Vegas: The Photographic Evidence
The Many Loves of Amalah, Part Four

Ask Amalah Again

This week: five more questions, five more semi-not-answers. I seem to be maxing out the funny at five questions, so if you don't see your question answered, there are a few possibilities as to why:

1) I couldn't think of anything funny right now. I will hold on to your question in case I do later. Check back next week. (And sorry if your question was of the "My hair's on fire, what do I do?" variety. You'll just have to wait.)

2) Your question scared me and I forwarded it on to the cops. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?

3) Your question was really hard. I mean, whatever, I'm not getting paid to think that much. Softballs, people. Softballs.

But keep sending your questions! It's not like the question queue is backed up for weeks or anything. I'm just arbitrary and shit. So send send send to amy[at] Subject line: Desperately Seeking Sanity.

So after all that ado, on with today's life-changing advice!

(Confidential to Michael: 1) Yes. 2) There's a 20% tax consequence for all early 401(k) payouts. And I'm not aware of any tax deductions you can claim for hookers. Sorry.)

Dear Amalah, About a year ago, my closest friend got a new dog (let's call him Romeo). My friend was so excited. She had been petless for a long time . . . too long. She was subscribing to Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy and any other animal fancy you could imagine. So I was thrilled for her when she first brought her little black Chihuahua home. Here is my predicament. Every time I come over to my friend’s house Romeo immediately jumps on my leg and goes to town like a porn star on speed. My friend just giggles and says "that's so CUTE"! I on the other hand feel much discomfort at having my leg violated repeatedly by the little horn dog. So what should I do? Romeo's birthday is next week. I was thinking of getting him a teddy bear, or my friend a pair of fuzzy slippers. Any suggestions? Sincerely, Not Juliet Ew. Your friend is on crack. Humping dogs are NOT cute, never and no effing way. While the fuzzy slipper idea is genuinely inspired, I think your friend could really benefit from a visit with my dear friend...Bob Barker! Hi Bob, thanks so much for joining us today. AAAAA-myyyy STORCH, COME ON DOWN!! I’m right here, Bob. I’m so sorry, my dear. But I get a little confused sometimes. I understand, Bob. Let me tell you something, I was not expecting to outlive Rod Roddy. I don’t think anyone was, Bob. Have you heard this new guy we’ve got? He’s a putz. Yes, Bob, he’s definitely not as good as Rod. A PUTZ! Bob, the reason I asked you to come here today is… But my Beauties! They’re as young as ever! And lovely! And they’d like to give you a NEW CAR! Bob… We used to sometimes let the Beauties stay on the show for years. Like into their 30s. That was too old. No one wants to see a late-30s Beauty in a matronly one-piece swimsuit pretending to surfboard. Kids today want bikinis! Plinko and bikinis! Very true, Bob. By the way, I’d like to take a moment to salute our brave men and women serving in the U.S. military, including Charles from the 82nd Airbourne who’s invited to COME ON DOWN! Charles isn’t here, Bob. No? Okay then, fuck him. Bob, I was wondering if you had any advice for Not Juliet here, who’s friend’s Chihuahua has a bit of a leg-humping problem. Amy, I’m glad you asked. You know what I always say: Please help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered. In other words, that dog needs his balls cut off. Will that solve the humping problem? Mmf. I’m sorry, I meant, Will that solve the humping problem, Bob? Most likely. If it continues, it means your friend is just a stupid owner and probably lets the dog shit on the floor and drink out of the toilet, and you should always get together with her at restaurants. Those are wise words, Bob. Damn straight. Dear Amalah, There's a happy hour tomorrow night, and I've been feeling kind of frisky lately, if you know what I mean. Should I get drunk and make out with my engaged co-worker or my married boss? Should I tell my boyfriend about it afterwards? Dawn Holy shit! Did you see Gilmore Girls last night? Rory! Lost her virginity! To Dean! Who is still married! While Lorelai was making out with Luke! Who just got divorced! While her ex-boyfriend who is suing her father who is separating from her mother was in the bathroom! And then my head exploded! So basically, you need to decide whether you are Lorelai or Rory. If you are Lorelai, you’ll have a couple martinis and talk really fast about whether killing a real pigeon during skeet shooting means double points or whether Dorothy Parker ever made herself dizzy and then you’ll make out with the engaged co-worker. Who is of course engaged to the daughter of one of your mother’s high society friends and damn, she is going to be pissed at you. Later you’ll make a long speech about how it isn’t a bad thing because he’s not married yet and therefore okay plus you might lurve him and everything you do is right and fine because you’re Lorelai Gilmore, dammit, and don’t nobody understand you but your baby. Also, Oy with the poodles already. If you are Rory, you’ll awkwardly nurse a beer all night because you are such a drag sometimes. You’ll talk in monotone about philosophers and Godfather Part III and wrinkle your nose a lot. Then you’ll sleep with the married boss in a nearby coat closet and call your mom halfway through. And then you’ll cry, cry, cry because you’re so smart and yet so lonely and now that you’re not a virgin anymore the town is going to take away your Pretty Pretty Princess halo and maybe you’ll also drop out of school and run off to New York with Jess to escape the mortification of being the Other Woman and also because you are probably really stiff and bad in bed. My advice? Be Lorelai, because she wears much prettier clothes. Dear Amy, What are the best methods for staying awake in a one-hour meeting that somehow lasts 2 1/2 hours while not letting on that you aren't paying one speck of attention to what's going on? Coleen Here’s what I do. Pretend that you are actually a famous movie star. Like, you’ve won Oscars (one for Best Supporting and then one for Best Acting). Your movies are always heralded as daring and extraordinary and you have a natural knack for transcending the cinematic norms. You’re also on the cover of Vogue this month and you look amazing. Plus, they let you keep the shoes. So during the meeting, imagine that you’re actually filming a movie RIGHT THEN. The cameras are on you, ready to capture your brilliance. The scene is a hilarious yet thought-provoking send-up of office life. The banalities of corporate America. Everything your coworkers say is hysterically mundane and you can almost hear your audience nodding in agreement and identifying with your character’s plight. Your character is beautiful and brilliant and yet undeniably flawed. The movie details her struggle to keep her soul alive in this dismally drab office, and perhaps also her torrid love affair with a hot young intern. Perhaps a sex scene will be filmed in this very conference room. But in the meantime, frame each shot. That guy clicking his pen. The stupid flowchart on the whiteboard. The pimple on that woman’s chin. It’s all so meta you cannot even stand it. And if the meeting goes even longer, you can always practice your next acceptance speech for the Golden Globes. Dear Amy, So I was talking to this woman I know the other day. We were discussing things we'd done wrong when we were little kids. I mentioned that as a youngster, I used to occasionally take money out of the collection plate as they passed it around at church. This woman seems to think that this automatically dooms me to going straight to hell, without passing go, collecting my $200, or getting any sort of last-minute appeal to St. Peter to please please please open up those pearly gates. Never mind the fact that we're only talking a few dimes and quarters here and there -- it's not like I was pocketing twenties or anything. (Note to parents: give your child a damn allowance, otherwise you force her into a life of sin!) And I probably felt really bad about doing it at some point. I don't specifically remember ruing the day or anything, but I bet that there was some rue. Plus, I mean, what good use was the church really going to put that 45 cents to, anyway? What would that pay for, maybe two communion wafers? Clearly, my need for bubble gum and Barbie doll accessories was far more important, so I think that my actions were justified. You know -- utilitarianism and producing the greatest good for the greatest number of Marthas and all that. Who's right? Am I doomed to eternal damnation? Because I've been thinking -- I'm not sure that I really want to go to Heaven anyway. I have this superduper religious sister-in-law who's always preaching to me and telling me that there's no way I'm getting in to heaven because apparently I have failed in every single way possible to let Jesus into my heart, and all I can think is "holy crap, woman -- if you're there, then I guarantee you that it ain't the heaven that I want to be in." I think that I'd prefer a sort of heaven-lite, a Martha Heaven if you will. You know, a place where people can get together and be snarky and drink tequila and make fun of others' fashion choices and bad haircuts. Do you think that I can still get to that place despite my childhood transgressions? My eternal happiness rests in your hands. Martha First of all, let me tell you about some of the bad stuff I did as a kid. In kindergarten, I got chronic ear infections. I was always going home early with an earache. So any time my mom needed to go somewhere during the day, she’d send me to school with a phone number where she could be reached. I’d give the note to my teacher in the morning and then, after I felt that I’d had enough school for that day, I’d go and say I had an earache and they needed to call my mom. Every time she gave me a number I did that. I once stole a bracelet from the supermarket. And I stole Barbie shoes from my friend every time we played Barbies. At a friend’s birthday party, I won a game and got to choose from different Cabbage Patch Kids book as a prize. I read the book I picked and didn’t like it. So I went back to my friend’s mom and told her I was mistaken, I’d chosen a book I already had. She gave me a weird look but gave me the other book, which was much better. Then she told my mom, who asked me what the other book was on the drive home. Without thinking I told her the title, which she knew I didn’t have. I got in trouble but really? The first book was way too babyish for first-graders. It shouldn’t have been a prize. I blame the mother. Plus the second book was awesome. I think I still have it somewhere. Wait. Where the hell was I going with this? Oh right, sins. Look, little kids do bad things. We lie. We steal. We examine each other’s private parts. We fail to understand that a crime is a crime, even if you don’t get caught. So there’s no way that anything we do as kids has any bearing on the afterlife. Sins don’t start counting until you honestly know better. So let’s say, 15 years old. That’s when things start counting. Did you steal from the collection plate after you were 15? I bet you didn’t. So tell your friend to step off and ask her how old she was when a boy first stuck his hand up her shirt. And heaven has bars. And other people can still get bad haircuts, but every haircut YOU get will be amazing and fabulous. People who love Dress Barn down here will still love Dress Barn up there, much to our own amusement. And there is a hit reality television show called Heaven’s Gate where 16 people from Hell vie for a spot in Heaven that is so totally awesome. And did I mention the bars? Dear Amalah, I'm not normally a paranoid person but I find myself with a significant problem. Can you help? It started about a year ago. I was driving home from work one day and noticed a small person in a car behind me. Tiny body, giant head, driving a Mini Cooper. It was as if he knew where I was going. About a mile from my home he turned down a side street. But when I got home, all my small appliances were misplaced. Just an inch or so out of place here and there. Upon further inspection I realized that they'd all been replaced. I was tired, it had been a long day and I had to get some sleep. I tried to push it from my mind. The next day, however? That's when things got out of control. When I woke up, my toaster refused to work and gave me a mild shock. And Mr. Coffee sprung a leak which covered me with hot Folgers from head to toe. And I swear, looking out my kitchen window I spied a midget laughing. For the next several months appliances continued to malfunction all around me. Microwaves exploded, DVD players shot discs across the room (RIP, Sparky), and the popcorn popper? I don't even want to talk about that. Then one day a couple months ago, I received some videotapes in the mail. Whilst afraid to use the VCR, I was curious. And what did I find? Midget porn. "Its A Small World After All" starring Minnie Me and Little Beau Peepers. And in the background, I saw that very head that had been following me home from work that day. What should I do Amalah? I'm scared. I'm afraid the little people are coming for me in their quest for world domination. I need advice. Chris The midgets are our friends. They love us. They would never do anything to hurt us. The midgets are our friends. They love us. They would never do anything to hurt us. (Chris! Send help! Hurry!)



Hello? Is this thing on? Bastards.


I'm sorta scared for Chris. And Amalah. Yipes!


Amy dearest,

Thanks for the confidential answers. They really helped. But what were the questions? I wrote them under the influence of vodka and crack and cannot remember much of the last two weeks.

Hugs (not drugs),


Clarence and Sherman say that you are the hottest advice-giver on the East Coast. In the Mid-Atlantic Region. Below the Mason-Dixon Line.

I might have had some wine before this.

Fraulein N

I would so watch Heaven's Gate.

your adoring handmaiden

Dearest Amalah,

You have helped me. I didn't know what to do to get through the tedium of company meetings that make your ears bleed and your eyeballs grow fur. Now I do. As ever, I am your humble servant.


I have some advice for the chihuahua owner - get that dog a stuffed monkey. Seriously. Our chihuahua fell madly in love with his stuffed monkey and when people come over, he likes to show everyone just how much he loves it. At least he's not humping actual people, right?

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