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 


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


Big Bro


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. 


Beating Heart


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. 




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 


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. 




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 


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. 



Birthday Boy


I was cleaning out some drawers with my dad’s old knick knacks in them. I found a letter addressed to me and dated about a month before he died. In it, he explains that the males of our family have lived with a generational curse, all of us dying on our thirtieth  birthday – horribly and mysteriously. No matter where we are and no matter what we do, we’re found mauled to death by some enormous beast. I have two years, which should be plenty of time, assuming I know what to do. Advice? 

Birthday Boy in Webster 

Birthday Boy, 

The thing with curses is that they can all be broken by a specific means. Kissing the right sort of person is an extremely popular method of curse-breaking. I recommend that you go public with this – tell the world about the curse and explain that you don’t know who you need to kiss (or have kiss you) but you need to get that kiss in before your thirtieth birthday. Pretty soon, people all over the world will be rallying around you, offering to kiss/be kissed by you in an attempt to save your life. Don’t hold back, my friend – kiss them all. Kiss, kiss, kiss. 

It is also possible that you need to kill a certain somebody before turning thirty. That’s something else to consider. 




I’ve been having dreams for the last few years. There’s a man, he’s named Nick. After a number of dreams in which Nick was a character, I actually looked him up to see if there was something out there. Nope. Last weekend, in Vegas, I bumped into a man outside a coffee shop. Spilled my drink all over him. Alistair, it was Nick. He looked exactly like Nick. I asked what his name was, and it was Nick. We exchanged numbers – he still doesn’t know why – and I’m writing to you while looking at his business card and wondering what to do. Help? 

Dreaming in Cambridge 


My response for this situation has two possible answers. On the one hand, you may have literally found the man of your dreams! Carry on. 

On the other hand, you may have found the man destined to kill you. It’s a bit of a Hail Mary, but if you succeed in killing him first, you might actually become immortal. 




 I’ve got one chance to challenge Death to a game for my life. Problem is, I suck at chess. Can I swap for Texas Hold ‘em, or maybe Monopoly? I don’t want to make a bad first impression on the other side, but those are really more my games. 

Dealing in Fall River 


Yes, you can substitute another game for chess, but you should probably know that Death is really good at most games. Drinking contests, What Number Am I Thinking Of, Texas Hold Em, Call Of Duty: Black Ops II… It’s not like you’re going to fare any better against him just because you have your lucky flatiron piece with you. He will still beat you and you will die… Or you might win; sometimes people do. Then they recommend that you should challenge Death to a game of Spoons. Really, go with Spoons. 




I don’t have any family that I can remember. None. I went on a blind date last weekend and realized that I do not recall anything from before three years ago. Your significant experience may aid me. What is the most probable explanation? 

Newbie in Nashville 


You are most likely a highly covert CIA operative who had all his past memories erased to help him carry out his operations with cold and unhesitating callousness. Unfortunately, you seem to have also forgotten what it is that you’re supposed to be doing and have probably been wandering around – a loose human cannon – for the past three years. Now you’re dating; good on you.