May 31, 2004

Our Job? Saving Lives We,

Our Job? Saving Lives

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” presumed that our new Official Advice Column would merely serve as an occasional feature on our “weblog.” Naturally, we do not want to become the Internet version of “Dear Abby”: We’ve got far better things to do than tell some acne-faced teenager to dump his philandering hussy of a girlfriend, thank you very much.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” originally intended to spend today’s edition of our publication carping on the shortcomings of some noxious irritant or other. We even hoped to make a couple of inspired Michael-Moore-is-a-fat-hypocrite jokes.

But then we received an e-mail from a woman who desperately required our succor. Accordingly, we decided to postpone our typical mirth in favor of answering her clarion call for help. After all, what are the chances that Michael Moore will be a thin hypocrite on Tuesday? Barring that nasty Al Roker stomach surgery, not bloody likely, we’d say.

So, dear reader, we shall inaugurate this week of posting with another addition to our Official Advice Column series. For all our self-touted misanthropy, it turns out that we are a passel of closet Rockefellers—without all that money, of course. (Lucky us.)

A few days ago, a woman from that huge slice of Wonder Bread known as the Midwest sent us an urgent missive. We can’t tell you if we’ve provided her with a pseudonym or not, but her name, Mrs. Bertha Doolittle, should allow our readership to decide for itself.

Her pressing epistle, which we have edited for the purposes of cacophony, begins as follows:

Dear Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,”

I need some advice urgently before I reach the end of my tether and the leather snaps! I am hoping that you will be able to provide a few pearls of wisdom.

My problem? How kind of you to ask. I keep running into people who seem sensible enough upon most encounters, but when one digs a bit deeper…egads! How should I have responded, for example, when I recently encountered someone who contends that cigarette smoking does not cause cancer? Now, it is important to note that the person in question is a non-smoker. I am struck dumb at how to proceed.

A trifle vexing, n’est pas? But wait: It gets worse. At the conclusion of her letter, Mrs. Doolittle makes clear that the “someone” in question is her husband. Our friend Bertha has married the non-smoking, non-cartoon equivalent of Joe Camel.

In fact, if her last name weren’t Doolittle, we’d suspect that she’d married Philip Morris. And, if this were the case, we’d recommend that she quit squawking and spend more time in one of her eight private jets. That ought to take the sting out of her I’m Married To A Lunatic business. After all, nothing says sanity quite like four squillion dollars. And a pack of Winstons.

For hours upon hours, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” could not come up with a solution for Mrs. Doolittle’s inquiry. All we could do was ponder other priceless lunacies in which Mr. Doolittle may put stock:

-The United States of America is run by Danny DeVito, Aretha Franklin, and other Jews.
-Although purported to be healthful, orange juice is actually an insidious Martian plot, which will enable the little green men to take over our planet by the year 2015.
-Kevin Costner is a good actor.

The list went on and on. Frankly, we got a bit sidetracked. We collectively envisioned Mr. Doolittle, parked in a Lazy-Boy next to a bust of Oliver Stone, reading a book entitled “Water-skiing, Vasectomies, and Other Aztec Inventions.”

Naturally, none of this enabled us to ameliorate the problem at hand. Then one of our senior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—came upon a solution: Force Mr. Doolittle to take up chain-smoking for the next forty-odd years. By the end of this period of time, it is possible that Mr. Doolittle will have contracted the Big C, and thus might be disposed to think more kindly about Mrs. Doolittle’s original supposition.

Naturally, though, there are problems with this resolution. Mr. Doolitttle could always blame the ozone layer, C.P. Snow, or old episodes of “The Facts of Life” for his predicament. Further, even if Mr. Doolittle did come to his senses, it would take roughly forty years for Bertha to prove her point. Sure, that wouldn’t be so bad if she were a chronic stutterer, but we have the sneaking suspicion that such a drawn-out argument would prove exasperating.

Accordingly, one of our junior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—fashioned another solution: Hit Mr. Doolittle with a brick.

Sure, it’s not particularly subtle, and it probably won’t change Mr. Doolittle’s mind. Even so, it would be hard to admit that it wouldn’t be the slightest bit satisfying, and, when Mr. Doolittle recovers from his injury, his lovely wife could argue that he could not actually prove that the brick caused his bruises.

Well, dear reader, there you have it: Another dire calamity avoided thanks to the quick wit of the crack young staff. Accordingly, we are quite certain that there is no need to remind you that, if you have a problem that requires a resolution, feel free to click on the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” supply the answers; you supply the brick.

Posted at May 31, 2004 12:01 PM | TrackBack