1. in the last panel, the recommender is peering in the window delighting in the fact that the recommendee is actually reading the book. Mildly creepy – very Maximumble.

  2. Very creepy that the first being is up a ladder outside second being’s bedroom, spying on them. (Despite the excuses offered.)

  3. My neighborhood cat info maillist is always busy with “Found cat” and “Cat spotted loose” messages, many with snapshots, asking if this is a known indoor/outdoor cat, if there is a known owner, if it seems in good condition, etc. Today there was one about a “bob-tail tabby” that I see outside frequently and think is living rough, but seems healthy and well-fed. Before I was about to reply with that info, a woman who lives around the corner from me had replied, saying much the same, and adding that her name for him is — “Bob”.

  4. Mitch4,

    Lots of outdoor cats look well-fed, because there’s usually two or more people in the neighborhood who are feeding them. I had one outdoor cat that got so fat I had to take him in to keep others from feeding him.

    If the left ear is docked, that’s a cat that has been trapped, neutered, and returned.

  5. As a cartoon it’s ….okay.

    The joke, such as it is, is that when you recommend a book you get anxious and hope the person will read it. And often you get emotionally involved and eager (“have you read it? Are you reading it? Huh, huh?”) So yes, spying on the guy reading in bed is violation beyond creepy in real life, but in cartoon logic… It’s okay…. like peeking in the around the corner of the break room at lunch (“oh, gosh, oh gosh! He’s reading it!”).

    ….. Okay, when I put it like that, that sounds creepy too …. but… c’mon, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

  6. The comic cracked me up — I feel the same way when someone checks out one of the books I have in our Staff Picks display at the library (I’m a librarian). I mean, I don’t go spy on them while they read, but I am always exceedingly curious as to whether they like the books I recommend.

  7. I know a woman who gets very excited about giving gifts, forwarding funny pictures, sharing recipes, etc. And she gets very upset if you don’t receive them with equal enthusiasm. She takes a mere “Thank you, I liked it” as proof she failed horribly.

  8. I’m getting a little tired of the current incumbent of the “Dear Prudence” personal advice column at Slate. Unsubscribing to newsletter, regular audio, and bonus audio, is going to take some work. But meanwhile the podcast version lingers in my unlistened 10-to-20-minute backlist, and probably where I heard or read a letter and response that I cannot now find in the print listing of recent columns.. (And can hear the little demon on my other shoulder saying “See, you still sometimes find it interesting, and want to forward links to friends!”)

    Anyway, the issue was essentially what the last few comments have been pointing at, only from the contrary point of view. The LW (letter writer) was an aging mom saying “I love to send my son, and his family, little surprise gifts I order online for them. [I think it was mostly stuff like mugs and so on, but personalized with photos etc.] But they barely acknowledge them when we next speak, or not at all. And I’m just asking because, you know, delivery is so uncertain these days, I’m just concerned that the gifts got there, not hankering for effusive thank-yous.” Prudie and audio sparring partner spent way too long working around to the idea that they can tell the LW she quite obviously is inventing the delivery anxiety and is just using this as a tool for extracting response from the son’s family.

  9. Thanks, that would explain it!

    I think I started getting turned off when listening to a podcast episode, doing a letter from another mom of grown children, this one complaining about the time her college daughter brought home a boyfriend as holiday houseguest, who behaved somewhat inappropriately, by this mom’s standards, including nagging her on environmental matters like using disposable plastic water bottles. “Prudie” and discussant partner were mostly on the mom’s side and considering how she could get this message across and whether to approach via the daughter in the middle. But they couldn’t stop themselves from noting that they think the boyfriend was absolutely spot-on about the water bottles, and the letter writer deserved to be lectured about getting a refillable or something!

  10. I don’t want to be impolite, but since you didn’t say what in general bothers you about the current Dear Prudence (yes, I read the examples, but you didn’t actually give reasons), I hope it isn’t the simple prejudicial matter that a lot of people are being affected by… 😦

  11. @Deety says: I hope it isn’t the simple prejudicial matter that a lot of people are being affected by…

    I’m not completely sure what you mean, but I’ll venture to say, No, don’t worry, it isn’t that.

    Not to stray too directly into politics, but the plastic water bottle example could generalize to what bothers me; a sort of over-eagerness to find every occasion for being more Correct than others.

  12. Mitch4: I hope they didn’t just say that the mother should use refillable water bottles. I always make sure to use organic, fair trade, locally-sourced, refillable water bottles!

  13. To be fair to them, as Powers pointed out, the podcast differs from the print column. I think it is not a disjoint set of questions taken up in the podcast, just a small subset. And the talk between “Prudie” and an invited collaborator is in the manner of their discussion interactively about what should be said — in the printed response that will be done after, based on this discussion. So that bit about “He was right to nag you about the bottled water” was them joking in the thinking-it-over audio, and it may or may not have made it in some tamed form into the printed response. But just the wanting-to-say that did give me an image of what was bothering me about this incarnation of Prudence.

    There’s an obligatory joke on Evian being Naive spelled backwards. But I forget how to construct it for humor!

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