Father of Two


I was tucking my kid in last night, and he told me there was a monster under the bed. I checked, and my kid was under the bed. He told me that there was something on top of the bed. How do I pick which one to keep?

Father of Two in New Orleans

Father of Two,

You currently have two identical children. There are a couple possibilities to consider:

A. Go back to your child’s baby pictures and double-check that you only have one child. Maybe you have two, and one of them has been living under the bed for a while, telling the other that he’s a monster.


B. Not A.

In the case of the latter being true, you should know that for all intents and purposes, they’re just like identical twins; the only difference is that one of them is most likely a spirit taking the form of your child for its own purposes. Worrying? Maybe. Depends on what the spirit’s purposes are. Either way, there’s no way to tell what’s up until one of them suddenly admits to being the fraudulent offspring.

Side note: Check the closet; you may be Father of Three.




I have found an interdimensional portal. The other side is in the middle of a great war between the Dwarves and the Trolls, with the Elves sort of not sure which side to join. As the only human, they decided I’d make a good diplomat. I know politics isn’t really your area, but have you got any advice?

The Human between Arendyl and Alberta


In my experience, stopping a fight is best accomplished by helping the warring parties find a common enemy. Clearly you need to urge Trolls and Dwarves to unite under a banner reading “Death to Elves”. Problem solved.


Not a Fan


I think I’m being stalked. I keep seeing clowns, even in places where you’d never expect to see one. They’ll walk by the door when I’m having a meeting or in the audience when I go to my daughter’s recital; there was even a time when I might have seen one outside my bedroom window. What do I do, Alistair?

Not A Fan of Bonzo in Virginia

Not a Fan,

Time to confront the clown. Place yourself in a situation where there cannot possibly be another clown (say, a monastery) and wait. Then, when you do see a clown, you know for sure that you’re being stalked by him. You’ll have the speed advantage, as your shoes are (presumably) more practical. Kill him immediately; it’s the only sure way to rid yourself of a clown stalker. They are remarkably tenacious.




Granddad passed away a month ago. The funeral was two weeks ago. During the  funeral, he woke up. We were all surprised. For a while, everyone was happy that he’s back but… I’ve started noticing a few things – tics he didn’t have before; he never, ever sleeps; he doesn’t eat, he just pretends to; he orders weird stuff online, then takes it into the  basement and locks the door; animals run away and babies cry whenever he’s around. 

So, do I just buy him a welcome-home/birthday gift kind of deal, or what? 

Devoted Grandson in Dudley 


Congratulations. You have been honoured with meeting the first of the next-gen zombie prototypes. As you can see, he is far less obvious and stupid than any zombie created to date. This has been accomplished by infecting him with a genetically-engineered zombie virus prior to his death that politely lies dormant until the host body has ceased to possess original life and does not immediately require feeding. Do not kill Granddad, or everybody will think you a sick, heinous murderer and you will be executed for your trouble. While you no doubt have a plenitude of questions at this point, I will merely answer the one question you have already provided: Unlike with the truly living, the thought is not what counts with the zombic. If it’s not something he can eat or otherwise enjoy, do not bother. Strictly sentimental gifts will not impact him the way that they’re intended to. As with most creatures of the Granddad variety, a selection of woodworking tools is your best bet.




My next-door neighbor is a mad scientist. He’s nice and all, keeps to himself, friendly, good neighbor material. It’s just that his experiments are getting annoying. He’s had my weed-eater for six months, he keeps borrowing my car battery, and he’s severed all the power in the neighborhood five or six times. I don’t feel like I know the guy well enough to confront him, but somebody’s got to, you know? What’s the best way to ask him to shape up? 

Suburban Dad in Abington 


My initial response would normally be “burn his house down” but given that he still has your weed-eater and has an apparent need for enormous quantities of electricity, he very likely has a you-know-what in his basement. As such, do not add fire. Instead, whenever he borrows something or cuts the power, just go over to his garage (mad scientists aren’t good about security) and take something. Sooner or later, he will confront you on this subject at which point you can simply say “Sorry! I thought that we had a mutually assumed relationship of randomly inconveniencing each other! My mistake!” and he will take the hint – especially when he sees that you’re not even using his atomic distillation unit. 




I’m not panicking or anything, just need a quick word of advice: How can I tell if I’m  in a real hospital? 

Bedridden in Putnam 


Determining the authenticity of a hospital is a notoriously difficult affair. Unless the MD comes in and begins setting a collection of shiny pebbles on your blanket or obviously seasoning you in preparation for being cooked and eaten, your average layperson lacks the requisite knowledge to spot out an imposter. 

As such, try faking a new and exciting ailment. Do your best to cobble together symptoms in a sort of random fashion – for instance, you feel that you are running a fever, you are vomiting great piles of hair, and there are spots in your eyes. If you are observed by a team of students who keep suggesting more and more outlandish concepts, you’re probably in a real hospital. If, likewise, the doctor calmly tells you to stop eating stray cats, you are also in a real hospital. If they eye each other conspiratorially, then draw the drapes and have an animated discussion with the nurse about whether or not “He knows,” then the odds have gone markedly against being in any hospital outside of a highly unethical psychiatric ward attempting to convince you, for some reason, that you’re in an ordinary ER.




My cousin just got in touch with me; turns out that he’s royalty in a small European  country. They still demand that royalty marry within the family, and it looks like I’m the only option. He doesn’t really care who he marries, he’s just trying to become king, and he has to be married for that to happen. What do you advise? 

Queen to Be in Miami 


There are no immediately apparent problems here for you as far as I can see. Enter into the marriage on the understanding that it’s simply a strategic contract. You then have two options: A. Be a queen (which, I suppose, could appeal to some people) or B. Immediately divorce the king; write a predominately fictitious book entitled “Queen for a Day” in which you describe how you were forced into a familial marriage by the royalty of a backwards nation; make millions while practically living on talk shows; and buy the small nation from your ex-husband, making you queen anyway. In my experience, that sort of thing works brilliantly. 




A moral dilemma for you, Alistair. A spaceship filled with genocidal aliens has visited my home. They were fairly friendly, but explained that it is their destiny to kill every human being in existence. They then demonstrated their ability to do so by using one of their ship’s impressive array of weapons to liquefy a cow. This particular shipload of aliens is merely the scouting party so they’ve gone off to establish communication with the mothership and let their leaders know that they found some humans to kill. Two important pieces of  information: 1. These aliens are tiny – they are less than an inch tall and their spaceship is the size of a big chicken. 2. They just parked their spaceship in my oven, mistaking it for a docking bay. Question: How morally reprehensible would it be for me to shut the oven door  and turn on the self-clean function? 

Thumb in the Dike in Barcelona 


 Incredibly morally dubious, and also profoundly wasteful. Cook small aliens on 350 degrees Fahrenheit with basil and mint for two hours until crispy. 


Third Wheel


My girlfriend has been bitten, and now she’s hanging around with the Alpha vampire a lot. I don’t want to be clingy, but I really, really like her! What’s the line where I go from normal jealous to creepy and annoying jealous? 

Third Wheel in the Keys 

Third Wheel, 

Trick question: normal for vampires IS creepy and annoying. So just go with your least healthy instincts.