From a Submariner's Perspective is a weekly column, written in response to the letters sent in to advice columnist "Prudie" at Each week, The Submariner responds to the letter writers in a way that author, Emily Yoffe, probably can't (but perhaps would like to...). Each entry is headed with a link to the orginal questions and Yoffe's answers. Enjoy!

Also, if you have questions that you'd like answered by The Submariner, or anyone here at "The Fly", just write to me at and I'll forward to the appropriate party/parties for an answer (or you can write to them directly via the e-mail addresses on their pages)! Once the answers are published, I'll drop you a note letting you know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

...on Dad's Love Child  (orig. 9/29/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How the hell are ya? I know this is late. I know that it’s in a new location. I know that I was gone for a couple of weeks. I apologize. I really do. But sometimes, life’s just that way. Truth is, as I was moving the submarine to patrol new waters, we lost all coms and we’re only just now surfacing in what was once The Fray. What a shame what’s happened there. But, all is not lost! Oh, far from it! Seems Schuyler and Messy and Mermaid and SeoulSister and IncogNeato and Dumb_Blonde and SpaceCadet and MistPanther have been hard at work on this wonderful new home, The Fly! My cover (hat) is off to them all, in a hardy and well-earned salute! But, lest I forget why we’re here, let’s get to these letters! I’ve got some catchin’ up to do!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, my dad had an affair some years ago and a child was born as a result. My dad told broke off the affair and told my mother all about it. They worked through it and stayed married, but, they didn’t tell me or my sister about any of this. Now that our half-brother is a teenager, my dad laid this news on us. To make it worse, my dad’s been seeing this little bastard all along! And taking him on vacations and stuff! And he’s even taken the little shit to see our grandparents--with our inheritance money! My dad wants things to now be all hunky dory since he’s come clean with us (because we do have a right to judge, you know), but my sister and I are, well, pissed off. How can we tell our dad that he sucks eggs and that we don’t want to be nice to him anymore (although, we do want our inheritance)? Okay, so, let me get this straight. Your dad did what, exactly, to you and your sister? Didn’t tell you that you had a younger half-bro? Well, you two don’t seem to be tripping over yourselves to be decent big sisters, so it must not be that. Hmmm, what else? Are you pissed because he cheated on you? No, that’s what he did to your mom, not you. Hmmm? Oh! He lied to you by omission! Okay, yeah, that’s it. So, what are you going to do about it? Sure, it sucks. A little. Big fucking deal. People are getting their limbs blown off by bombs while they’re on their way to go shopping. You and sis need to grow the fuck up and recognize that you aren’t the only, or even most vulnerable, “victims” here, you self-absorbed little shits. Jesus H. Fucking Christ! Oh, and, by the way, how do you tell your dad things won’t go back to how they were? How about telling him that right about the time you two are living perfect, blame-free lives. Kay? And, too, don’t tell him ‘til your ready to not taking any money from him for a car or college or in inheritance either. Just sayin’.

LW#2: A long time ago, when I was another person, I stole $3,000 from my employer. Upon being confronted, I got a lawyer and beat the rap (though I was fired, which, in retrospect, was pretty fair I guess). Now that I’m an upstanding citizen, though, I feel really bad about this theft. What should I do? If you’d have just read your E. A. Poe when you were growing up, you’d have known this was going to happen. Crime doesn’t pay! Listen, I’m not going to slam you. What’s the point in that? All you have to do is figure out who was financially hurt by your theft. Was the money from someone’s account? Was it someone’s personal money? Is there any way to identify who you hurt? If so, draft a money order from a 7-11 or some other untraceable place and pay back the money, with, say, 7% interest per year. If the money loss didn’t hurt a person, but rather the business as a whole, find out what charity the business supports, or find a worthy charity on your own. Give them the money, yes, plus the interest (don’t get cheap now Mr. Happy Fingers!). You’ll feel better. Honest. As for the lawyering up, just pretend it was your young Kennedy phase. If you still feel guilty, run for Senate next term. Trust me, if you win and have to put up with that shit, your conscious will be clear.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, my sister is a horrible heinous bitch who abused me as we grew up. Physically, emotionally, all the time. I’m over her now. No, honest, I really am! I’ve even broken off all contact with her. But, for some reason, she wants to be buds now. My mom even went so far as to give my sister my e-mail address. Now my sister wants to get together when I got to visit my mom for the first time in years. My mom endorses this plan. If I refuse, it’ll hurt my mom. What do I do? Well, first off, you know that no matter what you say, you sister is going to be there at your mom’s place when you show, right? If you didn’t already know that, you’re a dipshit. But dipshittedness is curable. Listen, your mom is manipulating you and guilting you and treating you poorly. Perhaps not in a way as direct as your sister did, but she is doing it and you shouldn’t take it! So, you need to “get over” your mom, too. Except for real. Put on your big girl panties and tell your mom in no uncertain terms, “Mom, listen here, my sister is an abusive terrible fucking bitch! You let her shit all over me growing up. I.WILL.NOT.TAKE.IT.ANY.MORE. If you ever, and I mean ever, give her my contact info again, you will no longer have my contact info. Have I made myself perfectly, 100%, crystal clear?” You won’t say that stuff because you’re not actually over your sister like you think you are. So, what you really need is counseling. But, my method will work if you’ll just try it and mean it. Trust me. You can take out the cursing if you want, but you have to keep the attitude. That’s the important part.

LW#4: Prudie, my husband has lost a bunch of weight, is looking super hot, and has been in constant contact with an ex-girlfriend. Clearly. I mean, holy shit, it’s right there on his cell phone and on his Facebook and on the cell phone bill. He denies the contact. He says underwear gnomes are doing it all. What should I do? Um. Are you really asking? Seriously? Or are you just playing around. Because, if I were you, I’d be getting my coochie checked for visitors. Seriously. Because I guarantee you that your husband is dipping his shilalie in more than one pot. There, does that shake you out of your ridiculous stupor, you fool! Your husband’s cheating on you! Plain and simple! Holy shit! What, do you think he’s just going to up and tell you? Woman, you’ve got the proof. Right there in your fucking hands! Get a lawyer. That’s what you should do.

Okay, shippers. How was that? Worthy of the new home or no? You can tell me. I can take it. ;-) It was a tough batch of letters, so, here’s hoping that the next batch that I missed will be more fun. I hear that one of them has to do with a giant penis?! Now, the last bit of business here in the new waters is to figure out how to lure a mermaid here to my new digs here at The Fly... I mean, what good’s a submariner without a guide? Do mermaids like fried fish? Catfish, maybe? Or, oh, what about roasted chicken on tortillas?! Send your thoughts in and let’s see what the consensus is. Until next time, shippers, fair winds and following seas to you all...


  1. Well, there's only one Mermaid in these here waters and she loves her some catfish! So I guess I win, yes?

    Happy to be your guide again, Diving Buddy. And so glad you're back!

    ...underwear gnomes - hee hee hee! :)

  2. Do you really like catfish! That is so perfect! :-) Good to see you, too, Diving Buddy. Fair winds and fine currents to you, as always!

  3. Yes, there was a letter about a giant penis. I hear that it ate Michigan, so it was a happy ending. Prudie finally imploded from the effort of trying to come up with puns for "Giant Penis."

    Thanks for the directions to this place! I never posted in the Fray before, partly because it was bad enough to spend more than a lunch hour reading first the DP, and then the Fray, all while trying not to blow milk from my nose from laughter (at the Fray, not DP's replies). So I exercised my remaining bits of work ethic and didn't write replies. Honestly, kids these days just don't understand or appreciate that kind of hard work.

    As a Herd Thinner, my place of power is Land, so give a holler should you water beasts ever find yourselves aground and are cold and hungry and scared. Just don't make noises like you're cold and hungry and scared... or wounded! That'd be teasing the animals.

  4. Hi Smags, I was sure I posted a comment --you don't really have censors here who wipe out any post lacking Saxon words, right? I'll try again...

    What I said was that your submarine really impresses me, but where the hell did that fly come from? Is it some kind of nuculear (sic) experiment? In that case we're doomed...

    Now I wonder if you're really are a submariner? (but they wouldn't have a Barnes and Noble in a submarine, would they?). So I feel guilty (my almost permanent state of being!) about my short tale: the truth is I'm not wandering on the seas in a little raft. Actually it's a pretty fancy yacht, complete with bowling alley below deck... (actually this might be a tall fib, but then maybe it aint...)

    So glad you finally made land in this lovely lagoon....

  5. Hi Smag! Love your responses, especially the last one! Duh!!!

    SOOO glad you decided to do this!

  6. Hey guys! And welcome!

    Herdthinner, I will be posting on the giant penis either today or tomorrow. Hell, I ride around in a pretty impressive giant penis-looking war machine, so I'm guessing I know a thing or two about them!

    Kati! I'm so glad you're here! Might you be a contributor at some point? As for my "really real" job, well, nowadays it does have more to do with land than sea, but, I really am a submariner. Once one, always one, yes? :-)

    Hey Bella! Thanks, and I'm glad you're here! Spread the word! :-) Yeah, that last one needed a good "wake-up" slap in the back of the head. Here's hoping. :-)

  7. I have to give all credit for any shilalie wins to my Diving Buddy. She's the one who I first heard use it in this way and so all credit is hers. But thank you, Madd Libby! I'm thrilled that you found us here. :-)