Trick? Or treat?

Where the hell has all the cat food gone? I mean, it’s not like we’re talking Beluga caviar here, or Alaskan King crab or Bluefin tuna — ordinary cat food, is all: The scraps of the scraps of the scraps! Are we living in Soviet Moscow, circa 1922?

Why are all the grocery shelves still so continuously barren? And it’s no longer just toilet paper, hand sanitizers or bottled water, either. No, that was so two years ago already. Now it’s literally everything!

To purchase simple pet food should hardly be requesting the exotically esoteric. It’s not like I’m seeking out, oh, a Venus 2000 Tremblr human penis-milking machine!

Roo and Miss Pineapple — my 17-year-old orange Abyssinian and 5-year-old British Blue Tortoiseshell, respectively — are accustomed to a certain level of regular, nutritional expectations. They don’t do microwaved instant Ramen noodles from styrofoam. If their morning buffet cannot proffer up a bonanza of Fancy Feast, Meow Mix, fresh Gulf shrimp, the occasional tinned salmon and/or Bumblebee Solid

White Albacore tuna in spring water, then what, pray tell, separates my two ridiculously coddled aristocats from just some feral creatures scavenging the woods?

Anywho, considering that scarcity is now the new norm, it’s rather a moot point I suppose. I’m not sure if I’m getting steadily dumber as time creeps by, or if the long-con of advertising is turning evermore condescendingly uppity? How is it only October, yet I feel embarrassedly negligent by not having already put up my Christmas tree, aglitter in full regalia? Clearly, ’tis the season of the bitch; Santa can’t be too very happy about Halloween hogging nearly four full months of holiday merchandising potential — from July 5 up to Oct. 31 — all to its undeserving self! It’s not even a real holiday!

Worse, unlike Christmas’s dependable, snow-bearded buffoon, Halloween’s own nonpalliative mascot, the Great Pumpkin, never once even bothers to show! Let’s just get “The Headless Horseman” selects “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree” right to it, shall we?

Dear Howard: My boyfriend prefers plain old vanilla in the bedroom, whereas I’m the more bona fide freak in our sheets — Rocky Road meets S’mores mixed with Phish Food all swirled together in Raw Cookie Dough! Tom claims I’m “addicted” to anal stimulation, that if a small toy feels good, a bigger one feels a whole lot better.


He says our closets don’t even have room for clothes anymore, and I need to considerably pare down my collection of, ahem, insertables. If you were me, sir, about how many separate toys would you say the average, healthy sex-slut requires? — Gape Me, Daddy

Dear Gaping Wide: Ah, yes — dildoes and butt plugs. You’re playing my tune! Let’s turn favorably toward a bit of prostate prioritization.

Have you or Tom ever heard of the Pareto Principle, aka the 80/20 rule? Bluntly, Gape, it’s an observed phenomenon stating that 80 percent of consequences come from 20 percent of causes. As an example, 80 percent of our global real estate is owned by 20 percent of the population; conversely, say, within a simple backyard garden, 20 percent of the plants will bear 80 percent of the fruit.

In essence, the Pareto Principle exerts an unequal relationship between input and outcome. Or, in the case of your toy collection, 20 percent of your dildoes get stuffed up your sphincter 80 percent of the time, which is to say 80 percent of your toys are not played with most of the time.

My assessment, Gape? Pick out your favorite 100 pooter scooters, narrow it down to your top 20, and donate the other 80 to Vin Diesel.

Dear Howard: Some harpy gone stole my woman! Two whole years we lasted together, and all of two seconds it took her to get cast under the spell of that witch’s big old ugly, fake-ass punkins — the best relationship I ever landed in my life, too!

I’m pushin’ 50 these days. The milk train won’t stop here no more. Why I didn’t carry my piece on me that night, I don’t know, except to say they’d both, guaranteed, now be six feet under, and I’d probably be staring at 60-to-life, plus a day.

That poaching hoe! She’ll get her karma due! Just look see for yourself here, Howard, what my gal kicked to the curb, just for some thieving skank’s pair of botched hooters! — High Class With Sass

Dear Classy Sass: First off, does everyone you devour get garnished with a soupcon of snark, or did I just singularly luck out? Thank you, though, Sassy, for your accompanying proof-of-pedigree photo; love those rhinestone-studded, gleaming gold mouth grillz you’re workin’ there, girl!

Whether you’re high class, or just classically high, I personally couldn’t give so much as a single red rose one way or the other. I’ve never been one to quibble much over assignations versus aspirations. I lean more toward accepting individuals at face value. Thus, my inclination to argue that whenever people refer to themselves as “high class” — especially in self-congratulatory defiance for not having committed a double-homicide — it tends to undercut the appellation just a smidge.

Which at last brings us now, bois and gurlz, to our spooktacular question of the month: How many Americans, in total last year, died from gunshot wounds — self-inflicted, homicide, accidental or otherwise?

I’ll even go easy on you here, guys, and make the answer multiple choice: A. 50; B. 500; C. 5,000 or D. 50,000?

Yes, you guessed correctly, my little jack-o-lanterns! Indeed, 50- fuckin’-thousand Americans last year died from “friendly fire,” here in a country not even officially engaged in World War III … yet.

Oh, but that reminds me, too, should any of you horny road-gunners luck across a fresh haul of Fancy Feast, do give me a holler. Would you, please? We’ll work something out. The way Roo and Miss Pineapple have begun glaring at me of late is downright unnerving, and I’ve a brand new, never-used Venus 2000 Tremblr needs unloading. Free of charge, men! My treat! No tricks!

Y’all have a safe and happy Halloween, you fiendish sex machines — Ding-dong! “Trickertreat!”

— Howard Lewis Russell

Any ghoulish questions you may have, my hollowed gourds? ‘Course, you always know which here horseless headsman to turn to, at