“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” – Duke Ellington

Tell this to your children and you’ll probably receive a blank stare. Then again, those children may be your problem. You may think passing on this piece of wisdom from a 103-year-old jazz artist will inspire them. I have a much more effective tool: bribery. Offer to pay the munchkins to stop whining and resolve the problem without imposing further upon you. Actually, I’m unqualified to give you parental advice as I did my best to fix a certain problem I had by blocking the flow of egg-hungry sperm from my tool of procreation.

The most prevalent problem, especially this time of year, is weight. Whereas most of us claim to be skilled drivers, few of us can deny we could lose a pound or twenty. We think doing our best would require bowls of broccoli and countless hours running in place. First, having fat isn’t a problem. If famine set in, those manic marathoners would be the first to perish, and they don’t have enough meat on their bones to feed the rest of us. Our problem isn’t our fat, it’s the media who has convinced us that only muscle tone is attractive. Do you think models spend 365 days a year as skinny fucks? Nope. They crash diet for the photo shoot and the graphic artists clean up anything leftover. So, your best way to deal with a weight problem is to consider it less of a problem and more of a survival strategy, because skinny people are fucking miserable.

That leads me to happiness. There’s widespread unhappiness, especially in the snowy states. If your problem is that you are unhappy, you need to find something that makes you happy and do the shit out of that. Chances are curing yourself will involve some combination of food, alcohol, sex, and entertainment. Dr. Phil (this one, not the arrogant hayseed with a porn mustache) recommends his quick-fix cocktail: Crack a bottle of red, put something funny on TV, drink glass one, watch internet porn while drinking glass two and eating chocolate, masturbate, and nap. Yay, a new you!

Work problems are also widespread. It sucks to wake up early, the commute sucks, finding parking sucks, the office temperature sucks, your chair sucks, your boss sucks, and you do it all for a salary, which sucks. I could tell you to quit, but you have (suck-y) bills to pay. Try this: Start looking for a new job that might suck less. If you find one and you’re sure it sucks less, quit. There’s rarely a happier day than the day you search Word templates for resignation letters, fill in the blanks, and smirk while handing the letter to your boss, thus making your problem her problem–writing job descriptions, interviews, etc. Another option is to find something you can do from home so you can avoid the inevitable office life-fuck. Hey, why don’t you start a blog and write a book?

This brings us to a problem near and dear to my brain: writer’s cramp. It’s not a block, because I can always write. The pain is caused by finding something to write that will be read and appreciated, preferably in the form of payment. It’s no simple task. This writer does his best to overcome this affliction by posting up at a pub with a frosty beverage and asking the closest mating option why she’s single. Women love it when you imply they have problems. It gives us men a chance to do our best by taking the blame.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.
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