- Chris Hyatte

In lieu of an official introduction and because I badly need the practice, I shall open this column by telling you a story: 

Muffin The Demon Dog 

Somewhere suburban in the wee hours, young Ashley woke up from a fitful dream that involved a pony named Halo that kept taking her command to stop as a cue to go faster.  This was not necessarily a nightmare. 

Blear-eyed and thirsty, she crawled out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom.  Down the hall, her father snored.  It was a comforting sound, one that she has heard since forever (which would be six years and counting for Ashley - a bona-fide eternity for any child).  Well-practiced at these late night water runs, Ashley shuffled to the bathroom in full darkness with her eyes half-closed.  This was a routine with her; these mid-night water breaks (with the occasional tinkle thrown in for good measure).  She enjoyed them; she liked the world when it was asleep, it made her feel more alive.  

She wouldn’t even need to turn on the lights.  Most children were afraid of the darkness, but not Ashley.  As far as she knew, she wasn’t afraid of anything.  Later in life she would recognize this as a perk of being raised by two thoughtful, loving parents who loved each other as much as her – but for the moment, such introspection was beyond her range, and her attention span. 

In the bathroom and with cool tile under her feet, she filled her cup – turning the cold water tap to just over a drip so as to not disturb her parents (neither of whom knew about these almost-nightly excursions for surely they would ruin it by leaving a full cup of water on her bed-stand before lights out) - mid-way and drank slowly but with purpose.  She was eager to get back to Halo and see where he wanted to take her.  

It was only after she gently placed her cup back in its holder when she looked into the mirror and saw a man she didn’t know looking back at her. 

“Hello,” said the man in her mirror. 

Ashley was now fully awake and shocked.  She jumped back until she was against the glass shower door.  The feeling of rippled glass against her backside relieved her somewhat, for it informed her that this stranger wasn’t behind her.  He was actually inside the mirror.  

What was also of some comfort to her was that the man in the mirror looked as surprised as she felt.  

“You can see me?” he asked.  “I’ve been saying hello to people like this without a response for so long I didn’t think anyone could see me anymore.” 

The man spoke in a funny accent, as if he was making a point of pronouncing every letter.  He was dressed in a suit and tie.  He has brown hair and blue eyes and was clean-.  Ashley could see all of this - even with the lights out.  He seemed to be glowing. 

“Why are you in my mirror?”  Ashley said. She was no longer nervous.  She didn’t think he could go through the glass and if he could, he wouldn’t be able to reach all away to the shower door, and even if he could she knew how to run.  Ashley was a remarkable girl in this respect. 

“I’m sorry to trouble you, my dear,” said the man.  “I am just taking a rest before heading back out.  Please don’t give me a moment’s worth of thought.  I’ll be gone before the sun returns.” 

Ashley studied the man for a moment.  It was her nature to ask questions and she obviously had a hundred more.  She could still hear her daddy snoring, which meant she was one good scream away from bringing him into this situation if the man did try to reach for her.  “How can you be in my mirror?  Who are you?  What is your name?  Why do you talk funny?” 

The man blinked, then smiled.  “Goodness love, you aren’t afraid?”  He reached up with his hand and tapped the mirror.  “As well you shouldn’t be; for if I try to go through this wall it would surely shatter into a jumble of pieces and I would be whisked away forever.  Even if you did fret, you need not.  You can not touch me anymore than I can touch you.”  He put the tip of his finger against the glass.  “Come and see for yourself, if you like.” 

Ashley didn’t.  She felt safer where she was.  Inquisitive as she may be, she still knew the rule about strangers - especially the ones she found in her mirrors.  

The man put his finger down.  “I understand, love,” he said.  “Now, what was your question?” 

“How can you be in my mirror?  Who are you?  What is your name?  Why do you talk funny?”  She repeated. 

“I’m not.  I’m a demon.  I have none.  Why do you talk funny?” 

“I don’t talk funny, you do.”  Of all the answers, that was the one she zeroed in on; no matter how inquisitive you are, a six-year old is still a six-year old. 

“I suppose I do, at that,” the man agreed.  “It’s been so long since I conversed with anyone.”  He stopped and looked at Ashley with a smile.  “You speak perfectly, lass.  I must sound like a fool.  My apologies.” 

“What is your name?”  She didn’t recall getting an answer to that one. 

“I don’t have one, little one,” he said.  “What is yours?” 


“Splendid.  It is a true delight to speak with you, young Ashley.” 

“Why don’t you have a name?”  She asked. 

“I am a demon.  We don’t get to have names.” 

“Why not?” 

“He doesn’t allow it.  We are his dogs.” 


The man in the mirror clucked his tongue.  “No, no dear Ashley.  We shouldn’t mention his name aloud.  That is the sort of attention we do not want to raise.” 

Ashley seemed to consider the weight of this statement.  Finally, she said, “You don’t look like a dog.” 

“I am a dog after a fashion, young miss,” he said.  “Demons are dogs from hell.  Utterly different from the bow wow shaggy kind that lick themselves and nuzzle your footsies with their cold noses.” 

If Ashley’s upbringing had one fault so far, (and some might question just how faulty this is), it was the absence of church in her life.  Although technically Catholic, Ashley’s parents - and thus Ashley herself – chose to sleep in on Sunday mornings.  Her frame of reference towards Hell, as it stood, was reduced to its simplest terms. 

“You are a dog of hell?” 

“I’m afraid so.” 

“But isn’t hell where bad guys go when they die?” 

“It’s a bit more complicated, but yes.” 

“And good people go to heaven?  To be with God?” 

“More or less, yes.” 

“Why is it more or less?” 

“It’s mostly politics, but pure hearts are a shoo-in.” 

“What kind of politics?  Daddy says all politics is about is scum and payoffs.” 

The man snorted and smirked.  “You’re father has no idea how bloody spot-on he is.” 

Ashley recognized the gesture.  “Why did you do that?” 

“Just because.” 

“My daddy does that every time mommy sez she’s going out into our garden.” 

“He does?” 

“Yeah, then he tells people that the only thing growing out there is…” she looked around with deliberation, then leaned forward a bit and whispered, “her ass.” 

The man smiled.  “You are a very special girl, you know that?” 

Ashley shook her head.  

“Well you are,” the man said. 

“Why did you have to go to hell?  Were you bad when you died?”  

“I can’t remember, love.” 

“Why not?” 

“Demon Dogs from hell such as myself aren’t allowed to remember anything.” 

“Why not?” 

“We just aren’t,” the man said.  “All I remember is asking someone for a favor once and I ended up signing something and suddenly here I am, a demon dog from hell.” 

Ashley stared at the man.  To her, this whole conversation had taken a storybook quality.  She was thinking of a good question to turn the page with. 

The man turned it for her.  “If it helps, I’m afraid I am not a very good Demon.” 

“You’re not?” 


“Why not?”  

 “Well, if I actually possessed a heart, it would be safe to say that it wasn’t into the job.” 

“Why not?” 

The man stared at his interrogator, trying to decide whether she was simply patronizing him.  “You are a strange one, Ashley.  Has anyone ever told you that?” 

“Why am I strange?” 

“Most people would be terrified when confronting a demon dog from hell - especially children.” 

Ashley cocked her head.  All of her fear was gone, despite what she was learning about her visitor with the strange accent that she would later identify as British.  “I told you, you don’t look like a dog, and even if you did, I like dogs.” 

“Which is why I am a bloody disgrace in my job,” the man said.  

“What do demon dogs from hell do?”  Ashley asked. 

“We try to get grown-ups to do bad things.” 


“Because we are demon dogs from hell and that’s what our master wants.” 

“Who is your master?”  Ashley honestly did not know. 

“Oh no, we mustn’t invoke his name,” the man said.  “In fact, I think it would be wise if I left.” 

“Why can’t you invoke his name?”  Ashley had no idea what the word “invoke” meant, but it sounded like a very big-girl word to use. 

“Because he’ll hear and look in on us.” 

“So what?”  Ashley said.  “You aren’t allowed to talk to me?” 

“I… it’s… the thing of it is… err…oh bollocks,” the man stammered, officially flustered by a six-year old. 

Ashley giggled. 

“You’re funny.” 

“And you are a delightful lass,” the man said, “but I must go before I get you in trouble.” 

It was then when Ashley thought she smelled something.  She wrinkled her nose.  The man watched her and sniffed deeply.    

“Oh dear.” 

“Do you smell that too?”  Ashley said.  

“Oh bollocks,” the man said.  “What do you smell, Ashley?” 

Ashley inhaled with concentration.  The odor was stronger.  “Like mommy is burning waffles again.”  She knew this couldn’t be possible.  There was no way her mother could have gotten down to the kitchen without passing the bathroom and spotting her child speaking with a demon dog from hell in the mirror. 

“Oh piss,” the man said.  “He’s looking this way.  If he comes…” he stopped and started to bite his fingernails.  Ashley noticed how long they were.  

“You should trim those nails,” she said, having picked-up on none of the danger that the man was clearly sensing.  “Mommy cuts mine once a week.”  She raised her fingers to show off her neat nails, painted in lavender with tiny sparkles.  “See.” 

“Yes, yes, lovely, lovely,” the man said.  He was skittishly looking around.  “I have to go now, my child.” 


“Because if he catches me, we are both in trouble.”  Sweat ran down his forehead. 

“Who?  Daddy?”  Ashley could still hear her father snoring.  She knew from last Christmas that it took a lot more than quiet chatter and the (getting stronger by the minute, now that she thought of it) smell of burnt waffles to wake him up. 

“Hush child,” the man said.  “You have to run off to bed and get to sleep as fast as possible.  He will find us soon and if he sees just how special you are…” he paused, seeming to realize that telling Ashley just what might happen would surely keep her awake and fully open to examination.  “Just go.”

Ashley crossed her arms in defiance.  She was not through just yet.  “Why is it so stinky here?” 

“Oy,” the man groaned.  “Some bloody demon dog I am.  I can’t even scare a toddler back into bed!”  He nervously fiddled with his tie.  

“Why are you doing that with your tie?” 

“It’s a habit, back when there wasn’t ties, I use to tug at my ears.  Ezzretch always likes to mock me for it, the bastard.” 

“Who is Ezz Rich?” 

“Another demon,” the man said, then - realizing his mistake - he slapped his head.  “Oh stupid, stupid STUPID!!” 

“I thought demons didn’t have names?” 

“Some do, okay!”  The man looked behind him into the darkness (Ashley had failed to see that her mirror no longer reflected herself or anything in the bathroom anymore.  Understandably, she was too pre-occupied with what she did see to properly notice).  “He knows where I am.  He’ll be here any moment.”  The man swiveled back and looked at Ashley,  “Lass, I can’t allow you to meet him.  I’m a horrible demon.  The bloody worst ever, but I don’t care.  Do you know what angels are?” 

“Sure,” Ashley beamed, happy to recognize the subject.  “Daddy said he lost a bundle betting against them in the series!”  She wrinkled her nose again.  “Someone is burning a lot of waffles.”  She glanced at her parent’s closed bedroom.  She didn’t think even her father could sleep through this stench anymore.  

“No, not those wanks,” the man shouted.  “Angels!  From Heaven!”  

The room had gotten noticeably colder.  

“Blast,” the man hissed.  “He’s here.” 


“My master.  I have to scoot, love.  You’re on your own, I’m afraid.  Try not to be afraid.  He can’t…” 

Both Ashley and the man both heard it, a low, roar that came from nowhere and everywhere at once.  Ashley’s ears felt hot even as the room was now cold enough to make her shiver. 

And she watched the man in the mirror fold himself inside out, collapsing himself into a tiny ball before vanishing.  The room filled with darkness. 

And he came. 

Ashley felt him pass through and in her.  It felt like someone was breathing, hot and disgusting, through her skin and on her bones.  She felt hands touch and not touch her face, caressing her without the true sensation of skin on skin.  These invisible hands moved down her body.  About a year ago, when she was just a baby, she went to Bermuda with her parents and they all went snorkeling.  Although she stayed in the boat with Aunt Sheryl for most of the time, she still got to wade in the ocean with her little wetsuit, her little goggles, and a little snorkel in her mouth.  She liked the ocean, but she especially liked how the wet suit let her feel the water without getting her all wet.  This reminded her of the wet suit.  Someone was trying very hard to touch her, she could feel his hands, but she had on an invisible wetsuit that kept her dry. 

There was a pair of fireballs in the mirror now.  Orange fire that surrounded two tiny, angry red dots.  They studied her.  

Ashley’s mouth went dry.  She started to feel sick.  Like she just ate Chinese food and birthday cake at once.  She wanted to throw up. 

With something that isn’t exactly courage, Ashley looked at the fireballs and said, “Why don’t you let your demon dogs have names?” 

That sense she had of being in the water with a wetsuit intensified.  She felt huge waves wash over her, trying to probe her deeply, trying to drown her.  The smell of burnt waffles was unbearable.  She heard a loud buzzing sound in her ears.  She was about to scream for her parents (not that a big girl like Ashley was scared, mind you, she just knew when it was time to call in the Calvary) when a sudden feeling of calm overtook her.  She looked the fireballs right in their dual centers for a moment, then opened her mouth and said something. 

The fireballs looked back.  She heard a scream, one of outrage.  She closed her eyes and waited. 

And then it was over.  She opened her eyes and everything was back to normal.  The burnt waffles, the fireballs, the non-hands crawling over her, the cold, the heat on her ears.  All gone.  Ashley walked forward and filled her cup with more water.  She was very thirsty.  The water tasted cold and clean and great. 

She was about to leave when the man appeared in the mirror again.  “Hello, Ashley.  Are you okay?” 

She didn’t jump back this time.  “Where did you go?” 

The man adjusted his tie.  “Oh, just ducked behind a corner and hid under some corpses buried in an Himalayan avalanche some time back.”  He tipped her a wink; “It’s the old pretend to run fast then stop and hide so he runs right by you trick.  He’ll be halfway to bloody Valhalla before he comes back.” 

“Who is Val Halla?”  The only Val she knew was Kilmer from the movies. 

“Nevermind, love,” the man said.  “What happened?  Why aren’t you in a coma or at least having seizures?” 

Ashley told him what happened.  The whole incident didn’t last as long as the time she took to tell it, but the man listened patiently and smiled at the right times.  He especially enjoyed the wetsuit analogy. 

“Why weren’t you scared?” he asked. 

Ashley shrugged.  “Because I’m a good girl and like you said, good people go to heaven.  If I was a bad girl who did mean things, I would have worried, but I don’t do mean things.” 

The man nodded, more to himself than to her, as if he just figured something out. 

Just as she was going to tell him what she told Mr. Touchy-Feely (her name for him, rightly assuming that the not-mentioning-his-real-name rule still applied) to send him off, the man in the mirror cut her off, “No, no, no, don’t say it or I’ll be sent away too.” 


“It’s a long story, young one; essentially, you had someone watching you.” 

“I know, he was really gross.” 

“No, no.  Well, yes, he is really a gross bloke, but I mean you had someone else watching you.  Probably Serenity; that chap excels at soothing young souls.”  He sniffed the air about him.  “Aye, Serenity was here a’ight.  Bloody barstard.” 

“Who is Serenity?” 

“A arrogant wanker, to be sure,” the man groused.  “But one of His special mates.  That boy has some power, girl.  You are blessed to have him.” 

Ashley didn’t need to ask who “Him” was.  Something in her recognized the difference in the man’s tone when talking about him and talking about “Him”.  

“Anyway,” the man said.  “It seems that you are due for some very special things, m’dear.  It would be daft of me to think that He wasn’t keeping a special eye on you.” 

Ashley didn’t know what to say.  She was suddenly very tired.  She yawned. 

The demon dog from hell smiled at her and said, “Well, I’m off.  Maybe I’ll corral some sharks into Los Angeles waters and pinch their snouts with the scent of blood.  Some Pacific carnage might ease the Boss off my arse right and proper.” 

“Why would you want to do that?”  Ashley asked.  

“Because I’m a demon dog from hell, love.  It comes with the territory.” 

“Can’t you quit?” 

The man stared at her for a while, as if it was a question he never considered before - although it was right there staring at him the whole time. 

“Well, can’t you?” 

“No, I can’t,” he answered with no conviction whatsoever. 

“Why not?” 

“I don’t know.  Just because.”  He fiddled with his tie again, then pulled at his ears.  Some habits die a lot harder than others. 

“How come angels and some demons get to have names and others don’t?” 

“All angels have names: names and wings and perfect teeth.  And do those bloody gits love to show all three off.  Cocky tossers.”  He sighed, “I must go, lass.  I think he shant be bugging you for some time.”  He tilted his head upwards and cocked it, as if he was listening to something faint.  “Yes, you have now become protected.  It’s a wonder they have allowed me to stay even for this long.” 

“Who are they?”  Now Ashley was just asking questions to watch him fidget.  He was a funny demon dog. 

 “You see soon enough.  Not for a long time, I should think.” 

“Will you come and visit me again?” 

“No, love.  But we will meet again.”  He was about to mention that he didn’t think they would be so friendly with each other next time, but chose not to.  Can I tell you a secret that you won’t understand today and won’t remember tomorrow?” 

Ashley nodded.   

The man leaned forward until his nose almost pressed against his side of the mirror. “Sometimes an angel lose a fight and are scattered into a million pieces all across time.  Bits of them end up in the eggs of women today, a billion years ago, and everywhere in between.  It’s a bloody migraine trying to piece them all together again and takes those feathered sods bloody infinity to sort it out proper.” 

Ashley nodded.  She didn’t understand but wasn’t about to let him know that. 

“Long time ago, one of the toughest angels He had walked into a big ambush just east of downtown Eden.  He only managed to kick out one jowl before we tore him apart and spread him across mortal existence.”  He rubbed his own jowl thoughtfully, “Still hurts when I chew, winged tripe.” 

“Why do you fight?”  Ashley asked.  It was the best her tired mind could come up with. 

“Long story and none of my business,” he answered.  “Anywhoo, it wouldn’t surprise me if those clods finally arranged all his little bits and pieces to come back together into one.”  He smiled at Ashley.  “No, after tonight, this wouldn’t shock me one bit.” 

“What was this angel’s name?” 

The man in the mirror told her. 

Ashley yawned again and the man took the cue.  “Must go, Ashley.  It has been an utter blast meeting you.” 

Ashley nodded.  “You need a name,” she said. 

“Sorry, love.  Not allowed.” 

“Why not?” 

“Demon dog, spawned from the unholy pits of hell’s arse.  Remember?” 

“But you’re a bad demon, you said so yourself.”  She put her hands to her hips, just as her mother does when she’s about to give an order.  “Muffin.  Your name should be Muffin.” 

“Muffin?  Why Muffin?” 

“I like Muffin,” she said.  “Goodbye Muffin.  Thank you.” 

Muffin the Demon Dog from Hell twiddled his tie nervously and then tugged at his ears.  “Bloody Muffin.  I kin already hear Ezzretch and Beetel’s laughter.” 

“I could think of another name, if you want.” 

Muffin sighed.  “No, it’s too late now.  Bloody Serenity already got the word out.  It appears, love, that we have an audience.  I must go before he hears the laughter and makes a U-turn.” 

“Goodbye Muffin, don’t do mean things to people.”  Ashley giggled. 

“I usually don’t, no matter how bloody hard I try,” Muffin said.  “Farewell, young Ashley.  Until we meet again.”  He tapped on the mirror twice and then folded himself inside out again, until he curled up into nothing.

And Ashley was alone again. 

She was riding Halo in her dream.  Halo was a giant horse that never once threatened to buckle her off.  Halo ran hard and fast and Ashley didn’t say stop once.  She wanted to go where he was taking her.  She had all the time in the world. 

They came across a fork in the road and Halo stopped.  Both splits were virtually identical except for the old woman that stood to the side of the left split with a wagon filled with gorgeous red apples.  On the right split, there was nothing but path. 

“Fill yer tummy with some goodness, dear?” the old woman said as she held up a fat one, bright and red.  “Free to fair maidens and gallant steeds!” 

Halo grunted loudly and took several steps back.  Ashley ran her hand along his back and whispered soothing re-assurances in his ear. 

“Come Ashley,” the old woman said.  “Who doesn’t have room for a sweet fruit?” 

Ashley was hungry, even in her dream she felt her stomach rumble.  She smiled and reached forward for the fruit. 

Then she pulled back before the old woman could put the apple in her hand.  Through no outside encouragement other than an innate sense that she should, she said to the old woman the same thing she told the thing with the fireballs for eyes: “God loves me.” 

The old woman dropped the apple and her smile.  Her face twisted into a snarl.  “You’re not bright enough to outwit me, starchild.  I sent you into scores of these insect eggs before and I shall do it again.  Make no mistake.” 

“Muffin is more of a warrior than you’ll ever be, poopyface,” Ashley told the old hag, hardly believing the words coming out of her mouth.  “And Atheshla is rising again to make you suffer.” 

The old beast kicked her apple wagon on its side.  Red, delicious balls scattered and bounced across the path and into the dark greenery.  “That dog will be taught lessons you couldn’t imagine, foolish thing.”  She narrowed her black eyes at Ashley, “And so shall you.” 

“We’ll see, won’t we, dumbo.”  Ashley laughed.  She kicked at Halo’s sides and directed him down the right split.  The Old Beast cursed and spit and yelled at her, but she didn’t look back.  She never looked back.  Even after she forgot all about that one evening right up until she died an old, happy woman and Muffin was waiting for her at the end of the tunnel, she never looked back. 

Ashley always was more interested in what lied ahead, even in her dreams. 

The End 

Just over 4200 words, for those who care. 

And we still have some questions that need answering. 

Lucky monkeys, one day you’ll realize how damn good it is to have someone with the blazing talent of me around. 

We open with a question that I think everyone can relate to: the deal on long distance relationships.


I come seeking some relationship.  Recently I’m from Cincinnati, and recently I went to a convention in Indianapolis, and met a woman there.  We made small talk, hit off real well, and ended up hanging out for the rest of the convention.  We exchanged phone numbers and e-mails, and have talked on a semi-regular basis since.  WE get along well, have a lot of similar interest but not so many we are clones of each other.

I’d like to have a relationship with her but she’s from Washington DC so there is the problem.  I’m 24, have a good job, own my own home, so I do not see myself uprooting in near or distance future.  

She’s 20, living on her own and goes to college.  So I don’t see moving to Cincinnati, being anywhere near a priority for her either.  I’m just wondering is this something worth pursuing or should I just treat this as a long distance Internet friend.  I’m not one to meet a lot of women due to a combination of mediocre looks and lack of self confidence, and that’s why I’m trying to figure out if I should even attempt a long distance relationship, with the hope it becomes a close distance relationship in the future.  My chances for relationships have been few and far between, so I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity, but at the same time want to spare myself the heartache if it’s nothing more than an exercise in futility.  

Is this something I should try to build for in the future or should I move on, and try finding someone that isn’t on the other end of the Eastern Time Zone? 



First of all, what the hell is a 24-year-old little snot doing with his own house?  Jesus, wait ‘til 30 like the rest of us. 

But seriously.  Really, truly, do both.  Yes, you may have that cybercake and eat it too.  Yes sir.  You. 

Here is the cool thing: Keep the online thing going because the only thing she can do is stroke that low riding ego of yours.  Feeling down?  Talk to the Internet chick.  Girls look at you and puke on your shoes in disgust?  Talk to the Internet chick.  You climax already and the girl you’re on top of says, “Ready when you are, Chummly.”  Go talk to the Internet Girl.  That’s what she’s there for, to make you feel important and loved and desirable.  

Plus, if you hook up with some of that local thang, how will she know?  It’s not like she can wait in front of your house.  

So yes.  100% absotively keep the Net chick around.  She’ll help build your confidence, gibe you someone close that you can chat with all night long, give you someone to spill your deepest, darkest secrets to, AND there is always the chance that she just may fall so deeply in love with you that Cinci starts looking real good to her.  It’s happened before. 

And the best part… if you get sick of her, it’s so EASY to dump her and keep her dumped. 

By all means, keep her in your life.  There is absolutely no downside to this (unless she is clinically psychotic, then it’s your ass.) 

Early into these columns I said No Wrestling Questions, but this one is non-rasslin enough to make it in: 

You want questions Hyatte, I got your question.  I am a local Indy wrestler who wrestles in a tag team with a manager in Northern California.  I am relatively young, being 22, but have spent 5 years in the business.  My partner is 30 and has spent a little less time then me.  The problem is this, we are a good tag team and garner upper mid card status in our area, but I know we're not talented enough for more than that.  I suffered an injury that more or less is career questionable and he is old and is getting near retirement.  So what do I do?  Do I continue to wrestle with someone whom I know is going to end his career soon, or take the time off now, recoop from my injury, and hopefully come back at the beginning of the year and start a singles career?  I don't want to give up the business.  I won't be a star and will never get paid well for it, hence my college and sales career, but I still want to work.  Is it worth it?  Thanks in advance.

Please withold my name and email.

First of all, you should by all means recoop, or, as those hoity-toity snobs from Webster’s say: recoup.  If this is free labor on your part, then why go risk something serious for a business that won’t even spring for a Hospital visit?

Second of all, since when is 30 old enough to retire?  I mean, there are certain freaks of nature - like the owner of this website - who can afford to call it quits by 30, but a wrestler, especially one who’s been at it less than five years.  Why, a man is just beginning to understand shit by the time he hits 30.  He’s also at his strongest.  Why is he pussying out?  Tell him to stop acting like an old geezer.  He’s still young enough to hit on some 19 year-olds and not hear: “Dude, you are, like, my DAD’S age!” 

Third of all, you have a much better chance at recooping in a tag team situation then when flying solo.  Less time in the ring = more time to heal, et al. 

The biggest thing is, you aren’t getting paid for this and you know damn well that you never will make this a real “living”.  Good for you to show a little common sense.   

Stick with the… heh… old man until he calls it quits and maybe, the promoter of this Indy fed will have the initiative to turn you flying solo into a real, honest-to-goodness push.  The whole, “Young stud on his own” gimmick is always good for a healthy shove or two.

Here’s someone who is looking at the big picture and doesn’t like what he sees: 

Chris Hyatte,

Reading your column, as well as a few other new things going on for me has caused me to think a bit about where my life is headed.  I'm 21 years old, and the geekiest guy most people have probably ever seen.  I don't want to end being thirty though, and still single.  I think I've realized too late that all the wresting tapes, anime DVDs, video games and junk food don't really match up to having a girlfriend, or even just having some direction in life.  I want to change my life around from being the loser I am to being somebody who has success in life.  Mainly, I just want a gf though, cause I never really had one before (at least I'm being honest).  Do you have any advice for me?  My friends tell me that I'm lacking in confidence, and that I'll meet some girl some day (I'm ugly and out of shape by the way).  But it's been my experience that self-confidence doesn’t grow on trees, and I don't meet girls in my day to day life.  Do you have any advice for a geek like me?  Any ideas on how i can meet people, how low i should set my standards?


Define ugly. 

You know, a lot of people base their looks on what they see on television.  Actors, actresses, models, and pop stars are all eyepoppingly gorgeous and regular dickheads watch them and think:  “I ain’t them, so I’m ugly.” 

Bun’cha bullshit.  You are not ugly.  The people on TV, with the exception of Dennis Franz and Jerry Orbach, are just insanely beautiful, and they have the plastic surgery/health spar bills to prove it. 

But let’s assume for the moment that you indeed are butt ugly.  What do you do then? 

You’re very best.  Just do your very best.  Shop at the right stores, buy the right clothes, discover contact lenses, discover the GYM, discover tanning booths and TAKE PRIDE IN YOURSELF!! 

Here’s the funny thing, you can be Grand Poobah of the 90th Level, All-Seeing Wizards Piss Their Pants In Your Presence, Dungeons & Dragons Master Player and, if you have pride in yourself, you’ll get girls.  Don’t ask me ho (well, do, ‘cause it’s my column and answering things is sort of the whole purpose here), but they can sense when you have pride in yourself, and they sort of like it. 

Fat guys rarely have pride in themselves.  Guys who dress like they’ve never shopped for anything outside of a sporting goods store in their life rarely have pride in themselves.  Guys who place a bowl around their heads and cut anything sticking out rarely have pride in themselves. 

So there you go.  That should get you started. 

Ah, and how low should you set your standards?  As low as you can possibly go without being repulsed. 

Easy enough. 

Mr. Hyatte,  

First let me say that I am, as yet, undecided as to whether I'm going to take time to write this in a coherent manner or just peck away at my keyboard until all my thoughts come out jumbled. 

We'll see.  

My question is this: Do you think I am an idealistic moron?  

Now, I know that you on first glance you'll probably say, "Why yes, Mr. Mimms, you are!" Please allow me to rant for a minute.  

Something is not right with the world.  No-brainer, huh? I want to change that. Not in an individual fashion, or even a group fashion, but as a total reworking of humanity.  

No single man can change the world.  It took Saul-Paul and hundreds of years to turn Jesus into the Christ.  But I feel that maybe I can start something that will only see its conclusion after you, I, and every other Internet reading yahoo has become fertilizer.  

I want to make the world a better place and I wish to do that by passively forcing a change in social biases amongst the masses.  In short, I want to subtly alter thought and belief systems of all Americans (at first) into one that actually has some sense of unity and respect for one another.  

I'm probably wasting your time.  I'm not going to go into the few details I have concerning how to achieve my goal, because I am still working them out.  

Feel free to lambaste me and call me a pompous, egotistical jerk.  Sometimes I feel like I am.  

But enough with the fucking self-pity.  

This took 2 minutes to type.  


Dear Mr. Mimms, 

I would never call anyone an idealistic moron after reading only 66 words before the moron in question goes ahead and assumes that I will. 

I would call you ideological for thinking that you have a plan to change the thinking of EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.  I hope, for your sake, you’ve accounted for those billions who do not speak English. 

I wouldn’t call you a moron because you refuse to speak in nothing but the vaguest possible terms.  Explain to me exactly how you plan on changing the world and THEN I’ll decide whether you are a moron or not. 

I WILL, however, call you a liar.  It took you MUCH longer than two minutes to write this e-mail. 

So no, you are not an ideological moron, but you are an ideological fibber.  Only because “liar” is too strong a word for situations like these. 

Oh, and some of the greatest people in history were ideological.  Some of the biggest idiots in history were too.  Which one are you? 


Here's my situation.  I was finishing up college in December when I got to know this girl I had a class with.  There was an attraction but since she was living with a guy at the time, I didn't bother to pursue it.  I graduated, came back to my hometown, which is about two hours away and got on with my life. 

Fast foward seven months when I go back to visit friends. We all go out to a bar and who do I see mixing drinks, but the girl from my class.  We chat for a while and she gives me a free beer or two and I tell her to come hang out at with me at my friend's house after work.  To my surprise, she comes and stays the night (nothing happens).  During the course of the night, she tells me that she's still living with her ex until the lease is up later this month and that they are still really good friends.  She comes back after the shift the next night and we sleep together.  The next day, I go home but we keep in touch.  Two weeks later, she called me on a Sunday night around 9:30 asking if she could come and spend the night sometime.  I say sure and she says she'll be leaving in a half-hour.  She drives two hours to a town she's never been to and gets at my house around midnight.  (more stuff happens.) 

Now here's the thing.  The last time we talked on the phone, I invited her to go to a concert with me and my buddies.  She declines but tells me to find some cute girl to take and to come back and tell her all about it.  Then, I tell her that I'll be substitute teaching at the local high school.  She begins to rag on me saying that I just do it to get the attention from the girls.  Before I can defend myself she says "if they do hit on you, tell them about your girlfriend in Richmond" (the college town).  That struck me as odd but not as odd as when she offers to hook me up with some of her friends.  My confusion continues when she asks to come and spend a weekend with me.  

Now...we haven't talked in a few days because she's on vacation in Florida so I've not questioned her about any of this.  So in your judgement, what does it sound like I'm getting myself into?  Is she in it just for the sex (which I have no problem with), is she a little unhinged...or should I just get over myself and go with the flow?  Keep in mind that I'm not really seeing much of a long-term relationship with her but we really enjoy being around each other.  A couple of people (all girls) have told me to run because it sounds just too strange but my boys tell me I'm just being used for a fling and to keep it up.  So please advise me...should I cut it off or get it on?  


I’ve re-read this three times and still have no clue if you like this girl.  That sort of makes a difference in what you should do here. 

This is one of those letters where I know I’m not getting the full story, and I really should have finer details to properly advise, but I still have a strong gut instinct here, so I’ll just go with it and let you do what you want with the info. 

The girl likes you, okay.  She is into you.  She is strongly attracted to you.  She wouldn’t show up at your friend’s house after re-meeting her for the first time in a while if she didn’t. 

When she told you to go to the concert with the cutie, it was to show you just how NOT attracted she is to you.  She was just trying to convince herself, to deny herself any feelings she has towards you.  She trying to hook you up with her friends is just another way of trying to make sure you know that she doesn’t have feelings for you beyond casual sex. 

From what you’ve said, when SHE makes noises about you seeing other girls, it’s cool, but when YOU make noises about seeing other girls, it’s not cool.  It’s something she can’t control.  See the difference? 

She likes you.  Now do whatever you want to her with that information, whether it be reciprocate, reject, or fuck her until she shits the bed; just remember that you are dealing with a real person with real feelings.  How this effects your thinking pretty much defines the type of man you are. 

Oh, and dummy, ever consider just going up top her and saying, “So what’s the story here?”  She may shock you and actually tell the truth.   

This next one is from someone VERY nervous about my promise of total anonymity, for pretty good reasons.  He’s wondering if hell is coming for him.  Oh yes, brother, oh yes indeed:

Are you sure you guarantee anonymity?  I hope so. . .

Anyway, I've been going out with my girlfriend for the past three years, and I've been thinking of breaking up with her.  Do you know of any way I can do this without making it the most painful process possible?

Here's a little background (please for the love of God do not print this, as I have friends who read your columns too.  It is strictly to give you a better understanding of the situation):
Blah, blah, blah, edited out so he won’t have a heart attack, blee, blee, blee, yadda, yadda, yadda, squakata, hawr, squakata, squakata

Bearing in mind that it is inevitable I'm going to run into her frequently (more editing), is there any way I can do this without making my last year of university a living hell?  (Maybe two/three if I do my master's).

Please note that doing it and going on vacation is not an option, as I need to attend classes to get a decent mark.


Concerned But Caring

Not a fucking chance in hell.  You dump the girl and you’ll go through a LOT of drama.  There is no escaping this. 

The only, ONLY chance I see here is if you arrange it so she catches you fucking another guy… that’s right, go gay and watch her run like hell. 

Oh, okay… fuck another GIRL.  Make yourself out to be the bad guy.  Just make sure your two roommates don’t evict you for it.  

Just say, “Look, baby, I’m (this age) and you’re (that age) and while one of us is ready to chill the other one wants to go enjoy the rest of his/her own youth before we get too old and start being bitter, dumb-ass web guys who live and breath something as ridiculously inane as professional wrestling!!”  Tell her that you still want to have sex with children, not produce them. 

No, really.  There is no escaping the drama.  Get ready for it. 

Question is... I'm a high school senior.  Seem to have a fairly nasty habit of crushing over girls for long periods of time, only to lose any kind of chance I may have had due to being indecisive.  Well, that and it being assumed by a large portion of the campus that, in addition to being a geek, I may be a "Friend of Dorothy."

Okay, the deal is... hot girl (startling resemblance to Shannon Elizabeth in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, right down to the glasses, at the risk of sounding like a Kevin Smith fanboy), into comic books, video games, and other geeky goodness.  Don't know her too well aside from a brief period of time when we were both in chess club last year.

On the other hand, there's a girl approximately 1200 miles away.  Geek with an online relationship, who'd have thought?  Anyway, we "click," like each other, and talk all the time.  The downside is that we're not "really together" even by 'net relationship standards due to her being weird about commitment and also her being a freshman, making her kind of young by societal standards.

So which one should I take my chances on?  Yes, this is about the same kind of drawn-out teen angst that you probably dreaded the second you started up a Q&A column, and yes, I'm probably too much of a coward to listen to any of the advice you present, but I'm curious what the man who caught Scaia with his pants down has to say about events in my life, so I'm giving it a whirl.


Ask Shannon out, she’ll say no but at least you’ll stop wondering whether or not you should have taken a shot. 

Keep talking to the Net girl and establish a relationship with her.  Break down those non-committal walls of hers until she loves you, and then don’t even think about doing anything about it ‘till she reaches a legal age.  That is, if you really give a crap about her.

Jesus, dude, do both of them.  Do I see a ring on your finger?  Hell no.  I don’t even see a finger, but you know what I mean! 

The more I read it, the more pointless this question becomes.   

And by the way, if he looks gay, acts gay, walks gay, talks gay, and dresses gay… maybe he really does want cock?  Ever think of that? 

Here’s another question about long distance relationships, but asked in more simpler terms.  Why do I have two of these in the same column?  I don’t know, for some reason the topic is on my mind:


Can long distance relationships work?  I had a fairly serious one and it ended badly.  There's another girl who I'm somewhat close to who lives a few hundred miles away, and even though I like her, I don't want to fuck myself over with another long distance relationship.


Any relationship can work if you both work hard at it.  That’s the key, you both have to work very hard at it. 

Here’s the thing with long distance relationships: it’s more intimate than face to face relationships.  

No, really.  Think about it.  Because the only way you get to be with her is over the phone.  Sex is taken out of the equation.  The only thing you can do with her is get to know her more and more.  Since it’s not all about getting her to open her legs, you actually get her to open her mouth.  Hell, even if her voice is annoying, who cares, you’re online! 

 The bad news: Eventually, she’ll fuck someone who lives within city limits.  You’ll always have a special place in her heart but someone else will be poking that real estate.  And she might grow to LIKE it.  Then you’re fucked. 

So, in summary, any sort of relationship can work and any sort of relationship can turn sour.  Its called life.  Welcome to it, sporto.   

Now here’s a tricky one:

I'm 19 years old, although I'll be 20 in a few days, and I've got a pretty severe crush on a 17 year old girl, almost 18.  Problem is, she lives in a foster home, and I work there. 

I've known her for almost two years now, and over the time, I've learned a bit about her past.  The usual, crappy family, whatever.  I've also learned that she's an amazing, amazing girl -- smart, funny, nice, enthusiastic, beautiful, and as big of a computer geek as I am, and, like my pathetic ass, also a member of a V-club.  So, in other words, the perfect woman.  

Unfortunately, because banging the clientele is frowned upon where I work, I can't do anything to really express how I feel.  Sure, I flirt, make jokes, whatever...anything to get even a minute alone with her and talk.  We have this dumb little thing going where when I give her a stupid little gift -- usually a bag of chips or something -- she hangs it on her wall, and vice versa.  But anything more serious isn't going to happen any time soon.  

The other big problem is that she seems to have some subconscious thing for "bad boys," which I'm definitely not.  It's a fair-sized foster home, and she's by far the most attractive girl there, meaning that every red-blooded male in there between the ages of 13 and 20 wants to hit it, and due to the fact that most of these folks come from shitty backgrounds, a great many of them fall into the "bad boy" category. So she's continuously being flirted at by these guys, and occasionally returns the flirts herself.  

Now, I completely understand that until she heads off on her own (when she turns 18, which is in a few months), all I can do is solidify our friendship and bide my time.  But it's still damned annoying to see these 16-year-old, head-shaven "G's" using corny pick-up lines on her.  

Here's the reason I'm actually writing this: I went on vacation about a two months ago, and was gone for two weeks.  When I came back, it took her about another two weeks to finally say "hi" to me.  Now, we still joke around and do the whole gift-on-the-wall thing, but it's been mildly uncomfortable.  This may be my fault (I was out of practice on being discreet, and made my flirting a little obvious when I first came back), but then again, I'm a guy and have no idea what the hell's going on in her head.  She hasn't said anything about a new boyfriend or anything, so it's not like that.  Maybe you, with your god-like wisdom and insight, can help me out?  


Let me see if I have this straight: 

She’s seventeen. 

She’s in a Foster home.  Not with a foster family but a foster home. 

She’s been there since she was fifteen. 

Her real family sucks.  Usually it’s the Father who sucks but she’s lucky enough to have a sucky Mother as well. 

So, to summarize, this teenage girl who has spent most of the first fifteen years in a shitty family is now spending the most formative, confusing, pubescent time of her life in a state run Foster home. 

And you wonder why she’s acting strange?  

She flirts with you and with every “G-Money Pimpin’ Fizzle-shizzle Gangsta”, because she’s desperate.  She probably fucked a few of them too, maybe fucked a lot of them.  She’s looking for love.  She’s looking for someone to give her what Daddy never did.  She is waking up every day knowing that neither her family nor anyone else (if she’s stayed at the Foster home for 2 years without once hooking up with a real home) wants anything to do with her.  You know, shit like that doesn’t exactly do wonders for the self-esteem. 

Normally, I’d advise that since you are nineteen and (I assume) have no plans to stay at that Foster home for the rest of your life, that you should screw the job and go wild, but tapping that ass isn’t worth it.  You could do some more damage to the girl’s head, and trust me; there is already damage there.  I don’t care how smart, funny, geeky, or enthusiastic she is, the girl has BIG TIME issues building up inside her, I recommend you not be there when they explode.  It won’t be a pretty sight. 

The girl acted as strange and cold towards you after only being away two weeks.  Sure, it’s just half-a-month, but to her, it was “well, there’s another person who left me.”  Whether she knew it or not, that’s why she acted weird. 

She’s a messed-up kid who is going to grow into a messed-up woman.  Stay away.   


I hope you get to read this even with those 5000 unanswered e-mails that are ahead of it.  What's the ultimate "Floatation Device" for a woman after a rough relationship?  Why it's a dog, of course.  Because golly gee, a dog will give UNCONDITIONAL ATTENTION, now won't it?  Now my sister's 27 years old, and has just about everything going for her (pretty, smart, good career) except for self-esteem.  So when she talked about the possibility of getting a dog last year, I was dead set against it, and did my best to talk her out of it.  Unfortunately, she bought a Chihuahua for 500$.  

Now after living on her own for the previous 8 years, she's about to start her own graphic design business, so she went back to our parents' place for a few months while setting it up.  Much to my disappointment, all three of them have been brainwashed into taking this DOG as a member of the family.  I live in Montreal (9 hours away from them) and I resent this dog with a passion.   

So here's why i'm writing.  They're coming to visit me for 3 days tomorrow, and they ABSOLUTELY WANT the dog to come.  I absolutely refuse because:  

1) I'm not allowed to have pets in my apartment building  

2) My cousin said he'd take care of it and it's not like they're leaving for months  

3) Because I feel i'm doing this for my sister's own good.  

Their main excuses are that since the dog is used to them, it can't POSSIBLY survive with a "stranger" there for 3 days and won't eat.  Also, it really won't bother anybody in montreal, and nobody will even notice (despite the fact that it cries everytime it's left alone for 5 seconds).  When I told them about that, my mom said "It's ok, we just will never leave your apartment all 4 at the same time, and 1 of us will always stay in your apartment to doggy-sit".  Yeah... Right...Nice visit. My favorite quote from her was "the thing is, you don't see it as a human being like we do." INDEED I DON'T, BECAUSE IT IS A DOG FOR GOD'S SAKES! ONE WHICH TOTALLY EXPOSES MY SISTER'S OBVIOUS LACK OF CONFIDENCE. Hiding the problem behind a dog won't help solving it.  

So I actually got in an argument with my mom saying that playing along with this really isn't helping my sister out, and to cut the crap, and realise that IT'S A FREAKING DOG, and it shouldn't stop them from living. The worst part is, my sister is now considering not going at all... Sad... Really sad... Sometimes I feel like the older brother despite being 3 years younger.  

So in conclusion, I've decided to play "hardball" and REFUSE to let them bring the dog. It won't die.  My cousin won't let that happen, he'll take care of it for the 3 days.  They're making a huge issue out of nothing.  I really wish my sister would snap out of this, and realise what's going on.  So I guess my question is, am I doing the right thing by not "playing along" and resenting the dog?  Or am I just being selfish and should "accept" this thing as a "niece" and pretend everything's perfect? 


Before I answer, allow me to point something out.  Read the second sentence in the third paragraph of this letter.  They're coming to visit me for 3 days tomorrow, and they ABSOLUTELY WANT the dog to come. 

I received this e-mail two weeks ago.  I am lucky enough to have a small collection of letters so as to not run low of them during slow weeks, but this means that some people waiting for an answer may wait a week or two before I get to it.  Please keep this in mind because any answer I give now will be moot as the visit from his family has already come and gone. 

But anyway, let’s answer the fucker anyway:  

You are absolutely doing the right thing by not playing along.  It’s YOUR house.  It’s YOUR right.  

Jesus, the truth is that your apartment building does not allow pets.  Right there, end of story.  It can’t happen because IT’S NOT ALLOWED.   

But Chihuahuas are little, tiny dogs, your parents/sister may say.  Bullshit.  I’ve had a Chihuahua for years and years; sure the damn things are tiny, but all they do is yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap all day long at any foreign noise.  They are also notoriously nervous, so they dribble a lot and shit the floor constantly. 

You don’t want the pooch, tell the old farts to get a Goddam hotel room.  That’s the option, the only one I am allowing you to offer.  They don’t like that concept; tough shit says my tit. 

BUT, if you don’t like dogs of any sort, that’s fine, but that third reason you gave is bullshit.  Just because your sister bought a dog after a break-up doesn’t mean she’s about to give up on all men and go dyke.  It just means she wanted a frickin’ dog who depends on her and loves her.  Big whoop.  Let that go.  It’s none of your business, even if you are her brother.  Besides, she could be doing a lot worse to recover than by buying a dog.  She could decide to heal by arranging giant black cockfights in her mouth.  Or even worse, she might date an AMERICAN!!  (What happens when a Canadian girl dates an American boy?  First date anal and LOTS OF IT!!) 

So, in those terms, stop worrying about the pooch. 

Hi Chris

Last year in highschool I was friends with this girl, we hung out sometimes and talked quite a bit.  After school finished we went to different colleges and didn't bother keeping in touch by phone or in person, but we still talked sometimes on AIM.

Anyway, after about 2 months the conversation was good but i began to notice something - whenever we talked, I always had to message her first.  So i stopped messaging her, to see how long she could hold out without messaging me, and now we are up to 2 months.  What the hell is the deal?

This isn't a question about how i get her to like me or something, we will never see each other in real life again.  I just want to know the psychology behind how she can just sit there and not message me.  I know she doesn't have a 24 hour connection, when she's online she's definately at the computer.

If she went on away mode, or offline, or put me on ignore then the problem would be more obvious.  But she just sits there online, pretending i dont exist while her bright name sears itself onto the outside of brain.  Is she sick?


So you know you’ll never hit it and accept it and maybe not even care, all you want to know is why she never contacts you. 

Maybe it’s just because you’re not on her buddy list?   

Either that or she’s busy leading her own life? 

Or maybe she’s a stuck-up snot princess. 

Or perhaps she just doesn’t like you very much. 

Pick one. 

I won’t lecture you about “moving on” because it seems to be that you are, so I’ll just suggest you take her name off your buddy list and forget she even exists, because apparently, she has with you. 

Hey, if someone on MY buddy list stops saying hi, he or she is gone.  This way, I don’t know when they are on and I can’t see them when they log-off without saying anything.  It’s amazing how much of a tension relief that is. 

And that should do it for this week.  You’ve got a story, some answers, some laughs, and perhaps you LEARNED something.  Now all I have to do is wait for Flea’s check to arrive then I can start thinking about doing this all over again next week. 

I tapped deep into the well of questions this week, so please help me fill it back up with any problems, questions, conundrums you may have.  I’ll answer them all back.  

And for those who have gotten an answer, let me know how it worked out for you.  I think people would enjoy seeing follow-ups.

This is Hyatte


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