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Dear Spanky, Today I read a New Idea column called 'Bodyworks', in which a Dr Daniel Lanzer gave his opinion on how buttocks should be. He says "Generally, I like to consider 3 factors when assessing buttocks. Firstly, the shape of an ideal buttock is perceived [he doesn't say by whom] to be curved with a nice sharp convex surface . . . "The term 'bottoms up' says it all -- it highlights the fact that ideal buttocks should not sag and should be rounded and firm, and most importantly, look youthful." In case you aren't feeling insecure enough to book in immediately for plastic surgery, the final paragraph consists of the sledgehammer-subtle hint that "Liposuction of the buttocks costs about $2800."

I am outraged at the unsubtlety, the incredible condescension, the blatant plug for plastic surgery under the heading 'health news'. I want to write to New Idea and tell them how wicked they are. I want to write to Stuart Littlemore. But I am writing to you first because IT'S WORKING. I'd been going around thinking my bum was just fine, and now, although my brain tells me that my bum is alright and it's the ethics of the folks at New Idea that need radical alteration, the sucker in me has temporarily taken over and is screaming that my bum is substandard and will only get worse, and that I must find ideal buttocks.My common sense is having a hard time being heard above the New Idea-reading sucker in me. What shall I do? Yours under pressure, Marie Christine

Dear Marie Christine: First of all, and I can't stress this enough, you should not take any of your cues in life from New Idea. I mean have you taken a look at their 'fashion' section lately? You would probably look better if you chose your clothes by standing in the clothing section of K-Mart, letting off a small explosive and putting on whatever falls on you.

That said, does it matter what your butt looks like? I mean it's not like you can see it, it's behind you. Now you may say that you can see your bum by looking at it in the mirror. In that case, I say get a hobby. Seriously. If you have time to stand around, twisting your neck to see your arse in the mirror, it's time to take up stamp collecting.

There is also the argument that you may not be able to see your butt, but everyone else can. This is true, but think about it: what is you bum's main, nay only, function? Right. Now ask yourself if the sort of person who is so concerned with this part of the body is someone you'd want to form any sort of relationship with.

As for Dr Daniel Lanzer, as well as being scatalogically obsessed, he sounds like the sort of guy who would suggest liposuction for a head cold. I'd sooner take medical advice from Tony Danza than listen to anything he says.*

I am the world's richest and most powerful man and while I am happily married with a family, have huge piles of cash and don't even mind having to wear glasses, my life is still somewhat unsatisfying. No matter how much money I give to charity and how many activities I involve myself in, there is a massive void that I am aching to fill. What do you suggest? Yours, Bill 'Trey' G

Well Trey, I'm glad you came to me with your problem. Now I'll bet all of Spanky's readers are going "Ha! I'll bet Spanky is going to say 'I think you should marry me and give me all your money'." To which Spanky would say: "You moron. You think you're so fucking smart sitting there surfing the Internet, thinking that you can second guess the Monkey, when in fact you are a mere herpes scab on the lip of life."

Now if anyone besides Trey is still reading this, here is what I suggest. A man in your position only has one alternative. You must build a secret underworld beneath Stately Gates Manner and get yourself a nice pair of tights. The only thing a disgruntled millionaire can do is develop a super hero alter ego. Yes, like millioniare socialite Bruce Wayne, you can await the call of the Gatesignal and hop into the Gatesmobile to rescue those less fortunate than yourself (which is everybody). Think how busy you'll be, you won't have time to be down in the dumps.

Unfortunately, superhero names are no longer a dime a dozen; like domain names, many of the good ones are taken. Since Wonder Woman and Super Man are taken, here are some suggested alternatives:

Domain Man * The Human Kelp Extract * The Spam of Death * Ringworm Man * Super-Visor * Super-Annuation * Super-Market * Super-Cilious * Jeff * Super-Trouper (his beams are gonna blind you!) * Wonder Wall * Captain Cheddar * The Explorer * Mighty Morphin' COBOL programmer * Doughnut King * Middle-Age Mutant Ninja CEO * Biker Lice From Redmond * Boondoggle Of Doom * Spray 'n' Wiper * The HyperLinkerDude

All these names are registered trademarks of Spanky The Naughty Little Monkey Enterprises and can be licensed for as little as $50 each. Ask about our special lunchtime deal.

BTW, If anyone would like to write in with a real letter, feel free.*

Spanky, Recently I inherited the rifle used in the most horrendous creator of dry cleaning panic this century. It may not be commonly known, but Jackie O's first words after the incident were: "How the fuck am I gonna get this shit off, why couldn't I have had a more brainless husband?"

Yes, the rifle used by my great uncle on that fateful day in Texas whilst working for _______ (fill in conspiracy of choice), when sitting in the front of Joe's Diner (weren't they pissed when the bookstore down the road set itself up for all the free publicity), doing a little bit of lead-handed voting, has been left to me, but alas with only ten rounds of ammo.

My problem, Oh Sage One, is whom to take down? So many seem worthy, but the predicament of the ammo has left me stuck. Please assist soon, as the trigger finger is an itching for some action. Yours, Trigger of Justice

Shoot Michael Bolton. Ten times. *

Dear Spanky, Do you think it is morally acceptable for a chick to hang around with guys who are obviously dying for a root and hoping that they will get one by hanging around with said chick, escorting her to places, fixing her computer, making her dinner, and generally behaving like a friend?

My boyfriend says such chicks are acting in bad faith and must be leading such guys on somehow. I say people shouldn't pretend to be friends in order to get laid, and it is not a chick's responsibility to resolve such a situation; she should just take advantage of human failings to get her computer fixed, her dinner made, etc. I also say said chick hasn't acted sexy in any way, so guys in question have no reason to think they will get laid by pretending to be friends. Please tell me where the responsiblity lies in such a situation. Yours, Confused Chick

Your boyfriend sounds like a fool. Get rid of him immediately. This is the old "girl was asking for it" argument toned down. Ask him: if you chopped his head off after saying things like that, would he be 'asking for it' too?

Hanging around girls you want to boff is a negative pastime. It just frustrates the guy because he's sitting there going "Hey, let's go watch a Brad Pitt movie" when the whole time he is thinking "I WANNA FUCK YOU! NOW! TWICE!". It just screams patheticness.

Look at Colonel Hogan. He never went around hanging out with women, buying them dinner and fixing their computer in the vain hope that she would be so grateful she'd shag him. No, he went around coming up with elaborate plans to sneak members of the Underground out of German concentration camps in a comical manner and when he kissed women he didn't even open his mouth. That's how cool he was and the chicks just threw themselves at him. Guys: Be Colonel Hogan, don't be Colonel Klink.

While it's good for the chick in that she gets her computer fixed, she doesn't dig the situation either. I mean women always know when someone's trying to put the moves on them and when she refuses to notice and the guy goes out of his way to be nice to her, it just makes her want to a) exploit him like buggery or b) puke.

In these situations I think both parties should take the responsibility, go and have separate lives and have happy fulfilling relationships with other people until they hit 45 and then decide the other party was the ONE and devote the rest of their lives to shagging each other senseless. *

Dear Spanky, Even though I'm happily married, lately I have been thinking that I would like to give bigamy, or even polygamy, a bit of a try. What are your thoughts on this? And if they are positive, are you available? The picture of you on Gusworld is most alluring. Yours hopefully, Cranky the naughty big rock ape.

ABC frontman Martin Fry once sang: "Love's just a gimmick, a mime or a mimic to make sex seem respectable." Then again, he also once sang "You bought the troll, you bought the gonk, you brought it home and put it on a pedestal, you needed a saviour but from its behaviour, why did it have to be so extra terrestrial?", so it is important not to pay too much attention to what he says. I mean the man's obviously nuts. What the hell does that mean? And also that bit about convincing you that monochrome is dayglo, what's that about then . . . oops, where was I?

Ah yes, bigamy. Well, marriage is a very serious commitment and its special and meaningful vows should not be taken lightly. So I don't see why you'd want to do it even once, let alone multiple times. Talk about making life complicated. As far as I'm concerned the only person Spanky would marry is Colonel Hogan from TV's Hogan's Heroes and he's a fictional character, which puts a crimp in that plan. My advice is that you should put it about as much as you like and encourage your wife to do the same. Just don't come crying to me when she runs off with that guy from the Fantastic Furniture ads.*

Dear Spanky, Are you aware that you are now not alone in offering these pearls of wisdom in advice land? Rumour has it that Rose Hancock-Porteous has moved in on your turf by using her vast array of life experiences to dish out all kinds of guidance to the masses. Are you concerned that 'Spanky Speaks' will be left in the cold in the wake of Aunty Rose or do you think that you'll rise above this new challenge and emerge stronger and more insightful than ever before? PS: I read my boyfriend's palm the other day and the lines on his hand indicate that he is to have one and a half children. I fear this means mutant Siamese twins. What should I do?

Frankly, I'm sickened that you even mention that shameless publicity seeking strumpet. The only thing we have in common is a deep-seated hatred for Pauline "people with that bad a dress sense shouldn't throw stones" Hanson. Comparing me with Rose is like comparing Vincent Van Gogh with a 4 year old's finger painting (ie Ken Done). I actually help people, I don't encourage them to wallow in their own pathetic shallow little lives.

For instance, if you wrote me a letter saying "I am a heroin-addicted single mother and I find myself attracted to men who are bad for me", I would not say: "I used to be a heroin-addicted single mother who found herself attracted to men who are bad for me, until I becaome attracted to very rich men who were bad for me." I would say: "Stop your whingeing and the next time you are attracted to a man, go over, knee him in the bollocks and call him a bastard, thus breaking the cycle". I would also suggest you give me all your heroin for safe keeping.

Now that we've cleared that up and because I'm feeling particularly generous, I'll answer your other question. I worry that you put your faith in such foolery as palms. If you want to know how many children a man is going to have, the only sure fire method is to count the hairs on his back. The more hairs he has on his back, the less likely it is that anyone will sleep with him. Here is a handy reference chart:*

A doormat for a back No children
A large amount of hair One child, because someone might be drunk enough to sleep with him once
A bit of hair Maybe one or two children while the person they are dating tries to work out if they can stand the amount of hair on his back
No hair Shag him! Now!

Dear Spanky, I'm just writing to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your insightful advice column. No where else on the Web have I found such useful information. Your wisdom is an inspiration to all of us who have lost their way in this world and advice like yours is truly priceless.

Spanky, did the idea for establishing an advice column on the Web come from counselling too many wayward friends or is it because you saw a need to replace the much missed Dear Derryn column which used to appear on the pages of New Idea (or was it Woman's Day?) [No, it was Women's Weekly.] Love from a one time Dolly reader.

All my life people have sought my wisdom and worldly experience to help guide their Connect Four token of a soul into the row which makes four red tokens that is their life. People would come up to me and say "Spanky, I think I 'm addicted to drugs because my parents didn't love me" and I would reply "Shut the fuck up you snivelling pathetic pusbag of a slime, and start taking responsibility for your own goddamn life, instead of whinning about it to me". When I realised how much better I felt, I decided that this was my calling. I wanted to share my healing powers with the world and so the Web seemed the right medium. Once I made the decision to be an advice giver, thebiggest influence on me would have to be Dear Danny, from Simon Townsend's Wonder World.*

Spanky, HELP! Recently in a frenzy of geekdom (possibly induced by too high a carbohydrate level from from that zen of fast food, Uncle Tobys Microwaveable Popcorn), I rushed down to the local Tattoo Palour and had the 'Intel Inside' logo (complete with TM symbol) tattooed in the middle of my forehead. Product sponsorship seemed to work for Triple J's Butt Girl; why not me?

Unfortunately, soon I was to realise that this would not get me any real friends (people who didn't want me around just to fix their PC, or think that the only topic of conversation I could paticipate in involved large amounts of non-NVE classified silicon). At first I thought I could solve this problem of body image enhancement on my own: I've had one tooth enameled with the Apple logo; had the Microsoft slogan "Where do you want to go today?" tattooed on my member (which really pissed my urologist off); got the Warp logo painted on my butt (lots of other people have given it the ass, after all); had a Netscape 'N' shaved into the back of my head, complete with glowing stars (thanks Gus, thanks Barbie), and even went as far as getting my acne arranged into the new Novell logo (yes, Clearasil can be an artistic medium). All this has failed to make me socially acceptable, and I'm now facing major libel suits from the above companies. What can I do ??? Painted & Tainted(TM)

Dear P & T, Yours is not an unusual problem, I get this sort of mail all the time. Just because it's 'groovy' now doesn't mean you should do it. Did you even stop to think of the consequences? You know there are people out in the world whose bodies bear testament to Wang, Mosaix, Osborne and WordStar. They are scorned by their own families, and refused service at Sizzler.

I can suggest that you get the legendary "Couldn't you go a Chico roll?" slogan tattooed on your chest so as to detract from your other follies. Failing that, I suggest you have all your skin burnt off using hydrochloric acid and have a skin graft from the testicles of alpacas. Let's face it, it would be a talking point at parties and it couldn't look any worse than you sound like you do now. An added bonus is the fact that no one from any of the computer companies would want to go near you, let alone sue you.*

Spanky, I have a problem. I hate my new boobs. I saw Paula Yates' new boobs and thought what a good idea, especially since her boyfriend used to shag my sister (not that I'm jealous of the bitch) and now I have these hard silicon lumps where my norgs used to be. I told my ex-husband (the hairy one) and he said "Tough titties". What can I do? Yours, an anonymous Minogue sister.

Well sister, the day you start taking Paula Yates as a style cue is the day you need to be hit across the head with a mullet. If you had been a bit less concerned about your sister and focused on yourself instead, maybe you would have noticed it was a stupid idea to marry that hair bear in the first place. While rubbing someone's face in it ("You left me and now I've got big norgs") is a good idea, I hardly think that is something that would win him over, considering the circumstances. Why get a boob job when you simply could have posed nude for Playboy, yet again. Fool!*

I was just reading your advice column, Spanky Speaks, and I was wondering what qualifications you have to tell these people that they are little sluts when you yourself have yet to find out what a slut is all about. I myself have experienced a slut, and I don't think that it was all that much to be ashamed about. All I am trying to say is that you shouldn't put something down if you have not tried it for yourself, you have to experience some things before you know if you like them or not. Greg.

I know full well about sluts, thank you very much, because I am a chick. I am not willing to try one as you suggest because we all know that there are no male sluts, as they become known as studs. Now studs I have tried and rejected, because they are as brainless as cork floor tiles and are always going about how great they are etc. when they should be devoting their time to making me happy. If you're the sort of person who goes around with sluts then I suggest you spend a little more time thinking about your own behaviour instead of worrying about the monkey. Huh! you disgust me. Bring back national service is what I say.*

As an added bonus, check out Spanky's advice in response to some classic problems originally published in Dolly magazine. First up, one from February 1984:

My boyfriend of six months and I recently begun having sexual intercourse. He began asking questions about my previous sexual experience and I told him the truth (that I had slept with three boyfriends before him). Now he has become very cold and withdrawn with me. I don't know how to return things to normal with him. Melissa.

Melissa, you disgust me. It's bad enough that you've slept with three guys, let alone actually telling your boyfriend. Why didn't you just shag them in front of him and be done with it. Were you actually stupid enough to think he'd go "oh I'm so glad to be able to sleep with the town doorknob"? I'm sorry, but you leave me no choice but to tell your parents and the local priest what a complete tart you are. Hopefully they will punish you and the whole town can find out what a wicked woman you are and treat you with the contempt you deserve.*

And here's another one from July 1983:

I was recently involved in our school play and therefore spent a lot of time with our music teacher, who is married with a young child. He drove me home after rehearsal and tried to kiss me. I was so horrified I reported him to the principal. Now he has been transferred and I feel guilty and wonder whether I led him on or something. I can't get it off my conscience. Alison.

Of course you should feel guilty, you craven little hussy. I've heard the rumours about you, you're not called 'mar