Barry Smith: Dishing the dirt with Bad Guru |

Barry Smith: Dishing the dirt with Bad Guru

Dear Bad Guru,

I have a friend who really likes to give me advice. Sometimes, when he’s doling some out that he thinks is particularly deep and profound, he insists that I close my eyes first, presumably so that I can fully absorb the words he is offering without visual distraction.

The other day he was giving me some such advice and as I sat there with my eyes closed, I peeked. When I did, I saw that he was doing some peeking of his own ? up my skirt.

I didn’t say anything, as I didn’t want to let on that I had violated his trust by opening my eyes. Plus, it occurred to me that maybe he wasn’t so much peeking up my skirt as reading my aura. Or something.


Easily Exposed

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Dear E.E.,

Did the dilemma your friend was advising you on have anything to do with your undergarment style or color? If so, then this upskirtward gaze is understandable, and demonstrates the devotion of a true friend.

If this could be the case, but you can’t remember what your question was, then try this: wear an even shorter skirt, sit across from him and request some insightful words regarding a tax issue that’s been troubling you. If he peeks again, then you’ve eliminated at least one variable.

Before you jump to conclusions, though, consider that your friend may be working on a new anatomical divination method.

In the early 1800’s, phrenology, the practice of determining one’s character and personality by “reading” the bumps on their heads, was all the rage. This science, though now discredited, was developed by Vienna physician Franz Joseph Gall.

Though he had a pretty good run of it, a recently discovered journal entry reveals that Gall developed this pseudo-science because he secretly “just really liked fondling people’s heads.”

Dear Bad Guru,

The radio speaks to me.

I don’t mean that I hear a song like “Stairway To Heaven” and I think that it’s a sign from my dead relatives or that I hear “Hey Joe” and that this is my cue to go out and shoot my old lady. This is not what I mean. I don’t even listen to classic rock stations.

No, I mean my radio literally speaks to me. I turn it on to listen to NPR and instead I hear, “Good morning, Will, I really like that shirt you’re wearing today. Hey, how’s that toast? You sure love that strawberry jam, don’t you? Oops, got a little bit on your tie. Looks like you’ll have to change it before you go to work, which is in about 10 minutes, so you’d better hurry.”

This only happens at home, and the information is all frighteningly accurate; my name, my love of jam, my shirt, all of it.

And I’m not delusional. I’ve turned the radio on when friends are over and they hear it, too.

“Hey, Will. Is that Sandra I see there with you? Are you two gonna play Scrabble again tonight? Watch it, Sandra, Will likes to cheat. Ha ha.”

It would be creepy if it weren’t so annoying, but it sounds just metaphysical enough that I thought I’d ask Bad Guru about this phenomenon.


All I Hear Is Radio Gaga

Dear Gaga,

Could be that you’ve tuned your home radio into the “Frequency of the Ethers,” which exists down at those low numbers where NPR is usually found.

However, it’s more likely that your closest neighbor has a Mister Microphone and some binoculars.

Dear Bad Guru,

I’ve come unto the world at the End Times to usher in a thousand years of peace. I fulfill prophecy. I know this because I have discovered my name in The Bible.

I don’t have a question, I just thought you’d want to know.



Dear Fred,

Bad Guru isn’t convinced that discovering your name in the Bible qualifies as fulfilling prophecy, especially if your name is “Fred.” Bad Guru doesn’t recall a “Fred” mentioned in any Bible he’s ever seen, not even in the so-called lost books.

You know that very first page in your bible, the one where it says, “Happy Birthday Fred”? You do realize that that part wasn’t written by God, right? That was written by your Aunt Helen, who, despite the heavenly effects of her rum cake, doesn’t have the authority to declare you a messiah.

[Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Monday and Thursday. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at]

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