© James Clarke 2011 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Designed by SKALLIE
Few readers know it but The Stoep Talk Organisation - the holding company for the Stoep Talk Column - has a rich history of helping people and at one time ran an agony column by “Aunty Pru”. Readers were invited to send her their problems.
Mindful of how some agony columnists are said to make up their own questions - something Stoep Talk (as everybody knows) would never do - we employed Miss Prudence Subtle-Boozer.
She wrote part time while running a home for fallen women in Ventersdorp. She was later matron at Stilton College, a well-known maximum security boys’ school in Natal and had enormous experience solving irritating personal problems such as bad breath and criminal insanity.
Aunt Prudence, in her sensitive columns, saved many a couple from the marriage yoke and set many an acne-tortured teenager on the right path (to lovers’ leap, mostly).
Some who responded were trying to strike up a relationship with a boy/girl/their mother/a Maltese poodle - others had problems such as itchiness or self-actualising and how to neck when one has a heavy cold.
The day we launched we were inundated by three letters:
Dear Aunt Prudunce,
(Please ecxuse my typing) Accordingh to my stars - I am Pisced by th way - I am abourt to meet a tall, dark, hangsome man yet I am enfaged to a short, bald fat man who plays with model trains. He even maks me imitate train tooting noises becasuse, he say, it turns him on. Should I (at 43) wait for the TDH man or marry what’s in hand? Deepl:y Troubled, Tonteldoos, Ext 3.
Dear Deeply Troubled, you say you are Pisced. I do hope you meant Pisces. (If not try switching to low alcohol beer.) I would certainly give that frustrated would-be shunter a final shunt. You’ve waited at least 20 years for the right man so why not hang about a bit longer because, in the new South Africa, tall dark handsome men are, these days, going places fast?
Dear Aunt Prudence,
I cannot bear my fiancee’s name - Monica Piddlington (but please don’t use this as her mother will murder me) - yet she flatly refuses to change it. I have suggested Brunhilde (I am German). Piddlington will, of course, fall away when we marry and she will become Von Kimmelling-Berscheshagenoffenbach. What worries me is that if she won’t do little things for me now - like changing her first name - what about when we get married and I might require bigger things? For example, she will need plastic surgery to change her face so that it is in keeping with what I expect of a wife. Werner, Dinwiddie.
Dear Werner, women can be very unreasonable and stubborn. Monica’s mother might be a problem too. If you really HAVE to marry the girl - on account of, say, her money - why not let her keep her name Monica on paper but call her Brunhilde in the house? She’ll soon warm to it.
Dear Aunt Pru,
I am 18 and all my friends have dates except me - all I seem to have is acne. What can I do? Tearful, Midrand.
Dear Tearful, there’s nothing wrong with going out with acne. I accept that acne isn’t going to pay for your cinema ticket or a meal in a fancy restaurant but it will always be there next morning which is more than your girlfriends can say about their boyfriends. From your picture you have a particularly hideous case of acne. Try wearing a bag over your head. Boys love a mystery.