A monthly advice column

This month: guest columnist John Hodgman

Dear Sedaratives,

I’m forty-five and still live with my parents. I tell people that I’m taking care of my elderly father, but nobody believes me. Can you help me come up with a better excuse?

My best,
Detroit, Mich.

Dear Ben,

I am confused—is your explanation an excuse or the truth? If it is the truth and you are in fact caring for your elderly father, then your friends are monsters and you should stop talking to them immediately. Who is a boy’s best friend, after all? His father, naturally. And when his father dies, a boy’s best friend is the preserved corpse of his father that the boy keeps in the fruit cellar and still visits every day to receive instructions on what to do about his so-called friends.

Alternately, if you are simply making an excuse and you are not taking care of your father, then you, sir, are the monster. Be a good son: get down to the fruit cellar and give the old man some gruel. He raised you, for God’s sake!

But the larger message is: you should not care what other people think of the choices in your life, and no matter what, you should have a fruit cellar.



Dear Sedaratives,

I got into a bar brawl last night and ended up losing a tooth. I’ve considered getting an implant, but I think the gap in my smile looks kinda badass. What do you think? Should I leave it alone or go to the dentist?

Warm regards,
Chris Howell
St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Chris,

If you were really a badass, you wouldn’t be asking for my advice. You’d just go to the dentist and punch that guy in the mouth. (Hint: Because that’s a dentist’s weak spot; elsewhere on their bodies, they feel no pain. It’s like hitting a bag of angry meat.)

So I would instead suggest getting an implant. Make sure it’s a removable fake tooth like the kind Quint had in the movie Jaws. Then you can choose how “badass” and “drunken-sailory” you wish to appear by pulling the tooth out at will. That will shut those fancy-pants marine biologists up!


P.S. I know nothing about fighting.

P.P.S. Please don’t actually go and hit a dentist.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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John Hodgman is the author of The Areas of My Expertise and sometimes appears on television.

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