Fixes for some common problems

Evolution too slow for you? Happier talking to the kids about sex than money? I can help.

Most of the time this column pokes fun, usually while finding a way to reference Charlie Sheen. But this week I’m here to help. There are problems in the world and I aim to solve them—much in the way the presence of Charlie Sheen “solved” my desire to ever watch Two and a Half Men.

Problem: A poll indicates that Canadian parents are more comfortable talking to their children about sex than discussing the ins and outs of money and personal finance.

Solution: Son, have a seat. Comfortable? Good, that’s good. Look—it’s time we had a talk. [Deep breath.] When a man loves a woman, and also a motorboat, he may feel the urge to engage in the act of “earning.”

What happens is the man takes his ambition and inserts it into the employment market, resulting in a “job.” Maybe he works as an astronaut or a doctor. Or maybe he works in a cramped cubicle for a glorified teenager named Gary who has a BMW. A freaking BMW! And every bloody day is like taking your soul and jamming it into the paper shredder and—well, you’ll find out for yourself soon enough. I’ve seen the way that minimum-wage job at Burger King looks at you.

Sometimes, son, your ATM card just won’t work, no matter how many times you swipe it or think positive thoughts. The good news is that today there are treatments for ED, or “economic dysfunction.” They’re called credit cards. Consult your financial adviser should your shopping spree last longer than four hours.

Bottom line is this: some guys have bigger wallets than other guys, okay? Nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes the guys with the really big wallets will walk around at the gym with their billfolds hanging out. Steve down the street does this. Rest assured, son, that this does not impress anyone. Anyway, here’s one of my old copies of Forbes. Just flip through and let nature take its course.

Problem: Barbie’s popularity continues to erode. Worldwide sales of the iconic doll were down eight per cent in the third quarter, continuing a distressing trend for Mattel.

Solution: It’s time to bring Barbie into the modern age so today’s girls can better relate to her. Suggestions:

  • Promiscuous Barbie—comes with home pregnancy kit (Deadbeat Ken sold separately).
  • Arizona Barbie—cries real tears when Sheriff forecloses on Dream Mansion.
  • DUI Barbie—features smeared mascara and glazed eyes for mug shot.
  • Facebook Barbie—throws a tantrum if you close her laptop and try to play with her.
  • Botox Barbie—a plastic face so lifelike, it’s almost human.

Problem: Evolution is moving very slowly, which is boring.

Solution: Scientists in Britain have been given approval to create half-human, half-animal embryos. Let this abomination unto God begin!

Proposed hybrid: Michael Ignatieff + elephant.

Likely result: a political leader who never forgets his empty threats.

Proposed hybrid: Stephen Harper + tarantula.

Likely result: given the genes, this hybrid will attack coldly and without mercy. And because of the tarantula, it’ll be hairy.

Proposed hybrid: Paris Hilton + dingo.

Likely result: Lindsay Lohan.

Proposed hybrid: Kevin Federline + parrot

Likely result: the makings of the best reality show ever.

Problem: Being fat is contagious. A study found that obese children ate an average of 300 more calories when coupled with an obese friend than they did when they were teamed up with leaner friends.

Solution: Listen, I’m not smart enough to understand the complexities of why obesity is contagious—something to do with fat germs, I assume (or, in the parlance of science, carbo-cooties). But I do know this much: it’s a big relief. For years I’ve worried that my excess weight may have something to do with all the crap I eat and the fact that my only daily exercise is pointing at the cupcake I want next. Turns out it can all be explained by my decision to befriend Grimace.

In fact, thanks to science, I can now envision a utopian future in which I won’t be responsible for any of my failings. I can blame my obesity on my friends, my violent outbursts on Hollywood and my hairdo on a cruel, uncaring God.

Important point: not all thin people get fat just because their friends are overweight. Sometimes the process of transference gets crossed up—for instance, Burt Reynolds was buddies with Dom DeLuise for all those years and, while Burt maintained his waistline, he nevertheless ended up catching joblessness.

Point is: the solution to obesity is simple. Go ahead and get rid of your fat friends. But not—and I can’t stress this enough—not by eating them. In a word: counterproductive. M