Sedaratives: Beth Littleford - Believer Magazine
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Sedaratives: Beth Littleford

by Beth Littleford
Illustration by Tony Millionaire

Sedaratives: Beth Littleford

Beth Littleford
19 Snaps

Dear Sedaratives,
How much artificial sweetener does it take to cause cancer? Do we have a number? If we could quantify it, then we could all use it up to the just-before-cancer limit.
Cameren Cousins
Boston, Mass.

Dear Cameren,

This is a perfect question for me, because I ingest between six and ten packets of Sweet’n Low a day, and have been wondering of late if I’m cozying up to my “just-before-cancer limit.I’ve had a lot of headaches recently and have asked around about the possibility of my having saccharine-induced brain cancer. Unfortunately, that’s not something they can test your blood for.

Annoyingly healthy people keep suggesting stevia or agave, which is like your mother insisting you go to prom with your perfectly nice AP chem lab partner instead of that greasy college guy you’re dating who smokes two packs a day and picks up other girls when he’s drunk and wouldn’t go to prom with you anyway.

Wait, what was the question?
Beth

 

Dear Sedaratives,

My son is obsessed with dinosaurs. I find this terribly unoriginal. Can anything be done to move him in a more esoteric direction?

Karen Zabel
Bridgeport, Conn.

Dear Karen,

At least your son’s obsession has a scientific bent and gives you an excuse for a trip to nearby New York City, where you can make another family member take him through the American Museum of Natural History while you wander around the Upper West Side and pop into Zabar’s for some fancy, overpriced cheese. My son’s entire universe revolves around LEGO Star Wars. Not LEGOS. Not Star Wars. LEGO Star Wars, at once both maddeningly specific and maddeningly banal. Just google “LEGO Star Wars Birthday Party” (as I just did for his upcoming b-day), and you’ll get pages of mom bloggers showing off their homemade Millennium Falcon cakes. You get to stroll through Central Park.  I have to go to LEGOLAND and sit on a patch of hot asphalt for three hours while he carefully studies the Mos Eisley Cantina built out of LEGOS.

I guess what I’m saying is, quit your bitching.

Love you, mean it.
Beth

 

Dear Sedaratives,

I’m editing down my to-do list and I’m thinking of losing either “learn Italian” or “own a Porsche.” Which one stays?

Karl Bernford
Lansing, Mich.

Dear Karl,

Cars tell the world who we are. An SUV says, “I’m a soccer mom.” A Porsche says, “I have a small penis.” Luckily, speaking fluent Italian more than makes up for having a small penis. Must I spell it out for you? Impari Italiano!

Ciao for now,
Beth

 

Dear Sedaratives,

I don’t have a cell phone or an email address. When I mention this to people, they stare at me like I just admitted to living in a shack in the woods. Am I the weird one, or are they?

Gage Block
Denver, Colo.

Dear Gage,
You are.

Respectfully, Beth

 

Dear Sedaratives,

My girlfriend said all she wants for her birthday is for me to write her a poem. Could you help me come up with something that says, “I love you” without being too queer about it?

Robert Waters
Short Hills, N.J.

Dear Robert,

I think your request is downright peachy. So I’m putting a little effort into this one and getting my rhyme on:

My Queen and my Beloved, the anniversary of your birth Is an event that I’m so tickled by, I’m overcome with mirth. Can I lavish you with kisses? Can I rub your lovely feets? Can I cook and do the dishes while I wash and iron your sheets? I kneel in wait for your desire; you’re the princess to my prince. So when you ask to see that chick flick, I’ll suppress my urge to wince.

Trust me, she’ll love it.
Beth

 

Dear Sedaratives,

Are comic books really “graphic novels,” or are they just comic books?

Anonymous.

Dear Anonymous,

It’s all a matter of perspective… which basically comes down to whether or not you’ve ever had a girlfriend.

Hope that helps,
Beth

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