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Originally Published: October 2005
Author: David Peisner
I can't stand being around my wife's parents, and they're coming to stay with us for two weeks. How can I avert this disaster?
Gary T., Seattle, WA
Do a lot of farting -- fart to the point where they don't even want to be around you at all. No, you can't really avoid the parents. If you're coming, you've got to find some common ground. Either learn to suck up or be so annoying that they don't want to come. I always went the Ferris Bueller route: Be the sweetest guy in the world and pretty soon you will own them. If you can manipulate your mother-in-law, your father-in-law will be happy just because he won't have to argue with her.
My 10-month-old has a hard time going to sleep at night. Is it wrong to slip a little bit of rum into the formula before bed?
lincoln36, via e-mail
I don't think there's anything wrong with that. When I was teething and they were trying to get me to sleep, my grandma would make a little hot toddy -- tea, honey, lemon, and a half-shot of Jim Beam. I'll tell you what: I slept great for eight hours. A little whiskey on the gums is also good for teething. That's an old hillbilly cure.
I want to impress my boss by getting a tee time at an exclusive golf club that I don't belong to. Is there any way I can weasel my way in?
Matt McHenry, St. Paul, MN
Certain clubs are very exclusive, but generally anybody is buyable. So pay off either a head pro of a member. Or connect up with a member, give him 500 bucks, and say, "Pretend we're buddies." It'll work. Either that or you can say, "Alice sent me." I can pretty much get onto any course.
Every time I go out drinking, I get wasted after three beers, while my friends can drink all night. What can I do to stop being such a lightweight?
Marty Luft, Vail, IA
Starch. I'm an old alcoholic; I used to wake up in the morning and have a six-pack before I got out of bed. But I haven't had a drink in 23 years now, so I know. Eat a lot of starch, and it'll absorb the beer. Since you live in Ohio, you can get 3.2 beer, which is just about half the strength of real beer. Or you can water down your beer when nobody's looking. But I wouldn't suggest doing it. Watering down your beer? How lame is that?
My roommate says he's been playing guitar for nine years, but he's still really, really bad. How can I get him to stop?
J. Lambert, Annapolis, MD
Go out and rent an accordion. Every time he picks up that guitar, you pick up your accordion and say, "Let's jam!" Because there is nothing more annoying than an accordion. Pretty soon he'll finally go, "I guess we're really not musical, are we?" It's a Pavlovian thing; every time he sees the guitar he's going to associate it with the accordion.
My girlfriend looks terrible in a string bikini, but she insists on wearing one every time we go to the beach. How can I gently tell her that she should probably wear something else a little less revealing? Jon t. Brooklyn, NY
Usually a woman is the one who's self conscious. She will say, "Does this make me look fat?" and you can say, "Yeah it does!" But the fact she's letting it all hang out is refreshing. Go with it. Every once in a while say, "Y'know if you lost five pounds, you'd look like Angelina Jolie." Unless she's really huge.
My dogs humps every person who walks into the house. And I've had him fixed! Is there anything else I can do to curb his libido?
Maryann Wilson, Sacramento, CA
I've actually had dogs like that. I'd tell everybody, "Look at this cute trick my dog does!" and let them think you trained your dog to do that. Or anytime anybody comes over, just put the dog outside. It can be really embarrassing when your pastor comes over and the dog's humping his leg.
My brother is always asking me to baby-sit his three kids, and I don't like kids. How do I get out of it for good?
L. Aaron, Toronto, Ontario
Have one really horrendous baby-sitting experience, where you say things like, "Kids drink beer, right?", "I left the gas on. Jeez, I do that all the time", "The kids wanted to play in the garage, so I turned the car on..." Come off as being so irresponsible that they would never even think of using you again. Don't hurt the kids, but be creative.
The girl I'm dating is Jewish and says she'll only marry me if I convert. I'm an atheist. Is it wrong to convert if I don't believe in what I'm doing?
Barry Lindgren, Milwaukee, WI
If you're an atheist, what's the matter? You don't care anyway. If there's no God, you're not going to be hit by lightning. Go ahead and convert...depending, of course, on how hot she is. Also, understand that if you're going into a Jewish family, nothing is ever going to be OK. It's like the old joke... After their meal, a waiter goes up to four Jewish women in the restaurant and says, "Was anything OK?" All my friends are Jewish, so I can tell Jewish jokes.
I have a friend who's absurdly rich. I'm poor as dirt, and a couple grand would change my life. Is there any way I can ask him for some dough?
Brian P., Phoenix, AZ
I've been on the other side of that situation. The best way to handle it is to ask if you can do something to earn it. Don't come off as a friend trying to cash in. Come in as a guy willing to work for it. Because there's a thin line between friend and schmuck. It's easy to become a schmuck real quick.