Harrowed

Alistair, 

I was driving home last night when suddenly the radio station I was listening to – a  popular music program – went silent. After a couple seconds of light static, a deep voice addressed me by name and ordered me to pull over to the side of the road unless I wanted to die. I did, confused and a little afraid. I sat and listened to the static when suddenly – about fifty yards ahead of me – an explosion went off and filled the road with flames. As soon as this happened, the radio came back on and I sat there, listening to somebody sing  about being happy while I thought about how close I’d come to being burnt alive. This  seems to be up your alley, Alistair so tell me: What was THAT?! 

Harrowed in Jamaica 


Harrowed, 

You almost died, and then you didn’t. Congratulations. 

Alistair

Not Amused

Alistair, 

A dragon has laid eggs the size of golf carts in my backyard. I am not looking forward to when they hatch and there are baby dragons running about destroying my  valuable property. On the other hand, I daren’t touch the eggs because their mother is approximately three times the size of your average lorry. What is a clever way to resolve this unfortunate situation? 

Not Amused at Balmoral 


Not Amused, 

Ah, dragons. Irritating, and you can’t find a good exterminator to take care of them no matter how hard you look. There used to be a chain, but there was an accident and the lawsuits put them out of business. 

The first step to DIY dragon slaying is to determine the type of dragon you have. If it’s an eastern dragon (distinguished by feathers, snaky bodies, and being impossibly ancient creatures with mysterious origins and incredible power) you’ll just have to wait for them to leave on their own. You probably have western dragons, given your location. Check for scales, wings, and characteristic reptilian appearance. 

If you do have western dragons, get yourself a suit of armor. Cover it in cloth and take it out into the yard. Remove the cloth and run like a furious dragon is about to begin indiscriminate slaughter. The mother will probably attempt to torch the armor – if you’ve set it up properly, it won’t fall over and she’ll attempt to melt it. You have about twenty seconds to move the eggs. It’s a little known fact that dragons expect the eggs to remain exactly where they lay, and moving them even six feet will cause the mother to abandon them after a short period. You can then poach them at your leisure. 

Alistair

Different Feather

Alistair, 

Yesterday, while driving to work, I realized that I had forgotten my briefcase and had to return home. Once home, I made directly for the bedroom, where I suspected the  briefcase would be. Opening the door, I discovered my wife – you won’t believe this – being a bird. I mean, she was literally a bird and to be more specific, she was a stork. A very nice-looking stork, I guess, but a stork. I quietly shut the door before she noticed me and then, after a moment of panicking in the hallway, I knocked. She opened the door and I saw that she had returned to her human form. I wordlessly collected my briefcase and left. What am I to make of this, Alistair? 

Of a Different Feather in Amsterdam 


Different Feather, 

Your wife is a welkie. Not, as you might suspect, a Native born Welsh, but a relative of the selkie, Celtic creatures who wore and became seals. They’re a bit like mermaids. 

First of all, don’t tell her you know. Selkies and their kin are notoriously nervous and flighty. In fact, she probably hasn’t worn the stork in months and was just taking a bit of a fly-round. If you come straight out and say, “So, how’re the rooftops, dear?” She’ll probably flee, never to be seen again. What you need to do is be gently supportive without being specific. Try referencing how much you love birds; how you’ve always wanted to make a nest on a wagon wheel; how it would be cool to be married to a stork; things like that. Relieve the tension that comes from hiding a horrible secret by giving the impression that it’s not so bad after all. 

Alistair

Eggshells

Alistair, 

Yesterday my roommate left her cell on the coffee table and for a prank, I started  texting with one of her friends. The conversation took a startling twist when I discovered  that this roommate of mine had apparently made plans with this friend of hers to sacrifice me to some Babylonian god named Damkina. The worst part is that my roommate walked in on me using her phone and discovered what I had seen. Now she’s extremely indignant that I violated her privacy. How can I make things right with her while still making it clear that sacrificing me is not an option? 

Walking on Eggshells in Damascus 


Eggshells, 

Sit her down in a cafe or park; somewhere neutral and public enough that she won’t make a scene. Explain gently and firmly that you are sorry for looking through her phone, but that you still can’t abide being sacrificed. You have your own business, etcetera etcetera. 

If she remains steadfast, just get in touch with Damkina and lay it out. The dear old thing is very progressive these days and would probably be more than a little alarmed to find that anybody was planning a blood sacrifice. She’ll deescalate the situation faster than an Enya song at a rave.

Alistair

Ear Plugs

Alistair, 

A friend of mine asked me to take care of a package for him. Naturally, I said yes. There is now a very large crate in my living room. At first, it was fine, but after the first few hours, the crate began making groaning sounds followed by panicked grunts and repeated pounding. I know that I promised to take care of this for my friend, but honestly I feel like I should just put it out in the hall where the noise won’t be so annoying. Is this abandoning my responsibility to my friend?  

Wearing Ear Plugs in Quebec 


Ear Plugs, 

Your friend is either crate-shipping a live human being (there aren’t a lot of non-evil reasons for doing this) or is a secret god testing to see if the world is going to get a new round of punishments for not learning their lesson about opening boxes they get handed. Either way, approach the situation very delicately.

If your friend is a god – indicated by having godly abilities, preternatural good fortune, divine appearance, and an ego larger than small countries – do not open the box, and make it abundantly clear you did not. He’ll be disappointed but that’s only because he’s incredibly petty.

If he is not a god – indicated by not having those things (though the ego may still be around) – then you probably have some poor soul trapped in the box. Ask your friend to explain the situation in good faith, making it abundantly clear that you really hope he’s a government agent working to take down morally dubious enemies.

Alistair

Staring

Alistair, 

I live on a farm where we keep over a hundred goats. One of the yearlings – a  frighteningly skinny creature with eyes of differing hues – has been acting very strangely lately. That is to say, he has taken to appearing suddenly and unexpectedly in the most inaccessible of places. It started as I was sitting astride the barn roof repairing a loose sheet of steel last week when I looked up and saw Loki (the goat) balancing precariously on the roof ridge, staring fixedly at me. I don’t know how he got there, or what he wanted, but he did so silently and in the space of a tiny moment. Since then Loki has continued to appear in various situations – always silently, always instantaneously and always with his gaze fixed on me: In the basement of my house while I was rotating the cheeses; in the next pew over in church on Sunday morning; in the passenger seat of my Honda Civic while driving to visit my brother in Albuquerque. How is he doing this? 

Staring Contest in New Mexico 


Staring, 

Let’s all be perfectly honest: You were asking for it, naming your goat Loki. True names are remarkably powerful, and when you start with something as vapid and blank as a goat, a powerful name can end up with a disproportionate effect. What you have now is a goat that is bearing striking resemblance to the trickster of Norse myth. He’s unable to change back to his full – and, by human standards, absurdly powerful – form, as he’s just a goat. Follow the logic yourself, and you will see that the inevitable conclusion is that the man who shears, feeds, and profits by you is somehow responsible. You can wait for a burly nephew to show up, or you can search for weaknesses in your captor.

Bruce’s aunt has an excellent recipe for garlic-stuffed goat that I’d be happy share

Alistair

Big Bro

Alistair, 

I’m King of the Summer Solstice. It’s not a bad gig, pretty respected in fact. My little brother, though, is my opposite number and gets all the praise. The combination of him being in direct competition with me and winning is just too much. He doesn’t even get it – thinks we’re partners, in a sense. I guess he’s right, but it still rubs me the wrong way. Is he just being oblivious to natural reactions, or am I overreacting? 

Big Bro in Houston 


Big Bro, 

You are not overreacting at all. You have not been equals since 1816 when he showed the world how delicate your kingdom can be. To return a balance of attention to yourself, you need to overthrow your little brother on at least one Yuletide. This game-changing moment of Yule-pocalypse will result in you becoming the true King of Seasons, which will bring praise back to you and balance back to the universe. How to do that is significantly more complex; I recommend conferring with some elves – they’re good with conspiracies, the little punks. 

Alistair

Beating Heart

Alistair, 

I am one of the Most Ancient Ageless Ones. My non-Euclidean forms, manifesting dimensions beyond dimensions renders all who attempt to gaze upon my visage broken, gibbering lunatics. How should one get back into the dating scene with these setbacks? 

The Beating Heart of Razahoth Lying in The Center of Reality


Beating Heart of Razahoth, 

You might ask your dates to wear blindfolds all the time and hope that they never peak, but let’s face it: They’ll peak. The more advanced your relationship gets, the more likely it is that those little Pandoras will insist on taking a look as their curiosities get the better of them. To avoid the tragic outcome of their disobedience, blind all your dates early on in the relationship. It is truly the lesser of evils. 

Alistair

Sleepy

Alistair, 

I have awoken from a slumber locking me in the days before the days, in an abyss of  time where aeons pass in the space of a twinkling and seconds are as millennia. This world is new, yet familiar, like the sight of a previous world perfectly aligned with the moments of now. I need someone; someone to understand where I have been and to tell me of the heartbeat, of the sights and sounds of this people. 

Sleepy in Yarmouth 


Sleepy, 

Given your description of your previous circumstances, I’d have to assume that you are some kind of spirit entity. While I could give you a basic outline of how things are around here, I think that you should go to the ethereal information kiosk where they’re currently offering some really very thorough packets on the subject of reality’s present state. The spirit realm coordinates you’ll need are P126.LM>L999.OL. 

Alistair

Chastise

Alistair, 

Fiddles and matchsticks whitewashed pig yellow handspringer. Triangular virtue  millenium hand and shrimp. Crew turtle lamb the galvinist said I says them said we. When accepter little widdershins, deeds of peace and flight winge? Drugging of the butterfly’s motorola. 

Chastise in Atlantis 


Chastise, 

Dusty banana leftist into cargo. Pelvis bubbles pretty gyro lynx. Then broken in when here go there. Pumice natterjack pudding. Sandwich electricity or crash turtle wings. Soda do did done xylophone left. 

Etcetera. 

Alistair