Aladdin

Alistair,

Just found a lamp. Djinni can’t do anything right. Constantly bringing me random things, never what I want. How do I fix this?

Aladdin in Wyoming

Aladdin,

He might not be bringing you what you want, but is he perhaps bringing you what you need? Given that he’s a lamp-bound Djinn, this means he was almost certainly a prisoner of the last Great Djinn War of 563, which means he was born at minimum around 200 AD. This ethereal being is probably over 1800 years old. He has some wisdom to offer . . . Or he is suffering some seriously overdue dementia. Either way, he is giving you stuff that is free. Start and ebay account and make a little money on the side.

Alistair

Lizard Lover

Alistair,

My pet iguana believes he is a colonial-era British explorer. Do I play into the delusion or try to bring him around.

Lizard Lover in Calgary

Lizard Lover,

Cost of a lizard-sized pith helmet: $45

Cost of reptile therapy: $180 per session

Do the math.

Alistair

Sparkles

Alistair,

I think my boyfriend is a vampire. Should I cut him off or try to reform him?

Sparkles in Washington

Sparkles,

Men never change – women invariably change. If your girlfriend was a vampire, I’d give reformation a shot. As it’s your boyfriend in question, there’s only one thing to do: cut that sucker off (note that in this instance ‘sucker’ is not a slur for vampires in general).

Alistair

Cloak and Dagger

Alistair,

I’m a member of a secret society (you’ll see in a moment why that isn’t a terribly ironic thing to say). I just found out that there’s at least sixteen different ones, all of them working as random cross-purposes. It strikes me that this isn’t exactly efficient, and I get the feeling that all of these random power grabs leave us exactly where we were before. I suppose what I’m asking is: Do I need to found a super-organization with its fingers in everyone’s pie?

Cloak and Dagger in Nottingham

Cloak,

No. You shouldn’t do that. A weakness of secret society members is to assume that they are more prone to original though than the common man. You propose to create an overarching secret society affecting and observing all the others as if nobody else could have already done so? Don’t be naive.

Been there, done that.

Alistair

Concerned

Alistair,

What can you tell me about the mysterious black building that appeared at opposite sides of the world simultaneously?

Concerned in Auckland

Concerned,

All I can tell you about these buildings is that you shouldn’t be concerned. Not even when you notice a lot of gorillas using them. Not even when you see one of the buildings hovering over a cotton candy factory. Only know this, Concerned: Our world si going places. Literally.

Alistair

Happily Ever After

Alistair,

Last weekend, it finally happened. I met the love of my life. He’s funny, gorgeous, and hard working. The only hitch is that he occasionally has to go home, to the dimension Kysagoh’as. How do you keep the spark alive when the other person is out of contact?

Happily Ever After in Newark

Happily,

With some inter-dimensional portal models, you can mod out the relative time conductor so he will only be gone for a couple of hours in your time, regardless of how long he might be in Kysagoh’as. The one downside to this is that he will still have to deal with missing you for the duration of his stay in his home-dimension. Also, you have to realize that you’re essentially pausing your life while he continues to live his own to avoid being without him. A touching notion, but not necessarily a healthy one relationship-wise.

Try phone calls.

Alistair

Panicking

Alistair,

I’m a single man who has never been in a serious relationship with a woman. All of a suden there is a very pretty lady at my work who is expressing a lot of interest in me. I want to think it’s real, but I’m pretty sure that she’s just an assassin hired to off me before I can complete my MEGA MILLIONS Jackpot algorithm. Do I believe her, or do I assume she’s trying to kill me?

Panicking in the Ozarks

Panicking,

As a good rule of thumb, always assume romantic interests are attempting to kill you. Past bitter experience has shown me that it’s far better to take the initiative and have a whirlwind romance now while keeping your escape route open than it is to go slowly only to be disappointed in both life and love when the assassination comes. Calculate your risk.

Moving on to your second point, your MEGA MILLIONS algorithm interests me. We’ll get in touch with you soon.

Alistair

The Human

Alistair,

I think I’ve 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

Human,

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

Alistair

Hero Watching

Alistair,

A superhero just came to town. Seriously, he’s awesome. Guy broods on top of buildings, breaks up robberies and muggings, sometimes makes PSAs on TV. Really, I feel like he’s wasted here. Nothing but small-time crooks and the occasional local gang. Any advice on how to get the local criminals to step up their game?

Hero Watching in the Twin Cities

Hero Watching,

Your community spirit is commendable. While currying crime seems like an automatic no-no, one has to ask the following questions: “What if he leaves our town in search of greater challenges and we subsequently become victim to the previously-suppressed lowlife of our wee town?” Yes, ask that question. Now drum up some headlines. There is a formula for crime: (ordinance outlawing certain behavior) + (significant profit from said behavior) + (reasonable opportunity to realize such behavior) = Crime. Obviously drug trafficking is a good candidate for creating crime for the sake of creating crime, as it is always illegal and always profitable. To increase the third factor (opportunity), produce PCP in your basement and leave boxes of the product in random locations all over town. Just hope that this hero doesn’t ingeniously track the spike in drug presence back to you somehow and cause you to be imprisoned.

Alistair

Harried Son

Alistair,

Should we be worried about the portents going around? Plagues of locusts, darkness covering the face of the earth, inhuman screams from within the bowels of the deep. I mean, it’s a bit worrisome, but my Mom is making a huge deal out of it. If I don’t calm her down, I’m gonna lose it.

Harried Son in San Diego

Harried,

Yes, it is a huge deal. Yes, these screams from the deep’s bowels are actual portents and not just passing moments of screaming bowel. Yes, these are signs that at any moment now the world will end. Important detail: You can’t actually do anything about it. Whether the world and in a week, a century or before you can even read this response, it really doesn’t matter. When it’s time, it’s time; every moment that you live is a moment when it isn’t yet time. Say your prayers and eat as many Fruit Loops as you can because those adorable little rings are not making it into Heaven.

Alistair