Filling in this week for Catherine: her sister, Crabby

As the result of stress incurred by the abundance of hate mail over both the Christmas carol and Longhorn pieces, I have temporarily fled to the Bahamas with my lover, Alamortolo. Graciously, my sister Crabby, world-renowned advice columnist and definitely not a shagged-out old hag by any means, despite what I might have said when I was drunk, has agreed to pinch hit this week.

Dear Crabby: I'm a little concerned, as over the past several years, I have gained considerable weight. Massive amounts. In fact, when I look in the mirror, I don't see anything because of the fat globules hanging over my eyes. I'm thinking of trying amphetamines to combat this problem. Crabby, tell me honestly, what do you think? Sincerely, Blind Betty

Dear Blind: I think a several-month course of speed would be just the thing. Something like the little blue pills the John Lennon character in the movie Backbeat swallows.

Not only does he catch a righteous groove with "Long Tall Sally," but undoubtedly sweats off 20 pounds while singing it. Add the fact that when he goes to bed, he can't sleep, chews his gum and grinds his teeth like someone awaiting electrocution, and the brilliance of your plan is obvious. According to experts, sleep is not only fattening, but gum-chewing, along with the ever-popular cuticle-chewing, has been proven to burn almost as many calories as a human heart racing at four times its normal rate. Good luck with your drug habit, and send me a photo of you in a size "uno!"

Dear Crabby: I'm lonely and thinking about having a kid. I was going to get a dog, but the Humane Society won't let me have one, because they think I'm unfit. Crabby, please give me your honest opinion. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, as I don't know where you live and lack the wherewithal to find out. Sincerely, Ovulating Olive

Dear Olive: I think having a child is a wonderful idea. True, children require some care, but most by the age of 4 or 5 are able to open the freezer and microwave a burrito all by themselves. I can hear what's going on in your head right now: "But Crabby, won't my child grow to resent and even hate me if I neglect it to the extent that a person like me is bound to?" The answer, OO, is, of course, yes. But by then, you'll surely have found other ways to assuage your loneliness. Breast implants, for example, attract many companionable men. Your letter tells me you're a resourceful woman. Have a little faith in your decision-making abilities!

Dear Crabby: I'm thinking of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. What do you think? Sincerely, Shit for Brains

Dear SFB: I think that is an excellent idea! One suggestion, however: Make it a plastic barrel, like the kind that came with the old game you remember from your childhood, Barrel of Monkeys. One, it will be funnier, and two, it's the best way to avoid splinters. Granted, according to Google, only two people in 1,000 have actually survived doing this, but what's survival when we're talking about fame? Hey, the odds of winning the state lottery, or even a jackpot on the dollar slots in Vegas, are much lower, and a person who reasons like you do probably thinks these are damn good odds. Make a big splash! Crabby will be rooting for you.

Dear Crabby: I was sitting on the tarmac in an aero plane a few days ago next to a woman who was very frightened of flying. Crabby, she was so anxious and agitated that I feared she might vomit on me, and in a effort to get her removed from the plane, I suggested to her that the swarthy man fooling with his shoe a few rows forward was undoubtedly a terrorist sure to blow us all to mangled, fuselage-riddled bits. My strategy worked like a charm, and the woman was removed forthwith, hysterical, tasered and in a jacket with very long sleeves. Just now sipping my mai tai, I had a conscience pang. How can I get rid of it? Sincerely, Frequent Flyer

Dear Frequent: The answer to your question is obvious: Have a few more mai tais. Just two of those suckers, and you'll be lucky if you can think about anything other than the drink steward's tight buns. But if that doesn't work, rest assured: You did the right thing. It's a known fact that most swarthy men are terrorists, and you may have saved countless lives. As for the poor woman you sent to the loony bin, such people rarely enjoy relaxing Hawaiian vacations, but spend the whole time obsessing about whether Fifi the shih tzu back home is expressing her longing and loneliness by pissing on the carpet.

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