I just finished a month-long job as a day camp counselor for 2-year-olds. With screaming ringing in my ears and my head dizzy from all the toys thrown at me, I am now about to spend a whole month at home. What do you suggest I should do? My interests include crafts, writing and reading, and music. May your wisdom shine forth and illumine my path, which is littered currently with sheer boringness.
As the first two months of your summer were spent controlling children, the final month, as to balance the prior two, should be spent uncontrolling (this is not a word) children. Spread child-chaos! Give firecrackers to preschools, distribute pixie sticks to the babysat, remove all safety features from public playgrounds, and feed children sugary cereal but not as part of a balanced breakfast. For every bit of order you introduced to 2-year-olds, you must introduce an equal amount of toddler-entropy. Then, if you have time left over, spend that crocheting covers for books about writing music, as to cover your other interests. Another option: volleyball. It’s perhaps less severe as the other option, but volleyball can be a very rewarding sport.
Reid, I keep having the same nightmare over and over again in which a giant half beaver, half platypus watches me eat breakfast. What does this mean?
First off, I must correct you—a platypus is already half beaver and half duck, so what you’re really saying is some kind of ¾ beaver, ¼ duck animal watches you eat breakfast in your dreams. That’s a lot of beaver; are you sure it’s not just a beaver? Does it have a duckbill? This is very important. Whether a beaver or a platypus observes your meal has profoundly different consequences.
If a beaver watches you eat, well, this is hardly a nightmare at all! In Norse mythology, a dreamed beaver was said to predict victory in battle, and a nourishing and healthful breakfast. The Vikings were all about breakfast; besides the feast of skulls they considered it the most important meal of the day.
However, if a platypus watches you eat, this is not so much a good tiding as much as it is an indicator of a severe psychological disorder. The beaver dream is often a symptom of BIID, or Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a condition in which a person desires fervently to be an amputee. You see, the animal in the dream is almost entirely beaver, but there’s a small bit of duck that doesn’t fit, that shouldn’t be there, that the patient wishes could be removed. Ask yourself: do I like my right arm? What about my left? And my legs, do I like them, too?
If it truly is between a beaver and a platypus that you’re dreaming of, I guess the meaning is a mix of the two—lop off a leg and get ready for a healthy breakfast of your enemy’s bones!
Okay, so. I have been feeding my pet walrus walrus meat for the last few months as revenge for him stealing my bowtie collection. Does this make me a bad person? Should I tell him? I just don't want to break our trust......
This almost certainly makes you a bad person, at least when it comes to your treatment of walruses (walri?). You see, this walrus meat you’re feeding your bowtie-pilfering walrus is called “offal,” and it can contain almost any walrus meat, even brainmeat. This brainmeat can contain prions, which are misfolded proteins that can infect a living animal with rude diseases. In cattle, the same process causes Mad Cow Disease. Long story short: you’ve created Mad Walrus Disease.
If your walrus is infected, you won’t want to tell him, obviously, because he will be mad. However, if not infected, it’s completely appropriate to come clean—walri are actually quite accepting of cannibalism.
How can I convince people cats are evils?
Just as I’ve done to countless television shows, movies, bands, and restaurants, the best way to make sure someone hates something is to never stop talking about how awesome it is. Radiohead, Batman Begins, Gordo’s Burgers, Battlestar Galactica—there are some people who will never like these things because of my frantic overselling. The secret is this: overdo the praise of cats to the point where you become so annoying that whatever pleasure could come from liking cats will be grossly outweighed by the joy in hurting your feelings with cat-hate. Never stop talking about how good cats are! Pepper it into every conversation! “I heard that one time a cat called 9-1-1. Cats are better than other animals because they’re pretty. Oh, cats? Yeah, I love cats. Cats tip really well in restaurants. You guys talking about cats? I LOVE CATS!” A couple months of this, and every person you know will think cats are the vilest creatures on earth. They will also hate you, but that’s the price you pay for spreading cat-hate.
That is it for this week! If you have any quandaries or concerns requiring my sincere advice, leave your question in the comments and I will answer them next week.