Diver: Scott Hunter, Bookseller at Maria’s Bookshop
Interesting facts: Only 31 percent of college graduates have high level literacy skills.

Scott, from Maria’s, communes with nature.

Dear Diver,
So, it seems with the current climate of political correctness that certain seasonal tidings, such as “Merry Christmas” are frowned upon. Which I understand, because not everyone believes in the baby Jesus and Virgin mother, Santa, etc. etc. But what exactly is permissible? Personally, I am getting pretty sick of “happy holidays.” Please, Diver, help me think of a greeting that will not be offensive but not sound like a contrived Hallmark card, either.
– Tongue Tied

Dear Tongue Tied,
Have you considered that it isn’t what you say, but how you say it? I often find that a good salutation is a lot like a handshake, it has nothing to do with the hand. Rather, what matters is the confidence and sincerity you bring to the interaction. Try looking at it as your one last opportunity to help that person, with all their personal hopes and fears, really have some happy holidays. Whether we celebrate Jesus, turkey, or Frosty the Snowman, we all want to do it happily. Personally, I rather like “happy holidays” – it’s succinct, positive yet flexible and I’m a sucker for alliteration (and Hs). So give it another go, practice until you feel the happiness come from the heart (it might just grow 3 sizes), and happy holidays Tongue Tied, you deserve ‘em!
– Diver


Dear Diver,
Why is it that no actual dishwashers serve as the diver anymore? I mean, we get lifties, liquor store dudes, line cooks, bus drivers, desk jockeys and sometimes beer cans and pirate Ken dolls – but no real divers! I object. Are there no dishwashers left out there? Have they all been replaced by styrofoam and Bosch technology? Please, tell me it isn’t so. Where have all the divers gone?
– Diving for Divers

Dear Diving for Divers,
If you are a true diver, then good for you! You’re right, the noble art of sink-lurking deserves its place back in the spotlight. What must be done is some awareness raising. Divers of Durango unite! You have nothing to lose but your anonymity! But, Diving for Divers, if you wash dishes like a roommate and are actually just some desk jockey, liftie, or worse, a pirate Ken doll, then I would suggest you let them fight their own fights. Real dishwashers are still out there, cleaning up after the whole town, all too thanklessly. Whereas many recent retirees can brag about paying for college with their dishwashing skills, today’s divers have to take on three dishwashing jobs to merely pay rent. That doesn’t leave much time to answer letters for the local advice column. So they are out there, unsung but working harder than ever. Let’s use this moment to say thanks to all the dishwashers out there scrubbing our pint glasses, happy holidays!
– Diver


Dear Diver,
Is it better to drive around a parking lot until you find a good parking spot or just settle for a spot way at the back because, while it may not be the best, wtf? It’s there and available?
– Lotsa Fun

Dear Lotsa Fun:
Wtf indeed. Parking lots are, like, the most wonderful invention; what a marvelous use of space! But I know it can be such a drag to try and transverse that space when you have to park way out in left field. That’s probably, like, a hundred yards or more. Then you have to walk back to your car, not to mention all the pesky walking you have to do in-store. Don’t even get me started on all that fresh air and subtle exercise; who has time for that in this holiday season? Add the dangerous drivers looping the lot for the best spot, and it gets downright dangerous. I think the best strategy, for your health and sanity, is to forget order and park wherever and however you can as close to the door (hopefully an automatic door) as possible. Take matters into your own hands; if they give you straight parking spaces, park sideways. I don’t foresee any problems that a hearty “happy holidays!” won’t fix.
– Diver

In a sticky situation?

Seek help from the master of the In-Sinkerator. The diver has the solutions to life’s little messes. Send your problems to, “Ask the Diver:"
- 1309 E. Third Ave., Room 3 Durango, CO, 81301
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