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August 12, 2010 Edition

Dear Max:

I often refer back to TV shows or my interests when I talk to people, and I’m pretty sure all my friends and family have had enough. I know I need to tone down the Family Guy/Facebook/Green Day talk a notch, but it’s kind of hard to not bring it up. Any tips?
- People Sigh Heavily When I Talk To Them

Dear People Sigh:

Believe me, I understand. I find myself talking about the same things all the time. I’m always going on about eating, sleeping, being scratched behind the ears, an academic exploration of the astonishing similarities between protagonists in Ayn Rand novels and guest stars on NCIS: Los Angeles, chasing squirrels and eating.

Then again, I’m a dog. I’m not supposed to be all that complicated.

(I am complicated, mind you, but that’s because I’m special.)

If you’re really finding yourself stuck for little else to discuss than Family Guy, that’s a pretty good indicator it’s time to diversify your interests. At least it’s good that you’re aware of the problem. Go see some local band you’ve never heard of before—it’s cheap and you never know– you might discover the next Green Day. Go to a bookstore and open up some books at random—you might discover something fascinating. Go to a deli and order a pound of roast beef and a pound of turkey and maybe a couple pounds of ham. Then bring it over to my house and give it to me — you might discover a very grateful dog. What? Oh, never mind that one. “Big Brother” is apparently watching. Try this one: Go give a dollar to the crazy drunk guy on the corner screaming obscenities at passerby. Then fascinate your friends with your tale of meeting Mel Gibson.

But here’s one other tip: If you’re talking about your interests so much, you’re probably not doing enough listening.

Take it from a dog. We sit around and listen to people go on all day and never interrupt. (Well, except for me—but like I said, I’m special.) Also, we can hear a much greater range of sounds, including those emanating from Mariah Carey (she’s actually brilliant, but you just can’t hear it).

Long story short: Listen. Ask other people what they’re interested in. That way they enjoy the conversation and you might learn something new. It’s like killing two cats—um, sorry, I mean two birds—with one stone.

Dear Max,

I just flew in to LAX from Newark. This flight is painful enough under ordinary circumstances, but the entire “cast” of “Jersey Shore” was also on the flight. After spending six hours in close proximity to these mooks, I now feel that life has no meaning and suicide is really my only option.

My question is this: what method should I choose?

- Seth

Dear Seth:

Wow, another week, another Jersey Shore question. I almost feel bad for these kids at this point. Is it really fun to make fun of the “differently abled,” even if they haven’t been technically defined as such? (Well, I’m sure Snooki was at some point, but those records are sealed. Sealed with baby oil and hairspray.)

Then again, since you actually had to share an airplane with this bunch, I’ll allow you special dispensation. Quite honestly, I’m just wondering how you managed not to asphyxiate on the vapors of hair gel, cocoa butter and Axe body spray. Which, as we all know, is the worst way to go.

I’m a little disappointed to hear that the cast was allowed to ride in the plane cabin, since we pets always get segregated into our own special section, and The Situation alone is far more of a dog than I’ll ever be.

I understand your concern for the future of society once this bunch begins to breed, but there’s no need to plot your own demise. Life is full of purpose: just sit quietly under the dinner table and reap the benefits of table scraps to see what I mean. I mean, you actually spent six hours in a confined space with the worst people on earth and survived. (That said, take it from me: a flea dip would be highly recommended.)

Don’t you get it? You no longer have anything to fear. And unless you find yourself with the unique opportunity to be nuzzled to death by a Kardashian (pretty good way to pass on to Doggie Heaven in my book)…choose life! Go skydiving. Go running with the bulls. Have a kid with Mel Gibson. Let’s face it, you’re invincible. Enjoy it!

Dear Max:

Is it true what Prince said, that “The Internet’s completely over?” I’m concerned because I like the internet.

- The Boogens

Dear Boogens:

Yes, Prince is 100 percent right. The Internet is completely over. He’s also 100 percent right when he claims televised golf is interesting, cats deserve all nine of their lives and Prince still says things that are in any way relevant.

Look, I don’t mean to pick on Prince, but since I’m bigger than he is, what’s he going to do about it? Every few years he peeks out from the shoebox he’s been sleeping in and tries to remind the world that he’s still alive. And if saying something completely counter to reality gets headlines for Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, why shouldn’t it work for a paisley-covered Cabbage Patch Doll?

Relax. The Internet isn’t going anywhere. Much like… Prince. The Internet is no fad. The fact that you can solicit such well thought out and life altering advice from an adorable Shih Tzu is reason enough to believe that the Internet is here to stay. Celebrity mug shots may have something to do with that as well.

You’ll still be able to read Ask Max, enjoy awesome blog posts by my mom,  read Ask Max, gamble your children’s college funds away at an offshore poker site and read Ask Max to your heart’s content. Now hurry up and finish reading this column before they suddenly turn off the Inter

Dear Max:

How does a shy (but nice) dude impress your master? (Mistress?) I’m not asking for me, but I have this friend….

- Shy Dude

Dear Shy Dude:

First off, make sure you get your Ask Max column written and turned into by the deadline. Trust me on this one. You do not want to be in Mommy’s doghouse.

It’s sweet that you’re curious about how to get on Mommy’s good side. But I was just kidding a minute ago. Mommy has nothing but good sides. Well, as long as people are buying her books. And retweeting her tweets. (They put that “retweet” button up there for a reason, people. Come on, it doesn’t cost you anything.)

Want to impress Mommy? Don’t wear Ed Hardy, even ironically. Be incredibly sweet to the most important man in her life. (I think you know who that is.) Send her $1,000 in unmarked, non-sequential bills, preferably none larger than a $20. Bring a nice selection of deli meats to her door. Scratch her behind the ears for somewhere between five to 5,000 minutes. (Oh, sorry, that was how to impress me. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much the same thing.)

Outside of that, be genuine. Make her laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously, but take what you do—whatever that is—very seriously. Be sweet to children, especially animals, especially cute, sweet, furry animals with big brown eyes and advice columns on the soon-to-be-completely-over Internet.

Finally, don’t be Mel Gibson. (Heck, with his behavior, at this point you’d have a better shot if you were Debbie Gibson.)

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