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Ask A Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child

Dear Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child,

Because of a job promotion, my husband and I recently moved from Boston to Louisville, where I don't know a soul. I don't want to stand in the way of my husband's career, but I miss my friends back home terribly. Any advice?

—Lonely In Louisville

Dear Lonely,

Through the fenceposts on the hill I could see them hitting, across the pasture towards where the flag was. Me and Cornpoe was looking for to find some balls that had gotten lost so we could get a nickel, but I wasn't looking too hard on account of it felt so nice to see the men there on that bright green field, and Cornpoe was just sniffing in a bush not saying nothing because she ain't but an old hound. I sure did love that old dog, but that was before the truck come down the road and I yelled for Cornpoe to come back, but she didn't hear and the noise from the motor was so loud it filled my head up with the roar and then it was too late, too late. And the crash, and the noise from the horn blowing, like it was saying Yah. Yah. Yaaaaaahhhh.

Dear Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child,

I have had it just about up to here with our new washing machine! We paid top dollar for it, and it's under warranty, but every time the repairman fixes it, within days it's broken again. It has never worked right, and they can never figure out what the problem is. I want my money back! Am I being unfair?

—Irritated In Erie

Dear Irritated,

I done told that old nigger that I weren't allowed to go out in the rain, on account of my needing my medicine-pills and my coat being none too dry, but he just kept on saying Don't you know we got to Go. Go and saddle up old Bess and get on our way Right Now Boy there ain't no time. I said no no no and then he made like he was about to commence to beating on me and I started cryin' and then I looked up and he was cryin' too. His face went all soft and he said goodbye and take care of your sister like a good boy. As I watched him and Bess going on up that road in the rainy night I kept thinkin' how it dint need to be this way, it could've been diffrent. Lord knows it could've been.

Dear Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child,

Recently, I began to have suspicions that my husband is using the Internet for sex. He denies it, but I can clearly see from the user log that he's logging on to X-rated sites while I'm at work. He shows almost no interest in me sexually anymore. What does he see in these disgusting pornographic websites that is so much more alluring than me?

—Frustrated In Fort Howard

Dear Frustrated,

Well I never thought anything about it except I was saying Run. Run back down to Mammy Granger and the boys from the bunk-house and tell them I never saw nothing, that I ain't seen nobody there in that ditch, with her drawers up over her knees with that man there, too. Run and tell them that I dint see nobody, and make them believe that they was standing up. Run and tell them it weren't true so's Rosie wouldn't get no whipping. But I knowed that they weren't standing up at all. I may not be no nigger but I'll swap any day, since Uncle Quint said it takes a white man not to have any more sense than not to worry about what a little slut of a girl goes and gets herself messed up in. Even though I knowed it was him who made her, made her do it against her intentions.

Dear Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child,

Do you have any advice for a 47-year-old woman looking to meet interesting, single men? My girlfriends at work have set me up on several dates, but they've all been duds. Am I just too picky, or is there a better way to meet someone I really like?

—Stumped In Cedarsburg

Dear Stumped,

I said to the old man that he oughtn't to be drinking no more that night, that he done had hisself enough booze but he dint listen. He just kept on pouring and pouring 'til he was all emptied out and he had to go get the other bottle, the one he hid under the bed in the bungalow. He just sat there drinking all night in the red chair by the typing-machine, talking in that big fancy gentlemanly way he does, with big words too fancy for me to understand. He was talking how he never should have done gone to Hollywood to write for them picture-shows. He was saying how California was like a demon straight from hell, a burning flapping devil beast that ate up everything it saw, and that it even ate his soul. When he stopped talking I tried to shake him to wake him on up, but he weren't moving. He weren't waking on up at all.

Benny Upton is a nationally syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask A Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child, appears in over 250 newspapers nationwide.

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