“I also have a sex partner who is starting to seem a lot like said hangnail.”


Dear Sugar,

I have a hangnail that is extremely irritating … but it hurts too much to just pull it off. I also have a sex partner who is starting to seem a lot like said hangnail. Any advice on how to solve either of my problems?

Hangnail Hater


Dear Hater,

Hangnails are tricky. I once went skiing in Denver with a hot little Cuban monkey who drilled me like a Marine. The problem was my ski boots. They were too tight. As a result, I got this wicked hangnail, bad enough that they had to Medi-vac me down the mountain to a sadistic podiatrist. What did he do? He just hacked through the offending nail, right down to the quick. I was sure it was going to grow back sideways, right into my soft flesh. But it didn’t. It grew up. And my Cuban lover was very gentle, even as he took me from behind in the sauna. So my advice with the hangnail is to find a gentle Cuban. Actually, that’s my advice on all your questions.

You’re welcome.


Dear Sugar,

Lately I’ve been waking up at 4 am almost every day absolutely convinced I’m going to get fired from job or have my hours slashed in half. I told my coworkers and boss about it and they just laughed. On a rational level I know I don’t have to worry, and yet every night there I am sure I won’t be able to make next months rent or get another job, and too stressed to fall back asleep. Also I have a recurring dream about going on the Star Tours ride at Disneyland and am wondering if I should take advantage of the free-on-your-birthday Disneyland offer this year or if I should resist advertising that has somehow infiltrated the precious few non-work stress related dreams I have left. What do you think?

Anxious in the AM


Dear Anxious,

You’re fired.

Hahaha. Just kidding. I don’t have the power to fire you. Only Obama does.

As for the Disneyland birthday business, you have to remember that the rides are free, but you have to pay for the food and beverages, and your soul gets loaned to an out-of-work mascot for the duration of your visit.

Regardless, you touch upon a vital point: Americans are losing their jobs. The great myth of building a country on consumption is crumbling like so much feta cheese. Or perhaps it’s drizzling like so much imported balsamic vinegar. The point is: you can kiss the fancy salads goodbye for the next long while.
Is that such a bad thing? No.

The truth is, we were all getting oppressed by abundance and losing touch with our frugal, Puritan roots. (Dress warmly inside! Beets are good! Grandma didn’t have much longer to live anyway!) Privation makes people dependent on one another, and can awaken untapped reservoirs of mercy. For more on this topic get off your ass and read “The Grapes of Wrath” with particular emphasis on the final page. Now that’s what I call the milk of human kindness.

Stop fighting the anxiety. This is where we are as a people, and where most of the rest of the people on the planet have been for some time. They’ve learned to adjust to economic insecurities, to enjoy the moments of “not getting fired,” rather than focusing on the actual “getting fired” part. There’s a chant you can say that will help, but that costs money.

P.S. – You’re still fired.