Editor’s note: As frontman of Every Time I Die, Keith Buckley has traveled the world gaining insights about the universe. In this bi-weekly column he’ll use those insights to guide our readers with heartfelt and brutally honest advice. Have a question for Keith? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEAR KEITH: I have always struggled with upper-body strength, being a small, feeble man. This has never presented a true problem in the past, as I can usually get one of my muscular sons to move my stacks of DVDs or open a heavy door. Last Thursday we were having an “adults only” party and I couldn’t open my Mike’s Hard Lemonade for the life of me. Without my boys around I didn’t know what I was going to do. My Aunt Kathy walked into the kitchen and popped the bottle open in one fell swoop. I was so enamored by her strength in power, I instinctively dove in for a big smooch right on her mouth. How do I explain this newfound affection to my Uncle Chauncey?–EVERETT BYRAM
Hold on one second. If any of The Public’s loyal readers have a way of connecting to the World Wide Web via the internet, they may have encountered a post by a fellow Buffalonian last week who took umbrage on Facebook with the way I—a 36-year-old man-child with admittedly less than none of the qualifications necessary for providing advice—handled an inquiry regarding the most effective way to deal with a relative’s awkward and incessant prying into the specific details of a reader’s love life. If you recall the column itself, it was a rhetorical journey down fanciful paths of utter stupidity and vague, misdirected nostalgia bolstered by an array of words that I probably would never use in conversation but tend to value as writer nonetheless. This is what Dostoyevsky referred to as “playing the fool to make myself agreeable” in his epic meta-novel The Brothers Karamazov, and as a literary tactic I find it to be highly effective because, though I profess myself incapable and cushion my eventual intellectual incongruities with a charming boyish naiveté, I’m much smarter than you, Mark, you shaved-bird-looking motherfucker. In the diatribe you fired off within minutes of my column being posted—which could have been an excerpt from the script of a Lifetime movie titled I Can’t Laugh: A Shithead’s Tale of an Afternoon Spent Online Casually Skimming Articles—you, among other things, tell me to “put down the thesaurus,” as if I write this thing in a dusty college library and not on my phone while driving. I’m sorry, Mark, is my “hacky, divisive rhetoric” that’s found on the last fucking page of an upstart publication in the “Comedy” section not on par with the advice columns you’re used to poring over, you sad, lonely trash man? Or are you just angry that after Googling “why am i not married yet” you were tricked into partially reading my last creative writing exercise without getting the slightest bit of the help you were so genuinely longing for. Either way, I’m sorry your life is completely humorless. If there’s any way I can assist you, please email your question to The Public.
Now, back to your terrible situation, Everett. I don’t blame you for stealing a kiss from your aunt, what with the enchanting smell of a freshly cracked Mike’s Hard in the air, but trust me that you were just caught up in a very horny moment. This short-lived fling should in no way be taken as an omen to upset your limber uncle or to abandon your strong, handsome sons. Try to imagine your life with DVDs stacked up in places you don’t necessarily want them, or one large oak door that you know you are incapable of opening before you even try. Where are your sons in this nightmare scenario? Well, Everett, they’re at that shooting range that just opened down the way with a man they respect who also had a Groupon. But I bet the feel of Kathy’s lips was worth it. No, I don’t. Sarcasm.
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