ASK JOHN LURIE (Arthur, 2003)

Originally published in Arthur No. 3 (March 2003)


We’ve been informed that Arthur’s supposed regular advice columnist, Fat Possum recording artist T-Model Ford of Greenville Mississippi, is too busy facilitating a 10-day workshop-retreat on “Transpersonal Enlightenment and Ancient Wisdom” in Peru to take any of our goddamn questions right now. He’ll be back next issue, no doubt.

Our advice columnist this issue is John Lurie, who needs no introduction. (pause) Right. For the more curious members of Arthur’s readership, here’s an update on Mr. Lurie’s current activities. John claims that he is on sabbatical from music, and is living in New York City while working on an autobiography entitled What Do You Know About Music, You’re Not a Lawyer. Also, he just fired his girlfriend. 

None of this has been independently verified. 

Onto the questions…

Q: I’m 25 and have two children from previous relationships. I met my boyfriend a year ago and we hit it off immediately. He’s 28, divorced with two sons. I find him funny, gorgeous, witty and charming and we are totally relaxed together. 

When we first had sex, it was the best ever. He is a fantastic lover. We were planning to spend our lives together and I want this more than anything but for some reason I have gone out of my way to sabotage the relationship by sleeping with many other men. I go out with my friends and as soon as another man shows any interest, I’m there. I have met men in clubs and gone home with them. The sex is never up to much and I am disgusted with myself afterwards. I decided to stop going clubbing to avoid temptation and started just going to pubs in town with my mates. 

My boyfriend found out about the flings and was devastated. I seem to go out of my way to hurt him but I felt brokenhearted when he told me recently he was seeing someone else. I thought I had lost him but he was back a week later to see how I was and we ended up sleeping together. He still comes round and we have sex but now I am the one who feels betrayed. He says he has feelings for me but he is still with the other woman. I am at my wits’ end about what to do.

John Lurie: You have no business feeling betrayed as you created this situation yourself. You may have to wait a while until he feels he can trust you again. In the meantime, please forward your phone number to our staff.

My daughter spends less and less time with the family since she met her boyfriend. She’s 16 and has just started dating a boy of 19 who we have known for years. He was such a nice boy once but now he is abusive and rude. He has a bad temper and we know he smokes pot. We used to have a good relationship, then he was rude to me. My husband was furious and told our daughter that her boyfriend was a lout who would never be allowed to come into our house again.

Because she can’t now bring him home, the only time we see our girl is at dinner and for a few minutes before she goes to bed. Do you think I’m being too possessive wanting her to spend some time away from this boy? Or should I just leave her alone and hope she comes to her senses?

You are not being too possessive wanting to see your daughter, but I don’t think that is what you really mean. Are you saying you could demand that she spend time with you and away from him? Because that would be a disaster. She is 16 and not supposed to come to her senses for at least another 13 years. One thing you might try is inviting the boy to your house. You must show him how uncomfortable loutish behavior can be. If he smokes a joint, you and your husband could take out your crack pipes and start smoking. Your husband should scream at you constantly, “Smash the pipe! Smash the pipe! We’ll just keep mine. Smash the pipe!” You could suggest that your husband smash his pipe, while you crawl around on the floor picking up pieces of the carpet to smoke. Make sure that you are both hyperventilating. This has been proven to work for many families with teenage daughters.

My boyfriend is perfect for me but he can’t last long when we make love. We are both 22 and have been together four months. I’m multi-orgasmic and self-satisfaction isn’t what I want but most days it is what I end up with. I never tell my boyfriend how I feel because I don’t want him beating himself up over this.

Change the “up” to “off” and have him try it an hour before visiting.

I am 32, my wife is 31 and we already have three girls. We always planned to have four children and would really love for our last child to be a boy. Is there any way we can make this happen?

I would suggest flushing the female kittens down the toilet.

My hubby is 35 and I’m 30. We’ve been married for 12 years and have two children, aged three and six. We have been happy, although things had become a bit dull. We hardly ever went out and only made love at weekends.

Last year two good friends of ours split up. She is 32 and he is 33. They also have two children, aged seven and nine. I should have given them my support but instead I went after the husband, even though I knew she wanted him back desperately. It was exciting at first, meeting in secret and having illicit sex while my husband was at work. We did things that my hubby and I would never do. He made me feel desirable and daring. I felt alive again for the first time in years. Eventually, it all came out and my husband left.

Worse still, I’ve told my lover lots of lies about his wife to keep them apart and he’s treated her terribly because of it. We’ve both neglected our children while we’ve been seeing each other.

This man thinks I’m totally in love with him and that I’ve given up everything for him. The truth is it started out as a bit of fun and a challenge and now I want out.

How do I do it without losing face and owning up to all of my lies? And how do I get my husband back? He has now found someone else but I want him back because I’ve realized what a bad mistake I’ve made.

You’ve already lost face. You have no face at all. If you are seeing a face when you look in the mirror it is the same psychological mechanism that causes phantom limb pain in amputees.

I am 21 and she is 20. We have been together for 18 months and I fancy her like mad. She’s beautiful, loving and sex was brilliant at first. I started having problems six months ago. I can’t satisfy her and she thinks I’ve lost interest. But when I’m alone with a magazine or video, everything works normally.

You aren’t explaining what doesn’t work normally when your girlfriend is there. Perhaps you could get a large cardboard box from outside the local refrigerator store. Cut a large rectangular hole on one side, glue knobs to that same side that say “POWER,” “VOLUME” and “CHANNEL.” Then ask your girlfriend to wear rabbit ears and step inside. Go around the house yelling “Honey! Honey I’m home.” But tell her not to respond.

I’ve been married for six years to the woman I thought was the perfect partner. She’s sexy, good-looking and has been a fantastic mum to our children aged three and 11 months. We’re in our early thirties. For several months my wife has said she is suffering from post-natal depression. Then two weeks ago she said she was was seeing someone else and had also slept with her lover’s friend on one occasion. Then she told me about the group sex video her new man wants to make. The idea horrifies me but she seems to be going along with it. She has changed totally. She ignores the children and won’t do anything for them while speaking to her lover on the phone for hours. She’s obsessed with this man. He’s in his forties and well off. Until the other day she didn’t even know his real name. He lies to her and has no respect for her. 

I’m coming to the end of my tether. I know she uses me and walks all over me but she says she still loves me and he’ll never love her the way I do. I’d forgive anything because I can’t live without her.

I suggest an icicle. There is no murder weapon and no finger prints.

Categories: Arthur No. 3 (March 2003) | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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