Incompetent Advice

I'm 30 years old, divorced, underemployed, I live alone with one extremely neglected houseplant, and I've had more breakups than Liz Taylor and more jobs than someone twice my age. Do you really want my advice? If so, email Disclaimer: I am not qualified to dispense advice. The only degree of any kind I hold is in journalism, which only qualifies me for good grammar and poor income prospects. Whatever happens afterwards is your lookout.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Dear Shannon,

My church has an annual convention in a different city each year, and my responsibility for the upcoming convention is for the first party of the convention - usually a bunch of icebreakers coupled with dinner. Anywhere from 250-500 people are expected, and the party lasts for about 4 hours.

I had a whole bunch of ideas about icebreaking games, activities and so on. However, people hate icebreakers. They’re lame, they're boring and they suck beyond words. So, here is my party icebreaker, a guaranteed crowd pleaser that requires no planning:

“Say, does anybody have any cool scars?”

Think about it. Everyone has scars, and everyone has cool injury stories to accompany the scars. You can bank on it.

Dear Shannon,

People keep following me out to LA and stealing all of my cheap beer. What should I do?

Underemployed and Loving It

P.S. I'm telling mom you're giving out advice on the Internet again.

Dear ULI,

An important part of life is learning to become unappealing. I call this my “gawk at a baby” theory, in honor of my favored method of escaping a bad first date: find a baby or toddler, and gush for 10 minutes about its cuteness. Sends 95% of men running for the hills, and the other 5% can be handled with a basic restraining order.

Oh, wait, this was about you and not me. The point is, you are going to have to work to make your beer less appealing. In the mighty hierarchy of cheap beer, there is only one thing less appealing than the Beast: National Bohemian.

Also, tell Mom whatever you want. For once, I’m the one with a paycheck. Ha.

This Week’s Advice to a Stranger:

I’m cheating a bit this week, as I actually know this person. I work with her. God help us all.

Dear Stranger,

I guarantee you the entire office does not need to hear about your medical issues. I also cringe at all of the following statements:

“So, I woke up with a terrible rash, and my entire throat closed up.” Yet she can still talk.

“Well, first he’ll have to drink a glass of barium.” Mmm, breakfast of champions.

“The problem is that all four of these kinds of pills are the same size!” Rock on, Grace Slick.