A monthly advice column

This month: guest columnist Eugene Mirman

Dear Sedaratives,

Can you settle a bet for me? I say that it’s OK to load the dishwasher with different-size plates next to each other, but my mom says that I’ll never find my own apartment or produce grandchildren. My driving privileges are on the line—which one of us is right?

Perry in Peril

Dear Perry in Peril,

What you have asked is technically a “non-question,” because the very notion of doing dishes is flawed. When possible, dishes should be tossed out a window. I know my answer isn’t very “green,” but the time saved will let you make a much bigger impact in your community.

On a separate issue, if your mother has told you that grandchildren are in some way produced by using a dishwasher, she is lying.

Take care,


Dear Sedaratives,

I drive a 1997 Honda Civic with 178,000 miles on it. Lately, it’s been making an odd noise and vibrating wildly whenever I apply the brake at highway speeds. Because the car is stolen, I’m reluctant to take it to an authorized mechanic. Does this sound like a serious problem, or can I afford to ignore it for a while?


Dear Dave,

It sounds like something is wrong with your transmission. You need to get it checked out right away. How am I so sure even though I’ve never owned a car? Because I own something a little more useful than knowledge—I own confidence. Go to the mechanic. Be careful, though. If the mechanic calls the police, you’ll have only about ten minutes to run away. How will you know if he’s called the police? He’ll try to stall you with questions and tasks like “Want to write a play with me right now?,” “Let’s watch the movie Dune,” or “How do the pieces in chess move again?” It’ll be obvious.


We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Eugene Mirman’s first book, The Will to Whatevs, is available now from HarperCollins. Eugene can be seen on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and on the new Adult Swim series Delocated. He tours regularly and will release a new comedy album on SubPop in 2009. He has four hundred children and lives in outer space.

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