Hello again, everyone. It’s Trenton Keith. This week I have solicited questions from a random sampling of real people on Facebook, semi-real people in the concrete octagon of like, and everything in between, so that I can help solve their random but commonly considered queries. My responses will be listed in two parts this week, the first half on Monday, and the other half here today.
If you’d like, you're more than welcome to email your questions to me at email@example.com and I'll probably answer them honestlysometime in the very near future. Maybe here in public. Warning: All responses, suggestions and references are in no way guaranteed to be responsible, accurate, or free of grammatical errors.
What news shows do you watch? How do you stay informed? I tried listening to NPR and it was really boring.
Dear Looking For Answers In All The Wrong Places,
What we lose sight of in our western society of contemporary news is the ability to discuss. We're all so closed off to discussing politics or parenting or religion, as if our paranoid xenophobia is going to protect our opinions from intrusive psycho-barbarians. Most often, our closure prevents us from not only learning, but teaching as well. Because somewhere, in some dark corner of the schoolyard, there's a boy who is searching for an answer to something that everyone is too afraid to talk about. He wants answers, and while you can give him all the libraries in the world, it takes the whisper of a girl down the street to show him that he's not alone. Just remember that, everyone. We're all learning and teaching, continually.
But if you already knew that, then try brooklynmutt. He’s legit.
My 2007 Chrysler continues to have the "check engine" icon lit up. Do you think that I should replace a broken PCM, or should I go run OEM diagnostics, and if so can I get a OTC Genisys or ACTRON scanning tool?
Dear My Uncle Who Once Lit Me On Fire With Fireworks Like A Complete Jackass,
I'm sorry, I can't answer this. I could, I just don't care at all.
This guy who works in my office is gay and he keeps coming on to me (I'm a straight guy) and I don't know how to politely say something. Am I a bigot?
Dear White Guy From Affluent Suburban Area,
Well, lets discuss the latter first. You're not a bigot as long as you aren't filled with any more annoyance than if a woman came onto you in the same setting. Straight or gay, unsolicited approaches are often annoying but should be handled tactfully.1 There are many schools of thought here, beginning with the subtle, "My girlfriend and I were out at dinner yesterday" line, and ending with the more direct, "I literally only have intercourse with women" line. My personal recommendation? Ask him to grab coffee and be his friend. Some of the best friendships I've ever forged have begun this way.
My son will not stop hitting this boy in his kindergarten class, because he says that he smells funny. How do I get him to stop??
Dear Mother Of Total Badass,
Your son is in kindergarten and already has intense, nasal-irritated rage issues? Tough break. I'm not a parent, so take this with a grain of salt Wait, where does that idiom come from?2 It makes literally no sense in modern vernacular. You know, Germany has a Council that convenes yearly to discuss shit that they don't want in their language. Why can't we do that? You know why? America. If we do that, the terrorists win.
Dear Total Badass,
I know that kid smells, but it's not his fault. He's probably got a slew of domestic issues at home, and not peeing on himself is the least of his troubles. If I were you, I'd take that aggression out on the field and destroy fools as a defensive tackle. Then your fury is funneled into something productive, and you might get a scholarship to a respectable college someday and become a sought-after lawyer, so that you can counsel the smelly kid through his awful, pain-stricken divorce.
Also, and this is between you and me, is your mom single?3
If you could choose any 'Security Question' for your bank account, what would it be? And what would the answer be?
Dear About-To-Be Hacked,
Security Question: Is the number 2 a prime number?
Answer: Yes. Because me and you aren't divisible by anything.
Security Question: How far in the future will Jesus return to us?
Answer: I reject the premise of the question because Meryl Streep.
Security Question: What are you wearing right now?
Answer: That's none of your damn business.
I just recently cut my hair really short and I'm kind of androgynous looking already and my boyfriend says I'm not attractive anymore. Does he have a point? Do I look too much like a guy?
Dear Tilda Swinton,
I could give you the "We're all beautiful" speech, or I could give you the "You don't need no man" speech, but they're only as true as you believe. Everyone is beautiful and ugly, and everyone needs everything and nothing, all at the same time. We're multitudes or whatever. There are so many facets to you. You might like skiing in Mammoth, or hot dogs in your macaroni and cheese, or the air conditioning on full blast in the car even when you first get in it at 6:00 AM before work. I hope whoever loves you, loves all degrees of you, not just your hair or your face shape. So keep your chin up, Tilda, because one day all those weird movies and art exhibitions are going to pay off, and you'll finally find that transgender alternative pseudo artist type you've been looking for all your life.
1 You should all call me Miss Manners.
2 It's from Pliny the Elder in 79 AD, who said that a cure to poison included a "grain of salt", therefore reducing the severity of whatever poison debacle you were currently in.
3 She's not.
Columnist Trenton Keith is a writing and pop culture enthusiast. He's also a sarcastic humorist, a dismal satirist, and frequent user of non-sequiturs.