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

 

CP: People think of you as so nice. And you are. But they aren’t necessarily around you, as I am, when Rick the Judgy comes out. Meow.

 

RN: Who, me?

 

CP: To quote the late, great Joan Rivers, “Oh, please.”

 

RN: You know I’m swimming uphill in my Lutheran DNA when I cast aside Minnesota Nice for my best Claude Peck impersonation.

 

CP: Welcome aboard. Though hard to believe, I am prone to issuing harsh judgments from time to time. Like pretty much every time I drive my car, for instance.

 

RN: Same here. I just spent several minutes in line at a convenience store while a person purchased lottery tickets by the fistful. It was no different than watching her flush cash down the nearest toilet. “You have a better chance of being knocked unconscious by an asteroid,” I wanted to say, but then I figured there was no polite way of doing so. Instead, I silently judged. It felt so good, I’m ashamed to say.

 

CP: I saw some young women heading to their University of Wisconsin commencement last weekend in what they surely viewed as summery dresses. To me, they were more like two silk hankies hanging from a spaghetti strap. Add some hooker heels and a ton of makeup, and the ensembles were much more “Club Oz after midnight” than “Camp Randall at noon with my proud parents.”

 

RN: I have those feelings, too, and then I engage in a thought-cleansing exercise by recalling the godawful ensembles I pulled together when I was that age.

 

CP: You and me both.

 

RN: Here’s hoping that all photographic traces have been eliminated. Mine, anyway. I’ll pay cash money to see yours.

 

CP: If you dig up any of those daguerreotypes, please show them to me: I will gladly laugh, point and ridicule.

 

RN: And I’ll be happy to join you.

 

CP: Why am I incapable of going with the flow when a motorist in front of me insists that 30 miles per hour really means 18 mph? Is there something wrong with me? I am likewise livid when a guy, usually in a red pickup, insists on leaving a half-car-length of space between him and me as we travel down the interstate at 70 mph.

 

RN: I know. It’s kind of like me being incapable of waiting for the privilege of handing over my money to a cashier. Or me in the company of a bratty kid and throwing his or her parent some judgmental shade. Because I would be so much better at raising the little darling. Yeah, right.

 

CP: Also, just because you won a Nobel Prize or another piddly ultramarathon doesn’t mean you have to update your status about it. Or am I merely jealous?

 

RN: Yes. But on the Sin-o-Meter, jealousy lies lower than judgment, so you’re OK.

 

CP: In her UW commencement speech, broadcasting goddess and cancer fighter Katie Couric warned against what she called digital snark. All that “trolling, trashing, mocking and judging,” she said, “hardens your heart and corrodes your soul.” Go, Katie?

 

RN: I’m 100 percent ‘Go, Katie,’ even when she’s judging the judgy.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib