I, Publius: Letters I might have gotten

Dear Doctor:
I look forward to reading your advice — it has helped me a great deal over the years. If everyone listened to you, the world would be a much better place. My boyfriend always thinks that he’s right about everything. Now he says that all politics are fixed and nothing is what it seems. He isn’t right, is he?

Bereft in Barrington.

Dear Bereft:

Hold on to that boyfriend. He’s certainly partially right. An interesting thing happened in Great Barrington. A guy on the town Finance Committee suggested that the Selectmen should not get paid for their part-time duties. He also suggested that they shouldn’t receive their very expensive health insurance. As soon as he said that, I got a call from a high town official asking who could run against the guy with the good idea. I wasn’t going to help him and told him so. A perfectly nice woman was recruited to do the dirty work. It’s unclear whether she had a clue as to why she was encouraged to run, but she won and the Finance Committee member with the modest proposal lost. My bet is that very few people had any idea why the guy with the good idea may have been targeted. The woman who beat him received a good deal of financial help for her candidacy. So at least in this case, your boyfriend is right.

Dear Doctor:

Thank you so much for all your hard work. I love to read your advice. My girlfriend is thinking about leaving me. She says that I’m not such a good lover. She wishes I was more like you. She says that when she hears you on the radio that she just knows that you’re a man of great passion. Is she right?

Rufus in the Woods.

Dear Rufus:

I am passionate about some things; about others, not so much. I am passionate about politics, history books, and people but maybe not in the category she is talking about. Sometimes when one partner is more passionate in the physical department than another, there is trouble brewing. If you can’t provide the sustenance that your girlfriend needs, she may seek it elsewhere. I recommend that you drop her like a hot potato. Let her go. Find someone who likes you just as you are. Someday you’ll thank me for my advice.

Dear Doctor:

It seems to me that the Senate Republicans under Mitch McConnell are out to get President Obama one way or another. They want to impeach him for the same things they’ve been doing for years. My Aunt Tessie hates the president. She tells me that she is going to cut me out of her will if I keep siding with him. I stand to lose $30 million. What should I do?

Sadie in Stockbridge

Dear Sadie:

What is more important, a country with a future for you and your children or a few measly millions? You have a few options. You can just avoid the subject when she brings it up or you can lie. On the other hand, you can tell her that she is un-American and you’ve always hated her and her reactionary opinions. You can tell her that your mother always hated her, too. On second thought, maybe you should just lie.

Dear Doctor:

My boyfriend Brutus (he is a brute) thinks you’re wrong about everything. I think he’s jealous because he knows I love you. He says that he won’t pay his taxes this year because the IRS is picking on the tea party. Can he do that?

Sadie in Sheffield

Dear Sadie:

He sounds like a jerk. You might encourage him not to pay. Then he’ll end up in jail and you’ll be safe from the brute.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 5/18/13

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