Guidance Counseling: John Waters

Published  December 2015

ANTIGRAVITY-DECEMBER2015-WEB_Page_07_Image_0001When ANTIGRAVITY landed a feature with the immortal John Waters last December, in advance of his Christmas show at the Civic Theatre, we were over the moon. Imagine our delight when we saw that the legendary director, writer, and performer will be returning this year for round two! The Pope of Trash promises another night of holiday humor in monologue format (“I mean, it won’t be a musical or anything. If I could do that sort of thing I would’ve exploited it years ago!”). The show takes place at the Civic again on Thursday, December 17th. We can’t think of a more time-honored holiday tradition than to get some advice from our favorite insane uncle.

I have two daughters, ages five and nine. The nine-year-old just found out at school that Santa isn’t real. The challenge now is helping her process this traumatic milestone while still keeping the magic alive for her little sister. I have no idea how to navigate here. Help me save my kids’ Christmas!

Well, that’s a tough one because you lied to your child and they know it now! And you’re asking your other daughter to lie again to the child. But I understand. And I guess that is a dilemma. But what are you gonna tell them? When all the other kids believe in Santa Claus, you can’t just look at them and say “there’s no such thing—you’re crazy!” Because then if they grow up to be heroin addicts, maybe it’s because of Santa. It’s a tough one. It’s really the first lie you ever tell your child. It’s a conspiracy of lies— Santa Claus—so as long as you’re okay with that, then go ahead and continue handing it down, which I guess I support.


I grew a mustache for Movember and decided I actually really liked it and would like to keep it. But my girlfriend disagrees and has made it clear she would prefer me sans stache. Shave or nah?

It depends how much you like the girlfriend, I guess. I’ve had a mustache for so long I forget that I even have one. Honestly, I’m surprised you even wanted to grow a mustache, because all the hipsters these days want to look like they just kidnapped Elizabeth Smart. You know… that look. So tell your girlfriend that she’s lucky you only grew a mustache and that you don’t have a beard down to your waist.


I’ve been dating a wonderful man for almost a year. Only, last week I found out that he has an eight-year- old son. He’s never once mentioned the boy nor the previous relationship that produced him, but I found an open child support notice in his kitchen and did some research. I’m devastated—not that he is a father, but that he kept it from me for so long. What do I do?

Well, you kinda should be devastated. I mean, is he a deadbeat dad? You have a choice. You’re a spy now and he’s gonna be pissed that you’re a spy, so maybe you should ask him if he’d like to celebrate Absent Father Day with you this year?


I work in retail and my company regularly hires seasonal help for the holidays. The problem is that many of these temps are led to believe they’ll have a permanent position if they work hard enough, when in reality, every single one of them is always let go by January. Isn’t this unethical? Should I speak up?

It’s not only unethical—I think it’s probably illegal to do that. Can you anonymously speak up so that you don’t get fired? I mean, where do you work, Walmart?!


With all the recent gun violence in the news, almost all conversation in my small office has become a repeating chorus of gun love and decrying of the “liberal media.” Being the sole gun control advocate, I intended to keep my views quiet, but they came out in a moment of heated discussion and now my coworkers are hell-bent on changing my mind. I know I brought this on myself, but how can I close Pandora’s gun case and get everyone off my back?

Bring a gun to work and threaten them? I’m on your side, here. I don’t understand why college campuses aren’t rioting about gun control and why we continue to do nothing when all these people continue to get shot. So I think you’re right. But you’ve got to stand up for yourself and be a radical about it. I’m all for people being radical about gun control.


My toddler son overheard me saying ‘motherfucker’ on the phone and now he’s started saying it. Nothing I do, from telling him it’s a bad word to ignoring and hoping he’ll forget it due to lack of reaction, seems to work. What do I do?

I mean, he’s just a toddler and he’s pronouncing four-syllable words? That’s pretty good! Maybe he has Tourette syndrome and you’ve just gotta work with it. I mean, really though, “motherfucker” is a hard word for a toddler to say. It’s not “dada” or some other baby talk. Maybe he’s gifted? Teach him the word antidisestablishmentarianism. I don’t think young people know that word anymore. It used to be the longest word in all the spelling bees. So teach the kid to say that and he’ll been seen as a genius! Better yet, teach him to say motherfucking antidisestablishmentarianism!


My neighbor’s car is older than God and it loudly backfires every morning when he’s leaving for work at the crack of dawn. I don’t want to shame him for owning such a piece, but I’m sick of being startled awake. How can I broach the subject in a respectful way?

Well, when it happens in the morning, honk an air horn or blare a siren out of your window and maybe he’ll get a hint. Or put a potato in the exhaust pipe and it will shoot out and smash somebody’s window and then he’ll get blamed and maybe he’ll do something about it. No one said my advice had to be legal.

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