Strap sleuth, tomato fails and ghosting your family

Strap sleuth, tomato fails and ghosting your family

Dear Rachel,

I was invited on a San Juan River trip with a buddy of mine. While on the trip, I recognized a couple straps on his boat have my signature white/purple markings on the buckle. Those are my old straps! I couldn’t get up the nerve to claim them as I was on his trip and on his raft and drinking his beer. What’s the right thing to do in this awkward situation?

– Up a Creek

Dear Strapless,

The answer is clear: you do nothing while you are on the trip. You don’t want to be left behind. BUT! The moment you are within a day’s hike of civilization, you get the raft on shore – even if you have to stab it with a Bowie knife – and you strip those straps off the boat like a pair of tear-away pants off a Chippendale. Your friend won’t protest too much, because you’re holding a Bowie knife. If he’s a true friend, he’ll understand the Code of the Gear and resume your friendship once you both, somehow, return home.

– Strapped on, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I am trying container gardening on my balcony, consisting of one pot of basil and one pot of tomatoes. The tomato plant is thriving! But the tomatoes are not. We’re almost through the Durango growing season (I think) and I have… drumroll… one tomato. It’s still green, but it has been the same size and shade since June. How can I coax my plant to bear more fruit? If I even can?

– TomatNO

Dear ToMAHTno,

I used to think tomatoes were nasty, slimy, disgusting creatures. I’d rather eat a raw squid whole than a slice of tomato. But then I learned that Wendy’s uses cheap, watered-down, never-were-fresh tomatoes, and that a real tomato is a thing of beauty. That one tomato you have is worth more than all the red seedy water balloons at City Market. Even if it never ripens, apparently you can fry it.

– Don’t call the whole thing off, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

My mother-in-law enjoys exaggerating time to create a sense of guilt. Like last week, she emailed me on Thursday night. I didn’t answer over the weekend because I have a life. On Saturday, she wrote a new email, subject “CONCERNED,” that I hadn’t responded for a week and that she just hoped work was really busy and not that someone (read: her son) was unwell. Is it tacky of me to send her a calendar with dates circled and the definition of a week? And if so, should I do it anyway?

– Eight Ways to Sunday

Dear Timeless,

Just don’t do it while you are on the river. BUT! The moment you are within a day’s hike of civilization, you get the mother-in-law on shore – without a Bowie knife, because I cannot appear to endorse a felony in the newspaper – and you strip that page off the calendar like a pair of tear-away pants off of Rihanna. Your man won’t protest too much, because you’re holding that Bowie knife you’re not using or threatening anyone with in any way. If he’s your true love, he’ll resume your romance once you both, somehow, forget where you left his mom.

– Bon voyage, Rachel

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