Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ask Smidge

After countless requests for me to start an advice column - and when I say countless here, I mean there were none – the time has come. Move over Dear Abby, Ask Smidge is here.

Ask Smidge is open to any topic of your choosing. We do not limit ourselves to relationship advice, mostly because I know very little about relationships.

You, our beloved readers and needers of quality Smidge advice, are encouraged to send your burning questions to our new email address –

We here at Ask Smidge are committed to reading every single question we receive, so remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people who ask questions. If you happen to be one of those people, I probably won’t answer your question in the column so much as read it aloud to all our friends and neighbors and have a great big laugh at your expense.

But rest assured, if we do determine your question doesn’t merit a response in the column due to your insanely small brain, you will never be named or made fun of in the Ask Smidge column. (I mean, not unless the question was just that ridiculous.)

Thanks in advance!

Let’s get to the questions, shall we?

My teenage son doesn’t seem to listen to me, or anyone, and he’s always moody. I try to connect with him, but he just grunts at me and asks for more food. What can I do?
Frustrated in Freeport

Dear Frustrated,
Rest assured, your son is normal. The problem lies in the inner-working of his brain. The male teenage brain has the same makeup, functionality, and capacity for rational thought as a cantaloupe. The only thing you can do during this time is encourage him to take as many showers as possible to combat the onslaught of body odor, and try to keep your hands and feet away from his mouth while he’s eating. Past that, it’s like owning a large monkey. Good luck!

Our teenage daughter is moody, irritable, and seemingly insane at times. I try to talk to her about what might be bothering her, but half the time she just cries, which makes me very uncomfortable. My wife tells me that our daughter is going through a lot and it’s natural, but I don’t know what that means. Please help me.
Uneasy in New Orleans

Dear Uneasy,
I don’t know anything about women either. (The teenage kind or the adult kind.) If I were you, I’d move out until it all blows over. Best of luck.

I’m hosting a barbecue this weekend and would like a recommendation. Which type of wine pairs best with steak?
Parched in Pocatello

Dear Parched,

Our new puppy is chewing on everything, but has a special affinity for shoes. She has destroyed countless pairs of expensive shoes and we’re at our wit’s end. Help!
Shoeless in Seattle

Dear Shoeless,
Dip all your shoes in a large vat of Tabasco sauce. The puppy will stop chewing them, and you will never get athlete’s foot again.

I fear that our toaster may be broken. We were toasting a bagel and using the microwave at the same time when our teenage daughter inexplicably plugged her hair dryer in in the kitchen. (Something about how all the bathrooms in the house are worthless…) Anyway, I think the toaster got overloaded, because it sparked momentarily and let out a cloud of smoke that smelled awful. Now it will not turn back on. Is there a reset switch or something?
Untoasted in Topeka

Dear Untoasted,
Electricity can seem like a complicated and mysterious thing, but it’s actually fairly straightforward. Electrical current is simply the movement of electrons from one place to another. In order to move, the electrons are vaporized by the amp volts, and travel along the various wires and circuits (known collectively as the “capacitor,” or the “fuse”) in the form of black or white smoke, depending on which wire they are in. Any time the circuit (or, “watt”) is overloaded or otherwise damaged, the electron smoke can be accidentally released from the appliance. Your toaster has lost all its electricity and won’t work anymore. You need a new one.

There you have it, folks. That’s just a small sample of the expert advice waiting for you when you send your questions to

You’re welcome, America!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2018 Marc Schmatjen

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