Heavy Meddle: The Lightning Round

In which our advice columnist tackles readers' questions in a rapid-fire, light-hearted way. (derek_b/Flickr)
In which our advice columnist tackles readers' questions in a rapid-fire, light-hearted way. (derek_b/Flickr)

Welcome Meddleheads, to the column where your crazy meets my crazy! Please send your questions to email. Right now. Not only will you immediately feel much better, you’ll also get some advice.

Every now and again, we take a break from longer and more considered responses to offer quick and dirty responses to simpler questions. Let them be received in the light-hearted spirit in which they are offered…

Q: My boyfriend is addicted to games. What is it about online/video games that gets men so worked up?
A: The joystick?

Q: What’s the best way to make it through winter in Boston?
A: Hibernate.

Q: Sometimes I have gas at work. Is it okay not to say anything if it is silent and others are present? I don't like to draw attention to myself.
A: Then stop farting around your co-workers.


Q: How do I convince my male roommates to clean up after themselves and still keep the house clean without acting like their mother?
A: Throw away anything of theirs they refuse to put away. Place all debris, dirty dishes and unwashed clothing or towels in their rooms.

Q: How do you draw the line once and for all with a meddling mother-in-law?
A: Permanent marker.

Q: How do you maintain a positive attitude?
A: I don’t.

Q: What is your advice for a lifelong insomniac?
A: Stargaze.

Q: Is a smartphone a necessity?
A: No. Food is a necessity. Water is a necessity. Oxygen is a necessity. The rest is negotiable.

Q: How can I deal with a coworker who drives me insane?
A: Smile and keep walking.

Q: What is the most polite way not to eat a god-awful meal prepared by a spouse?
A: Feign illness.

Q: What’s “cognoscenti”?
A: It’s Italian for “intellectually insecure.”

Q: What is the secret to dating while being a single parent?
A: Dependable babysitting.

Q: How do I stop my neighbor's dog from barking?
A: Have you considered a mild sedative? (For yourself.)

Q: Now that we've broken up, how do I convince her to let me use the boat?
A: Offer to wash and wax the exterior and swab the decks. Then get on your knees and beg.


Okay folks, now it's your turn. Did I get it right, or muck it up? Let me know in the comments section. And please do send your own question along, the more detailed the better. Even if I don't have a helpful response, chances are someone in the comments section will. Send your dilemmas via email.

Steve Almond is the author of the book "Against Football."


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