Category Archives: Dr. Babooner

Ask Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr.Babooner,

I’m a World Leader who has worked pretty hard to get to where I am – an elite figure who is leading part of the world – thus my title.

But when I say that I “worked pretty hard,” that might mean I cheated a bit and took advantage of some good fortune that was none of my doing. I may also have stepped on a few people and connived a little, financially speaking. Nothing too out of the ordinary for a human primarily interested in his own survival.

We’re all familiar with the standard weaknesses of our species.

Anyway, I have reason to believe a good number of my misdeeds have been documented in the so-called “Panama Papers” that are being combed over and slowly released by an international team of journalists who apparently take no small amount of delight in humiliating people like myself.

There is a remarkably vast trove of documents associated with this, the largest leak in the history of tattling. It is so big and it affects so many people, I’m hopeful that my crimes may not seem so bad when compared to the sins of people even more powerful and more famous than me.  For that reason alone, I’m inclined to wait it out even though my wife says we should sell everything and leave the country immediately.

Dr. Babooner, millions of the unwashed masses are already saying I’m crooked. I love my wife but I don’t want to validate that suspicion by cutting and running, even though it kills me to just sit around right now pretending that nothing is wrong.

What should I do?

El Presidente

I told El that he (she?) has nothing to worry about if the slow release of these Panama Papers drags on through the summer. Come September, it’s likely that the soap opera story of the November American election will Trump all other news and his (her) crimes will be completely forgotten in light of much greater and more showy offenses.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

Cookie Church

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I have been on my feet in the kitchen for three days straight, faithfully baking the eleven different kinds of Christmas cookies my family expects to see displayed on the table when we sit down for our holiday meal.

Each cookie type calls for a specific set of ingredients and requires that I perform a carefully choreographed ritual that usually involves standing at the counter, kneading the dough, kneeling before the oven,  wearing the ceremonial mitts,  and arranging the finished offerings in a sacred tin.

At the meal, my cookies are the final course before we head off to church.  But at that point I’m sore from standing and exhausted from the cookie-baking effort.  I feel like I’ve already been to worship and I’d much rather take two ibuprofen and have a nap.

Does that make me a heretic?

Aching Baker

I told Aching Baker she is NOT a heretic because all of her rituals seem perfectly ordinary and are widely practiced whereas heretics go very much against the grain. Also, “heretic” would be a good name for a twelfth type of cookie – probably something with a big fat walnut in the middle.  

But cookie baking is a form of personal sacrifice, and if she is concerned that not going to church after all that work will somehow count against her in the final tally, I would like to suggest that a good long nap is also form of sacred meditation.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

Ask Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

Last Friday I spent ten hours building websites and troubleshooting tech problems at my day job, and then I trudged home to do some online shopping.  Through the weekend I checked in with all my friends and family on Facebook, followed the Sunday football games on my fantasy league sites, and spent the wee hours of the next day chasing down Cyber Monday deals before heading off to work.

Then today while I was Googling concepts for a client who has an amazing idea for a new app, I realized something kind of frightening – I’m totally fed up with computers.

Which is kind of a problem  because I’m at the keyboard,  staring at a screen pretty much nonstop during my day.  If I really can’t stand computers, I’ll be out of work and on the street before the week is out.

At first I thought I should go to the HR department and talk to someone about it, but then I realized I didn’t have to – I could just go online to find a whole bunch of great resources to deal with computer fatigue.

And guess what?  The internet is also full of advice for what to do when you’ve had it with the internet.   Most of the sites tell you to log off and go outside and do something physical, though there are also a bunch that suggest you to clean the house or take a nap.

But I didn’t do any of that – because the more websites I found about people hating computers and being online, the better I felt!

I don’t know if that means I’m cured, or just more pathetic than ever.  Do you?


I was about to answer DigiFried when I realized it was an unseasonably mild day in early December, and if I took an afternoon walk I could watch some snow melt in the local park.

What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

Ask Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

Last night I went to a job interview and boy, was I surprised.  There were about sixteen other people there – and all of them were candidates for the very same job I wanted!

I’ve never done well in mass interviews under hot lights. I’m much more comfortable when all the attention is on me, and last night was no exception.

There were “gotcha” questions galore and the job seekers were spreading the nonsense pretty thick, using non-sequiturs to give non-detailed non-answers.

I, of course, told the complete and totally true truth every time a question came my way. But overall I was kind of embarrassed to be there.  And I think some of the others were feeling embarrassed too.  At least I saw embarrassment in their eyes whenever they looked in my direction.

And all of this was for a position that they’re not going to fill until more than a year from now.  Like I can wait that long to have paying work! Even though I’m incredibly, unbelievably rich, I’ve got a whole lot invested in the idea that I work really hard and anyone with half a brain would hire me in an instant.

But will anyone hire me 13 1/2 months from now? Hard to know.

Still, I really, really, really want this job.

Dr. Babooner, should I keep trying to win over the hiring committee, or cut and run?

On the border fence about it,

I told DT he (she?) should stop worrying his pretty little head over what might happen and keep chasing the job. Speak out loudly and often, I say. Don’t hold anything back – tell us every thought you have, every time you have one, as soon as it occurs to you. Really, why would you live any other way?

But that’s just ONE opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

Ask Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I’m just as upset as I can be at the thought that my government continues to collect raw data about my phone calls without my permission, and just between you and me I want it to stop immediately.

Some say most Americans don’t understand the difference between tracking metadata around phone calls and “listening in” to what is said in the conversations.

They say I’m confused over this issue. In the parlance of today’s youth, they call me “all messed up.”

But how would they know how “messed up” I am unless they were listening to my phone calls?

That’s where you’d find sure evidence – the wrong numbers I dial, the incoherent messages I leave, my pointless rants, my misdirected anger, my smothering over-involvement in other people’s lives, and my creepy drunken midnight calls that dissolve into soft whispers and sobbing.

So oh yes, I’m sure they’re listening.

If they don’t stop collecting this data soon, they should at least have a relationship expert or a voice analyst listen very closely to that short conversation I had last Thursday with Carol. I think she still has feelings for me, not because of anything she said, but more in the tone of her voice.

Why won’t the NSA confirm it? I know they have the technology!

B. Reft

I told B. Reft he is a good citizen for caring so passionately about this surveillance issue, but he should stop drawing conclusions from scanning the headlines only and take the extra time to read the entire article. And anyone who needs the help of an NSA voice analyst to keep love alive would be better off looking for a new relationship.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

Ferns and Cockroaches

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

My ex-husband was such a snot, he brought everybody down with his relentless negativity. He always assumed the worst and constantly complained that human beings were “messing everything up”. He couldn’t hold a job and didn’t care that our family was running out of money because he was convinced it was only a matter of time before we’d annihilate ourselves as a species.

His crabby doomsaying drove away all my friends and the neighbors would close their windows and draw the shades whenever he went outside. He’d sit on the deck smoking a big fat cigar, flicking ashes into my carefully planted flower beds while he mocked me for the work I put into the landscaping.

“Geraniums are unsustainable,” he said. “Evolution and radioactive mutation will destroy almost all living things. After the big one blows, all that will be left is ferns and giant cockroaches.”

Fortunately, I saw the light and ditched him last winter. Now everything he hated is still here but he’s gone.

He moved out of state and I haven’t heard a thing from him since the divorce. The odd thing is, I can’t keep geraniums alive in that spot by the deck anymore. I plant and water them but they wither and die. And ferns are coming up instead! The neighbors still steer clear of the house and every now and then I hear a strange rustling sound inside the walls.

Either he put some kind of hex on me, or left the house full of bad vibes, or the apocalypse has already occurred an I just don’t know it. And remembering what he said about ferns and cockroaches, I’m terrified whenever I have to fetch something from under the kitchen sink!

Dr. Babooner, can a place be haunted by someone who is still alive?

With Utmost Concern,
Totally Freaked

I told Totally that the only place her ex is capable of haunting is the inside of her head. His apocalyptic visions got lodged in there and simply need to be driven out. My recommendation is to watch Dr. Strangelove a few times and learn to love ferns – they’re really quite beautiful. Although he was wrong about so many things, he’s probably right that ferns will outlast humans on this planet, just as they did the dinosaurs. Think of the ferns as respected elders and plant the geraniums somewhere else this year.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

Ask Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I’m an older person who enjoys his simple pleasures. I cherish my freedom to “live large.” I figure I’ve earned my leisure time. No one is the boss of me and every minute of every day is pretty much spoken for. I guard my schedule of planned relaxation quite jealously.

Sitting in front of the TV with a beer a jar of nuts is one thing I really enjoy. I know it’s not particularly healthy, but I view physical exertion the same way some people look at paying taxes – I don’t do it unless forced, and then with plenty of complaining.

I don’t socialize or do things with the extended family, because that’s not really part of my routine. I start the day with light beer, dry roasted peanuts and morning news shows and slowly transition to dark, hearty beers, cashews, and police dramas.

There might be some intermittent napping in there as well.

Still, my relatives pester me about doing things to prolong my life, citing studies like this recent one that claims people could live five years longer if they would just do three hours of “moderate” exercise every week.

I don’t doubt that any of this is true, but do the math – that’s six full, 24-hour days of exercise each year. And let’s assume you get your five year “extension”. You’d have to continue this exhausting habit to stay alive – no coasting. Six times five is thirty. You’d be stuck doing another month of exercise until the grim reaper finally allows you to quit!

In the meantime, think of all the TV that would go un-watched, the peanuts that would be uneaten, and the beer that would remain un-drunk!

Dr. Babooner, why should I change my comfortable and abundant lifestyle just to spend more time (literally) on a treadmill?

Bud Planters (not my real name)

I told Bud Planters (not my real name) that his “routine” is actually a steep downward spiral but he’s free to live five years less than he might if that’s his preference. But I couldn’t figure out two things.

  1. How did the mental fog lift long enough for him to do the math on excise and write this letter?
  2. How did he wind up with relatives who care whether he’s around an extra five years or not?

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?