Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
Last week, the husband of a good friend of mine passed away. He was in his early 60s and it was a big surprise to most people.  I knew, however, that “Bill” was heavily into drugs and alcohol and I think that was at least partially the cause of his death. In her grief, his wife has started to make up fantastic stories about the things that Bill did. Where he went to college, how much money he made, all these skills and talents that I know Bill did not have. When friends express surprise at what an incredible guy Bill was, should I say something? Or just let his wife continue to fabricate stories about a life that didn’t exist?
I Know Better

Dear IKB:
It’s her husband, her fantasy. What does truth have to do with it?


Dear Short Answers:
I’m a 22-year old single guy with a 21-year old female roommate. Two weeks ago, I bought a case of beer (the one that has 18 bottles) and over the weekend, we had like 4 bottles or so. On Monday, I got back home around 5 pm and she was drinking, so that was the first shock to me. I left home and I came back around 9 pm — and she had finished the whole case! I didn’t find any of the bottles and she told me she already recycled them. Yesterday, I was vacuuming the apartment and was shocked when I found the 18 empty bottles in her room! So what is that?!! I mean, why would she save them in her room for that long and say she recycled them!  Why would she lie?

Dear Shocked:
Although we hesitate to jump to conclusions, it sounds like your friend might be an alcoholic.  If we are right, you will see this kind of behavior again — and soon. Stay tuned. What to do about it is another question.


Dear Short Answers:
At what point can I steal my neighbor’s dog? They pay absolutely no attention to it. It’s either inside all day whining or outside tied up. I don’t think it’s ever been bathed. I checked and it doesn’t have a license. But when I called the local shelter they told me that all they could do was send a letter to the owner asking that they get a dog license. I asked my neighbor if I could have the dog but they won’t discuss it. How do I help this poor animal?
Dog Lover

Dear D.L.:
Ask again if you can have their dog.  And sweeten the deal with a few bucks.


Dear Short Answers:
I have a good friend who is my age (late 50s). She’s perfectly normal looking but she acts like she is a sex goddess. Low cut dresses, mini-skirts, push-up bras. Lots of perfume and make-up. How do I tell her to stop it and act her age?  She embarrasses me and herself wherever she goes.
A Friend

Dear Friend:
How she dresses is her business and YOU are old enough not to be embarrassed by anything but your own behavior.

Life is complicated.  Short Answers isn’t.


Send a question about whatever is bothering you to or go to and a psychologist and sociologist will answer.  A selection of the best questions will be printed every week in KonkLife.

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