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Advice

A degree in Psychology — what to do with my life??September 16th, 2013View

W.A.S! I have recently graduated from university and have no idea what I want to do with my life. I studied Psychology and got a good grade but I don’t want to do anything with it. Please help.

King Regards, Harry

Dear Harry: There are so, so, so many interesting jobs for you to consider. What an exciting crossroads you’ve come to! It is a crossroads with literally around four thousand different paths winding off in different directions. Pause for a second to picture that. You’re ambling down a dusty dirt road in 1300′s Europe, maybe even driving a couple of oxen from the back of a shitty old wagon. You round a small bend in the road and lean back against the reigns – “whoaaaaa…,” you tell your beasts. You gaze ahead, confused, slightly panicked. In front of you, peeling off from the main road you’ve been following for months now, lie over four thousand different paths. Which-the-hell one goes to Genoa, or wherever you’re off to?!?

Fortunately, Harry, that analogy isn’t entirely accurate. Whereas only one of those dusty trails led to Genoa, any of the exciting career paths now before you has the potential to lead to Happiness, Productivity, & Moderate Wealth (incidentally, the municipal motto of present day Genoa). Let’s take a look at some of the options:

  • Police Man: Help keep people safe by enforcing law and order.
  • Chef: Prepare food to nourish and delight customers.
  • Fisherman: Steal fish from Poseidon.
  • Commercial Airplane Pilot: Wear a uniform in the air.
  • School Teacher: Possess different colors of chalk and wear shoes to work.
  • Fashion Model: Inspire, inform, intrigue, and engage the public.
  • Government Official: Shepherd society toward a golden tomorrow.
  • Medical Doctor: Invent an army of super soldiers to destroy our enemies in other galaxies.
  • Scientist: Study voltage and pressure change.
  • Travel Host: Determine optimal programming for an evening film.
  • Waiter: Suggest alternatives to the usual gruel.
  • Researcher: Gather and sift through mountains of data to glean widely applicable truths.
  • Can Maker: Manufacture and ration cans.
  • Book Binder: Inspect bindings in a library environment to predict longevity.
  • Towel Merchant: Escort towels through the transition from wholesale to retail environments.
  • Mortgage Broker: Upgrade families from tent-like domiciles to more robust structures.
  • Still don’t see anything that seems right for you, Harry? That was just a tiny sampling of the many options available, friend — don’t lose hope! Perhaps you could own a business, operate a warehouse, or advise large companies. Why not become a sculptor, a minister, or a baseball agent? Not so fast! We haven’t even told you about shark hunters, racing form artists, and galleon henchmen. The point is, life’s full of a delirious array of options, and you really can’t go wrong. The salary for all the jobs we’ve mentioned so far is $1000, enough to keep you in chewing gum and candy cigarettes till you’re well into your eighties.

    Feeling better? Thought so. Hey, Harry, just do us one favor in return: let us know how it all turns out.

    Best,
    W.A.S.

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    How to Prepare Your Horse for the Big Show Under Adverse ConditionsFebruary 6th, 2013View

    Amie asks:

    Hello loyal advice men!
    So, i have a show with my horse Guinness tomorrow. However, i have a few little problems; 1) I shall be very drunk the night before so will almost definitely have a big hangover as proof of a good night. 2) I live in England therefore, the judges will be well…. boring, snooty and a little stiff. 3) i have an actual live horse to make presentable. Having read your ‘Equine upholstery’ article it was completely obvious you guys are more than qualified to answer my questions! So how do i look spritely with only 4 hours sleep? How do i communicate with this alien species of posh judges? And finally how the hell do i prepare my horse?!
    Thanks! I have faith in you mighty scientists!

    Hi, Amie. Good, tough questions all. You’re right, though, we’re more than qualified to answer them—so much so that this is kind of a waste of our time. We should be solving mazes in our X-Men activity book or something. Ah, well, we’ve started now; momentum will carry us through.

    Let’s start with your first problem, which you mention right out of the gate (HA!): your horse’s name, Guiness. Totally inappropriate. A mistake. A world-class whoopsie-daisy. A flabbergasting fuckup. You might as well make him wear ski boots during the competition, with an anvil strapped to his head. You’ve destroyed your animal’s capacity to perform. Rename him immediately, something dignified and befitting a horse. (A couple of suggestions: Gag Reflex, Onomatopoeia.)

    Once you’ve renamed your large-nostrilled friend “Botox” or “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” you’re ready to go out there and donkey-kick some ass (HOHO!). But you’re right, you’ll need to look good doing it or the judges will dock you based purely on repulsion. Four hours sleep, you say? It’s certainly not ideal, but you can make it work. Here’s how you cover up the deleterious effects:

    1. Wear a mask. Choose something you’re comfortable in; we recommend against iron, although Iron Man is a great option. Great! Iron Man’s a winner, and wearing his mask says to the judges, “Guess what? I’m a winner, too. My heart was torn out of my body by the Taliban, I was imprisoned in a cave in Afghanistan, and using only rocks and worms I was able to create a nuclear heart for myself, whereupon my captors elected me their parliamentary representative.” In fact, something like that might be worth saying out loud just before you take the field.

    That brings us to your question about communicating with the “posh,” “snooty” judges. In short, it’s all about film. Film is the universal language; it is what unites us as a species; it is why, since the advent of moving pictures near the end of the 19th century, there haven’t been any very bad wars. So, beginning with your explanation of your Iron Man mask, make sure that anything you say involves a movie analogy.

    • “Now I’ll perform with my horse, like The Black Stallion.”
    • “We worked really hard on this next move, like Seabiscuit.”
    • “Thank you, judges, for your consideration. War Horse.”

    It’s about subtly weaving the magic of film into everything you say. You’ll enchant the judges, and they won’t even realize how you’ve done it—they’ll assume it has something to do with your actual performance, which, let’s face it, is going to be a ten-foot pile of shit!

    You also ask how best to prepare your horse. Really, he needs a lot of the same things you do to get ready for a big day: plenty of rest; a nice steak dinner the night before, plus some steak, eggs, and bacon for breakfast, with maybe a nice mimosa; a puff or two from the bong to control his nerves; a decent helping of Aderall to get him focused right before the show; and a flashy decorative blanket to wear, so he knows he’s looking his best. Other than these basic considerations, there’s nothing you can do to force a good performance. Maybe, morning-of, put his head in a vice and make him watch the first season of Friday Night Lights? Right after breakfast? Could inspire him.

    The main thing, Amie, is to have a good time. Botox will sense your mood and feed off of it, so make sure you’re relaxed and upbeat; make plenty of reassuring eye contact with him through your Iron Man mask. Remember, there’s no “magic bullet” here—regular bullets work fine on horses!

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    How can I stop touching myself?!?!?December 30th, 2012View

    We received this troubling email from Luke last week. Fortunately, the subject is one with which we’re intimately familiar…

    Hey there!

    For the past 2 years I’ve been single and I can’t stop touching myself inappropriately, I was wondering if you have any devices that will stop me from doing so? Or any idea what I can do?

    For devices, Luke, few things rival that age-old prohibitor of joy, the chastity belt. A bit of history: contrary to popular belief, the chastity belt was invented by a Parisian constable during that ignominious period in France’s past when genital theft had grown rampant. Yes, *genital theft.* Initially, therefore, what we today know as a chastity belt was called, after its function, a “sanctity belt.” As criminals trended from genital theft toward less messy conspiracies, the sanctity belt was repurposed by overbearing parents worldwide who hoped to safeguard their daughters’ virginity until marriage. As we now know, this simply caused a genetic preference in our species for men with snaky, flexible penises that can turn corners before penetrating — nothing could be more obvious or expected to the modern eye, but in those dark early years it was as miraculous and sought-after an appendage as ever mutated its way into existence.

    Of course, chastity belts remain wonderful impediments to self-stimulation, and you should by all means employ one if your wardrobe will allow it. A more subtle addition to one’s “look,” in case you’re picky about that sort of thing, is a good tight pair of sandpaper gloves. They are equally restrictive for the would-be onanist, come in a range of earthy hues, and alter one’s silhouette barely at all.

    Perhaps, though, you are a professional gymnast or stage actor, or a work at a chain restaurant, and are not in a position to influence your own clothing. In that case, it’s your behavior that must change. Fortunately, with just a few strategic nips and tucks, your proclivity for prick paddling can be stemmed:

    Don’t watch pornographic video, look at pornographic pictures, or dwell on lascivious thoughts. Do not watch the final act (roughly the last third) of films or plays — this portion often proves too fulfilling, in a way that can push the mind to thoughts of sex. For obvious reasons, do not cradle warm, bunless hotdogs in your naked hand.

    Do not drink ice-cold beverages, particularly on hot days — the satisfaction gained can easily turn erotic. Don’t play basketball, as the experience of a “swish” — shooting a rimless basket — can set to flickering that unwanted flame. Avoid looking into the eyes or at the chest or arms or legs of anyone you find attractive; focus instead on one of her shoulders. An obvious exception should be made if her shoulders are bare, in which case eyes can be aimed at a street curb.

    Abandon *immediately* any conversation in which one of the following topics arises: rocketry, fur, hot springs, weaving, rowing, poetry, length, or irrigation. Never apply lotions of any kind, even to inanimate objects. When using coins, which is inevitable, cast from your mind the fact that they have “tails,” and never pay by placing them into slots. Avoid furnishings with leather or upholstered surfaces; the furniture in your home should be made exclusively from plastic.

    Don’t caress porcelain. Don’t think about tigers or deer. Look away from precipices and curvatures; use horizons only as reference points.

    Do not stand so close to another person that you can feel their breath. If you find yourself in a crowded bar and feeling the breath of others, pull your coat over your head and stumble to the exit. Do not go to bars.

    Do not use sensual fonts, like those with serifs. Read only text written in “cartoon” fonts. If you must read something written in a sensual font, such as the news or a book, have it retyped first in a cartoon font.

    Do not listen to the music of Katy Perry. Do not watch the films of Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, or one that features a European actress. Never walk around in New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Sydney, Tokyo, or Latin America.

    Only pet dead animals. Avoid desserts; an exception can be made for desserts speckled with bits of hard candy. Do not sit in, discuss, or for that matter think about hot tubs.

    Finally — it’s a small thing, but can make a world of difference — refuse under any circumstances to get into a bed, alone or, needless to say, with company. Sleep sitting in a chair or lying on the floor. Use a blanket only when strictly necessary for survival.

    And there you have it, Luke. Scrupulous adherence to the above precepts will liberate your flesh and mind from the yoke of sexual ardor. The burden cast off, your energies may be redirected toward whichever cause you deem worthy. Good luck! And remember: all things in moderation! It is still fine to jack off once or twice a day.

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    Should I take a year in Australia?December 23rd, 2012View

    dear we are scientists

    i decided to take a year off before i start college next fall and i was wondering whether or not if going to australia was a good way to put a year in. there are some problems though, 1) all my money will probably be all gone after this year, 2) my mom thinks i’m going to die, 3) a guy told me he loves me just as i want to go away. however there are clearly some benefits ie. it will be a pretty banterful year and i can’t get a job here at the moment which means being a bum right now. i don’t know what i should do for the year so i’d appreciate if you could help me since you probably know what australia is like and what not.

    many thanks, gemma

    You’re goddamn right we know what Australia is like, and it’s pretty damn good! It’s the land of milk and honey! Yes, many people hate it there, but nine times out of ten, if you pry a little, you’ll find that during his trip to Australia the dissenter was either mugged (could happen anywhere), beaten in a tennis match (increased likelihood in Australia), or killed by a saltwater crocodile (can also happen near the Nile). Who are you going to listen to, We Are Scientists or a dead person? If you’re like most thinking individuals, you couldn’t care less what a man-size pile of crocodile crap thinks about your life.

    Anyway, your mother’s assertion that Australia will be fatal looks like a knee-jerk reaction to all the anecdotal stories, pictures, videos, and news coverage devoted to killer croc gangs, which yes, *are* a thing, but not as big a thing as your mom thinks. (It is absolutely not accurate to say that 100% of people who visit Australia stumble into a croc’s jaws — the real number is closer to 35%.) But there are a couple of other things giving you pause, aren’t there? One is that all of your money will “probably be gone after this year.” Well, welcome to the club. Everybody’s money supply is always on the wane, it seems! That’s how it feels, anyway. “Where’s the heck does all my money go? Where, O mighty God, where??” But the fact is, everybody’s money supply is *actually increasing.* This is a statistical fact, Gemma. So not only will your money not be disappearing anytime soon, but more of it will be appearing. Not bad, eh?

    And there’s also a young man in the picture — isn’t that right? A fella who has gone so far as to tell you he “loves” you! Well, love is no small thing. It might actually be *the* thing, so doesn’t that mean you should stay put? That you shouldn’t budge from the Arctic research station you’ve called “home” these last 21 years? That you should spend a 22nd winter within the (470 square foot) confines of DS-214A with your parents and Roger, the brilliant 46-year-old climatologist who lately has been looking at you a little differently, and who, when you announced plans finally to set foot out into the wider world, shrieked and sobbed and described in excruciating detail both his love for you and a series of intense, repeating dreams he’s been having about a “mirror outpost” that exists on the northern pole of a planet in a neighboring galaxy?

    Well, yes, that is what it means: you should stay. Crocodiles can be damned, and money has a way of taking care of itself, but if you give up what you’ve got with this Roger person — or, specifically, what he has with you — you may never forgive yourself. More importantly, what if Roger ends up being able to communicate with the inhabitants of that mirror station in the other galaxy, maybe through his dreams? Imagine all the fucked up shit he’ll tell them about you, how you broke his heart and stuff! Being the reviled by an entire alien race, just so you can go have a banterful year down under? Not worth it. Simply not worth it.

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    Critter Companions, Purple Streaks, and Dating ProblemsOctober 8th, 2012View

    I am thinking of getting a new critter companion (my rat has become a crack addict and my cat got eaten by a fox) which do you think will be better to share my life with:a raven called Nero or a Human Botfly named Jenkins?Which do you think would come across more intimidating and less attractive/sexually inticing to cannibals? If you have trouble answering the previous mind-blowing question,which would put you off of eating my flesh more?

    Thank you and good night,
    Twemmy

    Hey, Twemmy. It sounds like what you’re really wondering is how to avoid meeting your end, bit by bit, on the tip of a cannibal’s fork, or between the tips of a cannibal’s chopsticks, or stewing around in a cannibal’s cauldron – stewing, needless to say, in your own juices. Welcome, Twemmy, to a strange old thing called Life. All creatures, from botflies to ravens to rats, spend their days bathed in fear of same-species consumption – what George Bush Jr first called “cannonball-ism.” You are neither special nor new. And yet, be comforted that your fear is not irrational. Why, Andy has a young dog – not still a puppy, but not yet a hound – named Rufus, who has a hard time thinking about anything other than theoretical scenarios in which he is devoured by other dogs. We know this because we have successfully connected his thoughts to a TV!

    Hello, great men of science.

    My name is Lily, and I would like some advice. I just dyed my hair purple (Just a small bit in the back and few streaks up near the front.) What color do you suggest I dye it next?

    Hi, Lily. First of all, Congratulations. You dyed your Hair, You say? That’s really great. Purple, too! Just great. And it sounds like You successfully marshaled Restraint and kept the Dye Job classy — a Little in the Back, and a few Streaks up Front, if Memory serves. No mean Feat, Moderation being a Virtue rarely within easy Reach to Those who set off down the Hair Color Path. So, again, Congratulations!

    And now, though, you’d like to know what Color to use next? Not so fast, Lily. No so flippin’ fast. What’s your Rush? Are you living with a terminal Illness? Has your Doctor given you three Months to live? If so and you simply neglected to mention It, then by all means: On to the next Shade! Hustle to the next Hue! If, on the other Hand, you have Reason to expect that a nice, full Life lies ahead of You, then We implore You: calm Thyself. Enjoy your purple Streaks. Take Them out on the Town. Take Them to Prom. Book Passage for a Year at Sea, and bring your Wine-dark Stripes with You!

    There is a Reason, Lily, that Humankind’s Stores of Hair Dye are running desperately low. It is the fickle, flip-flopping Whimsy of hairy young Women with little or no Sense of Color Commitment. Don’t join their Ranks, Lily! Save your Streaks till Marriage, at least!

    Dear guys,
    I have been very unlucky with the ladies for the last year. I left my ex cause she was crazy, after that I have not been able to find a decent nor sane girl after wards. And since you guys seems to have the best luck in finding some ladies I was wondering if you can help me. On a side note I’ll be seeing you at Maxwells, already have my ticket.

    Thanks,
    Dimo

    Hi, Dimo. First of all, sorry for the tardiness of this reply. Despite your query having been sent in January of 2010, we’re going to push forward under the assumption that you’re STILL having serious lady problems, that they’ve been a brutal plague on all of your adult years. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem like the kind of fellow who, try as he might, just can’t get it right with girls. So here are a coupla tips from a coupla dudes who, as you mention in your letter, “have the best luck in finding some ladies”:

    – BUY THAT LADY A CAR. Old-fashioned but true: girls like guys who have “serious money.” Show her you have serious money by buying her a car. “The first time I see her?” Yes! Before some other guy does! Drive her new car right through the facade of the bar where she’s hanging out to make a strong “money don’t matter” impression.

    – DEMONSTRATE AWARENESS OF CURRENT EVENTS. Women like guys who are keyed in to the world around them. It shows you’re not super-self-obsessed. It shows that although you may well have a name for your penis, you aren’t very strict about people using it. Say, “It’s amazing how much things are happen in a world all day according to some newspapers I like!” Got her.

    – DANCE WITH HER. Dancing is a way of telegraphing what kind of person you are physically. Are you rhythmic? Strong? Timid? Deceptive? It will come across in your dancing. Learn to move as many parts of your body as you can, as fast as possible, when dancing. This will show that you have strong morals.

    – LIAM NEESON. Find a way of getting into a discussion about “favorite actors.” Tell her yours is Liam Neeson. Tell her you think he has a beautiful spirit. Tell her you met him once and he talked for hours about his childhood, about his father, and growing up in Ireland in the 1960′s, and getting shit from the other kids because his home was constructed from whale muscle.

    And just like that, Dimo, you’ll find yourself having flirtatious, promising exchanges with intelligent, funny ladies who are both decent and sane. From there, good friend, it’s up to you.

    Submit your advice requests to advice[at]wearescientists.com. We will get back to you within a couple of years.

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    Snobby boyfriend, haircuts, and first time drinkersMay 20th, 2010View

    name: Elle
    query: My man-friend (not my boyfriend!) always makes us watch movies that make me want to puke. EVERY film is pretentiously foreign or vomit inducing – no honest to goodness, kick someone in the balls and make a crass joke films. No TV sitcoms that aren’t full of English blokes with bad teeth and poor hygiene, NO arrested development marathons – No..they all have MEANING and..what’s that thing,substance? Anyway, they’re all real creepy and it’s annoying because all we do is cuddle up on the couch and watch movies. Listen, I’ve tried drowning them out with glasses of wine – nothing works! How do I get him to watch some shit, funny, non-creepy movies that don’t drive me to alcoholism?

    Sounds like your fella is one step away from centering the evening’s recreation around the viewing of a snuff film. His insistence on and craving for “reality” is a perversion of man’s natural approach to entertainment. Entertainment is not meant to shove our noses into the filthy facts that surround us; its mandate is to whisk us away from that, to take us to a sillier, sunnier place populated by hot people — a place where even the ugly friend character with the whiny voice is super duper fuckable, where, when you watch the show, you fairly ache to fuck that ugly friend. In the real world, people’s ugly friends are legitimately repellant.

    If your guy continues down this road, it won’t be long before the only thing he considers “entertainment” is sport executions and torture, filmed with minimum embellishment so that the authenticity is indisputable. Talk about needing a drink simply to get through the film! You, Elle, will doubtless find yourself turning to stronger and stronger chemical blinders. You’ll come home from work and swallow a handful of Vicodin before you even set your keys down on the counter. Before long, you’ll be little more than a zombie. When lucidity does assert itself — as a result of burning yourself in the kitchen, perhaps, or of falling into an icy river – it will be a place of psychic excruciation so unendurable that you’ll consider jumping out the nearest window just to make the thinking stop. Your partner, meanwhile, will have descended into a world where impossibly graphic displays of agony and dread will feel like the only thing that is truly real. All else will strike him as frivolous, a deception. His skin will grow pale as the moon, his corneas will swell and blacken, and he’ll lose his ability to speak in anything other than a bestial gibber.

    Truly, Elle, your concern is well founded. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do.
    —————
    name: Andy
    query: Dear Sirs, Why does your hair look its best on the day you decide to get it cut? Its a simple psychological thing.

    Yours Andy,
    Dublin

    Good insight, Andy. We would say you’re probably right.
    —————
    name: Tess, Marie & Sara
    query: We have never drank before.  What is it going to be like?  We heard that some people who drink end up feeling funny.  We were hoping to see what “all the hype is about” on July 7th of this year since that is the day that we will collectively turn 21 years of age.  Please grant us our wish of getting drunk with real life scientists because we know that is the only way we will feel safe (who better than scientists to prepare us for physiological effects of drinking).  We’d like this to occur at the Detroit Bar.  That’s in California.

    Please don’t let us down.  The happiness of our lives depend on this.

    Thank you.

    Guys, you’re thinking of doctors; it’s doctors who would be the safe choice to drink with during your first bacchanal. Scientists, with their trademark “objectivity,” their practiced eschewing of emotion, their atheistic belief that the energy in a beetle is the same as the energy in a human being, belong to one of the least safe categories of people to hang out with during an insecure time. “Let’s release some heat into the universe,” they suggest dispassionately as they gun down naive bible salesmen who’ve been careless enough to ring a scientist’s doorbell.

    Of course, we’re not even really scientists. No, seriously! We’re just in a band called “We Are Scientists.” That’s right, we’re rock musicians, undoubtably the very worst kind of person to be around when safety is a concern. Throughout their short history, rock musicians have used any device available to them (Usually alcohol! Often at Detroit Bar!) to self destruct. No, you’d be pretty crazy to hitch your wagon to a rock musician in any situation that (a) involves alcohol, and (b) you will not have armed guards.

    We must, for these reasons, decline your offer. Not that we don’t desperately want to accept, but right now, in the glare of hung-over mid-afternoon daylight, we’re experienced enough to know that if we show up at your birthday party, one of you will end up pregnant, one will end up dead, and one will seriously regret having invited us in the first place.

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    Paddleball, poetry, finding a prom dateJune 28th, 2007View

    name: Mimi
    query: What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
    A muffin has a fish center. A cupcake has icing on top, and has a center of pork or boar. Muffins originated in France and are still considered a top-shelf delicacy in that country; meanwhile, Italians, who invented cupcakes, regard them as acceptable nourishment only for prisoners and cattle.
    —————
    name: blake
    query: how can you understand poetry?
    Ah, but that is the point of poetry: to narrowly skirt the line on whose other side lies total gibberish. A poem should suggest meaning, but you should never be sure of what it’s saying. A poem that you fully understand is a terrible poem that fails in poetry’s one objective: to mystify the reader.
    Here is an example of a perfectly good poem:

    I raked leaves today
    down
    down
    down
    down
    down
    off the roof onto
    your job interview came in the mail?

    Powerfully suggestive, endlessly evocative, but ultimately impossible to parse.
    Here, by contrast, is a shitty poem:
    Mark lent me his ruler this morning

    What makes it bad? The lack of mystery, of the suspense of un-knowing, or antiknowing, or “knowing without knowledge”.
    Let’s take a look at another great classic that you’ll probably recognize from school:
    Running my hand through your hair
    my finger caught a knot.
    I pushed gently
    but the knot wouldn’t not not not not yield.

    Did the knot come untangled, did it “yield”? Did the speaker get his hand out of the other person’s hair, or is it still stuck in there on that knot? The poem leaves this question open, with the possibility of several alternatives. “Not” is repeated so many times that the reader would have a tremendously difficult time figuring out exactly how “yield” is being is modified. The puzzle is rendered utterly insoluble by the addition of the homophone “knot”, which multiplies our confusion to an irreducible degree.
    Is that guy’s hand stuck in that girl’s hair? Great fucking poem.
    —————
    name: Rachel
    query: How skilled are each of you at paddle ball?
    Glad you asked.

    Here’s how we stack up against one another:

    —————
    name: Brandi
    query: Ok i’m A girl and i need to find a prom date but I think it would be very akward to ask a guy what should I do?
    There are a couple of reliable ways to get a guy to ask you to prom.
    1) Go up to a guy and go, “Hey, will you read this out loud? Don’t fucking think about it just read it right now!!” And you show him a piece of paper that has “Want to go to prom” written on it. And so when he reads that you go, “You’re asking me? Oh my god, you’re asking me to prom? Yes, sure, yes! I’ll go! I will! I’d love to go with you!”
    2) Come up behind a guy and grab his hair and hold a big hunting knife against his neck (hold it hard! It’s better to cut him a little than to hold it limply and not sell the stunt) and whisper into his ear, all threatening, “REPEAT AFTER ME. DO YOU.” And then wait for him to say “do you.” Then go, “WANT TO.” Let him say “want to.” Go, “GO TO PROM.” He’s all, “go to prom.” Then, “WITH ME.” He says, “with me.” “BRANDI.” Let him go, “Brandi.” Then get a kind of surprised, kind of embarrassed, but definitely pleased tone in your voice and be all, “Um… yeah. Yeah, sure, I’d love to.” Then knock him out with the butt of the knife, blindfold him, tie him up, put him in your car, and squirrel him away in your basement till prom rolls around, then get him out and take him to prom. This last step prevents him from welching on his offer.
    3) Get a guy’s number and call him up — make it night, like around 4 in the morning. When he gets on the phone be like, “We have your sister.” Disguise your voice with one of those voice disguisers (you can get them at any supermarket). Have the thing make your voice super-deep. Be all, “Unless you do exactly as we say, we will begin cutting off parts and stop when there’s nothing big enough to cut off without the risk of cutting our finger by trying to hold the part that we’re trying to cut the other part off of.” Then put his sister on the phone and electrocute her or stomp her or something to make her cry out in pain. At this point the guy will probably yell something like “OKAY OKAY!! I’LL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!! OH GOD!! OH JESUS JUST PLEASE DON’T HURT HER!!” When you hear those words, that means you’re going to prom. Take a second to congratulate yourself in your head. Job’s not done yet, though. Now go, “Tomorrow you will go to school. You will find Brandi. You will ask her a question. The question will be, do you want to go to prom. If she says yes, you will take her to prom next month. You will rent a limo, and you will get [name of cool friend of guy] and his date to share the limo with you and Brandi. You will make alcohol available to everyone. After prom is over, you will take Brandi to a good hotel and let her fuck you. You will stay over at the hotel with Brandi and let her fuck you again in the morning.” He may need you to go over the details a few times — remember, it’s late at night, you’ve just woken him up, and he’s scared. Tell him his sister will be returned at lunch time on the day after prom. Et, voila! You have a wonderful prom in store! Get rid of the sister as soon as you’ve made the call because she now represents a major liability rather than an important bargaining chip.
    4) Create an email account the name of which has absolutely nothing to do with your appearance or name or anything else about you that this guy would know about. Then email the guy from your new account, and write “Dear [whoever], I have it on good authority that if you were to ask Brandi to prom, she would say yes. You should totally do it, as all us guys[!] agree that she’s the sexiest girl in school. She doesn’t know anything about this. How, you ask, do I know that she’ll say yes then? For many years, I have observed human behavior, making a careful study of what makes people want certain things but not others. I can now tell with a high degree of accuracy how a person will behave in a given situation, even if they don’t really know themselves. The reality is that Brandi probably doesn’t even know your name, much less actively yearn to go to prom with you. However, by watching her for several weeks, I’ve determined that if you ask her, she would say yes, and even go to bed with you after prom. Therefore, it is my professional opinion that you should ask her. Sincerely, an anonymous friend”
    Have a great time at prom! Remember to wipe down your room for any kind of evidence that his sister was ever there, as you’re likely to receive a cursory visit from the cops after the call, and you can never be too careful!
    —————
    name: jostein
    query: I smell bad under my knees. How come? Do i eat too much turkey? ehh? ehhhhh? eh?
    You don’t eat enough turkey. If you ate too much turkey, you’d smell bad on top of your knees. Only by eating the exact right amount of turkey will you eliminate odor from your knees, though eating that exact right amount of turkey can actually cause your cell phone to smell… bad isn’t the word, but intense, somewhere between pine and freshly laid blacktop.
    —————
    name: Amaar
    query: ok guys, so on a scale of one to ten, how hard do you think it would be for someone to put on pants if they had no arms?
    It would be a good 6 or 7 to put pants on themselves, but only a 2 to put pants on someone else, as they would be able to use their mouth.
    —————
    name: Jon
    query: K this question si really important. if i put on a godzilla mask riht now, would i scare all of tokyo?
    Are you the mayor of Tokyo? If so then yes, if you leave the mask on for a few months.

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    Film studies advice/Will you fuck my duck?/What’s the best laptop?/Why do cats scream inside bags?/How do you make yourself happy?/Am I related to Chris Cain?/There is llama-ravioli in my pants/Does your site being pink make me gay?/Please explain quadriplegics’ powers/What should I do instead of uni?/Do lyrics or music come first?March 6th, 2007View

    name: Emma
    query: How would you suggest I get through my Film Studies coursework without killing myself? It isnt even that its hard, its just loooooooong… help :)
    It’s true, rarely does an independent film succeed these days without the protagonist slaying him or herself at some point during the plot’s unfolding — during the first act, often as not. Who can forget Deep Blue Sea, Renny Harlan’s 1973 paragon of independent documentary film making, in which actor Samuel Jackson, the main character, is severed in two just below the ribs by a hyper-intelligent battle shark with a mouth like a bear trap in a world where bears are 40 ft. tall (such as the one proposed in Renny Harlan’s follow-up docu-drama: Space Journey: Bear Planet World).
    But making a big movie that will make big waves is about bucking established trends, not heeding them. So our advice is that you make a film in which you, the protagonist, don’t die until the very, very end. Possibly your death is just implied, even, rather than displayed in loving detail. Granted, this won’t work for a serious film, but a romantic comedy or Pixar-esque family romp might just get away with it.
    —————
    name: Dr Jesse Puddleduck
    query: Dear sirs.
    I have a duck, his name is Pablo and i find him to be about 746% FUNKY. he’s not actually a duck, he’s a plastic duck, a plastic ducks head, stuck on the body of a smaller plastic duck.
    My question is, would any of the members of We Are Scientists like to volunteer to become Pablo Denis Puddleduck’s official sexy man-bitch?
    Regards, Captain Myxomatosis.

    Dear Mr. Captain,
    We are giving your offer careful consideration. One way or the other, after we’ve made a decision we will telephone you regarding your handsome offer. Your issue is important to us, and is being given the attention it deserves. Our expert staff is currently scrutinizing your generous offer in order to provide you with an intelligent, carefully weighed response.
    —————
    name: Remy
    query: What is the best brand of Laptop to buy?
    Okay, are you serious? Unless you’re a total freakin idiot or you’re just looking to throw away money to a gigantic megacorporation or both, there’s absolutely no reason for you not to build your own laptop. Why do that, you ask? Oh, let me think, because it’s lighter, faster, cheaper, better, and more customizable than any piece of crap Dell or HP or whatever evil megacorp you were hoping to sponsor with your purchase. But I don’t know how to build my own laptop, you screech. Well fortunately for you, I do know how, better than you would even after a hundred years of training, and I’m perfectly happy to give you detailed instructions, because I’m not some greed-hungry dictator like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or pick your favorite.
    I’m not going to put together a whole shopping list of things you need to get, rather I’ll just write the instructions down and if you see an item that you don’t have, that means a lightbulb should go on somewhere in your cave-head and you should go buy one of said items. All of the so-called ingredients that you’ll need you can buy at pretty much any store in the world.
    First you’re going to attach your motherboard to the hard drive. First of all, on the side of the box that you buy your drive in there will be a number X rpm, such as 5200 rpm. Make sure that number is divisible by 64 MINIMUM, or you’ll be cursing yourself for the next thousand years as you wait for your computer to calculate five times five or the square root of four or something. Connect the drive to the motherboard. For this you should be using FirstDigital gigaWire with gigaSheath sheathing, or you might as well just buy a piece of shit IBM. (Note that your motherboard should have a MINIMUM of 4 gb cache-process data management speed time processing, or the gigaSheath might as well not be there, like saying sorry to someone who’s dead, and the thing you’re apologizing for is what got them killed.)
    Now you’re going to attach your port array. If you plan on plugging anything into your computer, that is if you plan on using it for anything other than writing “I am an idiot” on the screen a hundred times a day and sending emails to the post office asking them when they can come pick up all the letters you’ve written this week, you need a MINIMUM of the following ports: 3 firewire 800g, 2 firewire 400 (9 pin), 5 USB-powered, 1 SCSI-c (64 nano-pin), 2 digital-to-analog, 2 analog-to-analog, 1 analog, 1 reverse digital, 2 device universalPort, 2 PC card multi, 2 multiPort, 1 audio in, 1 mic in, 1 mic out, 1 mic-to-mic, 1 digital-to-mic. Best way to connect these is to get a slidePort port array housing, drop them in there in whatever order will best serve your needs, and drop it in there.
    Now, how am I going to type on this thing without a keypad, and if so, which keypad? you’re asking. Well, obviously, and the answer is that you want to go one of two ways with the keypad. Either go with a K-Tec LumiGloss 140-key rubberized mini-board, which is what I got my parents last xmas and is pretty much the best keypad in the world, or if you’re going to plan on spending a serious amount of time on this thing and comfort is your highest consideration, go with a TFT 514-key jewelKey iSystem intelliBoard with triple function-key row (F1 through F36), which I would recommend adding the hiddenMouse FreeSpin trackball to, which is the keypad I use, which is easily the best keypad that will ever be invented in our solar system, even if our solar system lasts for the rest of time, and in about five hundred years every scientists dedicates themselves full-time to besting the TFT 514-key. If you’re looking at some piece of crap Logitech keypad or similar, just save yourself the fifty bucks and have a friend run over your hands with his car, because your carpel tunnel is going to be so bad in six months you won’t notice the difference, but you’ll still have fifty bucks, assuming your friend is willing to run over your hands as a favor, gratis.
    Finally, you need a screen. People are of different minds when it comes to screens, but for me there’s really only really one real choice that is large enough to make sense for sitting in front of for multiple hours, but still can be considered genuinely portable: the SJTdigital 24″/18″ multi-length TRUEtone ONEbRIGHT multiTone matte-gloss CMYKameleon invisiTube LCD in size medium is pretty much the only screen on the market that anyone who has ever used a computer will ever willingly use, these days.
    You’re up and running, and you’re not a slave to some evil corporate tech support force who’s going to charge you $15 a second to listen to them work on their accent. If something goes wrong with your new laptop — which nothing will, because if you followed my instructions to the letter you’ve just built the best laptop money can buy — you can just fix it yourself.
    Maybe you’re asking yourself if it can really be that simple, but yes, it can and is. There’s a lot of other stupid additions that people will tell you you should make to your laptop, built in camera, wifi card, etc., etc.. These people work for Gateway or Apple, or they are just complete idiots, which is actually redundant. You can glue all kinds of garbage onto your box, but at the end of the day you don’t need any of it if you’re trying to do serious work without being distracted by little sirens and lasers. Some of my friends, although I wouldn’t really call them friends because of this, own expensive laptops that they ordered from Sony or Dell and these computers look like somebody at Dell or Sony dipped them in glue and then rolled them around in a toy store. This is not what you want. You are not a baby lying in a crib entertaining himself with a crazy mobile that has lights all over it and makes animal sounds. You are an adult trying to get to work on a serious project, and the last thing you need on your laptop is cameras and fins and crap to annoy you and slow you down.
    Don’t worry about trying to pay me for this info. If you really want to repay me for telling you what pretty much anyone who’s ever used a computer could have told you, feel free to blow up the next Circuit City you come across.
    —————
    name: Tone
    query: Why does cats scream when you put them into bags, they love it, don’t the`y?
    The fact is that cats don’t scream when you put them into bags, they purr. Ergo the phrase “sackful of thunder”.
    You may be thinking of a horse, which releases a horrific, jarring scream when put into a bag, even though its apprehension disappears quickly and it can be difficult to pry out once having acclimated.
    —————
    name: laura
    query: how do you make yourself happy? EH?
    One thing that pretty much never fails is to run through your multiplication tables. If that doesn’t work, you’re clinically depressed — there’s a chemical problem in your brain — and the only way to effectively combat it is to play around with injecting your brain with various liquids until you figure out what you’re short on. Start with the edibles, because they’re safest — your apple juice, olive oil, ranch. If squirting that stuff into your brain area doesn’t make you feel like your old self, move on to bath products, then as a last resort cleaning agents, injecting right into the brain via the temple via a syringe. This may seem like an incautious approach, but the fact is that the human body — and the brain specifically — produces and uses not just “natural” stuff like olive oil and fruit juice, but also a cornucopia of “industrial” agents like bleach and Windex, and shampoo that conditions as it cleanses.
    —————
    name: shannon cain
    query: My last name is also Cain and was wondering if I was related to Chris Cain. It would be cool if I were related. please write back!
    The answer is yes! You are Chris Cain’s great granddaughter! He has journeyed through time and space searching, and now he has found you! You can expect a visit from Chris Cain and his ceremonial daggers (“The Serpent’s Teeth”) this very evening! Please leave your door unlocked or a window ajar!
    —————
    name: Tom.
    query: There happens to be llama/ravioli in my pants. I don’t want to get him out, nor do I want him dead. My only question is, how can I adjust my choice in pants to better accomidate the llama/ravioli’s presence? If my pants anger him, he yells at me.
    It sounds to us like you are straight tripping balls, friend — straight tripping balls! The problem may lie not with the llama or the ravioli, nor even with the pants, but with the fact that you appear to be straight tripping on your very balls.
    Our advice is that you concern yourself primarily with the whereabouts of your balls so that you can ultimately spend less time tripping on them. Truly, you’re like a detective who has stumbled onto the clue that will crack the case, except you’ve stumbled right onto your own balls.
    —————
    name: matt
    query: Whats up with the pink side of your site, I like your music a lot but its kind of creepy as far as website experiences go. I have to be all secretive if I view your site to make sure other guys don’t see it. Could you please make it more man friendly.. Am I metro-sexual if I really like your music?
    Great question, great question. Are you a metrosexual if you like We Are Scientists? Probably. You are definitely gay. The only question is, are you a gay girl, or are you a gay dude? If you’re a gay girl, then you’re not a metrosexual. If you’re a gay guy, then you’re a metrosexual gay guy. In either case, you love the color pink, which is why we haven’t bothered to make the website more neutral. What would be the point, when all of our fans are either girls or gay metrosexual dudes, both of whom can’t get enough pink? (Note that here we mean “pink” the color, not “pink” the slang term for girls’ vaginas. Although gay girls love vaginas — be they pink, red, brown, or rainbow, like the toucan — metrosexual gay guys couldn’t care less about “pink” when it means vaginas and not the lovely light shade of red.)
    In short, there is no version of our site with machine guns and german shepherds and beer bongs and chinese stars and pizza in the works. Although if you were to visit any of us at home you would see plenty of that kind of thing.
    —————
    name: pixie
    query: please explain how a quadraplegic can use a walking frame to smash up a mouse, as you suggest [here]?
    It will come as a shock to very few of our readers — though Pixie presumably counts toward their number — that people who are quadriplegic have the ability to control things with their minds. One needn’t follow modern science too closely to know that when a person has lost one or more of his senses, those that remain become more acute: the blind typically have better hearing than their sighted counterparts. This tendency manifests itself in a quadriplegic as a heightening of the telekinetic sense, allowing him to bend spoons using only his mind, to levitate cars, tap phone lines, reverse the planets’ orbits, and yes, to use a walking frame to trample a mouse.
    —————
    name: amelia
    query: dear scientists. i hate my uni degree. i don’t want to finish it or work in that profession. lead me to a more suitable path. what should i do with my time?
    Get nuts, dude! Nobody has ever regretted just getting nuts with their time! Wave goodbye to your cares and sorrows and take the step of getting nuts!
    Here is a list of famous people who have gotten nuts:
    George W. Bush
    And as is very clear to anybody watching, dude is finding it pretty sweet, getting nuts! No regrets about getting nuts! One person we forgot who also regularly got nuts is Orco from the He-Man cartoon — Orco could barely complete simple tasks he was so nuts, but nobody was having a better time with the middle ages than him! Take it from GWB and Orco and use your time wisely with constant nuts getting!
    —————
    name: Sarah
    query: when you write songs, what comes first the lyrics or the music?
    The pile of bills.

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    Who’d Win Out Of Kong & Napoleon?/What Does Brooklyn Have To Offer?/How Do I Know If He Likes Me?/Does W.A.S. Like Chicken?November 5th, 2006View

    name: Peter
    query: Who would win i a battle King Kong or Napoleon(with army)?
    A good question — is the brute juggernaut strength of Napoleon enough to overcome King Kong’s dazzling mind for tactics and strategy? Regardless of the final outcome, what a contest; nobody’s walking away unscathed. Indeed, our guess is that any victory would have to be a Pyrrhic one. Here’s one possible way it could play out:
    - King Kong instigates.
    - Napoleon reacts.
    - King Kong pulls some surprisingly sick shit, right here at the beginning.
    - Napoleon, having none of it, reacts, with force.
    - King Kong is furious.
    - Napoleon is furious. Each party now firmly believes that the other is in the wrong.
    - King Kong pulls out all the stops with a thinking man’s pounce.
    - Napoleon weathers it and fucking comes right back at King Kong with hell glowing in his eyes.
    - King Kong feints, telegraphing one thing, then does something else.
    - Napoleon is feeling terror and rage in equal measure.
    - King Kong, long past the point in his distinguished career of military conquest where he can feel fear, steels himself for the endgame.
    - Napoleon and King Kong both give it their all in a final push for victory; each can go home proud of having tried super hard for his team, and having given the enemy a dangerously tough go of it that he (the enemy) will not soon forget.
    —————
    name: Liz
    query: I’ve been going to art and design school in Brooklyn for 2 years now and still haven’t been able to experience what Brooklyn has to offer…could you recommend some things to do here on the weekends?
    If you haven’t already, you simply must go watch Napoleon and King Kong fight. We dare you to tear your eyes away!
    —————
    name: Franal
    query: How do i know if the lad likes me without actually asking him?
    When you make love, does he sometimes embrace your body with a desperation that can’t be mistaken for the mere physical need to culminate, that is in fact his every cell willing away the physical — the metaphysical — boundary dividing him and you? Don’t sweat it, he likes you!
    —————
    name: Azzy
    query: Do any of you boys like chicken?
    Azzy,
    Take a look at this graph; it was put together by criminologists at University of Michigan, and does a pretty good job of detailing the fairly fluid degree to which each of us likes chicken.


    So let’s walk you through what you’re seeing. Chris, a meat-eater, doesn’t like chicken much for breakfast, but is down with chicken for lunch and loves a good chicken dish for dinner. Chicken rarely shows up in Chris’s dreams, but when it does, it’s neither as an object of desire nor a source of fear or disgust.
    Keith is a vegetarian, and the idea of eating chicken really grosses him out. Perhaps because chicken is so lacking in his diet, Keith’s body manifests lots of chicken consumption in his dreams. A map of chicken’s allure for Keith over the course of one night’s dreams reads like a meat-eater’s average week. That’s because after devouring a chicken sandwich and a cauldron full of chicken nuggets, dream-Keith’s chicken love is temporarily sated; not until later in his dream-afternoon will he again feel chicken’s awful pull.
    Michael’s also a vegetarian, also refrains from eating chicken. Michael dreams almost exclusively, though, of eating chicken. During the day, he tours the world as We Are Scientists’ drummer — playing concerts, signing autographs, sitting down with reporters, eating pasta and vegetables. At night, he sits in restaurants and eats chicken. Chicken, chicken, chicken. Chicken soufflé, chicken pudding, chicken popsicles, chicken lollipops, chicken milkshakes, chicken granola bars: no form is too strange for chicken to take during Michael’s dreams, and he cannot eat enough of it. If you put your ear against the curtain of Michael’s bunk, you hear, “Chicken please… I’ll have the chicken… more chicken… do they make that in chicken?… let’s go to that chicken place… I smell chicken; do I smell chicken?… let’s do chicken…”

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    Advice For An Older Woman…/Clinical Depression/Which Scientist Is Cleverest?/Science Q Re: Oranges/My Name Arouses Me…/Why Are People Selfish Assholes?/Can I Kidnap Keith?June 11th, 2006View

    name: Rufin
    query: How do you get an older girl to like you?
    Dear Rufin,
    You’ve got to get her attention, but in an adult way. Childish antics — starting a food fight, screaming your love from a tree top — won’t work with the mature ladies. Try instead becoming the CEO of a huge company like Tyco or Ford, and being the youngest ever to do so. Or buy a really old castle on a Mediterranean Island and hire a PR company to get Architecture Digest to do a big cover story on you. Or start driving around in a 22 karat gold Hummer. These are the sorts of things that not only imply wealth and influence, but also taste — all very attractive traits to older women!
    —————
    name: Riles G.
    query: Dear We Are Scientists,
    Please read and answer this REAL problem.
    Lately I have been feeling kind of empty. I think I’m lacking excitement in my life. I’m tired of the same old routine. Please tell me….What do I do?!!

    Buy a 22 karat gold Hummer. Driving around a 21k gold Hummer, you can’t help but find excitement and adventure. It comes right to you! Why, you could drive a 21k Hummer around the Antarctic and have a hell of a good time. Once Michael went tooling around the Antarctic in just such a Hummer and he met a talking walrus whom he helped to rescue its master the Ice Princess from the clutches of an ice demon who was holding her in a prison of snow! After she had been rescued, you can bet that the Ice Princess was MOST grateful (wink! wink!), although she wasn’t very attractive and smelled terrible after the long years in the snow prison and so Michael accepted her affections only grudgingly. But accept them he did! And now this is a story that Michael can and does tell to nearly anybody who will listen! About his friend Gordo the walrus and the techniques he learned from Gordo and the Ice Princess that night after the daring rescue!
    —————
    name: Danny
    query: Which of you is cleverest? Also, where should I go to college?
    We are all cleverer than the others at something. Michael is better than Keith or Chris at math, for example. And Keith definitely has the edge when it comes to creative stuff like art and dance and magic. And Chris, of course, is very fast at shining apples.
    As to where you should go to school, that’s a tough question — one that requires a lot of consideration, soul-searching, discussion with family, friends and college representatives. You should go to Harvard!
    —————
    name: Fiona
    query: i respect you guys alot, as i love science. it is currently my life, along with you guys. but i have a confounding question:
    oranges: what came first? the fruit or the colour?
    my science teacher laughed and didnt answer. do you reckon there is some conspiracy there?
    looking forward to your reply.
    fiona, x

    You’re damn right there’s a conspiracy, but it goes WAAAAY deeper than you suspect! What if I told you there’s no such thing as ‘oranges’, and there’s no such thing as ‘orange’, the color??!? Would you then begin to grasp the unrivaled scope of this thing? What if I then confided in you the following: I haven’t had sex or masturbated in something like three weeks! And I don’t miss it or anything, really! THEN would you begin to fathom the sheer, blinding, unparalleled scope of what’s going on here? Of what’s being perpetrated?!
    Present your science teacher with these facts and dare him not to respond!
    —————
    name: Ian
    query: I get DANGEROUSLY aroused by my name…is this normal?
    It is when your name is Ian. No name so successfully blends sexuality, bravado, courage, honesty, intensity, thoughtfulness, ethical commitment, athleticism, historical relevancy, height, surface area, tornado warnings, thermal radiation, and caramel.
    Do you know what the problem would be? The problem would be if you didn’t shoot all over the inside of your pants every time you signed a letter.
    —————
    name: annie
    query: why are people such damn selfish assholes?
    Because you only hang out with damn selfish assholes.
    —————
    name: Katie
    query: I love Keith … I am going to see you at T in the Park, Scotland, in July and I may kidnap him … however this may be tricky … is there any way he could come willingly? x
    Well, if he comes willingly then it won’t be kidnapping. Since you’re so intent on kidnapping him, we have to rule Keith’s compliance out. But it seems like your heart’s in the right place, so we’re going to help you. What you need to do is to set up some kind of snare or cage or trap, and as bait you need to use sludge. Yes, sludge. Keith loves, loves, loves sludge — any kind of sludge. Brown, green, grey, green-grey, grey-brown, brownish-green — it’s all good to Keith Murray. Guy loves sludge! Loves to smear it all over his body! Loves to steep himself in it as though he were tea leaves and it were a steaming solvent! Loves to put sludge in his mouth and squeeze it around between his teeth! Loves to build huts of sun-hardened sludge and live in them for years and years at a stretch! He loves — and this part is kind of a secret — to put sludge in jars and label them with the names of important substances and then sneak the jars into the cabinets of America’s foremost scientists.
    Using some decent muck or sludge, you will certainly snare yourself a Keith Murray. What you do with him is your business, but give consideration to the following plea: When you have finished, bury him in sludge! It would have meant so much to him!

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