When people need advice on matters of a most personal nature, they turn to Ask Eric Stuff, the occasional feature wherein Eric gets asked stuff and sometimes sort of answers the questions, indirectly.
All of these questions were actually asked by actual people. You can submit your own queries here. [link outdated] Please note that Eric cannot respond personally to each question, because a lot of them are really stupid.
Dear Eric: What should I do with my hair? — Indecisive
Dear Indie: Clean it out of the bathroom sink, for starters.
Dear Eric: Do you believe in love at first sight? — Hopelessly In Love
Dear Hopeless: It depends on how powerful the binoculars are, and whether the curtains are drawn.
Dear Eric: Is it a waste of time to play video games? My wife says I should turn them off and play with my newborn son. What do you think? — LacksvitaminD
Dear Lax: This cannot be a real question. A grown man who plays video games — and yet who claims to be married and even to have procreated? Please.
Dear Eric: Who would win in a fistfight between Super-Dell and the geeky Dell computer kid? — Don King Wannabe
Dear Wannabe: The Dell computer kid has more muscle mass than Super-Dell, as does your average kitten. However, Super-Dell has all the powers of the Dark Lord Satan. I’d call it a draw.
Dear Eric: How many lawyers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? — Curious Carl
Dear Curi: It only takes one lawyer to screw anything.
Dear Eric: Every time I try to give my girlfriend a kiss she pulls away at the last second. Is there something wrong with me? — Dumbfounded in Denver
Dear Dumb: Yes. You keep calling this woman your “girlfriend” when she clearly wants nothing to do with you.
Dear Eric: What’s the difference between Coke and Pepsi? — Cola Lover
Dear Bubbles: “Coke” is short for “cocaine,” which is a highly addictive chemical substance. “Pepsi” is short for “Coca-Cola,” which is a highly addictive chemical substance.
Dear Eric: What do you think of Orson Scott Card’s comment in one of his columns that you are the “funniest humor writer in America?” — Online Reader of Meaningless Columns
Dear Misquoter: Actually, he said I’m the “funniest Mormon writer,” and while “humor” and “Mormon” are similar, they are not exactly synonyms. At any rate, to answer your question, I’m flattered. I thought Card’s “Ender’s Game” was really funny, too.
Dear Eric: Do people think you’re funny in real life? Or do they just feel sorry for you and give you that curtesy smile? — Holding my breath till you answer
Dear Breathless: It’s more courtesy than curtesy, but yes, there’s a condescending smile involved. As for feeling sorry for me, if I can’t have people’s respect, I have no problem taking their pity. (Or their money.)
Dear Eric: If dogs sweat through their tongues, what are their armpits for? — Hot Dog
Dear Hotty: Same as humans’ armpits: for making comical flatulence noises.
Dear Eric: Why do people at work who have less experience and appear to be far less qualified than the rest of us seem to get promoted faster than everyone else? — Busy Beaver
Dear Beavie: I can’t really relate, because no one I work with has less experience or is less qualified than I am. But if what you say is true, then I must be due for a promotion. Do they usually get raises, too? Because I could really use one.
Dear Eric: Why do guys make girls cry so much? — Teary in Texas
Dear Tex: Because it’s easy.
These columns are a fair amount of work to write -- easier than some, harder than others -- but the end result is usually that I have nothing to say in the commentary. Sorry.
I will mention, though, that it was at Mr. Scott Card's Web site -- www.hatrack.com -- that he said the thing about me being funny. And that "Ender's Game" isn't actually funny, but "Saints" kind of is, but mostly not.
It was pointed out to me by 1,000,000 different readers (including Mr. Scott Card himself) that he did, in fact, call me the "funniest humor writer in America." It was in one of his columns, here. However, on the front page of his site -- which is where I was looking -- he only said "funniest Mormon writer." I am even more flattered that the qualification "Mormon" was not included in his original praise, since there aren't that many funny Mormons anyway.