M a r c h   2 0 0 6

No time for love

What Karl Rove would have told me to say
Dear Dr. Jones
by GZO Jones

s it advice? Is it opinion? Or is it simply the monthly rant of a pompous, over-the-hill windbag? Whatever it is, it's been happening without fail since our very first year, 2001, when GZO Jones contacted us from his Brazilian retreat and hinted at a literary pedigree that reaches back to the Beats. So we offered him the job and he's amused us while remaining pithy and religiously reliable ever since. Plus, he works really cheap.

Dear Dr. Jones,

In your response to the question about teeth-grinding, you mention various eras and their relative turbulence vis-à-vis folks grinding their teeth, noting that "the '90s had Reagan." As a teen of the '80s I must ask: what do you mean?

Reading In Portland

Dear RIP,

You're not the only person to ask some version of this very same question. And, um, I could say the Alzheimer's is creeping in. Or that this month's shipment of mushrooms had passed its expiration date. Or even that my editors should have caught it. Or my shrink.

But, indeed, Ronald Reagan ran the planet in the '80s, not the '90s as I wrote.

In reality, I was wrong. I have no excuses. I did it. I pulled the trigger. I'm the one to blame. No matter what I'd been drinking or with which mysterious companions I'd been hunting.

It was the worst day of my life.

If I knew Karl Rove, that's what he would have told me to say. And all would be right.

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

OK, I was flipping around the TV last night and passed a show called "Final Destination 2." Now, by definition, shouldn't "Final Destination" have been enough? If they didn't get to a final destination by the end of a movie called "Final Destination," don't you think they should give it up??

Anthony in N.J.

Dear Anthony,

Yes, they should give it up. And you shouldn't watch so much TV.

– Jones

Examine more advice from GZO Jones, visit his Web site and e-mail your question, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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