Mr. Answer Clown’s Summer Series

As we head for the dog days of August, it is time to reach into the barrel of clown tricks and answer a few questions from the many advice columns cluttering up the Internet. Mr. Answer Clown visits these sites, selects a few questions and provides answers that are different and waaaaay more instructive than the originals. With no further ado……….

Dear Mr. Answer Clown:

Our neighbors just divorced and the wife and three children are staying on at the house. The husband has left. She is always calling to have my husband come over and fix the different household problems that come up. At first we felt sorry for her and the kids but now she seems to be calling almost every day. My husband works hard and has a lot to take care of here at the house. We have both talked about it and are at a loss of how to tactfully turn her down, we don’t want to be un-neighborly but…

Bothered, Racine, Wisconsin*

Dear Bothered in Racine:

What’s at play here is obvious. The whole divorcee, “Can your husband come over and help me fix different household problems?” routine is the classic porn movie set-up. This woman is clearly a creative and entrepreneurial individual, intent on supporting her family by producing believable and erotic DVDs for sale and rent. You should feel proud to live next to a woman who has taken life’s lemons and turned them into lemonade. I’m sure that your husband, under more intense questioning , would agree. Enjoy!

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Mr. Answer Clown

Recently, my mother-in-law gave my husband and me a large sum of money for a stated purpose. At the time, she said it was a gift. We were thrilled and thanked her profusely for her generosity, as it helped us accomplish one of our life’s goals.

Now, several months later, she has attached some conditions to the gift, which we never talked about before. I probably wouldn’t have accepted the gift if I had known what she expected from us.

Is it fair to expect us to comply? Are we somehow obligated to do so? How do I navigate this tricky conversation with her?

Strings Attached, Tucson, Arizona*

Dear Strings Attached in Tucson:

Naturally, my answer depends on what, exactly, your mother-in-law is asking you to do. If her expectation is something simple, say for instance, doing her toenails twice a month, then I would counsel compliance (you and your husband could share the routine). Or maybe she just wants you to stop referring to her as Mammy Warbucks in the presence of company. These types of expectations seem very reasonable in light of your attained “life’s goal”, made possible with her cash. If, however, she expects you to build her a mother-in-law suite over your garage, to vote for Rand Paul or something else of an extreme nature, I would definitely tell the manipulative old battle ax to pound sand. Enjoy.

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Dear Mr. Answer Clown:

I am a woman who was raised in the South by a very proper mother. She told me that a man should never give a woman “intimate” gifts like lingerie. A friend and I have argued about whether this “rule” applies today. I still believe the practice is unacceptable, even if you are engaged. She thinks it is O.K. Please settle this so we can get on with our lives.

Confused in Oregon*

Dear Confused in Oregon:

The genesis of your confusion is explained by your move from the south to the great northwest. The rules for giving and receiving lingerie are quite different in, say, Charleston as compared to, say, Portland. The Southern rule loosens as one travels east to west across this great country of ours. In Charleston, the word “lingerie” is never actually uttered aloud, let alone considered a gift option unless the recipient is a slutty mistress. By the time one crosses the border into Kansas on the way to Portland, lingerie is considered an appropriate gift from one woman to another but only at wedding showers.  At these heartland chick events the opening of a lingerie gift must be accompanied by slightly ribald laughter, but not so over-the-top as to off-put the mother-in-law.  Again,  there is the “slutty mistress” exception in the Midwest. By the time one rolls into Oregon, lingerie is considered appropriate Casual Friday wear and can be given by anyone to anyone without offense. I hope that you can now get on with your life. Enjoy!

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Dear Mr. Answer Clown:

Our daughter is 19 and away at school. She writes that she is going with a man who teaches judo. We are good Christians. Are we wrong for wanting her to go with people of her own faith?

Good Christians in Waco*

Dear G.C.s in Waco:

As it clearly states in Leviticus IX, Verse 17, “Lyeth not ye with a man who breaketh  cinder blocks witheth his forehead. Nor lyeth with those who wear sashes of various hues nor they who go withouteth sandals or walketh on padded mats for they are apostates. Keep not ye company with those who would bow to another before trying to slameth him into the ground for they are hypocrites. Date a nice Jewish boy.” I find that going back to the Old Testament for wisdom is always the preferred way. Your daughter likely needs counseling after her apparent upbringing and you need to get out more. Enjoy!

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Dear Mr. Answer Clown:

I was wondering if you could tell me the main differences between Whole, 2%, 1%, and Skim or Nonfat Milks.

Thanks,

Milk Matters*

Dear Milk Matters:

I just love questions regarding science with percentages and stuff. Let’s start with the definition of “whole” milk. Whole milk is completely whole. It’s all there. Nothing has been removed. It’s the entire enchilada milkwise. It can be tested for its wholeness by tasting–it tastes exactly like milk–or by visual inspection; whole milk is totally, wholly white. So called “2% milk” is 2% whole milk mixed with 98% tap water. As you have probably experienced, this beverage has but a hint of the taste of milk. Likewise, “1% milk” is 99% tap water. This percentage of milk is just enough to make the water cloudy and thus marketable at prices above bottled water by ever-so-slim a margin. Skim and non-fat milk are not actually milks at all but some sort of evil chemical concoctions created by Big Agri-Business. Consumed in large quantities, skim milk causes people to approve of farm subsidies. Enjoy!

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Dear Mr. Answer Clown:

I am having troubles pricing my items for the yard sale. I am afraid if I sell them too high, then no one would want to buy it, but if I price my items too low, then I could lose out. Could you give me some insight as to how I should go about setting prices?

Thanks,

Pricing Problems, Peoria*

 Dear Pricing in Peoria:

Who do you think the 13th Clown is, Sam Walton? I have no idea what your crappy stuff is worth. Probably not much. Better, I think, to donate everything to Goodwill and claim a $5,000 donation to charity come tax time. But you didn’t get that advice here. Enjoy!

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If you have a question for Mr. Answer Clown, please put it in the “Comments” section of this post. Mr. Answer Clown will either get to it right away or at some unspecified time in the future when things get really, really slow.

*These questions actually sent to advice columnists or on-line advice sites .

 

Observoid of the Day: The Arab Spring has sprouted lots of weeds.

 

 

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One Response to Mr. Answer Clown’s Summer Series

  1. dwaggoner says:

    Dear Mr. Answer Clown–

    Your answer to Confused in Oregon, was, well, so provincial. You must get west of the Sierra Nevadas and the Cascade Range more often! Confused obviously has not lived in Oregon for more than a couple of days. A week at most. By then she would know that lingerie is now worn six days a week, sometimes on the inside of the clothing and sometimes on the outside. It all depends on whether or not the female in question wishes to flaunt her more, uh, explicit tattoos or is it the more explicit placement of her tattoos; I can’t keep that straight anymore. Now, though this is far beyond my simple male mind, on the seventh day, lingerie is given a rest. But that’s on Friday, which is casual dress day, not Saturday as in the Old Testament. By the way I was most impressed by your biblical literacy on regarding Judoism (Yea, verily!). Anyway, if you were here this weekend, you could attend the Oregon Country Fair, an annual event in which for many (far too many, depending on your tolerance for immodesty), lingerie and all other body coverings are apparently optional. I’ve never been myself, but rumor has it that those with a higher body mass index can create shockwaves by their undulating…well, I know you have the imagination to fill in the rest. And as for the refreshments, you get your choice between those that are on the Federal Controlled Substance Schedule and those that aren’t. They do try to keep if a family-friendly event, after all. So, stop being such a prude!

    Oregon Webfoot

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