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Sort 243
iTune Recipes for Cheating Boyfriends with Dr. Phil on Jerry Springer.

by Dear Jon
November 25, 2003

Sort 243_Dear Jon-iTune Recipes for Cheating Boyfriends with Dr. Phil on Jerry Springer ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I have been trying to write a PO article for some time but just haven't found a particular subject to write about. What should I write about?

Writer's Block

Dear Block,

We don’t care what you write about. We care about headers, or, titles, that will attract readers. We will get to iTunes, recipes, cheating boyfriends, Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer in this article. I promise.

At the Partial Observer, we heed the advice of “write what you know.” For example, I know everything worth knowing (see Dear Jon’s Encyclopedia) so I never run out of stuff to write about. I never look anything up either for my columns, I swear. At first that was a tacit admission of my amateurish approach. Now, people depend on me not looking anything up. It is part of my image, part of why Dear Jon “works.” I have a globe sitting on my book shelf which I occasionally refer to, and that is all the looking up I do. Anyway, knowing everything I need to know without wasting time looking up what I don’t need to know is why I can be an advice columnist; the subjects are reader-driven.

Dr. Spin knows rock and roll so that is what he writes about. James Leroy Wilson knows that government is the spawn of Satan so that is what he writes about.

If you are a woman, and I pray you are, you can write about stuff that you know from a woman’s partial observation of the world. For example, you could write about how women and men respond to each other’s driving, or you could share the secret of feminine intuition that tells a woman exactly when a room needs to be vacuumed.

Here is a great subject I would like to see a woman write about: “Break-up Food: What to Cook When You Want to Give Him the ‘Friends’ Speech.” “Confrontation Food: Recipes to Serve Cheating Boyfriends.” Ladies, is revenge a dish best served cold? Do you see the possibilities?

Not that guys couldn’t write this either. It just has to do with what women and men think about, and they think about different stuff. That “different stuff” is what we want to see on the Partial Observer.

You can see that it doesn’t really matter what you write about. If it interests you, you will make it interesting to others. It doesn’t even matter if you’re just another angry white male looking to break into the P.O. staff. Realizing that you’re a little piece of the puzzle called the world is what the Partial Observer is all about.


Dear Jon,

I heard you can get good recipes from iTunes. Is this true? I thought you could only download music. Am I wrong?


Dear Itma,

iTunes is supposed to be about downloading music, however, I don’t have time to surf to that site and look it up. There must be a lot of internet message boards for trading recipes. As far as that goes, a lot of people aren’t as concerned about licensing their recipes, so there is no threat of a “crackdown.” In any event, you probably heard this rumor from someone who was confused about how they get recipes from the internet and how they get music from the internet. By the way, iTunes, created by Steve Jobs, is totally legitimate and has cooperation from several recording companies. I’m not advertising anything; I just have an obligation to assign credit for intellectual property.


Dear Jon,

Dr. Phil encourages his followers to "get real." What does it mean to "get real?" Would you ever charge your readers to get real?

Reality Bites

Dear Tes,

Think of me as a cross between Dr. Phil and Dave Barry, except that I lack Dr. Phil’s licenses and education and I lack Dave Barry’s network, because he has neat friends who invite him over to their ranches to launch toilets from catapults, and I lack the wealth and celebrity of both.

In my own ways I tell people to “get real.” In some sorts I am too tired to look up, I can be pretty grumpy with my advice sometimes. That’s why we all love Dr. Phil, right?


Dear Jon,

I found out my boyfriend is cheating on me with my best friend. Who should I be more mad at? Should I break off my relations with either one? How do I get them to appear on Jerry Springer with me?

Confused in Kenosha

Dear Kenosha,

I knew a guy from Kenosha. Worst driver I have ever seen. Is that your boyfriend?

Your boyfriend and your best friend have betrayed you. You ought to let it go and move on with your life, because romance is fickle and complicated. While this means you should forgive them, this does not mean that you have to be intimate or available to them as you have been before. They have broken your trust, so you do not owe it to them to make yourself vulnerable to them again. You can find better friends than these.

Unless your ultimate ambition is to appear on Jerry Springer. If it is, then you have deserved everything that has happened to you already. If you appear on Jerry Springer, both you and your best-friend will be goaded into flashing for the audience, and your boyfriend will be treated like a big hero. If that kind of shameless notoriety is what you want to exploit out of this situation, then the only advice I have left for you, is get real.

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