I’ve always wanted to write an advice column but, not surprisingly, nobody asks me for advice. 

I checked the mailbag. Lots of suggestions for me in there, but no questions seeking my divine guidance. 

I combed through some old Dear Abby columns thinking maybe I could come up with better advice. Or at least funnier answers. Turns out, it’s pretty difficult to improve on ol’ Abby. 

There was a letter from a parent concerned that her daughter-in-law gave birth to an 8.5-pound baby seven months after getting married. She wondered if a baby that big could be that premature.

Abby explained that the baby wasn’t early; the marriage was late. Her advice: Forget about it.

Then there was the woman who wrote about her gay neighbor bringing down property values because of the menagerie of friends the odd couple entertain. 

“How can we improve the quality of this once-respectable neighborhood?” she asked. 

Abby’s suggestion: You could move.

I decided to check some other advice columns to see if I could steal their questions. Man, some of them get some weird queries. So weird, I don’t even want to read them let alone try to answer them. 

So many of the questions were so bizarre that no one but the asker could possibly benefit from the answer. Plus, they weren’t really family-friendly questions. Lot of weirdos out there.

I decided instead to ask myself some questions:

So, Ramblin’ Man, why do you want to write an advice column?

Mostly just to mess with people. 

Do you think it’s funny to mess with people?


Do you think you have sage advice people could actually use?

Well, “sage” would be an exaggeration. But so is “actually use.”

Do you have any special credentials for offering advice? Maybe a degree in psychology or vast knowledge of some kind? Or quantitative success of any kind?

Um, no, uh-uh and nada.

So, why would anyone read your advice? 

Well, you’re reading this, aren’t you?

Don’t you think advice is better left in the hands of experts?

Not really. That’s like saying government is better left in the hands of politicians. 

I think it’s more like cooking should be left in the hands of chefs. 

I’m pretty sure the kid who made my pizza doesn’t call himself a chef. And it was pretty darn tasty. 

So, your advice is to listen more to people who aren’t experts?

It works for Facebook, doesn’t it?

So, what’s the best advice you can offer today?

Um. Eat more pizza?

Maybe giving advice isn’t really my thing. I know; I’ll write horoscopes instead.

Do you have any experience with astrology? 

No, but I have experience with inaccurately predicting the future.

Well then, that’s settled.

© Copyright 2020 by David Porter, who can be reached at porter@ramblinman.us. When I’m done with horoscopes, I’ll move on to hypnosis. I’ve heard I make people very sleepy.