Dear Good Greatsby: Should I Pretend Not to be Better Than Everyone Else?

Posted on August 3, 2011


Today’s questions come from blogger and author, Tyler Tarver.  Allow me to introduce Tyler by saying he has never asked to borrow money or invited me to his child’s birthday party, thus winning my hearty endorsement of him as a writer and human.

Allow Tyler to describe himself in his own inspiring words:

“Tyler is primarily a person but also not a billionaire. You can check out his creatively named site, follow him real good on Twitter at slightly similar name @tylertarver, or just buy his brand new toilet book titled Words&Sentences that people all across the country accent are saying is “the most overrated thing since sliced bread.”  He’s not as attractive as you, but he sure does love you.”

Dear Good Greatsby,
When I go to Red Lobster they always make me pay for the food but my mom never does. How do I get my mom to get a job at Red Lobster?

    Dear Tyler,
    Paul: I experienced a similar situation when I tried to get my mom a job at Disneyland. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the job because Disney preferred a job applicant who showed up for the job interview her son pulled strings to arrange.

    More and more experts are blaming parents for giving children free food and conditioning them to a sense of entitlement and unconditional love. When children grow to be adults, they expect the world to love them regardless of their true value and without any effort on their part to be good-looking or rich–the two essential ingredients identified by scientists and most major religions as the components most likely to trigger the brain’s love center. It’s difficult to go to a restaurant and understand why anyone would ask you to pay for food when your mom has been feeding you for free for so long. Your mother has done you a great disservice and the damage is irreversible at this stage in your life. Most courts would agree your mom owes you some financial compensation and if she can’t be convinced to work at Red Lobster, is it possible to have the cost of Red Lobster gift certificates deducted directly from her checking account each month?

    Ken: Paul, I just want to clarify whether the brain’s love center is triggered by actually being good-looking and rich or is it good enough just to say you’re good-looking and rich like you manage to say every time you see my girlfriend?

Dear Good Greatsby,
Hello, How are you? Down to business like a tie on the floor. I am having trouble being better than everyone else. I always have to pretend that I’m not the best runner, dancer, word user, and water user. Should I start training other people to get better, or just stub my toes and fingers to decrease my abilities? Please help me so much.

    Dear Tyler,

    Paul: Sounds like you and I have a lot in common.  When I wake up in the morning, I immediately look at my list of things to do and number one on the list is always: Impress people.  Number two on the list is always: Learn hypnotism technique to convince people to be happy for my success instead of plotting to kill me.  I find myself in constant danger because I spend too much time on number one and not enough on number two.

    The obvious solution is to find higher caliber friends and family. Your family may not understand why you have to cut them loose, but of course their inability to understand things on your level is the very reason you have no choice but to move on.

    Ken: I can vouch for Paul that he gets very little accomplished each day besides daydreaming of impressing others.

Dear Good Greatsby,
My wife says our son is soooo smart, but when I ask him questions about politics or ancient literature, he only replies with things like dada and uh ohh. I know I am smarter than him because I was in the top 15% of my entire class, alphabetically. How do I prove to my wife and everyone else that I’m smarter than our 12 month old son?

    Dear Tyler,

    Paul: I’ve never been one of those parents who brags about their children’s intelligence. I’m more likely to brag about my sons’ handsomeness, especially my oldest because people say he looks just like me and if a woman says, “He’s so handsome. You know, he looks just like you,” I consider this an obvious attempt at flirting, which is much more satisfying than an urbane comment about my kids’ smartitude.

    Don’t worry about proving to your wife that you’re more intelligent than a baby. It appears your wife is easily impressed and your efforts to demonstrate your competence by holding a job, memorizing the state capitals, and being able to go to the bathroom unassisted have been completely wasted on her. Try pointing out your ability to hold your head up unassisted, and if she seems impressed, you have permission to take it easy for the rest of your marriage.

    Ken: This is all making sense now; I wish I had counted the times you showed my girlfriend a picture of your son and tried to coax a comment from her about him being handsome and looking just like you.

    Paul: Yes, I wish you had counted so we would have a definitive record of the number of times she very clearly hit on me by complimenting my son. My estimate is about twelve to fifteen times.

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