Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


CP: Thank Goddess you are back, Desert Rose. I don’t recall you clearing your 10-day Palm Springs vacation with me before you left. But, by the redness of your head, it looks like you had a good time. Or at least some good weather.


RN: If you consider low 80s and cloudless “good,” then, well, yes. Upon my return I was greeted by what appeared to be a foot of freshly fallen snow. Each time I lifted that shovel I mumbled, “Why do I live here?”


CP: Is it any wonder that you can’t twirl your purse in the Coachella Valley this time of year, or in Cancun, Captiva, Naples or Puerto Vallarta without hitting a Minnesotan? I can’t wait to be a full-time snowbird, though I fear that my salary will only set me up in a trailer park near Modesto. But who cares, as long as one is among friends and there are palm trees?


RN: Let’s not forget cocktails.


CP: I never would do that. Have blender, will travel.


RN: Now I know why my grandparents hightailed it to Sun City, Ariz., in the 1970s. My mother and her siblings snidely referred to it as “Perfect City,” because Art and Gay thought it was, well, perfect. Now I know why. Give it a few more years — wait, can someone in their mid-40s qualify for residence? — and I just might move there.


CP: Mid-40s? I just coughed up a tiny hairball of hilarity.


RN: Well, I felt that young in Palm Springs, which is dominated by two demographics: Retirees, and the Gays. Frequently, both. Of course, there were plenty of the retirement-age gay men who I saw at the gym with the bodies of a 35-year old. At yoga, I overheard the shirtless guy next to me say he was 64, and he had a six pack, for goodness sake.


CP: But as often happens, the face betrays what the abs appear to convey.


RN: I know. I ran home and doused my kisser in an inch of Clinique’s Dramatically Different moisturizer.


CP: But seriously, do you think you would be OK with tearing yourself away from your native state for, say, five months annually? If so, we have a giant canasta tourney in our future.


RN: Totally. Something about this trip sealed the deal for me, and it wasn’t just our fantastic house rental, or the great spray-on sunblock I discovered at Target. Give up my Minnesota summers? Not on your life. But I’m ready to drop winter like a hot rock. If only Delta flew direct from MSP to PSP.


CP: If only Delta did a lot of things.


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib