Sedaratives: David Wain - Believer Magazine

Sedaratives: David Wain

by David Wain
Illustration by Tony Millionaire

Sedaratives: David Wain

David Wain
18 Snaps

Dear Sedaratives,

Lately my wife has been withdrawn and pretty bummed out. When I ask her what’s wrong, she says “for no particular reason.” Is she mad at me?

Eric Fetterman
New York, N.Y.

Dear Eric,

You have obviously not yet learned the fine art of “reading” women. A woman is a creature that can be studied.It took me years, both in the U.S. and Sun City, but now I know—I mean really know—women. The benefits of this knowledge are endless: Hours of achingly lurid sex; meals cooked at the snap of a finger any time of day or night (and I’m not just talking about the standard meatloaf. Try these sample dishes on for size: Caramelized Beef au Jus in a Blazed Reduction of Rice and Cream; Tuna à La King; Moroccan Noodle Surprise; Chocolate Cake—and that’s only a sampling). In your case, the read could not be easier: Your wife’s refrain of “for no particular reason” is a thinly veiled signal that she wants you to take her to a rodeo. I promise you, after one afternoon of ridin’ and ropin’ (and barrel racing), your wife will be chipper, horny, and ready to pork.



Dear Sedaratives,

I’ve got a group of friends I really love. Unfortunately, some of them can end up playing mind games with each other and with me. How should I handle their aggressive or patronizing behavior?

San Francisco, Calif.

Dear Ian,

I assume by “mind games” you mean brain teasers. My advice is to simply break it down into pieces and make a chart. For example, if the butler is in the room next to Duane, then the butler cannot be Duane, so you just put an “X” on that part of the grid. If you keep eliminating all the possibilities, I’m confident you’ll find that Mrs. Leeverlily was the only one in the study at the time of the murder and so she had the opportunity to shoot General Thornbush with the silver revolver and hide his body in the convertible couch.

If your friends are still patronizing after trying the above, they’re not good friends and you should try to get some new ones. I suggest joining a club where you’ll meet people with similar interests. In your case, check out the fag club.

Good luck!



Dear Sedaratives,

My cat likes to eat raw cookie dough, so I often leave a few tablespoons of it in her dish after I’m finished baking. Is this inhumane?

Julia Mordaunt
Burlington, Vt.

Dear Julia,

Oh, Julia. Where to start? First of all, just because she eats cookie dough doesn’t mean she likes it. She might eat it be-cause it’s all she gets. Why don’t you ever give her regular cat food? Cookie dough is filled with sugar and carbs. At least make it with Splenda and low-fat chocolate chips. Also, why don’t you call Richard back? He’s so fond of you, and so what if he was a little boring on the first date? He was probably nervous. He’s a nice guy and he’s got a good job, and it’s not like you’ve got men lined up around the block, no offense. Would it kill you to just meet him again for a cup of coffee and see if you might like him a little more? I hear he’s been rock climbing. Maybe you guys could go together. I hate to see you always showing up alone at weddings. Give him a call. I told him you would. OK, that’s it. I’ve said my piece. I’ll shut up now and you do what you want with your life.

Much love,



Dear Sedaratives,

I have a chronic problem. I’m always dropping things, or losing things. At the bar or in my home, it doesn’t matter. If there is a liquid, I usually spill it. I was wondering, what is the best way to handle this?

Los Angeles, Calif.

Dear Cory,

Luckily, yours is a problem that has a simple solution. Stop being a putz! Let’s role-play: You’re in a nice restaurant and the waiter brings you a martini. You do not put the full martini glass in the breast pocket of your blazer! This is not as suave as you think it is. Plus, there’s a very good chance the martini will spill. Better bet: keep the martini on the table and carefully sip it. Same goes for bug juice and Coke. Another tip: don’t butter your honeydews. They’re harder to keep a hold of, especially if you only have one hand. (Are you an amputee? Your letter didn’t specify.) Keep on keeping on, Cory. I’m rooting for you, and so are all of my staff.



Dear Sedaratives,

Is it ethical to dispose of one pet (dead) by feeding it to another?

Yulia Strizheus

Dear Yulia,

Yulia? That’s your name? I’m not even going there, girlfriend. Anyway, regarding your question: in our family we had three ways of disposing of pets: flushing (for iguanas), burying (for dogs), and a bullet to the brain (for cats). Feeding one pet to another is barbaric, medieval, and sick. But with a name like Yulia, my guess is you’re some kind of dirty, scab-covered foreigner. So go ahead, knock yourself out.

With great respect,



Dear Sedaratives,

Sometimes I like to surprise my wife and come home in the middle of the day for lunch and a massage. But lately, when I arrive, I find her playing around in the yard with Bosco, one of the neighborhood dogs. He’s a red and brown collie and he’s friendly with everyone but there’s something about the way he licks her knee that doesn’t sit right with me. What should I do?

Chris Heffernan
Queens, N.Y.

 Dear Chris,

As awkward as it sometimes can be, the only solution is to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with Bosco. If he’s unresponsive (as collies can tend to be—I tell you from experience), then you’ll have to be proactive and structure the conversation. Give Bosco ample opportunity to tell you if he’s attracted to your wife, and if so, which parts of her specifically. Be prepared: in situations like this, Bosco might not offer much more than a “ruff-ruff” or “bow-wow.” Don’t be discouraged by this. It could be the only way Bosco knows how to communicate. Another tactic is to talk to your wife about the situation. If she only offers you a “bow-wow,” then my guess is your wife is something of a hound and should be dropped faster than a hot potato.

Much love,



Dear Sedaratives,

I only shave every three days. Do you think this is enough, or should I do it more frequently?

Jason McKinney
Denver, Colo.

Dear Jason,

There was an old middle-school rhyme I used to sing that’s a good rule of thumb:

Shave your beard every four days
Balls every two
Your butt is like another face
And from it comes a doo.

Follow these words and you too can enjoy the true relationship that I have with God.

Keep in touch,


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