So thank you to those who wrote in, and I ask not to be held responsible for any mayhem that ensues from following Mr. Ginspurr's advice. Take it away, Ginspurr.
|Photo by MC Blackman|
Ooh, kittens, it's been a while. I'm a little rusty, but I'll see if I can't solve some of your blessedly silly human problems. What have we got?
Dear Allen Ginspurr,
My significant other and I are marrying later in the year and are concerned about where to seat family members at the reception. My partner’s parents are divorced and have each married again. As the divorce was acrimonious, I am concerned about them being close together in what is a very small venue, given that last time they were in the same vicinity Marjory tried to run Brian over in her new car. Luckily it was a Toyota Yaris.
Also, in 1966 my Aunt Kay slapped my Aunt Celeste at a family christening and called her a whore. Despite the fact they are now both suffering bad arthritis and cannot form fists, they do have the tendency to bite and those dentures lock like bear traps.
Anxious in Australia
Here’s what you’re gonna do, Anxious. Are you with me? Take your medication if you need to. Look alive. This isn’t the end of the world. You’re gonna dig a pit. Shall we say 40-foot diameter? Okay, you’re in Australia, so that will mean nothing to you. Google your d*** meters—metres?—and get a conversion.
Throw ’em in there. Every one of them. The whore, the biter, the step-inlaws, and the hipster who sees the need for a car with the load capacity of a Mighty Max playset and the physical attractiveness of, say, a Mr. Bigglesworth—or in human terms, a Rob Pattinson. And you make them fight.
We used to do something similar at the animal shelter, when Trump would let us all out of our cages and we’d go to the puppy ward and arrange gladiator-type battles. (This was Trump, the cat ward’s Houdiniesque Maine Coon, not your human Donald). These pupfights were all the rage, until Frodo got soft (this was Frodo the three-legged Oriental shorthair, not the admirable Halfling hero of the fantasy series so popular among your chronically unpopular), renamed them adorabattles, and advocated to eliminate any trace of actual violence from the ring. It turned into a group of us going to the puppy ward every Thursday night to watch the little bastards sleep, until one by one we’d get bored and move on to the quarantine room to wake the sleeping sickies with shouts of “Who wants another vaccination?” Then Trump got put down and we spent Thursday nights in our cages.
Anyhow, yes, the relatives in a pit, fight to the death, last one standing gets to come to the wedding. Sort of a Hunger Games meets that movie with Russell Crowe in the wheat. This saves you on invitations, reception food, and embarrassment. It sounds like the aunts are nearing the end of their lives anyway. Time to send them to the big aunt farm in the sky.
Dear Mr. Ginspurr,
What would be a creative gift for the couple who has everything?
Pauline, my sweet. They don’t have everything. Trust me on this. And I think we may be able to help each other out. Do you know what a Florence Eiseman bonnet is? What about a line of products under the label Purrberry, made from allergy-safe polyester and designed to look like the popular demurely plaid human winterwear?
No? Trust me, Pauline. This is very…unique stuff. I just happen to have it. Not by choice, but by chance. There are certain members of this household who find the concept of cats in outfits amusing. They are twisted and deserve all of the worst wreckages life can inflict on an individual.
It will be, erm, difficult for me to part with these items, but I think I can. For a price.
Come to my house tonight around ten. The large human will be in bed, the small one will still be out on the town. I’ll leave a light on in the living room window. Knock three times on the front porch step. Then get the spare key out from under the decorative gourd near the rocking chair and let yourself in, because I can’t work doorknobs. The items will be ready.
Don’t let anyone see you.
In exchange, I ask only 43 cans of tuna, a few packages of Gorton’s frozen fish sticks, seven to twelve trout, and a signed copy of See Me. (What can I say? I'm a huge fan.)
I look forward to our dalliance with danger tonight, Pauline.
Tell this special couple Allen Ginspurr says, “You’re welcome.”
Meow-freakin’-wow-wow. What else is on the menu?
Dear Mr. Ginspurr,
I'm writing my own wedding vows and I'm not sure where to start. I'm afraid I'll make it too personal and freak everyone out. I've looked into using poetry, but I'm worried that would make it sound too cheesy. Help!
-Suffering in St. Louis
Don’t use poetry. Big mistake.
Let me you something that happened to me not long ago, Suffering. I was cruising with my wingmeown, Moby (This was Moby the half-Himalayan tom, not the human singer. Though I have met the singer, and while a bit self-absorbed, he makes a mean Belgian waffle). The back of our car was full of queens—and this means something very different in the cat world than in, say, the world occupied by the gentlemen who pay my mortgage—and we were looking for a place to party. So suddenly Moby gets it in his head to try reciting his poem, “Your Whiskers, Source of Tactile Input.” There were some structural problems with the poem, and in certain places it forwent the emotional in favor of the technical, but truly, I think even if he had recited a Sidneyan sonnet, the reaction would have been the same. Those queens leaped from the car at the next traffic light.
Nothing, I mean nothing, turns a hot molly off like verse.
No, stick to a straightforward vow. Something like, “You’re pregnant, and I could do worse” (or “I’m pregnant,” whichever way it works) or “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather cosign a bunch of sh** with.”
I'm about to marry a man I don't love. What should I do?
Don't marry that one. Marry one you do love. It's 2013. What is this, a Bollywood film?
Please tell me there's something more heartening in this grab bag of crazy.
Dear Mr. Allen Ginspurr (or if I may be so bold as to say - My Future Meowsband),
I'm your biggest fan! I've been reading your column for years now in Playpuss and it's so titillating. I'm madly in love with every bit of you and when I see you...hearts come out of my eyes!!
I've even attached a picture of me when I hear your name. (see attached photo) I can send you more. I even have some of me shaved, if you know what I mean *wink wink nudge nudge*
So please put this poor Southern girl kitty out of her misery and come and get me, you hot animal you! You know you want to! :)
Ahh, Milly. Milly.
Milly. It’s as if my tongue had been but half a tongue until it formed your name.
You may be so bold. You are so bold. Milly.
The plan sounds good, sweetheart. We’ll have to elope soon though, as I’ve just made a problematic black market deal involving bonnets, some drug-addled entreprenuisance’s idea of fashionable feline accoutrements, and a writer of high-class pornography. I need to get out of the country. How do you feel about Purris, or possible Meowlan? Long have I longed to see Litterthuania. You pick the destination, and we’ll set forth, Milly. There’s just one small piece of business to take care of.
You need to get that eye thing looked at, kitten.
It’s a little disturbing. You look like something out of Bionicle, and I say that with the firm but gentle honesty for which I’m known. I would recommend Lasik surgery, but I fear adding more lasers to the mix wouldn’t help matters.
But let us focus on what is important right now, Milly. Milly Marie. Our love, which can transcend both distance and, possibly, laser eyes—though I’d rather not take the chance.
Meet me in one hour by the statue of Ponce De Leon. I’ll wear a white rose on my collar so you’ll recognize me.
Gosh, I’m bashful about the Playpuss thing. Me, bashful. It’s a night of firsts, Milly. And the first night of many we’ll spend together.
If there’s a fix for that eye thing.
My fondest fishes,
Look at that, even Allen Ginspurr found love this wedding season. Thanks again to all who participated, thanks to MC Blackman for the photo, and if you're so inclined, check out Allen in The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker, available now at Loose Id, Amazon, and ARe.