ROBERT KAHN (Courthouse News)

Like most people these days, my waking hours are largely given over to two trains of thought, converging on uneven tracks over a narrow bridge. One involves watching videos of cute animals on YouTube. Anything to keep my mind off politics.

The second train of thought is: How can I make twice as much money but do half as much work?

One way would be to come up with a fresh way of looking at the world that combines useful information, health tips, personal growth, finance and a bit of humor, so that the reader would emerge wiser, wealthier and happier in 16 column inches.

But that sounds like an awful lot of work. A better idea is to steal things from people who get paid a lot more than I do.

My ideal gig would be a column like Dear Abby, Ann Landers, or Hints From Heloise. These women lug home paychecks like Colombian money launderers, and their average day’s work, what with interns and all, could not possibly take more than two hours. All of them are deceased, yet the money keeps rolling in.

Dear Abby still gets letters from women whose husbands are, generally, fat drunkards who never bathe or brush their teeth, and are either a) crudely demanding sex; or b) unaware of the concept of sex.

The great thing about writing a column like Dear Abby, aside from the enormous paycheck and the sex stories, is that anonymous women in Iowa, Kentucky and Montana actually write it. All Dear Abby has to do is brush up the grammar and write: “He’s a creep. Kill him.”

Ha! Little joke there. Dear Abby has never suborned murder. So far as I know.

Hints From Heloise should be even easier to write, because it deals with inanimate objects. Heloise tells you how to clean up after your pets and how to make your husband’s shirts smell like something other than your husband.

All of these lucrative columns — Dear Abby, Ann Landers, Hints From Heloise, the horoscope — are written by women.

I plan to steal from these women and write a column for men.

In an ideal column, I would tell a man what to do, in 100 words or less, and send him away. And no one but him will ever have to see the results. I hope.

Unfortunately, since I have no hordes of men asking me questions about their girlfriends — yet — I’ll have to start by asking myself questions like Dear Abby gets.

The difference is, I will answer the questions in a way that men can understand. If they can read. Once I get men writing to me, and am syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, the only limit will be how long the pig valves in my brain hold out.

My column will be called “Hints From Bob.”

Dear Bob:

My problem is that I like to fish but my wife doesn’t. Every weekend, just about, I get up at an ungodly hour and drive with my buddies to a secret spot where we fish and drink all day. We cook trout over the campfire, drink beer and go to bed early, then fish all Sunday and drive home with more trout in the cooler. My wife has a hot dinner waiting for me on the table, but she will not speak to me that night or on Monday neither.

I have asked her to come fishing with me on weekends, but she says no, because we have two young children she takes care of. What do you suggest I do?


Up to my keister in trout

Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Dear Keister:

So what’s your problem?

Your pal, Bob

Dear Bob:

I am an elementary school teacher. I save empty cans of frozen orange juice. I don’t know why I do it. They taught me to do it in Ed 101 at Okmulgee State, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve been saving two cans a week for four years. What can I do with all these orange juice cans?


Up to my keister in orange juice cans

Wetumpka, Alabama

Dear Keister II:

Here’s a handy household tip. Buy a keg of beer. Ice that baby down. Fill up an orange juice can with beer. Drink her down and throw the can away. Take another orange juice can. Drink it and throw the can away. Repeat the procedure. If your orange juice cans ain’t gone by Thursday, give me a call.

Your pal, Bob

Dear Bob:

I just shot my husband, and the stains won’t come out of the carpet. I put him into the trash compactor after chopping him up and spooning him into several cases of Nehi Orange Soda, so that’s no problem, but those pesky stains won’t come out. What do you suggest?

Lying Low,

Braintree, Mass.

Dear Lying Low:

That is a poser. Perhaps one of our readers might have a suggestion. Readers?

Your pal, Bob

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