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August 5, 2010 Edition

Dear Max:

Is 7 a.m. too early to start drinking if I don’t have to go to work? What about Bloody Marys? Are those okay?

- Breakfast of Champions

Dear Breakfast:

It’s never too early to start drinking. Come to think of it, why even wake up sober? Isn’t that the worst time to be coherent? You know, you could even invest in an I.V. to pump intoxicants into you while you’re in bed. What’s the worst that can happen? I mean, Michael Jackson does that and look how good it works for–wait. Scratch that.

Let’s start over. Man, I’m always the last to hear about everything. RIP Michael.

Here’s the thing: I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. I’m all about shucking off the leash and running free. But a 7 a.m. Happy Hour might be taking it a touch too far.

At least you provided the “don’t have to work” caveat, so I won’t have to worry about you having a three-martini breakfast before your crossing guard shift or seeing your first dental patient of the day.

Still, that’s awfully early to hit the sauce.

Sure, a Bloody Mary’s okay — if you skip the vodka and just go with the tomato juice. This is known as a Virgin Mary, or as I like to call it, a “Jonas Brother.” Otherwise,  just say no.

And remember, it’s perfectly fine for me to spend a morning chasing squirrels in the park and peeing on trees. But if you do it, it’s called “drunk and disorderly.”

Dear Max,

Have you made your list of the qualities that your ideal mate will possess, and if so, can you list your top five?

- Gina B.

Dear Gina:

Funny you should ask, Gina. I conveniently did compile that exact list! And to make sure no one stole it, I buried it in the backyard. Though I can’t recall exactly where. So I made another list and buried it in the backyard. Though I can’t recall exactly where.  So I made another list… and you can probably guess what happened.

Nevertheless, I think I can remember most of the list, and what I can’t, I’ll fudge. So here you go:


  1. Exceptional adeptness at finding all the crap I buried in the backyard.
  2. Flea-free for at least 18 months, though I’ll possibly make an exception for Dalmatian No. 73 from 101 Dalmatians. You remember her—she was the really hot one.
  3. Hot, heavenly hindquarters.
  4. Sense of humor. (Duh.) For example, she enjoys watching my Mommy scream at the computer when her last brilliant tweet fell just two “retweets” short of her goal number. Yep, it sure would be nice if people knew how much Mommy appreciates it when they hit that “retweet” button. I wonder if she’ll ever think of a subtle way to communicate that. But I digress.
  5. Totally cool with doggy-style.

(Note to readers: I appreciate reader “Dr. Rand Pink,” who was kind enough to send me 10 questions at once. That’s cool, Doc, but my plan to make the most of every day means I can’t let answering every question that ever occurred to you for your entire life get in the way of eating, sleeping, eating, getting scratched behind my ears, eating, looking adorable, eating or eating. Not to mention eating. Thus, we’ll knock out one question today. Maybe we can get to a few others in future editions.)

Dear Max:

Who would you like to be adding as the new Idol judge?

Dear Dr. Rand Pink

Doc, I’m not a huge American Idol fan, I must admit. I hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone, especially former judge Paula Abdul, because I fear she was the reader who inquired about whether booze is an acceptable breakfast beverage.

I think the thing I have against Idol is that I can’t stand the contestants. Or the judges. Or the performances. Or the host. Or the songs. Or the concept. And I especially hate the one jackass every year who tries to get 15 minutes of fame by being the “quirky” contestant. Go on about “pants on the ground” all you want, pal, but if I happen across your pants on the ground, you’re never going to see them again. And I won’t even remember where they’re buried.

Now, if Idol got an interesting judge, I might check it out. For example, I think Roman Polanski would be great. I’m a dog, and he’s an entirely different kind of dog, but whatever. I’m an animal, and he’s an entirely different kind of animal, but whatever. I poop in the backyard, and he… okay, that was just a rumor, but whatever. Would you put it past him?

There’s no way this infamously evasive director could turn down the opportunity to judge so many attractive young performers. In fact, I think he’d be so dedicated you’d have trouble keeping him away from at least half of them. So consider this my personal invitation to Roman Polanski: Come back to America and head over to the American Idol set.

(Oh, and don’t mind those guys with the handcuffs. Lady Gaga accidentally left them behind the last time she was there. It’s all good.)

Dear Max:

My boyfriend may be about to get full custody of the dog he shares with his ex. I already have a very good relationship with the dog, but have only seen him sporadically.  And my boyfriend and I are discussing moving in together…at my place.

I know the dog has been through a lot of upheaval since the split, and can only imagine what it would be like to suddenly have not only a new Mommy, but a new house as well!

How do I make him feel comfortable in my home, and what do I need to do to build a strong relationship?

- StaceyBee

Dear StaceyBee:

First, let me thank you for being so caring and considerate of the feelings of your (possible) future family member! I think you’ll be joining the long list of great dog chaperones. (I prefer the term “chaperones” to “owners” because, let’s face it, no dog really is “owned.”)

(Well, except for Scrappy Doo. He got owned a bunch of times, but everyone knows that’s because he’s a tool. That’s right, I said it. Get off my lunchbox, you stupid little Season Nine addition.)

Sorry, where were we? It sounds like you have most of what you need to provide a happy, emotionally fulfilling home for the dog: A caring, empathetic relationship. You don’t need to do much. You’re right, that’s a lot of change, and he’ll probably be a little out-of-sorts for a bit.

Go slowly with him, give him some time to find areas in the home where he feels secure. Respond to his signals; if he seems like he wants some scratch-him-behind-his-ears time, give it to him. If he gets up to walk away, don’t press the issue. He’s figuring out boundaries and levels of trust. It’s like any other relationship.  Except the ones on Maury.  How many paternity tests can one 16-year-old need?  Who are these people?

But I wouldn’t worry too much. You seem like a great person and I’m sure your new dog will take to you quickly. Just do all the things Mommy does for me: Feed him steak for every meal, preferably prime cuts. Buy him new toys daily. Let him sleep in your bed, and if he takes up too much room, you should sleep on the floor. And always keep in mind that tearing the stuffing out of expensive throw pillows just gives them character.

Oh, and finally… oops, I hear Mommy coming. Gotta go. Good luck! And remember, prime cuts!

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