More from Pete’s Mail Bag

In case you’ve lost track, my dog Pete, who’s been dead lo these last two years, has been asked to apply to a for-profit institution of higher learning and to buy a new car at Miller Chrysler Dodge Jeep. And yesterday, the good people of Mealey’s Furniture kindly wrote to inquire about Pete’s luck:

The good news is that if Pete were alive and wanted to know how lucky he was, he could, as the note suggests, Find Out Now! The bad news, however, is that Pete’s luck ran out a little while ago, so I’m hesitant to open the card. Because what will I find? A luck-o-meter reading zero? A clover with no leaves? Dirty Harry Callahan drawing a gun?

The world, I suppose, will never know.

Ask an English Teacher: Good or Well?

If someone asks how I am, should I say I’m good or I’m well?

The answer depends on whether the person who asked really cares how you’re doing. If they’re only asking to be polite, the correct answer is, “Fine, thanks!” But if they really want to know, the correct answer is probably closer to, “To tell you the truth, I’m haunted by existential angst and the creeping suspicion that Soren Kierkegaard was right when he said that our age is putting on a veritable clearance sale not just in commerce but in the world of ideas, too — that everything can be had so dirt cheap that one begins to wonder whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.”

That wasn’t very helpful.

I tend not to be.

A Lyrical Revelation 34 Years in the Making

1978. I’m five years old, and I swear the couplet goes “Spins a web, any size./Can’t you see? Just like eyes!” Did it make sense? No. But it was close enough for jazz — and the theme from Spider-man was one heck of a jazzy tune.


2012. I’m significantly older. I hear the Ramones on Pandora, and it hits me: “Spins a web, any size/Catches thieves just like flies!”


Thanks for clearing that up, Joey… wherever you are!