One of the things about St. Valentine’s Day that has always disturbed me most is the fact that the Roman Catholic Church actually recognizes THREE different “St. Valentines”, and all of them died martyrs…this seems to imply that there is some correlation between being in love, expressing your devotion to your amour with flowers, cards and candy and then dying an untimely, unpleasant death.

The “original” St. Valentine (I’ll call him Val1) was, supposedly, a priest back in ancient Rome in the 3rd century, who was imprisoned by Emperor Claudius II, who outlawed marriage because he felt young, unmarried soldiers made better warriors if they had no wife and children, which strikes me as dubious reasoning at best. Val1 was so outraged by this decree by Claudius that, in defiance of the Emperor, he continued to marry young couples in secret, which of course The Emp finally got wind of and ordered Val1 arrested, imprisoned and put to death. (Can you imagine if our current resident of the White House, President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump, had that kind of power? There would be dead Democrats all over the steps leading up to the Capital.)

Anyway, legend has it that Val1, while awaiting his execution in prison, was visited regularly by the daughter of his jailer, and they quickly fell in love, or at least in a pretty decent case of lust, and since he was incarcerated, he began writing long, gushy, disgusting love letters to the girl, and signed them “from your Valentine”, making them the first Hallmark greeting cards ever sent.

(FYI, had Claudius been Emperor of say, Botswana, he would have been Claudius the Second…however, since the Romans were the inventors of “Roman numerals”, as well as the roman a clef, a style of novel about real people with a fictional overlay, he became “Claudius II”.)

(Actually, the roman a clef was invented by the French, but I figured they were already getting enough recognition as the creators of “French fries”, so I decided that was enough, and gave it to the Romans, who were not better lovers than the French necessarily, but did build better aqueducts.) (Click here for Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”)

I couldn’t find much info on Val2 and Val3, other than Val2 being renowned as the first person to ever sell chocolate candies in boxes, using little paper cells to imprison each individual candy therein.

Apparently the only thing that Val3 was ever known for was sustained flatulence.

(Did you guys hear the one about the really shy young man who walked into a bar on Val Day, spotted a beautiful young woman alone in a corner and then spent the next half hour working up the courage to go over and speak to her. He finally did, asking her if she would like to dance. She immediately became indignant and exclaimed in a loud voice that everyone in a three block radius heard, how dare you ask me to sleep with you tonight. Being thoroughly embarrassed, the young man turned and slunk away. About 10 minutes later, the young woman walked over to the guy and apologized, saying that she was a psychology student and that she was studying how people reacted in embarrassing situations. Being shy doesn’t necessarily mean stupid, because the young man quickly replied, in an equally loud voice, what do you mean, 200 dollars?)

So in keeping with the theme of “love and greeting cards”, I thought it might be time to open some of those numerous letters, texts, secret decoder-ring messages, emails and smoke signals that I receive every week, asking for advice/help with some person’s love-life, or the lack thereof, and give out some of the famed Cap’n John advice to the love-starved and lonely.

Of course, asking me for advice on love and relationships is like asking an Eskimo about conditions on the island of Fiji, but hey, why not?

“Dear CJK:

                I’m an early-30s lady, attractive (so I’m told by my mother), unmarried and lonely, but try as I might, I just don’t seem to be able to “hook-up” with an eligible man with whom I can share my life, have a family and raise kumquats. I’ve already tried all the traditional ways of meeting someone; I’ve done online dating, I’ve attended church functions for singles, I’ve gone to barn-raisings, I tried the bar scene for a while (okay, maybe going to gay bars wasn’t such a hot idea, but my girlfriends tell me that gay men make great friends, so I thought, well, never mind what I thought), and nothing. I’ve even shown up at Republican political rallies. What can I do, Cap’n John, to find that one special guy?

                                                Lonely In Louisville”

Dear Lonely:

                Oh no, no way, lady, there’s no way I’m giving advice to a Republican from KY, home of the premier asshat in the country (after the President), Mitch McConnell…you’re on your own, toots.

“Cap’n John:

                My friends convinced me to write to you, thinking you might be able to help me. I’m a hetero male in my late 20s, and still single. I’ve dated a bunch of women over the past few years, but none of these relationships have blossomed. I’m afraid that my hobby (raising piranha in my back-yard pool) turns off some ladies, and yeah, there was that one unfortunate accident a few years ago with my then girlfriend, but I apologized many times afterwards and then paid for her new prosthetic arm; I mean, it WAS an accident. Anyway, I’m wondering if you might have any ideas for me? (Oh, FYI, I import my piranha from Botswana.)

                                                Nine-fingered Fred”

Dear Fred:

                Is it true that a school of piranha can strip a full grown Republican down to bare bones in under 30 seconds? Is that the world record?

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I’ve been married to a beautiful lady for over 10 years now, and we’re really in love. We have a fine home in the suburbs, 2.3 wonderful children and a pet gerbil named Ignatias. We are both professional people (I’m a proctologist and my wife is a golf-ball diver at a local driving range) and we have a good life. Recently however, a snake has crept into our Paradise…my wife says she’s bored with our sex life and wants me to wear a scuba diver outfit from now on when we make love. Problem is, I get seasick very easily (I throw up watching old reruns of Baywatch) and I’d just rather continue wearing our Louis the XIV and Marie Antoinette costumes in bed. This disagreement is beginning to affect our marriage; any thoughts on a compromise we can both live with?

                                                Dr. Bob, the Butthole Doc”

Dear Bob:

                I’ve always wondered what would make a person getting an MD degree choose dealing with rectums as their specialty…and speaking of assholes, YES, the Dodgers FINALLY got rid of that oxygen thief Yasiel Puig over the off-season by trading him to the Cincinnati Reds for a box of balls, two used jockstraps and a player to be named later; L.A. got the best of that deal.

“Kind Sir:

                I am Mr. Dweezil Ptrumnlewhytdwski Director of Finance for Bank of Botswana, telling you of great good fortune you have everyday twice. Our bank for pianos and deposits…

Okay, never mind that one…

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I’m a professional golf-ball diver and a mother of 2.3 kids who is married to a great guy that I have a wonderful life with; I’m not really unhappy with Bob, but lately our sex life, after more than 10 years of marriage, is getting a little stagnant. I’ve suggested a couple of things that we could do to “spice things up” in bed, but my husband isn’t interested. He says that anal sex is enough for him and refuses to try anything else. I don’t mind the “strap-on” so much but what about my needs? I mean, geez, it would be nice to make love just once when I’m facing him. Any ideas on how I can loosen this guy up, other than with KY jelly?

                                                Back Door Barbie”

Dear Barbie:

                Try getting an industrial sized spatula and flipping him over.

That’s about all the letters/emails, etc. I have time for today, for which I’m sure we’re all thankful.

Oh, and FYI, Publix, where I work when I’m not being the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding, has a BOGO on Hallmark greeting cards/gift wrap going on right now…just in time for the holiday. Saw one the other day with this little bit of doggerel inside…

                “Roses are red, and lawyers have torts,

                You’d be a great Valentine, except for the warts.”

Love and Cupid (rhymes with “stupid”),

Cap’n John