Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

70th Ask Josh – Grandma Seeking Granddaughter in Law

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Ruth G asks…

Where is the girl of your dreams?
Dear Readers,
I’m super sorry about this one. My dear Grandma insists that I start going public in search of the girl of my dreams.  
Dear Future Mrs. Josh Guest,
Now that I have all but given up on actively searching for you, it is now your responsibility to find me.  If you wish to receive my contact information, please oblige by posting on the blog. Grandma says send pictures.  She also says I should consider accepting referrals.  I realize that this is very undignified. I normally would type up this post just to humor the dear lady and then promptly discard it, but she won’t go away until I actually post this.  She is laughing at my sad plight even as I type.  Now she is apologizing with crocodile tears, and still she jests.  Now she is speaking to me in Spanish.  Please come quickly.
We look forward to hearing from you.  We are going to have a great time.  Hope you can keep up.

69th Ask Josh – Courtesy Quote

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Brenda asks…

Josh, are you going to quote my joke?
Dear Brenda,
Thanks for the Thanksgiving dinner.  Here’s to you.
“What are you listening to? Track 9? That’s a good one.”
Thanks a lot.  I’m going to get some pie now.
Enjoy A Charlie Brown Christmas .
Love always,

68th Ask Josh – Overdraft Fees

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Why do banks charge silly overdraft fees? They make life miserable and sometimes banks charge you when you did nothing wrong! Please help me figure this one out. 


Confused Banker 




Dear Confused Banker,


If you spend money that does not belong to you, you should fully expect to be penalized for it.  If you rather, you could have the banks not back you up when you want to spend more money than what belongs to you. While you may find overdraft fees inconvenient, I think you would be far more inconvenienced if you found yourself unable to fill up an empty car the day before payday, or to have a waiter come up to you in a restaurant to tell you that you are unable to pay for your meal, or if you had to leave a basket of groceries at the checkout counter to return home empty-handed. If you think overdraft fees make life miserable, think of how much better your life would be if you only could buy what you had cash for.

Here is what Dallin H. Oaks has said about those who overdraw their accounts, “It is dishonest to write a check with insufficient funds in the bank to cover the check. The check, being a false representation of fact, is a lie. It is also a crime and deserves to be treated that way.” [BYU Speeches of the Year. “Be Honest in All Behavior” 10 January 1973.]

Rather than prosecuting you, or refusing to continue to protect your hard-earned money, or instead of sending thugs to break your knees asking, “Where’s my money?” they charge you a fee and continue to cooperate with you in financing your life.

If you think that overdraft fees are silly, imagine how silly the idea of no overdraft fees must sound.

To not penalize you would force someone else to pay for your carelessness. Like a parent who does not punish an aggressive child, the rest of the children have to pay for it. Like a justice system that lets criminals go free forcing society to accommodate lawlessness. Like a government letting any old irresponsible businessman manage his company into financial ruin and then give him billions of dollars so he can continue doing the terrible job he has already been doing and continue to take an irrequisite amount of the market share and thereby keep more efficient businesses from emerging. Absurd, isn’t it? That kind of behavior means that everybody has to pay so that irresponsible manager can continue spending more than the business earns.

 We can’t reasonably expect the banks to abolish their overdraft fees. But we can find ways to minimize our costs. According to the United States Federal Reserve, the solution for you to not have overdraft fees is to manage your account properly. However, if you insist that you should not be penalized for spending money that does not belong to you, the Fed offers this advice, “If you have a complaint, first try to resolve the problem directly with your bank, savings and loan, or credit union. If you are unable to resolve the problem, you may want to file a complaint with one of the state or federal agencies responsible for enforcing consumer banking laws.”


So, Confused B, sorry if I have no sympathy to offer you.  I have been nailed by overdraft fees; sometimes unjustly. But banks don’t make life miserable. Banks protect your money. They keep you from having to spend hundreds of dollars to install your own safe in your house to protect the cash you would be forced to hold onto.  They keep you from having to borrow money from loan sharks if you want to buy a home, start a business, or pay for emergency medical care. They offer interest as an incentive for people to save money. They penalize those who spend more than they earn through debt financing. Banks don’t make life miserable, people make themselves miserable and blame someone else for it for peace of mind.

Of course it is inconvenient to pay overdraft fees. But I would rather that overdrafters had to pay a fee every time they overspent rather than all of us having to pay some kind of an annual fee to a communal “overdraft protection fund”, or having banks require background checks to make sure that we will never overdraft and refusing to do business with us if there is any indication that we may overdraft, or just refusing to allow us to overdraft in emergencies and thus leave us in a bind when we may be strapped for cash. 

If you take away individual responsibility, then everybody pays. “And also, if there was no law given against sin, men would not be afraid to sin” [Alma 42:20].


Happy Thanksgiving. Get back to work.


67th Ask Josh – What If

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2008 at 11:30 pm

At the request of the questioner, this post will not be posted after it was painstakingly written. But since I know some of you were hoping for a laugh. Here is B Money, one of my rockin’ rapper friends. He calls me J Sauce and texts me frequently. Whether I be chillin’ ballin’ or rollin’, B Money be right thurr, right thurr.

Some of his most golden lines:
“The Peaks, the Peaks, the Seven, to the Peaks”
“One-piece honeys”
“Who do you trust?”
“I used to warm myself by the fire. My belt is made from barbed wire that I stole from a…. farm by Utah Lake.”
“I used to live in a damp cardboard box, and used to sell refurbished clocks.”
“I can still hear the ticks and the tocks from the clocks, like Captain Hook from Disney’s classic, Peter Pan.”
“I never got enough Hamiltons to pay my rent.”
“Athletics-ism is never my problem. Poppin’ Jelly Beans… I gobble’em.”
“I was all over the Police Beats”
“On the golf course I was splendid. Got a hole-in-one I pretended”
“My backswing was magnificent.”

“17 corndogs … means I beat Daniel”
“He bit the horseradish, or the horseradish bit you.”
“Money, money, money, who do you trust? Me!”
“I know someday we be hangin’ out in that gangsta lean.”
“Hubba hubba hubba, who do you trust?”
“Money’s got a pot of gold from the rainbow where Sawyer once was”
“Buzzy boy bling bling”
“B Money’s got what it takes to run a little business, runnin’ the cds and the worlds best rapper and sales rep.”
“To the east side, Fetchers. To the west side, Fetchers.”
“It’s just my lucky day. I ain’t frickin’ lame.”
“I can’t go flowin’ without my dough.”
“Take care, have a good day and get there on time.”
“Stay off drugs. Stay off the streets. Stay in school. Be cool. And make lots of friends. Be nice. And be everybody’s bro.”
Warmest regards,
The Better Idiot

66th Ask Josh – Oh Deer

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 at 10:56 am


1) Why are deer able to know to jump over the barbed wire fences in our neighborhood? They gracefully jump over them..even at night. Do they each have to get tangled in it once to then know to jump every time? Do they have to get tangled in each one and then remember after that? I am puzzled.


Deer City Boy,

The theories on barbed-wire fence jumping are both many and complex.  Some of the most highly respected theories involve deer being spotted on YouTube.  The truth is that they don’t know to jump every time.  Deer do lots of stupid things. Here are a few:

Exhibit A: Deer have allowed themselves to be carried about by superior humans.

Exhibit B: Deer have allowed themselves to be mounted by intellectually superior humans.

Exhibit C: Deer have allowed themselves to be observed even by humans on bicycles, very coordinated humans on bicycles.

Exhibit D: Deer charge at humans and trip.

Exhibit E: Deer venture onto ice and have to be saved by gloriously unsophisticated humans who talk about how deer just weren’t meant to go ice skating.

“No, no ice skating.”
“Hopefully it’ll fly over my house and blow some cars back over to the road.”

65th Ask Josh – The one on The One

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 at 2:17 am

by your most ardent follower


Dearest wise Josh,

How do you know if someone is “the one”?



Dear Most Ardent Follower,


In the movie The Matrix, Trinity says to Neo, “The Oracle told me I would fall in love, and that man, the man that I loved, would be The One.”


I guess that’s the most obvious one.


In Disney’s Enchanted, one of the songs goes like this, “Well does he take you out dancing just so he can hold you close? Dedicate a song with words meant just for you? He’ll find his own way to tell you with the little things he’ll do. That’s how you know. That’s how you know he’s your love.”


In Meet Joe Black, Brad Pitt as Death asked Quince the same question, “How do you know?”


Quince answered, “Because she knows the worst thing about me and it’s okay.  … There’s nothing [we] don’t know about each other, and it’s okay.”


In Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams’ character asks Matt Damon if he has a soul-mate.  Matt asks him what a soul-mate is. Robin Williams replies:


Someone who challenges you in every way. Who takes you places, opens things up for you. A soul-mate.”

 Elder Richard G. Scott said, “I suggest that you not ignore many possible candidates who are still developing these attributes, seeking the one who is perfected in them. You will likely not find that perfect person, and if you did, there would certainly be no interest in you. These attributes are best polished together as husband and wife.” [“Receive the Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 1999, 26 (italics added)]


Janet Lee, widow of former BYU President Rex Lee, said this of finding her “one.”


“When Rex and I were dating at BYU, he surprised me one night by indicating that he felt our relationship was getting serious. But I had just begun to come to terms with my own feelings, and he was way ahead of me. All of my logic told me Rex had everything I could ever want in a husband, yet I needed that bolt of lightning to strike me and say, ‘This is the one!’ Well, it came in a very unexpected way. For one entire week my concern was that he was getting too serious. Then one evening he suggested that we should date other people again. I was stunned, but I agreed and said good night. I was not prepared for the emotion I was about to feel. As the door closed behind me, the fear of losing him was more than I could bear. I stood frozen in the dark, leaning against the door for support. The world seemed to have stopped, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted it to start again without Rex there with me. I cried as though my heart would break. How clearly now I could see the priceless gem that was almost mine, but it seemed to be slipping away from my grasp.” [“Overcoming Discouragement” BYU Speeches of the Year. 13 Sept. 1994]


In any case, I’ve given up on looking for The One.  I’m not looking for her.  I’m just going on dates all helter skelter (well, not helter skelter in the Bugliosi sense, I mean it in more of the willy nilly sort of context).  I am not so much concerned with finding The One as I am with finding AnyOne.


In all seriousness though, I don’t know. If you haven’t figured it out yet, then lucky you, but if you’re like most of us, you will have your heart broken and you will likely break some hearts along the way as you go about trying to answer this question. Someone may be the one for you, but you may not be the one for them, or vice versa.  Elphaba’s lament in the play Wicked in the song “I’m Not That Girl” comes to mind. 


The most relevant quotation I find for your question would be from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:


“How do you choose a wife? I’ve heard a lot of young people from Brigham Young University and elsewhere say, ‘I’ve got to get a feeling of inspiration. I’ve got to get some revelation. I’ve got to fast and pray and get the Lord to manifest to me whom I should marry.’ Well, maybe it will be a little shock to you, but never in my life did I ever ask the Lord whom I ought to marry. It never occurred to me to ask him. I went out and found the girl I wanted; she suited me; I evaluated and weighed the proposition, and it just seemed a hundred percent to me as though this ought to be. Now, if I’d done things perfectly, I’d have done some counseling with the Lord, which I didn’t do; but all I did was pray to the Lord and ask for some guidance and direction in connection with the decision that I’d reached. A more perfect thing to have done would have been to counsel with him relative to the decision and get a spiritual confirmation that the conclusion, which I by my agency and faculties had arrived at, was the right one. … Well, do you want a wife? Do you want anything that’s right and proper? You go to work and you use the agency and power and ability that God has given you. You use every faculty, you get all the judgment that you can centered on the problem, you make up your own mind, and then, to be sure that you don’t err, you counsel with the Lord. You talk it over. You say, ‘This is what I think; what do you think?’ And if you get the calm, sweet surety that comes only from the Holy Spirit, you know you’ve reached the right conclusion; but if there’s anxiety and uncertainty in your heart, then you’d better start over, because the Lord’s hand is not in it, and you’re not getting the ratifying seal that, as a member of the Church who has the gift of the Holy Ghost, you are entitled to receive.” [“Agency or Inspiration—Which?” BYU Speeches of the Year 1973]


Happy hunting.

64th Ask Josh – Ask Josh earnings

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 at 12:35 am

Blogger Princess Mema said…

So how much money have you made since you’ve “bought-in”? I’ve been doing my part.


Dear Princess Mema,

In the language of business, my accounting books would reflect a debit to accounts receivable and a credit to advertising revenue.  It would look like this

  • Accounts Receivable 2.42
  • Advertising Revenue 2.42
Of course, I don’t receive a check until I hit $100.  And I earn one penny per click.  So only 9758 clicks to go and then ch-ching! 

63rd Ask Josh – Nice Guys

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:26 am

by one of the ladies

dear josh,

you say you love questions about relationships, so here goes:

why are all the confident guys douchebags and the nice guys ridden with self-esteem issues? this is a lose-lose for the ladies.


Dear one of the ladies,

The good people of Procter & Gamble take all the confident guys to this factory and they take them to this ledge, and when the confident guys aren’t looking, they push them into this vat which leads to a processor that converts the confident guys into… oh wait, I get it, you mean it as a metaphor. Oh, that makes the second part of your question make more sense. However, I do see making female hygiene products out of guys really would be a lose-lose for the ladies.

You know why nice guys have self-esteem issues? Some kind of an outside influence made them that way. They try to be nice, and some kind of an outside influence doesn’t give them the time of day. Nice guys, often shy, are labeled as creepy when they go out on a limb to ask some kind of an outside influence out. Then they read articles like, “Signs You’re Too Nice.”

They hear the oft-misquoted Leo Durocher saying, “All nice guys. They’ll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.”

In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the title character laments over the inevitable relationship failure of his friend Cameron. He says, “You can’t respect someone who kisses your [feet (for our purposes, let’s use the word ‘feet’)]”

James Franco gives a sad, but perhaps too true piece of advice to Shane West in the movie Whatever It Takes. Franco says, “Chicks dig [jerks].” We will label James as “Jerk” and Shane as “Nice Guy” just so you can see why jerks are the way they are, and why the nice guys are glum and insecure.

Jerk: Look, man, chicks dig [jerks], okay? … Remember in grade school when you always picked on the girl you liked? It’s kind of like that. Some girls are just insecure.

Nice Guy: You’re saying Ashley Grant is insecure.

Jerk: She’s the head cheerleader of insecurity.

Nice Guy: And if I treat her bad, she’ll go for it?

Jerk: Absolutely.

Nice Guy: Come on. That doesn’t make any sense.

Jerk: What, you’ve dated how many of these girls? That’s what I thought. … Simple question: Do you want her or not?

Nice Guy: Well, yeah, but– – Okay. … Even if everything you said is true, I don’t want to be mean to her.

Jerk: Right. Seeing as how she’s so sweet to you.

Extreme you say? While I wouldn’t say spot on, I must admit, the jerk’s words contain a kernel of truth. No, we don’t want to be mean, even if that does better our chances. But when niceness doesn’t work, and a part of me wants to say from experience that it does not, we must, like Alma, go “by another way” [Alma 8:18].

The same thing happens in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the play, Helena loves Demetrius, but Demetrius loves Hermia, and Hermia has no interest in Demetrius. Hermia is a jerk to Demetrius, and Helena loves him and declares it openly. Yet Demetrius does not care for the kind Helena, he goes for the ornery Hermia. No matter how much kindness Helena shows, Demetrius doesn’t care for her at all. This one is especially painful because close friends have compared me to Helena. In the following conversation Hermia and Helena both complain about how their actions toward the same man are both giving them unintended results.

HERMIA I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.

HELENA O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!

HERMIA I give him curses, yet he gives me love.

HELENA O that my prayers could such affection move!

HERMIA The more I hate, the more he follows me.

HELENA The more I love, the more he hateth me.

HERMIA His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

HELENA None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!

But your questions:

Why are all the confident guys [jerks]?

They are not [jerks] because they are confident, they are confident because they are [jerks]. They are [jerks], they get girls, and they wax more confident and then more [jerky].

Why do all the nice guys have self-esteem issues?

While I don’t believe self-esteem should have to come from the outside, I believe it wears down those kind fellas who just don’t have the heart to be [jerks]. They approach a girl and say she looks nice today, or they compliment some type of performance she had or something or other. She gets creeped out, for reasons we guys will never understand, and avoids the man. His confidence is bruised. He sees the same girl with an idiot boyfriend, how should he feel? The nice guy can only stand to hear, “It’s her loss,” “She doesn’t know what she’s missing out on,” “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone” so many times. After a while, he knows you’re just patronizing him.

Then again, what do I know?

62nd Ask Josh – What I don’t know.

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Dear Josh,

Is there anything you don’t know, and if so, what is it?


Dear GooberDiva13,

I don’t know how much I don’t know. I certainly don’t know how you came to entertain the absurd idea that there is nothing that I don’t know. I don’t know what I don’t know; but according to some silly cliche, whatever it is, it won’t hurt me

Some other great unknowns:

“I don’t know much. But I know I love you. That may be all I need to know.” – Aaron Neville
“Shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you

know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a 

thing, to allow that you do not know it;-this is knowledge.” – Confucius

“I don’t know why I didn’t come.” – Norah Jones

“Don’t know that I will… find me some girl” – Neil Diamond

Let me say to you with all of the intensity that I have that nothing will hurt you more than what you don’t know.” – Jeffrey R. Holland
I don’t know. 
That much I do know. You know?



61st Ask Josh – Asking Josh

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2008 at 10:14 am

Josh, how can I think of a good question to ask on your blog?
Dear The Captain,
I’m glad you asked a question on questions. It is perfectly legitimate to want to know the questions. James Thurber is credited with saying, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
Knowing what questions to ask may be something for all humanity to work on. Billy Collins demonstrated a bit of frustration about how the only question people want to ask about angels is how many can dance on the head of a pin.  
There are a lot of questions out there. In Stephen King’s book, “On Writing”, he says the two things an aspiring writer needs to do is to read a lot and write a lot.  The same may be used for aspiring questioners in getting the perfect question.  
Being that you have asked 9 questions, three of which I will never answer–because “Legor?” is not a question; “Really?” is not a question, and if it were, I would answer, “yes”; and the third being “Why don’t you write books?“, which has the faulty assumption that I do not write books–you seem to be practicing Mr. King’s advice on asking a lot. Now you need to go back to the first step: read a lot of questions.
Here are some questions that the questioners thought were very important.  Some were pretty frivolous:
Matthew Arnold, a writer and poet, said the important question that remains is what you think. [Democracy, 1861]
In John Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, the Grecian urn says, “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty.’–that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” So you could ask on beauty or truth, seeing as how that is all ye need know.
William Abbott and Louis Francis Cristillo–better known as Abbott and Costello–asked the timeless questions, “Who’s on first? What’s on second?”
In the opening chapter of her book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan said the question weighing on the minds of American women is, “Is this all?”
In a letter to his wife, John Adams said the greatest question ever debated in America was whether “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” [July 3, 1776]
A question I have found the answer to yet have refused to disclose is: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
The Bard’s timeless question, “To be, or not to be[?]” [Hamlet, III, i, 56]
But all joking aside, I really enjoy dumb questions, deep questions, questions that have no answer (like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first), and I especially love questions about relationships.  Those are fun. 
Keep ’em coming.