Dr. Getty: TACTLESS! Hello, my name is Getty and I am a columnist. I write a column based on the fact that if Dr. Laura can make a career of pushing her mindless drivel onto people and telling them how to live; then smart people who really know how to do some living ought to speak up also. It may be pompous and preachy but SO BE IT. My opinions are at least as valid as that woman’s and you’ll have more fun in your encounter with them. I had one hell of a very good summer. From driving along train tracks at night to my new job in radio, to shoveling sand during the last days of my internship—From kissing on top a tower overlooking mountains to crying on the floor alone at home—I faired well in the long run. I got some free sandwiches, cheesecake and pastries. I learned all about the magic of AM, both radio and time of day. However, the most important thing I did this summer was learn how to be better, smarter, more creative and have a much more wonderful life than most of the people I meet, including you. All the stuff I learned was worthwhile and good. First, if y our car is breaking down and you don’t know what to do, listen to Bob Dylan. There were people 30 years ago who listened to Bob Dylan when their cars were breaking down and most of them are fine now. Some of them even have farms. The ones who don’t have farms have learned a fierce and wiry sense of poetry. If you’ve got that, you can’t complain. You’re better off and life is more fun with that than if all you’ve got is a farm. Second, you must appreciate the good things. If your car is breaking down and you can’t go above 30 mph, you’d expect someone to scream at you to learn how to drive. When that doesn’t happen and instead a Bob Marley type sticks his head out the window and screams compliments for your “Born OK the first time” bumper sticker, appreciate that. Maybe even note the date, say, August 24, 2001, so you can include it later on a list of good things. Third, if your car breaks down at work, go inside and find someone peppy and supercharged who likes to talk about softball and make choo-choo train noises down hallways to give you a ride home. This is easier than it seems. Rules four and five are as follows. Cut the grass before it rains and name stray cats “Hedwig” because they have faces like owls. Six is that there will be a moment every August when you realize it’s almost October. I forgot that one for awhile but then I was driving along in the big brown car I really liked until August 24th and there was pine from a year old Christmas tree and a stick and a sunflower laying on the dash and I exclaimed “ohmygod! It’s going to be October!” So enjoy August while it lasts. It’s over now, but remember that next year. Seventh and last, find good people and let the effect you. Finding them is the hard part. They usually just kind of fall into your lap approximately 15 years after you start praying, begging and wishing for them. So in the mean while, listen to Bob Dylan. People who couldn’t find people 15 years ago listened to Bob Dylan and they’re fine now. Some are even happy. Some have farms. Some have kittens. Some have spices visible in the kitchen, cinderblock bookshelves and scattered papers on their floors. To top that, a chosen few are blessed with a fierce and wiry neat-o sense of poetry. Learn from me. Follow the rules. I’m real smart, even though I don’t tell you it’s wrong to be a single mother.