The Review used to have an advice column called “Ask Sally.” I think it is time for another.

Dear Johnny:

I’m a middle-aged mom, with an adult son at home.  When I open the freezer, I find empty ice trays. I also find empty containers in the fridge and empty boxes on the shelves. Plus, he takes very long showers and my water bill went up $50. What kind of monster am I living with? Frazzled 

Dear Frazzled:

What kind of monster still uses ice trays? If your house had some modern conveniences, you would have fewer conflicts with your kid. You could solve the shower problem by installing a Jacuzzi. He would probably also enjoy having central air.  Johnny

Dear Johnny:

My husband does something stupid every day. He locks himself out of the house. He walks home from the store, because he forgets that he drove. He keeps the thermostat on high in the summer. On the warmest day of the year, our radiators were red hot. I would call him an “absent-minded professor” except he is not a professor. Frustrated

Dear Frustrated:

Your list of complaints reminds me of a passage I heard at a wedding, “Love does not keep a record of wrongs.” Instead of being frustrated by your husband’s mistakes, you should be thankful that he is probably a creative genius. His mind is on loftier things than keys, cars and thermostats.  So, the next time he forgets his credit card at a restaurant, ask him what great insight distracted him. Johnny

Dear Johnny:

I’m stuck living back home in my parent’s basement. I miss my college dorm so much. It had central air-conditioning and a fridge with an ice dispenser. My parents are always nagging me. I get so mad, I purposely put empty cereal boxes back on the shelf. Oh, and they complain that I take too many showers. Stressed 

Dear Stressed:

I would not worry about taking long showers. Just be careful that you don’t use too much body wash. Doctors warn of a condition called “Squeaky Clean,” which can harm your immune system. Your other habits, I would call passive-aggressive. This kind of maddening behavior will serve you well in adulthood. Johnny

Dear Johnny:

My wife doesn’t appreciate me, even though I’m really good at watering the plants.  Every day, she calls me out for something stupid I did. It’s like she’s keeping a record of wrongs. Call me a saint but I never criticize her, even when she adds an extra “s” to a word. Yesterday, she referred to the food store as “Jewels” but I didn’t say a word. Did I mention that she’s also a “slow leaver?” Unappreciated

Dear Unappreciated:

I would indeed call you a saint for your patience and understanding. I could also call you a martyr, for the criticism you endure. I don’t know why your wife doesn’t realize what a wonderful husband she has. The fact that you’re so good at watering means you’re probably highly-skilled in other areas. I also admire your restraint in not correcting her “false plurals.” However, putting up with a “slow leaver” can be brutal. I can picture you sitting in the car for ten minutes, while she makes sure everything in the house is just-so. Johnny

Dear Johnny:

My neighbor drives me crazy. He mows his grass at 9 o’clock at night. We have an unwritten rule in our neighborhood – no mowing after dark. Yet this guy causes all of this noise and commotion on summer nights. Annoyed

Dear Annoyed:

My next-door neighbor does the same thing. How can he see the grass in the dark? Johnny

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.


John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

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