so you must be adorable. Oh, Canada, the home of such adorable stars as Ryan Gosling, Sandra Oh, Mike Myers and Shania Twain. We’ll look the other way on Céline Dion, because clearly her being Canadian is a fluke.

Finally, as for what happened to the chick who played Lisa? I sniffed out what information I could. Lark Voorheis — no relation to Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, or so she claims — is still acting, though mostly small roles in movies and TV. Unlike the other main ladies of Bell, Ms. Voorhies didn’t go on to star in either Showgirls or Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth. So she gets props for that. Even better, she played no role in Screech’s sex tape. Tragically, Screech did play a role.

That’s what I hear, at least. Mommy doesn’t let me watch that sort of stuff, though apparently I hear there’s a great one starring my favorite canine coquette, Brittany Spaniel.

QQ Dear Max,

Rock, paper or scissors? If you only have one shot, that is? And if, say, you had a lot riding on this bet you made with Steve, who’s going to hold you to it, that bastard?

- I Really Shouldn’t Have Made This Bet


What you really should have done was come up with something that made a better acronym, like “Don’t Understand Moronic Betting.”

So you have a lot riding on a game that’s only slightly more strategic that a coin flip, and you’re in a state of panic. That’s cool. I freak out whenever there’s a thunderstorm, so I can empathize. Still, you humans never cease to amaze me.

Since your opponent is a guy, and it’s a one-shot deal, your best bet is Paper. There are two reasons for this: One, guys tend to throw Rock most often because it’s supposedly “manly.” (Silly man-humans.) Second, regardless of gender, Scissors is thrown slightly less often that the other two options: 29.6% of the time, according to the World RPS Society.

Side note: Let’s all take a second to consider that there actually is a “World RPS Society,” devoted to dumbest game in the world with the exception of Deal or No Deal. Seriously, “fetch” works on about 17 more metaphorical levels than Rock, Paper Scissors. And yet you act like dogs are dumb when we start to run after the stick even when you pull it back. (Not cool, by the way. You’re not Peyton Manning. Cut out the pump fakes.)

Okay, back to our example. If you throw Paper, the likelihood (70.4% of the time) is you’ll either beat his Rock with your Paper, or you’ll both throw Paper and live to fight another day.

Me, I always throw Paw. I’m pretty sure that’s why my canine chums and I always end in a tie.

QQ Dear Max,

I’ve somehow survived the holidays without introducing my new boyfriend to my family. But he’s starting to think I’m purposely avoiding it (which I am) and I don’t know what to do. It’s not that I’m embarrassed of him. Or my family. I’m just not sure if worlds should be colliding yet. 


Collision Course

Dear Collision Course:

I get that. Mixing a romantic partner with family can be a dangerous proposition, especially in the early stages. I wouldn’t bring just any lassie home to Mommy. Well, unless that lassie was Lassie. But I digress.)

If your boyfriend really is new, it makes sense to want to wait. There’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that you’ve neglected to explain that to your boyfriend. Now he’s suspicious about your motives for hiding away the kinfolk, which leaves him to postulate all sorts of worst-case scenarios, like your mom is Cruella de Vil or your dad is Michael Vick.

(Okay, so maybe that’s my worst-case scenario. But you know what I mean)

I’m a dog, and dogs are obvious and direct about what we think and feel, which — despite the occasional humpage of your boss’s leg at a cocktail party — is a good thing. You should be just as straightforward. Talk to your boyfriend. Explain that you didn’t think the time was right, tell him why, and impress clearly that it’s no reflection on him.

Give him the puppy-dog eyes — that always works for me. If that doesn’t break him down, do the eyes again, this time resting your chin on his thigh. (That always works for me, and it will definitely work for you, even if it’s not for exactly the same reason.)

If he’s a decent guy, he’ll understand. And if he doesn’t, let me at him. I’ll tear him a new one. And by that, I mean I’ll actually tear him a new one. Just call me Dog the Bounty Hunter. That name’s not taken, right?

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