I have a regular feature in “Snide Remarks” called “Ask Eric Stuff,” where people ask me advice questions, a la Dear Abby, and I give sarcastic, unhelpful answers. It’s a comedy bit, not intended for serious questions.
The place where you can submit questions, here, makes it very clear what they’re for: By submitting a question to “Ask Eric Stuff,” you’re providing me with a set-up for a joke. If you have a REAL question to ask of me, you don’t submit it through “Ask Eric Stuff.” “Ask Eric Stuff” doesn’t ask for your e-mail address, so even if I wanted to reply, I wouldn’t know how to contact you. To send me a real e-mail, you use the regular contact form, such as can be found on 99 percent of all Web sites.
But still, I get about one “Ask Eric Stuff” question a week that is obviously a real question, sent by someone who wants an actual piece of information from me. Why would a smart person submit a real question through “Ask Eric Stuff”? Ah! It’s a trick question! A smart person wouldn’t.
It should be no surprise, then, that many of these e-mails are not only submitted the wrong way, but consist of very stupid questions to boot. (I have had two so far asking me for Raven-Symone’s e-mail address.) Here’s the latest:
I want to know when will you be coming to Dallas Tx. and will you be doing the play “The Nerd” again? Thank you
I’m guessing this person (he signed his name Arthur) stumbled across one of my theater reviews for the play “The Nerd,” and then made the following errors:
1. He concluded that since he had found the review on my site, I must be the one who performed in the play. (Performed in it, and then wrote a review of myself, I guess.)
2. He figured that not only do I star in this play, but I also take it on the road and must surely have Dallas on my itinerary.
3. He found the “Ask Eric Stuff” link and, failing to read even one word of the text above the “submit your question” box, sent me his query, failing to include an e-mail address so I could respond with the information he requested.
4. He continued to live and breathe even though he is very, very dumb.