Let me help!

Send signed letters to [email protected]

To the editor:

Yesterday, I heard on NPR an interview of renowned sex advice columnist Dan Savage. In it he was asked to describe how he came to his job.  At that moment I realized that I too have a calling, of sorts. Who better than I to offer advice to all of my neighbors in Norwalk to help them solve problems covering a wide range of concerns, including, but not limited to: family and relationships, civic life, government policy at all levels from local to national and even international, religion, scientific matters, legal matters, spelling and grammar, fashion, business management and investments, computer software and hardware, personal health and medical care, life decisions, and oh yes, sex too?  I think that I have useful answers on all things for all people. Further, I wish to offer two voices for these answers: 1) a kind, caring, compassionate and practical voice, and 2) my own snarky, angry and impatient voice.  You may avail yourself of either, or both. Finally, I offer this service at no cost (which represents only a tiny fraction of its true value).

John Levin, in his more light hearted mode, enjoying the recent solar eclipse.

If you wish to accept this offer, I shall leave it to you as to how we can proceed to gather questions from your readers, and post these questions and my deeply contemplated answers to your website.  I can promise you that this will be both enlightening and fun, and you will have no regrets whatsoever.

Full disclosure: okay, yes, I happen to be a member of the Board of Chapman Hyperlocal Media Inc. which operates NancyOnNorwalk, and I even serve as Board Chairman.  However, this should neither be held against me, nor in my favor, as I generously offer my services for this vital and important civic need.
At your service,
John Levin


Wineshine September 4, 2017 at 6:58 am

Dear John,

I need your help. My two pets, one a thirteen year old scorpion, and the other, (which my wife doesn’t know about, so mum’s the word!!)a forty-three year old bullfrog, are just not getting along well. This has caused quite a rift in our normally harmonious household.

Now, I should tell you, they each have their quirks. The scorpion tends to be very bitey, but his (or her?) prediliction for teething, we think is just a sign of adolescent impetuousness. A new-found ambition, if you will. We figure he (or she) will grow out of it.

The real problems is Ribbit. He just sits there and takes abuse, all day long. Scorpy is just like, bite, bite, bite, bite, bite, and Ribbit, a double amputee as a result of his brief stint as a French chef, while offering solutions and compromise, always ends up with Scorpy standing over him, and gloating about his percieved victory.

So you see the problem here. How do we get the two to accept each other for what they are, while not asking each to divert from their true nature. Help!!

Stuart Wells September 4, 2017 at 7:23 am

Well, I do have a fashion question for you. A year or two ago you changed your time-honored look, and stopped wearing flip-flops to mid-winter events. I always assumed that the “flip-flops in winter” movement was meant to call attention to global warming but I do not understand the change. As leader of the nostalgic “back to shoes” movement, are you now warning the world about the possibility of nuclear winter when Trump and the military-industrial complex bomb North Korea? Or, are you the prophet of some other global movement the purpose of which is yet to be revealed? Or, did you just get cold feet?

Bruce Kimmel September 4, 2017 at 9:33 am

John, I have a question that needs to be answered quickly: As soon as the weather starts to get cooler, I go out campaigning wearing my Philadelphia Phillies hat, a traditional one with the infamous white P surrounded by red. Occasionally, I find myself talking to potential Norwalk voters who appear somewhat taken-aback by a local politician donning the hat of the enemy. Should I refrain from honoring my long-suffering hometown team and lose the hat, thereby dispensing with my dignity in the quest for more and more votes?

Stuart Wells September 4, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I wish to apologize to the guru of gurus for the unworthy thought that his answers would be little more than the ruminations of his Magic-8 ball. Clearly he must be “deeply contemplating” his answers as, so far, he has not enlightened us with any of them.

John Levin September 4, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Oh my. It’s on, apparently.

Great. Here goes:

Wineshine: get a dog. Constant love. Less drama. But bigger bills. Still worth it.

Stuart Wells: best to wear comfortable shoes. Flip flops are damn comfortable. Less so in the snow.

Bruce Kimmel: “the enemy”? Dude, it’s not a Yankees hat! Retain your dignity, and wear the hat. If anyone asks about it, just say you got it from your dad, and you promised him you’d wear it. I’ve always wondered what causes Norwalkers to vote this way or that. I didn’t know it was the hats.

Claudio: awesome. I now have a new goal for sideburns!

Thanks, Norwalk! Thanks, Nancy!

East Norwalk Equivocator September 4, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Dear John,

Commenting on NON is fun, but I can’t decide between making snarky comments under a pen name, and civil comments under my real name.

What do you suggest?

Donna September 5, 2017 at 7:54 am

@Bruce Kimmel, the Phillies are at the bottom of the Natinoal League East. Their record is too dismal for anyone to see them as the “enemy”. Get a Yankees hat. You’ll feel much better.

John Levin September 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

East Norwalk Equivicator: Why equivocate? Use your real name, always. Unless your real name is Stephen Fuckface, in which case you probably could go with “Stephen F”.

So yeah, just use your real name. Your neighbors will appreciate knowing who you are and likely will honor you for that, even if they might not always agree with what you have to say. Further, if snarky is you, then do you. It’s so much easier to be yourself than to be someone else. Go for easy.

Say, what’s your real name?

John Levin September 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

Donna: I thought I had everything covered, but you’re going to have to handle sports. Everyone: going forward, please refer sports related questions to “Dear Donna”. Unless it involves children. I can still handle that stuff.

Eric Johnson September 5, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Dear John,

What kind of name is “Rilling”? Is that a foreign name because it sounds foreign. Just curious.

Eric in Norwalk

John Levin September 6, 2017 at 10:01 am

Eric Johnson: Rilling? I always assumed that it was just a regular old american name – maybe German or Irish origin, I dunno. So in the rare moments I am in doubt, of course I consult an expert: UrbanDictionary.com As it happens, UD has no listing for “Rilling”, so I’m right.

UD does, however, have a listing for “Johnson”.

Cold Sweat September 14, 2017 at 9:25 am

Dear John,

How do I know who’s responsible — me or, say, Donald Trump – for stuff that happens in life?

Recently I couldn’t find my keys for two hours. They were in the jacket I wore when it was chilly, but a day later it was back in the 80s so I didn’t think to check the jacket.

It seems simple:

*Climate change disrupts weather patterns requiring jackets one day and shorts the next, leading to
wardrobe confusion and the misplacement of keys
*Donald Trump’s policies are slowing progress addressing climate change and its effects
*Trump lost my keys

But maybe I should “give Trump a chance” as some folks suggest.

What do YOU think John? Did Trump lose my keys (or is Congress to blame)?

–In a cold sweat in Norwalk

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