DEAR NATHAN: One of my friends, “Max,” cheats at golf. Otherwise he’s witty, interesting and fun to be around. He moves his ball closer to the hole on the green and “improves” his lie when he thinks no one is looking. I have tried to overlook Max’s transgressions, but others in our golf group talk and joke behind his back. How should I go about stopping the problem without stressing our friendship? –FLORIDAGOLFER
DEARFLORIDAGATOR: Wow! Max sounds like a real piece of work! I can’t believe that he has any friends at all with that type of behavior.
There are really three courses of action for you to take.
Option 1: Whenever Max cheats, stand up and, at the top of your lungs, shout “MAX IS A CHEATER! LOOK EVERYONE! HE’S CHEATING! WHAT A BIG WIENER!” You could also up the ante by sarcastically calling him Arnold Palmer or saying things like, “Man, I am as bad at cooking as Max is at cheating at golf. Of course that doesn’t stop him!”
Sure, you may lose a friend by being obnoxious, but on the bright side you don’t have to play with a cheater anymore.
Option 2: You could also cheat. In fact, just get rid of any rules. +1 stroke for a water hazard? Not anymore. That water is housed inside of a hole. Since the entire point of golf is to get the ball into a hole, you actually got an Eagle with that stroke. Way to go!
It could become a chaotic golf anarchy type of situation, but if everyone is cheating then it really doesn’t matter.
Option 3: Realize that all of you are adults, ask Max to quit cheating, and remember you are PLAYING A GAME! Unless he is doing this in the U.S. Open, which I would guess he isn’t, it is not hurting a single person.
Happy complaining about cheating like a kindergartner,
DEAR NATHAN: I have a good friend, “Renee,” who is Canadian and a permanent resident of theUnited States. We don’t always agree on things, but one thing really bugs me about her. She’s always saying how “nice” Canadians are and how rude Americans are.
On a recent trip we took toCanada, she commented about a cashier who was nice to us by saying, “That cashier wouldn’t have been so nice if we were inAmerica.” When I try to point out evidence to the contrary, Renee shrugs it off and calls it an exception to the rule.
How should I politely ask her to knock off bashing Americans? — LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
DEAR LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT: It may be hard to believe, but some people are not huge fans ofAmerica. Maybe it’s because we are constantly stuffing our faces with things that are triple deep fried or because we attack other countries for seemingly no reason. It could also be because they’re jealous of our countless national treasures such asMount Rushmore, theWashingtonMonument, theGolden GateBridge, or Kim Kardashian.
Whatever the reason, a strong dislike of our country can be very hard to defeat.
Canadians tend to view us Americans as very rude, most likely because of our theft of several National Hockey League teams. There’s not much happening north of the border, so the loss of any source of entertainment to places likePhoenix,Denver, orNorth Carolinais a huge hit. Combating this can be nearly impossible.
If I were you, I would casually mention Canadians that I knew for a fact were not polite:
“Canadians are so much more polite than Americans.”
“Yeah, I hear that Willie Pickton was really polite, unless you consider killing 49 women to be rude. In that case, he was not really polite.”
Since Renee most likely does not view mass murder as polite, that will shut her up for a bit. It may not be a permanent fix, but it’s better than calling her Dudley Do-Right or berating her for saying “Eh?” at the end of every sentence.
Happy casually mentioning a serial killer in conversation,
DEAR NATHAN: We love our son-in-law, “Chip,” but not his family. Family get-togethers are very strained because they drink — a lot.
Chip’s brother has given beer to his 3-year-old and no one says anything. I find it appalling and a form of child abuse. Chip’s brother is a know-it-all, sarcastic and rude. I am worried about my grandson spending any time with them. My daughter has also made her concerns known to Chip, but nothing changes. Should I stay out of this? — TEETOTALING GRANDMA
DEAR TEETOTALING GRANDMA: Believe it or not, this is common problem. By that, I mean not liking someone you’re related to by marriage, not getting 3-year-olds drunk. That is a fairly less common problem.
The first thing I would do is make sure the 3-year-old does not get on his big wheel because the last thing we need in the world are drunk toddlers on the road. Sober him up with a cup of black coffee. (Editor’s note: Do not give toddler’s black coffee. Or beer. Really, the rule is any beverage you, as an adult, enjoy should not be given to toddlers. Unless you really like milk. Then it’s fine.)
To understand the problem a bit more, I have a couple questions. Is the brother giving alcohol to people who are incredibly underage the same one that is sarcastic and rude? If it is, the problem could be easily fixed with a cut brake line or, at the very least, a nice swift kick. If it is a different brother, it is much more complex. By that, I mean you would have to cut TWO brake lines or kick TWO different hindquarters.
Personally, I do not think you should stay out of this. In fact, you should get more into this. I would recommend pointing out to your son-in-law that alcohol is bad for kids. Also, gently point out his brother is a huge turd. If that doesn’t get through to him, scream in his face until he understands.
If nothing else works, physical violence is a solid back-up.
Happy sobering up your toddlers before you go beat the living tar out of a terrible person,