Interesting fact: The Black Death in the 14th century reduced the world population from 475 million to 350 million or so. Breathe easy! There is zero chance coronavirus will reduce us to anything less than 500 million.
I always read your advice column for a good laugh. Do you remember when the column was authored by various local “divers?” I had thought that a “diver” was a local dishwasher – diving into the soapy water to scrub pots and pans. But my friend informed me that a “diver” was simply a person who frequented local “dives.” No offense (don’t you love it when someone prefaces something totally offensive by saying “no offense?”) but these divers were really funny, and, well, your answers are, um, less so. Did you break your funny bone?
- Get Well Soon
A “diver” is a “dishwasher,” so your “friend” is “wrong.” And so are you. This is a “serious” advice “column,” and any laughter that might occur as a result of its use is “incidental.” As you will see, this week’s mailbag is full of serious “questions,” to which I will provide “answers” as insightful as “possible” without being an actual “professional” in any serious or “relevant” field. No offense, but it’s really tough to take things “seriously” with so many “quotation marks.”
– End quote, Rachel
I’ve about had it with my car insurance company. The local office seems friendly enough. But the corporate algorithms keep sending me excessive updates and warnings. Every time I call to follow up, the friendly local rep assures me they’ve taken care of the issue in the time between notices being sent and my receiving them. I’m now losing sleep worrying that the mound of ignored notices will bring corporate down on me. Any advice for protecting myself?
– Like a Paranoid Neighbor
Dear Boo Radley,
I never thought of it, but the whole “State Farm is there” jingle will now creep me out forever. Sing it in a breathy voice. Not the sexy one, the other one. Gah! But since this is a serious advice column, I advise you to apply all the coronavirus precautions to evading your insurance stalkers. Buy several weeks’ worth of groceries. Wash your hands repeatedly. Disappear into the Weminuche without telling anyone where you’ve gone. Dare the bastards to come find you there.
– In good hands, Rachel
Are the Coronavirus fears overblown? Or is this really the end times? Seems like something different comes to kill us every year. One year it’s bird flu. Another it’s Mayan prophecies. So I’m feeling pretty immune to death. Of course, Europeans in the dark ages probably felt the same about the bubonic plague and look where that got them. Should I start filling the walls with canned food? Or can I continue licking door handles in public?
Serious questions beg for serious answers. But I already addressed the coronavirus thing with the last letter. So I’ll take this opportunity to say, apropos of nothing, that humor is an entirely subjective artform and it’s impossible to please the masses while also remaining true to what little integrity I have left. But hey! Keep writing in complaints, because letters make my world go ’round.
– Who you gonna call, Rachel