http://www.slate.com/id/2228493/ (orig. 9//17/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There
Ahoy there shippers! How in the hell are you all on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Fall is a beautiful time of year, isn’t it? The evenings are cooler, the morning mist lasts longer and longer and my early tea tastes that much better when sipped from the conning tower, peering across the misty lagoon, enjoying the cool breeze, welcoming in the day. But, even though I enjoy this time of day, and I sincerely do, we have work to get to, so, let’s get crackin’!
LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m a man with a lot of emotional problems (or life stressors, or family issues, or, just something), because, golly gee willikers, even the smallest things in life seem to be insurmountable anymore! Recently, my two kiddos (five and six years old) accidentally killed their pet hamster. I’m devastated over this loss. To the point of being unable to sleep and actually crying about it. I lied to my kids, telling them that the vet had let their hamster go play with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. But, now everyone’s calling me a bastard and accusing me of lying to my kids, which, of course, is getting me quite depressed and I’m thinking I may have another two-day crying jag over it all. Prudie, “I find it absolutely abhorrent to think of my children discovering that they were responsible for their pet's death.” What can I do? Holy smokes! Dude, are you some sort of fart-holding, no-crotch-scratching, manicure-and/or-pedicure-getting, way-too-in-touch-with-your-feminine-side, effete, pansy? No, that doesn’t work at all because it’s an insult to femininity! Listen up and hear me good because there are two kids at stake here: you need help. You’re not dealing with your emotions very well at all! It was a fucking hamster, dude?! Get a grip! And yes, you are projecting. Big time! And unless you want your kids to be as emotionally fucked up as you currently are, you need to get that help soon. I don’t know if this is normal for you or if you’ve recently divorced or lost your job or there’s been a recent death in your immediate family (which may explain this, maybe), but your emotional gauge is way out of whack, dude, and you need it recalibrated. Your responsibly to your kids is to let them know that there are consequences for their actions. You place a rock on a hamster and jump on it, the hamster will die. Your statement to them only caused them to dream of bigger rocks and sending more hamsters to play with super-intelligent rats. Stop the cycle. Get help.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, my boyfriend has a “prestigious” job that keeps me in the latest fashions, driving the best cars, eating in the finest restaurants, and traveling to the most exotic destinations. All I have to do is get off a piece of ass now and then. Now, okay, he’s a “retarded, selfish” pothead drunk, but, fact is, I can overlook that because he keeps me quite well off. If I didn’t have him, I’d be like Cinderella, slaving away, having to live with roommates making far less than I deserve and the nicest thing I’d ever eat would be from the (shudder) grocery store. Whatever shall I do? Listen here you spoiled little shit-for-brains whore. Yep, I said it, whore. What, you going to challenge that classification? Didn’t think so. Because you can’t. Further, you’ve managed to insult in your letter anyone who’s ever worked for anything in their life (which includes those who stay at home and actually contribute to a household with sweat and time and energy and effort while their significant others goes out to win the bread, unlike what you do, which is, what, keep yourself pliable for Mr. Dillweed Goodjob?). This isn’t about your dipshit boyfriend. Who gives a shit about him? He’s a fuckwit of the nth order. This is about you and your entitlement. You want advice? Learn what it’s like to actually work for a living. Learn what it’s like to actually earn what you have. Do that and you’ll never ask such a ridiculous, dumb-assed, fucked up (although very self-illuminating) question again. I promise. Want inspiration? Look to LW#4. Think she’ll ever whore out herself like you?
LW#3: Dear Prudie, I recently got promoted over several folks, two of whom are my good buddies. Problem is, my buddies don’t do any work, at all. They come in late, they act like pissers to our customers, and, in the end, my boss wants me to let him/her know about the performance of all those working under my charge. I don’t want to rat on my friends, but, I need to do something. What do I do? (Ah, back to putting the real letter in slot #3, I see) Okay, this sucks, but, it’s one of life’s lessons that you have to learn. And the sooner, the better. You can’t always be friends with the people who you supervise. Sometimes you can, but, sometimes you can’t. These two may likely be in the latter category. The answer is as simple as the nose on your face, though. You have to talk to these two, tell them that you have to report to your boss what everyone does. Tell them you’ve received complaints about them, and list their other offenses for them. Tell them you know that you’re friends, but that you not reporting their behavior is a threat to your own job (which, by the way, it is), and that they need to shape up. Tell them what you expect. You don’t have to be specific with your boss when you first report that you have a couple of folks you’re dealing with. Just let him/her know that you’d like a little time to get everything shipshape. Sometimes this behavior is normal testing of a new boss (especially a friend), sometimes it’s just who a person is. Did you act this way before your promotion? I hope not, because, if you did, you’ve got a long row to hoe as that behavior will be thrown in your face by your “friends”. Good luck!
LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m a 16-year-old girl and I work in a super market shagging carts (no, Brits, not that kind of shagging!). Adults frequently make comments to me about how “girls shouldn’t be out in this heat getting carts” or “shouldn’t boys be doing this” or “I’m going to complain to your manager about the fact that you have an actual job, little missy!” It makes me angry that they say these things, but I feel I have no recourse as I’m a minor and adults get angry when I confront them. What should I do? There are two things at work here. First is that they think they’re being friendly and looking out for you. I know that’s not how it feels, but, I promise, they’d be shocked to hear that you’re insulted. Second, though, is that they’re backwards, fucknut, sexist, idiots. Yes, we as a society want women to grow up feeling like the sky’s the limit. We’ve had women astronauts! We’ve got female CEOs! Female professors, Nobel Laureates, presidential candidates, but, by golly, we can’t have females doing any actual labor (ironic, no?). Shagging carts is too hard!
You can tell them that you like to think of yourself as the Rosie the Riveter of the super market. They’ll like that. I promise. You can tell them that you believe that everyone has to work their way up in any organization and that you want to be the big boss of (insert your dream job here) someday and you couldn’t live with yourself if you felt shagging carts was too hard for you, or beneath you. You could simply say, in your sweetest girly voice, “Ma’am, I’m sorry that you don’t feel I’m capable of this job, but, believe me, I am quite strong and quite capable. Thank you for asking though.” No matter what, though, don’t demur. You are in the right here. Keep strong. And, worst case scenario, give them a copy of LW#2’s letter to Prudie. Ask them if they want you to turn out like her.
Well, shippers, that’s another week down. I’ve got some maintenance planned for the boat, so I’ll be in port for awhile. It’s hard to resist this weather! Reminds me of a description of the waterfront in Ontario I once heard. Morning mists rolling in off of the Hudson. Chill in the air. Magic in the water. Beautiful... Until next time, shippers, fair winds and following seas to you all...