Posted by Jenn Thorson at 7:30 AM Labels: advice columns, dear abby, if people said what they meant, satire
I don't know why I do it. But every day with lunch, I find myself reading the age-old advice column, Dear Abby. (The column is age-old; the advice appears just lightly dusty.)
Anyway, the more I read, the more a pattern has begun to emerge for me. So today-- using my Super Marketing Person Skillz (it's a little like Spider Sense, but doesn't use thought bubbles, and has a going rate of $50/hour)-- I have translated what the readers who write into Dear Abby would say if they truly communicated exactly what they meant.
I give you... Dear Blabby.
DEAR BLABBY: I'm writing in with a problem that isn't really a problem. So, "why bother?" you ask? Well, the reason I'm completely wasting your time is because yes, I know the answer already... But I want to use use your response as leverage to prove I'm right to my husband, my sister, my dog, and the mailcarrier who's gotten just a bit above himself. Normally, I use the opinions of my friend Marge (not her real name) and Esther (her real name, bummer for her). But after 40 years, my husband no longer cares what they have to say. Please publish my letter so I can passive-aggressively remind my husband I'm right, by cutting this out of the paper and tacking it to the refrigerator where it will yellow with age, as I have in the last four decades. —MRS. RIGHT IN BLACK AND WHITE
DEAR MRS. RIGHT- Your husband has already heard that this is coming. Your friend Esther told him. I know because she also wrote in to me, regarding the affair she's been enjoying for 40 years with her best friend's husband. Perhaps you would like to tack this to the refrigerator. Or share it with the marriage counselor you're about to call.
DEAR BLABBY: I have this problem that is entirely made up, just to test and see if I can make a fool out of you for responding to it. I've decided to include a nice mix of personal conflict, six of the 10 warning signs of domestic abuse, a remarkable lack of self-awareness, graffiti art addiction, and the custody of 20 orphaned emus. I will ask you whether my long-time, live-in boyfriend's airbrushing the emus with satanic symbols is harmful to my beloved birds, and whether you think this constitutes negligence enough that I should be awarded them in the commonlaw separation. I hope you won't notice the absurdity of the situation, particularly that anyone could truly love an emu. --GIVING EVERYONE THE BIRD
DEAR BIRD: I already let one in three joke posts go through as a joke on the people who are joking. Did you really think I didn't know MARRIED TO THE BLOB was a total farce? Or that SLEEPLESS IN SADDLE wasn't a complete practical joke? Oh, I know. But I publish them, anyway. How else do you think I get my material for this column in a time when when people have moved to Yahoo Answers as the premier place on the internet where you can ask the world moronic questions, only in real-time? Think about it. I take what I can get... So let's talk imaginary emu.
DEAR BLABBY: I'm a person who suffers from extreme insecurity in my decision-making skills so my friends, who are sick of hearing about every little stupid thing I need help on, have suggested I write you so they can have a break. Of course, with turnarounds in the newspaper, by the time I get an answer to my issue, that issue will be long-done and I'll be on to some other problem that I can't solve myself. Won't I? I'm not sure. What do you think? — DIRECTIONLESS IN DAKOTA
I've decided, in the interest of time, to give you the answers to your next five problems. Here they are: Talk to him. Make a list. Discuss this with your religious advisor. Don't buy the flame-thrower, you won't use it as much as you think. And 42. You're welcome.
DEAR BLABBY: It's been slow at the newspaper and you've received thousands of inquiries with poor spelling, lots of capital letters, and problems that are impossible to decipher without the person who writes the closed capitioning for the Jerry Springer show. So mine is the letter that was completely made up at the water cooler by three newspaper executives brainstoming ideas over some cold, high-quality H2O. We're hoping no one will notice. —ABBY NORMAL
DEAR MS. NORMAL- Yes, I'm aware. Because I'm you. But I'll try to treat you like anyone else who writes in just to flush out the column space. I'm considerate like that. So thank you for your question.... No, thank you... No, really, thank you.
Do YOU have a question for Dear Blabby? Just leave a comment below! Maybe she'll even respond before your divorce, your child runs away, or the family holiday is over.