Welcome to our newest feature, in which we answer actual reader mail* and tell you how to live. Got problems? Let us know. We promise not to sugarcoat things like whoever it is manipulating Ann Landers' cold, dead typing fingers these days. We'll give it to you straight, is what we're saying, like John McCain circa 1998. We're not afraid of anyone. Let's git 'er done!
This week's letter comes from "Concerned in Concord":
I'm worried my son might be involved in that new trend "the game" I keep hearing so much about on Dateline and 20/20. From what I understand, "the game" involves trying to cut off air to the brain while "abusing your body," if you catch my meaning. Why someone would want to do this is beyond me -- in my day we kept our private bits carefully plastic-wrapped until our wedding nights -- but I know the world has changed. Last week I was picking up my son's laundry and found a coupleneckties under the mattress. Then yesterday I came home from the Costco and heard moaning coming from his room, then a thump like he fell off the bed. When I got up there he said everything was fine, but he was red in the face and seemed out of breath. Is there some sort of pamphlet I can give to him that might help?
Concerned in Concord
First of all, times have changed, CIC, in ways that should scare the hell out of all of us. Back when we were kids, the tools for masturbation were limited to our mother's Redbook, tap water, and soap. And not that fancy moisturizing body wash, either -- we're talking a bar of generic grocery-store soap, the kind seemingly made from pumice and pulverized chalk (Completely true "fun fact": When we were in 8th grade, our family moved from a town with "hard water" to a town with "soft water," and our masturbatory lives improved almost as much as they did the next year, when Victoria's Secret got more liberal with its catalogue mailings. But we digress.)
These days, the kids are doing all sorts of weird crap. Here's a test for you, CIC. What would you do with the following items: a box of brown sugar, three eggs, Karo syrup, nougat, a handheld mixer, and an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees:
a) bake a cake
b) bring myself to orgasmic delight.
c) watch morally questionable television, chat with a 40-year-old man online, shoot all the kids in my school, then bring myself to orgasmic delight.
I think we both know how your perv of a son answered that question, don't we, CIC?
So, that's the bad news. The good news is you've taken the first important step by writing to us. Those mainstream media advice columnists -- your Carolyn Haxes, your Amy Dickinsons, your Heloise Bowleseses -- would no doubt tell you to talk the problem over with your child, or take him to a psychiatrist, or blah blah touchy-feely blah blah blah.
But we're not about talk, CIC. We're about action. And action, incidentally, is exactly what your boy needs.
Let us ask you a question: is there perhaps a bosomy brunette living somewhere in your neighborhood? Ideally she's a couple years older than your son and goes to a private school. You'll recognize her by her uniform, which she's altered just enough to render it highly sexual. The trick, of course, will be how to introduce this girl to your son without being too obvious: perhaps some kind of "party," to which -- mysteriously -- the other guests don't show up? Perhaps when she's riding her bike past your house, you send your son out with a tall glass of lemonade? Or if your son is involved in Second Life -- and, well, from the sounds of it, we're guessing he is -- perhaps you can create your own young-person-friendly avatar (our suggestion: M.C. Skat Cat) and get the two of them together in a world where your son's not an awkward, pimply nerd-boy?
If these tactics don't work, don't be afraid to take more drastic action: go directly to the little tartlett's house and pay her off. A sixer of Natty Light and a pack of Newports oughta do the trick. With any luck, your son will soon be interacting with an actual female, and having someone else asphyxiate him, as the Good Lord intended.
*mail might not be actual
posted by Mike Ingram at 2:01 PM