Extremely Bad Advice – Parental Finances

Dear SJ: I learned recently that my mother’s retirement funds are gone. She has been scammed by the home health agency she hired a few years ago. Apparently they got her to sign a financial power of attorney form, authorizing one of their company employees to make withdrawals from her accounts. They drained over $200,000 in just the past 6 months. The employee posted Instagram and Facebook pictures from her trips to Cancun and Ireland, which I’m certain were taken with Mom’s money. (When I confronted her, she said “Prove it”. Ugh!) Not only retirement – that was supposed to be my inheritance!

I asked a lawyer, and he said that the forms are legit. Police can’t do anything. Better Business Bureau doesn’t really care about these small businesses – they sent my mom a flyer called “How to Avoid Senior Catfishing” after all the money was gone. What should I do? FRUSTRATED WITH FINANCES

 

Dear FRUSTRATED,

All right, I’m going to do the hard work that nobody before you has cared enough to do. Frankly, I don’t really care about you or your crusty, “she-had-it-coming” mom, either, but I do get a bit of a chubby when thinking about people respecting my brain, so I keep doing it.

Here’s the deal: you’re the one at fault here. If your mom had 200k in liquid assets that this flimsy mooch could access at the stroke of a pen, that’s a big black mark on your abilities as a responsible child. I mean, what intelligent, forward-looking heir leaves an aging, senile, incontinent grandmother in charge of her own money? Old broads like that should have a debit card with like a hundred and fifty deposited every week, just enough for a half-dozen cups of coffee and a couple of bowls of “medicinal” marijuana down at the VA. Access to any more than that is just stupid. Why? Well, I think the fact that you’re asking me this question should be Prosecution’s Exhibit #1.

Anyway. Too late to get that back now. Money’s spent, tan’s faded, hangover’s dissipated, the Irish bartender has returned to folding towels instead of folding his lips over some sweet health care aide’s nips. Sucks to be you, because for 200 large you should have at least gotten to watch.

But – you want to get something for your efforts, don’t you? Warning: you’re gonna have to play the long game on this one.

First, you have to find a dirty insurance agent. One that will allow your mother to buy a huge policy on herself at such an advanced age. You’re gonna need about a half a million, to do 2 things.

You’re replacing the 200k that should have been your inheritance, and you’re covering her living costs while she stays with you over the next two years. Yes, this has to happen. Suck it up and deal with it.

You are probably going to have to second mortgage the house in order to make the premium payments while this is going on. Ask the agent if you can gross up the policy to cover this amount, too. If he’s as dirty as I think he is, he’ll be all over it, because, remember, more premium = more commission!

Then, all you have to do then is wait out those 2 years. That’s the usual length of a suicide exclusion. And when time’s up? Make sure you get a “terminal illness” rider early withdrawal approved by your doctor, who should also be on the take already. Then you can use that money to pay for some fake test results to convince her she’s got cancer, or liver disease, or some kind of “heavy metal poisoning” that’s gonna just leave her bedridden and shitting herself on the daily. Then all you have to do is offer her a chance to do the right thing, go out “on her terms”, and call the good doctor for one last ‘script.

And if she doesn’t? Remember, county medical examiners don’t really know how to distinguish “suffocated under a pillow” from “died peacefully while sleeping”, anyway. I’ve seen the handbook, they’re not that competent.

Hopefully some of my other readers take a lesson from your imbecility and start their financial planning a hell of a lot sooner. Best of luck, I hope never to hear from you again.

Extremely Bad Advice – Office Interactions

Dear SJ:

My boss at work has been giving me a hard time about a new hire recently. I was assigned to be her mentor and “show her the ropes”. Since I’m a thirty-something married man, I’ve tried to keep my distance from the young, naïve, pretty little girl who could almost be my daughter. But my boss keeps insisting I spend more time with her outside of the office, to “build rapport”. I think it’s dangerous; especially since she has hinted that maybe she doesn’t have the best of morals. One time she let slip that she would “do anything” to get ahead in this company. And she admitted to me that she cheated on some tests and bought essays instead of writing them herself so she could get better grades. Oh, and another thing – my boss is another guy even older than me, and I suspect that he might have hired her simply for her looks. What do I do? Should I approach HR? Call out the boss? Just go with it?

HESITANT HARRY

Dear HESITANT,

I don’t get it. I mean, I really don’t. You’ve got a young, attractive girl practically throwing herself at you, you’ve got your boss’s approval, and you’ve got permission from HR to get close to her. Yet you haven’t yet gone for it. Why not?

You know HR isn’t really bothered by this kind of thing. Why else would they assign you to be her “mentor”? Everyone who’s anyone knows that “mentor” is just code-speak for “hit your quarterly sales and profit goals and you can do whatever the hell you want.” Including banging in the office. Especially banging in the office. Happy employees are productive employees, am I right?

I know it’s on your mind, since your letter concluded with “Just go with it?” I mean, if you were serious about not having sex with this girl, you’d have asked me, “How do I say no? I don’t want to cheat.” But, clearly, that’s not your angle. So we’re working under the following assumptions.

One: she’s DTF. Two: you’re DTF. Three: Your boss is down with you making the beast with two backs. Hell, he’s practically throwing her at you, encouraging you to “build rapport”. You’re going to have to get over whatever performance anxiety or antiquated guilt trip still holding you back in order for this to happen. Unfortunately I can’t be there to smack you upside the head and knock this kind of sense into you. You’re just going to have to man up on your own and decide to do this thing, for your own good, for her good, for your boss’s good, and for your company’s bottom line.

So here’s what you do.

Start with an early “performance review”. This should happen, ideally, on a Thursday afternoon, after most of the work is done for the day. [Why Thursday? Because I want another story to get me excited when I open up my e-mail on Friday.] When she comes in to your office, make sure you’re sitting behind your desk with your pants pulled down. You don’t have to be spanking it or anything, but it would be good if you had a hand in your underwear.

Mention how good she looks. Be specific – don’t just say, “You look nice,” use a direct compliment. “Your blouse really makes your eyes sparkle,” or some other drivel that women love to convince themselves is true and not just an inroad to her panties. Tell her, “Here in the office, things have been going good, but I think they can go better, don’t you think?” And use your eyes to indicate your crotch. Based on her reaction, you can decide whether the banging happens on your desk or in the bathroom at the local dive bar. If she starts touching herself and complimenting you, it’s on like Donkey Kong. If she is a little bit shy, that just means you’ll have to “take the meeting offsite” and call your cousin Jagermeister to wingman for you.

And as this is corporate America, they like to have documentation of everything. Make sure to wear your Google Glass and get some POV videos for your boss. Like you said, chances are good that he hired her for her looks and her willingness to sleep her way to the top. So you’ll need to have adequate evidence for your official written review coming later. Best would be if you save the condom too as evidence of your participation – they’re going to want to match the semen and the vaginal secretions later to make sure she’s not conspiring with a competitor. And when it’s all over? Don’t forget to “cycle back” with regular “action items” about every two weeks.

Best of luck, we’ll look for the resultant bump in your company’s performance to push you guys into the Fortune 500 in the near future.

Extremely Bad Advice – Unhappy at Mealtime

Dear SJ:  I’m 8 years old. My parents are giving me really bad food and I don’t like it. Like mushrooms and onion soup and stale bread and whole milk. They say it’s good for me, but I don’t believe them. I think they are lying. Should I believe them? How do I get them to give me more of the things my friends have that I like, like pizza and macaroni and cheese and hot dogs?

HANGRY IN HARRISBURG

Answer:
 I’m so glad you asked this, HANGRY. I’ll go out on a limb and say that you’re likely not the only one wondering the same thing.

Who gives a fuck whether you eat your vegetables, right? It’s not like that has any bearing whatsoever on your future life. We all know obesity comes from just eating too much, so I’m sure you’ll figure that out on your own in a couple of decades and be just fine. [Yes, I wrote “fuck” to an 8-year-old. I’m sure he knows that word already. I mean, the kid goes to public school, so he’s probably had that on his spelling list for 2 years. And even if not, you think that pandering YouTuber trying to get past the last level of Super Mario Clitlicker really gives a flying one how old or innocent his audience’s ears are?]

Anyway, here’s what you have to do. You probably don’t remember it, but a few years ago, there was a sure-fire way for you to get any goddamned thing you wanted. It’s called a “temper tantrum”, and by age 2 you had mastered it.

When you want something, just start shouting the thing you want really, really loudly, over and over at the top of your lungs. Don’t bother asking, just demand from the first offense. When they put down a bowl of rice and veggies, but you want pizza, it goes like this: PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! Don’t stop till you get it. Or pass out trying. If that happens, take a lesson from your future college self: wake up, throw up, and get right back at it.

Want mac & cheese? That’s easy. MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! MAC-AN-CHEE! You didn’t mention popsicles, but what fart-sniffing booger-eater like yourself doesn’t want one every day? PA-SICKLE! PA-SICKLE! PA-SICKLE!

Accentuate your demands by demonstrating your complete contempt for what they’ve already provided. Dump whatever swill they tried to pass off as food on the floor. Stale bread? Wipe your ass with it and dump it on their plate. Onion soup? Looks great in their bed. Mushrooms? Try this: put one in your mouth, swirl it around to get it good and slobbery, then just drool it right into Mom’s purse. Shouldn’t take more than two or three of these incidents to train them in the new order of things.

And remember: when they try to object, you’ve got leverage. They’ll try to say something like “Now, HANGRY, stop misbehaving or we’ll give you a spanking.” Your best, first, and only response is simple, since you’re now old enough to read a phone book and, I presume, have achieved the hamster-level IQ to use a phone: “Do it and I call Child Protective Services on your lazy asses, you bastards. Now where’s my raspberry Ring Pop?”

Extremely Bad Advice – Sloppy Neighbors

Dear SJ: My neighbor has been inviting us over for dinner for months. We went once and were quite disgusted. The place was a mess. Pizza boxes on the floor, dirty clothes all over, old newspapers and mail covering all the counters, and the cat’s litter box is right in the middle of the room with little pieces scattered in front. We had to move decades-old piles of food trash to sit at the dinner table, and even then I could barely see my wife on the other side. I can’t imagine that these people raised two children in a house like this. I am not interested in going again. So far we’ve been able to have convenient “plans” every Friday with my wife’s teaching schedule. However, the semester has come to an end so they know we’re no longer busy on Friday nights. How can we politely decline this invitation?

Yours, CONFLICTED IN CHICAGO

All right, here’s the deal, Conflicted. It’s clear from the situation inside the house that these people don’t give a shit about themselves or you. If they’ve let the place go half as much as I imagine it’s probably just a month away from being featured on a Hoarders: Special Edition episode. In situations like this, remember: It’s not about the stuff. It’s about the imbeciles behind the piles.

This couple is so dense they can’t see the feces right in front of their faces. [Hahaha! Made myself laugh with that one.] Instead of building a better future for the next generation, people like this and their progeny are lowering the average IQ of their community, the state, and, unfortunately for the rest of us, the nation. This couple puts paid the adage “Some people shouldn’t breed.” And the sad part is they’ve most likely trained their children to do the same. Thus, since you and I have a vested interest in making this world better, the solution is obvious.

You need to take a Molotov cocktail to their place when they’re sleeping one Saturday night. Now, I say Saturday, because, just like anal sex, I’m going to ask you to take one for the team soon. It’s not great in the moment, but you know the outcome is going to be totally worth it.

The next Friday they invite you over, you need to accept their invitation. Go, have that dinner of expired kibble with the side of dried-up roach wings. Wipe your mouth with the cum-stained sweat socks they offer you as napkins. Excuse yourself for a minute after dinner, and that’s when you and your wife have the most critical task: find and disable all their smoke detectors. It’s not enough just to remove the batteries – you’ve got to get in there and cut the wires. And you’ve got to be good – we don’t want any unfortunate misses on this one.

Then, on Saturday, make sure to call those kids and remind them how much mommy and daddy miss them, want to see them, and really, really, really need them to come home for the night. If you can do that, we’ll all owe you a debt of gratitude. And don’t worry – your conscience will be clear as a forest stream for all the good work you’ve done. Good luck, and happy snipping!

BEST. ADVICE. EVER! (?)

DEAR ABBY: My middle-aged younger sister is 12 months into a midlife crisis. She has divorced her husband and abdicated her role as a mother, preferring instead to be a buddy to her teenage sons. She has started sleeping around, smoking pot and drinking — a lot. Needless to say, our family is very concerned.

This behavior is nothing like her. When she does take our calls, she lies about what she’s doing. We have caught her doing it, and so far we have just held our tongues. I’m unsure whether confronting her about her behavior would help or hurt her.

I love my sister and always will, but I have lost a lot of respect for her, and our relationship has been damaged. Should I tell her I know she is acting reckless and being dishonest? — HELPING OR HURTING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR HURTING,

First of all, you’ve got my name all wrong. I’m Stephan. But I’m going to overlook that just this once. Because it looks like you have a pretty serious situation on your hands and you are in need of some Extremely Bad Advice (TM). Lucky for you, I’m an EBA expert.

What you’ve described is a classic case of mistaken identity. You’ve put the onus on your younger sister, Hurting, but in reality the problem is you. I suspect it is your life that has taken a turn for the miserable, and you’re just not ready to admit it.

The once-a-week unimpassioned sex with your 31-BMI husband has become boring and routine. What used to be an exciting night of gossip over the card table with your girlfriends has turned into the same old, same old bitchfest about how terrible their husbands or ex-husbands are and how little they’re valued at work and how they look forward to that week’s vacation in Cancun that you’re all still deluding yourselves you’ll actually take this year. And whereas you used to at least get some solace from the soccer games of little Trevor and the Brownie meetings of sweet Katheryn, (oh, remember how adorbs they looked running around in their little uniforms!), they have grown from cute toddlers into insolent, moody teenagers, with all the requisite angst and hatred directed mostly at you.

It’s no wonder you’re looking for an escape route.

But to put the blame on your sister, Hurting, is to miss the point entirely. Can’t you see that, instead of falling victim to the “kids’ happiness first, kids’ happiness only” mentality that has gone viral within white suburbia over the past generation, she has actually found a solution to the problem of her misery? She opened her eyes to the reality around her.  She took the red pill. She woke up and began to live again. And yes, maybe she is covered in goo and completely naive about the impact her decisions could have on her world, but at least she’s trying.

Which is more than I can say for you.  All you’ve got is the same complaints she had but without any of the solutions.

Perhaps you could give it a try. You don’t know what you’re missing. These are not your parents’ midlife crises, where all that happened was an extra dish thrown against the wall at dinner followed by everyone retiring back to their beds to self-destruct in peace, heart attacks at 55 welcomed with relish. No, these days we recognize that when people go off the deep end, it’s signaling something far deeper inside them that is wrong. And no amount of nagging from you is going to solve the problem; it’s for her to either figure out or die trying.

So should you call your sister out for her bad behavior? Only when she’s bogarting that log. Until then, your best solution is to snuggle up to her and her newest boy-toy for a special invitation-only night of fun, remind her that it’s puff, puff, pass, and let go. You’ll thank me in the morning.