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How to Train Your Pet to Do Anything

How to Train Your Pet to Do Anything

FROM: wallflower19

Hey Reid! Can you please explain to me what the necessary components of an expository essay are? My mind just went blank.

I’d be happy to explain such components to you! Heck my middle name is “Expository,” not that this necessarily means someone is an expert on something. My dad’s middle name is Edward, but he hardly knows anything about Edwards—it’s like he’s not even trying. But in this case, I actually know quite a bit about what should go into an expository essay. Here are the components in order:

  1. Title: Subtitle. This is the classiest type of title. For example: Birds: Nature’s Airplanes.
  2. Fake Introduction. You need to lure the reader into a false sense of security. “This is the opening paragraph, this must be the introduction!” WRONG! This paragraph doesn’t need to relate to anything, it’s purely to play the reader for a sap. A rube.
  3. Introduction. Introduce your thesis and main points of the body.
  4. Body. If your essay were a person this would be the intestines, maybe even the lungs.
  5. Thorax. The midsection of an insect’s body.
  6. Flashback sequence. Make the text wavy and sepia toned during this portion, and repeat text from earlier in the essay.
  7. Fake Conclusion. Pretend you’re going to end the essay, lure the reader into a false sense of security, and then hit them with the…
  8. Conclusion. Whoa! You had even more points to make!? The reader definitely didn’t expect this.
  9. Epilogue. Follow a side character mentioned in the essay doing a mundane task, and then have a sinister figure kill them mysteriously. This lends to an overarching narrative and sets up the sequel essay.

FROM: GallagherGirl11

Dear Reid, I've been trying to teach my rat how to sit on my shoulder like a parrot, but she won't stay once I set her there, what can I do to get her to listen to me and have her do what I want her to do?

Before we tackle making your rat do everything, let’s focus on the shoulder sitting. What you want to use here is a three-prong approach:

  1. Vocal Reinforcement.
  2. Pork up that shoulder.
  3. Sticky shoulder.

First, you need to speak to your rat; be authoritative but reassuring. Tell your rat that the shoulder is its place, and dole out the compliments every moment the rat stays on that shoulder. Second, you need a way bigger shoulder. Rats are nimble creatures, but the larger the platform, the more inclined they will stay. You’ll need to go on a high protein shoulder-mass diet. Lots of apples, milkshakes, and cellulose, the foods we typically associate with shoulder weight. Finally, you need a sticky shoulder: smear that thing up with honey.

This approach works for almost anything you want your rat to do, just change the specifics as needed. For example, to get your rat to fetch the newspaper, vocally reinforce the behavior, make the newspaper bigger (buy a lot of ad space), and of course, smear your shoulder with honey.

FROM: the_lol_chick

Dearest Reid,
I have a query, an important one. Everyday, no matter where I go, it's like this shadow keeps following me. Not a the-light-is-being-blocked-therefore-there-is-a-shadow type of shadow, or a Vashta Nerada, but a ghostly type of metaphysical shadow. Please help me Reid, as I'm afraid that this shadow will get bored of stalking me and hurt me and/or my dogs. I've already tried a hammer to its head and needless to say that didn't work. Also, this is a true story.

As we are aware, the way to combat a physical shadow is with physical light. Thus, the best approach to combat a metaphysical shadow is with metaphysical light; this is the light produced from personal enlightenment. To rid yourself of this darkness, get enlightened! Come to understand a confusing subject, have an emotional breakthrough, anything that makes you go, “Ah ha!” I, too, used to have metaphysical shadows, but I learned a little bit about quantum physics, and then traced my aversion of tomatoes back to a traumatic tomato incident from my childhood. I had some good cries, ate a few tomatoes, and after that, my metaphysical shadows were gone. However, just as physically shining a light both destroys and creates shadows, so too will metaphysical enlightening just create more metaphysical shadows. Thus, the real secret: get friendly! Have you tried asking your shadows about their day? Sometimes all a shadow really wants to do is talk. Life can be lonely for people, even shadow people.

That’s it for this week! If you have any questions that could use some keen advice, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them next week.

Topics: Life
Tags: writing, pets, advice, bad advice, reidfaylor gives you bad advice

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About the Author

Reid Faylor is a stand-up comedian, cartoonist, writer, and whimsically bearded gentleman living in New York City. He owns a cat named Mr. President. You can follow his tumblr at

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