My husband and I are worried sick about our 3-year-old, Chad. He won't eat carrots. He'll eat his corn, peas, and tomatoes, even his seaweed salad with fat-free ginger dressing, but he won't touch his carrots! We've taken him to therapy and have even done past-life regressions, with no results. Fortunately, this nutritional deficiency hasn't interfered with his soccer or piano lessons. Why is Chad refusing his beta carotene? Is God punishing us? Also, is age 3 too late to start him on the cello if he is to become the next Yo-Yo Ma?
--Dangling in Denver
A great wind suddenly swept across the wilderness, destroying my eldest son's house and killing all 10 of my children. The same day, the Lord took from me 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, and 500 she-asses. He also slew all my servants. Why are the terrors of the Almighty arrayed against me? Lord, why hast thou made me thy mark? Why did I not die at birth, simply drop from the womb and expire? If only my anguish could be weighed and all my calamity be placed on the scales! The arrows of the Lord are in me, and my soul drinks their poison! ... But about little Chad. Why not mash his carrots in wine and honey? And what the hell is a cello?
I am so into this guy in my algebra class. His name is Frank and he's such a hottie!!! I've had a total thing for him all year, and I think he might be the Dawson to my Joey. There's a Sadie Hawkins dance coming up, and I really want to ask him out. I haven't eaten a thing in three weeks and I've lost 22 pounds, which I'm totally psyched about, but I've got this huge zit! I've tried everything, and it won't go away. What should I do? I'd rather die than ask Frank out looking like a pizza face. Please help!
--Freaked in Framingham
Ah, yes, afflictions of the skin. The Lord let Satan cover me from head to toe with loathsome and excruciating sores that bleed and ooze puss no matter how long I sit in a pile of ashes sobbing and scraping myself with a shard of pottery. My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt. Oh, that God would grant my desire for him to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off! This would be my consolation, and I would even exult in pain unsparing! Try this, Freaked: Cry out again and again for thick darkness to seize the day you drew breath, that it may never again see the early rays of dawn because it failed to shut the doors of the womb on you to hide trouble from your eyes. Beyond that, best of luck with Frank!
Next month, we're hosting our big annual summer splash, and we're wondering if we can get away with not inviting a certain neighborhood couple with whom we're experiencing, let's say, friction. It all started in May, when my husband, Dickie, learned that this particular husband and wife were telling everyone at the club that we bought a Jeep Cherokee instead of a Range Rover because of a bad investment that has forced us to live on my salary alone! Obviously ghastly lies since we just purchased a fabulous, 100-acre retreat in Montana. Question: Would tongues wag if we excluded these otherwise well-liked cretins from our party?
--Miffed in Myrtle Beach
Believe me, I know, friends can be as treacherous as a torrent-bed, like freshets that pass away and are dark with ice where the snow hides itself. In times of heat such "friends" disappear; they simply dry up and vanish. My own friends see my calamity and are afraid. They torment me with accusations of sin and guilt, and they urge me to repent! They whitewash the truth with lies! I advise you to cancel your party altogether, and beg God to judge your and your husband's souls immediately, to number all your steps, and show you where, if anywhere, your feet have gone astray. This is the only way to end your days of suffering amid the ruins of your former life. And plead for sweet death!