Sunday Advice Column #22


Right now my mind is absorbed with an article about Stranger Things I’m putting together for  later in the week. I want to watch the series again after reading some other people’s pieces, to make sure I’m not going over any already trod territory.

My initial thoughts on the series are that it is nearly perfect at the game it’s playing. For horror fans of a certain age, it’s a very pleasurable piece of curated nostalgia. It’s Norman Rockwell for Stephen King fans. It’s so specific to what it is, and adheres so much to its own rules, it feels like it resists the usual dreary quasi-academic critical theory you see over at Slate and Gawker. It’s amazingly apolitical and almost completely unburdened by the need to explore modern anxieties. Because of that, it doesn’t do the job of true horror. I’ll shelve this for now.

On to the questions.

Do Ouija Boards work?

I don’t think they work at all. The easiest way to debunk them is the method Penn & Teller used on one of their shows awhile back: blindfold everyone. When people can’t see the board, they can’t spell anything. It’s all being done by your corny subconscious.

When I was in middle school and still believed the boards were real, I came up with the idea to use one to answer the multiple choice questions on a take home test. It did not go very well. Of course, there are stupid people, so why wouldn’t there be stupid ghosts?



What’s the greatest experience you’ve ever had when your flight was delayed?

I can’t think of anything positive that’s happened because of a flight being delayed. The last time it happened to me I was stuck on the runway in New Orleans for two hours, crammed next to a sweaty woman about to go into diabetic shock, while the technicians tried to fix the A/C.

What’s the best firearm for fighting zombies? 

There are a ton of ways to answer this, but the short answer is: a .22 rifle with a suppressor, high capacity magazines, and some sort of red dot scope. For zombies, all you really need is .22 ammo. It’s light, so you can carry a ton of it. With the suppressor, it’ll also be very quiet, to prevent you from attracting more of the dead.


If enemy humans are in the mix, you might want something with a little more punch, but this rifle will allow you to dispatch the armies of undead as well as successfully hunt small game.

What’s the best response when Muslims or Jews condemn you for eating pork because pigs eat feces and have parasites?

Pigs eat nasty shit and do have parasites, so I don’t know I could argue with them against it, but mostly I don’t like arguing with people about food. No one is ever convinced and all you can really control is yourself. If someone is condemning you for something, you have to examine if they’re right or not, then choose to change your behavior or not. If you don’t feel like changing, fuck ’em.

Do guys care about the kind of underwear girls wear?

Early in a relationship, sometimes. Later in a relationship, clean and willing to have it removed for romantic purposes is enough.

What are the most notable banned album covers?

The one that made the biggest splash in my own life was the original robot rapist cover for Guns N Roses’ Appetite for Destruction.


It was designed by artist Robert Williams. At the time the band said it was supposed to represent the industrial system raping our system. After retailers wouldn’t stock the album, they switched the cover to the cross with skull faces of the band image.

Before this, I never really considered whether or not an album’s cover would be banned. As a little kid, the whole thing never made sense, because the image was included in the liner notes anyway. I guess I’ve never thought it did much good to cover things up like a Victorian.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when shooting a gun without having done any training?

The NRA’s safety rules cover most of the dumb things people do. Most mistakes are from people watching too much TV. Don’t point the weapon at anything you don’t want to destroy. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. Always treat every firearm as if it is loaded.


The safety stuff is far more important than tactical training. I recommend taking a basic safety course if you plan on getting in to shooting. After that, you can get into correcting stuff like grip and aiming.

Shooting is a martial skill. Just like anything else like it, archery, etc., it takes time to learn and it needs to be done safely. The great thing about gun culture is the people involved in it are very friendly and helpful. I’ve never seen anyone be shitty at a range. If you have questions, there are always plenty of old timers around to get advice from.



Is it ok to drink alcohol at a child’s birthday party? 

If you’re not driving and you don’t plan on getting too fucked up, I don’t see why not. People forget that kids see everything, though. While you think you’re being clever by calling it “mommy’s juice” just know that your children are already on to you.


What are some secrets boys rarely share with any girls?

Well, they wouldn’t be secrets if I shared them, would they? I will share this: no man I’ve ever talked to has ever mentioned cellulite. I have never heard anyone say “she’s hot, but she had a little cellulite.” Men do not care at all about it.

But women sure do. I’ve heard women speak in the most jealous, hateful tongues about women who do not appear to have any. No men care. Seriously. This is not a thing. Save your money on that bullshit snake oil for preventing it. No one cares.



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