by Trixie Kitsch on March 5, 2012

I have been an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a successful manufacturing company for 40 years. I have been retired for the last three months. In the last three months, 28 people have asked me, “Now that you’re retired, what have you been doing”? What do I reply to those polite, well meaning people who seem to expect to be regaled with exciting tales of my “new life”? I have never had more than a modest social life and have never been interested in playing golf or travelling. How can I get people to quit asking me this ridiculous question?
—Lois Nininger-Parsnips

Dear Lois:
People ask because they are interested in your life. It is quite irritating. If they were real friends they’d know what you’ve been doing because you’d call and tell them.

You could tell wild tales of lusty adventures with teenage grocery clerks and stun them into silence. Or you could describe your actual day in all it’s boring glory (speak in a monotone—like a robot). “I got up. I brushed my teeth at 9:32 AM. My gums were tender. I decided to buy a softer bristled toothbrush. I went to the kitchen at 9:35 and made toast. I used the second to the last piece of Brownberry bread. I decide to make eggs at 9:37. From 9:37 until 9:38 I thought poached eggs would be nice. But scrambled eggs are easier, so I changed my mind. After breakfast I sat down to read. I chose A Tale Of Two Cities. It was the best of times, it was the worst times.”

You’re retired now, Lois. You don’t have to be nice to anybody ever again.

* * * *

Dear Trixie:
Thanks in part to your column, I have been doing many things wrong in raising my children. Will I be able to undo the damage?
—Mary Monks on Maiden Lane

Dear Mary Monks on Maiden Lane:

* * * *

My girlfriend just broke up with me. I’d rather kill her than have her reject me. What do you think?
—Desperate and Possibly Dangerous

Dear Desperate and Dangerous:
I think it’s better to be wanted for murder than to not be wanted at all. (Marty Winch)

* * * *

I have recently been turned onto the show “People’s Court.” I enjoy it very much except for some of the odd phrases the litigants often use. They say things like: “he can corobbalate my story” or “he deliberally broke my glasses.” Hearing people treat the English language in this manner is the intellectual equivalent of being poked in the eye with a stick. It is only on reality court shows I hear such language. Why is that?
—Betty Jo Skolaris

Dear Betty Jo:
Studies have shown there is a direct link between stupid people with grammar, diction and syntax problems and the those who feel the need to have their cases settled on—The People’s Court.

* * * *

There is a restaurant here in Dubuque which serves the most delicious food! I crave their Florentine Chicken and Rosemary Red Potatoes in Garlic Sauce. The problem is the decor. The plates are atrocious in a faux Italian-design, and the flatware is cheap. I find the dining experience is being compromised by their hideous
dinnerware. Also the Maître d’ wears brown socks and too much cologne. What can I do?
—A Discriminating Gourmand

Dear Gourmand:
I’m sure they won’t mind if you bring a picnic hamper with your good Haviland china, sterling silver serving pieces and Porthault linens. Perhaps you could corral it all in a shopping cart.

* * * *

Trixie Kitsch is the nom de plume for Lisa Agnes Hammer. She was born in 1961 in Dubuque, Iowa, and studied fiction writing and fine art at The University of Iowa. Her writings have been published in “The L. A. Weekly,” “The Icon” and “Julien’s Journal.” Her first book, “Dear Trixie: Bad Advice for the Stupid,” was published in May of 2011 by Gasogene Press.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Idstrom March 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I have never seen Peoples Court, but supposebly its a good show.


Dashill Andale March 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm

dear trixie-
i haven’t had a ‘real job’ for about seven years. the only reason people ask what i do with myself all day is to con me into doing something for them that they don’t want to do. or are too stupid to do. i tell them i’m way too busy to help because i run a high end opium den that usually slows them down a little. they always think i’m kidding. funny.

i think from now on, i’ll just have them write to you.


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