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dear abby normal
adam answers just a fraction of his fan mail
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)

Okay, here's the deal this month. Being the world famous Intrepid Media journalist that I am, I often get fan mail, sometimes based on my columns, sometimes not, asking me advice on topics ranging from world peace to that rash she got from me in 2001 that still won't go away. Usually, I just print said mail out, share it with my real friends as we laugh about other people's problems, and use it to stuff the pillows I make for orphaned children in Belgium.

But a few weeks ago, before I had him executed for insubordination, a former friend of mine suggested that maybe I should use this forum to answer a few of these questions. The thinking goes that since I know everything, maybe I could tip Heaven's scales in my favor by imparting my brilliant wit and wisdom onto you, the bland masses. I thought it was a really dumb idea. But since I couldn't think of anything else to write about for April (it's such a slow news week), I figured it couldn't hurt. And if it does, I'll just send out my brute squad to hunt down anyone who's on my "list." If you don't already know who you are, by the time you find out, it'll be too late. Enjoy!

What's a good activity that will foster trust between my pet hamster and my pet cat?
Signed, Pet-lover in Hazelton

Okay, here's what you do. Take your hamster by his tail (don't worry; they like this) and dangle him just out of your cat's reach. Make sure you tease the cat a lot, but - and this is important - never let him actually catch the hamster. Ultimately, the hamster will be taught that the cat can't really hurt him, and the cat will learn that no matter how hard he tries, he's never going to catch and eat the hamster. Thus, trust.

I was so inspired by your column on quitting smoking that I want to quit now, too. Do you have any suggestions as to what I need to do?
Signed, Smokey McSmokerson in Raleigh/Durham

Yes. Whatever you do, don't quit. I know all of the literature on the subject would lead you to believe that smoking is bad for you, but they overlook one major thing - it's still really cool. Not only do you look hot, but with so much stigma against smokers these days, you'll get kind of a "rebel" persona built up around you. Besides, for every person who can't stand your tobacco breath or yellow teeth, there's a company producing a mint that will cover up the smell and a toothpaste company making something with peroxide in it. Plus, you'll be a lot less stressed. Non-smokers will all be suffering from hypertension, and you'll be 80 and still sucking down your nicotene sticks as you laugh at all of the burnt-out former health nuts around you. I guarantee it.

I just recently caught my girlfriend cheating on me. Should I break up with her?
Signed, Girlie-man in Saskatoon

Well, Girlie-man, if that is your real name, I have a question for you: is she hot? Because if so, I say no way. First of all, if you can't satisfy one woman, what makes you think you can even attract another? Second of all, hot slutty girls often have hot slutty friends. For some reason, these women won't even look in your direction if you've broken up with their friend, but as long as you're still together, they're all clamoring to have sex with you. I can't explain it. But it doesn't matter, because, since your girlfriend cheated on you, it gives you a "have sex free" card to use whenever you want.

Picture this scenario: you're in bed with three or forty of her friends, and she comes storming in, yelling at you about being a low-life scumbag. While she's probably right, you can calmly remove your hand from her friend's breast and, pointing what I call "the finger of self-righteousness," say something to the effect of "Harlot! Shame! For it was you who first cut me to the quick. I defy you to disallow me from taking my pound of flesh!" This is likely to have two outcomes a) she'll be so ashamed at being scolded in such a way that she'll meekly apologize and you'll be in the clear; b) she'll be so turned on by your command of the English language that she'll ask if she can join in. I promise.

What should I have for lunch?
Signed, Hungry in your closet

You'll eat what I feed you and like it! Next!

No really, I'm hungry. Any thoughts?
Signed, Hungry but nowhere near you

Oh, in that case, I had a bologna and cheese sandwich today. If you get the right bologna, it can be pretty good, as long as you have a toaster or really tasty bread. Also, my mom makes really good macaroni and cheese, and that's always a filling meal, so you might want to get the recipe from her. I've also heard that some people find sweetbreads enjoyable, but I've always considered them more of a breakfast food. Hope this helped.

You seem to know so much about how women think. Were you a woman in a previous life?
Signed, Adam Rocks in Shermer, IL

Maybe. But I'm pretty sure I'm a guy in this one. No, my vast understanding of the female mentality in this life has been carefully cultivated using what I call a "two-pronged" approach. Prong 1: put on a pair of high heels and sneak into the women's room at the mall when no one's looking. Sit down in a stall and just take notes whenever a group of 14-year-olds comes in. No one is the wiser, and I often find I'm the beneficiary of many tidbits of wisdom that you wouldn't otherwise get from the usual methods of stalking. Prong 2: pick a random house where you know a female of the opposite sex lives. Set up an illegal wiretap on her phone line. Sit back and wait for the wealth of knowledge to pour in.

Is there a polite way to say, "Your column sucks"?
Signed, Dad

I'm not sure. Is there a polite way to tell Brett he was adopted? Didn't think so.

Will I ever find the right man and get married?
Signed, Lonely in Las Vegas

Not in Vegas, honey. Unless your idea of the "right man" is an Elvis impersonator or the guy who's up on the craps table for more than 10 minutes. My suggestion to you is this: go to Los Angeles and start making dirty movies. You definitely have the looks for it. And the industry these days is much less of a boy's club. You might even be able to become a director once you've grown tired of sleeping with the same five guys over and over again. And remember "Adult Film Actress" sounds much better than "Porn Star."

Or maybe you should just go for the guy playing $5 black jack. He looks lonely, too.

I'm a young Orthodox Jewish rabbi who recently proposed to a young former Catholic nun. Can you foresee any problems that might occur from this union?
Signed, Loving You Is Easy 'Cause You're Beautiful in Beijing

Problems? Not at all. People always blow this sort of thing out of proportion. I firmly believe that there will not be a single conflict with your keeping Kosher during Easter dinner, the crosses she may likely place all over the house, or having to decide whether the New Testament will be recognized as legitimate liturgy in your home. In addition, it should be a breeze deciding what religion to raise any children you might have, or whether to be married in a synagogue or a church. I'm sure both sides of your family will be very happy. In fact, you have a real chance to foster some understanding between what're basically two sides of the same three-sided coin. For example, on Palm Sunday, she can entertain your whole family with a slide show presentation defending the Church's posture of inaction during the Holocaust, and then on Passover you can dazzle them in the kitchen by demonstrating how Jews make matzah from the blood of young gentiles. Everybody wins!

Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes?
Signed, Colorblind in Zaire

Actually, neither. According to Professor John Frink of the J. Brooks Institute in Springfield, zebras are, in fact, grey. As a protective quirk of evolution, however, the coarseness of their coats creates an optical illusion that they have stripes. Prof. Frink likens it to the wheels of certain vehicles. Have you ever looked at the hubcap on a forward-moving car, only to have the wheel seem to be rolling backwards? Yeah, it's kind of like that.

Doesn't the judgment of any system, or a priori relationship or phenomenon, exist in an irrational, or metaphysical, or at least epistemological contradiction to an abstract empirical concept such as being, or to be, or to occur in the thing itself, or of the thing itself?
Signed, Sonja in St. Petersburg


Okay, it's time for the final question. This one was sent in from little Timmy in Nebraska. Timmy writes:

Someday, when I'm 9, I want to be famous, like you. And I want a pony. And food every day. And I want Mommy to stop drinking. And I want my baby sister to recover from her polio. And I want my doggie not to be dead. And I want Daddy to stop making me wear dresses.

Let me tell you, I hear this all the time. I want, I want, I want. But since there's no actual question in there, I can't help you, kid. Try Santa.

And the rest of you can tune in next year at this time for the second installment of Adam's Mailbag, unless I run out of real topics again before that!

A zissen Pesach!


A native of Elkins Park, PA, Adam Kraemer spends way too much of his time repeating "K-R-A-E..." He moved to New York City in 1998 and earned Master's in Journalism at NYU; don't let his writing fool you. He feels he is best known for saying the things no one is thinking, but afterwards wish they had been. He spends his free time wondering where all his free time goes and why he can never come up with a decent kicker for the ends of his articles.

more about adam kraemer


g.i. jew - a real american hebrew
matzah, tongue, and other assorted mishugas
by adam kraemer
topic: humor
published: 4.5.02

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who is cleve, and why is this land named after him?
by adam kraemer
topic: humor
published: 5.11.05


jack bradley
4.9.03 @ 2:48a

Dear Adam,

Is the condition that caused you to make that noise at the end of your column a contagious one?

Muchly with the Ew-age

adam kraemer
4.9.03 @ 8:02a

Well, Muchly, it's Yiddish for "a sweet Passover," which makes you a racist and a bigot for even asking that question. Someone tar and feather this anti-Semite, please.

tracey kelley
4.9.03 @ 11:06a

The visual I have of Adam's hairy legs in high heels as seen from a neighboring stall is almost as funny as the pic of him as Tatoo.

adam kraemer
4.9.03 @ 11:08a

That's why I wear thigh-highs.

matt morin
4.9.03 @ 11:10a

Which with your height, are basically the same as regular heels.

adam kraemer
4.9.03 @ 11:39a

You're just annoyed because you thought my answer to the zebra question was true.

heather millen
4.9.03 @ 1:24p

"You seem to know so much about how women think"

...Ah ha ha ha, ha HA!!

Uhm, sorry. Good column.

sarah ficke
4.9.03 @ 3:20p

Adam, the guy in your closet just called me. He wants tunafish tomorrow.

adam kraemer
4.9.03 @ 4:11p

Well, I was planning on the Surf & Turf, but if he insists. Thursday is his day to pick the meal.

robert melos
4.9.03 @ 10:14p

And you tell me my imagination is frightening? Um, the image of you in high heels did kinda scare me, but I liked your advice to Girlie-man, and loved the self-deprecating humor in the knowledge of how women think.

Okay, you won me over. Next time I need advice I'm coming to you.


dr. jay gross
4.16.03 @ 9:25a

I have a feeling that 'Timmy' has a better chance of becoming famous.....

adam kraemer
4.16.03 @ 3:20p

Well, it's not like the entire article isn't tongue-in-cheek. Both my pomposity and my advice are sheer constructs. And, for that matter, I made up the questions, too. No one in their right mind would write me for advice.

kimberly sullivan
4.16.03 @ 3:48p

Great concept, Adam! Yet again, you have brought laughter to my less than exciting day!

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