Archive - December 2004

And to the Left!

     I can drive a car. No really, I can. I drive one almost every day. Okay, technically, itís an SUV, but the same rules and principles apply. Steer, steer, steer. Brake, brake. Gas, honk, finger gesture, honk, duck, speed away. And thatís just finding a parking space at the grocery store. But my point is, I can drive a car. Sometimes, (law enforcement officials please skip to next paragraph), I even travel slightly above the posted speed limit. Speeding, I believe it is called in the vernacular. Shhh, donít tell anyone that.

     Iím pretty good at driving, too. Oh I know, everyone thinks theyíre good at it, and everyone thinks no one else is good at it. But letís look at the facts. 

     1. I have been doing it for a while, and I've been in very few accidents. 

     2. I donít spill my coffee when parallel parking. 

     3. I CAN parallel park. 

     4. I donít have marathon-length, emotionally consuming, ďLetís get this out in the air right nowĒ phone conversations with soon to be exes while Iím driving (you know who you are). 

     5. I provide helpful and constructive driving tips to other drivers via a complex but easily understood system of hand movements, horn honking, and warning shots. 

     6. I can turn both left and right.

     Thatís right. I possess the ability to negotiate my vehicle with equal precision when steering it an either of the two available directions of left AND right. No, no, donít bother to applaud. But thank you. This bi-directional capability is a pretty good way to distinguish between good and not so good drivers. If you can only turn left, you probably donít fall in the ďGoodĒ category. Other litmus tests for driving ability include if you routinely collide, even ever so slightly, with other drivers, youíre probably not that good. Or if you canít pump your own gas. I know thatís not technically a driving skill, but come on, itís pumping gas. If you canít do that, should you really be driving a car? And if you feel the need to wear a helmet when you drive, thatís probably a bad sign as well.

     So what do we do with these dastardly drivers? Issue them state-sponsored bus passes? Put special decals on their cars so we can easily avoid them on the road? Make them drive specially constructed Nerf-mobiles? I donít know whatís done with them worldwide, but here in America, theyíre called NASCAR drivers. Thatís right. Left turning only, helmet wearing, no gas pumping, running into other cars, PROFESSIONAL drivers. If they drove like that on the street, we would have them inducted into the Drivers Hall of Shame. Instead theyíre called professional and make a lot of money. If golf was like that, Tiger Woods would be a distant second behind me.

     NASCAR is called by some a two hundred mile an hour left turn. ďSomeĒ being me. I just donít get it. Driving fast and turning left? A sport? Doubtful. Entertaining? Not in my book. Donít get me wrong, Iíll watch the news after a race, but thatís because you get to see the wrecks without having to wait through four hours of blurry circling. And letís face it, the wrecks are what NASCAR is all about. Watch the news the day after a race with no wrecks. They show a fifteen second clip of a car driving under the checkered flag. Watch the news after a race with a seventeen-car pile-up and youíll see the replay of the wreck forty-three times from every angle possible.

     Why else would I want to watch a race? Itís the best way to have a front row seat for some of the most spectacular wrecks of all time. Without that, itís pretty much like watching the morning commute. I used to drive the Atlanta beltline everyday, now that was an adventure. I havenít seen a NASCAR driver yet who would last a week driving that circuit. 

     NASCAR needs to get with the times and give the people what they want Ė more wrecks. Itís so simple. How about having spikes pop up out of the track from time to time? That would work. Or make the drivers change directions after a pit stop. Release a pair of very cranky ferrets in the car. Make the drivers change the radio station every two minutes. Or how about this, every fifteen laps Ė tequila shots? 

     Donít fight reality NASCAR, you canít win. I will gladly sit down and watch a five-hour wreck every week. Until then, Iíll be playing solitaire on my laptop.

Dear Grumpy Llama,
My husband and I get together occasionally with another couple to play cards, drink to excess, and engage in vulgar  conversation. While this is quite entertaining, there has been some speculation about the rules of the game. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in locating the rule book for this game and believe it may not exist. Do you, Grumpy Llama, know what happens in the game Scoop when a person plays two sevens at once? Is play reversed just as if only one seven has been played, or does it reverse and then reverse back simultaneously, resuming the original direction for that player?
The King and Queen of Scoop

Dear Royalty,

I'm must say I was a bit taken aback by this question.  When I sit down to answer your queries, I'm ready to delve into problems of a personal nature, or a business or financial concern.  I'm not even terribly surprised by the semi-regular requests on the best way to dispose of a body.  (And, for the twelfth time, I'm not going to tell you, Worried In Walla Walla, so stop asking.)  I don't know much about games.  Most of my spare time is spent devising plans to carry the lightest pack on tomorrow's hike.  So we'll take this question for what it really is, a cry for help.  Scoop?  I don't think this game exists.  I was not able to find any mention of it on any of the myriad of porn sites I regular.  The problem, your highnesses, is that you are getting together with another couple, drinking heavily and talking dirty, but not letting it continue on its natural course to the clumsy, uncomfortable orgy.  You are masking your desires with a made up game.  Stop being so foolish and let your inner whores roam free. 

That being said, play is reversed just as it would with a single seven. 

And you take off an article of clothing.

Hope that helps, 


Dear Grumpy,

I am an attractive single woman who has worked in an upscale law firm for the last five years. Recently a young man has come to work in my office. He has asked me to go out for drinks a couple of times, but both times I have made up an excuse not to go out with him. I am worried that dating a guy I work with could cause problems. My friends keep telling me to go with it and just meet him for a drink, what do you think?

Dateless in Des Moines

Dear Dateless,

Okay, people.  Let me give you Grumpy's Guide to Workplace Love.  Rule #1- Not on the copier.  Rule #2 - Always be on the bottom.  Rules 3 - 12 involve such things as where to hide a toothbrush in your desk and how to change your underwear under the conference table.  Rule #13 is why the hell not?  Usually.  Sometimes it's don't ever.  My question to you, Dateless, is whether or not this person is an upscale lawyer, or an upscale mail clerk.  If he's a lawyer, then you should be knee deep in incriminating e-mails by now.  If he's a mail clerk, then give him a quickie after work, but only if you really need the free stamps. But the most important rule to always remember, is to NEVER, and I mean NEVER, pass up on free drinks.

Hope that helps,


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