Tie me up, leveling the field & haunted plants

Tie me up, leveling the field & haunted plants

Dear Rachel,

Why are ties such a standard fashion accessory for men? Why are they deemed essential for anything formal? And why do they serve absolutely no practical purpose whatsoever, except to set the “dads in Garfield ties” apart from everyone else? Sure, a tie can look good, but I think it’s mostly because we expect to see them on dudes anywhere from the red carpet to the detective on TV. Can you ‘splain me?

– All Tied Up

Dear Tie Fighter,

I always guessed that ties existed to cover up the buttons on a shirt. Which is ridiculous, because really swanky three-piece chaps cover up half the tie with a waistcoat that has even more buttons. Also, someone could just invent a shirt with the buttons on the side or up the back, so they never show under the jacket. Even better, make men deal with the same fragile-ass zippers we deal with up the backs of our dresses that require maids-in-waiting to handle.

– Bursting at the seams, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I just learned that FIFA has no set regulations for the size of a soccer field (I’m sorry, football pitch, whatever). This is bananas to me. I’s handy for all the local kids’ leagues around the world who might not have all the space they want to play with. But when we’re talking pros, can we really not agree? Do we really have meaningful international games (sorry, matches, whatever) happening in Mickey Mouse bandboxes? 

– Red Card

Dear Hoodlum,

I’d like to argue the converse. I think fields should be different sizes in every sport. Basketball on a converted football field, 100 yards long. Football on a baseball diamond, but preserving the dimensions of the outfield. Ping pong on a real tennis court. Tennis in a swimming pool. Water polo on an air hockey table. And soccer in some Thunderdome-style setting, where flopping is punishable by crocodiles.

– Game on, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

Someone just gave me houseplants she acquired from a dead man’s house (she acquired them legitimately, as far as I know). I’m a sucker who will take in any orphan plant, but I can’t help wondering if there are dead-guy ghosties attached to these plants. Not bad juju, but just actual pieces of the dead man’s spirit, since he loved and cared for these plants so much and he probably wants to make sure I don’t murder them slowly. How can I get rid of him if he’s here, or barring that, at least assuage him? 

– Survivor’s Guilt

Dear Casper the Frondly Ghost,

There’s a reason no one tells ghost stories around the campfire in the daytime, and that’s because who builds a campfire in the daytime. Also, sunshine. Stick those suckers in the sunniest, southiest window you got, and no ghost can chill there for long. Also: holy water, baby. Mix it with a drop of dish soap. It helped me get rid of mites once, so I bet it helps with ghosts. Otherwise, put on your best tie, take the plants to the cemetery, and leave them on his grave.

– Spooky scary, Rachel

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