Michael, Kathy de la K, Hello My, Diane, Erinn

name: Michael
query: Dear WAS,
I have an huge bump on my penis that may or may not be serious. I’ve tried busting it with a pin, but that only makes the bump hurt even more. What could this huge mass of tissue be? How can I get rid of it?

Dear Michael,
Yikes! What the hell are you thinking, man? Sending that kind of question to us! Michael! Friend! Heir to the throne of England! Listen! This is a family site, for chrissakes! The only thing worse than you writing such a question would be for us to publish it! On our family site!
Okay, no, but seriously, you need help, we have answers, end of story. We must help you. Hipocratic oath and all. So here’s what you do, Michael, and you can trust us because between the three of us we’ve delt with the same thing literally a hundred thousand times: you need to wrap your little friend in cloth — we’re talking the finest silks from Thailand, so gossamer they float through the air almost like a heat wave; the most sumptuous Carribean linens, shot through with golden filaments, their marvelous colors recalling a perfected happiness you haven’t known since childhood; cottons of such delicate weaves it will break your goddamn heart. Wrap yourself in these fine fabrics, yards of them. Scent the fabric with a few drops of splendid eau de jasmin. Tie it all up with a golden ribbon. Head to the doctor.
name: kathy de la k
query: so i’m running a brother right, i’m a pimp/owner/financial manager/ etc, and sometimes my hoes get out of hand and i have to regulate. i don’t want to hit them since bruises might decrease their value to potential customers but i want them to learn their lesson when they go against their pimp. what can i do?

In our experience there is only one way to deal with a ho who gets out of hand and/or goes against her pimp, and that is to kill her with kindness. It sounds like a clich�, but you know what? Sometimes things become clich�s because they’re just so damn true.
name: hello my
query: klfdmsdlkmf
Dear HM,
Learn to spell, asshole.
name: Diane
query: I’m Lost? What Do I Do?
Dear Diane,
Head East on 6th street (toward the bridge) till you come to the Washington Mutual (we think it’s on Knudsen St.), where you’ll hang a right (Knudsen St.?). Go four or five blocks — you’re heading South now — and you’ll hit Main St. Take a left. All the shops are right along there. If you want food, we recommend Jimmy’s Tomato Kitchen; the most delicious flayed tomatoes you’ll slide into you! Add a little olive oil? A little parmesan? Toss it on a panini? Ask your waiter to oven bake it? You’ve practically got a pizza on your hands! Don’t tell Jimmy, though; he steadfastly refuses to allow his premium tomatoes to be used in something as base as pizza. Little tip about Jimmy, though, if you’ll pardon a couple of old gossips their vice: Jimmy is a pederast. So if you’re traveling with any young ones, be extra attentive. Super extra attentive, actually; that Jimmy’s a monster. The most aggressive, brazen pederast we’ve ever seen. One minute your little one will be right there at the table with you, and you’ll raise your menu to read about the many vintages of tomato available, and you’ll later swear to christ you were only at the menu for 30, maybe 40 seconds, and you’ll lower your menu to find the little one missing from his/her seat; you’ll jump up and scan the restaurant, but you won’t have to look far, cuz there at the next table for all to see will be Jimmy reaming your little one, your baby. Oh god, you’ll never forgive yourself.
Hope that helps! Call us if you have any trouble! Unless it’s with Jimmy, as we hold no sway over that demented fucking raptor! Hey, neither do the cops!
name: Erinn
query: Hi, I’m in love with this guy but my friends think thats he’s creepy. He has a girlfriend, but they’re in an open relationship…there’s one problem though…since they’re in an open relationship they share the other people they hook up with and I don’t know if I want to be with his girlfriend…what do I do?

There’s an old chip of wisdom, Erinn, that if you really love a guy you’ll screw his girlfriend, too. And we think that’s pretty much true. Ask yourself, Erinn, do you love him? Are you really, really into him and do you really want things with you two to work? Well then you’re going to have to get used to sharing the bed with his girlfriend. Hey, Erinn, how do you think the rest of us do it? It’s the same for all of us. Each of us We Are Scientists guys has a girl that we love a lot, that we’re totally committed to, and she has no problem sleeping with us and our girlfriend. Cuz and that’s love, do you know? That’s love.

The word 'hear'

Have you noticed that ‘hear’ has the word ‘ear’ in it? Creepy.

You who wear drapes as

You who wear drapes as capes, who misjudge your own whims:
It has been a fearful long time since your guiding light has shone, since, that is, we’ve called down to you from this craggy perch. That’s because here in the W.A.S. control room, we’re well aware that no news is good news, well aware that you old-fashioned admirers of the status quo would love it if everything would just remain as is, so that it doesn’t get any worse, because it seems like every time you turn around somebody has changed something and it’s inevitably for the worse. Well we’re all about showing people the road to right living here, and so we’re pretty excited to demonstrate for you that change can be good, it can be for the better; in this case it’s actually going to *make your entire miserable life a whole, whole lot more livable*. That’s right, we’ve made some minor design improvements to this website.
Let’s start small. We’d like you to first jump over to the Advice page, where you’ll find we’ve added a delightful little archive listing at the bottom. Go there now. Not bad, eh? It gets even better; even better than that.
Time to hop along to the Links page, which you’ll find looking better than it ever has, not to mention a bit fuller. Hit it!
Now, do you like magic tricks? Who doesn’t, okay? Who doesn’t! Well magic trick mecca is currently our band page.
Wow, right? Well that’s *nothin* compared to this: a Shows page featuring slightly tweaked/prettified design and A LINK TO A PAGE WITH ALMOST EVERY SHOW WE’VE PLAYED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS. Don’t play it cool, you silly dickhead! Go go go!!!
Okay okay. Now brace yourself, just fucking BRACE yourself for what you’re about to see. Because this… oh boy… THIS page has lain in festering neglect for SO, SO long that you’re going to think we had forgotten it existed altogether. BUT WE DIDN’T! No-ho-ho, we did not. Instead we plotted, we planned, we counted our hams, and


name: Chump
query: On a similar topic as� Malcolm’s query, how does one get over a girl with whom he was once involved? After a long relationship and then an entirely too long gray period of breakupedness and unbreakupedness, how does one just get on with his life? Especially prudent when the girl has a new flame. Lend some advice scientists.
Only too happy to do so. The fact is that we of the W.A.S. have on many occasions been in the very situation you describe; we’ve therefore been able to perfect a curative process that ferrets out destructive behavior and encourages healthy healing. It’s fairly general, because in assembling this we meant for it to be applicable not just to Michael, Keith, and Chris, but to you, Chump, and to the countless other dudes and dudettes who so wisely come to this website seeking romantic advice. Here is the 4-step process that is “guaranteed” to help you get over this girl.

  1. You must wean yourself from the addictive practice of peering in through a window from some night-clothed hedge or tree limb as your former beloved performs amoral acts of carnal assimilation on her new crush atop the expensive new sheets she must have bought between now and the last time you were with her, last Tuesday. You must also not review the tapes you made of them coupling on other occasions. Or at least, don’t watch them over and over — if you find yourself immediately rewinding a tape as soon as it finishes, not even pausing to pop some corn, then you are unhealthily obsessed with what’s on the tape. If you have transferred the tape to DVD so you can skip rewinding altogether and seamlessly loop the video, you are unhealthily obsessed with the tape. If you have made a collage of particularly juicy moments from each of your dozens of tapes and tried to work some sort of narrative into the visual quilt through the use of voiceovers and CGI, then you are unhealthily obsessed with these sex tapes, but you are also a budding and potentially very gifted pornographer who should by all means follow his muse.
  2. You have to stop calling her. Not completely; that’s not what we mean, and you know it. It’s the late night calls, the ones where you fail to identify yourself and then sit in silence listening as she gently reminds you — though compassion daily gives way to frustration — of all the reasons it wasn’t working and had to end, and that besides she’s really into this new guy because they connect on a level the two of you never did (you’ve seen it happen) and don’t you want her to be happy? — those calls you need to stop making.
  3. You need to quit the thing with the hooker, whatever her name is. At first it may have been palliative, sure, but it has become very destructive and it must stop. We know what you’re thinking (we’ve been there too, remember?). You’re thinking, at least subconsciously, that for you while strolling Sunset Strip late one night on your way to get donuts to just happen upon a hooker who looks a lot like your ex… well, that’s fate stepping in and offering you a helping hand. And that this hooker, from behind, could be your ex’s twin-slightly-older-sister… sure, fate is good, fate is kind. But at this stage you’re malingering, Chump. You’re using the crutch well after your foot should have healed. You even told your ex that you’d met someone that reminds you of her, which is a sick thing to say considering the facts, and only ended up biting you in the ass when she congratulated you with heartfelt sincerity. Besides all that, we might as well tell you that a blood test will reveal that your hooker friend has been giving you a veritable cornucopoeia of added value for your $60.
  4. If you’re ever going to get on with your life, you’ve got to start seeing new people. We know how hard this can be, but once you’re over the hump, you’ll really appreciate what a difference it can make, how much it can make you feel that you’ve moved on. Now look, we know you’re bad at this, and that’s why we’re going to go ahead and advocate your mild inclination to pursue things with that girl, the friend of a friend, whom you had sex with that weekend last October when your (now-)ex was out of town. So you called her last week, the two of you got together and had a few drinks, and you excused yourself early in the evening, citing an early morning the next day. In fact, of course, you were sighing big relief as you strolled home; this girl was every bit as unappetizing as you remembered, every bit the “fuck only when plastered” type, and you’d be damned if you were going to sink that low just because you were going through a tough time — the fact is, you suspected that taking such a nose-dive in quality from your ex to a new girl would almost certainly do your sense of self-worth more damage than good. You’d be surprised. First of all, you’re paying for sex right now, okay smart guy? Think about that for a second, digest it. You are PAYING. For sex right now. So just relax, get down off your high horse, and think practically for five minutes. Now: you’re going to be 27 in September — 27! It’s time to act a little more grown up, a little more French, about all things sexual and romantic. Looks aren’t everything, you know this. Did you also know that personality and likeability aren’t everything? Well they aren’t. A lot of the time, Chump, “everything” is just having someone to share a taxi home with at the end of the night so you don’t have to think about what’s missing. Because technically, nothing’s missing — there’s a warm body beside you, night after night, and you can go to brunch with her on weekends, and you don’t have to see her during most of your waking hours because you’re at work, so who cares if she’s not beautiful and witty, or even at all sexually attractive and nice? You want W.A.S. to take away the pain, Chump? You wanna move on with your life? Here’s the prescription: Call that girl back, the ugly one you cheated on your ex with. Go out with her this weekend. Get drunk and go home together. In a month, move in together. Two years from now, start over. And repeat. And repeat. When you find someone you’re not absolutely itching to leave after two years, and she feels the same, check each other’s pulse. Still alive? Get married, buy a house in Azusa, have kids, some pets, some cars — boom, you’ve moved on. You’re done. And late, late at night, when your family slumbers and snores in carpeted rooms around you, and all the grinding distractions of your midlife days are terrifyingly absent, and you feel your heart’s as empty as the streets outside… well, you’ve always got those tapes.

The Color of Snack Cheese

The color of snack cheese (think Doritos) is hunter orange. Hunter orange being the blazing fluorescent color that hunters buy their clothes in so that other hunters won’t mistake them for anything remotely deer-like. And it’s the color they choose because it has never, in the history of our planet, occurred in nature. The wavelength of light that comes off a hunter’s vest and tells your eyes to show your brain hunter orange is a wavelength of light that was literally invented in 1972 (or whenever DuPont invented it). Light waves of that length had never existed, since the formation of the universe. Which makes it weird that Frito Lay would decide on this color for their chips. As though they need their chips not so much to look appetizing as to stand out against any possible background.
To most people, snack cheese=hunter orange. Doritos, Cheetos, Kraft Macaroni: all occur in hunter orange. And I’m willing to bet it’s not just people that have learned this association.
Nature has been reduced to an archipelago of well-spaced theme parks. Even standing in the middle of Yosemite or Arches, it’s an absolute triumph of the imagination to feel like you’re “in the middle of nowhere”; you could use the spinning pointer from Twister as a compass and within half an hour you’d run into either (a) a freeway, (b) a town, or (c) Chicago. There’s no border anymore between civilization and wilderness; animals that can live amongst us — birds, chipmunk, racoons, possums — do so, and the rest, the wolves and bears and lions, live in zoos or on preserves. Given this overlap of habitats, it’s safe to assume that animals have by now eaten plenty of Doritos and Macaroni out of dumpsters; or hell, from the hands of two year-olds sitting in the car with the window down while mom pays for the gas. And they’re starting to learn, some of them, that hunter orange is the color of snack cheese. So how fantastic is it going to be when packs of wild dogs and deer and coyotes start attacking hunters because they think they’re big delicious cheese mummies.

More Fascinating Scholarship from the We Are Scientists

Following is a list that we — in our linguistic trolling — have turned up of once-popular aphorisms that, for one reason or another, have quietly dropped out of use. Some are too confusing, some too obvious, and others appear simply to have been replaced by better sayings that cover the same wisdom. Sounds rather dry, doesn’t it? Actually a lot of these are pretty fucking funny, because we favored humor over realism when we made them up. We’ve indicated in parentheses our guess as to why each phrase went extinct.

A chicken in your basket is similar to two of them in another place that you don’t control, but better, if only slightly. (Likely outmoded by Franklin’s “A bird in hand…”, which is after all a bit more gracefully phrased.)

She who drives not forth when it is for forth that is called, shall be damned. (This is both a little confusing and, once the meaning has been extracted, not at all intuitive.)

An early bed-time and a similar variety of rising-from-bed-time make a person a good, solid person. (Again, Franklin saw an unwieldy phrasing that nevertheless contained promise and improved it immeasurably.)

What with brute force you doodle, in time will surely noodle. (This one is actually pretty good and should in our opinion be considered for resurrection.)

Marzipan and little hands make for stubbly porridge. (Ditto this one. Very nice. Succinct, witty, informative about porridge and so forth — very nice.)

The mangy dog is ill-advised who, on his barely tolerant master’s new carpet, poos.(We tossed out another keeper, people. What the fuck’s wrong with us English-speakers, huh?)

What is done daftly in deed, indeed may deftly be done. (How perfectly splendid and true! Fuck it, we’re just going to start using this one, obsolete or not.)

How fortunate the sapling that, deprived of water, finds a way to GET that water, whether or not, all for one. (This is not so much an aphorism as an awesome, awe-inspiring story that totally makes us want to do better. For instance: enough sitting around and bitching! About nothing most of the time! Granted, certain very real burdens have been beyond our ability to shrug off. We’re thinking here of the gimpy leg we were born with, which prevents us from competing successfully in a foot race with even a spritely turtle, and which dangles there like a shrivelled, gnarly branch, and which like a branch is made of wood, because it is a fake leg, the cheapest one Father could find, we’re assuming, damn him to hell. But another aphorism we’ve always hated is “Be yourself,” which is maybe not an aphorism, but deserves mention because it’s so fucking stupid, because of course you’re going to be yourself, that being your single, solitary, exclusive option, so it’s hardly a choice, and if it were you would, in our case certainly, choose immediately to be someone else — anyone, anyone else at all.)


The song Honeymoon, by French rock band Phoenix, is so, so freaking awesome. This is maybe the sexiest song I, as a white person, am capable of hearing.
What it’s got:

  • An earnest French vocalist smoothly delivering empty-romantic lines like “My mind aches/You bust my real thoughts” and “Feelin’ without knowing the other/Tonight, let me handle this affair/Let me handle this affair.” I know, what the fuck does he mean? His American accent is so polished, you forget he’s French and you start wondering what he’s talking about, and about twenty seconds into wondering, you realize he doesn’t speak a damn word of English and he’s not saying shit. “I watch the fireworks/It’s no matter of time/I feel the midnight crush.” What the…fuck?
  • A harp that arrives in the second verse and starts arpeggiating your very mind; in the bridge, the rest of the band drops out and lets the harp solo. Wise move. I’m pretty sure it’s a harp, anyway. Otherwise it’s one harped-out guitar. Hugely sexy.
  • All kinds of miscellaneous sex-appeal, reminiscent of Van Morrison or Marvin Gaye — not in sound but in feel, in vibe. In steez. Not the horny sexuality of your Madonnas or your Bloodhound Gangs, but the relaxed, sex-is-good-and-it’s-assured-so-there’s-no-reason-to-have-an-anxiety-seizure variety.
    Roughly a minute into his first listening of Honeymoon, Michael Tapper opined in one or another Caribbean accent, “Ooo, mon! Girl come in my space, this song on da discmon? Me she gon’ get dat happy time!” He didn’t put it quite like that, but the gist is all his.
    This is a feel-good, sensual-ass song. It plays in the elevator as you and your prom date – fingers entwined, gazes meeting shyly in the mirror walls – rise toward the 17th floor, toward room 1706, which for about 8 minutes will be the center of the known universe.