query: my eye is really itchy and i have to go to the eye doctors in 15 minutes but i hate him! what can i do to escape the evil torture of scary men poking and prodding my eye?
The solution is simple but you must act quickly. Now � QUICK! � get two spoons out of the silverware drawer and break off the handles as close to the scoops as you can, then gently place those small bowls over your eyeballs, carefully wrapping your lids over the metal edges. When your mom comes downstairs to fetch you for your trip to the doc, let her approach you with your back turned; when you sense that she’s two or three feet away, spin around and say, “Do you really think the doctor will offer even a modicum of comfort, of consolation, to his greatest foe, Old Iron Eyes!!”
query: Dear WAS,
This summer vacation i went to the beach with my [boy]friend for a week. Unexpectedly, out of the 7 hot men who were staying in our cramped, hot little beach house, i [only] began to develop strong feeling for one– let’s just call him “Woody” for now, ok[, because of his wooden personality]? Well anyway, even though i only knew him for such a short time, and not very
well[adeptly], i was thinking of writing him an email, telling him how i feel… What should i say???? [Do you guys have his email address???] Please, i desperately need your wise and scient i[a]stic advice on this matter. You are my only hope.
Thank [God for] you[ guys and what you do for the children].
I love you[r soup recipes].
query: I know a girl who thinks Police Academy 4 is better than Star Wars. Despite my repeated attempts to persuade her otherwise and my constant threats of death if she does not change her ways she continues to indulge in this most absurd of beliefs. What action should would you recommend someone in my position to take (please note there is currently the Atlantic Ocean in between us so physical violence may be a problem).
Thank you in advance.
See, it’s like in those movies where a person has a really strong conviction, and the antagonist is trying to get her to renounce it, and so he threatens her with death � it never works. Of course this heroic figure is perfectly willing to give up her life rather than break faith with her convictions. But so then what the smart antagonists do is to threaten someone else’s life, and that always works. Because idealists all share the same gaping Achilles’ Heel: their belief in each individual’s right to choose his or her own fate. This pious naif, for all her willingness to sacrifice everything in service of an idea, is powerless to “cause” the death of another person.
So we’d say you should grab your roommate or somebody close by, drag him in front of a webcam, get your righteous friend on the phone, and issue the grim ultimatum. Somebody’s gonna start talking up Star Wars real fast, and we don’t mean you.
I just graduated from Pitzer College and moved home with the rents in Minnesota. What can I do to prevent myself from having a pathetic and depressed existence when I am so far away from beer bongs, Cali friends, and your concerts in NY?
Molly in Minnesota
Surely there is nothing.
name: be safe
query: your office colleque dump all the office work to you try hard to get you into the trouble and worst part you don’t have a faithful suppervisor because you don’t play dump like other girl in the office
How the hell do you know all that?! Our colleague here at the office does dump all of the work on us, then tries to get us in trouble for hogging all the office work! And, indeed, our supervisor is unfaithful � largely because we refuse to play dump!
What can we say but Thank You! Just knowing someone out there understands our predicament helps immensely!
query: Dear Scientists,
I need your advice. You see, recently I started dating this guy, and of course I like him a lot (because of the brain chemical and whatnot). Unfortunately, however, he is a graduate student in physics, whereas I am a student of psychology. To be honest, I don’t think he even really believes psychology is a science. Can things ever work out between us, or is such a match so ill-fated as to be not even worth pursuing? Please advise, as I’m supposed to see him tonight, but of course will defer to your infinite wisdom, should you suggest otherwise.
Remind your friend about the hallowed Ladder of Science, est. 1956 by Gerald P. Metaphor, a Cambridge professor of Archaeometrics. You’ll recall that the LoS, whose accuracy has been proven again and again by cartographers, establishes a clearly delineated hierarchy of the various scientific fields, assigning each a degree of “scienceness” (or, if you’re British, “scienticity”) that can be read as a concrete rating of the “hardness” of each branch of science. Here’s an abridged version that includes you and your buddy’s respective fields as well as several others for comparison; From softest to hardest, it looks like this:
And of course in the unabridged version, there’s about 200 additional disciplines separating Physics and Psychology. Suffice it to say, then, Steph, that you are on only the safest of grounds.
Now, if your guy needs to be convinced on a more intuitive level, we recommend that you drop some psychology tricks on his ass. We’re hardly experts in the field, but we know generally what sorts of things a psych major can do. We recommend you start with a basic Mind Meld: grip the guy’s neck, shut your eyes, and open the floodgates of your memory, instantly inundating his brain with 25 years of experience and knowledge. Release his neck and allow him to sink to his knees with a massive sigh. Look at him knowingly. Say: “Science?” Next offer him a demo on Mind Control. Raise a tall flame on the stove and tell him to place his hand in it. When he refuses, say: “No? Sure you don’t want to?” Telepathically force him to comply; hold the hand there till tiny clouds of acrid gray smoke begin billowing off his palm. Finally, wow him with your ability to Free His Mind from the constraints of his current perceptions of reality; once that’s done, the two of you can share a hearty laugh � his carrying a note of apology for earlier derision � and enjoy a Superman-like flight through the night sky or a supersonic sprint across the surface of the Atlantic to Paris, city of lights, city of wine and poetry and romance.
In considering the span of our tenure as “the most exciting pop band this generation” (Gene Siskel, 1999), purveyors of music “so tight, so hook-driven, it’ll burrow into your brain and stay there for weeks” (Vladimir Putin, 2003), it’s fair to say that we’ve been unreliable at best about stocking t-shirts. This upsets us probably more than anyone, although considering how you folks greedily snap them up when they’re available, clearly we’re not the only ones who are really, really upset. So we’ve taken action. We’ve spent the last few weeks working intensively on new designs, and the results have been amazing and varied. Too amazing and varied, actually. Perhaps because We Are Scientists comprises three such different and differently talented individuals, the final batch of designs offers roughly a dozen brilliant, funny, totally disparate options. And we’ve lost our ability to narrow the field any further. At this point, every possibility is so good, so invaluable in its own way, that the idea of further elimination is legitimately painful to us. But while we can probably do two or even three of these designs, we certainly can’t do all of them, so elimination there must be. Take a look. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think. The future of fashion depends on your participation.
Highly unusual. When he passes, it is imperative that science be allowed to dissect him and learn more about this wond’rous anomaly.