Ask a Bastard: The Bastard, and only the Bastard, Answers


Another week, more questions. I have had some requests by my more dedicated readers that only I answer questions. What I propose is this: If you want more than just my answer, say so in the comments. If you want my bargain-rate wisdom, and only my wisdom, say so in the question. With that out of the way, we begin with the following questions, in Reverse Order:

Res Asks:

Why? I mean, GOD, WHY?!?

Because we, as a species, cannot conceive of anything else.

Also, why does this damn nicotine patch keep peeling off at the edges? This box of patches cost almost $60 (that’s $4.28 per patch, almost precisely what I would spend on smokes), and for that kind of money, you’d think they could make something that would actually stick to your damn arm all day! My cigarettes never fell apart while I was smoking them…

The patch keeps falling off because the folks who made the patch are trying to bilk you for all your cash. They don’t want you to kick the habit. They want you to pay for their yacht’s gas.

Von Asks:

My question for next week. What, exactly, is cat vacuuming? AND Am I stupid for not knowing?

the VON is not stupid. Cat Vacuuming, which I learned from this particular reader, is “a pointless excuse used avoid any real work.” This is the same definition from Forward Motion. I use it on this blog to make a clear distinction between useful rambling and my frequent attempts to avoid real work.

Brando Asks

If no one asks a question, is there an answer?

There is always an answer. The problem is figuring out the right question to ask.

Coming up with the right question is incredibly difficult. It means going beyond simple navel gazing and serious introspection. Brando, you need to ask yourself what is keeping you from asking the correct question.

AG asks

AG is in the market for a new car. Could we get some suggestions? AG will pay up to $30K for a new car. AG would like to spend less and prefers a good deal on a used car. I also prefer foreign cars, but am happy to discuss all possibilities.

VON. You wanted to answer this question. AG, I will do more research on this question but first:

1) What are your priorities in a new car?
2) Are there certain brands you have excluded from you list?

I am saving the following questions for the next round.

Rachel Asks Two Questions–via the electronic miracle of Email

Why do bad things happen to good people? Question of the ages, I know. I was just thinking about it recently for various reasons, fortunately things have been pretty good here for us down in Indianapolis.

Hell if I know.

I don’t know if I subscribe to any particular belief system anymore. I would love to be able to say, “It is God’s Will” or “Karma” and be done with it. Spiritually speaking, I’m running on fumes. I’ll give this a shot, though.

Good people tend to do into fields wherein their resources are limited–poor pay, benefits and long hours. So when bad things happen, they don’t have the same amount of resources to cope.

For instance: My parents died far too young, my godchildren have some special needs and I know some pretty brilliant people who, given some nasty circumstances, are in a bad spot professionally speaking. There is no rhyme or reason for any of these factors. If my family had more money, my parents may have lived longer. If my godchildren came from the über wealthy, I’m sure they’d have amazing and fantastic around the clock care. If my friend were wealthy, they wouldn’t be stuck at dead end jobs.

Still. Bad things happen to everyone.

and question #2 –

What’s a good book to read this summer? Inquiring minds want to know.

This is a question that totally deserves extra treatment.

I recommend

“Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure” (Michael Chabon)

“Don’t Get Too Comfortable” (David Rakoff)

“The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)” (Peter Sagal)

“The Devil You Know” (Mike Carey)

To name a quick few. I’m sure other bloggers will have a plethora of recommendations. Hell, check out my Goodreads list for more recommendations.

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5 thoughts on “Ask a Bastard: The Bastard, and only the Bastard, Answers

  1. Excellent and sage advice.

    AG prefers a foreign car and automatic. There really are no rules beyond that, other than I want a good quality car that will last as long as my current baby –15 years!

    Next week’s question: How does one make friends in the suburbs, where she knows nobody and everyone is either 10 years younger and says things like How R U over e-mail, or have been married since they were 21 and have three kids? Essentially, how do I make some friends in this tragedy of an area I call home?

    I need the full-on, help an AG sister out here.

  2. Thanks Marty! Yes, email is indeed a miracle in my book. I remember the grand old days of pine in college.

    Apologies for such a serious question for ask a bastard – I have a friend of a friend who just lost her son (7 months old). It’s just hard to know how to respond to that kind of tragedy.

    And thanks for the book list – I will add them all. I like goodreads – one of my younger sisters introduced me to it!

    AG – as far as finding friends in the suburbs – I wish you luck. I think even us moms of twins (3 years old) have issues. It’s just rough trying to find like minded people after high school/college.

  3. It’s true, Rachel.

    I didn’t know you had twins. My mother had twins. She found twin groups when they were little and love those!

    If you lived nearby, we’d be friends! I can assure you. 🙂 AG is not a hater, just wants some friends.

  4. I miss pine, elm and the |message feature that we had on our old unix system at Beloit. On occasion, when I am really bored and nostalgic at work, I fire up my terminal’s unix function and message/banner myself.

  5. Dear Bastard,

    Two questions!

    1) I see you’ve linked the profiles to the books you’re recommending. How about a suggestion that, rather than buying the books over the intarwebz, interested parties should mosey on down to their local independent bookstores and buy them from there? A handy link for finding indies near you in 3…2…1… linky!

    2) Why do my customers only call with major crises on days that I’m not at work? (And, to follow that up, am I a bad person for being slightly relieved I got to escape the verbal abuse this time around, even while I feel guilty that it got passed on to my awesome coworker and my boss?)

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