Advice From The Comic Hack 173 – The Deja-Vu, Snakes, Change And Accidents Shouldn’t Happen Edition

Sep 09

Advice From The Comic Hack 173 – The Deja-Vu, Snakes, Change And Accidents Shouldn’t Happen Edition

When consulted about the inevitability of change Friedrich Nietzsche has said “The snake which cannot cast his skin has to die”. Friedrich was a bit of a downer. My touring schedule has become quite hectic this month and rather than leave you bereft of this week’s ADVICE COLUMN – I’ve brought back a piece I wrote from before this column found its own blog. That’s a change you’ll have to roll with but don’t worry; MY snake is feeling just fine! Some people fear change, some collect it in cups on street corners and some used it as a major and successful campaign talking point. Some people fear snakes. I fear neither. Once upon a time this ADVICE COLUMN only existed as a feature on the Renaissance Festivals Facebook Page. That’s clearly changed. I used to write 3000-word answers to multiple questions each week. This has also changed. I used to be damned-funny and devastatingly handsome – please god tell me that hasn’t changed!  Your Humble Comic Hack embraces change as not only unavoidable but desirable. Your Humble Comic Hack does not embrace snakes. Today a Darling Reader is in distress and proposes a horrendous solution… I’m shocked and appalled and I have to set her straight. I ask you to please enjoy as I re-visit a classic entry from this column’s past. I will  try to answer with… jokes (and wisdom); that hasn’t changed. You know what else hasn’t changed? I still want you to submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com . It keeps the snake happy and thriving. I wonder how long I can belabor that damned slithering metaphor? Aaarrrrrrgggggg! That kinda sums up how I currently feel. Let me explain, in ’08 my mom had open heart surgery which has put her out of work so my (then) boyfriend and I moved in to take over bills for her and my teenaged brother. Bo proposed and though I was quite certain he was not the “one” I accepted. How could I turn him down he had stepped up and taken care of my mother when my own sisters wouldn’t? Well after a failed pregnancy he informed me (self titled mother hen) that he never wanted...

Read More

Advice From The Comic Hack 172 – The Support The Survivors – Men Are The Worst Edition

Sep 02

Advice From The Comic Hack 172 – The Support The Survivors – Men Are The Worst Edition

Austrian bodybuilder, Predator slayer, Mr. Universe, California Governor, Terminator, Kennedy banger and my personal favorite (of three) Conans; Arnold Schwarzenegger has said “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”  Today I try to respond to one of the most difficult emails I have ever gotten. I mean – the question is not that hard but the situation certainly is. Finding or making “the funny” for this one is. For inspiration I look to one of my personal heroes and unparalleled quote-machine Sir Winnie Churchill who offers this “We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival” and from Burmese statesperson, politician, diplomat and author Aung San Suu Kyi who reminds us all “Humor is one of the best ingredients of survival.” Today a Darling Reader, previously victimized in a heart-breaking way has her hard-won peace shattered when her attacker ‘returns from the dead’ to victimize her once again. This is not a zombie story but it does contain horrors. Please try to survive today’s column –  which I hope to eventually include in a book (and/or an Ebook) –  AND don’t forget to submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com    I quite enjoy reading your advice column, as do I always strive to catch The Tortuga Twins at least once every year at *redacted* Renaissance Festival. As such, I was wondering if you might shed some light onto my own situation. About two years ago, I found myself trapped in a relationship that started as a casual affair and quickly turned very abusive. This man was violent, and raped me frequently over the next eight months. The seemingly obvious question at hand is why I didn’t leave sooner, but the mental illnesses I struggled with at the time prevented me from believing things could be better than they were, and he was extremely volatile and threatened my life if I were to ever say anything. It wasn’t until I started to recover from severe depression that I found the courage to record the act so that I would have evidence against him; I made myself very clear...

Read More

Advice From The Comic Hack 171 – The Soap Opera Villains And Cowardly Father Edition

Aug 26

Advice From The Comic Hack 171 – The Soap Opera Villains And Cowardly Father Edition

Magnificently bearded, devastatingly charming, epically talented and distinctively gravelly-voiced playwright, activist, and tony award-winning actor Harvey Fierstein once fog-horned this quote melodically, “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim.  Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” When is it suitable to tell the truth? When is it acceptable for you to get angry? What is the right time for you to unleash you wrath? Who gets to decide what you are going to be and who your family is? Are there any relationship lines that cannot be crossed?  Why have I started this introduction with so many questions? Today we deal with betrayal, a father who has failed, and a trope right out of fairy tales – both modern and hoary. And anger. Today we deal with so much anger.  19th Century German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic Heinrich Heine tells us “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.” Today a Darling Reader asks me how she should deal with a betrayal most foul and a villain, an Honest-to-Neil-Degrasse-Tyson VILLAIN. The Darling reader is proud that they suppressed their characteristic anger and while I’m not suggesting like Heine that a noose be tied – I am wondering if it should have at least been considered? After you’ve read today’s column please do all those things I keep asking you to do to help me share this work. MOST IMPORTANTLY – I really want some interesting questions for upcoming columns. Submit your questions to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com.      I have always had a good relationship with my father until recently. About six months ago he got married and at first my step mother and I got along really well. About two months ago I was hanging out with her and out of nowhere she told me that she wants to start another family with my father and that meant that she wanted him to cut my sister and I out of his life so they can completely start over. I was surprised and angered but I didn’t do anything harsh in fact I just got up and left. Which honestly is a big step for me since I...

Read More

Advice From The Comic Hack 170 – The You Got To Know When To Hold ‘Em (When Your Man Screws Up) Edition

Aug 19

Advice From The Comic Hack 170 – The You Got To Know When To Hold ‘Em (When Your Man Screws Up) Edition

Rebel, rocker, original and genuine bad-boy, Sex Pistol – punk rocker, host, author and (by vote) one of the 100 top Britons –  John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon once proudly proclaimed “I’m not here for your amusement. You’re here for mine.” I intended to take a hiatus two weeks ago – and I did.  I intended to return with this column last week but was felled by what I am POSITIVE was Ebola but my editor insists was merely a summer cold. Intentions are funny that way. Editors; not so much. But really? Just a cold? Not a life-threatening plague of Biblical proportions? One of us is wrong. Dead wrong! (editor’s note: it’s you dummy) In today’s only-slightly-germy return to banging out the Ol’ Advice Column for my dedicated followers A Darling Reader wants to know when-and-if she should pull the plug – metaphorically – on her dumb-ass husband gone astray.  I suspect you can tell from the preceding sentence how this is likely to go. I’m not going to ask you to LIKE or SHARE this post – You haven’t read it yet! But I AM going to ask you to SUBMIT questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com.  Do it for the amusement of BOTH of us.    Hi, Mr. Comic Hack!  So!  My marriage has been having a rocky time for several years.  Last fall, as the culmination of a sudden and stunning series of events and revelations involving infidelity and mental illness (on his part), my husband of more than a decade moved out-of-state, leaving myself and our son. Needless to say, I got myself into counseling.  He and I kept in contact.  We agreed that I would attempt to finish my current college course (estimated 2 years to completion) before we made “any Major Decisions” regarding our relationship. He completely broke my trust – destroyed it, nuked it from orbit, if you will.  Since moving away, he has done nothing tangible to rebuild that trust.  While he seems to be doing well materially for himself now, he does not seem to be doing anything more substantial than making noises about our relationship. I am a compassionate, giving, loving, patient kind of a person.  As of six...

Read More

Advice From The Comic Hack 169 – The Physical Forms and Belly Of The Beast Edition

Jul 28

Advice From The Comic Hack 169 – The Physical Forms and Belly Of The Beast Edition

I feel such an affinity to the writings of Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet Oscar Freaking Wilde. I love his artistry, his brilliance, his talent, his sass and his incredible style… I wonder how much more he might have contributed had he been born now and not in the benighted 19th century England. Wilde wrote “The  pure and  simple  truth is rarely pure and never simple.”  How right he was. Born almost 100 years later author, educator, activist and by no means Wilde’s equal Parker Palmer wrote “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” He too is absolutely correct and yet too few of us realize not only what we want but what we’re willing, able, and required to do to get what we deserve. Sometimes too; self-care will only come at the urging of those who love us. Today a Darling Reader writes me with her ever-growing concerns fomented by her life-partner’s ever-growing waistline. In trying to address her distress I learn some interesting new facts and run once-again into an oft-repeated dilemma. I’ll try to steer this long-suffering stoic towards a better path. I am going to ask you to read, share and comment and don’t forget: Submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com.  Dear Comic Hack,  Before I get too deep into my problem I really want to stress that my question is not rooted in an effort to body shame my boyfriend. It is genuinely seated in a concern not only for his health, but the health of our children and the quality of life of our family. I also want to stress: I’m not “skinny.” But I am active. I can’t sit for too long without getting fidgety and being inside sitting day after day is the pathway for me to fall into depression. When we met my boyfriend was already fairly large. But his personality  shone through and I fell for him. While I was pregnant with our daughter we both gained considerable weight. After he birth though, it felt like our paths started to diverge a bit. I began losing (and...

Read More

Advice From The Comic Hack 168 – The Just Friends And Listening To Your Voices Edition

Jul 21

Advice From The Comic Hack 168 – The  Just Friends And Listening To Your Voices Edition

For my third column after my return from hiatus I’d like to present a joke I just wrote. In an incredible departure from my established norm – it doesn’t even involve genitals. “How many advice columnists does take to change a light bulb? Darling Reader – I can’t change the light bulb but perhaps I can inspire it to want to change itself?” Speaking of darkness and light Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, pioneering researcher on death and dying, codifier of the Five Stages of Grief and my personal Angel of Death had this to say – but I think she meant it to apply to those still living. “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” Today a Darling Reader when confronted with her partner’s stunning revelation responds in a way that surprises her and pleases me. She shone from within. Now she wants to know how to not be crushed in the aftermath.  All I ask of you is to SHARE this post and to submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com    I got the “Let’s be friends” speech this morning and my response shocked even myself, I said “That’s OK, I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t really want me.” I packed up my things and left and I feel strangely calm. It still hurts though… and even though I feel like he is a dumb ass for not seeing me as worthwhile how do I NOT listen to that unwanted voice inside of me that tries to tell me I am unlovable?   Now before we can get to answering your questions I must allow that it’s possible that NOT being more than friends (or other than friends) was  this fellow’s intent all along and that he was just clarifying things to clear up confusion he senses in you. But that’s not what this sounds like Darling Reader. That’s not how this ‘reads’. That’s not what I am going to respond to. M’kay? As for your response this morning: I cannot tell you how proud I am of you, how proud I am FOR you. Ladies and gentlemen,...

Read More

Advice From The Comic Hack 167 – The Professor, Master, Doctor – “What Is This A Porno?” – Edition

Jul 14

Advice From The Comic Hack 167 – The Professor, Master, Doctor – “What Is This A Porno?” – Edition

In last week’s column I quoted American Author and rich quote mine Mary Wilson Little’s witticism about headstones. Today she pontificates about hard work and educations saying “He who devotes sixteen hours a day to hard study may become at sixty as wise as he thought himself at twenty.”  As if that’s not enough – I’m also bringing the Tennyson! Wikipedia describes today’s other oft-quoted literati Alfred Lord Tennyson as: “Blah blah Alfred Tennyson,  Blah 1st Baron Tennyson, Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland Blah blah blah during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British blah blah blah poets”. Alfy  had this to say about achievements. “No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.” Brilliant! In today’s column a Darling Reader expresses weariness of her own accomplishments and wistfulness towards the recognition  due the achievements of others. I think I avoided making any dick jokes – but there ARE porn references to follow. Go read the thing, pat me on the back for showing restraint and resisting the urge to make a ’bated breath joke just now. ALSO submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com  Dear Comic Hack, I am about to graduate from graduate school with my master’s degree, but as the time gets closer it feels less and less important. It also seems like people are proud of me obtaining it because of the type of degree, but disregard other degrees. People should be proud of others for their accomplishments whether it is learning to read, getting a GED, High School Diploma, etc., and when I try to explain this it mainly ends in my frustration. Why is it that some people do not see the value in education no matter the accomplishment? No matter what, someone worked on a goal and continued through, does this not mean anything? Your Humble Comic Hack is certainly in awe of your achievements and I’m really compelled to shout out “Let’s play Doctor!  Hello Nurse!”  Yes, yes… I know it’s a Master’s Degree...

Read More