"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 29 May 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Tiny Little Penis 5.29.01

Dear Tiny Little Penis,

I recently got "downsized" from a Fortune 500 company whose owner is a Suck devotee. (Are you out there, Paul?) The reason for the "restructuring" of my particular sales position was that I blew the doors off my TLP counterparts, who apparently were chasing their TLP's instead of big, fat SALES. Now I'm no rocket scientist but it seems to me that any life form that could bring in sales to the extent that I did should make any TLP get a deliriously happy, raging chubby. Not so though. I was ousted because I don't have any penis at all. If I had a TLP, I would have been labeled 'top dog' instead of 'low bitch' and would presently be enjoying my position at the gilded urinal instead of taking my chances squatting on the Unemployment Office loo. My question is, I have heard of a medical solution for my problem- a procedure called an 'addadictomy'. Could you tell me where I might find a skilled surgeon to perform same before the end of June? My former employer benevolently has offered to maintain my health insurance until then and since that missing appendage was my only 'shortcoming', I feel that they should bear the expense of providing me one since that's obviously what it takes in this world to be truly successful.

Yours truly,


Dear Vaginia,

You sound pissed off, and rightfully so — injustice is a tough pill to swallow. Most of us suffer from one form of injustice or another throughout the course of our lives — those who succeed simply refuse to let it define them. Look to any hero throughout history, and you'll see the same belief system: If you don't let injustice crush your spirit, it will only make you stronger and more prepared for obstacles to come than someone who's traveled a much smoother path.

Also keep in mind that some slice of your discontent is circumstantial. Almost any woman I know would become bitter if forced to hang out with the smug, smooth-talking, stale-ass white boys who typically enter the world of sales with enthusiastic, shit-eating grins on their faces, grins they perfected by handing out lukewarm beer to potential groping victims at their own-horn-tooting horn-dog fests back in college. I'm wondering if you don't seek out volatile old-boy settings for the sake of righting some wrong from your past. Examine your motivations and ask yourself if you're not repeating some negative pattern of swimming with sharks when you'd be much happier with the dolphins. If you really think all the dick-measuring is a joke, then why are you looking for a surgeon?

Let out your anger — berate the bastards as needed — and then, move on. There will always be irritating, biased, and hurtful people in the world — your task is to rise above it. These people do what they do because they've been injured in some way. Don't stoop to their level by allowing your own injuries to define who you are and what you believe in.

If you follow your own compass instead of getting caught up in other people's power struggles, eventually you'll look back at these unbearably unfair, low-bitch days, and thank your lucky stars that it all went down the way it did, or else you'd still be chasing chum.

Tiny Little Penis

Hey -

Last fall I started graduate school at a school that you can determine from my email address and I've been really busy with the workload. I'm doing fine in school, but my social life is dying. I'm an out of state student so all my friends and connections are back home. I go home a lot and try to make up for lost time (if ya know what I mean...) but I really want to have sex without having to fly home for it. All the people I've met are either significantly older than me or married. I've never approached older women, and I don't even know if it's worth the trouble. Any advice?

Not Sleepless in Seattle

Dear Sleepy,

To be honest, this isn't a question I'm very good at answering. I once moved to a new city and it took me an eternity just to make a small handful of quasi-friends. Like you, I tend to dislike feeling like a total loser so much that I feel compelled to keep it behind closed doors, i.e. stay at home to avoid the feeling that I have a big LOSER stamp in the middle of my forehead that everyone can see.

Here's the thing: You have to let go of the notion that you're a creepy zero and just make some plans. Making plans means forcing yourself to attend every single vaguely social event related to school/work or otherwise, throwing a poker or Monopoly party, taking a class for fun, whatever. These things seem pretty dorky, but get out of your predicament takes sticking your neck out as much as possible.

After you have a few decent acquaintances, then worry about the sex thing. If you're not socializing at all, though, the last thing on your list should be running out and trying to get laid. You have to set up some semblance of a satisfying life for yourself before you try to rope someone else into the picture, even temporarily. Otherwise you're in for some alienating encounters that are destined to make you feel even lonelier than you did before you started your crusade.

You may sit alone in your apartment and think that your main problem is that you're not getting laid, but that's just your way of explaining your loneliness to yourself without feeling like a total pussy. Step one is to make a few friends and get out of the house, step two is to find a lover. You have a life to build, here.

In the meantime, keep spankin' it, Sleepy!

Tiny Little Penis

Dear TLP,

I am a typical San Francisco girl (witty, pretty and well-employed) who has found a guy who is not a sad little weasel with little to nothing going for him. He's actually attractive, has a fairly good personality, and is relatively thoughtful.

How can I get him to marry me aside from chaining up in my apartment until he agrees? I've tried all the usual maneuvers; cooking, laundry, blow jobs. He's still stalling. What else is there?

I am tired of dating sad little weasels, and now I see my friends MARRYING them. Aside from moving to Chicago where all men are, I need to close this deal because I know it won't come again. I feel like I am trying to land a Marlin off the Jersey shore. Advice?

Trying Like Hell to Get A Ring

Dear Trying Like Hell,

I admire your conviction about your boyfriend. The trouble with San Franciso is, many of the men tend to believe that they can put off marriage indefinitely. And hey, why the hell not? There are swarms of attractive women around, and who wants to deal with a house and a yard and kids when you can walk out the door and have a frosty pint of Red Hook in your hand within minutes?

If you sense that your guy doesn't know whether or not you two will "end up" together, that may mean that he does know that you won't end up together. I've seen plenty of guys bide their time until the issue was pushed, at which point they promptly dumped their girlfriends. In fact, they knew for a long time that it would end that way, but by making the same vaguely positive sounds they were able to delay the day of reckoning for some time, thereby continuing to get laundered, fed, and blown on a regular basis.

On the other hand, if your boyfriend just has doubts about settling down in general, but he's crazy about you — well, he's only human. Try to accept his doubts and see if, over time, they disappear. Sometimes men feel (rightfully) that they'll be persecuted for expressing any doubts, and this causes the doubts to take up all this space in their brains that could be used to think good thoughts about you, and about the future. Give him some room to feel what he feels. This acceptance may make him feel more excited about being with you for the long term.

I know it's difficult, but if you've been going out for over a year and you know that you're committed, do NOT put off this conversation. Remember, the important thing is to encourage your boyfriend to be completely honest with you. If you unconsciously encourage him to reassure you and thereby keep you in the dark, you may very well end up getting strung along and then dumped, or you may end up aligning yourself with someone who's reassuring but who's constantly looking around for an upgrade.

If you end up breaking up, just remember that 1) being alone is much, much better than being with someone who isn't 100% there and 100% honest, and 2) you could easily meet someone great tomorrow and be married within a year. Not everyone hems and haws and hesitates like the guy you're with now. I've seen two women get dumped by a noncommittal guy only to find and marry someone far better for them within a year later. This happened because going through an intense disappointment caused them to become independent, to work harder on themselves, and to shape their lives based on what they wanted. Naturally, this made them happy, and nothing's more magnetic and attractive than true happiness. Then again, once you're happy, you may realize that you don't want a Marlin at all. Who knows?

Regardless, there are plenty of Marlins in the sea — and the best ones aren't so tough to catch.

Tiny Little Penis

Dear Tiny Little Penis:

At my friends' wedding this weekend, it occurred to me that I really have no single friends left. I used to think I would want to get married when the right woman came along, but to be honest, I can't imagine wanting to be with someone enough to go through all the hassle of a wedding, not to mention a life-long commitment. The relationship I'm in now could potentially become serious, but I find myself torn between romancing her and giving her an "It's not you; it's me," speech.

So what's the verdict? Social retardation? Fear of commitment? Peter Pan complex? Possibly just too self-involved? Any input would be appreciated...


Dear Igor,

Oh, the unbearable synergy of it all!

Yes, relationships are a major hassle — the wedding is the least of your worries. But the fact that you can't imagine making a life-long commitment may say more about your powers of imagination than it says about your ability to commit.

Just as it's impossible to express how difficult relationships can be, it's also tough to communicate how great they can be. Once you see how rewarding it can be to open yourself up to someone else and embrace them for who they are (this goes beyond simple notions of the romantic), only then will start to see that in some cases the hassles are more than worth it. It's like having kids — no matter how impossible it looks to a bystander, the joys of the experience easily eclipse the challenges.

So forget about the verdict, and stop judging yourself so harshly. You act as if you have to choose between an engagement ring and a concession speech immediately. Why not just take some baby steps and try to be open to the possibilities? Move toward being more honest with your girlfriend, share more of yourself with her, and see how it goes. Explain that you'll feel closer to her if you're upfront with her about your doubts, and encourage her to be upfront with you. Until you take the risk of showing someone the whole picture, you won't really know what it means to be with someone else, and you won't have any way of judging that experience one way or the other. It may be that you don't enjoy serious relationships, and that's fine. It may be that you really thrive in a relationship. You won't know until you take some risks and stop pressuring yourself to be this decisive, heroic Prince Charming. Right now, that's not who you are, and there's nothing wrong with that, you just need to be honest about it. If your girlfriend can accept that about you, then maybe she's someone who, eventually, you'll want to make sure sticks around.

If not, you'd better learn to swim really fast.

Tiny Little Penis

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