Betting on Burton, mop swap & reader cheater

Betting on Burton, mop swap & reader cheater

Dear Rachel,

I was one of those kids who grew up locked in a basement, or might as well have, because my parents didn’t let me watch movies or TV. So I just saw “Nightmare Before Christmas” for the first time. I asked my bro-in-law if it was a Halloween or a Christmas movie, and he said, welcome to the age-old debate. I realize this is an old fight, but I’m a new dog in it, and I’m declaring it an October flick through and through. But what’s your stance?

– Team Halloween

Dear Sant-o-lantern,

Oh, totally a Christmas movie. Just one that we Christmas lovers can watch starting about September without being ridiculed, shunned or beaten to a sugarplummy pulp. It’s like social drinking for Santa’s groupies: a culturally acceptable way to maintain the habit. Besides, good old-fashioned Christmas ought to have ghost stories and spooky-scary stuff too. Maybe Halloween is really just junior Christmas.

– Boo, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I hate housecleaning days because they take all freaking day. I’m trying to implement a system where the house always feels clean and just needs minor upkeep every day. But the problem is that instead of taking a whole day, it requires attention every day. There’s no break. There’s gotta be a balance in here somewhere. I just haven’t found it yet. You got any bright ideas?

– Pig Sty

Dear French Maid,

You bet I do: Hire it out. Not feasible for most of us, granted. But this is the land of the Durango Tango. Surely there’s a way to trade out some housecleaning services for, I don’t know, gear lending or beer or something. Maybe even a straight swap. You clean someone else’s house, they clean yours, and you both walk away grateful for your own slovenliness. Maybe you’ll even get a date that way. Can’t hurt – it’s tough out there.

– The mint on your pillow, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I got in an argument on the bus the other day, whether listening to an audiobook counts as reading. I’m like, of course it does. It’s almost even better, because it’s like being read to, which feels even more human than reading symbols on pages. This other idiot says no, because it’s lazy and cheating. I know I’m right, so even if you disagree, I just want to know how I can win this argument next time.

– Local Bookie

Dear Audiophile,

Of course it counts as reading. It would also count if you read it in Braille, or in Morse code, or backwards. It does NOT count if you just watch the film adaptation of the book, nor if you read the last chapter first and skim the middle. Doing that is like celebrating Christmas starting on Dec. 24. Technically you got there, but without all the foreplay that is, let’s face it, the reason for the season.

– A real pageturner, Rachel

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