I Already Have a Subscription to National Geographic, Thank You

Sep 15, 2010

Dear Dave,

I work with a dude who takes exotic vacations like the rest of us take aspirin. One week the guy’s surfing in Hawaii, the next he’s in Switzerland trekking or in Lombassa collecting butterflies with John Malkovich.

This wouldn’t be so bad, but when he gets back, he rubs it in. He’s all “See this tan? I got it on the South Ridge of Mt. Kokombozer. Boy, what a view; we could see all the way into Heidiland!” Or he’ll whip out some stupid, shiny gadget and say, “How do you like this nifty pocket gasniffulator? The king of Gondwanaland gave it to me for saving his wife from an alligator in the moat outside the castle. How’s your pathetic little life, by the way? Still clipping coupons and re-using Baggies?”

Then he puts those pictures on the web. “Here I am relaxing by the hotel pool in Hong Kong.” Or “Here I am on Mykonos hammering Ouzos with Al Gore. Man, the guy is a sponge!

It’s driving me crazy. I guess my question to you is: how do I get this dude to stuff a sock in it? I’ve had enough of his seven league boots, believe-you-me, and I’d like to know if there’s anything short of maiming him that’ll get me some peace and quiet.


Sick of the Slideshows in Boulder

Dear Sick of the Slideshows in Boulder,

You really re-use Baggies? Are you serious?

This guy you’re talking about obviously wants attention. He sounds to me like a cross between Richard Heene and your garden-variety trench-coat flasher.

What do we do with children who demand attention? Do we accommodate them, and ooh and aah over their peevish little accomplishments? Of course not; we ignore them, and that’s just what you’ll have to do with Balloon Boy. The next time he tugs at your sleeve and starts rambling about his most recent exploits, turn your back to him and tell him in a calm, measured voice that you have grown-up stuff to do now and that he should go play in the basement. Then walk away.

The key here is to be consistent and firm. Remember, tears are Heaven’s raindrops. Or something like that.

It’s truly depressing that I had to walk you through this. Loser.