In which I answer anything, Vol. 2

You’re too generous! I had to save about half the questions for next time.

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Q. Who was worse – Samantha Bee or Roseanne?

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A. This is like asking which is worse, the color of the carpet in the Hindenburg or the color of the barstool upholstery in the Hindenburg. There may be a legitimate answer, but on the other hand, KA-BLAMMO.
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 Q. Why a duck?

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A. According to Wikipedia,

The duck is a recurring reference throughout the Marxes’ and especially Groucho’s career. His signature walk was called “the duck walk” and on Groucho’s television program You Bet Your Life a stuffed duck made up to resemble Groucho would drop from the ceiling to give contestants money if they said the day’s secret word. Ducks are the only animals that perform lines in the song “Everyone Says I Love You” in the Marx Brothers’ fourth film, Horse Feathers. Their fifth film was called Duck Soup. 
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Though scholarly, this entry fails to mention that ducks are just intrinsically funny, and that’s why. Wikipedia also notes that the article contains original research. I also have my doubts about the construction of “Marxes’.”
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Q. You’re stranded on a desert island with your children. There is no food. Who do you eat first?

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A. Anyone without a summer job.
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Q. When you see FB requests for prayer, what sort of prayer do you offer up? I usually say a Hail Mary, but that’s if I stop scrolling…
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A. A Hail Mary if it’s a “stop everything and ask for a miracle for this person you know well.” Otherwise, probably a “Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy” or “Jesus, so-and-so needs your help right now,” plus a mental note that this person is officially included in my evening intentions, whether I remember it then or not. I’m lazy, but I work with my laziness, rather than thinking I should be less lazy and then not doing anything at all.
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Q. Re: the yogurt marinated chicken with chickpeas recipe. Did the chickpeas actually get crunchy when I cooked it? There was so much chicken drippings that most of the chickpeas were soft and oily and none of them got crunchy.
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A. Occasionally they do, and I don’t know what kind of garbanzo voodoo that is. Usually I serve chicken and softer chickpeas to whoever’s hungriest, and then put the rest of the chickpeas back in the oven for 7-8 minutes to crisp up. We don’t even all fit in the dining room at once, so we have sort of a rolling dinnertime most nights.
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Q. Three men in a cafe order a meal the total cost of which is $15. They each contribute $5. The waiter takes the money to the chef who recognizes the three as friends and asks the waiter to return $5 to the men.

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The waiter is not only poor at mathematics but dishonest and instead of going to the trouble of splitting the $5 between the three he simply gives them $1 each and pockets the remaining $2 for himself.

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Now, each of the men effectively paid $4, the total paid is therefore $12. Add the $2 in the waiters pocket and this comes to $14.

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Where has the other $1 gone from the original $15?

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A. Well, friend-o, my SAT scores were as lopsided at a nursing mother whose baby doesn’t like the left side of the bed. I can divide grams of carbs by the current dinner ratio, and then I hit a wall. Luckily, I don’t care.
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Q. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
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Q. Where do you bury your Soros money?
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A. Directly under my altar to Bamophette, goddess of toxic feminism. Around it I keep a little mandrake root garden, which I water with the blood of gentiles once a year on Chuck Norris’ birthday. I got the idea on Pinterest.
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Q. Can blondes wear yellow?
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A. This is what my kids call “physically illegal.” They say this because (a) they don’t know what words mean and (b) they are trying to be annoying, so don’t listen to them. If it makes you feel awesome, then wear it, as long as your ass cheeks aren’t hanging out. That’s just stupid.
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Q. I have three kids. My mental health is taxed out anyway, and parenting as you know is hard. I’m remaining open to life out of obedience to church teaching, not a sense of love or internal belief. How do you remain open to life in such a real way, and what’s your advice for folks like me?
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A. Parenting is hard. I would say that doing something out of obedience is very much like doing it out of love. At any rate, you’re sure not going to get any closer to loving the Lord if you start out with disobedience; so you’re on the right track.
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As far as being open to life: As long as you’re not using artificial contraception, pursuing abortion, or abusing your spouse, your marriage is open to life. Being open to life doesn’t mean “hoping and praying to have more and more and more babies.” It means being honest about what sex is, acting accordingly, and making your choices according to the true needs of the people in your family. Very often, that looks like having three lovely, exhausting children.
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Q. What is the average air speed velocity of swallow laden with a coconut? (Both African and European)
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A. Same number as the odds I’ll ever do an AMA and not get this question.
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Q. What would you do for a klondike bar?
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A. I would buy two packs of them if they’re on sale, but my involvement ends there, as chocolate is a migraine trigger.
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Q. What are your favourite desserts?
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A. Make it with lemon or lime and I’m all over it.
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Q. What was the best online criticism of your work that you ever read? Not something crazy or mean but something that caused you to think “That person has a point. I will adjust accordingly.”
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A. I gave this question its own whole essay! Stay tuned.
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Q. Do you agree with Pope Saint John Paul II calling abortion a holocaust?
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A. I don’t feel strongly about it either way, and I have little patience for proxy arguments, which I think this one usually is. Many of those who object to the word “holocaust” are really objecting to the idea of being unequivocally pro-life; and many who defend the use of the word “holocaust” are not so much pro-life as they are anti-pro-choicers.
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Q. How do you get an almost-one-year-old to let you brush his brand new teeth, that took eleven months to cut?
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A. As a bad mother, I don’t bother. These things do get easier once you have a good supply of older kids for the younger ones to imitate.
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Q. Do you think we will eventually colonize Antarctica?
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A. It never occurred to me to wonder. I did recently find out that “arktos” means “bear” in Greek, and that’s where Antarctica got its name: by not having bears. I follow this same policy.
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Q. Scotch, Bourbon or Irish?
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A. I’m just not a big fan of yellow booze. If pressed, I’d have to choose bourbon, but never again will I drink bourbon out of a plastic Arizona Diamondbacks cup. Brr.
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Q. How do you convince/teach an 8, a 6, and a 4 y/o to not terrorize each other?
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A. You could try making the aggressive kid be the victim’s slave for half an hour, which redirects their energy. But really the only way to attack this problem is to address it consistently every single time it happens, no matter what else is going on, until the rotten kid gets the message; and once you start making headway, you should expect relapses.

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Q. Also, how do you teach an extremely curious 8 y/o with low impulse control to stop breaking everything?

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A. Sorry, I have no idea. Maybe start helping him to notice when he’s getting that “must mess with stuff” feeling, so he can do a self-intervention, and instead choose a pre-planned alternate activity, like popping bubble wrap or something? That sounds kind of lame. But I’m a big believer in teaching kids to be aware of what they’re doing and to get in the habit of making choices, rather than just giving them consequences afterward. It’s a lot of work, though.
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Q. Will you please pray for my children?
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A. Of course.
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Q. Any suggestions on how to help shy children actually play with kids other than their siblings? We’re starting regular playdates, but is there anything else I can do to help her?
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A. It’s not so terrible to be shy. If it’s making the kid unhappy, it’s okay to help him practice lines to say, like, “My name is Charlie! What’s your name?” or “That looks like a fun game. Can I play with you guys?” but if the child is happy on his own, and is not being rude to other kids, I say let him be.
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Q. Summer ideas that don’t require mom’s participation for the “I’m bored” crowd. Also, my kids…read too much. There. I said it. It’s still a form of passive entertainment & I want them to have a broader experience of summer that doesn’t require me to be an activities director.
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A. I cannot acknowledge this as a real problem. Reading is not passive entertainment, unless it’s a truly crappy, worthless book. It engages and nourishes the mind. Just think of the difference between being interrupted at scrolling through Facebook, and being interrupted while reading. It’s a totally different sensation, the difference between working in the sun and lying under a sunlamp. Unless their bodies are becoming unhealthy from too much sitting, let the kids read!
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Q. How the heck do you live with a three year old, without constantly giving in to tantrums, or making the kid basically live in his room?!? Asking for a friend.
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A. Four is better. That’s all I got.
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Q. Does Soros still pay by paper check or does he do direct deposit yet?
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A. He used to issue checks made from human skin, but then hipsters made that kind of passé, so now he transmits digital funds directly into the pleasure center of my brain, which gives me the confidence to demand credit, which I won’t have to pay back because I’m also working on hastening the apocalypse. He also sometimes sends JiffyLube coupons.
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Q. When my cat used to lick my arm, was she grooming me, or tasting me?
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A. Almost certainly not grooming. When my oldest was about three, she noted that she tasted like sour cream and onion. I always meant to mention this to the pediatrician.
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Q. Every time I bake a whole chicken or turkey, even though the bird tests done, when I lift it out of the pan, this gross, bloody-looking liquid drains out of the cavity. That can’t be right. What am I doing wrong?
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A. I have solved this problem by resolving never again to cook a whole chicken. It’s one of the most thankless tasks known to mankind, and I’m calling bullshit on the whole thing. That being said, you can probably just tip that sucker out, put it back in the oven for eight minutes, and when the smoke alarm goes off, tell your family that you did your best and you’re going to go lie down now, and you don’t want to hear anything about who gets the effing drumsticks.
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Q. Did you ever have issues being confident in your parenting choices? If so, how did you deal with it?

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A. Confidence has less to do with knowing you’re doing the right thing, and more to do with accepting that of course you’re sometimes doing the wrong thing, but you’re doing the right thing often enough that it’s okay; and plus you’re smart enough to change if it becomes really obvious that your current plan is a bloody disaster. Anyway, I’m drinking more.
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Q. How to earn a living from blogging about religion and philosophy.
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A. Expect to work for free for a long time, build up a loyal audience by being honest and interesting, and then put ads on your site.
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Q. Do you ever feel like you’re faking this whole adulthood thing?
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A. I’ve only met a few people who don’t feel that way, and they’re generally about to get sued for horrible behavior, and they’re the only ones who don’t know why.
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Q. What should I ask you?
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A. Reminds me of this:

 

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Q. If you could have any guest on the podcast, who would you get?
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A. My mother. I tried to interview her several years ago, and she felt her mind was already too far gone, so she backed out. She would have been good, though. Interested in just about everything. Except cooking.
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Q. why is it so so SO hot here in Eastern Ontario today .. like I know I shouldn’t complain, but I’m overweight and I have knockers so sweat is a real and uncomfortable reality.
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A. Nobody knows why anything is the way it is in Ontario, but if they sell Gold Bond Powder and Body Glide in Canada, I’d start there.
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Q. What are your favorite cocktails other than gin and tonics?
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A. If forced to branch out, I could go for a margarita (just a regular margarita-flavored one; no chocolate or watermelon nonsense) or a Long Island iced tea, even though I don’t like iced tea. It’s a puzzler. Dark and Stormies are also very fine for summer parties. I was into mojitos for a while, somewhat after everyone else was into mojitos, but then I got tired of them, just like everyone else. Here’s a bit more.
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Q. Should I get a cat?
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A. No.
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A. Who killed JFK?

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A. The cat. Actually he just bit JFK a couple of times, then stunned him, then bit him again, then lost track of him, then fell asleep on top of him, and then let America find him on the bath mat in the morning, with bare feet.