The Askin’ of the Chris: A Realistic, Semi-Fictitious Advice Column*

By Chris Gay

Here are this week’s questions for The Askin’ of the Chris: A Realistic, Semi-Fictitious Advice Column

Dear Chris:

I’m a guy who just can’t figure out women. In most cases we seem to speak the same language literally, but not figuratively. In conversations with various girlfriends I’ve been straightforward and enunciate clearly; and when they talk I take their words at face value, under the presumption that what they’re saying is indeed what they mean. However, my words always seem to be misinterpreted into some odd meaning I never intended. While conversely, I’m often chastised for not looking past their actual words to read the signs that supposedly reveal the clues to what they really mean. I’m about ready to join a monastery. Any suggestions?

-Confused in Columbus

Dear Columbus:

My guess is that you’re under 25, and as such not quite as experienced in navigating through such feminine verbal gymnastics as you will later become. There is some good news, however. As time goes by, you’ll realize that it doesn’t  get any easier to figure out, anyway. Eventually though you’ll take great comfort in the understanding that most men of all ages never will, either. So there’s that. At any rate, the next time a  woman asks you to ignore what she’s saying outwardly and instead read her “signs,” mention politely that you’re fluent in English, and not trying to date a 3rd base coach. While this sentiment most likely won’t be warmly received, you do have to admit that it’s a fairly decent comeback.

Alternate Politically Correct Response-

Dear Columbus:

Learn to better explore your inner feelings so that you may better understand hers. Only then will you be able to correctly interpret the signs she so lovingly longs for you to translate. This will permit you both to continue along on your mutual path of respect, as well as allow for the construction of the strong foundation on which the building of a healthy relationship is required.

Dear Chris:

I have dated a long string of jerks and I just don’t know how to break the cycle. The pattern seems to be that I fall for a guy who’s smoking hot. However once in the relationship, he begins to treat me with immense disrespect. For example, against my requests and better judgment he’ll engage in a diversity of undesirable activities, as well as use various types of derogatory nouns in place of my given name. Also, it soon becomes apparent that his most significant skill is a seemingly ethereal proficiency with Halo 2 on Xbox. Why can’t I change any of these guys into the good men I’d hope they would be?

Lady in Waiting  

Dear Waiting:

Do you know why, after 4,500 years, Stonehenge still remains a collection of stones? Because that’s what they are. If you stand by those rocks and treat them well in hopes of seeing one change into a BMW at some point, you’ll likely be very disappointed. On average, the women who relate stories similar to yours indicate that they generally spend two years, give or take, in relationships like these before finally giving up on them. If you’re 40, that’s 5% of your life- per jerk. You’re probably younger than forty, too; which makes it an even higher percentage.  Anyway, here’s a little secret- guys are very simple to figure out, and once set in their own ways rarely change. If it helps at all to know, men like those of whom you speak are shallower than an empty pool after a light rain. Instead of dating a jerk and trying to change him into the decent man he’ll never be, why not try dating a man who’s decent from the start? It saves a lot of time and is much more effective. From what I’ve seen countless times however, that’s a path many women simply don’t wish to choose. And while it’s their prerogative, all it ever results in is for them to be parodied later in some writer’s fictional humor blog  ‘Advice column’ piece. Think about it.

Alternate Politically Correct Response-

Dear Lady:

Like the Monarch butterfly, all men need to fly free in order to truly find out who they are. Only after they know themselves thoroughly can they better work on what others are expecting from them. With certain men, such as those you’ve described, patience is the key. While it likely won’t change who they are into what you’d hope they might become, the silver lining is that there’s an outside chance they may someday win a video game tournament. The downside to that, however, is if the winnings are large enough, they’ll probably leave you for someone else. On the other hand you never know; they may be too lazy to look.

*I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or professional doctor of any kind. I’m a writer and a humorist with an honorary degree in Common Sense. These columns are for entertainment purposes only, and some submitted questions may have even been written by me. That oughta cover things.

To submit your questions for consideration of use in this periodic humor column, please place them in the comments section of this blog.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota and Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. His book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, is an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2CJGSherlock1c

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

Advertisement

Pulp Fiction. Or at Least a Reasonable Facsimile

by Chris Gay

Dawn broke on a new day in the old silk town situated just east of Hartford, Connecticut. Morning comes early here in the east. In fact, it consistently gets here three hours earlier than it does in the west. But you’re not here for a geography lesson. Actually now that I think about it, rarely does the west coast get to see an actual “live” performance of Saturday Night Live. Although that, too, is irrelevant; so we’ll move on.

As I got myself out of bed and headed for the door to retrieve the morning paper, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, (yes it’s a word) why do I bother with the paper when anything that could possibly be in it I’d already have learned through my computer, cable TV, & cell phone the night before? Secondly, (also a word, but I’m guessing most of you knew that) I was hungry. So, I decided to do what the men in my family have done for centuries, ever since our family’s original patriarch came over on the Mayflower. Or was it the Sunflower? No, wait. Neither. He was Lithuanian.

At any rate, though the rest of this sentence may sound redundant, like my forefathers before me I decided on journey to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. As an aside, imagine if you were on Wheel of Fortune, that was the puzzle, and you guessed a “G”? I mean technically, there are two G’s in that phrase if spelled correctly. There are also 2 G’s at some point in every trip to space. Or maybe not, though it seems like a safe assumption. But I digress.

With strawberry frosted doughnuts, excuse me, donuts now fully occupying my thoughts, I quickly tossed the paper on the table, grabbed my keys, and headed for the car. Minutes later I was at the counter, cursing myself for holding the door for the woman who now stood in front of me on line ordering a half dozen coffees, each with preparation instructions so unique that they’d aggravate Wolfgang Puck. Had I known this would be the case-and I should have based on prior experience-chivalry indeed would not have survived on this day. It was eerily reminiscent of a garden variety trip to the deli counter; only with pastry instead of cold cuts.

Finally, she was on her way without as much as a cursory acknowledgment to my inconvenience. No matter. I was on the clock. With my anticipation levels having been built up to a crescendo, I looked out upon the racks and instantly found myself wracked with disappointment. (Like that? Racks and wracked are nearly homonyms. In fact, if I could’ve used them as ‘rack’ and ‘wrack’ they would’ve been) But I couldn’t.

So anyway, what I saw was a very sparse selection. I should’ve known this, as when you take a chance on a Dunkin’ Donut’s connected to a gas station, you’re chancing slim picking’s. I mean the assortment, not the singer. He passed decades ago and spelled his surname ‘Pickens,’ in any case.

What I glazed-sorry, gazed-out on was disappointing to say the least. Cruellers (the ‘e’ is optional, but I’m trying for a decent character count here) and Boston Cream. I really hate Boston Cream, and not just because I’m a Yankee fan, as ‘Yankee Cream’ doesn’t sound any more appetizing than the aforementioned. Frankly it sucks. Vanilla Kreme, whose innards taste as if they were harvested from a can of Duncan Hines frosting, are far superior. Alas, there were none. So cruellers it was. I placed and then paid for my order and, not being a coffee drinker, swung by the station’s cooler to grab a Coke Zero. Yes, I do realize that it’s an absurd justification to think diet soda makes up for two large French pastries, but I don’t make the rules.

I paid separately for my aspartame-infused seltzer water and made my way back into the saddle of my 4 liter mount. For one fleeting moment, I considered consuming them right there, but for some unknown reason take-out food tastes better if eaten from your own couch, while reading your antique newspaper. I drove away unhappy in the knowledge that I’d soon be left satiated, albeit unsatisfactorily. What can you do? I thought to myself. It’s been said that Life has its little peaks and valleys. This was a valley. So be it.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

 

A Connecticut Yankee Fan in Red Sox-leaning Hartford

By Chris Gay

I am a New Englander, born and bred. I love pumpkins, hayrides, and the concept of clambakes. (What can I tell you; I hate seafood. Except for those little Pepperidge Farm Goldfish) I also love flea markets, sledding, autumn leaves, long walks on longer beaches and…the New York Yankees. How is that, you ask? It’s a short story. But first, a little filler; er, perspective.

Connecticut’s  Identity Crisis

I’m from Hartford, Connecticut, where generations of people have grown up rooting for either of these teams not only in the same neighborhood, but often in the same household. As if Hartford doesn’t have enough of an identity crisis. (I’ll get to that topic another time) For those of you more well-versed in the Jersey Shore than in geography; unless, of course, the geographical question is actually about the New Jersey shore, we’re centrally located between New York and Boston. In fact, depending on whom you ask, “Hartford” translates either to “Southern Massachusetts” or “Upper Manhattan County.” Just kidding. In truth, Hartford translated loosely means “Deer Crossing,” but that wouldn’t have been quite as funny. (Incidentally New England trivia buffs, “Boston’s Lap Dog” can be interpreted as “Providence, Rhode Island”)

I’ve played softball next to nine other men alternatively wearing Red Sox and Yankees jerseys; where else on Earth would you see that? What baseball has regressed into here in the Constitution State is a never-ending war of words between native Nutmeggers; both fighting for the honor of two wholly separate states that, apart from the contents of our wallets, couldn’t possibly care less about us. Be that as it may, the barbs are unending. Arguments between friends, family. co-workers, teammates, gym attendees and wait staff are common, everyday occurrences here.

In the Beginning…

Here’s the chronology of becoming a baseball fan in Connecticut. You’re 1) Born 2) You choose (or in many cases, be assigned to) the Yankees or Red Sox while still in the maternity ward. From that day on, the only thing that separates you from the native fans of either team in their respective states, is that you don’t have some form of unintelligible accent.

If you’re a guy, generally your preference for one team over the other is based on either emulating or rebelling against your father. If you’re a woman, I couldn’t tell you. I chose the Yankees in my formative years, and if you think I’m a bandwagon jumper it’s worth noting that over my lifetime I’ve also rooted hard; and in some cases much harder, for the Hartford Whalers, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Expos, Seattle Super Sonics and Kansas City Royals. But I digress. As I grew up, became my own man and began forming my own opinions on everything from sports to politics, I realized I had made the right choice, regardless of parentage.

Like both Democrats and Republicans, fans of the Red Sox and Yankees are to some extent hypocrites. The Red Sox ladle out contracts by the multi-millions while their fans still accuse the Yankees of buying titles. (One can only imagine a Pittsburgh Pirate fan’s reaction after listening to Boston-ians whine about payroll) Citing loyalty, they simultaneously call Johnny Damon a carpetbagger and worse for taking 12 million more dollars to play the same game 4 hours south, while remaining curiously silent as their own management signs Bronson Arroyo to a hometown discount, just before promptly trading him to Cincinnati. They erupt intermittently with chants of “Yankees suck!” even when the Red Sox are below them in the standings. (Which makes sense, one would imagine, if you’ve consumed enough liquefied barley and hops) Prior to 2004, listening to arrogant Red Sox fans you’d never know which team had gone 86 years without winning the World Series. In fact, among my friends who dislike both teams, they prefer the Yankees to win just to keep Sox fans quiet for awhile, as if that were possible.

As for Yankees fans, we are…well, on second thought, a perfect representation of manners and sportsmanship. (What did you expect? This isn’t Curt Shilling’s blog)

At any rate, I love New England. It’s part of the fabric of who I am and always will be. I’m a history buff who’d much prefer spending the day in Boston than New York. I treasure the foliage of Vermont, the beauty of New Hampshire, and the beaches of southern Maine. But as for becoming a New England pro sports fan, aside from a return of my beloved Hartford Whalers, I’ll pass.

The best thing I can think to say on behalf of Boston fans is this: a bartender in Old Orchard Beach, Maine once served me a cold beverage in a New England Patriots glass, and didn’t throw it at me when she was immediately asked to pour it into a neutral one.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert

My First Sonic Experience

By Chris Gay

One of my medium-sized pet peeves is being made to watch commercials and ads for appetizing junk food restaurants whose nearest location is, at minimum, four states away.  Having lived in Connecticut nearly my whole life so far, I’ve never had occasion to try Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Carl’s Jr., or Sonic. Well, now you can scratch one off of that list. Sonic recently came to my hometown, bringing with it fanfare the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Nutmeg State got its first Krispy Kreme a few years back.

After passing the new eatery several times, I discovered that my desire for one of those cool looking slushy drinks had not yet been surpassed by my disdain at the prospect of waiting in a line that seemed even longer than this run-on sentence. Last night was a Tuesday however, and though the place was still jammed I had doubts that it’d become any less so as the week progressed.

Costly Wasted Fuel Versus the Pull of a Chili Dog

After a quick glance to the left, where a gas station marquee literally illuminated the fact that my lengthy idling would come at a cost of $4 a gallon, I decided to pull in anyway. What the hell. My latest birthday wasn’t even two weeks past, and it was still fresh enough in my mind to serve as a reminder that time and cholesterol wait for no man.

Now it would seem that I was too dumb to connect the dots between the endless commercials showing Sonic customers in their cars, and the fact that Sonic is an exclusively exterior bistro. Fine. I’d play along. At issue though was that all the stalls were full. As I circled around and around, cars that had come in after me were lucking into slots vacated by their occupants almost instantly after I passed them by. Much like a missed highway exit, there’s no backing up at Sonic. My stomach was getting impatient, and I was playing the automobile equivalent of musical chairs.

The time had come for a different strategy. After one more circle around I pulled off to the right and waited like a famished lion, ready to pounce on the first open stall to present itself. Finally at long last, I saw them; brake lights. Someone was backing out! Immediately I accelerated to 2 MPH less than the maximum parking lot speed limit allowed, and pulled in.

At long last I had made it. Years of being made to watch witty repartee over tasty looking tators in thirty second increments without the ability to join in (short of buying a bag of frozen Ore-Ida’s or spending hours on the New Jersey Turnpike) were over. I decided to savor the moment and the menu. I took my time; thinking there had to be some reason for all of the fervor. The more I read, the more I realized I was looking at a slight variation of a typical fast food menu. No matter. I would not be dissuaded.

Time Travel Through Music

As I read, I could hear the sounds of Sonic’s own radio station spilling music out into the warm summer night. I was born in the 1970’s, and most of the songs predated me. I couldn’t complain though since several of them are on my iPod. What can I say? The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” still holds up as well today as it ever has. But I digress.

Even though there’s not the same urgency to order quickly as there is in a more conventional drive-thru lane, eventually it comes time to make up your mind. I decided to push the red order button and give myself until The Voice came on to choose. After a minute or two, it did. I was asked by The Voice to whom had she the pleasure of addressing. I was caught off guard; not certain of the question’s relevance. However, after realizing she didn’t write the script, I passed on several mildly sarcastic response options and answered “Chris.”

The pleasantries dispensed with, I now had to place my order. I was wracked by indecision and out of time. From somewhere I could hear myself asking for the two Chili Cheese Coney combo and a cherry ice cream slushy. And just like that, it was done. I was told my food would be out shortly. With the pressure off and a little time to wait, I checked the cell phone to see if my Buffalo Bills had finally signed a much needed quality offensive lineman. They hadn’t. So I kept waiting and listening to the songs my mom grew up with until the Coneys showed up at my window.

I paid the server and took the bag. I was only five minutes or so from home, but for the full experience, I opted to eat my dinner there. I started with a Coney, then some taters. They were good. I don’t really know what I thought I was getting. Maybe I was anticipating some sort of gourmet dish after all the hype. Then I realized I was in all likelihood expecting far too much for my $7.

The Verdict

The service was friendly, the food decent, and the prices reasonable. Although I’ll wait till the novelty wears off a little and the lines decrease before returning, I’m glad I went. I’m not sure if it was the music, or that the only basketball team I ever cared even a little about was the Seattle Super Sonics. I’m an ice hockey and football guy, but hey; in all sports you have to root for somebody.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

%d bloggers like this: