Dear Luv Doc,
I've been wondering lately if the illustration you have posted with your column is really you. Well, is it? Also, you are often depicted with a diver's mask and snorkel. Are you a snorkeling enthusiast? If so, I'd love to hear some stories about your explorations. You are also often depicted holding a variety of fruits. I admire you for modeling healthy snacking. One more thing. You sometimes appear wearing a hazmat suit. ... Should I be worried? Or is this just a normal fashion choice for you?
Dear God, Curious, you’re really packing them in here. You’re like that annoying 10-year-old from down the block who always shows up and peppers you with questions when you’re underneath your car doing something difficult and frustrating … like changing an alternator. It reminds me of what the old club-footed shadetree mechanic who lived a few trailers down from us used to tell me, “Kid, if you don’t shut up you’re going to end up on the side of a milk carton.”
What can I say? He was a fascinating old curmudgeon with perpetually black fingernails and an ability to spit chewing tobacco while flat-backed on a creeper board. His aim was spot-on. His insight wasn’t far off either. I never did shut up, and while my image did not end up on the side of a milk carton, it’s printed every week on paper made from recycled wood pulp, which technically could include milk cartons. At least, that’s how I choose to look at it.
Yes, that’s actually me – or at least a version of me at a particular place and time. Am I the same person I was when that image was made? Most certainly not. I have changed. That’s OK, I ain’t bitchin’. Evolve or perish, right? I just wish I had a few less liver spots or random, inexplicable hairs growing out of weird places. Growing old is bad enough, but the goddamned indignity of turning into a carnival sideshow freak along the way is sometimes too much to bear. Why does the cartilage abandon the knees and take up residence in the ears? THANKS, Obama.
And as far as my accoutrements, well, ideally they are graphic foreshadowing of what the column is about. Admittedly, most people outside of our graphics department don’t see a snorkeling hose as standard equipment for cunnilingus, or know that if I am holding a banana the column most likely will not be about making smoothies – well, unless smoothie is a slang term for some sort of sick fetish. And, of course, the hazmat suit works as a metaphorical prophylactic for everything from a light dusting of herpes to a full-on Ebola outbreak. I would probably never wear one in real life unless I was going someplace where people were bleeding out of their eye sockets.
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