Gather ’round, kids! It’s time for yet another installment of “Ask Eric Stuff,” an occasional feature in which Eric answers questions that were asked by people just like you, except dumber. You can submit your own questions at [outdated link].
Dear Eric: I’ve heard it’s a good idea to save about 10 percent of my income for retirement. What should I invest this money in? — Prudent in Provo
Dear Way Too Concerned About the Future: Just start buying the things you think you will need when you are retired. I have a 20-year supply of Depends and soup in my parents’ basement.
Dear Eric: How do I know if I’ve finally met the right guy? — Senior and Panicked in Provo
Dear Senior: It all depends on what you mean by “senior.” If you are a senior in high school, you haven’t; if you are senior citizen and you have found ANYONE, he’s the right one; if you are a senior at BYU, see “senior citizen.”
Dear Eric: How can I fool a professor into passing me for graduation in spite of my dismal performance? — Lazy in Logan
Dear Couldn’t Get into BYU: Man, you came to the right place. My senior year in college, I had to take a science elective, and the only one that fit in my schedule was an Agronomy & Horticulture class called “The History of Trees,” or something like that. On each test, one of the questions was, “Write a question you think should have been on this test, and provide the answer.” We would get two points for this. I once wrote, “Question: Will I fail this test? Answer: Yes.” Since I wrote a question and provided the correct answer, I got two points. I only scored a 25 on the test, and two of those points were from correctly predicting I would fail it. I passed the class, graduated, and have not thought of agronomy or horticulture since. My advice to you? Find a scientist or wizard who can enable you to live my life.
Dear Eric: What quality or characteristic do you most appreciate in a woman? — Just Curious
Dear J-Cu: Her ability to put up with me.
Dear Eric: What’s your favorite thing about living in Utah? — Utah Native
Dear Native: The quaint mispronunciation of basic English words. It’s something I absolutely tray-zhure.
Dear Eric: Are you volunteering for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games? — Curious 2002 Volunteer Candidate
Dear Working for Free: I volunteered to help distribute the performance-enhancing drugs and mind-altering chemicals to the athletes, but was told the position had already been filled. Now I am working on the Utah Press Association’s “Make People Sick of the Olympics” campaign. Thank you for giving me an excuse to mention the Olympics in this column. One more and I get a toaster.
Dear Eric: Are all of the questions in your column from posts to this site, or do you make most of them up for lack of good questions? — Suspicious in SoCal
Dear Nosy: I make them all up. I made up yours, too.
Dear Eric: Is the earth undergoing gradual heating until the time the polar icecaps melt, or will we experience another ice age? — Debating in Denver
Dear Denver: Gradual heating? Have you BEEN to Las Vegas?
Dear Eric: If you could be any superhero, who would you be? — Space Ghost Wannabe
Dear Wannabe: Man-Who-All-the-Ladies-Want Man.
Dear Eric: What’s the best/worst part about working for a newspaper? — Not Clever Enough
Dear Dummy: Best part: Plenty of access to free newspapers, which are handy for washing windows, which I have to do as part of my night job in order to make enough money to live. Worst part: Long-standing journalist code of ethics that prohibits showering.
My brother Jeff assisted with some of the answers, for the record. In real life, he's a bigger smart-aleck than I am, which comes in handy for this sort of thing.
My response to the question about whether I make up the letters is the same response MAD Magazine once gave when one of their readers asked the same thing.