You'd think decision making was dangerous for these fools...

Some persons are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions.

     ~Brendan Francis

What a week it’s been. Life happens, onward ho, all that. Wife started her new job, kids are at day camps, work has been busy, and, you know…zoom. It’s all good stuff, of course, and the only serious side effects are it all leaves me tired and happy at the end of the day.

The biggest thing to hit me in a long time was my recent review of the family budget. I run a budget and forecast based upon dates that paychecks will hit the bank against what we expect to spend, and make real time updates against the check register to see where we’re at. I started doing this back when Bank of America started re-ordering my deposits and I got stuck in a shitstorm of NSF’s even though my online balance said there was money to spare. Fucking banks.

Anyway, it keeps me on my toes when it comes to the household budget, keeps my sanity in suspense when I see the money disappear, and keeps my blood pressure sky-fucking-high when I see upcoming big expenses like the 4 tires we need on my wife’s car.

Except for a few part time gigs my wife took on when I was between contracts, I have been the sole breadwinner since we met: flurries of kids – 3 stepkids and 2 unexpected newcomers – intervened in our lives and she never got to start a career.

Monday, she finally started.  And hoo, boy, does that make a big goldang difference in the budget.

We won’t be rich, no, but we will be debt free this time next year, with 2 spanking new IRA’s being funded on a regular basis, and our 401K’s churning away through the murky waters toward our heretofore-impossible retirement.

Retirement. Dunno if this *will* happen. Life happens regardless, so these things are prone to sudden, disappointing changes in status.

Nice to know it finally *can* happen, though.

Read THESE, then come back for the correct responses to Proodies Brood.



Dear Codependent Idiot,

The best way to deal with this sort of thing is to completely ignore it. See, people end up in a room spiked with hidden cameras and a reporter saying “why don’t you have a seat right over here?” all the time. Makes for good television. It’s perfectly normal for grown men to get, you know, urges. We get urges for beer, and for pastrami sandwiches, odd hairstyles, and occasionally we get urges for sex. Given the tone in your letter, the fact that she was a teenager is actually incidental. Right?

Meanwhile, what the bloody nuclear fucking hell are you thinking? A week-dead cadaver has more sense than you, you bloody cheese-brained moron. What the hell is wrong with you?

The rest of us would ask him about it. We would be juuust a little curious, to say the least. And we’d be ready to bolt, good sex or not.



Dear Pussy-Whipped,

Back when I was a kid there was a thing called the “Cold War”. This was a fun, exciting time during which the United States and the (former) Soviet Union spent countless happy hours scaring the unholy Goddamn fucking shit out of each other by keeping their collective index fingers hovering over a button that would launch a gazillion goddamn nuclear missiles at each other’s heavily populated spaces. Hollywood bought deeply into this neurotic, paranoid terror-fest by making countless movies about the end of the world, all replete with endless footage of nuclear weapons blowing shit up in brilliant Technicolor.

The 1970’s. Such a happy time.

Anyway, there was always a flashing white light featured in these movies. It was “the” white light, the one that indicated the dreaded Defcon One. Defense Condition One meant it was time to blow up the goddamn planet.

With this cheery upbringing, my life has been a series of blue, green, yellow, red, and white lights about pretty much everything, with blue being super-duper-happyland and white being fiery holocaust.

The rest of us know this chick is a flashing white light, dude. You can’t see this?



Dear Pinkie-Poo,

You are a really nice person. I think it would be entirely appropriate for you to send them all gift cards for Borders Bookstore, even if it is only for $10. I mean, if you all worked together in a bookstore you’re probably all big readers, and I think they would appreciate the sentiment. Losing their jobs at a bookstore could mean they no longer get discounts on books, so the gift card would certainly be a welcome gesture.

Wait a minute: I was just talking to a co-worker and she said Borders is going out of business and the entire company is about to be liquidated. Isn’t that an interesting coincidence?

Oh, well. Get them all gift cards for Barnes and Noble instead!

The rest of us would know that friends are friends, coworkers are coworkers, and we’d respond accordingly. Do the math, do the deed.



Dear Taking Things Far Too Seriously,

I know exactly what you mean! When my son, Hannibal Adolf, was born, I was terribly torn about how names are perceived by people. As you know, some people can be silly and petty. I had to opt out of naming him “Bradley Thomas”, because the whole Brad Pitt-Jennifer Anniston thing (dreadful!) and Clarence Thomas’ history with that whole pubic-hair-on-the-coke-can thing back in the 80’s. I was also thinking “James Robert”, but that was out of the question because of the possible Jesse James connotations (he certainly was a terrifying outlaw) and because of Ted Bundy, who’s middle name, as everyone knows, was Robert.

So hard to pick a name!

I settled on Hannibal – obviously – because of Hannibal, the greatest military commander of all time, and Adolf was obviously the best choice for a middle name because of Adolf Andersson, the great chess master of the late 19th century.

Choosing to name your daughter Lolita seems a very sound choice for a couple of reasons: nobody has ever actually read that fucking book, and plus it’s a real pretty name.

Girls’ names are a lot easier than boys, too. Ask my daughter, Xaviera Lizzie.

Circling back: “Lolita” is your favorite book? Jesus Christ.



Tonight, we’re off to tae kwon do. A whole-family thing, with my son (Hannibal Adolf!) not quite yet getting it yet, my daughter (Xaviera Lizzie!) powering on through like a trooper, and my wife and I in the back row with the other old people, huffing and puffing and looking a lot like we’re gonna fucking die any second.

It feels really good. My hips hurt like hell, but I get to kick and punch stuff a lot, my knees feel great these days, and my pants aren’t quite as snug as they used to be. Don’t really care about what color my belt is, I just like all the yelling and punching and sweating and the fact my blood pressure dropped considerably since I started.

Back to my day, a good one. Hope all my Flysters are having good days, too.

STC =^oo^=

The old saw "youth is wasted on the young" comes to mind today...

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.
     - Henry Ward Beecher

Here today, gone tomorrow. Funny: I have written a DP column several times the last 6-7 weeks, and simply didn’t publish them. Dunno if my therapy is working or if the workload is getting to me: been busy.

Work notwithstanding, I have been busy shedding myself of a 2,698 square foot, 2 story “Craftsman” style home in the University area of Charlotte, North Carolina. In the end, the bank wanted too much to save it, rejected the short sale, and finally I became unwilling to lift a finger to make them happy.

It was like removing a carbuncle.

Damn, I hated that house before it was over. It was the one kind thing the bank did when they kept fighting with me about it: they cured me of the insane notion that a house, just some place I lived in, was more valuable than it really is. In the end, it wasn’t just worth $100,000 less than I owed: it was basically worthless to me.

Ah, freedom.

Meanwhile, as mentioned in my previous RTSAC, my darling, brilliant wife graduated from school (magna cum laude, 4.89 GPA!) and has already landed a job. She starts Monday next. She’s awesome, eh?

So we’re all sleeping well, and life is good, and we are happy. Hopefully all our Flysters are as happy as me.

I have decided to cease adding letters in: I invite you to read them HERE and come back for my responses: the CORRECT responses, I might assert.



Dear Murderer,

Your story needs to be rewritten. There’s all this stuff about some old guy, and then there’s all this other stuff about lawsuits, and frankly I just got fucking bored about it all, although I think I finally got the gist of it. Lemme try for you:

“Dear Prudie,
Blah blah blah blah guy is an asshole prone to lawsuits and I ran over his cat blah blah blah blah.
Sayonara, Simba.”

There. Better?

BTW – your husband is right about everything except buying the guy a cat – that’s just stupid.

Anyway, shut your yap and grow up.


Dear Mommy,

So you’re not 20 any more. What, are you…25? Both “hmm” and “wow” to that.

You are a doormat and an idiot all in one. You just tell hubby to say “fuck off” to the freeloader, or you will say “fuck off” to the hubby. Wait a bit and see what happens. Note: this may not go the way you hope.

Grow up, Punkin.


Dear Still Living,

Let’s gain clarity: your mom died. Your dad moved on and found some poon. He’s likely going to die too, because hey, life happens. The woman your dad’s boinking will also die, if statistics and nature hold steady. You say Mommy Deadest would be upset about shared occupancy in the family plot, a la Three’s Company meets Beetlejuice.

I say dead people generally don’t worry about shit-picking asshole-ishness like this. I say YOU, on the other hand, do.

And I might add: when you die, it’s unlikely you’ll care about it any more.

So I say: grow the hell up.


Dear “Thank God I Never Dated You,”

Old people are all drunks, little kitty. All of us. We drink scotch for breakfast, gin for lunch, and vodka for supper. Our snack times consist of endless orgies of schnapps shots and flaming Goldschlager enemas. I just stepped out of an executive status meeting where we basically all passed a gallon jug of whiskey around and barfed a lot. Drink, drink, drink. That’s us.

Your sophomoric mention of your and his respective age seems to have struck a tone here, youngster. We old people do not like you young people who discover our secret society here at The Church of Our Lady of Puke-Inducing Alcoholic Excess. Hic.

Additionally: I learned something a long time ago that lil’ chilluns like yourself have yet to learn: when I stuck my finger in a candle flame it burned like fuck-all, and I shrieked like a little child (I was a little child, mind you, so this was the appropriate response). This guys bugs you? Go elsewhere. If he’s endangering you or others’ lives, make a stink. Otherwise, go have a goddamn margarita, loosen up a little bit, and maybe get laid. You gotta relax.

Oh, yes: and grow the fuck up.


Here I go, headed into the weekend with a spring in my step and (for the moment) nobody banging on my door for past due payments on anything. One day, you know, they’ll come a-calling: “sorry, dude, but we sold your $280,000 house for $125,000. You owe us the balance.”

And I will say “yeah, sure. Let me get right on that.”


Should have taken the deal, el stupid-o bank-o.

Cheers, flysters!
STC =^oo^=