Ask Eric Stuff 15

Sweet Odin’s raven! It’s time for the 15th semi-annual bi-monthly edition of “Ask Eric Stuff,” a weekly feature wherein people ask Eric stuff and he answers them, at least once every six months.

If you want to submit your own questions as possible fodder, send them here. Please note that due to the volume of the questions submitted, Eric’s neighbors have been complaining, especially when he reads them late at night.

Dear Eric: I have been working out a lot lately. How much muscle mass should I put on before I can start shaving my chest? — Muscle-bound in Montana
Dear Muscle: However much it takes for you to become gay.

Dear Eric: Who should I vote for in 2004? — Third Party Curious
Dear Three-Part: Ah, don’t worry about it. 2004 is still a long way off.

Dear Eric: I’m always the one to clean the bathroom in our apartment. Even if I don’t do it for a really long time, my roommates never clean in there. How can I get them to do their share of bathroom cleaning? — The Maid in Apt. 114
Arrr, Maidy: If you stop using the bathroom, it won’t matter to you that it’s messy. Start using the kitchen sink for your bathroom necessities, and when a roommate questions the practice, tell her it was the only clean receptacle in the apartment. If you need to pee on her directly to get the point across, well, I would not try to dissuade you.

Dear Eric: Really, what is a “logarithm,” and why are they used? — Hate Higher Math
Dear High: A logarithm is what lumber mills use to make sure the logs are entering the factory at a steady rate. I don’t know what it has to do with math, except maybe some of the logs will be made into pencils.

Dear Eric: Whatever happened to Jared, the Subway commercial guy? — Sabrina from Savage
Dear Savagery: He’s just released a documentary where he eats at Subway three times a day for 30 days, causing him to gradually become an irritating commercial spokesman.

Dear Eric: Several years ago, I dropped out of BYU before graduating. I am now contemplating getting a General Education degree via Independent Study. Should I do it, and would it be worth anything in the job market? — Got My MRS Instead
Dear MRS: Thinking of going back to school, eh? It’s only been “several years,” and already your children are grown, your house is immaculate and your husband doesn’t need dinner on the table when he comes home? Please share your housewifery techniques with the rest of the good sisters who read this column, for I’m sure they would be delighted to know them!

Dear Eric: How do I get my new little kitty to stop clawing his way up the couch? He’s starting to wreck it. — Frayed Nerves and Couch
Dear Frayedy Cat: Animal experts have long known the way to get cats to stop clawing things. First, you need to catch him in the act. When you do, hold him gently but firmly by the neck in your right hand. Then, with your left hand, pull his head off.

Dear Eric: Is it OK to have blond hair and really dark eyebrows? — Bottle Blonde
Dear Blondie: Only if you are a hyena.

Dear Eric: Why don’t books have ratings like movies do? I find it hard to tell which books have inappropriate content. — Righteous in Raleigh
Dear Raleigh and Truly: It’s easy to tell which books have inappropriate content. Just start reading one. When you come to a swear word, STOP! It’s inappropriate.

Dear Eric: My baby won’t stop crying when I put her to bed. How do I get her to go to sleep quietly? — Deaf in Salt Lake
Dear Deafy: Just a wee bit of liquor, such as wine or sherry, placed carefully on the tongue, will make you forget about that screaming baby, if you drink enough of it.

Dear Eric: If bats are blind, why do they have eyes? — Curious in My Chair
Dear Curio: If no one wants to date ugly people, why do they have phone numbers? Seriously, I’m asking. Why? Do you know?

Dear Eric: Did anyone ever tell you that you look a lot like Clay Aiken? — Kristen
Dear “Kristen”: No, but that’s probably because I DON’T. Judge for yourself:

Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken
Eric D. Snider

Eric D. Snider

Yeah, that's Ellen DeGeneres. I thought it would take me a long time to decide whose picture I should put in place of Clay's, but it turns out it only took me a few seconds. The picture of "me" (Brad Pitt, of course) is from a previous column.

When "Ask Eric Stuff" returned a couple months ago, I answered 11 questions, because that's what I remembered as being the usual number when I wrote the column for the paper. Now that it was online only, of course, it didn't matter how long (or short) the column was, but I had to choose a number of questions somehow, and since 11 had been the norm, that's what I went with.

Then, just now, I went and checked, and it turns out the actual number of questions varied, generally between nine and 12. It was never 11 specifically; I don't know why I thought that. It makes sense, now that I think about it: "Snide Remarks" had to be a certain length each time, and since the length of my responses varied, the number of questions that would fit each time varied, too. Anyway, 12 seems like a good number, so that's what we're going with from now on.

"Sweet Odin's raven"? From "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," of course. Only the funniest movie EVER!