It’s been a long time since I published some of the letters sent to Mr. Cozy, my consultant on lifestyle and other problems. Here are a few of the queries that have come in, with his responses.
Q. Mr. Cozy, please list the obscene words and references that are no longer allowed to be used on today’s radio and TV programs. – Caitlyn, Largo.
A. Sorry, I can’t help you. That’s because no restrictions remain. The lid is off.
Q. My cat persists in snuggling up to me, purring as I brush her, and showing other signs of affection. Why does she do this? – Charlie, Indian Rocks Beach.
A. Because cats are notoriously bad judges of character. They often are attracted to owners who are scoundrels and nincompoops. You may fit that description. Weigh that possibility, but keep your cat.
Q. When they’re holding a TV press conference, why do so many sheriffs and mayors line up a batch of deputies or other politicians behind them? – Cherie, Belleair.
A. Your guess is as good as mine.
Q. Why are several owners of professional football teams frightened when their players kneel during the singing of the national anthem? – Harry, Gulfport.
A. The owners are petrified at the possibility that the players will stay on their knees and refuse to start the game. This would cost the owners millions of dollars in refund payments. Fear of poverty will always outweigh feelings of patriotism.
Q. What is Java 8? – Lucille, St. Petersburg.
A. Durned if I know, Lucille. My computer keeps urging me to upgrade to Java 8, but it won’t tell me exactly what Java is, or why I should upgrade. I probably won’t bother. I’ve found that computer upgrades generally bring as many problems as benefits. But I could be wrong.
Q. My wife tells me“I don’t feel well.” I reply,“You should say ‘I don’t feel good.’ Who is correct?” – Henry, Indian Shores.
A. That depends on your wife. If her fingers are numb, of course she doesn’t feel well. But if she has a migraine headache and nausea, she doesn’t feel good. Knowing this vital distinction will earn you $0.00 in extra income during your lifetime, but may lose you several friends who listen to your lecture and then reply, “Who cares, you pedantic gasbag?!”
Q. Why do the French get so much attention for inventing French cuffs, French fries and French poodles? – Ray, Pinellas Park.
A. Je ne sais pas. That’s French for “I don’t know.” But I once heard about a French movie starring a man wearing a shirt with French cuffs who liked to feed his dog slices of greasy potatoes. That might have been what started it all.
Q. What should be done to salespersons who phone you at home, tell you they heard about your bad back and how you loved South Carolina and then try to sell you a back brace and two weeks in Myrtle Beach? – Helen, Tampa.
A. The kindest response for both of you is to hang up within eight seconds. A less ethical trick is to place your phone receiver on a footstool and take a 4-mile walk. A nasty but satisfying response is to turn the tables and try to persuade the salesperson to date your daughter, who has just been paroled for attempted murder of her husband, who was also a salesperson.
Q. I’m 86 years old. I follow the news about our possibly going to war with North Korea, and it frightens me. Should I worry about this situation? – Henry, Oldsmar.
A. I share your concerns about North Korea. I cannot honestly offer you much comfort, except for the fact that our worrying cannot alter the situation and therefore is time wasted. A possible alternative: worry about the danger of your stumbling and falling. That’s perhaps the greatest real-life threat to older persons. I’m your age, and I took a bad spill a few days ago. The local hospital fixed me up, but it was no fun. So, slow down, walk carefully, and thereby keep the Man in the Red Nightshirt waiting awhile longer. He won’t mind.
Q. What do you call it when a Presbyterian widow marries a young Catholic rugby player? – Cynthia, Pasadena.