Thursday, August 29, 2013

Advice Column

Sometimes I get emails asking for advice. Sometimes I respond to them.

Here are a few:

Dear Sean,

Recently, my hometown has been beset by...well...I guess you'd call them zombies. After fleeing from the rampaging hordes (who spread their undead plague by feasting upon the brains of the living) my family and I have fled to the local mall. We have fortified our position, and the barriers we have constructed at the mall's various doors seem to be holding, but we are bored, and have only large soft pretzels to eat, and orange smoothies to drink. How would you recommend we escape from this perilous situation?


Dear Mary,

Zombies are funny to me. See, they're not alive, but they still move around and stuff. Plus they hunger for the flesh of the living. That's what makes them scary, right? But when you REALLY think about zombies, they aren't scary at all. I mean, their flesh is rotting. So theoretically, if you hold out for a week or so, they're going to fall apart. Like, their arms and legs will fall off as the ligaments and tendons that hold them together fall off of their bodies. They'll fall apart even faster if it rains, or if flies lay eggs inside of them. Also, zombies are REALLY dumb. They possess, at best, the intelligence of a very hungry panda. And you know what's not scary at all? Pandas. Seriously, how are pandas not extinct yet? So if you get impatient, just remember that zombies are wicked dumb, and you could probably crawl out of an air-duct or something and they wouldn't even notice.

In closing- zombies- not scary, kind of dumb, will fall apart with time.



Dear Sean,

I am a sentient candelabra. Once, I was a man. I had a nice job as a steward in a large castle working for an annoying, but mostly harmless prince. However, the prince was rude to a witch one time (as teenagers tend to be towards elderly folks) and she cursed him! She turned him into a monster- a regular beast, and everyone in the castle into animate inanimate objects. 

So here is my question- as my body is now comprised of bronze and three wax candles, how do I move? 


Dear Lumiere,

I can totally understand why a witch might curse a teenager. Frequently, when I ride the train home from work, I encounter teenagers listening to loud music, harassing elderly folks, and just generally being a nuisance, and I think to myself "Sean", I think "You should use magic to turn these teenagers into something unpleasant, like a frog or JJ Abrams". But I don't because that seems like an overreaction. So to turn a rude teenager into a beast, and to turn his servants who didn't hurt ANYBODY into appliances or whatever seems way out of line.

As to why you can move when the materials your new body is composed of are not malleable- I'm guessing that what appears to be wax or bronze is actually some sort of organic compound that merely resembles those materials. You probably have developed an exoskeleton- a carapace- like an insect, or a crustacean. Your insides are probably still organic- meaning you still have a brain, stomach, muscles, etc. This would explain why you can move, speak, and still feel sexual urges towards feather dusters.

Or you know, magic or whatever.



Dear Sean,

I am a Tyrannosaurus Rex and I am very concerned about how my kind are portrayed by the mainstream media. Frequently, in movies, and TV programs, T-rexes and other dinosaurs are portrayed as being slow-moving, and covered in scales. Don't the people who make entertainment follow paleontological journals? Don't they know that current fossil evidence suggests that dinosaurs like myself were warm-blooded, and covered in feathers? Don't they realize that modern birds PROBABLY evolved from guys like me? In fact there's evidence that chickens evolved from t-rexes? 

Really, I just want to see a t-rex like me on the big screen covered in beautiful, downy feathers. Is that too much to ask? I am gorgeous, and the world needs to know.

Truly Yours,


Dear T-Rex,

Seriously, right? Here's the deal- when humans (like myself) first started researching the dinosaur fossils we found, we were all like "Sharp teeth? Long tails? Must be some kind of ancient alligator thing". If you go back and watch REALLY old movies with dinosaurs, you guys basically looked like big iguanas. Because that's basically what we thought you were. But, as time has gone along and we've gotten better at science and found more fossils, we've realized that yeah, you guys are basically birds. However, humans can be really weird about stuff like this. See, when somebody draws a picture of a dinosaur with feathers, people get really pissed off for some reason. They say stuff like "That doesn't look like the pictures of dinosaurs I grew up with! I hate change! Don't change things! Make it like the dinosaurs from "The Land Before Time"", and Hollywood is all like "Marketing, marketing marketing" and science is all like "but science" but then Hollywood is like "EARLY TEST SCREENINGS AND GOOD WORD OF MOUTH AND TUMBLR" and science goes and plays in a corner with literature, art, and other stuff that is awesome but doesn't always sell well.

Basically T-Rex, I'm not sure what to tell you. I'd like to think that some day we'll live in a world where the folks who make entertainment get together with the folks who make science to create dinosaur movies with feathered dinosaurs, but for the time being I'm not hopeful. If I were you, I would go find a sickly triceratops, and eat it. That always makes me feel better.



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