Today’s guest panelist will be my mom, who has graciously agreed to interrupt her normal schedule of spending the day being disappointed in me.
The question comes from the Grammy of blogger Girl on the Contrary. If you’re not familiar with Girl on the Contrary, allow me to introduce her with the compliment that she achieves a level of funny earning her a place on my wife’s list of women I can’t be friends with. My wife is not normally the jealous type. I have a lot of girl friends, I’ve kissed attractive actresses on stage, I frequently go salsa dancing in a group that includes two Brazilian models, and my wife never bats an eye. But when a girl makes me laugh, my wife whispers in my ear, “I hate her.” This is why Girl on the Contrary’s level of funny means we can never be friends.
Dear Good Greatsby,
I have a unique problem. My granddaughter Lauren blogs about me. I don’t really know what she says because I don’t own a computer and don’t know how to use the interweb, but I’m worried that someone is going to read her blog and know she is talking about me even though she doesn’t use my name or picture. Lauren assures me that everyone loves me and thinks I’m funny, but I’m worried that I might develop stalkers because of her blog. I don’t know if you know this, but the world is a very scary and dangerous place. People are crazy. I saw this one episode of Law & Order where these young kids killed old people. I don’t remember why or how but I know that those poor senior citizens were murdered. I don’t want that to happen to me! I have already taken to propping a chair on the front door and putting a bell on the door handle so I will instantly be alerted to intruders, but I wonder if that is enough to protect me from the crazies. Lauren thinks I’m being paranoid but I’m confident that my worries about her blog are justified. What should I do?
Trying not to be murdered,
P.S. If Lauren becomes a millionaire by writing a book about me, how much of her profit am I entitled to?
Dear Trying Not to be Murdered,
Paul: If I understand your question correctly, you’re struggling with feelings of guilt for not wanting to be murdered. Not wanting to be murdered is much more common than you may think and no reason to feel shame or embarrassment. Study after study suggests the majority of people don’t want to be murdered.
I wouldn’t worry about Lauren’s blog increasing your chances of being murdered. Only a small percentage of Americans have a blog; this means whenever you read news of a murder, the chances are remote that the victim had a blogging granddaughter. On the other hand, most Americans do have an email account, so every time someone is murdered the chances are very high that the victim had used email–maybe even the same day of the murder! The science isn’t yet conclusive but it appears emailing–especially forwards containing pictures of cats–seems to increase your chances of being murdered exponentially. Instead of worrying about Lauren’s blog, maybe you should confront her about the danger she is trying to place you in by encouraging you to learn how to use the interweb and email.
Regarding the percentage of profit if Lauren becomes a best-selling millionaire: I think the split should be fairly straightforward–If her book is 25% about Grammy, you should receive 25% of the profits. But if you do end up getting murdered, I think you should receive for an extra 15 to 20%.
Paul’s Mom: If someone reads your granddaughter’s blog and then tries to kill you, he is not a good person and not a good friend.
It sounds like you have a great relationship with your granddaughter. I sure wish I saw Paul’s children more often. He lives in China, although I’m not sure what he does for a living or why he can’t do that job in America.
Paul: Mom, over the years I must have spent a dozen hours of my life explaining my job to you. I even made you a Powerpoint presentation. You were so excited when I studied Chinese in college and then really surprised when I took a job in China.
Paul’s Mom: When I learned you were studying Chinese, I was pretending to be excited because I assumed you would quit in two weeks, just like you did with your model railroad and your Bonsai trees.
Paul: I never quit playing the piano!
Paul’s Mom: Your father really wishes you had.
Paul: What’s that supposed to mean?
Paul’s Mom: Your playing lacks passion. You’re the only piano player who can make Maple Leaf Rag seem sad. Your sister on the other hand, now that’s a piano player! As a matter of fact, she brought her kids to visit this afternoon and played the loveliest version of Maple Leaf Rag I’ve ever heard. By the way, I remember your electronic mail said you sent a Powerpoint attachment, but I never received any package from UPS.
Paul: The attachment was part of the email. You need to double click on it.
Paul’s Mom: I double-clicked and the screen gave me a message asking if I want to empty the recycle bin. Is that what you wanted me to read? I don’t get it. Kind of like your blog. Zing! I can make jokes, too.
Submit your questions for The Good Greatsby on the Dear Good Greatsby page.