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Merrill Markoe's Guide to Love
(1997)

by Merrill Markoe

Romantic songs speak of love in heart metaphors, almost all of which are pretty creepy, if you consider them too carefully. So instead, here's Merrill Markoe, dressed in full Kill de Wabbit regalia, to speak to us of LUV.

To give you some idea of what you will learn about love from this book: the funniest chapter is about her dogs, whom she quotes extensively.

Her dogs are quite witty, so Markoe probably berates them daily about whether they were funny enough to get on Space Ghost. Twice.

Another way she distinguishes herself from her dogs is by demonstrating a working knowledge of Denis de Rougemont: "So, summing up, here is what the great love stories have to teach us: 1. It is important to initially recoil at the sight of the person you are going to marry. The deepest kind of love begins with two people who are repelled by each other" (p. 166).

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But those of you who fancy the females are fooling only yourselves if you think I don't know that the first thing to catch your attention was Merrill standing at attention on the cover.

Back in the 70s Linda Ronstadt got heat for having pokies on one of her covers.

If Ronstadt got heat -- and that was the 70s, man, and she was like totally dating the governor of California -- then maybe Markoe should get some heat. For one thing, she only dated David Letterman, who wasn't governor of anything. More importantly, she actually looks like she could seriously use some heat. It's puzzling; she's dressed as though it's cold, but the photo was almost certainly taken in a studio. Photo studios are usually very toasty. And yet -- this unmistakable sore-thumb-like cry for help. It cries: Merrill is cold. Very cold. Brr. Either that or she has become very interested in how the photographer's hair swoops over his forehead just so.

Markoe's stance, then, summed up, seems to be more or less a brisk, businesslike Let's Just Skip The Fun & Games Part And Get Right To The Someone Losing An Eye Part And The Cartoon BOY-YOY-YOY-YOING Noise Part.

I belabor the point in the name of Science. Think of it -- is that tweed she's wearing? How excited does a nipple have to get in order to poke through tweed? I cry, Superpower. SUPERPOWER, I say. Someone call Space Ghost -- I predict a third Merrill Markoe appearance. And an extraordinarily chilly Space Ghost studio.

We close now with more of Merrill Markoe's wisdom words of love:
Chapter 11: Tips on Dating a Crazy Person

Crazy people can be very attractive. Nature, in her infinite wisdom, helped a lot of crazy people adust to our world by giving them extra talent, charisma, good looks, or all of the above. And there are many, many, many crazy people to choose from, because, of course, they are always on their way out of a relationship. You may find that it is easier to have immediate chemistry with a crazy person, because crazy people are basically a chemical experiment raging out of control.

If you are uncertain, there are several good ways to tell for sure whether you do in fact have yourself a crazy person. One is to ask them why their last relationship came apart. "I don't even know," will be a typical response. "She [or he] said I was crazy." If you follow this up by asking if it is true, they will say, "Yeah, right. I guess I'm crazy" in a way that sounds both ironic and romantic. They are implying that they are the lone sane person in a crazy world. "Isn't that what they say about all geniuses and creative people?" you will say to yourself as a way to disguise the fact that you have just learned the dangerous truth.

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