Agony Ant: Completely Normal Dude

Prompt: Hideout

raccoon-plush-toytabby-cat-plush

Dear Agony Ant,

I am an 18-year old man currently living in a winter hunting cabin in the woods, almost a mile from the city limits. Fortunately, I have Internet reception, which has allowed me to complete my high school education via online courses, where I did particularly well in chemistry, grammar, and gymnastics (though the latter grades were mostly honour system).

I hunt, fish, and visit the Safeway to meet nutritional needs. I have several different indoor, hunting, foraging, and public clothing sets, so I am presentable when picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, for example, as well as properly attired for hunting rabbits. The cabin has a generator but no heat, but I find the wood burning stove adequate for my warmth needs.

My companion in the cabin is my large tabby cat, named Ferdinand. He is a competent mouser and watch-cat (alerted me to a blockage in the chimney one night, which saved us both), and is also quite affectionate. There is also a particularly friendly and persistent raccoon, who visits daily, and recently had a litter of babies, who now also visit. Unfortunately, the cat and the raccoon have not become friends, and in fact are quite hostile towards one another.

But, that is not the problem for which I am asking advice, Ms Ant. It’s my high school graduation ceremony and subsequent prom. Since I live alone (Ferdinand notwithstanding), I have very few acquaintances of either gender, yet I long to escort a date to the celebratory dance and whatever festivities might follow (specifically, sexual contact and loss of virginity).

The correspondence school is sponsoring a modest gathering in a city 55 miles from here, in the grand ballroom of the Best Western Motel there, and they need confirmation from me about my attendance and food allergy information, as well as how many rooms I will be booking for the evening.

So my questions are: a) Where does one find a non-psychotic date who is willing to attend a correspondence school prom and who is also not averse to having sex with me, a stranger, afterwards; and b) is there an outlet that will exchange a carefully fitted and stylish suit rental for dried huckleberries and 20 lbs of assorted cured squirrels, pigeon, and blue snake (which tastes a lot like chicken)?

Yours truly,
Completely Normal Dude


Dear Completely Normal Dude,

Yes, you are normal, despite the surface aberrations of living like a hermit and serving tea to raccoons. You are a horny elderly teenager who desperately wants to get laid, and even went so far as to study online so you would have justification for this compulsion, since you are so socially inexperienced that you equate prom attendance with loss of virginity.

If you are financially able (maybe shoot a few more squirrels), I suggest hiring a pretty youngish woman from a reputable escort agency to dress appropriately as your date, play the role, and initiate you into the wonders of fornication after a few grinds on the dance floor. This is a win-win-win situation: A win for you, getting your cherry picked by an expert; for your date, who will make quite a lot of cash for an easy, though time-consuming, assignment (don’t forget she will likely not want to spend the night with you at the Best Western Motel, so you will need to provide transportation at the end of your liaison); and a win for the unsuspecting young woman, identity unknown, whom you were prepared to inflict your illusory impulses upon.

As for the suit, have you considered shop-lifting? Many big box stores, which some say harm local economies, now sell jackets and pants which would suffice. Keep the berries and snake bacon for yourself, since you never know what might happen.

And may I commend you on your exquisite grammar.

Peace and love,
agony ant


Dear Agony Ant,

How did you know about the tea?

Completely Normal Dude


Dear CND,

It is my job to read between the lines. Do not become too attached to the raccoons, and not just because it could alienate and cause a breach of trust with Ferdinand. I see heartbreak ahead if you fail to realize that raccoons are wild, free spirits who will also overturn your garbage can.

Peace and Love,
agony ant

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Agony Ant: Exquisitely Confused

Prompt: Exquisite

cute-tabby-kitten-with-great-dane-puppy-white-background-1396159751

Dear Agony Ant,

I have exquisite taste, and my gentleman friend does not. My home is a virtual gallery, with fine works of art, polished antique furniture, soft textures and subdued lighting, sheer drapes that billow luxuriously in a gentle breeze— you get the idea.

I’m also personally quite exquisite. I’m fit, healthy, thin, and dress well in classic clothing made of exquisite fabrics. My temperament is steady and kind, I am punctual, and I hold opinions that are sophisticated and defensible.

I couldn’t decide on which exquisite dog to bring home, so I have an exquisite pure bred, silky-coated Great Dane named Hunter, and a small ball of white fluff from the local shelter, named Darwin. Both look exquisite on the end of a leash, and have exquisite tempers.

My gentleman friend, whom I shall call Mr X, is not exquisite. His home, a condominium much too close to downtown, is decorated like a hotel room, in bland, tasteless colours, poor art prints, questionable lamps, and an outdated commode.

His clothing is shabby and often unpressed. He sometimes wears mismatched socks and doesn’t notice the minestrone on his tie. His shoes? Abominable. He could use a good manicure and pedicure.

As for his behaviour and his nature, he sometimes snorts. He finds all bodily functions natural and acceptable at any time and in any company. He uses foul language though I have expressly requested he stop. He is never on time, and while claiming to be fiscally conservative I suspect he is a communist.

He has a cat.

Gentlemen friends of his background are not easily come by. The alternatives however, are, frankly, cause for distress.

Should I maintain my relationship with Mr X or should I join an online dating site?

Sincerely,
Exquisitely Confused


Dear Exquisitely Confused,

Are you certain your home is exquisitely decorated and your opinions are defensible? You did not send photos or any conversation transcripts. Your choice of a companion, despite his exquisite heritage, is dirty, poorly groomed, foul-mouthed, and, I suspects, farts quite a bit.

If one makes one bad choice, are not all the others now suspect?

You can always force him to clean his clothing and trim his toenails, but one’s character is not so easily transformed. We cannot change the essence of others, despite our exquisite fantasies. Have him tone down the snorting and gaseousness, and search for the exquisiteness within his soul.

If that doesn’t work, fresh options are always exquisite.

If you join an online dating site, may I suggest that you are exquisitely careful, not sharing too early your private information, such as your phone number, address, or place of business. Use a recent photograph in your profile, and be specific about your likes and dislikes. Try exquisitely hard to develop a sense of humour.

Peace and love,
agony ant


Dear Agony Ant,

If he gets rid of the cat, wouldn’t that be enough?

Sincerely,
Exquisitely Confused


Dear Exquisitely Confused,

I choose to ignore the cat slur, since all animals are exquisite.

Peace and love,
agony ant

Franco The Barber

Prompt: Slog

pineapple-2

The barbecue happened spontaneously. Deborah was surprised at how many people wanted to help her move back into the little house she used to share with Vince, and then wanted to hang around and keep her company, and then wanted some beer, and then got hungry. Dolly went out for hot dogs and some deli coleslaw, and impulsively bought a whole fresh pineapple too, so Deborah’s mother supervised the making of grilled pineapple slices with ice cream for dessert. Hootie rigged speakers to his smart phone so everyone could hear his play list, which was embarrassing for Hootie in the end, since there was also a recording in his iTunes collection of him singing along to Bitch Better Have My Money.

Uncle Al didn’t drink beer, so asked his driver to go and fetch him some rye whiskey from the liquor store, and Leep, who of course was there too (he seemed to be everywhere these days, Deborah thought), asked if he could go with the driver as he no longer drank Budweiser, preferring eastern European beer for the moment. Uncle Albert sighed and glared at Leep, but made no objection.

That’s how Leep became friends with Franco “The Barber” Francesco, the childhood friend and employee of Albert Demarco, uncle of the slain Vincent Demarco. Leep didn’t have many friends. If any. And it turned out the demands of driver/bodyguard to Albert Demarco barely left time for family, let alone friends.

“Why do they call you ‘The Barber’?” asked Leep on that first ride, the night of Deborah’s barbecue.

Franco chuckled and said, “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

Leep laughed, too, but he never really understood what that expression meant. What would be the point of telling someone and then killing them?

In fact, Franco The Barber answered very few of Leep’s conversational questions that evening, and didn’t ask many either. Leep, however, had nothing if not patience. Sometimes he would go spend time with Franco when he was waiting in the car for Uncle Al, outside Lizzie or Deborah’s house. Franco usually read the newspaper to pass the time, but seemed willing to entertain a youngish man who definitely needed advice about life and, especially, women.

Leep asked in all sincerity how Franco met and won his current wife. He asked about women in general, since Franco was not averse to mentoring (as he called it) this strange, ineffective man about the intricacies of dealing with the fair sex; specifically, how to get laid.

That was not Leep’s priority really, and neither did he have complete faith in Franco’s ideas about what women wanted. He certainly felt it would be difficult to develop false confidence, present an illusion of wealth, and make promises he had no intention of keeping. It was not just this technical difficulty (Leep did not have a lot of cash to flaunt, for example) but did women really respond to Franco’s techniques? He was pretty sure Lizzie would not be impressed.

Lizzie. Now that Deborah was no longer living with her mother, Leep anticipated problems in seeing Beth as regularly as before. That grilled pineapple was pretty good, so Leep dropped by the day after Deborah’s barbecue to get the recipe.

Maybe he should think about giving Franco’s tactics a try, since Lizzie was definitely unimpressed by Leep asking for a recipe for grilled pineapple slices.

Agony Ant: Neanderthal Poetry

Prompt: False

moose

Dear Agony Ant,

My boyfriend is a Neanderthal.

He keeps himself relatively clean, but has the worst teeth, as in some are missing, some are loose, and some are sharp. This means that our love-making is perilous and often painful and bloody, though is quite spectacular in other regards.

Yes, he should see a dentist, but is deathly afraid of them. He is also afraid of small spaces, lightning, automobiles, cats, plastic, and electricity.

He is also not much of a conversationalist, choosing to “do” rather than “say”. I can’t claim he doesn’t communicate well, but I am a bit of romantic, and love poetry. I really wish he would one day say in words how he feels about me. He has never told me he loves me, but I suspect he does.

We are trying to decide whether to live together. I am a bit of a neat freak, and he is quite the opposite. He rabidly sticks to his paleo diet, while I am vegetarian.

I am no spring chicken, and he might be my one shot at true happiness, commitment, and baby Neanderthals.

How can I tell if we should move in together?

Yours truly,
Sentimental Lover


 

Dear Sentimental Lover,

That’s quite a catch you have there. I am kidding. The heart has reasons, and all that.

If you are willing to overlook the little quirks, like his lack of speech and fear of plastic, because you love each other, then all the power to you. I’m sure he overlooks your flaws, like your use of electric lights and toothpaste.

But, he owes you some proof of his true affection and romantic feelings. Demand that he write you a love poem. If he can overcome his shyness about communicating his feelings, then I believe you can be a brilliant match, despite your differences in diet.

Peace and love,
agony ant


 

Dear Agony Ant,

He did it! He wrote me a love poem. It made me cry. Do you think it proves his sincerity?

I am hunter
You are womb
You are beautiful like skinned moose
Pink
Juicy
Fill belly.

Yours truly,
Sentimental Lover


 

Dear Sentimental Lover,

It made me cry too. Anyway, the sincerity is definitely there.

Good luck as you start your romantic adventure cohabiting, and possibly, marriage, children, and growing old together.

May I suggest you relocate to a city with legalized marijuana?

Peace and love,
agony ant

Agony Ant: Lapsing Pacifist

Prompt: Smooth

live-chicken

Dear Agony Ant,

I like to use a hair straightener/ flat iron on my frizzy hair to make it smoother and shinier, but my friend Darlene says I am just frying my hair and then hiding the damage.

Every time we meet up with the gang at Piper’s Pub, she makes a comment like, “Did you straighten it again? You are ruining your hair!”

She also believes I shouldn’t wear nail polish on fingers or toes because my nails won’t get enough oxygen, and that if I wear deodorant it will clog my pores. She would never grill meat on the barbecue, she informed me, because char gives you cancer.

Otherwise she is a fine bridge player, tells jokes well, gets on with my (second) husband Barry, and is a thoughtful dinner guest, though she does not visit our home without mentioning the number of dust mites hiding in the carpet, and showing us an enlarged picture of same on her iPhone.

I am weary of listening silently, then ignoring her advice, which is what my sister Evelyn counselled. In fact, I am thinking of purchasing a legal firearm.

How can I deal with Darlene in a way that will both quiet her tongue and allow me to feel some satisfaction that she will suffer a little, too?

Sincerely,
Lapsing Pacifist


 

Dear Lapsing Pacifist,

Have you realized yet that she is trying to steal your husband Barry? She wants him to see you as a frizzy-haired, sloppily-groomed, ignorant, smelly bad housekeeper. Personally, I think there are worse traits, but this is nonetheless your “friend’s” evil and obvious plot.

She is not much of a friend, is she? I say find a new bridge partner.

Peace and Love
agony ant


 

Dear Agony Ant,

Actually, Darlene is a lesbian in a committed relationship, so I am pretty sure she is not after Barry. However, Barry doesn’t realize she is gay since he doesn’t believe in gaiety, though he is a kind man, and if he knew Darlene and Adelia were lesbians I think he would accept it.

I think Darlene is just an extremely annoying, attention-seeking, know-it-all.

Sincerely,
Lapsing Pacifist


 

Dear Lapsing Pacifist,

Then you must become an Annoying Vegan (Veganism is delightful, we are going for Annoying). Tell her the omelette she is eating has a soul. Educate her about farming practices, with photos of stockyards, when she has a hamburger. Tell her that she is stealing nourishment from an innocent calf whenever she has a milkshake.

Describe in detail how young, strong, and healthy you feel, and alert her that a diet of leafy organic chard and root vegetables will clear up her oily skin and freshen her wan complexion. Serve bitter greens and binding grains when she visits, washed down with green liquid, telling her that you are helping flush toxins out of her internal organs. (Be sure to know the names and functions of all internal organs, by the way, and find ways to work the topic of internal organ specifics into any conversation.)

It’s not likely that she will make a connection between your behaviour and her own, but she might; and in the meantime you can enjoy her extreme annoyance at your intrusive and condescending lectures.

Don’t forget to keep a second refrigerator in your garage, full of eggs, milk, ice cream, and rib-eye steaks.

Peace and love,
agony ant

Dear Agony Ant: Stressed in Texas

Prompt: Borrowed

aliens

Dear Agony Ant,

I find myself stressed out every day. This is because my husband is a conspiracy theorist who believes that chem trails are making the population docile, 9/11 was an inside job, Lee Harvey Oswald was just a puppet, the moon landing was a hoax, and that animals in public should have their genitals covered. I have three Pomeranians and can tell you, they would not go along with that at all.

Other than his conversation, he is a good husband, father, provider, and sex partner, except for the radiation blinds.

What should I do?

Sincerely,
Stressed in Texas


Dear Stressed in Texas.

Do you have any evidence that he cares one way or the other if you listen to him when he speaks? Or that he seeks your opinion on these matters? Chances are he only requires an occasional “mhmm” or “really?” to keep him as content as a chigger at a swap meet.

Learn the always-successful technique of non-listening without the use of earplugs: don’t listen. Think about weeds, God, Pittsburgh, January, or dial phones–  whatever you find diverting. My grandmother took up knitting and poetry composition to cope with a nearly identical situation with my grandpa, and they happily died in a car crash after 58 years of marriage.

Here is one of her poems:

Quick draw Dan McGraw
Ate a piece of fish, raw
When people asked him what he ate
He told them, “An invertebrate”.

While your husband is educating you, contributing the occasional “oh?” is optional, but a nice gesture.

Peace and love,
agony ant


Dear Agony Ant,

What about my Pomeranians?

Sincerely,
Stressed in Texas


Dear Stressed in Texas,

If your husband insists on canine modesty, borrow a few pairs of his boxer shorts.

Peace and love,
agony ant