with Katy Hipke as 'Katy'


The story you're about to read is true, but it's also pretty goddamn pitiful,  if you want to know the god's honest truth. My folks long ago climbed that golden stairway up to Show Biz Heaven, and the Missus lingers in silent slumber at the Jesus Saves Discount Care Center, ever since that awful day I mowed her down. With my whore of a daughter being a stranger to us both, I had hoped that I could turn to my granddaughter Katy and trust her with my tales of the glory of Broadway. But no. The girl's too bitter, and even though we did give it our very best try, I know in the end I'll only have my memories and dreams to keep me warm.

And you know, that's good enough for me.



Dear Katy,

I am writing to you about a problem that I sure hope to God you can help me with. My self-esteem is down the drain, and even though I know that it’s not right, there are times when I even think about killing myself. If it wasn’t a sin, I know that I already would have done so.

My hands are trembling as I write this, but having read your column every day since I was a youngster, I feel as though I can trust you. My problem is a small one – my penis. Don’t laugh. Please don’t laugh.

It is devastating to have such a small thingy. I have tried everything – penis pills, penis pumps, even the Ronco Penis Stretcher, which left my poor pecker feeling like it had been run over by a truck. Of course this could never happen, because it’s way too small to be run over by a truck. Sigh. Sorry for sighing, I just feel so sorry for myself.

When I married my wife she was a virgin, but I don’t think she is anymore. She has taken to calling me Short Stuff, even in front of her friends. (I don’t have any friends out of fear that I might have to take a shower with them, thus exposing my tragic shortness). Perhaps you think that I am exaggerating, but I’m not. Katy, I’m not even a full ten inches. When I lay my man meat on a ruler, there are still three fingers of wood left over.

I am at my wits end. Sigh. Is there any hope that you can offer me? I don’t want to reveal my real name for fear of ridicule from my co-workers and my neighbors and my relatives and the congregation at my church, so just call me Peter the Small.

Peter the Small

Dear Peter Anderson of 1212 Rambling Rose Lane, Huntsville Alabama (zip code omitted for privacy),

Honey, I get thousands, literally, THOUSANDS of mail each year from desperate men, such as yourself who have fallen prey to an outrageous and destructive erroneous notion that leads them down a path of self-doubt and despair. Let me just say it plainly: Ronco hasn't made anything worth a shit since, of course, the salad shooter.

(I have 2 which, we use to reenact the Salad War of 1989 each year at Thanksgiving. This was the year my Uncle Stubbs choked to death on lettuce that hadn't been properly dried. When I say death I mean shit himself . The salad, wet with moisture, shook like an avenging angel as we scrambled to put a newspaper under Stubbs. My Aunt rose up with a handful of the soaking leaves and called my Mother a Thoughtless and Lazy Whore. My mother then produced 2 of the 6 salad spinners she had received each year for Christmas COD from this sequined-wearing hag and proceeded to spin the entire meal while drinking directly from everyone else's wine glasses. Then we had pie. THANK FUCKING GOD it was also the last year anyone had to say Grace )

Hope this helps,

PS: Suicide is really not a sin. Not if it's done right, then it's Martyrdom. Presentation is everything. Try to keep your mind on the prize: 12 virgins (Islam) and a Cadillac (could be, we don't know) while you light yourself on fire in front of - oh how about Bon Macys - the perfume counter. Screaming, CLINIQUE!! AHHH! GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!



Dear Katy,

I am 25 years old and consider myself a sensible young woman. I know that the world is not perfect, and neither am I. I realize that I may never find a man who meets my standards in every way, and I am mature enough to accept that and move on with my search for happiness. Happiness, which I, being sensible and mature, realize will never be perfect happiness but will hopefully be high on the happiness scale, maybe an 8.5, but I am willing to settle for even less, assuming that I am in love. Not perfect love, but pretty good love.

My boyfriend, who I will call Frank, is a heck of a swell guy. We have been dating for six months now, and if he has a lick of sense, I expect him to pop the question soon. Pop the question – as though a question were a bubble of some sort, or a balloon. Isn’t that so odd. If a question pops, does it cease to exist, or is the popping sound forever ingrained, somewhere in the brain… I think it’s the medulla. But I digress.

When I first met my boyfriend Frank (who really is named Frank, but I thought wouldn’t it be clever if I said ‘who I will call Frank’ because then the only person who wouldn’t be a suspect of my query would be Frank) was a 9, or maybe even a 9.1. Not perfect, mind you, but way up there, only a point (give or less a tenth) away from perfection, which I suppose, is as much as I have any right to expect. I mean, I’ve quit believing in fairy tales.

Lately, however, I have begun to skew him downwards because he is just so judgmental. This is a trait that I don’t care much for in a man, and once it began to rear it’s ugly head, I started revising downwards. He now stands at an 8.2, which if you have been following me, is a bit shy of my threshold.

Let me give an example. Recently we were eating at a lovely restaurant named Victoria’s, when ‘Frank’, much against my innermost heartfelt wishes, ordered lamb chops. My heart was set on the ‘Lover’s Feast for Two’ which is really special in the sense that it has two of everything – two salads, two filets, a double-sized baked potato which two can share, and two individual servings of Victoria’s chocolate mousse. You should try it, Katy, if you ever come to Atlanta and have someone very special to share it with.

Hiding my feelings, I asked ‘Frank’ why he chose the lamb chops, and he said that it was because lamb chops were the best food in the whole wide world. He called them ‘the bomb’. Can you believe that? ‘Perhaps I don’t share your fondness for lamb chops’, I thought to myself. I ordered the scallops au gratin, which I only ended up picking at.

So my question to you is this, Katy. Should I try to overlook Frank’s harsh and judgmental nature? (Lest you think this is an isolated incident, last night he told me that Pink Floyd was the best band ever. I don’t even like them.) I am still young, as I said, one score and five years. Should I settle for an 8.2? That seems awfully low to me. Forget that I asked.

No, tell me. I want to be sensible, not judgmental like ‘Frank’.  

Sign me as,

Weighing My Options

Dear Chronic,

I've read between the lines of your sensible and mature query, and by this I mean the actual space between the lines, the soothing void free of your vast fatuous yammer, (I started glazing over somewhere between Dear Katy and the ',' and had to slap myself nearly blind to stay upright) and then I had someone else too drunk to care read aloud from your letter while another 'specialist', equally inebriated and without a sense of shame, acted out your part, dressed as a sphincter. I think it was then that I really began to understand.

My friend Ben has hit rock bottom. That perfect pink pucker parading around happy hour yelling 'One Score and Five Years Ago' in a falsetto, in front of a bar full of big hairy football fans... It wasn't pretty. Sadly, he's probably only a few half racks of Hamms away from regarding these as his glory days.

What you are really asking though is, 'Is it okay to masturbate?' Yes, it is perfectly natural. It is, in fact, your only hope for achieving physical and emotional fake fulfillment in this lifetime. You can get something in the 8.5 and bigger range and not have to watch it slaver all over lamb chops while using words like 'the bomb' in public; It might take you up to 3 score or more years to achieve an orgasm, but at least you won't have to listen to Pink Floyd while you try.

You're Welcome,


© 2004, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback


Dear Katy,

My wife ‘Trixie’ is a little minx, and I like her just the way she is. And the way she is, is fun. Fun, fun, fun. It’s crazy living with ‘Trixie’ sometimes, but I tell you, it’s always a barrel of laughs. Sometimes friends say to me “It must be a lot of fun living with Trixie”, and I tell them "it sure is".

It’s easy to see where ‘Trixie’ got her lighthearted ways, because her parents are every bit as madcap as she is. Maybe even more so. Whenever you see them, they’re whooping and joking and running to and fro. You would probably think the whole family was a bunch of wild maniacs, the way they carry on, you really would. But no, they’re not, they’re just fun loving regular folks who drink Wild Turkey by the gallon. Except ‘Trixie’. She’s a Southern Comfort kind of girl. Sweets for the sweet is what I say.

My dilemma, Katie, is that I’m not very good at holding my liquor, and with the holiday season upon us, you can just imagine what a problem this is in the having-fun-with-the-in-laws-department. Particularly at Christmas, when Trixie’s family has their big family food fight. Last year I was half snockered even before the first cranberry was tossed. I was so embarrassed. ‘Virginia’ (Trixie’s mom) kept kicking me under the table and telling me the Turkey was getting warm. ‘Dad’ (Trixie’s dad) would grab my crotch every time I nodded off, and then shout “Trixie! Not at the table!” By the time the smashed potatoes were flying I had to excuse myself and lie down on the floor for a little nap. The last thing I remember was everyone greasing up their armpits with the gravy and making gorilla farts.

I’m just feeling a little inadequate, like I should try to be a better husband and son-in-law by staying up longer and partyin hardier. Do you know any good economical drugs I could try? Amphetamines upset my stomach and give me the runs, so they are really out of the questions.

I think coke is probably the answer, but my salary from ‘Artie's Auto Parts Paradise’ just isn’t enough to turn on the whole family, and I know that it’s rude to snort if you don’t have enough to share. Being a famous advice columnists, maybe you could send me some, you know, just enough to last till after New Years. You could probably write if off your taxes as a charitable donation. At the very least, it would be a nice gesture to make during the holiday season. What do you think? Do it for ‘Trixie’. She’s great.


Dear Dropsy,

Years ago in our home we noticed the same degree of alienation taking place between merrymaking factions when, at the peak of our partying, I believe somewhere between passing the turkey and screaming 'GET OUT JUST GET THE FUCK OUT', we became increasingly aware that certain members of our extended family were not as engaged in the festivities. As the party wore on, some were checking out. Tuning out and turning off.

We had to face it, Flopsy, and so does your gaggle of hillbilly miscreants: not everyone enjoys their libation in the same style or quantity. We all need to be sensitive to the differences. But THAT IS OKAY.

Some of us, Trotsky, sip wine and use words like 'sprig' and 'dollop', some of us chug directly from the quart jar of straight ethanol and say homey things, like 'fuck you very much' and 'ass grabbery', and one or two of us eat handfuls of whatever the monkey is having and are glad we spit in the food before serving it.

What really is important during this family feast, this time of togetherness and thanksgiving, is that we are all enjoying ourselves at one another's expense.

Who the FUCK do these people think they are, anyway, refusing to eat my Tofurkey
? Who invited that sweater vest wearing Dick Cheese, who changed his name from Paul to Pablo and rolls his r's on the words 'saran wrap'?
Did I really marry someone who laughs like that? No, thank god that is his mother BUT WHY ARE THEY DRESSED THE SAME??? WHY IS MY HAND fishing around in her PANTS? Why DOES HIS FACE MIRROR HERS DURING ECSTASY?

What a relief, then, Dripsy, when they all finally leave, your screams ringing in their ears all the way home. What a nice peaceful time when it's all over.

This is what the holidays are ALL ABOUT: Be Thankful for WHAT YOU HAVE! Rejoice!

Because this is all there is, honey, and we're all dying.



Dear Miss Katy,

How are you on this beautiful December morning? I am fine and I sure hope that you are fine.

My name is Billy Little and I live in Boston. It’s a real nice town. I am eight years old, and my dad is named Billy too. Plus he's older. So I bet you can guess what they call me. That’s right, Little Billy Little. It’s a funny name and I like it a lot, but I think when I get older I’ll just use William. Or Percy, which is my middle name.

I have a question and my mother told me go ask Katy, so here I am. Did I tell you that I’m real smart? Smart as a whip, they tell me. I think I just used a subordinate clause there, which is smart indeed. They let me skip a grade and I can already do long division. Pretty impressive, huh.

It’s funny that we were just talking about subordinate clauses, because my question is about another Clause. Santa Clause. Did you know that in some parts of the world they call him Kris Kringle? Do you know what I call him? Phony Baloney. I hate Santa Clause because he is so stupid unintelligent. There is no way a big fat man can get down a chimney.

Yet, perhaps I am wrong. My little friends tell me, “Little Billy Little, Santa anint going to come to some one who disez him.” Sorry, I am incapable of spelling anint or disez, because they are not in my vocabulary book. Did I say that I was home schooled? Because my home is smart.

So what if there was a Santa Clause? Would I then be dumber than my little friends who can’t even tell you the capitol of Zanzibar? Because then I would be the stupidest little boy of all. Which I’m not. I don’t think. Well, I do think, but I don’t think that I am the stupidest little boy of all.

What do you think, Miss Katy? Huh?

Little Billy Little.

Oh, I am sorry. Thank you very much.

Dear Future Percy,

One of 'Miss Katy's' natural gifts is the ability to read between the big ole fat crayola lines, honey and get straight to your confused by home-schooling point.

Sometimes someone says one thing but means another.

Or they say something one way, accidentally wrong, but it turns out to be actually RIGHT. A Freudian slip, that's what they call it, Willy, and it's why your anus bleeds every Christmas.

When you say 'There is no way a big fat man can get down a chimney,' Miss Katy doesn't have to be an ass biologist to figure out what you're really worried about.

Your parents are letting poor out of work Uncle Pete stay with you again, aren't they Billy? Just like last Christmas. It's their 'Christian Duty', right?

"Be Mommy's Good Boy and let Uncle Petey stay in your top bunk, just for Jesus's Birthday"

Fat stinky Pete has all his stuff in two little plastic grocery bags, and his pants. When mommy and daddy leave the room, he says, 'Come on and sit on yer ole Uncle Petey's lap. I got somethin' for ya in one of my pockets, go on and see if you can fish around and find it."

Uncle Pete is daddy's big brother. You had a big brother but he died. He is with Jesus now. Up in the sky... Uncle Pete smells like pee and wine vomit. Jesus gets all the good stuff: you get Pee and wine vomit.

Your little chimney aches just thinking about it...

Does this add up? Is it worth it?

'Santa Claus' is defined as 'a plump white bearded and red-suited old man in modern folklore who delivers presents to good children at Christmas time'. A 'Clause' is a stipulation, or proviso, in a legal document. From the French 'claudere' to shut, to end.

Your 'Santa Clause' is, therefore, real enough in his shit-stained red velour track suit. He is intent on delivering your 'package'.

You'll be ready this time. Christmas scissors, with the Jesus handles and crucifix snips.

You used to be a good little boy.

But not any more.

No one gives a shit about Zanzibar.

Tis the Reason for the Season, sweetie,


© 2004, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback

Dear Katy,

My life has suddenly become an embarrassment. I’m caught in a cruel trap, and I’m just sick about it. My two best friends have turned against me, and now are spreading embarrassing and untrue stories about me. What can I do to not only put an end to this terrible nonsense, but to restore a shred or two of the dignity which has been so cruelly snatched from me? Help me, Katy.

I’m not sure why it’s happening, but my chums (let’s call them Blowhole and Doo Doo Head) have been telling tales out of school that I <blush> have had inappropriate relationships with the two little fellas, like, uh, licking the top of Blowhole’s head (which is true, but there are circumstances that nobody knows, like the ice cream on his little noggin), and, uh, helping them pull the penguin (which is something every young boys need to know although I didn’t teach them how to do it, just how to do it better).

What else did they say? Oh my. It rattles me to think about it. They said I taught them to surf for porn on the internet (Not True! They taught me!), and that I poked people in the butt with a stick (okay, that’s true, so sue me), and that I made crank calls, and that I, uh, diddled them.

Well is it any wonder I’m upset, Katy? Is it any wonder? I think it’s because I’m fabulously wealthy (although totally unknown; you’ve never heard of me), and very kind, and feel that children are the most important things in the world. So it’s no wonder the little bastards take advantage of my giving heart and trash talk me to the county prosecutors. So what should I do Katy? My other friend – who I’ll call Dick Van Patten – said he would kill little Blowhole for me, and as for Doo Doo Head, well why do you think I call him Doo Doo Head, that kid could easily have an accident while trying to cross the street. I don’t want to be mean, but my heart is full of pain. Please help.


Katy is in a, mmm, it's a bit difficult to put discreetly... Katy is predisposed at the moment... Certainly in no sort of mood to be answering letters from complete strangers.
 Filling in for her is a former Broadway cast member of 'The Fantasticks', Grampa Jenkins.

    Grampa Jenkins

Dear NO1UNO,

Don't think for a moment that this sort of accusation doesn't arise about us show people all the time, because it does, it does. The stories I could tell tell you would make your hair curl, if you had any hair to speak of. I don't, but I used to have a handsome head of it.

I know you're in show biz, lad, cause you happened to drop the name of one of my dearest and nearest friends, the great Dick Van Patten, a man who's killed a tattletale or two for old Grampa in his day.

I first met Dick back when I was playing the part of Mortimer in 'The Fantasticks'. Mortimer, yep that was me. Played him from 1962 up till 1998. Boy, I wanna tell you, I had that part nailed.

Dick, he came to see me performing the part of Mortimer, and it was a part he had always wanted to play himself, but I told him, 'Forget about it Dick, I'm going to play this part until I keel over', and I did too. Keeled right over in 1998 after eating some bad meat. You want to hear the funny part? It was at Mortimer's Steak House, a real fine eatery (except that night) just a couple blocks off of the Golden Way. That's what we called Broadway, if you were in show biz like me and Dick.

Now whenever I'd go to Mortimer's, which was at least twice a week, the maitre'd  would make a big deal of it and announce my entry to the crowd, you know he'd say something like "hey, it's Mortimer from the long running musical Mortimer here at Mortimer's... I mean the musical The Fantasticks". And everyone would laugh and laugh cause he had said Mortimer three times in a row, which is pretty damn funny if you ask me.

Well, good luck kid.



© 2005, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback


Dear Katy,

Some people would call me a lucky guy. Maybe I am, but I seem to be having a lot of trouble getting lucky these days. The problem is my wife Allison’s mother, or to be more accurate, my mother-in-law. ‘Jean’ is a feisty fifty-three year old widow with a figure that just won’t stop. Hell, I’m willing to bet with a body like hers that she just wore her poor old husband plumb out

Allison and I met in the Army when we were pulling a tour in Wiesbaden, Germany. Man, that’s some kinda place. You should go there sometime. There’s this one bar where you can get a bratwurst and a beer for just two American dollars. And that’s not some little sissy sized beer, it’s a great big mug (the Krauts call them Bechers) that weighs so much you need both hands to keep from spilling it. All the walls are painted red and there’s this wild kind of music that we called ‘oompah’. And they’ve got whores. It was great.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so I didn’t meet ‘Jean’ until Allison and I rotated back to the states. Damn, is this woman hot. She’s got legs that go up to the balcony and she’s packin a couple mean 44s if you know what I mean. I can’t stop thinking about her. She likes me too, I can tell it. I’m enclosing a Polaroid of her. What a rack, huh?

The problem is Allison is always getting in the way with her sarcasm whenever we’re at her moms house. She’ll open that smart mouth of hers and say something like “why don’t you get yourself dressed” or “don’t you think that’s a little too revealing for a woman your age?” It’s like she doesn’t have any respect at all for her elders. And she punches me on the shoulder. I’m just looking, Katy. Ain’t no harm in that. Maybe I should divorce Allison and go for the mother, what do you think? Please don’t tell me to have an affair. Some things just ain’t right.

GI Jim

p.s. – this is kind of a man question, so if you want to refer it to that Grampa fellow, he might have some better advice.


You crazy perverted attention-seeking faux “performer”: I should have had the vet take your testicles while he was in the vicinity last week, fishing around your rectum for my beloved gerbil, Charles Happenstance IX. Some things, alas, neither Medicaid nor pet insurance cover. You’d better THANK GOD Dr. Bob is as big a drunk as you and I are, and believes that you are, indeed, our 9 and a half year old sharpie/Chihuahua mix, you crinkled malodorous curr, or your ass would have ¼ mile of plastic tubing and an exercise wheel coming out of it as you READ THESE WORDS.  Sing a song to THAT, ass whistle.

Fantasticks, my long-running Broadway behind.  The only “play” you’ve got under your belt is what’s staining your drawers.  I looked the other way when you answered that simpering Dear Katy last time, because anyone who uses “doo doo head” and “blow hole” in a sentence, deserves to hear about your masturbatory obsession with Dick Van Patten.  I figured, “What the hell, at least Grampa isn’t shoving rodents up his ass…”

BUT now you’ve gone too far.  Fabricating Dear Katy letters just so you can write about your Hot Grandma sex fantasies, (And don’t think I don’t know that ‘Jean’ is, in fact, that BOWFLEX granny with the bikini…who paid $1500 for a BOWFLEX and yet only about $15 on ill-fitting cheap ceramic donkey-teeth dentures. You’ve been TeeVooing those commercials for months now and the remote control device is sticky with your rancid demon seed).  Next you will ANSWER YOUR OWN LETTER with Sage Advice, somehow bringing Dick Van Patten into it, along with whimsical memories from some other tired old goddamned Broadway musical that you’ve never even seen.  Pretty soon my good name will look like the inside of your saggy pants, post pet-insurance covered colonoscopy.

Take my advice, old man: Stick to what your good at, soft foods and growing veins on your nose, and leave the advice column to me.   



© 2005, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback


Dear Katy,

Pardon the sloppiness of this letter but I am in a tizzy. I’m having a real snit. No, it’s worse than a snit. I am having a petulant frenzy. I think that you’ll understand after I tell you what happened. No, more than that. You’ll be in an empathetic dither.

My very-soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend gave me the most horrid gift. A total stinker. No, that’s not strong enough. It’s a fucking abomination. Guess what he gave me. Can you guess? Is that too difficult for your little brain?

Well, then. Prepare yourself. The Lady Groom Mate Ear and Nose Hair Trimmer. It just came in the mail today. I could scream. I did scream. I’m screaming as I write this, because, as I mentioned previously, I am in full turmoil mode.

Look – the coward didn’t even sign his name, but I know it’s you Allen. You’re always looking at my nose like there’s something hanging out of it. Admit it. There is nothing wrong with my grooming.

Now Katy, what I want from you, what I need from you, is a good suggestion of how to dump this jerk with maximum effect. I would like total devastation if at all possible. I would like to wipe Allen off the face of the earth. Is that strong enough for you? No? Let me clarify, then. I would like to turn his ego into a filthy stain of runover possum flesh skid.

Here’s the scenario, girlfriend. We are going out for dinner and dancing Friday at the fabulous Blue Cockatoo. Naturally I will order the very most expensive items on the menu – I’m having the 20 ounce filet and the lobster basket. Don’t worry – I’m bringing my own doggie bag, since the Blue Cockatoo frowns on the practice, as I’m sure you know. You have been, haven’t you? Or do you not live near Brisbane?

At any rate, after I’m served (and after a few of the world famous blue martinis), I intend to create a real scene. A full blown ruckus. No, wilder than that. A riotous rumpus.  Suggestions? Of course I’ll throw a blue martini in his ugly face. That goes without saying. What else? Screaming, sure, but no crying – it isn’t dignified. And I can’t overturn the table because they’re bolted to the floor, and besides, I’m sure I’ll be going back there. So? Any other suggestions?

Boiling Over in Brisbane

Dear BOB

The tables are bolted to the floor? Really?  Do they only give you spoons to eat with? Plastic spoons, with really short rounded handles?  It sounds a little like a place I …uh, visited for a month or so while undergoing treatment for paint thinner addiction. And an “unhealthy” enthusiasm for cleaning solvents, which…I still say is very subjective.  One woman’s day spent passed out on filthy linoleum snuffing Mr. Clean till it’s coming out her ass, then blinding scooting across the floor in a semi-conscious stupor, lemony freshness oozing from every pore, crawling into the cupboard with the Windex, spilling it, and some other jar of very heady clear stuff, the fumes cause vomiting…hair falling out in handfuls, scooting across the floor again for the empty jug of MC…a shiny trail in her wake, a fairly pleasant smell overpowering the shit and vomit, is another woman’s Clean Kitchen Success story, isn’t it, more or less? Tell that to the doctors.  I do have fond memories of the rubber sheets…

Are you sure the place is called the BLUE COCKATOO? That might have been the ward. I was assigned to ‘THE YELLOW RACCOON’ because I tend to be nocturnal, trailing the janitors at night, often very violent when cornered.  I wash my food and enjoy corn.  Animal names are so much more coaxing and homey than ‘PADDED CELL AND RUBBER HOSES WARD’ and ‘DELERIUM TREMENS' WING’ 

A few tips: The dancing you mention…don’t stare.  And the most expensive thing on the menu is the Phenobarbital high colonic. But it’s worth it.


© 2005, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback


Dear Katy,

Well I bet you think you're a big hot poop, trying to humiliate your poor old grampa in print the way you did. I guess you think you're queen of the hill. All I can say is I'm too big of a man to spar with you insult to insult. Because you couldn't take it girl, you'd be weaving and bobbing with those little cartoon stars coming out of your head, just like what used to happen when my old friend Burt Ward would sock one of those costumed bad guys in the jaw, back in the good old days, when youngsters weren't quite so keen to sass their elders.

Did it ever occur to you that your poor old grampa was just trying to help you out, lass? There you are all locked away in that rehab clinic, and King Features is calling me, saying "Help us, Grampa, help us. Katy's zonked on Thorazine and we don't have enough columns in the can. Give us some of your sage advice". It's because I love you, you young fool, that's why I picked up the slack until you could get your shit back together. And what do I get as my reward? Snarky comments about my 'demon seed'  and hurtful jokes about my bowel movements. I guess you're just like your mother, that little whore.

I don't mean to sound harsh, Katy, it's just that we show people get a little emotional from time to time. For goodness sake, could I have ever played the part of Mortimer in The Fantasticks for thirty-six long years if I didn't know how to cry? Ah, I remember the first time you ever came to see me on the big stage, my little muffin flower. You were just a cute little thing in a velvet dress and golden shoes, and I acted my heart out for you. Remember? Afterwards, when I took you and your mother out for Chinese at the Jade Slipper, and Dick Sargent came over to our table to say hello, I could see the pride in your eyes. And that's the way I still picture you, Katy, even though you've grown bitter and old.

Hugs and kisses,



I’m going to kill you and have your deeply creased husk spindled on a flag pole, gerbil hole first, if you ever mention my Mother again. Those scaly digits of yours are not fit to type her name, you lecherous old crotch rot. Same goes for the word ‘Thorazine’…

And that heartwarming memory of yours? The one where you take me and Mother out for Chinese? With me in a velvet dress? Dick Sargent stopping by? That was from an episode of Bewitched, not your own life, you addled remnant. The one where Samantha turned the waiter into a fortune cookie. I never owned a velvet dress, only Mother owned soft things. My clothes were all made out of sand paper and wool socks stapled together, because Mother believed in Shaping Character thru Chaffing and Itching. She was right. She always is. “When Grampa clears his throat,” she warned me, “Close your eyes, cross your legs, and pray to Jesus that he be eaten by crows.”

The only thing you’ve every taken out in public is your withered spotty member and that wasn’t pride in my eyes, you horrible horrible man.

Let me pull the plug, you old geezewad, before someone figures out the correlation between your spastic colon and all those missing Christmas hamsters.

Give Gramma a hug,



© 2005, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback


Dear Katy

Sure, I bet you get tired of hearing about people's problems. Whine, whine, whine. Bet you think you’ve heard it all, don’t you? But I bet you never heard about a man with two noses, have you? Not just one on his face, mind you, but in the center of his chest there was a perfectly formed proboscis. It belonged to an old vaudeville hoofer by the name of Francis Lattimore. Frankie Two-Nose, we used to call him, and he was quick as a whip with a quip. Remember Jimmy Durante and how he’d say “that ain’t no banana, that’s my nose”. Got that one from Frankie.

But I didn’t write to talk about my old friends, no, I wrote to tell you about my granddaughter the ingrate. You remind me a lot of her, Katy. Little things, like your face, your name, and your black little heart. You dare to tell me to give a hug to gramma when you know full well that she succumbed to sorrow long ago when she realized what depths her beloved ‘Katy’ was willing to sink to in an effort to besmirch the Jenkins family name. Arrrgh, you’re not a ‘Katy’, you’re a Catherine, just like Catherine the Not-So-Great, what with her filthy stallion Blaze, and her putrid cake eating mouth that had the crumbs all over it.

So, what you think, girl? Pretty good acting, eh? Yes, old Grampa still has the chops to play a lot of different parts! There are those that think that I played Mortimer in ‘The Fantasticks’ for such a long time that I don’t know anything else, but they’ve forgotten about my role as the scallywag in that two hour episode of ‘Barretta’, or my recurring role as the curmudgeonly old man in ‘She’s the Sheriff’.

I wanted to make you an offer, Katy. You see, I just got an invite to write a show biz advice column for the lovely and talented Gina Overly at her new Michael Jackson trial site, but I said to myself maybe I should lend my beloved Katy a hand with her column instead. We could rename it “Ask Grampa and Katy”, and as far as I’m concerned, your name could be in the same type size as mine. It’d be gangbusters!

Don’t keep me waiting. An offer as good as this one won’t last for long.

Hugs and kisses,


p.s. – Maybe we could meet for a bite over at Hannigan’s Deli. You know they recently named a sandwich, 'The Grampa', after me – corned beef, turkey, and avocado – and I’d love to treat you to one.

Dear Grampa,

That Gramma “succumbed to sorrow long ago” is an awful fancy way of dressing up “was run over, twice, with my brand new riding lawn mower last fall” now isn’t it?  First her legs and then her upper body and face. Neatly in half. And then lengthwise.  “I didn’t see her,” you exclaimed later.  “I thought she was crabgrass! Or a nematode!”   She was wearing her bright red/white and blue housecoat that I got her for Labor Day, poor ole soul.  She had just gotten the mail and was shuffling back toward the house.  The neighbors heard her screaming “NO GRAMPA! NO!” after the first pass, but you just finished the row, turned and headed back for more.


You claimed you didn’t see the 200 pound flailing upper body of the only person in this world who still believed, after all those years, that it was the dog who’d just farted. You ran her down like a cold blooded predator, with the mulching attachment and a trail of Weed and Feed.  You two didn’t even have a dog.  You are the lowest of the low, you putrid lesion. The judge looked at those enlarged photos of a nematode and said he believed you.  You and your $50 Off All Canadian Prescriptions! Coupon, which I saw you hand the bailiff.  You old people make me sick. 

Hannigan’s Deli has been closed for 30 years.  The building was torn down and now homeless people go there to sleep and shit.  But whatever you can find there, feel free to name after yourself.  And by all means, enjoy the sandwich!


All right, Katy,

Your message is coming through loud and clear. Hannigan's is out.
(Has it really been thirty years since I've eaten there?)  Oy Vey, that was one good sandwich! Time flies, doesn't she?

Just so you know, Gramma's mangled corpse no longer haunts me the way it did for those first couple of weeks. I'll bet that there is a beer hall in heaven where Gramma where can kick up her legs and drink cold steins of Weihenstephan, all the while kiffin with the alte ziegs. Not like you really care. Ha Ha. Just joking, my darling girl. We all loved Gretchen, or as you called her, Gramma...

So, forget Hannigan's, what's say that I take you someplace really special - Mortimer's Steak House, the home of the best New York Strip in the land! I may have mentioned in the past that they know me very well there from my long running role as Mortimer in Broadway's 'Fantasticks', and we will be seated as royalty. We can drink a little Tanqueray and talk about the 'Ask Grampa' column.

Or we can always do Mexican.

Hugs and Kisses,



Fine. I’ll meet you, but only because you still have that jar of Gramma’s teeth that she promised I could have before she died.  They’d better all be there, too, you old puss pocket, or I’ll take what’s left of yours.   

How about we meet at the ‘Tito’s Taco Tractor’? You know that taco/grounds maintenance truck that parks out behind the federal building every day.  High noon. Be there right on the nose, as Tito is turning the sign around to reveal a dancing taco in a sombrero, as well as his tractor/Madonna tattoos, taking off his dirty green jumpers and pulling a clean white t-shirt over that smooth young brown flesh…warming the grease and my heart to sizzling.…Be prompt, you old ass ratchet; he only has one hour to make the best tacos this world has ever known. When the clock strikes 1:00, the sign gets flipped, ugly jumpers donned, and it’s back to weed-pulling for the hottest taco assembler this side of legal. 

Remember to wear pants and I’m sure you’ll be treated as much like royalty as you would anywhere else outside your own diseased skull,

Hearts and butterflies,



© 2005, Katy Hipke and Mark Hoback


Spring always reminds me of Gramma, may her brain rest in peace, even as the rest of her still barely functions on a shelf at the Jesus Saves Discount Care Center down in the valley.  (She’s the large elderly woman on the lowest tier, right below the fetal twins, next to the head connected to a car battery and ipod which is always blasting music.

Though I have tried, I can not get along with that head.

“LET IT DIE!” I scream every time I have to ask 3 times for it to turn down the goddamned ITUNES! I unplugged one of his cables once, but the nurse buzzed right in and fixed it.)


I visit Gramma every week and change her feeding tube, which is connected to a big bag of kibble (old people love dog food, always have-always will); I talk about her bowel movements, and how her (former) neighbors are probably getting a divorce because the girl is a whore, and comes home late, and there are frozen food cartons in the garbage each week. Lots of them …

These are topics she has always enjoyed.

Gramma used to love to spend time peaking through the drapes at what went on in the neighborhood.  She lived such a full life. 

If you asked her back then what she loved most, she would have told you, “Judging others.”


Although here at Jesus Saves her neighbors are late term abortion fetus twins, the angry head of a repeat attempted suicide with appalling taste in music, and the occasional cooler of remains in need of baptizing, I think she’d find something interesting to scrutinize.

 I know she’d derive wicked glee out of the fact that the head’s wife is a BITCH and wears clothes that are way too young for her.


Gramma looks as beautiful and at peace as you’d expect from a woman who was run over cross and lengthwise with a near new Sears Craftsman mulching lawn mower, covered in weed and feed, edge-trimmed, and left to die by the heartless pervert with off-Broadway ties we call ‘Grampa’.


Recently Grampa has been lurking around my life trying to steal my well-earned glory. Working at weaseling his way, as usual, into where he isn’t wanted. 

"Let's have lunch!" he says, "we can talk about Dick Van Patten! I'll tell you about the Broadway play we both tried out for and he got the part, but they named a drink after me!"


It was actually Fleet Enema, which they call 'Grampa Juice', and I'm sure it's a fitting tribute.

What he’d really like is for me to sign the papers to have Gramma’s life support cut off. The kibble tube removed.


”Let her die with dignity,” says the man who, after cutting a swath over her dear beloved body, twice, spread steer manure over her torso, then pulled out most of her hair.

(“I thought it was DANDELIONS!”)

He is a bad man and never deserved Gramma. She was, and is, too good for him. 

As long as Medicare continues to pay for her Senior Maintenance Kibble, and those delusional fuckwads at Jesus Saves have a shelf available, Gramma will live a rich and long life surrounded by her partial peers.


Still, I have agreed to meet Grampa tomorrow at the taco stand.  There are things we need to discuss. He has a jar of teeth that belong to me.

© 2005, Katy Hipke

part 2