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January 20th, 2010 Edition

QQ Dear Max,

If your therapist never offers advice or suggestions but just nods empathetically and asks you “how that made you feel,” wouldn’t you be better off just talking to someone who *doesn’t* charge you by the hour?

— Say Something

Dear Say Something:

That’s a good point. Why spend the equivalent of Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery bill on someone doesn’t provide any input? Here’s why: You’re not paying the therapist to tell you things. You’re paying the therapist to tolerate to your insane ramblings and to not expose your weird kneecap fetish to TMZ.

Face it: You can’t expound on your anxieties, aggravations, attraction to pan flute performers, childhood secrets, frustrations, homicidal impulses toward mimes, curiosities, tendency to cry at the theme music for Judge Judy, fear of fanny packs, dreams, nightmares and pandaphobia to just anyone.

Therapists don’t get judgmental. They won’t burden you with tons of undesired (and clueless) advice, like some guy friends will. They won’t divulge your deepest, darkest secrets after a Sudafed and two Grey Goose martinis, like some girlfriends will. And they’re unlikely to use gender stereotypes for comic effect, like some doggie columnists will.

That said, you don’t have to pay big money to share the few personal thoughts you consider untweetable. The solution is simple: Get a dog!

We listen to all of your crap with doting attention. We love you no matter how screwed up you are. We don’t care how many new body parts your Hills money paid for, as long as you still smell the same. We won’t divulge your inexplicable attraction to Donald Trump or the fact that instead of reading the Ayn Rand book you claim to love, you were actually watching According to Jim.

All we ask in return is a little love, some food, the occasional belly rub and your prompt attention when we need to do our outdoor business. If you have a therapist like that, congratulations. But if you have a therapist like that, you’re not the one who’s most in need of help.

QQ Dear Max,

Why is it that whenever it rains in Los Angeles, it’s all anyone can talk about? Do people in Los Angeles melt?

— Stop Whining About The Rain, You Babies

Dear Stop Whining,

I smell what you’re cooking. (I’m pretty sure it’s meatloaf. And I want some.) You think we’re all a bit spoiled here in L.A. You think we can’t relate to “Middle America.” You think we’ve lost touch with the common folk, just because most dogs have a retractable leash while I have a doghouse with a retractable roof.

But it’s not easy living in L.A. Our state has more trouble managing its money than M.C. Hammer. The air quality is worse than the conference room on Mad Men. You can’t even get a half-decent job serving tables until you’ve had three failed television pilots. And if you do snag a good gig, you have to pray Jay Leno doesn’t hear about it.

So damn right we want our sunshine. It’s the one thing we should able to count on. That’s why they call it Sunny California. Hundreds of face lifts get ruined every time there’s an unexpected deluge in L.A. Hundreds of cabana boys miss out on the $20 tip they’d get from spreading lotion on Mrs. Goldenstein’s leathery back. And hundreds of dogs get caught in the rain and end up smelling like – wet dog. I get shivers just thinking about it. (And when I get wet, you do not want be nearby when I shake.)

So cut us some slack. Because here comes the sun, and I say: It’s alright.

QQ Dear Max,

I have been bewildered by a phrase for a very long time now and I was wondering if you could provide clarity. Why do people say “the proof is in the pudding”? I know the meaning from its use but where on earth does that phrase come from? How did it start? Were puddings actually involved? Thanks for your attention to this pressing matter.

— Too much time on my hands in Washington D.C. (as have many of my peers working in the Hill – which I must differentiate from The Hills – Speidi outranks us in idiocy which is really saying something!!)

Dear Too Much Time:

“Proof is in the pudding?” Really? You really do have to too much time on your hands. I’m getting the impression the only people who do any work in D.C. these days are lobbyists and Gilbert Arenas’s gun dealer.

Reliable sources (Wikipedia, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Mickey Rourke) inform me that the original phrase was “the proof of the pudding’s in the eating.” It means you don’t know whether something’s good or bad until you actually try it out. Amen to that. And speaking of, if there’s any pudding around and you need proof, let me at it! I am an excellent eater.

The phrase actually is credited to Cervantes’  Don Quixote, the source of many great phrases, including “tilting at windmills,” “show me the money” and “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. Of all time!” Which confirms what we’ve always suspected: Cervantes was a jerk.

QQ Dear Max,

Lately I have been getting attention from women who are all, like, 14 years younger than me. It makes me feel creepy. But they are hot. What should I do?


Old enough to remember the first Melrose Place

Dear Old Enough:

Or should I say R Kelly? Seriously, how many times to we have to have this conversation? It’s time to start hanging out with girls women your own age. Also, if I was able to learn when and where to pee (on tree, good; on cheerleader, bad), so can you. That’s all I’m sayin’.

I guess we need some more information here, pal, such as just how old you actually are. For example, if you’re George Clooney, a handsomer-than-ever 48, then a 34-year-old lady friend is right in your sweet spot. (His current squeeze is 31.) However, if you’re George Clooney, you clearly don’t need dating advice from anyone.

If, however, you’re 29 – which is certainly old enough to remember the first Melrose Place – then this interest is coming from high school freshmen.  If this is the case, you probably should feel creepy.

But let’s presume you’re more like 37, and this interest is coming from the fresh-out-of-college-or-maybe-still-there crowd. What are you so worried about? It’s not like you’re doing the pursuing.  These ladies are showing interest, they’re legal, they’ve been around the block at least a little, and they’re hot.

Be proud that you still strike young ladies as a catch even as you close in on 40. You should be thrilled you even have the option to hook up with ladies 14 years younger than you. For dogs, that’s not so much an option. Even for the geezers who make it that far: talk about robbing the crate. Also, next time? Less math and more bacon. That little gem is perhaps the key to life. Definitely the key to mine. Counting on my paws isn’t easy and I’m hungry.

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