How to do the wrong thing right

_howard-russell-logoThe most famous verse about springtime ever penned — “April is the cruelest month” (thank you, T.S. Eliot) — was apparently coined not in reference to, say, taxes being due or allergy season descending on us, but rather to all lads whom one meets in high spring being the very wickedest/highest fucks of the year. So let’s get right to it.

Dear Howard,

I’ve officially hit mid-life crisis mode: For the first time ever, I’ve begun dating someone a good bit younger (27 years, to be specific) and when the kid’s sober, he’s an angel: extraordinarily polite, gregarious, considerate; the problem is he’s never sober. Over and over, “Julian” keeps reassuring me that his life really isn’t as off-the-rails chaotic as I accuse him of it being, yet the batshit drama surrounding him is, literally, constant.

Last weekend, I took him to a five-star resort in St. Lucia — just a relaxing, three-day getaway of snorkeling, surf and sun. What could go wrong? How, one asks, is it even possible to be kicked off any island within the corrupt Caribbean? Ha! Julian, though purportedly “working out at the gym,” immediately cut loose on some molly-fueled bender, staggering about the entire resort, knocking on doors wearing only a cock-ring and a grin, exposing his cowboy to every Tom, Dick and Harriet. Flash forward to our much-sooner-than-anticipated flight back to Dallas that same evening. He sulked, “I’m so sorry to have embarrassed you; I think I’ve an addiction problem, which I’m going to start working on, but it’s just that, understand, I’m going through a lot right now and . . . where’s the goddam stewardess anyhow? Bee-yatch, hello? I need a fuckin’ Bloody Mary!”

Honestly, Howard, the party never ends with this pretty punk. Like I said, though, he’s actually a decent person when he’s sober, which haplessly is almost never. How am I supposed to deal with this lost kid? — Spring Hopes Eternal

Dear S.H.E.,

“With a shotgun and a shovel” is how I would have dealt with him; however, if you’re asking me for an answer that’s slightly more, oh, legal, then my less felonious advice to you would be you say something like this to him: “Everybody, Julian, is ‘going through a lot right now’ — always; it’s called life, and although you may think all people are just as elated to enjoy your penis publicly as I am privately, the flaccid truth is that your toxic bod ain’t nothing a Treasure Island Media star would exactly write home to mom about. Moreover, bee-yatch, I’m done with even pretending anymore that you’re worth the skanky spooge what spurts forth from it.” S.H.E., you gotta meet trash with trash-talk in order to “gentlemanly” compost putridly-steaming garbage.

Dear Howard,

I’m “courting” a guy who’s far younger than ordinarily I fall for: He’s 22, a ginger of all things — cuter than copper-kettle cotton candy — but with no visible source of income that I can gather. Nevertheless, his wallet is always just bursting with cash wads, like he lives exclusively on four-star sushi! He sure appears all “trust-fundy,” you know, minus any of the bored “polish” those brats invariably radiate. I just can’t figure this one out. Can you? — Oleg

Dear Olga,

Wake the hell up, ginger blossom: First: You’re “courting” a Millennial. Second: Every single “non-one-percentile” Millennial, straight or gay, who can boast a full set of teeth in his mouth not rotted out yet by Tina these days, supplements their “entitled due” via rich dicks on the sly. Third: The pay sure beats having to valet Mercedes-Benzes at Nobu, and a squirt of oligarch down one’s throat sure tastes better than the humiliation of sucking poverty.

Dear Howard,

I will graduate from SMU in a couple months and I’m scared witless: Are there any “secrets” you’re in on, man? Shortcut tricks they don’t (or either won’t) teach us in college, that’ll guarantee supersonic career advancement?
— Tom Dom

Dear Dumb Tom,

Be wary, young stud, the concealed truths you wish told: The “shortcut secrets” to rocketing upward in any field are four-fold: No. 1: You must actually be good at whatever work you choose (or, minimally, be at least inspired by it); No. 2: You must be willing to brown-nose your idiot/asshole superiors ’til your tongue is stained permanently chocolate; No. 3: You must naturally be in the ever-clichéd “right place at the right time” sans a kiss from Lady Luck on your side; Finally — and more crucial than all of Howard’s aforementioned secrets combined: You must never permit piddling “morality” to sideline your career-leapfrogging over others far less talented than you, but who are skyrocketing to a quicker/steeper rise solely because they’ve no mock-virtuousness issues toward performing blow jobs on trolls tolling whatever bridges require crossing. Men of real power, after all, who clandestinely promise they’ll advance you forward simply for entertaining their erections, always keep their exploitatively sleazy good word. Trust me, they do.

— Howard Lewis Russell

Do you have a question — about etiquette, love, life or work — that needs a special spin from Howard? Send your problem to [email protected] and he may answer it.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 07, 2017.