Ask Eric Stuff 24


Summertime, and the livin’ is greasy! It’s time for a June edition of Ask Eric Stuff, the kid-tested, mother-approved feature in which people ask Eric stuff and he replies with witty, quotable answers, the use of which will drastically reduce global warming.

So you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, bub! How can I, an ordinary civilian, submit a question to be used in future Ask Eric Stuff columns?” And the truth is, it’s so simple, even a monkey with autism could do it (and many often do, I think). You go here and use our English alphabet to type words in the boxes. Then the magic Internet pixies bring your question to Ask Eric Stuff headquarters, and the process is set in motion! Huzzah and hooray!

And now: the questions. Silence, please.

Dear Eric: what can you do when your bored? — Aliyah
Dear Al: Well, you could always do some English homework.

Dear Eric: How can “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean exactly the same thing? — Lucky
Dear Luckee: Sometimes “fat” and “slim” do mean the same thing. For example, when your wife says, “Does this dress make me look fat?,” and you reply, “No, you look slim.”

Dear Eric: I am a pianist who accompanies vocalists for a living. Unfortunately, most of my clients have conveniently forgotten to pay me this month. How can I tactfully remind my singers that they need to dish out the dough? — Moneyless in Mesa
Dear MIM: Next time you’re accompanying a delinquent singer, ignore all the flats and sharps in the sheet music. When the singer asks why you didn’t play them, say, “Sorry, I had to sell all the black keys on the piano to pay my rent.”

Dear Eric: Why does the minivan get such a bad rap? It can hold as many people as, if not more than, an SUV, plus has good cargo space. It also gets better gas mileage. So what’s up? — Minivan Advocate
Dear Minnie: The minivan gets a bad rap because buying one is an indication that you have given up all hope of ever being cool again. Also, a minivan assassinated President William McKinley.

Dear Eric: Why do you use grades instead of stars for your movie reviews? — Baffled in Baffleville
Dear Baff: Because our society uses too many stars, and those stars don’t just grow on trees. Most of them are manufactured overseas. I’m doing my part to help America overcome its dependency on foreign-produced stars.

Dear Eric: Why do some people always drive around with their pets (usually dogs) sitting in their laps? Why did Britney Spears think it was OK to do the same thing with her son? — Confused in Cleveland
Dear Cleve: It all has to do with breeding, doesn’t it?

Dear Eric: Why do birds always poop on my car? — Spotted Car
Dear Spotty: Because they don’t have access to your bed.

Dear Eric: Instead of making Daylight Saving Time a month longer, why doesn’t Congress just kill standard time altogether and make us live on DST all year long? — Daylight Dude
Dear Dude: This is elementary science. If we used Daylight Saving Time all year long, the sun would burn out faster due to our constant overuse of it. Come on, people, THINK before you submit questions.

Dear Eric: How can I get over pneumonia faster? — Barely Breathing
Dear Breathy: I hear death is a pretty fast cure.

Dear Eric: I’m going to be graduating from college soon with a degree that’s relatively useless. What kind of job do you think I can find that won’t involve hot oil or funny hats? — May Comes Soon
Dear Sooner: Oh. I was going to suggest working at a place that sells deep-fried fedoras, but I guess that’s out of the question.

Dear Eric: I am 28 and still living with my parents. I don’t feel that living with them is materially affecting my social life in a negative way. Is there a point when I should move out, based on my age or the fact that I should stop mooching off of them? — 28 and Still Living with Parents
Dear Man-Child: Yes. That point is five years ago.

Dear Eric: Are there ANY calculator guides that are easy to follow? — Calculating Cal
Dear Calc: This question is a paradox. If you’re just using the basic calculator functions, you shouldn’t need instructions. And if you’re using the advanced functions, you should be smart enough to know how to read instructions. It’s like the question of whether God can make a rock so heavy He can’t lift it. (Note: He totally can.)

Dear Eric: I keep lowering the rent for my spare bedroom, but nobody wants to move in anyway. How can I get someone to rent the room? — Louise the Landlord
Dear Lord: Try offering some “incentives.” You know, “incentives”? (Wink wink!) Some renters, especially men, may respond to some kind of “bonus” in sharing a house with a single lady. Get what I mean? Like a month of free rent or something.

As usual, I don't have much to add about the Ask Eric Stuff. Some of these questions sat around for months before I came up with good answers for them (assuming the answers presented here are "good," which I guess remains to be seen). But patience always pays off eventually! Except for when it doesn't.