Ask Mrs. Vera: Do you find last week’s election results encouraging?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Do you find last week’s election results encouraging?

Yours not convinced truly, Ken…Cloacanellie? Canolismelly? Cootchycootchycoo-new-hell-pee?

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Michael Johnstone

Dear Mr. Cucinelli,

Not knowing the spelling of one’s last name can lead to some confusion at the ballot box and that may have been a factor in your defeat you could have anticipated, but it’s too late, now.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Kindest Regards, Emeril J. Lagasse, Fall River, MA

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Cameron Wolf

Dear Emeril,

Love your Yukon Gold potato nest recipe, the one filled with tiny creamed onions.  That dish could be scaled up to provide crispy housing for the homeless and starving, and any tiny onion babies they have still clinging to life in those red “right-to-starve” states.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Fond Regards, Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Vinc LeVinc, 2004.

Dear Charo’s Tangles,

So lovely to hear from you again after all this time. My readers may not know this, but before entering politics and getting himself elected into office in New York, Mr.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: So, is it time for the voters of Ohio to recall John Boehner?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

So, is it time for the voters of Ohio to recall GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner?

Regards, Somehow uncertain independent Ohio voter John Q. Public

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Mark Trevorrow

Dear Junk Pukeblitzer,

Thanks for writing in, yet again, as you begin the long process of letting somebody else eventually make up your State’s mind for you.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs Vera: Which is worse? The Shutdown or Barilla™?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

What’s worse, The Shutdown or Barilla™?

Guido Boehner, Annapolis, MD

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Michael Johnstone.

Dear Giovanni NoBarroehner,

This is a very easy question to answer, especially if you are a female lady who ever came from a family, even one of those families that doesn’t count enough to deserve eating a specific brand of dried paste that is for sale in many shops and markets.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Do filibusters actually accomplish anything positive?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

So, do filibusters actually accomplish anything positive?

Truly Yours, Philip Ulcer

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Cameron Wolf

Dear Mr. Cruz,

On behalf of my readers, I must thank you for writing in, even if under a nom-de-plume (that’s Quebecois for faker) and calling attention to this most pressing of issues.  Being subjected to a filibuster-a-thon™ from a stubborn foreigner Texan truly feels like attending a function where everyone is depressed because the host is insisting on playing a party game involving running your head through a letterpress or embossing machine, with the most points going to the person who sustains the least brain damage.  … [Read more]

Ask Mrs Vera: Should Starbucks™ provide a place for customers to check their guns?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Do you think that Starbucks™ should provide a place for customers to check their guns?

Sincerely Yours, Jerry Baldwin, Seattle, Washington

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Ghislaine Alix Loree

Dear Venti Grandewin,

Thanks for writing!  Despite how much everybody hates your company, they all agree that however gross the food is, and however soul-destroying the general aesthetic of these stores is, when Starbucks™  is considered in terms of its manners, nobody is arguing that the basic approach to the customer experience isn’t polite, tidy and nicely thought out — not compared to most addict shacks, opium dens and needle-drug shooting galleries.… [Read more]

Dear Mrs. Vera: Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Regards Sincerely, Mrs. Petunia Kevorkian

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Marc Huestis

Dear Please Put A Cork In It,

There are as many reasons for not liking something as there are people not to like out there, and our form of representational government insures that most of these unpleasant individuals will be front and center, right in the debate over Obamacare being held in the delightful thought experiment known affectionately, when you are trying to get in its pants, or abusively, if it lets you get into its pants, as Congress.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Will the Fukushima nuclear plant destroy the world?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Will the Fukushima nuclear plant destroy the world?

Yours Sincerely, Leó Szilárd, Budapest, Hungary

Dear Louis Lizard and all my troubled readers fearing the end of the world before they ever get to see Belgium up close in person and say “Walloon” a lot,

Don’t panic. Let’s all just quickly, quietly and in an orderly manner proceed to the sub-sub basement while thinking centered thoughts about frolicking, boiling dolphins fleeing the Pacific Ocean, um, er, I mean contented piles of algae growing slowly on the shores of Antarctica, as we make our way to the panic room/world headquarters in our new exciting subterranean mise-en-scene, before finally drawing a deep breath and relaxing.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: If Obama says he wants to invade Syria, will the GOP be against it, just because?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

I am havink many bells, I even haff one that vhen you ring it, it causink countries to divide themselves bitterly along religiousky lines and gatherink up eye-pokink sticks, yes?  If I can find it again, wherever it has gotten off to, should I send it to President Obama? If he rings it while asking “Who vants to invadink Syria with me, da?” will world peace break out as Republicans prepare to do anything and everything to stop his Socialist plot to try and save some Syrian lives no matter how many Syrians might actually not be helped or killed in the process?  … [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Should PFC Bradley Manning have received 35 years in jail or a medal?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Should PFC Bradley Manning have received 35 years in jail or a medal?

Regards, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Tunguska Hollow, Cloud Heaven… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Should Jesse Jackson Jr. receive a suspended sentence because he’s bi-polar?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Should Jesse Jackson, Jr. receive a suspended sentence after stealing three quarters of a million dollars because he’s bi-polar?

Yours Truly, Vincent van Gogh, Arles, France.

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Bill Bowers

Dear Vincent,

I’ve heard an earful this week from readers wanting to know how to handle themselves around politicians suffering from bi-polar disease, but yours was the only one that generated a lot of very keen interest from the dog when it arrived in the morning mail.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Shouldn’t We Boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Shouldn’t the United States boycott the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

Limberly and pudgily yours, Lady Nadia Comaneci Witherington Rathbone, Sussex, Blighty

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Michael Johnstone

Dear Lazy Naughty Commie Needy Widow Ring Tone,

Thanks for leaving this question on my voice mail — I love that scary Russian accent, even though I can never decide if you probably look like Boris Badanov and sound like Natasha Fatale or the other way around.  … [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Would You Rather Be Rich Or Thin?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Would you rather be rich or thin?

With sincere regards, Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, De Bilt, Utrecht, Netherlands

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Michael Johnstone

Before addressing this week’s overpriced socio-political scoop of cottage cheese on a pretty plate with a picture of a peach printed on it, I must admit up front that I have never truly understood the rank and title of “Commodore,” though I really appreciate the topic.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Should Weiner withdraw?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Should Wiener withdraw?

Sincerely, Lorena Bobbitt, Manassas, Virginia… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: How come Bank of America pays .01% interest when their profits are up 63%?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

How come Bank of America pays one hundredth of one percent interest when their profits are up 63 percent?

Regards, Henry F. “Mister” Potter, Bedford Falls, NY

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: James Bartlett

Dear Henny HalfPenny Pincher, sorry, I meant Baron Von Bankenstein,… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Will Republicans filibuster the right of Democrats to filibuster?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Will Republicans filibuster the right of Democrats to filibuster, or something?

Regards, Your Friend Flicka The Right Hon. Sen. James Strom Thurmond, ret’d., dec’d. Playtex™ Corporation Maidenform™, Inc. The Senate Republican Caucus Of The Itty Bitty Titty Committeee Mr. Smith… [Read more]

Dear Mrs. Vera: Can Paula Deen redeem herself?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Can you think of any way that our beloved Paula Deen can redeem herself?

Fondest regards, your friend, Emeril J. Lagasse

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Fletcher Oakes

Dear Emerald J-Lo Gassy,

You have always been a kind, generous and spicy soul, and it is to your credit that you show compassion to Ms.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: What will become of America now that the Supreme Court has legalized same sex marriage?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

What will become of America now that the Supreme Court has legalized same sex marriage?

Retrogards, Phyllis McAlpo Stewpot Schlafly

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Vinc LeVinc

I apologize for the brevity of this week’s column in advance to all those deluging me with wedding etiquette questions, the answer to every single one of which is, A) congratulations and B) The only thing you need to know is that love is love is love, and the fork is worn to the left.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Why Are We Still Looking For Jimmy Hoffa?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Why do we keep looking for the body of Jimmy Hoffa?

Regards, Eliot Ness

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Cameron Wolf.

Oh, I get this question all the time – at least two or three times a week. The mailroom of Ask Mrs. Vera is a virtual fire hazard from such inquiries! Unfortunately, all these letters are from the same person and, even worse, are written on a very unattractive, out-of-date and soggy tartan stationary.… [Read more]