The Correspondents are happy to report that the advice business over at the Post-Gazette has slowly improved. Fear not, they haven't kicked off the “Just Ask Reg” column much to the dismay of middle age white guys throughout the city. We understand that Mayor Opie had floated the idea of a nifty “Do What Dennis Says” daily column with a yet-unnamed author who could being along his very own typist/roommate for proofreading purposes.
No, we speak of our very own favorite advice maven — Cat (Catherine) Specter author of Cat's Call (aka Just Ask Cat). Since getting kicked to the Tuesday edition, Specter left behind her hipster Yinzerette wanna be pose and focused on dishing out some actual interesting advice.
In the past, we've wagged our fingers at Ms. Specter's attempts to channel Carrie Bradshaw which just doesn't work in Pittsburgh. First of all, Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character who wouldn't know what to make of his and her matching mullets. Second of all, she lived in New York, not New Castle. Finally, she had a bevy of writers to make her sound witty and the best berets money could buy.
The price Pittsburgh paid for Ms. Specter's kicky beret and you go girl attitude was, frankly, bad advice. In some cases, damaging advice. The all-time low was her recommendation to stay silent in the face of overt racism, a surprising suggestion given her association with decidedly anti-racist Tony Norman. For the most part, she just seemed more focused on permanently fusing women's self-empowerment with pleasuring men (backwards in high heels). If I want throwback, I can read Ruth Ann. Backwards in high heels.
But that was Sunday Cat. Now she seems to have wiped off the gloss, removed LaMont Jones' number from speed dial and filed down those talons to emerge into Tuesday Cat. She's interesting, warm and compassionate. She tells women in no uncertain terms to drop deadwood men and affirm themselves without invoking lip gloss, alcohol or, gasp, mascara.
She even printed a letter from a friend of mine and gave him the same advice as me! Minus the epithets.
Thus, I want to go on the record as endorsing Tuesday Cat over Sunday Cat. Since the Sunday PG may soon be a two page insert amidst the coupons and advertisements, that's probably not a bad move on her part.
Correspondent's Call: When she sticks with advice and forgoes the cutesy witticisms, she's not bad. She's no Reg Henry, but who among us is?