Red Green's love tips are in


Update: 10/04/14

Congratulations to Red Green! His book Red Green's Beginner's Guide to Women (For Men Who Don't Read Instructions) is a finalist for this year's Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Read more.

The love tips are in. Last week Canadian-comic-turned-relationship-guru Red Green offered his new-found expertise to those in need of advice. Many across the country submitted their questions to Red and he's chosen a selection to answer.

Red's new book Red Green's Beginner's Guide to Women (For Men Who Don't Read Instructions) offers advice for courters of all ages from teenagers to seniors. The book is a light-hearted and comical look at the universal relationship quandaries of everyday life.

Q: Dear Red Green, Why is it so hard for guys to say "I'm sorry"?

-Kate Watson

Red: That's complicated. Sometimes they can't say "I'm sorry" because they're not. Even when they are sorry, they're often sorry for something other than the thing you want them to be sorry for. They're sorry they got caught, they're sorry you're mad at them. But being sorry for the thing itself, not so much. It's all linked to a bigger self-esteem issue. Saying you're sorry is closely related to admitting you're wrong, the level of difficulty of which is inversely proportional to the number of times you're right. After a day of the boss and almost all of his customers telling him he's wrong, his self-esteem may be on red alert and one more admission of inadequacy is just more than he can handle.

Q: What kinds of activities do you recommend for a first date (provided that I live quite far from Possum Lodge)?

-Barrett Sharpe

A: Go somewhere busy and loud. Almost all first dates are killed by the two people communicating. You'll have enough time alone when you're driving to the place and back. You don't want to exhaust your supply of acceptable conversation and start talking about sensitive issues like your rap sheet.

More from CBC Books

Q: What types of chivalrous behaviour are still considered proper in this day and age? Opening the door for the lady? Pulling out her chair?RedGreenBook.jpg

-Schuyler Corson

A: Don't worry about proper. The basis of chivalry is caring. Even if you go too far and get criticized, you're still way better off than not going far enough and getting nailed. You can't really lose by being chivalrous. If she appreciates it, by association she'll appreciate you. If she tells you not to do it, you have her permission to be self-centered. That's as good as it gets, buddy.

Q: Dear Red, I've been married for 11 years, my wife is pregnant with our fourth child (we have three girls already) and she says we should go out on a date like we use to. How do I explain to her that I don't even remember what that means anymore?

- Forgetful in Michigan (Patrick McLeod)

A: There probably is an explanation but if you ever say it to her, you're a dead man. That's because it's rife with real bad implications. Things like, you don't need to make an effort, you're married. Or, you fathered her children, your work is pretty much done here. Or you got married so you wouldn't have to go out on dates. None of these messages will work in your favour. I suggest you talk to single guys your age who will give you some tips and remind you how lucky you are. Bottom line -- you need to take her on a date if you ever hope to have a fifth child or anything like it.

Q: I want to improve my dancing. What are some good dance moves used by members of Possum Lodge?

- Samuel Smith

A: The best dancers are the ones who are self-confident and uninhibited. That's a big stretch for most Lodge members so instead, before getting on the dance floor, drop a small lizard into your underwear. Preferably one that migrates to warmer climates.

Q: Hey Red, my girlfriend's birthday is coming up, I'm having trouble dating her. How do I find out how old she is without asking and seeming like I don't care? Do I count the rings on her? Should I count the layers of sediment above her? Should I use a carbon dater?

- Andy Elliot

A: Don't. If you don't know how old she is, it's probably because she doesn't want you to. Whenever you don't know a woman's age you need to make your guess as young as possible without being ridiculous. Guessing that a 29 year-old is 22 is good. Guessing that she's 11 is not. The suggestions you make indicted to me that you have a scientific background which predisposes you towards empirical data. This doesn't bode well for your future with women no matter how old they are.

Q: Dear Red, as a parent with two young daughters, I am starting to see boys hanging around the house, doing bike or skateboard tricks, asking if my daughters want to go on bike rides, to the library or corner store with them. I accept that this is inevitable, but want to weed out the kids who are useless twerps from the ones that are decent and useful. Is there some sort of (legal) way to test this? A way to make them prove some worth?

- T. Foubert

A: Easy one. Pick your favourite kid and hire him to cut your lawn or take your garbage or paint your driveway. Anything to see how he handles authority and responsibility and money. If he passes all your tests, in the short term he'll be spending most of what you pay him on your own daughter and in the long term, your daughter will be taking on a provider instead of you taking on a dependent.

Q: Dear Red, not long ago, I moved to a new town, and have just started dating a local guy here. He's a sweet guy, but he doesn't hunt or fish, or do anything outdoors really... actually, he's kind of like Harold, but he can talk to women. My question is: is there anyway I can get him interested without seeming like I'm pushing him? I mean other than duct taping him to a chair and making him watch every episode of your show, and Duct Tape Forever in one sitting.

- Abby from Prince George B.C

A: No. I spent 50 years on Harold and didn't get anywhere. I suggest you get an RV so he can watch out the window.

Q: Dear Red, my mom passed away seven years ago. I miss her, of course, as does my dad, but I think it's time he found a new lady-friend. He's a good looking guy for an old fart, and he's got a great sense of humour, even if I don't always get it. But he's turned into something of a hermit. Where should he go to meet someone, and how do I get him to go there? Keep your stick on the ice. ;)

- Carin in Sonoma County Wine Country, California

A: You gotta trick him. Luckily he's a man so it's not hard. My guess is he's not interested in seeing anyone socially or at least, making an attempt in that area, but he probably would like to help people. Especially people who need help. I.e. Handyman-less women. So you need to go where eligible women in his age group hang out and post an ad for his services giving your name and phone number. Bingo halls or craft shows or Red Hat meetings. Offer whatever he can do -- cut lawns, replace light bulbs, bathe dogs, you get the idea. Then when the calls come him, present it to him as a way for him to help these women out. Just make sure you get him more than one customer. That way he won't think it's a date and he'll end up with more options. He'll be back in the game in no time. There's nothing better than a good looking woman who owes you a favour.

Q: I've always wondered. Are we the opposite sex or are they?

- Beem Ryder

A: You need to keep up with the times. Opposite sex has been discontinued.

Q: Dear Red, how do I make a tactful first message on an online dating site?

- Scott Cray

A: Avoid the middle ground. Go big or go small. Either say you're looking for someone to help you change the world, or for an online relationship only. Someone with text appeal.

Q: Hi Red, I am 30 and my girlfriend is 20...She wants me to take her to a Miley Cyrus concert, and...please tell me I don't have to go???

- David

A: I wish I could tell you that David. But I can't. Nothing good can come from you refusing to go. You have to go. Worse still, you have to really enjoy it. Or at least look like it. Because if you go and then criticize, that's worse than not going. And not going will end your relationship so it's hard to imagine anything worse than that. Just suck it up and say you'll go. On a brighter note if the concert is more than two weeks away, perhaps Miley's career will be over by then.