My wife finally gave me permission to build my own “man cave” in the basement. What are some essentials? I already have a beer tap and a flat-screen TV, but what else do I need?
You’ve already got an excellent start there, Tony. Just make sure that the flat-screen measures at least as many inches diagonally as you are tall, minus the length of your forearm—failing to meet that spec is a common mistake made by first-time man-cave builders.
Of course, you’ll also want some of the essentials—a stack of back-issues of Modern Bride, a PedEgg (with matching PedEgg caddie), a German-made antique gummy-worm dispenser, a small albino alpaca (neutered), an inflatable wading pool filled with lavender and periwinkle ping-pong balls, a twelve-volt car battery with jumper cables, a box of sixty-four Crayola crayons (be sure to purchase the version with the built-in sharpener), a set of Hummel figurines (no dolphins!), and a Sparkletts water bottle filled with Astroglide. Then I think you’re all set.
Good luck, and happy spelunking!
At what age, in your opinion, is it most appropriate to lose your virginity? I’m seventeen and not in any rush, but am being pressured by my girlfriends.
Dear Susan R.,
Don’t let your slutty, whore-faced girlfriends pressure you into anything. Be your own person. But if you’re asking for my advice (and apparently you are), I’d encourage you not to rush into it. I would deﬁnitely wait until you’re married. In fact, just for good measure, I’d even wait a few years after that. I think perhaps the absolute best time to lose your virginity is right after ﬁlling out the paperwork for the second mortgage on your home. That worked out just ﬁne for me, and I’m sure it’ll do the trick for you as well.
By what books have you been inﬂuenced the least? I’m only talking about the ones that had a really, really horrible and negative effect on you.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Hard to choose, but I’ll narrow it down to two. For sure, one would have to be the Los Angeles phone book (white-pages edition). Not only did it ﬁll me with tremendous ennui, but it ultimately made me realize how small and unimportant I was in the overall scheme of things—how I was just one of many faceless, inconsequential life forms in the greater Los Angeles area. And then when I got to the Ys and realized that my own name wasn’t even in there (I’m unlisted), it made me feel in-visible—sort of like I didn’t exist at all. I tell you, reading that book from cover to cover was one of the most soul-crushing experiences of my life.
The other book that has had a horrible, negative effect on me was Beowulf (the CliffsNotes edition), which I read in eighth grade. As soon as I found out that I could slide through class by skimming over a thin pamphlet instead of torturing myself by reading a huge, ancient, stultifyingly boring book, I was on a slippery slope. Why make myself miserable putting in a lot of hard work when I could just take a quick, easy shortcut? It’s this very philosophy that exacerbated my slow, horrifying descent into madness.
How can I tell my husband about the nose job I had before I met him?
Let me tell you, men love surprises. So here’s what you do: Reproduce with him. And the second that poor, unfortunate baby with the grotesquely large, misshapen honker evacuates your birth canal, you can hold it out to your husband and shout, “Surprise! This is what my nose used to look like!” Then you’ll both have a nice, long laugh.
I’m thinking of adopting a baby boy and naming him Braddock. My husband, on the other hand, claims this sounds like the name of a prison warden. Can you settle this argument for us so we can get on with the adoption?
I’m afraid I’ll have to side with your husband here, Dale. I’ve never met a guy named Braddock who hadn’t spent a considerable chunk of his adult life conﬁscating shivs from hardened convicts. And, more important, let me just say for the record that Braddock is a stupid, stupid name (no offense).
If I may be so bold as to suggest a more appropriate (i.e., less aggressively stupid) name for your child, I’d go with either Nathaniel or Superﬂy. Oh, you said it’s a boy—then I’d go with Prometheus.