A Monthly Advice Column
This month: guest columnist Adam Mansbach
I don’t think soy is all it’s cracked up to be. Prove me wrong.
Sauk City, Wis.
The fact that you live someplace called “Sauk City” seems to suggest that you are wrong about a great deal, Janice. But fine. In skilled hands, soy can be made to convincingly resemble almost all of the more appetizing foods it was designed to replace. Have you ever seen Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips? They look exactly like bacon. They even have a fake strip of fat running down the middle. Why the hell vegetarians would want their pseudo-meat products to so closely resemble the shit they refuse to eat is another question entirely—a “better” one, in the technical parlance of the professional advice columnist—but the versatility of soy as a food substance, a house insulator, and in surgical calf-augmentation is indisputable. If you don’t believe me, wait a few months and ask any of the presidential hopefuls milling around Iowa, declaiming that the soybean is the backbone of the American economy.
Remember when cobalt blue glass was all the rage? Well, now I’m stuck with a bunch of Mexican-looking glasses rimmed in cobalt blue. I don’t think the homeless need them, so donating is out. What do I do with them?
Mountain Brook Village, Ala.
Of course I remember. What a week that was! Crazy. Oh, man, that takes me back. Good times.
This is a tough one, in the sense that I just did, like, four shots. Let’s see. If you were my mother, you would decide that whoever had given you these glasses would be deeply offended if they ever walked into your house and did not see them prominently displayed, even if they were given to you thirty-one years ago by a relative who has not visited since and bought them for half a tab of acid at a yard sale. So really, Paris, the question here is: how much like my mother are you? In the sense that you seem inclined to want my opinion about anything, I’d say not much. Line the glasses up along the back of an unwanted couch or black and white TV, walk fifty paces away, peer at them through the scope of your rifle for a while, mutter, “You ain’t worth it” in as gruff a voice as possible, throw down your weapon, spit into the dust, and stride purposefully away.
Hi. Me again. I also have, like, twelve of those big-ass Friends coffee cups, and they are just impractical. I’m at my wits’ end trying to figure out what to do with them.
At the risk of stating the obvious here, Paris, those mugs are neither oversize nor impractical. You are a dwarf. Try filling them with equal parts dark rum, white rum, overproof rum, vodka, grenadine, orange juice, and pineapple juice, and inserting two straws. This is called a Scorpion Bowl, and ordering one constitutes proof that you are not of legal drinking age.
We all have a position to play in life, Paris. A reason we’re here. Mine is to shit beautiful, glowing wisdom into the hungry mouths of my readers. Yours is to own hideous crap. You can continue to deny this fact—wringing your tiny, fat hands about it even as you accumulate more and more worthless, soul-crushing, vomit-hued bullshit—or you can embrace it and turn your home into a shrine to failure and tastelessness, the kind of place badly dressed, neurotic junior-high kids could visit on Scared Straight–style field trips.
Right now I’m writing this email in my kitchen, and there is a terrible glare coming off of the windows. I hate it. It has bothered me for years. I mean years. But if I pull the blinds, my house is too dark and depressing. I tried wearing sunglasses while I work, but they’re just too dark for the house. Any suggestions?
You think you’ve got problems, Koch? I’m also writing this email in my kitchen, because my bedroom is full of Gila monsters. Guy I met at a bar told me the best way to get rid of mice was a snake, so I got a snake. Fucking snake slaughtered the mice, all right, but then he got all cocky and started inviting his degenerate buddies over to play poker and smoke weed. So I brought in a few bonobo monkeys, because they’re supposed to hate snakes and be good with a blade. Which is true, as far as that goes, but those things are smarmy, incontinent, and have shitty taste in music. Luckily, they proved no match for a small detachment of giant pangolins. I’m not going to bore you with my tale of woe, Koch, because this isn’t about me. A glare, huh? Have you considered copping some Caerostris darwini spiders and training them to spin webs over your windows? Their silk is strong enough to catch small birds—which they eat; these things are really gnarly—but it’s also sufficiently translucent to ensure a gentle suffusion of light. They live only in Madagascar, but I’ve got a hookup I’d be happy to share.
Illustration by Tony Millionaire
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