November 1999
s m u g
the biswick files
by Sherman T. Biswick


Dear Mr. Biswick,
I am completely confused as to what the 90's expects from its women. As I reach my mid-twenties, I sit in a state of indecision, paralyzed by the conflicting voices of my mother's generation and the lack of consensus of my own. What is the norm when it comes to life plans? I need to know what I am to conform or rebel against! I may be mistaken but (whether it be a positive or negative) generally speaking, men have an idea of society's expectations of themselves associated with their age. They have something to gauge their progression--when they are expected to marry, establish a career...women do not. Society's rulebook has not caught up with the liberation of women. Then again, maybe I should mind what I wish for.
From: Meg

Mind what you wish for? And then some! Why, once I wished that I could be a soldier and learn to drive a tank and fire machine guns and jump out of planes. And I wished that I could get to save democracy by bravely risking my life in a strange land where the natives didn't speak any English and ate really weird stuff like it was going out of style. I thought it would be exciting if I could be a war hero. And then along came a little something called World War Two! You probably never heard of it-you kids pay no mind to history, unless it comes on the MTV show.

Well let me tell you, girlie--all that wishing I did? It came true! I DID go overseas to fight for my country! I DID learn to drive a tank, and fire machine guns; I even saved the life of a fellow soldier by throwing myself on a live grenade! The shrapnel tore up my guts, and nowadays when it rains, I can't hardly move my left leg on account of the plates in my hip and knee. But I helped preserve freedom and the American way of life. And I'm pretty damned proud of that.

You ask me if you should mind what you wish for? I say: hell yes!

As for all that other hogwash about what the world expects from its women? All I know is I'd love a cup of coffee. Cream, no sugar. Thanks hon.

Dear Mr. Biswick,
I suspect that I've been brainwashed from watching too much television as a child. How can I tell for certain? Is brainwashing reversible?
From: Bradley

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire: the A-Team.

Good Afternoon:

I have visited your web site. Please send me information about late summer and fall activities and prices. I would appreciate also a copy of your video. Thanks in advance. We would be coming in late summer for a long weekend, two adults and one 22 year old daughter. In the fall we would be 4 adults. Thanks again.
From: Dr. Alan T. Arthur

Dear Dr. Alan,
I took a look through the brochure I got when my family first brought me here, and it turns out the community where I live has been recognized as having one of the nation's top Senior Water Aerobics classes. Not only that, but there are a number of other activities you and your family can choose from. There is water walking, shuffleboard, cruises, fitness classes, bridge, and volunteering, just to name a few. Few communities offer as many quality activities and committees to keep you active and involved.

One thing that puzzles me, though, is how you've managed to turn your 22 year old daughter into two people when autumn comes around, and more importantly, why? Do you get extra warmth from having one more body in your home? And is this "fourth" family member a brand new person, or just a copy of your regular little girl? When I was a boy we had an extra family member, Uncle Roy, who would show up around Christmastime and drink all our egg nog up. My mamma said Uncle Roy was a "holy roller." All I know for sure is that Uncle Roy showed me how to sneak a nickel out of the collection plate, so he was okay in my book.

Dear Mr. Biswick,
I have this friend who is still obsessive about her ex-boyfriend. I am so sick of it, that I cannot stand to talk to her anymore. It has been 7 months since he broke up with her. I think she needs some outside help, but she won't go, and she gets mad at me if I suggest it.

Should I talk to her mom, or just leave it alone? She is alienating all of her friends.
From: Dee

If you have a friend who is turning you into an alien, you should contact the local sheriff immediately. Our country is being overrun by outer space midgets who have been sent over here by the Russians. Those red bastards are intent on turning our children into mind eating zombies and I for one won't stand for it. And you shouldn't either, Dee. You march right up to that "friend" of yours and tell her to go on back to her own planet, and take her Russian comrades with her. It's a known fact that outer space alien midget zombies wither when you speak to them in a stern voice. They hate that.

Sherman T. Biswick, Veteran.


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