Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The things of a child

Hard as it is to believe, "Dear Abby" still exists. Although a note appended to her column claims that it is still written by Abigail Van Buren, it's clear from reading it that at this point she more resembles the mechanical fortune-teller popular in 19th-century sideshows than any human advice-dispenser.

In the column I read, Abby's response to a desperate "shopaholic" was to direct her to a shopaholic support group. And to an equally stricken abused wife, Abby suggested she see a counselor. Twice.

You know things are bad when even Dear Abby is outsourcing.

Who writes to her? Maybe the people for whom Dr. Phil is too advanced. People in a bad marriage who don't know enough to see a marriage counselor or a divorce attorney. "Dear Abby: My husband totally neglects me. Should I call the fire department?"

Anyway, one of Abby's readers had an issue you don't come across every day. But let her tell it:

I have a blanket I have had since I was a baby and have slept with it since before I could walk. When I turned 16, I told myself I'd get rid of it. Sixteen turned to 18, 18 turned into getting rid of it when I graduated from college, which turned into getting rid of it when I married.
I am now married and have no intention of getting rid of it. I guess I've held onto it because it's familiar. (We moved far from home after our wedding.) My husband says he doesn't mind, and I'm sure he's not lying, but it's a little embarrassing.

Hubby says he doesn't mind. However, in a "Dear Abby" parallel universe, I came across his version of events:

Look, I was lucky to nab Luanne. I know that. Regular nookie? Who can put a price? And she's pretty hot to trot in the sack, as long as she can hold onto ... you know...that thing. Which by now is a grungy, moth-eaten rag maybe your cat would play with. But she kept it on her side of the bed, so I could live with it. .

Things would've been fine if she had just stopped there. But after six months, she asked would it be OK if she brought her Barbies into bed. "Bar-bies?" I asked. Turns out she had fifty-eight of them. Whoever heard of Eating Disorder Barbie? Crack Ho Barbie? Fag-Hag Barbie? Must've been limited editions. But the sex got even better, especially when we brought Dominatrix Barbie into the mix.

One night she casually asked if her imaginary friend could join us. His name was Casper. "The ghost?" I asked. "No, not the ghost," she said. "He's alive." I said that I would prefer the imaginary friend to be female, so I could fantasize about having a threesome, but that it was not a deal-breaker. Casper stayed.

Sure enough, things got even hotter, even though we had a buy a bigger mattress and one night I got a minor puncture wound when I accidentally sat on Bitch-on-Wheels Barbie.

But one night, Luanne crossed the line. The line when the imaginary friend became an actual friend, named Casper. Who worked in XXX films. And who was porking my wife while some Barbie -- I think it was Customer Service Barbie -- was sticking her head out of his ass.

How did things come to that, Dear Abby? And what I am to do about it?
--- "Ken"
Albuquerque, N.M.


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