Sedaratives: Sarah Thyre

Sedaratives: Sarah Thyre

Sarah Thyre
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Dear Sedaratives,

After a lifetime of hating everything about cats, I need to learn to love cats fast. Please help!

Name Withheld
Hartford, Conn.

Dear Name Withheld,

Look, I’m no expert. I’m just going by what I’ve seen on TV, but it seems that the first step toward loving cats is keeping stacks of old newspapers around your house. Stop throwing out the garbage, especially those Styrofoam meat trays. When food in the fridge goes bad, let it. Open the fridge door to hasten rot. Pretty soon, as far as I can tell from programs on TV, your house will be magically overrun with cats. You’ll start to speak a private language that only you and the cats can understand. You’ll adore them all and won’t be able to part with a single one, even when they die.



Dear Sedaratives,

Whenever somebody asks my roommate about his political or religious affiliation, he calls himself a humanist. That sounds like a cop-out to me. What do you think?

Thomas A. Levey
Bismarck, N.Dak.

Dear Thomas,

Actually, I think your friend’s on the right track. When someone calls himself a “humanist,” it is a convenient way to let the rest of us know he is to be avoided like the plague. “Humanists” tend to wax prolific on snoozy topics like drum circles, cruelty-free mousetraps, Khalil Gibran, naked spelunking, lomi-lomi massage, kale, and who taught them how to build a fire. Conversely, by calling himself a humanist, your friend is sending a much-needed signal to insomniacs that he is available for boring them back to sleep. He sounds like a true humanist, indeed. I will pray for him.



Dear Sedaratives,

I’ve heard that women always look at a guy’s shoes first. Is that true? And if it is, what kind of shoes do chicks prefer?

Allen Whiting
Louisville, Ky.

Dear Allen,

Actually, chicks look at a man’s earlobes first, to see how big they already are, and mentally calculate how much larger they will get with age. Have you ever looked at an old man’s earlobes? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more horrifying presage of your own imminent decline and death. Chicks don’t like to be reminded of such things. Chicks’re funny like that. Remember: you can’t spell chick without ick.

Back to your big, doughy earlobes. On first dates, tape them up a bit. Then, as your chick falls more deeply in love with you, gradually let them down. Funnily enough, this is what chicks do with the hems of their skirts to catch a man. They start off in miniskirts and by the time you’re walking down the aisle—bang—floor-length gown. Chicks are wily like that.

Oh, Allen. I feel like I know you. Did we date? Don’t worry, I’m sure the tape method will work with your lumpy, gigantic, pulsating earlobes.


P.S. Chicks love shoes that look like baked potatoes, or any other carb.


Dear Sedaratives,

Everybody in my family keeps asking me about my biological clock. It’s obnoxious, and, quite honestly, when or if I ever have kids is none of their damn business. How do I politely tell them to shut up? Actually, no, I take that back. What’s the best way to humiliate them publicly and make sure they never bring up clocks in relation to my womb again?

Trenton, N.J.

Dear H.K.,

What a drag! This is a common and annoying problem for barren women such as yourself. Take it from me, sister! I would know, because I know a lot of childless hags, or, as I call them, the Miracle-Free. According to scientific data, your natural tendency should be to rescue a dog every time someone brings up your failure to reproduce. Remember: the more dogs you rescue, the more poop you have to touch through plastic bags. It’s warm, the poop. It maketh the skin crawleth.

The very best way to humiliate these “Bio-Clockers” is to tell them you are incapable of having children. Tell them, loudly and in public, in a high, pinched voice, “THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR REMINDING ME I WILL NEVER ACHIEVE TRUE FEMALE FULFILLMENT.” Chances are you’ll only have to tell one person, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on… et voilà! No one will ever pester you again with such impudent questions, and you’ll be free to die alone.



Dear Sedaratives,

I don’t want to go into specifics, but my husband got a little overenthusiastic with the home gardening, and now we’ve got a kitchen full of pawpaws. I have no fucking idea what to do with them. My children won’t touch them, and I tried (to no avail) to make a pawpaw pie. Any other ideas?

Vicki Sullivan
Santa Fe, N.Mex.

Dear Vicki,

Why don’t you want to “go into specifics”? I feel as though I cannot answer this question properly and helpfully without them. When it comes to pawpaws, the specifics are paramount. Where is your pawpaw patch? How far yonder? Were you pickin’ up pawpaws, and did you put ’em in your pockets, or into a basket or some other reusable container?

Based on the rage-laced generalities in your letter, I can offer one bit of good news. “The shelf life of the ripe pawpaw is almost nonexistent; it ripens to the point of fermentation soon after it is picked.” Vicki, your path is clear: strip down to your bra and panties, lie down on the cool linoleum of your kitchen floor, and crack them pawpaws into your open mouth like a boxer-in-training downing raw eggs. Soon your agriculturally OCD husband and ungrateful, spoiled offspring will be a mere blur as you float away to pawpaw paradise.



Dear Sedaratives,

I just had a son, and for some reason my mom’s husband (to whom she’s been married for exactly six months) wants to sing “Morning Has Broken” to my baby while playing the organ. That creeps me out, but it seems really important to him. What should I do?

Oakland, Calif.

Dear Nora,

If this is your mom’s second husband, I’m assuming he is of no blood relation to you or your baby, so technically it isn’t creepy at all. He sounds like a wonderful babysitter, darling. Leave the little tot with Step-Grandpa. Go out and get a mani-pedi or something. You’ve got time. “Morning Has Broken” has something like twelve verses set to a snail’s tempo. When I was little and the choir sang it in church, I had enough time to slip out the side door, run to the corner store for a pack of smokes, play a round of Red Rover, make out a little with Drew Fandal and/or Billy Powers, and then slip back into my pew before the old biddies in the front row stopped droning. If Step-Grandpa starts to sing “Moonshadow,” however, call the cops. Or better yet: an exorcist. That’s the devil’s anthem.



Dear Sedaratives,

What’s worse for you, coffee or alcohol? And what about the “everything in moderation” rule? That’s horseshit, right? Two beers, six beers—you’re still drinking beer.

Ms. Cohen
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Ms. Cohen,

Well, I declare! With that attitude, good luck filling your dance card at the fall cotillion! Just kidding. I can tell by your use of the trucker term horseshit that you’re no stranger to coffee, beer, chewin’ tobacky, Doan’s pills, or the occasional ground-up-and-snorted white cross to get you through a long overnight haul. You jokester, you. The only thing missing from your letter is “asking for a friend.”


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