I work in a classified job. Not long ago, I was offered the chance to be a guinea pig for some R&D. Afraid I can’t give more info. Should I go for it?
The Future in Connecticut
Seasoned travelers know that at any given point they need to have their passport, their wallet, and their towel. As long as those items are guaranteed, everything else is replaceable. Likewise, seasoned R&D guinea pigs know that at any given point, you just have to know that your face, brain, and unmentionables are safe. As long as those items are guaranteed, everything else is replaceable.
I work in a restaurant and this morning I found scratch marks on the inside of the walk-in freezer door. Like some desperate person had tried clawing their way out of the icy darkness. Obviously there wasn’t a body or anything like that. The only other mysterious observation I made was that the stock on the shelves had all been rearranged. I’m completely creeped out here. Please tell me there’s a perfectly rational explanation for this.
Blood: Curdled in Seattle
There’s a perfectly rational explanation for this: One of the previous owners was a serial killer who stored his victims in the freezer. Presumably one of those poor unfortunates wasn’t completely dead upon arriving in the freezer and his/her vengeful spirit has now returned from the dead to carry on that last, frantic escape attempt that thwarted it in life. The best way to deal with this is to leave a desired layout of the stock in the freezer. When it is cleaned to your satisfaction, you can either release the spirit or keep it on as after-hours janitorial service, however you negotiate the deal. Beats being dead, I say.
I met my doppelganger – a perfect photocopy of myself. Rather than being an omen of ill fortune or imminent death, he turned out to be a pretty good pal. We get along great, have almost identical personalities and interests, and hang out regularly. So obviously there is some way we can take advantage of this, right? Any suggestions?
Untapped in Stratford
By my reckoning, one person can maintain good relations with half of a family without problems. Two, however, can keep nearly one and a quarter without anyone being the wiser. Chores can be split up conveniently. You can put in enough overtime to make a middle-aged man with a failing marriage beg for mercy. Needless to say, you have a perfect alibi for less straightforward dealings as well.
Honestly, though, it sounds like you already have it made. A best friend who agrees with everything you say and finds you a good-looking, parallel-thinking kindred soul. More than most men can say.
I was sitting on the bus on the way home and the man standing near the front looked at me. I saw a shadow shifting about his face – as if it was under his skin. It was dark and fast-moving, like smoke before the wind. Then he looked away. When we reached the stop, he slipped getting out of the bus and fell a few feet onto the sidewalk. He died instantly. Just yesterday I was in the hospital getting a general examination when I passed a woman in the hall who had the same flickering shadow caressing her face. She was dead before I could leave the building. This morning though, I saw that same shadow on the face of a young boy about to cross the street. I ran forward, grabbed him and held him tight. Moments later a car careened through the crosswalk and the moment it did so, there was a bright flash of color in the boy’s cheeks and the shadow disappeared. I can save people, Alistair. How do I best employ this gift?
Seeing Destiny in Tipperary
One word: Blackmail. It’ll take a few sacrificial lambs to prove your point, but people will get the idea. You could also be the next big thing in bodyguards. A word of advice, though: Carry a mirror.
So. . . I have started experiencing some very alarming symptoms that my doctor will not take seriously. He wouldn’t even talk to me when I said that these symptoms only showed up during the full moon. My symptoms include growing patches of long, dense hair; severe aching in my gums surrounding my canine teeth and a distinct yellowing in the eyes. I also feel sudden urges to make noises. Eerie noises. I hesitate to use the word “howl,” but it fits. Please tell me that I am not the victim of (as I suspect) a neurological condition resulting from a liver disorder that is causing erratic epidermal behaviour as a side-effect.
Hypochondriac in Derbyshire
As someone without (formal) medical training, it sounds to me like a non-malignant virus. Antibacterials won’t help, and you probably already know that the rumors of Vitamin C helping beat back things like the common cold is inaccurate. Thus, I’ll give you more “down-home” wisdom.
Chicken soup is very good. I suspect you’ve been getting a lot of chicken in recently; keep it up. Get in a lot of herbal teas, particularly Arnica Montana (your local herbalist or magical dealer will be able to help you with that). Also, I suggest ingesting silver for a while until it clears up – colloidal or not, it doesn’t matter. While some people laugh at that, it’s always been a brilliant help in my experience.
I have recently been contacted by an advanced being calling himself Zuriel. He demands worship in exchange for secrets of the universal fabric. He’s also skinny, glows, and hovers. I didn’t do anything to summon him, as far as I’m aware. Given all this, is there some way to determine what he really is?
First Contact in Whitehead
Think like a businessman. Hire simple-minded fools (or otherwise clever people. It really doesn’t matter) to produce a steady stream of worship to this Zuriel fellow, while the secrets of the universal fabric are addressed to your PO Box. If the secrets seem valuable enough to warrant your worship staff, continue business as usual and profit from your stash of game-changing information. If he seems to be a phony whose appearance must undoubtedly have been the product of smoke and mirrors, cut your losses and fire the worship staff.
I recently bought a used 1981 Ford Crown Victoria. It’s in decent condition, but I think it’s possessed. It’s never where I parked it, it waits for me alarmingly close to the door, and it tried to push me into a pool one time. What should I do?
Wrenched in New Orleans
Clearly, your vehicle has what we in the Clever Person Industry call “Tsukumogami” which is what happens when life is born into something artificial. Please try to remember that your car now has a personality. Try to make friends with him/her/it. Buy flowers, keep the vehicle well-maintained, and go to drive-in movies as often as you can afford. If this does not work, establish your dominance by breaking in the Vic’s headlights with a tire-iron and yelling at the car in your deepest voice. Ignore the neighbors. They only wish they could yell with such a bass timbre.
Over the last several months, a sneaking suspicion has been edging up on me. I am perpetually in excellent shape no matter what, I am far more attractive than genetics would allow, ancient languages come fluently to me, and I can immediately look straight into the souls of those across from me. Is it possible that I am the reincarnation of an ancient king?
Maybe I’m Royal in Kansas City
It does seem that you are very likely a reincarnation of somebody from ancient times. Unfortunately there is a ridiculously slim chance that you could be royalty. Not only does basic demographic math frown upon that eventuality, but the chances become slimmer still in light of how you are both fit and attractive – few royalty possess either of those qualities. Considering the demographics of ancient societies, it’s totally possible that you were a slave. Long days of hard labor in the sun produces healthy, tanned, trim specimens whose empathy with the human condition allows them insight into their fellow man – hence your “mind-reading” powers. You built ancient Roman slum housing or something like that. Congratulations on the ancient languages though!
I’ve conflicted with my future and past self; there was a battle royale, lots of people died. Thank goodness it was only me.
However, after destroying my time machine, I went out for bagels and coffee and encountered the Butterfly Effect. Gorillas are no longer the dominant lifeform, the angels never made contact, and Bon Jovi turned into a pop singer. What should I do?
Messed Up in Sudan
You idiot. Change it back! Actually – you know what? Leave well enough alone. Finish your coffee. Go and collect Sudanese stamps. Just stay the dickens away from time-travel for the remainder of your linear days. For penance, you are obliged to listen to What is Love exclusively from this day forth.
Help resolve an argument between my brother and I. Ghosts are undead people, and ghosts are badly affected by salt. Vampires are also undead people. Therefore, shouldn’t salt badly affect vampires?
Na+ in Portland
On the contrary, my witless amateur. Your logical train is seriously flawed. Elephants are mammals and afraid of mice + Bruce is mammalian ≠ Bruce is afraid of mice. Well, he is, actually, but could easily not be and still be mammalian. Besides, vampires drink blood – a fluid rich in salt! So that’s got you sorted.