Ask Eric Stuff 27

All right, you nappy-headed hos! It’s time for another edition of “Ask Eric Stuff,” an occasional feature in which members of the general population ask Eric stuff, and he answers them sarcastically and with alleged humor. You can submit a question of your own here. Your questions may be used in a feature edition of “Ask Eric Stuff,” and if they are, boy howdy won’t you feel special!

Dear Eric: I had a baby girl this spring. Everyone I know is giving her pink: pink dress, pink hair bows, pink socks. As a staunch feminist, I think this is just wrong. How do I tell people to give her “gender-neutral” items? — Not a Pink Lady
Dear Lady: Just tell them the truth. Say, “I want beige coveralls for my child, because I don’t want her growing up feeling like being a girl means she’s special or pretty or anything.”

Dear Eric: Why should I listen to you? — Nora in Nevada
Dear Nory: You should never listen to me. Except right now, when I tell you not to listen to me. DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND??!?!

Dear Eric: Why do my parents hate my music so much? — Rockin’ in Rochester
Dear Rocky: Because you’re the lead singer for Nickelback.

Dear Eric: Should I brush my teeth and then floss, or floss and then brush my teeth? — Wondering in Wichita
Dear Witch: I don’t care, just quit breathing on me!

Dear Eric: Why can’t our president speak English as well as former presidents or most Americans? — Concerned Conservative
Dear Connie: MOST Americans? I think you’re giving most Americans too much credit. Or have you not been on the Internet lately?

Dear Eric: Why do female contestants on “The Price is Right” insist on running down the aisles with their arms raised, letting their more delicate female parts flop around their front side? — Wondering Why in Washington
Dear Wash: Bob Barker has that effect on the ladies. Dude’s a player.

Dear Eric: My husband and I both work full-time to help pay the rent. But when we get home at night, he expects me to do all the cooking and cleaning too. What should I do? — Cinderella
Dear Cindy: First the dishes, then the laundry.

Dear Eric: How do you know when you over- or under-tip someone? — Hapless in Houston
Dear Happy: You can tell you’ve over-tipped someone when they look surprised and grateful and say, “Thank you very much!” You can tell you’ve under-tipped someone when you’re from Utah.

Dear Eric: Nigerians keep attempting to scam me on eBay. What should I do? — Exasperated on eBay
Dear eBayer: I don’t know, but I don’t appreciate the racial slurs. “N****ians,” indeed!

Dear Eric: How come it’s OK to golf or watch TV all day, but it’s nerdy to play video games? — Mario in Milwaukee
Dear Mary: It’s not nerdy to play video games! It’s a fun, enjoyable pastime, and there’s no shame in it! (Wait. You’re no older than 14, right?)

Dear Eric: On weekdays I don’t have to be anywhere until noon. As a result I sleep late and waste most of the morning. How can I motivate myself to get up earlier? — Sleepy Head
Dear Head: Here’s a little trick I use. Set your alarm clock six hours ahead. Then, when it goes off at noon, it will actually be 6 a.m. You’ll get up thinking you’ve lost half the day, when really it’s still quite early! (Note: This will only work once.)

Dear Eric: Do you have any advice on what kind of car I should buy for my 16-year-old daughter? — Virginia
Dear Virgin: Car & Driver magazine has declared the Honda Civic the best car for spoiled teenagers four years running.

Dear Eric: We’re trying to get pregnant, but we’ve been unsuccessful thus far. What else can we do? — Need a Baby
Dear Needy: If by “we” you mean “you and me,” then I think I know what the problem is: I haven’t been trying very hard.

Dear Eric: Would you have executed Saddam Hussein? — Gotta Love a Hangin’
Dear Hangin’: Yes, I would have, but I was busy that week and they would NOT reschedule.

Dear Eric: We’re planning on getting our 3-year-old a kitten for her birthday, but I worry that she could be hard on the poor thing. What do you think? — Kitty Lover
Dear Kitty: Kittens are fragile, it’s true. Maybe you should start your daughter off with a more resilient and durable pet. I recommend a buffalo.

Dear Eric: If there were no computers or TV, what would you be doing right now? — Livin’ in the Past
Dear Past: Reading a book. A book about how to invent computers and TV.

Dear Eric: What’s the worst insult you’ve ever received? — Offended in Paris
Dear Parry: Someone once told me I speak English as well as the president.

I think several of these might have come from the same person. I remember getting about 20 questions in the space of an hour, all presumably from the same person, bored at work and amusing himself or herself by submitting "Ask Eric Stuff" questions. I don't keep track of when the questions came in -- I just copy and paste them into a file -- but it's likely that I used several of the ones from that batch in this column.

"Nappy-headed hos" is a reference to the controversy that surrounded radio personality Don Imus this week, who used the term to describe the Rutgers women's basketball team and subsequently got into a lot of hot water. The term was so offensive that every single media outlet in America had to repeat it over and over again in their coverage, to make sure we knew how offensive it was.