The following content consists of the cyber correspondence of Al Porter and the poor afflicted dears who write him in earnest seeking counsel.
Those correspondences are herein lay bare with dual purpose; that they might provide some comfort to others whose lives are similarly pathetic, and that they might entertain those far better off.
Should you wish to pose a question, do so at this email – AskAl@ThePotato.ie, and Al will respond charitably through this public forum with little regard for your privacy.
Identities of some correspondents may be protected at their request, most usually for fear they will be ostracised from their communities for such unpopular displays of emotional incontinence.
A: Hi Curious Gav, I’ll be terse. Of course you should.
I’ve sent you a private email with my details and phone number. If you can’t open the attached images let me know.
Q: Dear Al, I’m a young woman, who has grown up as an active member of an evangelical Christian community. My faith is my rock. But, I’ve always lived a normal social life. Now that I’m 18, and it’s legal for me to go out and drink with my friends, I wonder, should I? I did pledge to never drink alcohol, but now I feel a pressure to do so? Is it vital I do for socialising?
Christine, 18, Friend of Christ.
A: Dear sweet Christine, I propose two motives to drink alcohol; either, You’re an uninteresting person and must drink to rectify this (which fails). Or, You must drink in order to tolerate uninteresting people. Seen as the first motive is doomed to failure and for you would be a matter of conscience, I encourage abstinence. You’ll feel better about yourself, and being a person of good morals, you’re likely very boring. Thus, others driven by the second motive to drink, will use your dullness as an excuse for alcoholism. And so, you’ll never be friendless in our drink sodden land.
Q: Dear Al, I’m a twenty two year old Dublin based male model. I’ve been working in the industry since my teens. In school, you’d think girls would’ve loved it. But, I was a pariah, and got a terrible slaggin’ off the lads for being a ‘Faggot’. In fairness, I was modelling a catalogue for transvestism, but even still, it was a bit harsh. ‘Pariah Carey’, they used to call me. I shut myself off, became introverted and melancholy, and so began the chants of ‘Anomic Kitten’. I went to a private school and the jeering was fairly high-brow. Years on, I’ve no interest in women’s clothes, and resent my Father for having pushed me into the industry. He and my Mother shared a walk-in wardrobe and a Taiwanese lad, Kevin. I haven’t worked in over a year due to this past trauma. Have you any advice to motivate a young model to get back into the work place?
A: Ross, my darling, what an atrocious time you’ve had! I imagine you spent many a night, head buried into the pillow, soaking the silken sheets with your Britney Spears (camp-cockney for ‘tears’). Bullying is one of those ‘hard things’ far too many experience in life, but remember; one must never take a hard thing lying down.
Revenge is a marvellous motivator. Revenge is sweet and tasty, and served chilled with a nice Chianti or can of Dutch Gold, goes down a treat. You must respond to your private school chums accusations of effeminacy with a display of unfettered masculinity. Sure, it was several years ago now, but as the relieved sixteen year old Tallafornian said to his lady-cycle-confused girlfriend ‘Better late than never’!
Perhaps I might outline a suggestion. The folks at Abercrombie have made a habit recently of hiring the handsomest of men to work in their dimly lit Caves of Pretentiousness. Make it your mission to secure employment with them. As your verbal aggressors attended private school, they certainly needs must be customers of this Cavern of Conspicuous Consumption on College Green. Their verbal swords once pierced you as a teenager – and if you were boarding, perhaps you were sordidly sworded quite a bit more – but now time calls for violent intervention. You must assert your dominance physically, and redeem for yourself the confidence your parentally consented cross-dressing robbed you of.
On sight of your former bullies, attack. Mindless violence – a few swift blows to the midsection, and perhaps the face – will certainly stun them. Illegal, you say? Too risky, you scoff? …Illegal, certainly. But risky, I think not!
The location is perfect. Abercrombie is the most shadowy and unlit public premises in Dublin. This manly scuffle will likely go unnoticed in the pitch-dark corners of the store. If your former Bully does shout indignantly ‘Hey, what’s going on?!’ – fear not – for this is an endorsed turn of phrase that all Abercrombie employees are encouraged to enquire of customers. This, I have been told, by a dear friend of mine currently working in that same shady room. Thus, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ won’t arouse suspicion in the slightest. Should your former Bully shriek ‘Help!’ or let out some other girlish howl, you may recompose yourself and respond as though they were simply an overexcited customer. Is it fool proof? Of course not! Yet, it is a victimless crime.
Except, of course, for the victims.
Surely your appetite is now whetted to exact revenge for the unfair teasing of your adolescent androgyny. With this fire in your belly, I am sure you will be catapulted back into the workplace with a newfound confidence and capacity for violence. Do let me know how you get on Ross, and should you find yourself convicted of any offence, worry not! Gaol is just like boarding school, only this time Pariah Carey’s physical and mental dominance will leave foes traumatised with a bad case of Kerry Katatonia!
You can share this article by using the buttons below.