Nietzsche in the Morning, then Just Walk Away

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Young Freddy Nietzche at Mickey’s Blue Haven Bar in Hell’s Kitchen

Dear El Gorto,

I am a graduating philosophy student at Cornell College in Iowa and am a huge fan of yours. Your book, Finding Balance, really helped me with both my yoga poses and when things were not going so well with my boyfriend.

I am finishing my Honors Thesis on Nietzsche’s The Gay Science. My question to you, El Gorto, is simply, how do you apply Nietzsche’s philosophy in your day-to-day life? 


Molly Ringwalder
Mount Vernon, Iowa

Dear Molly,

It’s hard to be sure of anything, but I do know Mount Vernon is in Virginia, and Cornell is in Ithaca, New York. So don’t try to fool me.

As far as applying Nietzsche to my everyday life, simple: That which doesn’t kill El Gorto, makes El Gorto stronger. 

Slightly miffed,
El Gorto

Sticks and Fingers

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Any Argument here? 

Absolute bullshit here!
They are called fish sticks. Period. And those bastards at Hormel damn well know it, by God!
Appropriating the good name of sticks for their adulterated canned product, while simultaneously and erroneously disparaging a superior ocean harvested, fresh frozen delicacy is an outrage.

Fish sticks yes.
Spam fingers, what?

— Culiacán Pie

Dear Mr. Pie,

No argument from the boys in men’s apparel.

El Gorto

Dean Fetish

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Now that’s Amore.

Dear El Gorto,

Dean Martin is not a long-haired hippie who takes LSD, speed, etc. When he is in a movie it is not sexy like most other movies. He does not need a band to make music because he himself fills the air with a romantic song. There are still some who prefer relaxing music to rock ‘n’ roll.

— Jim Johnson, Wood River, Ill.

Dear Jim,

You got a question or do you just need to rant?  I bet you drive your whole family nuts. Keep it up. There’s a whole cottage industry for guys like you, (bumper stickers and truck stop novelty items). 

Listen, pal. I admire your grit and your unabashed man love for the great Dean Martin, but you’ll never catch me watching a Matt Helm movie. 

— El Gorto

Hell of a Cast!

Yodeling in My Head

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Dear El Gorto,
I can’t get this yodeling out of my head. 
I listened to Hocus Pocus by the group Focus. Swear to God, that is the name of the group and song.
Here is the link, but I warn you it is like watching that video in the movie The Ring or sleeping with that dude in It Follows.
(About a minute in, it all begins, and never ends).
What’s a guy to do?
Desperately yours,
Von Trapped
Dear Von Trapped,
Your reference to The Ring is lost on me. I don’t like all that Wagnerian fantasy world crap with little people. And It Follows?
The last decent film I saw was Delta Force featuring Lee Marvin. Now that was a movie and that was an actor. I doubt he’d have any issue with yodeling.
In fact, when I don’t hear yodeling, I get nervous.
You might just have a bizarre case of tinnitus. I had a dog that couldn’t get the Theme song from WKRP in Cincinnati out of his head. We had to put him down.
I recommend you fill your head with some other sort of sound. If it doesn’t drive you postal, try the theme from Claude Lelouch’s “Un Homme et Une Femme” movie. Give it a try and the yodeling will go away.

Theme Song from a Man and a Woman
El Gorto

Gerrymandering the Living Room?

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Dear El Gorto,

My roommate, who happens to be my ex, and I share a house, and we had a huge fight. She accused me of gerrymandering the living room. Is this possible?

Jay Acussé

Dear Jay,

When you live with your ex, anything is possible. I think Virginia Woolf was spot on when she said, “Every man needs a cave of his own.” I recommend you move out before it’s too late and in the meantime, put your stuff in the basement.

Dutifully yours,
El Gorto

Minus-Size Model

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Ever eat a Pine Tree? Many parts are edible – Euell Gibbons

Dear El Gorto,

I can’t get my kids to eat. I fear they will all become minus-size models. What’s a mom to do?

Choosy Mother

Dear Choosy:

I’m no nutritionist but I learned a thing or two from the great Euell Gibbons, the Grape-Nuts Pusher. When in doubt, use Nutella. Spread it on everything. You’ll get those picky kids eating liver and onions before you know it. 

— El Gorto 

What is Genius?

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Dear El Gorto,

Sometimes I see something and think I could have done that, but I didn’t. How do we know the difference between a good idea and a pipe dream? 

– Boot

Dear Boot,

Genius doesn’t come often.  Closest I ever got to genius was in 1978, was when my friend C.S. talked his dad into xeriscaping their yard so he would not have to mow the lawn that summer. 

Stay away from the pipe and don’t beat yourself up. 

— El Gorto

Help Fund This Site

From Politicus Interruptus

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Dear El Gorto,

My husband is driving me up the wall with all of his political angst and it’s ruining our love life. What should I do? 

– Politicus Interruptus

Dear Politicus,

Let me give it to you straight, I never get into politics simply because I can’t be sure who is listening? Do I want to upset my mechanic? Piss off my bookie? Offend my dentist? No thank you!

You know that punk down the street? Someday he might be a brownshirt or even a Gauleiter. So best to keep the trap shut. 

I’ll confess, I always believed an element of truth must be mixed into every lie, but today you can just say whatever. Odds are, they’ll believe you. 

I really feel for those press secretaries and so-called pundits. I see them struggling like Benny Hill to keep a straight face while they’re broadcasting. 

So just tell your husband to get a hobby, maybe something like a model railroad he can tinker with in the basement. Trust me, the passion will return. 

— El Gorto

Yamned if You Don’t

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Dear El Gorto,
Quick question, are candied yams admissible in a court of law? Asking for a friend, of course.
— Big Dan

Dear Big Dan,

As my maternal Abuela (Grandma Maria) aged, her sharp mind began to slip. I used to take her shopping at the local Mercado and where the color orange would mesmerize her. I’d find her in aisles transfixed. gaping at anything orange — tangerines, lox, carrots, Cheetos,  Fanta Soda, and, especially, cans of candied yams.

Old age is not for sissies. Then she would tell me that the paradox of life is no one wants to grow old, or die young. 

Then I’d have to tug her away from the yams. Somehow she always gravitated to pickled herring as well, but that’s a different story. 

Anyway, what’s the question again? Oh yes. 

Are candied yams admissible in a court of law?

The short answer, Big Dan, is yes.

Yams (sic candied) were admissible in the landmark decision by the Supreme Court, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).

Basically, the court held up affirmative action, in spite of Allan P. Bakke’s charges of reverse discrimination. Special prosecutor Archibald Cox known for his flamboyant courtroom demeanor, actually brought in a can of candied yams as evidence to make his point that mashed potatoes inherently received preferential treatment, whereas as yams (sweet potatoes?) were seldom served in the dorm cafeterias. 

The yams were admissible but had little bearing on the decision, and ultimately Bakke was admissible and admitted to Med school. I doubt I would ever select Bakke as my primary care doctor, always wondering if he only got in due to yam bias.

El Gorto