I feel offended.
That’s not much of a question but I’ll take what I can get. -Ed.
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Welcome to a new semi-regular feature here in the sludge mines. I’m calling it “Dear Guru.” This is where you get to ask me, the self-proclaimed Guru of Negativity, advice questions and I respond by insulting you and/or your intelligence. Why would anyone sign up for this kind of treatment? Perhaps that should be your first question. The questions are flooding in so get on yours quickly if you want some attention. I imagine this column will repeat about every five years or so depending on how many questions are received. Now on to our first victims. -Ed.
Hey, hey, guru. I want to marry you.
Fool! That wasn’t phrased in the form of a question!
I have a dilemma I hope you can help me with. I have a best friend of 40+ years. This friend gives me gifts for birthdays and holidays. I know for a fact that this friend has shoplifted these gifts as this friend confessed to me several years ago. I do not feel right accepting these gifts. Even with her shortcomings she is very dear to me and I don’t want to hurt her. What should I do?
Fanny from Fort Fear
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I would like to relate a little story. This morning my wife asked me to stop at the store on the way home from work and get some shrimp. She was making a shrimp salad using leftovers and just needed the shrimp. The little shrimp, what we sometimes call “bay shrimp” or “salad shrimp.”
“How much do you want?” I asked.
“Oh, about three handfuls,” she replied.
Wow. We yanks really do need to switch over to the metric system, don’t we? 🙂
So we had a wee little problem on our hands. I don’t speak the kitchen language of dashes and handfuls and things. I like cooking by weight. I have a little digital scale for that. And if not by weight then I measure everything as accurately as I possibly can. How much could there possibly be in a measurement like “handful,” I wondered.
I decided to try to nail things down. “Three handfuls, eh? That sounds like it might be half a pound.”
“Nope,” she said. “Half a pound is not enough.”
“Well then,” I continued hopefully. “Maybe three handfuls is more like a pound?”
“Naw. A pound is more than we need. We won’t use it all.”
“Aha!” I exclaimed. “What we need is .75 pounds then.” Finally, a satisfactory answer. The matter was settled.
“Nope,” she said, shocking me out of my premature conclusion. “We need three handfuls,” she stressed again.
You see, my wife is what I’m going to refer to as “analog.” She’s very much about feelings and the arts and premonitions and intuition and some other things that don’t always make much sense to me. She doesn’t care for measurements in the kitchen and only does so when it is required. The rest of the time it is a dash of this and a dash of that. When she serves up a dish I ask, “Will you be able to replicate these results?” (Translated that means, “This dish is good but will it taste the same next time?”) But somehow she is always able to do just that. She has analog skills and powers that I just can’t understand.
Me? I’m more of a “digital” kind of guy. I like ones and zeros. Truth is a binary and that sort of thing. I often claim that the person I’d most like to be like is Mr. Spock. He’s my hero. And not the elder Spock who was an emotional wreck. I’m talking about the Mr. Spock from the original series. That guy rocked.
So we were speaking two different languages. I couldn’t help but feel amused by it. We had each drawn a little line in the sand in our kitchen and each of us was trying hard to frame the discussion our way knowing darn well the other person was being obstinate. I guess that is sometimes our way.
After work I went to the store and told the guy at the seafood counter, “Three handfuls of shrimp, please.” It turned out to be .83 pounds.