Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Advice for the Troubled

By Captain Opinion

DECEMBER 7, 1999:  Dear Captain: All my life I have been afraid of things -- people, ideas, sunlight, church services, apples, my own shadow, bottled water and crickets. I have struggled against these fears, suspecting they might be irrational and knowing that if I am ever to achieve the fame and respect that is due to me I would have to at least pretend that I wasn't afraid of apples.

Through many years of intense work I managed to overcome these fears. Although I still shudder at the sight of non-alcoholic beer and am tempted to run and hide when I see overweight people dressed in tight clothes, I persevere and get through the day without having a nervous breakdown. I have found a sense of confidence and self-worth in my ability to confront these fears. In fact, I have begun writing my dissertion on how to conquer the fear of Red Delicious apples. In short, I have felt powerful, in control and manly. But lo, just yesterday, when it seemed as if the battle had been won for good and the forces of darkness vanquished, I was gripped by an uncontrollable fear. It was a deep and pervasive fear; a fear of something that wasn't there; a fear of nothing, and a fear of everything. After a quick, but deep, analysis, I realized what was wrong: I fear fear itself! I was disgusted with myself, and embarrassed and ashamed as well. I mean, all we have to fear is fear itself, right?

Am I a wuss? How do I overcome my fear of fear? And, most importantly, will FDR be mad at me?

Cap'n O: I don't know.


Kind and Good Sir: I flew into a rage this morning. I threw a frying pan through the kitchen window, ripped up the children's homework papers, took a sledgehammer to several of our home's interior walls, put a brick through my car's windshield and stomped our VCR to pieces. Why? Because the day started out bad. Because I felt the world was conspiring against me. Because I felt the world was crushing me.

What caused these feelings of helplessness, rage and despair?

The yoke of the egg I was frying for breakfast cracked in the pan. My egg wasn't perfect!

After the insurance company adjusters left I realized what an idiot I had been. I had blown up and gone bezerko over a minor, trifling inconvenience. I put my family through a morning of hell because my egg yoke broke. I felt stupid. I thought about all of this nation's war veterans and how they had to go through combat and risk the inconvenience of having their heads, hands and legs blown off, and I thought to myself, "To get angry over the inconvenience of a broken egg yoke is pretty sick and pretty pathetic." Then I felt worse for being so pathetic, and I flew into another rage, and this time I started our house on fire. I sit here in the charred remains of our once-tidy bungalow and wonder to myself: "Is there something wrong with me?" So I ask you, Brave and Intelligent Sir, do you think there is something wrong with me?

Cap'n O: How the hell would I know?


Dear Officer of the Masses: My next door neighbor is bald. When he wobbles around his yard on weekends the sun shines off his bald, bald head and nearly blinds me and everybody else in the neighborhood. I can deal with that problem. I just squint a lot. But here's the thing that bugs me about the guy. I can't get it out of my mind that he is using his bald head as a signaling device to alert Russian and Chinese satellites to the location of my yard. It burns me up, I tell you, and all I want is to give this Commie a haircut, if you know what I mean, and knock his bald head right off his Chi-Com shoulders. Any thoughts on this matter?

Cap'n O: None.


Dear Insightful Sir: Each morning I wake up and very carefully and precisely fill a clear, eight-ounce glass on my dresser half full of water. Then I smile and say cheerfully to myself: "The glass is half full!" But no sooner are those words out than I'm screaming at myself in an angry voice, "The glass is half empty! The glass is half empty! The glass is half empty, you crazy, stupid nitwit freak! Don't deny it. The friggin' glass is half empty!" I throw myself into walls and grab myself by the throat and scream to myself that the glass is half empty. The children cower behind chairs and cry when I do this. The wife weeps gently and says prayers. What's going on here?

Cap'n O: Can't tell.


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