Take the journey HOME

Here you will find Letters to Jacques, the area's most wise advise-giver. If you need advice, please email it to

2016-0308 Tuesday

Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this letter: 2WG

Driving me Daisy


Dear Jacques,

I’ve been meaning to write you for years. Long-time fan, first-time writer.

Before I get to my reason for writing, I just have to say, I absolutely LOVE your videos on They’re informative, interesting, and impeccably produced. True professionalism. People visiting The RASH should be aware of these priceless recordings.

Okay, on to my issue. Or, maybe I should say, my wife’s issue.

Let me start by saying that I love my wife (Let’s call her “Tryxi). I respect her. She’s intelligent, beautiful, funny, wonderful, well-read, well-busted, nearly zit-free, compassionate, always aware-of-her-surroundings, honest, a fantastic cook, knows her NFL teams, a wine connoisseur (I had to look-up the spelling of that), a wonderful mother to our two Cocker Spaniels, good with a screwdriver, has a genuine green thumb (literally), and is a respectable bowler (168 average).

But here’s the thing: I can’t stand to ride in the car when she’s driving. Literally. Normally, I drive anyway, but on rare occasions I’m forced to ride gunshot while she ferries me to and fro (like, when I’m done with a root canal, or after my monthly colonoscopy, or if I had way-two-many vodka & teriyakis. Sometimes when I just won a chess champeenship and I’m too ramped up to concentrate.). The experience of watching her drive (as a passenger, no less) is always harrowing, to say the least. I wonder how in hell she’s survived all these years, what with the way she drives and all.

I’ve narrowed down her absolutely horrifying driving habits to a few bullet points (and they are habits–she does these things consistently):

  • NEVER signals when she changes lanes.
  • When she comes to a stop at a light where she knows she’s going to make a turn, she doesn’t engage her turn signal until the light turns green.
  • Tailgates with a passion. No matter how often I call her out, she continues to ride the bumper of the car in front of her. I can’t believe she’s not had multiple rear-enders.
  • Although she usually limits it to while she’s stopped at a light, she insists on texting behind the wheel. There have been many times that the person behind us has had to honk to get her to lift her head and proceed on the green.
  • Often screams racial epithets to other drivers, even tho most of ‘em are already white.
  • When screaming said epithets, she frequently raises her fist, trying in vain to give “the finger.” (She lost the middle finger of her right hand in a tragic meat-packing incident when she was 13, so her efferts are seldom recognized for their meaning. Why she doesn’t simply use her five-fingered left hand, I have know idea. “SMH,” as they say.)

So please, Jacques, help. Should I simply refuse to ride with her when she drives? Or is there something I could say to her, to WAKE HER UP? I’ve even considered an “intervention” involving family members and friends, but I hesitate to do that because her family is so dysfunctional that I fear they’d all pile on ME for being OCD or something. Additionally, none of her family drinks, so it’d be a “dry” meeting… something to which I have a huge aversion. (Don’t get me started, but Thanksgiving dinners with her family: The pits. No wine, no beer, no tequila, and no vodka. I mean, it’s excruciating. Have you ever tried tryptophan sans alcohol? It’s not even….)

Your elucidation concerning my plight would be much appreciated.

White Nuckled in Troutdale.


JacquesPicDear Mr. Nucklehead,

First off, it’s to bad you din’t use your spell checker on “Nuckled,” since, you know, it starts with a silent “K.” Further, there are additional spelling and/or grammatical errors in your letter. Yet, I'll overlook them, in order to elucidate not only you, but our CWSs as well. Your cry for help is compelling.

Secondly, my initial advice is to run, not walk, to the nearest police station and report your wife to the authorities. I have to admit, tho, that they prolly won't do nothing. I’ve had experience in this kind of stuff, and the cops are usually all, “We can’t arrest unless we have actual evidence. We need to see your wife (we’ll call her “Tryxi”) violate.” To paraphrase a recently-dug-up and popularly relevant phrase, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." I realize that quote might be somewhat irrelevant, yet it seemed timely at the time The RASH went to press.

Tertiaryally, I further advise you to reconsider trying the intervention idea. Studies have shown that when family members (no matter how dysfunctional) and caring friends intervene, there is a 21% chance that said intervenee will wake up and smell the coffee that is ostensibly growing on the side of the road wherein “Tryxi” is recklessly a-drivin’. She might possibly, in reality, literally, realize that she is actually Satan Himself manifested in a seemingly*-innocent woman’s body.

And studies have shown, that “Tryxi” actually is Satan Himself, embodied in the body of a seemingly* innocent woman. There is nothing more heinous than a person what changes lanes without signaling. This behavior alone reveals and confirms that your wife is the actual incarnation of humanity's forked-tongue nemisis, the Fallen Lucifer.

Once I read your first “item,” in your list of grievances, I needed read no further. Yet I did (read further), because I love reading about heinous things. And let me tell you, “Tryxi’s” list contains some of the most juicy, gruesome, aberrant behavior I’ve ever been called-upon on which to comment: 

  • Sitting at a red, knowing you’re going to turn, without communicating your intentions to your fellow travelers until the last second?: This is one of the reasons our Gub’ment initiated the Death Penalty. (Yet, the liberal-packed Supreme Court might disagree with my stance here.)
  • Having sex with the bumper of the car in front of you?: Slow-and-torturous-death-by-dropping-into-a-deep-well-and-sealing-the-lid. (& yet, the Supremes prolly wouldn’t support this idea either. Dang liberals.)
  • Texting while light-waiting?: Electrocution by 110 volts. Admittedly 110 volts’d take awhile. Yet that’s the fun.
  • Verbalizing racial slurs at non-racial people?:** I can’t even.
  • Raising one’s appendage against one’s driving opponents, in an obviously vulgar, road-rage-type hand-signal?: I gotta admit, this one’s not gonna go in your favor, Nucklehead. I know, Gershman isn’t Philly or Boston. But really, when we loose our Third Amendment rights (freedom o’ speech and all) to espress our selves, we all loose. My advice on this one: Give “Tryxi” a pass here. (And you might consider taking lessons from her, as to the realities of traffic "communication.")

To sum up, Jacques (myself) advises you to rally the Friends-and-Family group and Intervene. “Tryxi” needs fixed. If the Intervention doesn’t take, get outtatown.


Your sincere advice giver, spiritual leader, sage, & mentor,

Jacques Nechques, TMW***




* Or not.
** I know, I know. It's possible that some caucasians could be racial. But please remember: *I* am not a racist. Just FYI.
*** The Most Wise


Please compile an email and send it in to The RASH of Gresham to express your praise, post an inquiry, or simply comment. We @ The RASH are friendly, don't judge, and are quick to agree with the aforementioned praise that we know you're going to send in. Post all FEEDBACK to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additionally, YOUR LETTERS TO "DEAR JACQUES," requesting advice about your important life matters... well, send those letters in! Please access Jacques' aforementioned email for this purpose.





2015-1227 Sunday

Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this letter: 3WG

Christmas Cataclysm


Dear Jacques,

First of all, let me tell you how much I love your helpful, elucidatory, user-friendly, basically-wonderful new website. The RASH of Gresham is a CWS's dream. That said, I have quite the conundrum that I hope you can help me with.*

Right now, it's Sunday evening, December 27, and my inlaws have just left our house after three days—three days that seemed like three decades. As soon as the taxi (or was it Uber?) pulled away from the curb, tendering said relatives to our local airport (to be honest, I didn't care if the cab took them to the local recycling dump, just as long it was away from our curb) I sprinted to the computer, where I am now, in order to compose this email. You are my only hope.

Allow me to proffer a bit of background. I've lived in Gresham for, like, 13 years. I came here to start a new life, after approximately five failed marriages. A best friend of mine read in some travel magazine that Portland was quite a nice place, and she suggested I check it out. She thought it might be a good spot to start my new life (once again). Well, I did a bit of research and found that your delightful bedroom town of Gresham might be just the place for me. So I packed my bags, left Schenectady, and arrived in Gresham three months later.

As soon as I laid eyes on your state-of-the-art rink, Skate World, I knew I'd found my new home.

FF three weeks. It's my wedding day. I'm marrying one (and only one—I knew I hadn't settled in Utah) Reginald X. Bloomquist (let's call him "Reggie") whom I met at the rink a week or two earlier. Reggie is a life-long Greshamite. He's my age (approx. 49), has four children from previous marriages, and is pretty-much set, what with his disability income, lawsuit proceeds, and an annuity he bought with the inheritance from his grandmother. It was a match made in heaven.

Or was it... (cue dramatic, ominous music)?

Now, FF to last year (2014). It's Halloween. I'm brewing my aunt's delicious recipe for scallion soup in my cast-iron cauldron. Reggie is greeting the trick-or-treaters and handing out my home-made popcorn balls (the ones without razor blades—I'd changed my ways from those days in Schenectady) to the cute little faces that continue to badger us. I'm humming a bewitching little tune as I stir the cauldron, happy as a hypothetical clam. I glance toward the front door with a smile on my face, and I see Reggie opening it and scaring the shit out of the trick-or-treaters as he splatters them with make-believe (he assured me it was make-believe) blood. They run away. Reggie cackles from behind his Dora-The-Explorer costume, then slams the door closed.

"Oh Reg," I chuckle. "You're so evil."

Well, Reggie swiftly makes his way through the living room to the kitchen, in anticipation of planting a big, wet one on my cheek. But no. Just before he gets with arms-reach of my ample breasts, what should happen but that his cell phone starts ringing, buzzing and vibrating in his pocket. He averts from my waiting, moist lips and fumbles for his phone to answer the call.

Who is it calling?

It's none other than Reggie's manipulating, maneuvering, malevolent, mal-adjusted, misfit, miserable, malicious mother: Matilde.

"Why the hell haven't you shown up yet?" Matilde shouts into the phone, and the phone then shouts into Reggie's ear. I can hear her shreiking voice, even over the boiling noises coming from my cauldron.

"Wha?" Reggie stutters. "Ma? Is that you?"

"OF COURSE IT'S ME, YOU DIMWIT!" I hear Matilde shriek. I fear that the neighbors also heard it, even though it was coming from an anemic cellphone speaker (Reggie uses some weak Samsung model, not the supreme iPhone Plus that I sport). 

"Hey, mom," Reggie feigns a friendly, unflustered voice into the speaker. "What's up? Any goblins visit you yet?"

I study him, and I immediately appreciate that I'd insisted on a prenup. He's snivveling, groveling, and totally beholdin' to his ruthless, roguish, rash, restless, ruinous, mother.

"WTF are you talking about, Reg?" she barks. Reggie momentarily pulls the phone away from his ear to stem the decibles. "WTF are you? I've been waiting here for hours! Have you taken leave of your senses? It's freakin' Halloween, for crying outloud!"

"Yes?" Reggie snivels.

"So where are you?" Matilde barks.

Anyway, I prolly should try and whittle this story down a bit.** The basic gripe that my mother-in-law proffered was that she thought that we (Reggie and I) were somehow obligated to visit her and do some cutsie trick-or-treating stuff on Halloween. Never mind that both of us are almost old enough to need walkers. For some reason, mom-in-law thought that her son and daughter-in-law were supposed to visit on Halloween. And she was viscious in her disproval that we hadn't.

Okay. That's just some background.

FF to now. Christmastime, 2015: Matilde and her less-than-assertive, sniveling husband, Earl (Reggie's step-daddy), arrive at our Gresham Estate (apartment 23A in the Gresham Estate Apartments, on Hogan). As soon as Matilde swoops in, she begins barking orders to our staff, demanding that her water be served on the rocks, at a specific 2° Celsius. Any deviation will not be tolerated. [Not that she ever drank water the whole time she was here. Basically, she dried our wine cellar clean in just three days.]

Long story just a tad bit longer, the entire time Matilde and Earl were here, my husband sniveled and snorted to her demands. She was demanding, she was obtuse, she was drunk (sometimes, my only escape was that I could shovel her in to bed, beside Earl, and hope she'd remain passed-out for a few hours), and she was never, ever satisfied with anything that I did: My dinners, my wines (even though she drank us dry in spite of her objections to our now-empty wine cellar), my jokes, my haiku, my knowledge of geographical locations... nothing. The woman was un-satisfiable, un-enjoyable, unbelievabe, unmoveable and unloveable.

The Camel's Back that was Broken by the Straw, was when I innocently suggested that we all (Earl, Matilde, Reggie and me) take MAX into Portland to enjoy the sights and smells of a real city. Maybe do some shopping. Taste some coffee. Maybe have a local micro-brew. Rent a few escorts.

Well, Matilde gave me a sneer, and a too-loud harumpf, and quipped: "Are you kidding? MAX? Light Rail? Me? Do you have any idea how filthy those light-rail cars actually are?" Then she stepped closer to me. Now our noses were almost, well, nose-to-nose. Then, in a low, soft, growl, she says to me, "I should have known that Reggie would choose a snivelling, snarky, superfluous, scarlett skank as you for his tenth wife."

Up until that point I thought I was his ninth. Who was this other woman?

Irregardful, I shrank back from the mother-in-law from hell, and said nothing. I was without words. I had no response. I was so flabbergasted that I couldn't even. I had no idea MAX was so filthy. Who knew? How was it that Matilde, a woman from Edna, Oklahomah, who prolly had no first-hand experince or knowledge about mass transit in any form, knew so much about the crime-ridden, grafiti-plagued, government-mandated (forced), Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon that surrounds (yeah, strangles) our wonderful metropolitan Portland/Gresham area? How did she know this? Where was she getting her information?

Certainly not the Portland Mercury. Right? Certainly not The 'Gonian. Right? Obviously not Willamette Week. Right?

No, my mother-in-law from hell was obviously getting her (apparently accurate) information from some other source. The conclusion, after a cursory search of possible sources, led me directly to you, Jacques, and your RASH. Obviously, Matilde has been reading your local Gresham rag, The RASH. I can see it clearly now. It's as plain as the mole on my face.

SO, let's wrap all of this up, okay? I realize you want me to get to the point. You, Jacques, want to know why in hell I am writing to you for advice.

Well, in spite of the fact that Mother Matilde has obviously been getting inside information from your wonderful site, I need to ask you a question: What the heck should I do?

I mean, I'm trying to think way into the future. Like next year. Here's the crux:

Given Matilde and Earl's penchant for evil, do I dare invite them for Christmastime next year (2016)? I mean, really. I'm pulling my hair out over this (and not just because I'm trying to lose weight for January). Please answer me, Jacques. I hate my inlaws, yet I really kinda like my present husband. How should I deal with hating the inlaws while liking their son? And more important(ly), I happen to love MAX, and Tri-Met, and all things mass transit (is that so bad?). Yet I know Reggie follows his mother's (and step-father's) lead, shunning everything mass.

Your advice is solicited.


Wishing I didn't love MAX more than I love Reggie


• • • • • 


Dear Wishing,

Are you seer? After scrutinizing your letter (more than any advice columnist should ever have to), I have three distinct bits of advice to give you. And you might not like any of 'em. So strap on your thinking cap. I hope it'll help.

1) HTF do you get off writing an advice letter that is longer than the entire works of Shakespeare? Your query could have easily been communicated in about ten percent of the words you used. (Yet, we at The RASH have to admit that your letter was somewhat entertaining; thence, we pushed it through.)

B) I can see, considering the past you share with Matilde, that you two might not get along very well. It's entirely possible that you and the witch aren't compatible. Yet, honey, this is the 21st century for crying out loud. Can't we all just get along? Methinks we all need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask our individual (and collective) selves: "What must I do to get along with those I hate?" The answer, Wishy, is blowin' in the wind.

3) Considering your storied past, I have no idea why in Hades you have the balls to write in to an advice column. You have to know how aberrant you are. You seem to be more suited for certain laboratory settings than for an innocent apartment on Gresham's lower east side (Gresham Estates on Hogan Road).

The above repremands notwithstanding, I offer this advice: Love.

We're commanded by the Lord to love. What better advice could I give than that?


Jacques Nechques, CEO, CFO, CIO, EIEIO,
The RASH of Gresham


* Webster's note: This person obviously has a way to go regarding the addage, "A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with." However, upon reading the whole text of said person's email, we at The RASH of Gresham felt compelled to post her letter anyway. Sometimes its best to be a tad lenient. Not everyone can be as informed and aware as Jacques. Thence, this letter (and the accompanying wonderful response) is posted, as a testimony to our own sympathetic and caring constitution. We know the CWS will understand.
** Webster's note: Thank HEAVEN for small miracles.

Please compile an email and send it in to The RASH of Gresham to express your praise, post an inquiry, or simply comment. We @ The RASH are friendly, don't judge, and are quick to agree with the aforementioned praise that we know you're going to send in. Post all FEEDBACK to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



It's time you went HOME