Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Abby, Dear.

Today I’d like to again tap into your ample reserves of wisdom. 

A few months ago, I asked your advice about how to handle a delicate situation regarding a near-collision with an acquaintance. You convinced me to traverse the well-paved route of least resistance; you counseled me to do nothing.

I did nothing. Thank you for recognizing my skill set. 

Since you’ve proven yourselves such worthy mentors, I’ve come up with some additional queries, a few issues for which I’d love to get some resolution. I guess you could call this a reverse advice column, because rather than posing as an Ann-Landers-type wellspring of motherly wheedling, I’m going to ply you, the reader, with a few burning inquires of my own. We’ll just call it “Abby Dear.”   

I won’t enjoy the benefit of anonymity, like “Backed up in Baltimore.” I’m also forfeiting the pleasure of exacting judgment on others, but as the Dalai Lama once said, “Do you have any idea how much you yammer, son? Put a lid on it for once and slurp some of the compote drizzling from someone else’s pie hole.”

So here goes. Please feel free to answer any- or everything.

A) Every summer, our 60-year-old apple tree drops so much fruit, we could sign on as exclusive sauce providers to the Seattle Hempfest pork chop tent. What are my options other than pressing a swimming pool full of cider? Open a fruit thrift store featuring gently used apples? Sell fruit leather vaporizers at the farmers’ market?

B) Is it possible to love tomatoes too much? I can eat them like apples, and it makes me feel slightly like a cat lady.

C) Should I feel self-conscious about not owning a smart phone? I definitely do. It’s not easy keeping it stuffed into my front pocket while punching digits, and stretching for the pound sign can be slightly pleasurable yet alarming to fellow bus riders.

D) I’m not asking your advice on this one, but I’m curious—when’s the last time you took off your shirt in a public place? I did it this summer in San Diego, but it was in a beach setting with a large buffer between people. I’m talking about cruising the Taste of Tukwila, your muffin top drooping from the waist band of your Dockers cut-offs. 

I never would have considered it, had it not been for an elderly man I’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Every morning as I ride past a retirement home, I see the same ancient dude ambling down the sidewalk. He’s shirtless, his grey gym shorts pairing pleasantly with a bristly beard and fuzzy mop of hair. 

This man doesn’t give a shit and I love him for it. He’s probably been hot all night, so he just rolls out of bed and into the crisp dawn air. Screw the staring people at the bus stop. After another morning experiencing his boundless freedom, I inched a step closer to a life of carefree toplessness.

E) What should I ask for for my birthday at the end of the month? After racking my brain for the past two weeks, it's a toss-up between a Safeway gift card and a colonoscopy. 

F) Lastly, are the Seattle Seahawks going to repeat as World Champions? I’ve got to tell you I had a dream, like last Thursday, that the Seahawks did win their second consecutive Superbowl. I woke up happier than any time since around the age of fourteen.

That’s everything for now. The nourishment of your guidance is immeasurable.


  1. A. Contact (or advertise for glesners ,. They're people who need or want free stuff. B. No. And what's wrong with being a cat lady (besides the fact that you're a man)? C. No. The only thing smart about smart phones is their built-in smart-ass personality, getting a chuckle out of malfunctioning & pissing people off. D. I've never taken off my shirt in public. Although I still retain the physique of a 14-year-old boy, it's not a good thing, in my case. E. Ask for the Safeway gift card. After the colonoscopy, you'll want to ask, "What? You're not even gonna buy me flowers?!" That way, you can buy them for yourself. . .or maybe one of those 'donuts' to sit on. F. Maybe it's a premonition, O' Wise One. Sincerely, Abby Normal

    1. For some odd reason, I wasn't able to edit my above comment. The proper term in item "A" is 'gleaners.' Once Again, With You in Old-Agedness, Abby Normal

    2. Marla, these are all excellent. With age comes insight. So true about smart phones.