http://www.slate.com/id/2269153/ (9/30/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! I hope that all’s well, that you’re relishing October’s impending dawn, and that, overall, life is good. Are you fans of football? Baseball? Theater? Dance? They’re all in full swing this time of year. Matter of fact, I recently attended a concert by one of my all-time favorite guitarists. Cameras were strictly forbidden, but, I enjoy this guitarist so much that I couldn’t help myself (I shot some video from inside my concert program, which I held under my chin as if I was resting on it--I couldn’t see what I was shooting, so it’s not the best in the world, but...). Anyway, if you appreciate incredible guitar work and unique renditions of old standards, you may enjoy this video (my apologies for the truncated opening): here. Okay, enough of that. We’ve got letters! So, let’s get crackin’, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudie, I have a long sad story, but I’ll try to cut it short for you. My parents recently died in an accident. At the funeral, a couple approached us whom my brother and I have not seen in years. They were the former inseparable best friends of my parents. They informed us that our parents were swingers and that they (this couple) had been our parents’ partners. We freaked (justifiably) and hoped to never hear from them again. Well, since then, the husband has contacted both my brother and me demanding video tapes that he claims my parents shot depicting various levels of congress between the two couples. He said that if we don’t comply, he’ll tell anyone and everyone who’ll listen about our parents’ history. This is all terrible news, somewhat frightening, and, it’s certainly not made the prospect of cleaning out our parents’ house any less savory. What can we do? Do we involve the police? Signed, We So Did Not Sign On For This
Dear Eyes (Now) Wide Open, I’m extremely sorry for your loss, and, on top of that, the added grief of a real life asshole pestering you. Please know that I understand and empathize with you on those fronts. But, as for anything else, I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand your problem? Block this fucktard assmunch from your phone and e-mail. Tell him if he ever fucking calls you again that you will get a civil restraining order against him and his wife. Further, tell him that you don’t give a flying FUCK what he tells people about your parents. Say to him, “You want to tell? Have a ball!” (and say it like you know it’s punny). If people believe him, and if it matters to them, then they weren’t your parents’ true friends, anyway. True friends? They’ll punch the fucker in the nose. The only power this man’s threat has is what you give it. If you accept your parents as sexual beings, he has no power over you. At all. As for the prospect of cleaning out your parents’ house, aside from the tragedy that this situation is (and I really do sympathize), this is no different from what I said above. Everyone has secrets. Everyone. And your parents’ aren’t all that particularly tawdry, if you want to know the truth. They had a sex life. Sounds like it was kind of kinked. So? Listen, if you find a tape with a little sexy-sexy, just destroy it. How hard could that be (again with the puns--sorry!)? Good luck. I know you’ll do the right thing.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, my father is retiring after sixty years at the same business! My husband and I have worked there for the last thirty years, and many of our colleagues have been there that long or longer. We’re planning a great party and roast for my dad and we’re all really looking forward to it. The problem? My sister is coming from out of town with her boyfriend. It’s his "birthday weekend" and she wants to acknowledge it at my dad’s retirement party with a song and cake?! I told her that I didn’t think that was appropriate, so she’s decided not to come, claiming that my statement was indicative of how I (and our family) feel about her boyfriend. My father will be heartbroken if she’s not there. What should I do? Signed, So Over That Bitch’s Drama
Dear The Good Sister, first off, please, for the love of all that is holy, do not follow Prudie’s advice by acting as if you have some kind of control over your sister's life. That plays right into your sister’s manipulative hands. Your sister’s put you over a barrel, you see. She’s made it to where you are the villain for causing her not to come! And, fact is, that cannot be allowed to stand. What you do is exactly the opposite of what Prudie says. You tell your sister that she is an adult and can do whatever in the hell she chooses to do at your father’s retirement ceremony. If she wants to bring cake and party hats for her boyfriend’s celebration (and if he’s a jackass enough to go along with it) and have the guests sing happy birthday for him (a man they absolutely don't know), that’s on her. You should neither condemn nor condone it. You are planning a retirement party for your father and that’s all that you’re planning. Your sister’s actions are neither your responsibility nor your concern. You are not her keeper. Never, ever, ever be embarrassed for the actions of others. And never try to control the actions of others. I have a sneaking suspicion that once this decision is put back on your sister instead of on you, the issue will resolve itself quite nicely. She’d have to be a complete idiot to celebrate her BF’s birthday at your dad’s retirement party. But, if she does, you’ve got to learn to let it go. It takes two to tango, Sis, and you’re currently providing the music.
LW#3: Dear Prudie, My wife is the bestest, best wife that has ever been. She’s as wonderful as the most wonderful goddess ever! We’re so hap-hap-fucking-happy that we couldn’t be happier if Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Fucking Kaye! Aside from that, I am terribly embarrassed by her job. Prudie, she doesn’t like authority, so has never kept a job for over two years. Her latest place of employ is a fast food joint. When all of my high class, super-duper friends and colleagues at my snooty and high-powered advertising job ask me what my wife does for a living, I don’t know what to say (their wives are all firefighting, best-selling authors and Nobel laureates who strip on the side as they’ve all, to a woman, kept their bodies in pre-baby form). Once I tell them what wife's job is, it usually leads to awkward silence and then to laughs, as if I’ve made a joke. It’s no joke, Prudie. What can I do? Signed, Married to an Edsel
Dear Idiot. Let’s combine my advice to LWs #1 and #2 for you, okay? First off, who gives a rat’s tiny hairy ass what anyone thinks of your wife’s anything?! What is this, a cattle call and show-and-tell, all wrapped with a corporate bow? If they don’t like what your wife does, fuck them. They only have power over you because you lend it to them. Got me? Second, you should never, ever, ever be embarrassed for the actions of others. If your wife is a terrible worker who can’t hold a job, so be it. The question is, do you love her? If you do, fuck those guys! Who gives two rips about them? If you don’t, you need to figure out why. If it’s due to embarrassment, that’s pretty sad and should show you just how weak you are. If it’s jealousy over their having wonderful wives, you are a clueless idiot. We’ve all got secrets. Remember? And believe me, none of you are nearly as clever or snoot-worthy as you think you are. But, hey, love is a fickle thing. I don't know what's up in your marriage and certainly won’t condemn you for feeling whatever you feel. You just need to know the truth and embrace it, okay? As for your happy marriage? Yeah, right.
LW#4: Dear Prudie, My oldest friend is going to school for a very nebulous, somewhat shady-sounding college "diploma". The program calls for coursework in an elective second language, but his classes in the area of study for his program have him swamped. And the language requirement is just an elective (even though, you know, it’s called a “requirement”). He doesn’t reckon he should have to take this “requirement” and has offered to pay me to take the “requirement” for him. I know him to be qualified, so, should I do it? Signed, Fraudy McFraudster
Dear Asshole. Yepper, college is so hard that your friend just can’t manage it alone, eh? And you're qualified to judge his qualifications. Okay, got it. How about you give me a break you brain-dead, retread, inbred, got me seeing red, want to take you out to the woodshed, big, fat meathead. What you’re talking about is justification of fraud. Your friend’s degree will be worthless. A piece of toilet paper with fancy words on it. You’re justifying his bullshit by reasoning that he’s done the coursework in the important stuff. Let me tell you something about electives. They’re there precisely because they broaden one’s mind and expose one to courses of study outside one's comfort zone. They’re also required for the degree. If your friend wants to have a degree in just his area of interest, tell him to go to vo-tech school. If he wants a "college diploma" that means something (or at least means as much as those who didn’t cheat to get theirs), he needs to, you know, actually do the coursework. You can help him be a cheater if you want. That’s on you. But know full well that he didn’t complete shit if you do. He’ll be a fraud. A fake. A liar. And his excuse about being so busy in his in-subject coursework? Hey, you know, college ain’t for everyone. Some people just can’t hack it, apparently. Others do this magical thing called taking an extra semester to complete their coursework. Asshole.
Well, shippers, that about does it! Another week down, another week done! You know, sometimes with these letters, I feel like we’re all Scott Peterson’s defense attorneys, set up with an impossible task due to our client’s idiocy. Oh well, that’s half the fun of this exercise, eh? :-) Good cheer to you all. Fair winds and following seas, and, may the wind always be at your back and never, ever at your front (cause that makes everything all shrivel-y, unless you’re a girl, in which case, I favor cool wind at your front. Sorry, just how I am.). ‘Til next week...