Being a columnist for Cracked.com has brought me many things: a fairly large readership; my Peabody Award Nominated-video series Hate By Numbers™, and, of course, a legion of pumped Facebook friends, merely awaiting my request to bring down society Fight Club-style.
And while these friends may be virtual, many of them have found themselves confronted by very real problems. From time to time, --when they’re not busy composing Notes of 25 Things-- they’ve been good enough to share these difficulties with me by asking thoughtful questions. Questions like:
Why doesn’t the chlamydia that Cracked columnist Dan O’Brien gave me respond to treatment like normal chlamydia?
I asked Cracked columnist Michael Swaim to watch my dog while I was on vacation and now whenever Fluffy is approached by a 6’ 4” man, bearing a striking resemblance to a 19th century English lesbian he cowers under the sofa for hours. What should I do?
I’ve lost my faith in justice -- how is it that Cracked columnist Robert Brockway, has a book deal, and you don’t?
Before moving on let me just take this time to say (in order):
a. serves you right;
b. the only cure for being bestiality-raped by Michael Swaim is training your dog to bury Swaim’s videos on Digg.com; and
c. Justice is blind. And functionally illiterate. And also, kind of a dick.
But not all the questions I get are about the terrible things my Cracked colleagues have done. Indeed, I have Facebook friends who don’t even read Cracked. Friends at every age, in every country, and at every level of the world’s socio-economic strata. So as Cracked’s elder statesman, I thought I’d share some of the troubles that have been sent my way, and the solid advice I’ve given, in the hopes that it might be helpful to you, the Cracked reader.
Big fan of HBN. I am an 18 year old girl. People tell me I’m attractive. And that’s sort of the problem. I can’t go a day at my Hot Topic job without some creepy old guy ogling me and saying something disgusting. I want to quit, but I need the work to help pay for college. Do you have any advice?
Yours in bondage,
P.S. Where do you live?
Forgive me for not replying sooner, but I was completing my daily regimen – a ten mile run, followed by bench-pressing my weight twenty times. Unfortunately, I don’t have any easy answers for you, but I’m glad that in your time of need you made the wise decision to share your young and attractive problems with a more mature internet personality.
Now regarding your dilemma, I’m sure it’s nothing you’ve done, but perhaps there’s something about your Hot Topic outfits that is sending the wrong message? It’s hard to say. I think the best way to proceed would be for you to send me several photographs of you in your work attire. I promise to examine them thoroughly and get back to you with answers.
Don’t go changin’,
P.S. I’m going to keep my address private, but this Saturday I’ll be hanging around the food court at the Plain Fields Multiplex, just outside the theatre showing Coraline.
Still, not everyone who writes me has Daddy issues and owns platform boots. Here’s a message I received just last week from an older gentleman with a lot on his plate it seems.
HUGE HBN fan! Anyway, I was hoping you could help me with something. I recently landed a new job. It’s a big deal. I had to relocate from the Mid-West to D.C. I’m under a ton of scrutiny. And the worst part is, the guy I replaced messed everything up so bad that there is honestly –between you and me—absolutely no way for me to make things right in four years. Any ideas?
-Sent via Blackberry-
Having held some high level jobs myself I can certainly appreciate your situation. For example, I remember when I got promoted to senior book stocker at Barnes & Noble. Every day, my boss would scan the aisles to make sure that any book we had three or more copies of had at least one copy facing out to the aisle. Also two face out books were not allowed to be adjacent to each other. It was pretty rough. Is your new job like that?
Anyway, all you can do is your best. And if it doesn’t work out, you can always do what I did. Go up to your boss. Look him straight in the eye, and say “I don’t need this job. I’ve hit the home page of Digg.com more than twenty times!” Now I realize that perhaps your achievements aren’t as notable as that, but I’m sure you have things to be proud of too, and don’t forget it!
Also, why was relocating to DC so hard? I hope you weren’t making a subtly racist comment about the city’s large African American population. Come on. You're better than that.
Sometimes the requests for advice come in the form of late night Facebook instant messages. And while Facebook chat is more intimate and immediate than a message, Facebook friends should be aware that chat can be more finicky, and always raises the possibility that I’m having technically difficulties even though I really would just love to chat with you:
Jessica: ZOMG, I can’t believe you answered.
G-Stone: I do that sometimes. What’s up?
Jessica: Dan O’Brien gave me a medicine-resistant strain of chlamydia.
G-Stone: I covered that already. Anything else bothering you?
Jessica: Yeah, how did I get SO DRUNK right now! LOL!
**G-Stone is offline**
And finally, some people have come to me seeking advice that –unlike the rest of this article— appeals to the good people of the Digg community.
How do I sync my I-phone wirelessly in Linux?
P.S. Please find photos of me in Hot Topic attire, attached.
A real person, not a shameless ploy to attract Diggers with technical content (“ARPNASPTADWTC”)
Here’s a link I though you might find useful.
Thanks for the pics.
Well, I think that provides a nice sample of the valuable services I provide daily to my treasured Facebook friends. Do you have the guts to become one? Are you bold and sexy enough to join Facebook’s fan site Gladstoners? I think you are. I believe in you.
Also, there’s a chance in hell I might do another advice column post so feel free to send along your questions after joining up.
Have you checked out Gladstone's WebsiteKafka Lives In Maine?