Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new advice column: Ask a ...

Welcome to the new College Misery advice column. Each episode starts with a letter seemingly plucked right from Dear Abby: a normal person with a normal situation that asks for normal advice. The letter is answered by one of the zany characters that we all encounter as we go about humbly living the life of the mind. Now that I've preemptively explained the joke, let's get to it...

Ask a Spineless and Clueless Associate Dean of Students

Dear Spineless and Clueless Asso.,

My husband and I try to help our families whenever we can. A few weeks ago, my husband's younger brother got laid off and couldn't pay his rent. We let him temporarily stay with us while he looked for a new job. Unfortunately, he is taking our hospitality for granted and seems content to eat our food, watch our cable TV and not bother to find a job or a place of his own. He sometimes makes inappropriate comments about my looks or how I keep in shape at the gym. My husband says I shouldn't let these "compliments" get under my skin. Earlier today, I caught him taking money from my purse! Do I convince my husband to kick him out or can I just dump his bag of old clothes on the curb right now?

Betty with the Brother in Law Blues


  1. Is your brother-in-law a college graduate, with a ton of student debt?! If so, then tell him to steal money from his alma mater. After all, the school pretty much stole his future - and did not provide him with a practical "education."

  2. I was totally thinking about doing this! Q&A advice columns are the BEST.

  3. I think the Onion did something like this, maybe they still do. Frod actually gave me the idea when he joked about a column for new faculty. I figure I'm standing on the shoulders of giants.

  4. "Remember, high standards for academic excellence are great, unless they have consequences."

    Worth watching all the way to the end just for that line.

    p.s. I delurked on Darla's New Years post: if this post gets deleted, I'm going to start taking it personally.

  5. Dr. Jekyll: I nominate this for Post of the Week if not an early candidate for Post of the Year! It is very creative and has a great finishing punchline.

    Prof. Hyde: The "Spineless and Clueless Associate Dean of Students" seems like a good guy to me. The type of fellow I would like to network with in order to trade ideas.

  6. @Ben: I'm glad you recognized it was a joke. I'm not sure Hiram did. And you do me too much honor, but then, as Robert Goddard wrote: "There can be no thought of finishing, for 'aiming at the stars'---both literally and figuratively---is a problem to occupy generations, so that no matter how much progress one makes, there is always the thrill of just beginning."

  7. I really hope that there will be more installments of this advice column. This is the best thing that has appeared on CM in a long time.


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