- Chris Hyatte

I believe in being somewhat honest with you people, (and by “somewhat”, I mean that hard-core details of my life are dispensed with the necessary caution).  So, since I’m being Mr. Advice, Know-It-All dude, I thought you folks deserve to hear a quick story about me that shows that while I have a solid, general idea of what I’m saying, it doesn’t necessarily mean I always listen to myself.

I don’t really like clubbing because it’s just not me, so on weekends I pick up a few extra bucks and watch a state-run subsidy apartment complex in downtown Pawtucket (not the nicest of neighborhoods, yo).  It’s cool; I just get people to sign-in, make small talk, get to observe some really fucked up people walk around (the building is either old folks or people on disability – physical and mental).

There’s a Spanish chick there named Yodeera.  OH, OH… so fucking hot.  Tight, TEEIGHT little ass, nice cans, long blonde hair, a smile that lights up the room.  Easily the hottest girl in that place and one of the prettiest girls I’ve seen in a while.

Now she’s shy, so it’s taken me months of flirting (brief flirting as she never really pauses during the length from the door to the elevator, where I sit) just to get her to smile and say Hi to me whenever she comes in.  I do most of the flirting here, light, normal stuff like calling her cute names: “Hey pumpkin. Hey heartbreaker.”  Hell, I do ALL of the flirting; but she’s receptive to it.  Big smiles, solid giggles.  The other night, I got the look back.  I called her “baby!!” and she turned her head just as she turned the corner and smiled VERY warmly.  Very cool.

Of course, she never stops to talk though.  It’s always right to the elevator and to her apartment, which she never stays in for long as it’s the weekend so she’s in and out a lot.  Hell, sometimes she doesn’t come home at all. 

She brings no boyfriends home, not that I can tell, but she does bring home brothers and family… but for all I know she might have a boyfriend in there.  Not sure enough.

Anyway, one of my weaknesses in life is that I have never, ever been able to tell if a chick likes me or LIKES me… except for those rare occasions where they practically tossed themselves at me.  So I’m thinking that this chick prefers a little “flava” in her sexual diet and only smiles at the white boy because I’m pretty brazen with my flirting.  I know she likes me but I’m sure she doesn’t LIKE me… nor is she open to it. 

I would talk to her but, to be honest, the opportunity never really presents itself.   

So that’s the story.  I’m not looking for advice, I just wanted to let you know that even the great Hyatte gets stumped sometimes when it comes to women.  The difference is, however, that I know enough about myself and human nature to figure out how to deal with it.  Plus the days when I’d get all bent out of shape when a girl says no is LOOONG past.  I’ve gotten pretty good at letting things go.   

So there you go.  Do as I say but not as I do.  I’m not perfect; I’m just smart. 

Besides, the real mystery here is how this girl gets away with living in an apartment where the state pays for most of her rent.  What’s wrong with her?  Is she on disability?  Why?  Is she loony? 

Hell, for all I know, she’s a man.  That would really shake up my shit. 

Oh, I want to fuck her tho’… oh shit. 

Anyway, here’s an update to some advice I gave a dude with a chick giving him mixed signals.  It’s in the 8.31 column, of which Flea should slap up a link to, if he’s paying attention ($$$$$)

I'm sure you don't remember but I'm the guy that wrote you the letter about the bartender chick that you said likes me but is going out of her way to prove to me and herself that she doesn't. I just wanted to give you an update. 

The first thing you told me was that after reading my letter you had no idea if I actually liked this girl or not. That really hit me hard because for the first time in the whole relationship...I really never sat down and thought about it. Like I said in my original letter, I really did enjoy spending time with her but at the same time I didn't think I saw us in a long term relationship. Why you ask? I don't really know...I guess because before her I had my heart CRUSHED by someone else and I needed someone to hold on to, you know? So maybe she was a rebound relationship...certainly seems like it when I write it out like this.  

Anyway...I actually did get the guts up to flat out ask her what the nature of our relationshp was. She came back with the dreaded "what do you think?" I had to tell her I didn't know and she told me that she liked things as they were. I asked her if she sees other people and she said 'not really'. Her former live in boyfriend completed his moving out a couple weeks ago so I just assumed they had at least one last fling before parting ways. That thought doesn't bother me for whatever reasons. So currently, between her working two jobs, usually late into the night and her last semester at college we only talk maybe once a week and we've not seen each other in almost a month. Of course just when I think we're fading away from each other, sparks fly again. Anyway...with the combination of the distance, busy schedules and lack of strong emotional ties, I really don't see much in our future other than being good friends. And that's not a bad it? Sorry to ramble for so long...just thought you might like to know.  

~Ryan in Kentucky 

Nope, it’s not a bad thing at all. 

I still say she likes you a lot, but she sees flaws in you that keeps her away.  Plus she’s really, busy with work and stuff. 

But what do you care, you don’t really like her, you just like her company. 

So, you’re all set. 

Okay, how about we get going here. 

We start off with a question. The story you’re about to hear will at first piss you off, then will sadden you.  See, there’s a swerve dead in the center of this tale that throws everything out of whack.  Here, see for yourself: 

Hey, my name is Tom P and I need some advice.  The kind that won't be influenced by childish bullshit hormones. 

I am involved in a threeway relationship.  Two girls and me. This quite frankly is light-years better than my teenage jerkoff fantasies have ever been. I met my wife in college, the beginning of my sophomore year. We hit it off right away, and married
a year and a half later. We had been married about three months when my wife, who has a pretty adventerous side (she comes from a strict Methodist family, so I figure as long as she is having fun and doesn't cheat on me I have no problem with it) said that she wanted to check out a strip club, which she has always wanted to.  

Now my wife isn't the most beautiful of women to most people, though I find myself more attracted to her than anyone in my entire life, she has this spark that seems to draw the eyes of guys everywhere we go. So we go to this strip club and sit down, having gotten something from the juice bar when she suggests we move up to the stage. At this point I was into it, because the thought that my new wife might have bi tendencies was pretty much a gigantic turn on. So we sit down and my wife is either putting on a great show or is actually enjoying this when the next stripper struts onstage. And who should it be, but one of my best friends, who I had thought was working in another club across town.  

Why should this be a problem you ask? Because we had a torrid fuckfest right before I met my wife. In fact this stripper was my very first. (unlikely I know, but we had known each other through highschool and what college I had up until then when she quit because she was out of money and making major scratch from stripping). So it was a bit awkward because I had told my wife about this and she wasn't sure she wanted me to remain friends with her, etc... See what shocked the hell outta me was the fact that she and my wife flirted pretty much the entire night, coy glances, comments and all. So at when we got up to leave this stripper girl hands us her cell number and asks for my wife's. This shocked me but what made me figuratively crap myself was that my wife was not only not offended she was totally into it.  

Let's just say that I woke up the next morning (really it was afternoon) in a tangle of arms and legs. Now that was a pretty nice feeling, but it's now been about two years and we have all settled into a very comfortable and quite frankly loving realationship and I can honestly say the sex isn't even the best part. (hard
to believe I know).  

Now I am sure you are at the part where you are asking yourself what the fuck is this guy's problem (well maybe not, but..) the thing is about four months ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A malignant one. I have lasted this long, but the doc says that it will definitely shorten my life significantly. Now to the part that I would like deleted if you find it appropriate to post any of this. (tons and tons of really nasty stuff happened to him, trust me, hard-core shit here). 

back to the main thrust of my question. See My two ladies who I have grown to love pretty much as equally as I can want a child. Bad. And this isn't any, oh give me a kid because we are a lesbian couple and and need a dick. It's is truly the fact that they want a family and they have both wanted children for a while. My wife stated explicitly that she wanted children when we were dating and my other wife the stripper made sure we used as much protection as possible during our affair because as she stated, "I want children really bad Tom, but I want them to have a father too." So I know that they want children with me not by me. Which is a wonderful feeling. So my question(s) is(are):

1.Knowing that I may be dead in a few months to a few years, what would you advise me to do? Give them what they want?

2. Am I being unfair to them or my prospective child(ren)?

And any other advice you think would be appropriate.

Thanks man,

Tom P 

p.s. The reason I told you about my family history is that these two women are pretty much the only people that have ever loved me without wanting anything but love in return and I really don't want to disappoint them


First of all, I hope you’re still alive to read this. 

Second of all, I won’t insult you by saying, “Gee, I’m sorry.”  When I tell people that my mom died 9 years ago, they all say “Sorry.”  To which I shoot back, “Why?  Did you kill her?”  It drops the subject AND breaks up the little awkward tension.  But enough about me. 

Third of all… you lucky, lucky prick with your lucky, lucky prick. 

How about that God for you huh?  First he throws some amazing luck your way, then he drops you naked in a room filled with industrial strength rat traps and extra slimy banana peels.  

You’re asking me what you should do.  When you ask, “Give them what they want?”, that seems to be a left-handed way of saying, “Should I NOT pump them full of my seed.”  That’s what’s going on, right?  Neither of them want a fatherless kid.  They want someone who is around. 

Well, let’s be frank here: Let whatever happens, happen.  You’re gonna be dead soon.  Unless you are on your way to HELL (and four out of every five religions would say that you are, you rat jap blaspheming, decadent HEATHEN, you!), you’ll be going to a place where all these earthly, mortal matters will no longer concern you.  In short: you won’t be able to do a thing about it.  You’ll be dead.  

Their lives will go on without you.  Hell, if you stick around and watch: you’ll end up getting pissed at how quickly they adjust to live without Tom.  

Now that I’m thinking about it, I say knock up the real wife (let the stripper find her own mate) and leave your mark.  A kid is the best way to remind everyone that there was a guy named Tom P. running around and boy howdy, did he have a blast during his last couple of years on earth.  I don’t say this about many people, but if your story is true, then you are one of the few people alive who have earned the right to have a kid.  Your wife is worrying needlessly; practically every goddam 20-something year old hooch I’ve known has a kid and is raising it alone.  Most of them seem to end up fine. 

Of course, make sure the kid’ll be provided for.  If you guys are living in near poverty, why subject an innocent child to that? 

I just realized that I’ve dedicated close to 500 words on avoiding any hard and fast answer.  Want to be a selfish prick, I say knock them BOTH up and laugh your way to the pearly gates.  Nice thing about being dead is that there are ZERO responsibilities anymore.  Wanna be a caring, considerate human being one last time, then ONLY knock up the wife and ONLY when you are 100% confident that the child will want for nothing, including love. 

And… err… could I meet your wives and maybe replace you in that little love sandwich?  I mean, for me, two years of wild three-way action followed by a quick death, all before I hit 40 is pretty much the way I’d want to go.  I already have my opening line set up:  “Hey babies, Tom was the ham, but Hyatte is the ROAST BEEF!  Now get yer Whole wheat asses over here and let’s party!!  I’ll be supplying the mayonnaise in about ten second!  Booya!!” 


Next one is about school, and careers, and general nonsense. 

Dear Hyatte-  

I have been toiling over what I should do in my career, and thought- why not ask the guy you have read since the Red stripe days?  Good ole CH.  

I was in the navy as a hospital corpsman, which is an unlicensed LPN. I came out with no degree and no certifications.  

This was 5 years ago. Since then, I have gone to school for 3 years and gotten my gen-ed requirements done. I cannot stand school. I hate boring lectures, and only did my gen-eds through summer school.  

With this in mind, here is my conundrum. I have 2 options for getting a nursing license.  

-Go to a community college for 1 year, and take the LPN test  

-Go to a community college for 2 years, get my Assoc. Degree in Nursing, and take the RN test.  

It basically boils down to, 1 or 2 years of college. Is it worth it for me to get my RN? I have no idea how much the difference is in pay, as I used to be in a military hospital, where everyone gets paid the same.  

Please help your loyal reader.   


Go to school and quit whining, you wimp.  Get as much education as possible.  More schoolin’ = more cha-ching $$$$$$.  Stop whining.  Jesus H, the Navy is paying for all of it, aren’t they?  It’s free learning, ISN’T IT? 

Plus you meet a lot of girls. Or guys, if that’s what sinking your submarine. 


Now we turn towards a question of a more philosophical note, yes we do. 


Now I've been reading your answers to your younger audience since you've started this column, and I think you've been doing a very good job in letting them know that at times, even though life seems like it's got your nuts in a vice, you still have your whole life in front of you. Yes that narrow window, that tunnel visioned vortex that you think is all encompassing and chest constricting, you can't eat, can't sleep, that problem that consumes your life, your whole entire being - really for all intents and purposes amounts to grade fucking A jack shit. Listen to Hyatte...he's been upfront and downright brutal in trying to make you realize that you and only you can change your life if you really want. That girl that has your stomach in knots now? I guarantee you will give two shits about a year from now when you are pokin that fine piece of ass, and that boring job that pays you so well? Ten years from now you'll be on your yacht in Fort Lauderdale eating shrimp, calimari and getting blown with (and by) the best of 'em. This is also coming from someone who is speaking from experience.  

On to the question, I'm pretty sure you are around the same age as me, I'm 28 going on 29 and I can honestly relate to most of the questions that have been posed to you by your readers in some way.  

Do you feel now Hyatte, that as you are approaching your thirties, you have come full circle in some aspects of your life?  

Off the top of my head I can think of - In your late teens coming home knowing you'll get yelled at by Mom because you stayed out late.Again.  "Oh shit she's going to kill me!" Then you finally reach that age where you are on your own and you have no worries and no one to answer to. At that stage, you are the epitomy of "No responsibility." Then you settle down with a girl, fall in love move in...  and somehow, somewhere a line was crossed. You don't know when it happened, where it happened or how it happened. It just happened. You find yourself afraid all over again because you know if you come home late again you are going to get it. "Oh shit she's going to kill me!" Weird. Unsettling. Downright creepy. Fuck Freddy, Fuck Jason. This is real fear.  

Or how about the one where you show up at that first day of college, look around and go, "What the fuck am I doing here, I have no idea what I want to do with my life?!"  

Someone older than you (doesn't really matter who, someone "adultlike")at that point tells you, "Don't worry, everything always works out, don't stress you'll find your niche." So worried and a little scared, you end up just taking courses here and there, fall into a field, graduate, get that job, live that life a little and run into that familiar youth who poses that same familiar question and you find yourself saying that same familiar answer, "Don't worry, everything always works out..."  

I hate the word surreal but at times that is what getting older feels like. Shit and thirty ain't shit on the old scale. ummmm...yea. Ugggh.  


Gus, Gus, Gus… you’ve hit on some interesting points. 

A relationship with a girl, especially a long term one, has to be built on 100% trust.  Total, unconditional trust.  So, if you have to sweat coming home late because your “New Mommy” will kill you, then find a new hole to stick your tallywacker into….  Quickly.  (Or, call the girl and say, “I’m gonna be late, baby”… a touch of courtesy goes a long way with the babes). 

College freshmen who know EXACTLY what they want to do with their lives from day one are dopes.  They are dopes because they think no other option is worth their while, so they don’t explore them.  College is geared specifically for young minds to go exploring, that’s why they give you four years (and don’t bust your balls if you stick around for five, six, or even eight) to figure it all out.  It’s also why they let you select a major AND a minor, or two majors.  Colleges WANT the kids who first arrive not to know what the fuck they want, it allows the organization to do what it does best: shape and mold. 

Your (for lack of a better word) “misery” isn’t coming from getting old, it’s coming from regret.  You are looking back at all the turns you have taken in life and are fretting about that right you made in ’95 when a left may have been better.  Why did you get off that freeway in ’94 when there was that cooler exit only a few miles further down?  We all go through that.  Can’t do much to change it. 

And it’s true, things always DO work out… because the world is much bigger than you, and no individual can be a cog in it’s machinery.  We have no choice but to… oh what am I babbling about?  Christ, what a buffoon. 

Look, getting old sucks but it’s something no one can change.  So look at the bright side: You are smarter, stronger, and better at sex now then you were ten years ago.  Plus, guys always age better than girls, so those hot pieces of tails you lusted after ten years ago are now walking around with a trash bag filled with Cornflakes for an ass and a face that looked like it fell off the ugly tree and hit every limb on the way down. 

On the dark side: You’ll never be as fast, your muscles get stiffer, that hair that’s falling out by the handful ain’t growing back, and no hair coloring in the world will replace those gray sprouts with the same color you had ten years ago.  Welcome to life, find a seat and join the party.  It’s non-discriminatory; everyone you know is there. 

And it’s never; EVER too late to change… just gets tougher every year.

Ohhh, my head’s spinning.  I need a good ol’ fashioned relationship question to settle things.  Luckily, I have them in abundance.

Okay, here's the story. I've known this girl for over a year now. She's jaw-droppingly gorgeous, thin, funny, smart, talented, has great taste in clothes, musics, books.

She's the total package.  Model looks and is probably the best artist in town. She
works for my college paper, that's how we met. Up until a few months ago she had a
boyfriend. They were together for five years.  (She's 22, he's 23, I'm 21 for reference.) I heard he was the jealous type so I never even flirted with her, besides this girl is out of my league, right. I'm decent looking, have some talent, am 'nice,' but this girl is the fucking Holy Grail. Everyone who meets her wants to bang her, guys and girls. But we had this mutual admiration society. I kissed her ass about how good her art is (and it is fucking great, wasn't just me trying to get some poon.) She talked about how awesome a writer I was. It was a great friendship. We never spent much time together. We e-mailed, when she'd drop off her art at the office, we'd sit and talk for a while. When I'd go out dowtown and I'd see her and her boyfriend we'd sit and talk for a bit but it was never anything substantial.  Her boyfriend is the guitarist for my favorite local band, so I was always at their shows hanging out with him and her.

Last semester she starts working for this ethics professor at our college, helping him with his thesis or some shit. The teacher is 42 and a fat long-haired pot smoking hippy. Wears the black sunglasses inside, has his wild anti-government theories (thinks Bush caused 9/11.) I've known him for years, his office is in the building my newspaper is located. Brilliant guy, but y'know out there.  

Anyway, her boyfriend, who's also an obese guy, flips out that she's spending time with this teacher, so she dumps the boyfriend.

So, I'm bummed. I like them both. Sucks to see it happen. Again, this girl is out of my league. I have no shot, right? Okay, his band is playing one night and I decide to go. Hey, he's a friend, I like his band. She sends me an e-mail saying it 'may be awkward when I see him because when they broke up she told she was attracted to other people, namely me and the professor. I'm like 'okay.' I see him that night, me and him walk around the block for 2 hours while he yells and screams about me, her and the professor. About how she always ignored him when the three of us hung out, how he felt that I was driving a wedge between them. Then he says that one of the songs is about me on their album.

(Lyric of note, 'there's one that truly bothers, they say he's just a friend, but if
she wasn't here then would you be?)

So, clearly I was an issue.

So, sorry for the length, the next week me and her hang out at 'art night' downtown. We run into the ex-boyfriend, the same thing happens. He more or less threatens to beat my ass.  (Note, I'm 5'6 110 lbs, he's over 6 feet and over 200 lbs.)

Anyway, eventually things settle down with me and the ex. He doesn't actively hate
me. I wasn't really sure where I stood with her. Sure, she was attracted to me, but I
didn't want to make a move on her. She's coming off a break-up, I was in the midst
of the ending of a sorta-relationship with a girl leaving for Orlando. I was there as a friend. (And also this girl is PERFECT, it's a bit daunting.) Anyway, she tells me she's 'sorta dating' the professor. That it's really good and she's really happy with it. However, she also is taking an art class she doesn't need to graduate just because she wanted to take it with me. And she comes up to my office to hang out with me for hours on end (and then leaves for lunch with the professor, naturally.) Just the other day she made a comment that if she had gone out to party Friday (she's a bit skittish about running in the ex) that 'even though I don't dance, I would have danced with you.'

So, my question is, what do you think my options are here? I like the girl, only a fool wouldn't be absolutely smitten with her (her ex basically had a breakdown over it), she's a great friend, I don't think this professor thing is a good idea at all and seems destined to end. So, should I force the issue with her or sit back, be there for her and eventually hope for my chance to arrive. I mean, this is the type of girl you marry and, on the other hand, the type of girl that if you have and lose, you may never get over. We have great chemistry, we get  along, we make each other laugh. I'm just not sure whether it's worth forcing the issue, but I'm also afraid that my window will close and while she won't end up with the professor permanently, she may move on to someone else.  

Note: if me and her actually started dating the ex would probably try to beat my ass.

Sorry for the length. I look forward to your response.


So normally I would laugh at the ex’s vow to whup your ass by reminding you that most guys are pussies with big mouths, but this one is different. 

See, if this guy is as obese as you say, (and a guy standing six feet and weighing just over 200 lbs is NOT obese by any stretch), and if this chick is as model-hot as you say, then the big dope is probably very homicidal over the break-up.  Fat people DO NOT GET models.  It’s not the way it works. Makes me wonder just how “hot” this “model” of yours is… maybe you’re just dealing with a touch of infatuation. 

Anyway, if you’re afraid of the tough guy, then invest in a baseball bat, or a tire iron, of a sock filled with rocks.  Or, if he attacks, just scream, “MOTHERFUCKER!” and attack back.  Go psychotic on his ass.  Find all that pent up rage we all have brewing in our little bodies and release it in a fury of mindless swings.  Fuck ‘im, he isn’t Mike Tyson.  He’s just a human being that can get hurt just like everyone else. 

And for Chrissakes, there is NO shame in losing… just ask Triple H! (okay, bad example.)  Everyone deserves a good ass whuppin’ once in a while.  Good for the soul. 

As far as the chick goes… oy vey… it seems that I’ve handed down this advice before.  Well, here it goes: 

The professor thing is just a “little thing”.  Nothing to fret about.  I’ve seen these things before; they scream “May-December”.  It won’t last, only because the weird, out there, but oh-so-fascinating hippie professor is probably quite the calculated “playa” who considers banging the young, impressionable pieces of poon on the side a perk to his job.  He’ll toss her aside just in time for the new semester to kick in with a fresh crop of eager, easily impressed young pieces of tight ass to show up.  Your only problem is that if this girl is dumb enough to fall in love with him, then you’ll have to deal with being her shoulder to cry on.  You may parlay that into sex, but you ain’t getting a relationship out of it. 

Look, she already has made it clear that she likes you and you like her… God, man, what do you want?  Do you her on your bed naked with her legs spread holding a sign over her love oven saying: “Insert here, nitwit!”  Talk to her, ask her, let it all hang out, GO FOR IT!! 

Worse that can happen is that she says no.  Then you’re better off and you can go pine for someone ELSE.  Plenty more where she came from, PLENTY. 


And when she says no, if you want to fuck WITH her, then have sex with her ex.  That’ll show her!

 Oh, and dude, there’s smitten and then there’s devoting horrible POETRY to her beauty, which is almost what you were doing in this e-mail.  Girls can sense when guys are both Desperate AND Hopelessly In Love.  Neither is much of a turn-on to them.  Just so you know. 


Long time supra-fan, been waiting a while on this and since you actually seem to know your shit, I'd send this along. I'm 25 and I've been with my girlfriend for over three years and everything is great (thinking of moving in together after the holidays) but things are lagging a bit with my social life.

It's not a problem of her not liking my friends (we all met together through the common bond of indy wrestling) it's more so of my current lack of desire to deal with people, at times them in particular. Whenever the local wrestling show, PPV or some other event (usually movie release/screening) we all get together, but when it comes to just "hanging out", I really can't be bothered with leaving my house. Now, they haven't called me on the carpet about it nor has anyone complained (most of them are bizarre recluses anywho) but it's starting to concern me that outside of "large events" I think I might be losing my knack for "hanging out".  

Now, when the Group comes over for the PPV, movies, etc., it's tremendous and I have a great time. However, when it comes time for leaving my house (bars, etc.) I can't wait to get home. Now, I don't think it's agoraphobia as I love to travel and it does not affect my work in anyway, but what could be causing this since I do really enjoy their company. Not sure if most of this makes any sense to you, but what the hell.

Mushroom Jones

Why is it concerning you?  So you like to chill out at home with just the girl (or alone, or both) and you really don’t like people around you all the time.  Big deal. 

Dude, you’re into staying at home.  Many people are like that - myself included.  The fact that you do like to OCCASIONALLY go hang with them just means that you aren’t fucked in the head (at least where this is concerned).  There is nothing wrong with you, nothing at all.  Hell, you seem to be pretty well adjusted from where I sit. 

Sit at home, kick back, have a beer, smoke a doob, jerk-off, listen to music, go online and read my old columns.  It’s YOUR free time, do with it what you want. 

And if the girlfriend starts to complain, say,, “Look, sugarbush, this is who you fell for.  I’ll party with you and your buds and have a good time but you have to understand that I don’t want to do it all the time.”  If there is trust in your relationship, and if you’re not a needy prick, then she can go party with them while you chill.  Then she comes home nice and drunk and you can do some nasty things to her… nasty sexy things… heh… ha… cucumbers rule. 

Relax.  Mushrooms were born to sit there and get fat.  You picked yourself a good name. 

You’re doing fine.  

Chris Stratus,

Forgive me if I'm being vague, I have a few friends that read you at 411 and might cross over to at some point. I'm in my second year at my university, and this year my next-dorm neighbors are a couple of freshman girls. They're both really cool, but one of them in particular, I mean she looks good physically but what really gets me is the cute/hot personality. Now she's got this pal that lives across campus. I think 'fuck buddy' is the best term, as they do it plenty but don't act like boyfriend/girlfriend anytime else. They knew each other before getting to school here, I'm not sure from what exactly. He seems like a fun guy to hang out with, and I don't really want to be considered competing.

Now yesterday, after a drunken afternoon spent by the four of us, I remarked that dude was a nice guy, and both girls expressed to me that he's really not and they don't enjoy his presence as much as I thought. Earlier today, the girl that I like said how he can be annoying but overall he's fun. I'm inclined to believe that she was being more honest when she was drunk, and the fact that her roommate agreed at the time corroborates.

I'm sure it seems decently simple enough so far, but the big thing is that I have a socially-crippling lack of confidence. I don't think it's necessary to delve into family-related bullshit that most would say is the root of my problem, but I was the outcast throughout most of school, and it would be fair to say that I don't really know how to approach physicality and imtimacy in a relationship, either from a mental or physical standpoint. I'm paranoid about people acting like my friend and really not wanting me around. Last night I freaked out and spent an hour alone in my room waiting for attention, because as I walked out of my neighbors room to put my shoes in my room, I heard my name mentioned and thought they were talking about me. I've had frank discussions with my neighbors and other friends about my paranoia, and they reassure me, but at the end of the day I don't feel any different from it.

I'm not what I'd consider an attractive guy - kinda overweight and can't grow facial hair if my life depended on it - and people tend to think I'm insecure just from that, but I really think it goes deeper. I honestly expect to be in the same limbo in three weeks as I am now, so I won't fret if it takes you time to get to my letter. Basically my question is, when the time is right and my opening is there, how do I give myself the confidence to not blow my window of opportunity? How do I build myself now into the position where when I have a chance, I'll go for it? I've had trouble in the past asking girls out when my entire highschool knew that the girl liked me. I can already see myself explaining to my friends that I pussied out because I don't want to make things awkward with the person I live next to. Thanks.

-A Fake Name

Nevermind the girl.  No, really.  You have bigger fish to fry right now. 

The girl knows you are paranoid, and self-loathing, and without confidence, and I’m willing to bet she sees that you have no game at all.  Hell, I’ll go farther here and bet that you, in your misguided attempts to establish a relationship with her, have already confessed your personal issues to her in hopes for support.  In short, without even realizing it you have displayed the worst side of your personality to her. 

Now, put yourself in her place.  One day, this nice guy who is chubby, paranoid, has no confidence, and is basically a walking, talking basket-case comes up to her and stutters out an invitation to a date.  Wanna know the first thing that’ll come to her mind? 

No?  Well too bad ‘cause here it is:  “Oh geeze, he’s my next door neighbor!  Living here will be SO awkward and uncomfortable now!” 

I’m sorry kid, but your BLAZING self-pity ruined it… and even if I’ve over-estimated the message you’ve sent to her and your friends, I’m willing to GUARANTEE that she senses it about you.  You’ve created a nice little storm cloud that’s constantly raining over your head for all to see. 

What concerns me is that you think that you’ll still be the same after 3 weeks… WRONG… you’ll still be the same after 3 YEARS… after 10 YEARS… 20… 30…FOREVER!! 

Brother, you need to see a shrink. 

Or maybe not.  See, you’re young; there’s still time for you to change the course of that mighty river called your sub-conscience.  You’re brain is still pliable enough to be changed, but you have to hurry.  Time is NOT your friend here. 

Confidence is like a warm fire on a cold night: it heats your outsides first before it warms your bones on the inside.  You have to make the outside presentable before the insides feel better.  You need to look in the mirror and like what you see.  You need a gym.  Join a gym.  Lift weights for a month… 30 stinking days… you’ll see improvement.  You’ll feel better about yourself… you’ll LOOK better goddammit.   

Walk… walk around, lose the gut.  Gonna have to, sport.  It’s the only way.  Running isn’t THAT bad… put a Walkman on, pump it up with some hard rock.  Jesus, buy the soundtracks to Rocky 2 & 3.  EYE OF THE TIGER, MOTHERFUCKER!!!  BA-DA-DUDUDA, DUDUDA DUM DUM, FEELING STRONG NOWWWWWW 

No, seriously, change now my friend, or prepare for a future exactly like your present.  Give up on the girlie.  I’m sorry, but I see nothing positive coming out of you asking her out.  You’re not ready for it yet.  

Best o’ luck. 

Speaking of weight loss, here’s a question that ignores the other drama and goes straight to the heart of the matter: 

Hi Hyatte,

I am 27 years old, and grossly out of shape. When I was college and just entered the workforce after college, I was in magnificent shape. Then I started law school last year, and now I am turning into a flabby mess. I didn't go to the beach once this summer in fear of being harpooned as a beach whale. I used to work out for 2 hours a stretch 4-5 days a week (1 hour 15 minutes of lifting 45 of cardio), but now I barely have time to wipe my ass. Since I am in the library or in clinics all day, I don't have the luxury of the 2 hour workouts. My eating can improve, whenever i used to workout i used to always eat right, now i am so miserable about it i eat any shit they throw in front of me. I am not doing this to get laid (though it'd be nice to get laid again), but more for the embarrasment of not wearing 28 pants. I am about 5'9 and weight about 220 lbs. Help me Hyatte, your my only hope. I have not worked out in about 6 weeks, and it has been about a year since i worked out regularly. Any sort of constructive advice on a program? I want my old body back, but I realize it might not be possible.



Atkins works nicely.  Protein and fat. 

Too complex?  Okay, try this: Never touch any sort of bread, fruit, vegetable that isn’t leafy, pasta, cereal, potato, any bean (even green), rice, soda, corn, or something filled with sugar again until you drop 60 pounds. 

Here’s a food plan for you (“diet” is a word invented by some clown to get fat housewives to drop their mortgage payment on something he is selling, so eliminate that word from your vocabulary): Breakfast: Milk, protein powder, and a scoop of peanut butter (any kind so long as it’s creamy) in a glass.  Mix and drink.  Lunch:  NOTHING, YOU FAT ASS… IT’S CALLED DISCIPLINE!!  Dinner:  Nice piece of steak, or chicken, or any sort of fish, hamburger… wait, CHEESEburger, or a nice can of tuna WITH a good glob of mayo mixed in or eggs; basically anything meaty or fishy or poultryish and you can slather on the mustard.  Drink a gallon of water a day too.  Chew slowly. 

And develop a cocaine habit.   

Not fast enough?  Okay then listen to Steve Martin’s weight loss plan: 

For the first month, eat one raisin a week. 

For the second month, eat one hot fudge sundae a week. 

If you aren’t at your ideal weight after two months, start lopping off body parts until you reach your goal. 


Here's my question for you this time.

Why, oh why, is it that people who drive consistently at 40 mph will immediately increase their speed to 70 when the first opportunity for you to pass them presents itself? And slows back down again when the passing opportunity is gone? This is not exclusively the province of  "out-of-stater's" either. It drives me completely nuts. Hell, the more  advanced version of this involves them fanning out, taking up both lanes of traffic. (That one is more of the style of "people from away", I'll

After years of this happening, I can understand why road rage happens.  Enlighten me, please.

Thanks again, Oh-Mighty-Hyatte. Stay cool.

Bruce from Bangor, Maine 

Because nobody likes a smart-ass. 

Because life is a series of giant pissing contests. 

Because it’s a sign of weakness to let someone essentially say: “Get out of my way, grandpa!!” and fly past you on the road. 

Because people in general are egocentric tools. 

And because people in cars are terrified of other drivers.  Those accidents are never pretty.  

That’s why… and thanks for the change-up.  I like to see more of these, people.

Now back to the usual stuff (which I don’t mind seeing either, people; so don’t be afraid to send them in) 

Hi Chris,

You’ve been entertaining me for a half a decade now, so allow me to return the favor by contributing to your new endeavor. I have a few things I could ask, but it’s probably best to ask about one thing at a time. Thus, time willing, I may end up being a recurring contributor. 

This is going to be another confidence-seeking letter, but at a slightly different angle. Some background is necessary for this, so I’m going to be as succinct as possible with my life. I was raised to be a grade-getting machine, and so I spent the first 18 years of my life almost exclusively devoting my energies to school. I thus grew up fat, introverted, and with no sense of character or identity. At the end of that period, I was just about to enter university. However, I had accumulated so much anxiety about both maintaining my “great grades streak” in university and “heading out into the real world” (a place where I was definitely way too shielded from) that I suffered a burnout. When I recovered from it, I finally realized that there are far more things to life than grades, and so I set out to recalibrate my one-dimensional existence.  

Over 10 years later, I’m still working on that recalibration. The first thing I did was rid myself of my lifetime flab collection (50 pounds worth) within a year through sheer determination. That ended up being the easy part. Turning the introversion inside out has been a stubborn bitch. But it’s not like I haven’t been trying. Over the last decade, I’ve done all sorts of things to expand my social horizon and force myself to be more outgoing. I tutored at my college for a semester, I became a volunteer at the YMCA, I became president of my church’s youth club, I took Latin dance lessons, and most recently, I joined my local Toastmasters (public speaking) club. And oh yes, I’ll sheepishly admit to reading or listening to any sort of self-help book or program I can get.  

The end result? Well, I’m further along from where I started from, yet damn frustrated that I’m not along further. I can go on for a few days feeling good about myself for accomplishing little things like striking up a conversation with a colleague I never talked to before. But then I go to something like a wedding reception or a club and wham! Rock Bottom on the ol’ self-esteem, because despite my diligently earned good looks and warm-hearted personality, I still, after all these years, feel overwhelmed and paralyzed in those kind of multi-sensory, social jungle environments.  

Is this about girls? Well, in part, for sure. Do you know of the agony of seeing girls of your dreams around the arms of mediocre-looking punks gussied up in suits and some mousse in their hair? But that’s not the worst. The worst is witnessing the generation below us, which I frequently do at the Y, consisting of a truckload of assembly-line, mass-produced wiggaz picking up girls who I can’t believe don’t know any better. These little fuckers are no more than unknowing cult followers of a manipulative music industry, yet these little fuckers seemed to have been BORN with mountain-loads of the substance I seem to be acquiring one grain at a time: confidence. Thank God I finally managed to get two girlfriends of my own in recent years from my salsa lessons, otherwise watching the little snots do it so effortlessly might have driven me to pitch myself through a window. 

But it’s not only about women. I need more confidence to make a career out of the new field I just started a Master’s in-but I’ll refrain from elaborating because this is getting long as is. And in general, I imagine that there must be such a joie-de-vivre to be experienced by approaching who or what you want in any situation with no doubt demons sabotaging you, even if you know that things may not initially turn out as you want.  

So finally, I ask you, what should I do next? It’s not like I’ve done nothing. Do I just keep digging away with my proverbial spoon until I one day become the “complete” man I want to be? Do you see my efforts synergizing one day and shooting my personality through the roof? Should I look into a hypnotherapist to rewire my subconscious and accelerate my progress? I believe I have a lot going for me and have a lot to offer, but confidence elusively remains my Holy Grail, if not humanity’s in general. And dammit, I’m pushing 30 and it’s about time I get a larger piece of it. 

Thanks for hearing me out. I await your psychological insights and/or bitch-slapping for my own good. 


It’s good for everyone with confidence problems who read this stuff, and/or have written to me about this stuff to see this because it shows that even if you heed my awesome advice, it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting better overnight.  This stuff takes TIME, people… takes a LOT OF TIME. 

George, what’s happening is that your brain is fighting your brain.  What you WANT to be like is in conflict with what your mind is USED to being like.  Sometimes the new you wins, and other times, the old you takes a round.  It’s all natural.  Fuck, it’s healthy.   

This is easy.  Keep fighting your old mind.  Keep winning those rounds.  Don’t get bummed when the old mindset steals a few.  If you’re determined enough, you’ll outlast the old school thinking and take over once and for all. 

You’ve come a long way, brother, you’ve done better than most already.  Good job.  Keep it up. 

Now we meet someone ALL OF YOU should strive to avoid turning into. 


I’m a twenty one year old man/boy who has never felt so in love. I’ve been terribly hurt in the past, and find it difficult to trust people. However, recently I met a girl. I fell in love with her in the space of a day and evening, and she for me. She completes me. I thought I was in love before, but this is… Unexplainable. Abstract. Scary. Wonderful. I adore and cherish her. 

I was a womaniser. I had relationships with girls who were terribly attractive, and because they were so physically appealing, I tricked myself into believing I cared for them more than I did. I usually had at least two girlfriends and a few lovers.  

Disregarding their feelings, I lied to them; making excuses for my whereabouts and erratic behaviour towards them, so they would continue to fuck me. I’m a piece of shit worm.  

But… am I? Can I love someone this much? I don’t want to look at other girls when I think of her. What would be the point? Has she found the good in me? Did I just need this one angel to extract the humanity and sensitivity from my soiled, mangy old mongrel of a soul? 

She lives in the South of England. I live in the Northwest. Will I slip into my bad old ways/days because of the distance between us? I shall only be seeing her maybe once every two months (England’s a small country, but I just cannot afford the train fares). She’s beautiful (in an interesting way. Not a generic beauty, certainly) and exudes charisma… I’m sure other fellas will be swarming round her like moths to a particularly bright light bulb… Am I being punished for being such a cunt by falling in love with someone who lives far away? Maybe these are all just fears I’m encouraging myself to feel as a defence mechanism, because I’m fearful of being hurt. Has she found the good in me, or created it? Or is she imagining it, and I believe it’s there because she tells me it is? 

I’m terrified, Hyatte. 


 Ever see the “Godfather”? 

Good, then you’ll get this reference.   


Oh, if I had you in front of me I would SLAP YOU IN THE FACE!!! 

The FUCK are you doing in a long-range relationship???  A PLAYA like yourself??  Of COURSE you’ll give in to temptation and fuck someone else.  She will too!  LDR’s DO NOT WORK!!  EVER!! 

Actually, if I am to stay true to what I’ve said in the past, in the same column that I linked to in the introduction up top, there is a question about LDRs that I answered as such: 

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

Stop being a fucking self-pitying baby and work on the relationship.  You’ve clearly had your fun and now are ready to settle down… guess what, there is no greater turn on to a gal than landing a stud and making him exclusively hers.  It’s one of those great big ego-gratifying accomplishments that chicks dream about. 

Whine, whine, whine.  Jesus, why are you so pussy-whipped? 

And you probably are being punished… karma is whacky like that.  Just means you have to work harder.  Is she worth it?  According to this disgusting e-mail, she sure is. 

Get to work, hop-a-long.  And go find your nuts.  You’ve seemed to have dropped them somewhere… probably in her purse. 

Good Lord.  What a weird world. 

Last two: one is a change of pace and the other isn’t.

Hello Mr. Hyatte,

Here are some new questions for you: Are you a character-driven or plot-driven writer? Having never read much more than your Midnight News columns and
whatever short fiction you include therein, I would like to know what you prefer.

I keep hearing from the book/film critics in the local paper, on the net, etc. that the best films and books are the ones where the characters drive the action, where you find a character and see where he takes you, as opposed to one where the plot dictates the action, and the characters are little more than devices.

I consider myself an enthusiastic amateur writer. I've never written anything over 10,000 words, but now I'm starting on something bigger than that, more like a

I keep getting these ideas that I think are great (all related to the story) and I'll write them down so I don't forget them and then try and see if I can link them up to the story. I realise this makes me a heavily plot-driven writer, and I'm also fully aware that I don't have to use these ideas.

I'm wondering if this is impeding my growth as a writer? Should I keep this technique up, or abandon it altogether and try to go straght from beginning to

Also, do you have any idea how much money the staff writers for the teen series books make? I'm talking like the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Buffy & Angel,
Babysitter's Club, and the like. Is that a worthwhile occupation, if only for a little while?

Any thoughts from someone who seems to know what they're doing would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Some of you may be wondering, “Who the fuck is Hyatte to dispense writing advice?  He ain’t shit!  He’s not a writer!  He’s never been published!  Not like some OTHER writer in this strange IWC world!!”  

True… sort of.  Fact is I AM published… in a REAL magazine.  It was a year ago in one of those writer magazines that pay you in copies.  It’s nothing I’m about to talk about because, while I’m not ashamed or embarrassed by it, it just seems like a lot of crowing about something so small.  Too petty even for me to brag about.  So don’t even bother asking, I’m not talking about it. 

Trust me people… the time will come when I am published in something BIG… and when that day comes, prepare for a Midnight News column that will set NEW standards for horn tooting.  Ohhh that’ll be a column you’ll tell your grandkids about… the one where I rub EVERYONE’S face in it… including people you don’t even KNOW. 

Anyway, plot is important, of course.  But a story is pure shit without fully fleshed characters that the reader either likes or can relate to or both.  You can write a 300 page book about four guys sitting around drinking beer and playing poker and it would be compelling if the characters are likeable.  Ask any playwrite.  In the theater, it’s ALL about characters.  

In fact, a good way to chart it is like this: 

1)      A play depends on good characters to move the plot along 

2)      A book depends on good characters AND a good plot to blend. 

3)      A movie or TV show depends on a good plot with decent characters to move it along. 

Make sense?  

I’m not sure if writing a book based on a franchise is the key to becoming a successful solo act.  I’m sure it’s worked for some people, but you have to understand that the people who run the Star Trek novel franchise, (or Buffy, or Nancy Drew, or The Hardy Boys) are very xenophobic.  They only use their own staff for the most part.  I’m sure they are open to any proposal you might have, but unsolicited pitches are usually tossed in what they call their “Slush pile” and are forgotten about for a long, long time. 

It’s all cycles with them; they find a good writer and use him or her up for as many novels as he/she can write.  Look at Marvel Comics.  A decade ago everything was being written by either Fabian Nicieza (sic and damn proud of it) or Scott Lobell (again, sic).  Now everything’s being written by either Mark Millar or Brian Michael Bendis.  Of course, I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much. 

What I’m saying is that, like everything else in life, writing stuff and being paid for it is a very, very hard egg to crack.  

Oh, and it helps to know the guidelines for writing ANY franchised book series. 

And I have no clue how much anyone is paid.  All I know is that every writer not named King, Grisham, Clancy, or (insert best selling author here) always says that there is no money in this game). 

Dear Hyatte:

I was with this girl for two years and we had a pretty good relationship up until march of this year when we had an arguement and she broke up with me. She said it was because of religious reasons so, like a typical man, I tried to be something I wasn't just to stay with her. We were talking marriage before she dumped me and now she was saying that God was not leading her towards me. So we got back together and a week later she broke up with me again saying that she didn't believe me. I got back together with her again and this time it lasted a month until we ended up having sex and she freaked out and broke up with me again. Now this time I told her that I did not care anymore, and she begged to get back with me, so I let her. Fast forward to two weeks ago, she says that we aren't meant to be together in the eyes of God so we broke up again. I told her that she was un loyal and insane and I did not want to be with her anymore, she said fine. I went over her house to give her back her stuff and she gave me the best BJ ever and freaked out. We did not get back together. Now there an older woman at work ( she's 30 I am 23 ) who is interested in me, I don't know if I should go there or not. I am just getting out of a long relationship so it kind of weird can you give me some advise?


Jason.  It’s over.  The chick is a whack job, a whack job of EPIC proportions.  She’s has issues.  BIG TIME issues.  

And this is just from the almost incoherent e-mail of yours.  It’s very hard to comprehend the details here.  I’m sure there is a LOT more to the story, but since I’m only getting one side, I’m doing my best. 

Run away.  No, I mean it.  Physically RUN from her.  You don’t need her.  She’ll only fuck with your head until things get drastic.  Thank CHRIST you tasted the milk awhile before you bought the cow.  The chick has mad cow disease, kid.  Run.  RUN AS FAR AS YOUR LITTLE FEET CAN CARRY YOU!!  Run and save yourself.  Sprint, goddammit.  Pretend you are a brother from Kenya in the New York marathon with lions and Rhinos and poachers on your ass.  Run.  Run and thank you lucky ass stars you didn’t knock the girl up. 

Get the subtle hint here?  Run like Satan Herself is on your ass.  

And the 30 year old girl is just that: a 30 year old chick feeling herself getting old and looking for a piece of young stuff to bring her back to her glory days.  Dig in and let her re-live them.  You need to get that nut job out of your system.  The old bat is PERFECT. 

I’m serious.  This girl will cause you nothing but misery if you stick around.  Wanna see hell?  Stick with her and you will. 

And we are done.  See you next week. 

This is Hyatte


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