“Ask Dr. Mueller” / East Village Eye

Cookie Mueller—the late actress, writer, musician and model who died of AIDS in 1989— was both a fixture of the downtown avant-garde and one of its most perceptive critics.  

                                                                                 —Jesse Dorris, T Magazine, 2014

As seen in the advice columns that follow—“Ask Dr. Mueller” for the East Village Eye—Mueller tackled AIDS conspiracy theories and New Age remedies with an affectionate frankness. She later served as an art critic for Details. Her books are cult classics and include Ask Doctor Mueller (1996), a collection of writings; Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool of Painted Black (1990), a memoir; and Garden of Ashes (Hanuman Books, 1990).
An influential cultural critic, her legacy is celebrated in an oral-history by her friends—Chloé Griffin’s kaleidoscopic tome, Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller (B_Books, 2014)—in which her myriad and fascinating roles—as inspiration, protector, dancer, instigator, drug dealer, wild card, criminal, life of the party, goddess, mental patient, hostess, confidante, artist, mother, savior are affectionately elaborated.

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EXCERPTS FROM

ASK DR. MUELLER

By COOKIE MUELLER


O.K. boys and glrls, jump right up on the examination table once again and tell me your
symptoms. Are you languishing in morbid
decrepitude? Are you dragged out with the
infections, the fevers, the fainting, the
fibrillations? I have come to realize the boring old saying that your rickety grandparents squawked on and on about from the
confines of their day beds was absolutely
true. “When you have your health, you have everything.”

Dear Doctor
This may sound really stupld. I was just In
a bad accident and I broke my pelvis. Right
before I hit the guy (who Iincidentally was
unhurt) I really froze up; I got rigid In the
driver’s seat. Someone told me that l should
haave Just relaxed and I probably wouldn’t
have broken anything. I wasn’t wearlng a
seatbelt. What do you say?
Answer please,

Marjorie


Dear Marjorie,
Well, you know what they say about
drunks and babies. They’re always protected when they’re involved in accidents
because they know how to fall. They just let
themselves hit the ground, no resistance.
Now, have you ever had skiing instructions?
You’re always told that when you feel
yourself falling, just fall and roll with the
punches.
Yeah, I’d say just let yourself go right
through the windshield providing tha t you’re
wearing a helmet or lots of halrspray.
Love, Doctor Mueller


Dear Doctor Mueller,

I’ve got spider bites, mosquito welts, peeling, sunburned skin, saltwater in my ears,
sand in my crotch, burned feet bottoms, and
sun-stripped snapping hair. What is the
general cure for these beach problems?
Frank

Dear Frank,
This is really an easy one. Stay indoors
and watch soap operas. Douse yourself
from head to toe with watered-down apple
cider vinegar to speed up the healing process to all these injured areas. Do this while
watching ” All My Children.”
Love, Doctor Mueller

 

Dear Doc,
I’ m having some problems
with my hearing. I’m a little
afraid to go to the doctor’s
because they might tell me
something I don’t want to
hear.
Joe Aero


Joe Aero,
Maybe the doctor will tell you
something you can’t hear. But
seriously, maybe you’ve been
taking too much quinine or
Peruvian Bark. That’s what my
book says anyway. Now how
could you be taking too much
quinine ? Are you drinking too
much tonic water or are you using street heroin which is mostIy quinine?                          (They tell me.)
Now if you’re not doing either
of these things to excess then
maybe you really should not
play around and go to an ear
doctor. There’s a number you
can call to test your hearing.
It’s 737-4000. Let it ring. They
might not hear it.
Love,
Dr. Mueller


Dear Doctor Mueller,
I’m a young person who’s really unsure
about a couple of things. There’s been
some controversy about whether or not men
have mesnstrual cycles. Do they?
Colin

Hi Colin
Gee, this is a tough one. Well, if the question you’re asking is do men bleed, I’ll have
to say no. But they do suller lunar changes
just like women. I would say that their
bodily fluids are affected by the waxing and
waning of the moon.
Oh, I wish men did ha ve real
menstrual cycles, then they’d realize what
all the flipping out is about.

 


Dear Doctor Mueller,
My osteopath informs me
that my fractured elbow has
fused improperly and that I’ll
lose 20 percent of the extension
in my right arm. Friends who
have had bad fractures tell me
that through extensive physiotherapy                                                                                             it’s possible to regain
full extension. Now, should I
believe my friends or my
doctor?
Love, Gary Indiana

Dear Gary,
Hi, hun. How’ s your arm
feeling today? Poorly? This is
such a drag.
Well, the answer to this one
is easy. Believe your friends.
There is nothing that is impossible. Did you know that someone Just cured himself of cancer
through a diet of laughter?
True.
Love, Doctor Mueller

 

Dear Doc.
I’m a writer and I must confess that I sometimes sniff
whiteout. It has the same thing
in it that glue sniffers loved.
Now I’m told that the company
has to change this because people are abusing their whiteout.
Are they go ing to use another
substance? What will happen ?
Love, A Secret Sniffer

Dear S.S.:
Well, it turns out the main
integral ingredient in the
whiteout is this stuff that makes
you high, so they can’t change
it. So what they’re going to do
is make the whiteout stink.
Gee. I guess us writers better
stock up on the old stuff if we
don ‘t want our papers to smell
too bad. Can you imagine the
smell in the editors’ rooms? I
don’t envy them.
Love, Doctor Mueller

 

Dear Doctor Mueller,
Is assholeism contagious?
U.S. Hall

U.S. Hall,
I thlnk that unfortunately the answer is
yes. It must be, because It’s rampant. Sometimes people who lack character and have
no opinions of their own can easily be
swayed by dogmatic assholes. You have to
be on guard all the time – gas masks,
clinical napkins, anything will help. You
have to read more also; this tends to make
one a thinking person. Also, if you think that
perhaps one person may be an asshole,
argue with him or her violently, because this
can broaden your own manifesto.

Love, Doctor Mueller

Dear Dr. Mueller,
I have a girlfriend and we
love fucking. I remember in
the beginning (we’ve been
together for 5 years) I could
fuck three or four times a day
but now I’m lucky if I can get
it together once. I would like to know why this is happening.
Pietro Torelli

Dear Pietro:
This is such a dumb question.                                                                                                        You’re just getting sick of
your girlfriend, that’s all.

Love, Doctor Mueller

 

Hey Youze!!!
Where’s “Cookie Mueller? I want my
Cookie Mueller! She writes an informative,
enlightening, and entertaining column, and
It’s a credit to your magazine. In addition to
providing moxie and perspective. To whit, we
need her, Eye need her, bad, She helps me
keep my mind, body and spirit awake and
alive. In other words, “a Cookie a day keeps
the doctor away.” Fill this temporary but
substantial void with her REAL self. Quick.
Onward.
Sincerely
Jerry Trupiano

The editors reply:                                                                                                             Cookie Mueller’s holistic column can be
found In High Times now. And we’re all on
drugs.

Thank you to East Village Eye for this excerpt. Join us for the opening of It’s All True: The East Village Eye show on September 16th, 6pm, at Howl! Happening, an Arturo Vega Project (6 East 1st Street, NYC).