Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hugging and Monkey Love

Hello everyone. Sorry for the radio silence here on the blog. I've been busy writing and getting together a project that I'm going to be announcing here in a couple of days.

However, rather than leave a gaping hole of not-blog, I've decided to post up some back-in-the-day writing. Specifically, a satirical advice column called "Your College Survival Guide" that I used to publish in the local paper. It was a delicious blend of demented ravings, bad advice, black bile, with just a tiny garnish of truth.

Fair warning: The tone of the College Survival Guide is different than what you might be used to here on the blog. It's different than my novel too. Different audience + different purpose = different style. So don't assume that I've had a psychotic break.

And if you don't know what satire is, you might want to look it up before you read the column. It might help prevent confusion....

Anyway, here's one I wrote a couple years back. Enjoy.

Hello Young Rothfuss,

How you do amuse me from time to time with your silly column... it really is the best read I've come across in a long time.

I've been wondering about men lately. In particular, boyfriends. I've been asking my gaggle of girlfriends why women have attachment issues. (That's not your question) I want to know why most males in a relationship like to play games with their bitches (i.e. "I'm not gonna call her for a couple of days to see if she cracks and calls me first... A HA!") OR if they just deal with distance better than us women.

My friend and I call our condition, the "Kiss and Cuddle" syndrome. The only reason we go back to our loser boyfriends is cuz we want to hold them and kiss them and squeeze them until their heads pop off "wike kwazy widdle cutie pootie wootie puppies!" I'm rambling now, but why why why does my boyfriend (who lives in Minneapolis) NOT CALL ME, GODDAMN IT!!!????

-- Anitra

Well Anitra, I have a good answer to your letter. Actually, I have two good answers. Luckily, due to psychotic break brought about by midterm stress, I have two fully-formed personalities willing to give you their opinions on this issue.

Evil Pat's Response.

So, why are guys thoughtless, callous, game-playing jerks? Simple, Anitra, because that's what you women have trained us to be.

Let me explain this with a story. Imagine that you're a young boy, and like most young boys, you're a Nice Guy: innocent, polite, and considerate. You meet Julie. She's smart, funny, and pretty. You become friends and slowly but surely you realize you're in love with her.

So you join forensics because she's on the team. You cheer her on when she tries out for the swim team. Soon you're talking on the phone for hours at a stretch, really getting to know her.

But while you're investing time and energy into building an emotional and intellectual bond with Julie, some basketball player asks her to the prom. She says yes, because he's a junior, and he has his own car. Plus he's got an ass you can bounce a quarter off of. Let's call him Chad.

Then Chad proceeds to treat Julie like crap, because he doesn't know the first thing about her. But for some reason she clings to him like he's the last life preserver on the Titanic. And all the while, there you are, her friend and confidante. Every night you're on the phone, listening while she cries about how obnoxious and thoughtless he is. But she forgives him because she's in love, right?

Then it slowly dawns on you. Julie will never be your girlfriend. Why? Well, given the overwhelming evidence, Julie doesn't want a boy who listens to her thoughts and feelings. Julie wants a cretin with a nice ass. Guys like Chad get all the lovin'. Guys like you are the equivalent of an emotional tampon. End of story.

Now if you're a Really Nice Guy you move on with your innocence intact. Then you meet a girl called Erica. Lather, rinse, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And after you slide down this emotional razorblade about a dozen times, you know what you get? You get me. I'm not nice anymore. Over the years I've molded myself into an arrogant bastard of such vast proportions that women find me irresistible. And you know what? It works great. You can get radiation burns from the amount of raw animal magnetism I throw off.

And now you're complaining that your guy doesn't call you? Get bent, chicky. You women have made your collective bed, and now you have to lie in it. Alone.

Nice Pat's Response.

Well Anitra, your letter reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about a week ago. She told me that she liked getting massages. More than that, she considered them essential for her emotional well-being, especially when she was in-between boyfriends. She went on to explain that she thought touching and being touched was a vital part of being a primate.

Which means, in a nutshell, that she feels like her inner monkey occasionally needs to be loved.

Personally, I couldn't agree more. I think that deep down we all have basic monkey urges. Do you remember that experiment we all learned about in psychology 101? The one where the baby monkey had to choose between two fake mommy monkeys? Given the choice between a non-cuddly chicken wire mom that had milk, and a furry fake-mom that didn't have any milk, the baby monkey always chose the furry mom. It goes to show how important this cuddling impulse is to us primate types.

So to answer your question, Anitra, I decided to perform an expanded version of this experiment. I added a balsa-wood monkey with a cookie and a handgun; a sheet-metal monkey that gives out bong hits; and a monkey made entirely out of Cool-Ranch Doritos that gets drunk and burns you with cigarettes.

Anyway to make a long story short, I never got around to finding a baby monkey to experiment on. Apparently you need a permit or something for that. But I CAN tell you that my favorite was the razorwire monkey with a tazer that dispensed sweet, sweet, methadone. I still sleep with it at night.

So what's the moral to the story? Shit. I have no idea. Scientists hate monkeys, I guess. There's your moral. I'm outta here.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You deserve an award for that column.

October 28, 2008 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two words:

October 28, 2008 7:35 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Ahhhhhh. Rothfussawesomeness. :) Thanks, Pat!

October 28, 2008 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Kalligenia said...

*LOL* Magnificent!

You should do some questions and answers like that on your blog, too. Of course, only after you're done writing your manuscripts.

October 28, 2008 8:40 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Aw, man, I heart the College Survival Guide so much. T'was written for an American audience, yet so much of the sound advice can translate into Australian university life. I don't go any where now without copious amounts of raw animal magnetism.

Also, Pat, I finally understand... The Way of the Beard

October 28, 2008 9:13 AM  
Blogger Fe2O3 said...

Wow, evil Pat, you described me to a tee, even getting the name of the girl right. (I thought maybe you had some sort of psychic insight into my life.) Fortunately, I didn't slide down the emotional razor blade too many times before meeting my wife. However, a "razorwire monkey with a tazer that dispense[s] sweet, sweet, methadone" has just gone onto my Christmas wish list. Do you think I can find one at Marks & Spencers?

October 28, 2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I wish I'd had this to read when I was in school. Maybe then it wouldn't have sucked so much.

October 28, 2008 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three Cheers for Evil Pat.
May his words of wisdom carry us through the ages.


October 28, 2008 10:59 AM  
Blogger Tim MS2 said...

Did I read on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist that your book's release date has been pushed back AGAIN?

Would like some news on that.

October 28, 2008 12:02 PM  
Blogger Wysen said...

Oh the good ol' emotional razor blade...how I know thee well. Unlike Rusty I didn't get so lucky to slide down it only half way or so, I fell all the way, hell I think I fell on the Gillette triple action blade.

It's okay though, I don't tell my wife to "shut yo mouth and make me a pie." So I think there's still a shred of chivalry in me somewhere. But the nice, sweet, innocent boy died over a decade or so ago.

October 28, 2008 12:31 PM  
Anonymous LiquidWeird said...

Do robot animals have animal electromagnetism? Might explain why the Roboraptor down at the ToysRUs has all the fly honeys.

word of the day is: coldye

October 28, 2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger MannequinTheory said...

definitely wish that had been published at my college :)

October 28, 2008 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

This is only my second glimpse of the guide (after Fast vs Slow Zombies) and I must say this one is great.

I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with Evil Pat. Too many times in my 20-something years on this planet I've been shunned by girls who go for the assholes and then bitch that there aren't any good men to treat them right. All I can say is all the women of the world can now live with their bad decisions.

October 28, 2008 2:29 PM  
Blogger Fae said...

Our awesome Pat. Not only a source of good literature, but a master of satire as well. I enjoy these very much.

Wanted to bring this to everyone's attention. I found it on a blog called 'The Twisting Dragon'. It's not done yet, and the hair needs more read I think. But still, very sweet.


Ignore the first painting, it's the next four.

October 28, 2008 2:41 PM  
Blogger Fae said...

The Twirling Dragon. Pardon my misstep.

October 28, 2008 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Chelestia said...

Dude, 'nice guys' are creepy. They all want something from you and aren't honest about what they want. They don't have the confidence to tell you they're interested from the start, so they whine, and diffidence and whining aren't attractive. The 'assholes' are confident and show their interest, which is appealing. It's their behavior later that isn't appealing, and by then, a girl's got enough invested she doesn't want to walk away. What we really want is someone with the confidence to say what they want AND the kindness to treat a girl right.
How you show your interest is a statement about you. Being accepted (or not) is really about the person doing the accepting (or rejecting) and NOT about the person being accepted (or rejected). Be confident AND kind and you'll win. Be a whiny butthurt boy and you'll get nothing.

October 28, 2008 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a great column and i know that mean pat is very right.

October 28, 2008 3:35 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

I'm English. I read that, and I thought you were English. Could you please be English? I hate the thought that American's get satire so perfectly. It's the one thing that gives us pseudo superiority. :(

I loved this column. I'll be downloading them if they ain't available by any other means.

October 28, 2008 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

o.o I wonder what pat we'd meet if we walked up to him on the street. Now I'm kind of scared of you :P
Great column! I laughed and laughed and cried a little.

October 28, 2008 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Heather Raffaele said...

Rothfuss, is that in the YCSG book? I don't remember it. I gotta re-read that thing. I just haven't had anywhere to read it. Usually laughing to yourself like a lunatic isn't socially acceptable, so I try to only read it when I'm alone. Normally that would feel like giving up, but one straightjacket that smells like sour milk is enough for me.

Either way, I work nights at a gas station in BFE, so I get a lot of reading done in the wee hours. Lately I've been working my way back through NOTW, and seriously Pat... it just gets better.

San Dimas high school football ruuuuuules.

- Heather

October 29, 2008 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Kip, Kip, and More Kip said...

Pat have you ever considered writing with Dan Savage when he does his celebrity guest columns, that would be amazing! I would frame it, literally.

Please, Please, Please say you will consider this.

October 29, 2008 6:51 AM  
Blogger marky said...

You should do a follow up book called the Authors Survival guide. That would rock.

Please spare a thought for poor Chad. He's probably working in the local supermarket stacking shelves. His ex-cheerleader wife hates him. (She was much thinner back in the day.) His kids laugh at him when he tells them for the hundredth time about that touchdown he scored.
Instead of being able to bounce a quarter off his ass, it now takes three grand worth of $10 notes to cover his left butt cheek.

As for the sensitive guy. He’s living in a Bill Gates style mansion, with his 23 year old fifth wife Bunny. They both enjoy riding their Arab stallions around their 1000 acre homestead.

Anywhooo, these meds won’t take themselves. Beannachd leat

October 29, 2008 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

I'm sure you'll love me by saying this, but your article sounds like it was written by Joss Whedon, and I mean that as the highest compliment imaginable.

October 29, 2008 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this! Post more! Pleeeeease!
Or, even better, get it published like the book so us Canadians can get it! And you get more money!! WIN F***ING WIN I SAY

October 29, 2008 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Very, very amusing.

October 29, 2008 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hey, that question was written by my college roommate and fellow student of Master Rothfuss

October 30, 2008 9:22 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Hi Pat -

I don't know whether or not you are going to interrupt your writing / project organize flow to read the blog responses, but just in case....

Maybe a month or so ago, you blogged about stopping to help some baby animals across the road - and how afterwards, you felt a little silly about it. I am, as a New Yorker, embarrassed to post this link to an article from the major news radio for the area:


While I am mortified to know it happened in my neck of the woods, I wanted to reassert to you that it is reading about a**holes like this that reminds us how we need heros like you even more......

THANK YOU for being wonderful, Pat, and for caring about even the littlest ones in our world......

October 30, 2008 12:25 PM  
Anonymous AndyB said...

For those of you requesting Pat's columns in a book, it's already happened. "Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide" was published in 2005 by the local college's own Cornerstone Press. It's out of print but it can be tracked down if you want it bad enough.

October 30, 2008 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Nate N. said...

lol nice blog man. But I cant find anything recent on your site pertaining to The Wise Man's Fear. I know it is set to come out in april supposedly but I don't know whether to trust amazon or not so could anyone help me out???

October 30, 2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, yes, I know the collection of columns is already a book. I suppose I should have been more clear. The College Survival Guide book should be printed in large quantities, similar to the novel(s) and made more easily available! =D Simply because it would be awsomely wonderful and incredible!

October 30, 2008 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is frackin' hilarious.

November 1, 2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious and spot on right.

My "word verification" was "pulasa"
How droll is that?


November 7, 2008 9:21 AM  

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