Hey Uncle Duffy,
Who taught these New Mexicans how to drive? I just moved here three years ago and I go ballistic every time I try to make a left turn at an intersection which has a traffic light. The idiot in front of me never, unless he or she is from out of town, never ever goes into the intersection when he’s turning left. Then, he’ll miss the damn light, and I’m stuck behind him. I can’t beep my horn because I’m afraid he’ll pull out a shotgun and shoot up my car or spill my precious bodily fluids. Why can’t these people pull into the intersection when they’re turning left? It’s really bad in my adopted city of Bernalillo.
—Frustrated beyond belief.
Uncle Duffy shares your pain. It’s totally frustrating to be behind one of these imbeciles who make you and everyone else have to wait for the next 83 lights until there’s no one - and I mean no one - coming from the opposite direction for 142 miles. Just chill out, and always leave an extra ten minutes for any trip, even if it’s a half a block. And, good advice about not beeping your horn. You don’t hear people honking too much in these parts, partially because they fear for their lives and partially because no one cares – no one’s in a hurry in this state…except you new-comers who came from the East or Midwest.
Dear Uncle Duffy,
I’m a 19 year-old coed student at UNM and kind of shy. Believe it or not, I’ve never been on a date, even though I’m told I’m rather attractive. Oh, I’ve been asked out a lot, but my parents are Old Europeans and told me I couldn’t date until I was 30. So I’ve turned down the guys. Most of the guys thought I was gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but they didn’t believe me when I told them that my parents won’t let me go out with them. What should I do, Uncle? Can you speak up for me or maybe write to my parents directly? They never miss your column.
—A sad teen-ager
You sound like a fine person. I’ve got a grandson I’d like you to meet. He’s quite shy also, and doesn’t get out much. Of course if you’re a college girl, you might not be interested in him, he dropped out of grammar school to pursue his dream. You may have seen him, he’s the guy who cleans out those porta-potties by construction sites in Placitas. So…never mind Hubert. However, this note is to your parents, and you can print this out and put it on their breakfast table. Hey guys – let her go out on dates. It’s noble that you put up restrictions, but I’d not make a blanket statement that she can’t go out. Lots of females end up in big trouble when they’re monitored so tightly. Here’s my suggestion…let her date a guy who comes to your door so you can see him. Simple rule - Do not, repeat do not, let her date any male with tattoos or any body piercing. Tattoos and body piercing makes ya’ stupid. The more tattoos and the more piercings, generally the dumber the guy. Also, don’t let her see any guys whose jeans are hanging way down from their crotch area like they just took a 10 pound dump. Anyway, that’s my take.
Dear Uncle Duffy,
I’m, like, really a funny guy. I really crack up my friends with my barrage of knock-knock jokes, riddles, and funny stuff about poor people. I was thinking of going into improvisation at one of the Albuquerque clubs, because, like I said, I’m like really funny. What do you think, Uncle? I have about 3 minutes of material, well about 2 minutes, of good stuff but I thought I could stretch it a little by mentioning that y’know,” it’s really a good crowd”, and “you guys have been great”, and stuff like that which I hear on Comedy Central. Then I thought I could write a sit-com pilot using all my buddies from the local high schools. I’ll call it “Nob Hill 87010” It’ll be about us wacky teens driving real fast on Central. What do you think, Uncle Duffy (hey, can I call you” The Duff-meister”?). I’m chuckling just thinking about it.
Fastest wit in Duke City
You may not call me “The Duff-meister”. I don’t know if you’re the fastest wit…you may be half right. If the letter you sent (and I had to clean up the 93 typos and grammar errors) is any indication, I wouldn’t quit my day job if I were you. You’re a good example why folks at the fast food poison joints had to change their cash registers for their employees – instead of numbers they have pictures of hamburgers and sodas on the keys to avoid confusing your little brains. And, by the way, you’re not funny in the slightest. People are laughing AT you, not with you. Trust me on this one!
Last month you criticized local TV news reporters because they try to make big deals about nothing, and they do “team reporting” only when they have to fill up spaces. Here’s two other things I hate about our local TV news at 10:00. First, they keep teasing the big stuff by constantly going to the weather-idiot or some garbage-footage they have and saying, “after the next 14 breaks we’ll discuss the important stuff”. And the stuff is never as good as the hype. The other thing that gets my goat is that all the TV news reporters are cut from the same cloth. When the camera cuts to them they all have to start walking towards the camera to add to the drama of what they’re saying. All that walking makes them look like clones of each other. Is there no imagination left from the producers of the local news?
Dear Fed up,
Like I said a couple of months ago, I stopped watching the local news years ago. Two things I will say – 1) the job of those TV cloned reporters is tougher than you might think. They have to speak extemporaneously and try not to drool when speaking, and 2) local news is lousy everywhere, even in major markets. The one exception I’ve seen is WGN out of Chicago which you can get by cable. The beauty of that news is that you can really get good news, and you can laugh at the Chicagoans for their minus 80 degree weather in the Winter, Autumn and Spring until the Summer when it shoots up to 110 degrees and 300% humidity.
Is it true that repeated exposure to banjo playing and banjo players can cause irreparable inner-ear damage, or is that simply a tall tale invented by frustrated guitar pickers? While I have no firsthand experience, my sister's husband's cousin's wife's uncle had become stone deaf while trying to tune the 5th string on his banjo for six straight days. These days, I'm told, he continues to play incessantly, and doesn't seem to notice the discordant sounds coming from his instrument -- much to the detriment of conversation in their household. This points to a much larger threat, that Repeated Continuous Exposure to Banjo can eliminate human interaction and communication. While I realize that most people are not subjected to RCEB, those that suffer from this affliction may someday move into the higher levels of government, where they might become an international liability. I have been led to understand that there are quite a few banjo players in Texas, for example. That seems to explain quite a bit, don't you think?
—A concerned New Mexican
Uncle Duffy takes great offense at your letter, but in the spirit of free speech feels there’s no alternative than to publish it. Some of my best friends noodle on the banjo, even the 5-string banjo, and many of them are not real stupid. And, although many banjoists would not be confused with Rhodes Scholars, some of them have IQ’s which do approach the triple digits. As to your reference to Texas, I prefer to not be too political in this column, but the conclusions you draw may be steeped in a modicum of accuracy.
Dear Uncle Duffy,
I received a nice letter from some nice man in Nigeria who wants to put 5 million dollars into my bank account. The most money I ever got was $25.00 on a scratcher. He says he’s a chief accountant for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He says that he got my name somewhere and that he needs me to help transfer some money to the US concerning a pipeline in Nigeria. Anyway he says that if I send him some money (really just a few thousand) I can make the five hundred million dollars. What a nice guy. I’m thinking of doing it, but need a loan. Hey, if you loan me the few thousand, I’ll share the winnings with you. What do you think, uncle?
You may wish to refer to a letter which came in to my offices in October from some NM idiot who thought he was going to win some money by buying magazines. I’ll give you the same advice. Don’t do it, nimrod. Most of us get these Nigerian letters about once or twice a month. It’s a scam, but the government is powerless to stop it because it preys on greed of idiots like you. Thankfully you don’t even have the seed money to lose to these shysters. Wanna buy the Montaño Bridge?
I keep hearing radio advertisements for buying a star for my girl. They say if you send them a bunch of dough, they’ll name a star after my girl and put the name in some kind of official registry – the Star Registry in the Copyright Office in Washington DC. Then they’ll send me directions how to find my girl’s star. Should I do it? Will they give me one of the good ones like that there North Star – I think it’s called Pollanus or something? My girl already is a “heavenly body” if you catch my drift. Do you think they’d name a planet after her or one of them hemorrhoids which orbit in the solar system? Sorry for all the questions, I don’t know much about astrology, but I want to do this right for my chick’s 16th birthday. By the way, her name is Venus.
First let me clear up a lot of misstatements in your letter. I can see that, even though you don’t know much about astronomy, you obviously TOOK UP SPACE in high school. And “astronomy” is the science, “astrology” is not a science, it’s just a bunch of idiots pretending that the alignment of the universe is anything but random. The north star is Polaris. They’re called asteroids, not hemorrhoids – and I won’t even link that with Uranus. Mainly the Star Registry is as much a scam as the Nigerian letter discussed above. It’s pretend. You really won’t have a star named after your “girl” Venus. You probably don’t even know that there’s already something called Venus in space – and it’s no doubt a lot brighter than your friend.
Dear Uncle Duffy
(Is Duffy your first name or last name?)
My husband Manny says it's OK to have a drink after you have finished breakfast (unless it's on the weekend in which case you can have a drink with breakfast). In my family we were told it is not OK to have a drink before 10:00 AM. Who is correct?
—Dipso in Rio Rancho
First, Duffy is my first name although I do know some folks with the last name of Duffy. Since they’re Hispanic, they call themselves Los Duffys. Sadly for him, he married Muffy Shapiro and she actually changed her name to Muffy Duffy. But I digress… If Manny wants a drink before or during breakfast, I say that’s okay by me. (Of course he must never drive again, but I think you know that anyway.) Uncle Duffy always gets serious when it comes to a major problem in this state – DWI’s – do don’t drink and drive. There’s a famous bluegrass song called “Whiskey before Breakfast” which explains a lot about bluegrass musicians and music. Hey, Ulysses S. Grant drank before breakfast, and they named a middle school after him in Albuquerque. Robert E. Lee never drank, and he lost his rear-end in the Civil War. Cause and effect? You tell me.
Dear Uncle Duffy
My husband Enrique got knocked flat on his keester when he tried to run though the invisible dog fence with Barnaby's (Barnaby is our German Shepherd) collar on. He claims he was just testing the collar to see if it worked OK. I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't some part of his brain that is not functioning correctly. (He does come to dinner when I ring the bell). Do you think he needs to see a psychiatrist?
—Worried in Cherry Hill
Enrique sounds like a keeper – whether you want to or not. Heck you can keep him home just by telling him that the collar is a new cool manly necklace you bought him. After the 83rd zap he’ll sub-consciously decide never to venture out again. Uncle Duffy once had a friend in Scottsdale who had an invisible fence, but liked to carry her dog around the house. She always tried to carry the dog through the fence and couldn’t understand why he tried to bite her all the time. True story!
Dear Uncle Duffy
What is all the fuss about football? The game makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever to me. It looks like a bunch of animals running up and down thumping their chests and doing silly dances. Am I missing something here or is football just over-rated?
—Rather be shopping in Corrales
Dear Rather (any relation to Dan?),
My father was an immigrant from Belarus. To the day he died he could never understand football. He used to tell me in his Belarusian accent, “Vy don’t zey jahst gif everyone a ball so they’d stop fighting over it”. Me, I love to watch football and I agree that the silly dances and thumping of chests and macho bravado ruin the game. So is the pointing in the sky when one moron scores a touchdown because the other moron (who had also pointed up to the sky) missed an assignment. I like to think God has better things to do with his time than to root for the Raiders against the Buccaneers. Maybe he doesn’t. Let’s face it, these guys are not really from Tampa (there is no city called Tampa Bay, leastwise, not in the Tampa Bay area) or Oakland, it’s just one corrupt corporation against another, so rooting for one city team is like cheering on Sears against Dillards. And, by the way, if I may continue my rant, did you ever notice that all of these former football players end up the rest of their lives crippled and even more slow-witted than they’d be if they didn’t get their heads pounded every weekend by 400 pound dyslexic behemoths.