How to Write an Advice Column

How to Write an Advice Column

Benjamin Franklin once said,"Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it." That may be true, but most of us love to give advice. It is one of those commodities rarely in short supply. Like political speeches.

Do you ever read the Advice Column in your local newspaper? I do. Since I have spent much of my professional career giving advice, in one form or another, I believe I am eminently qualified to write an advice column. So I recently embarked on a new career as an Advice Columnist. I have tons of knowledge to share since I am older than soil – that came before dirt, you know.

Famous Advice Columnists
Famous Advice Columnists

Clock wise from top to bottom: Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer)

Pauline Phillips (Abigail Van Buren - Dear Abby)

Jeanne Phillips (current Dear Abby - Pauline's daughter)

Do you see a resemblance between Ann and Abby? They were twins.

Two Rules

Although we love to give advice, we are not always receptive to receiving it. For that reason, there are two rules you might want to use when you give advice:

Rule Number One - Do not tell others what to do. Instead, suggest! For example, do not use these phrases:- you must ... you have to ... you should ... do it this way.

Instead, use phrases like: Have you considered ... Would you like to try ... You might want to ... or Here is something that works for me ...

Rule Number Two - Do not use words like stupid, idiot, moron, dope, dummy, &$#%!! or cretin (although cretin could work if the reader thinks it's a good thing).

or you can write an Advice Column.
or you can write an Advice Column.

Advice Column Questions and Answers

Since giving advice is not quite rocket science, instead of lengthy case studies, I will share with you some examples of weighty problems that I have encountered to date.

This first letter soliciting my advice came from a famous Hollywood actress. Because of confidentiality issues, I cannot reveal her name. This is what she wrote:

Dear Advice Person:

I am a very beautiful, attractive, glamorous, intelligent, feminine movie star with a lovely face and a sexy body. I love to cook when I have a man in my house to cook for. But I can’t seem to sustain a relationship for more than a few months with any man I am with. My boyfriends have always liked to be seen with me when we go out. But I also do not mind occasionally staying in. What do you think my problem may be about?

me – It’s very simple, Jennifer. Oops! Men do not want to be with a woman who constantly ends all her sentences with a proposition, er … I mean, preposition.

To the Advice Person,

My mother is always bugging me to get up and go to school on time. I’m sick and tired of school. The kids don’t like me, the teachers hate me. The administrators ignore me. Even the maintenance people avoid me. What should I do? Signed: Myron

me – Stop whining, Myron. I know who you are. You have to get up, get dressed, eat your breakfast, and you must get to school on time. You are 42 years old and you are the Principal.

Dear Ms. Advice Person:

I have finally found the person of my dreams but she is a gorilla! Really! She is a real live genuine gorilla. Signed: Anxious

meSo, what’s the problem, Anxious? Nobody’s perfect!

Gorilla Joke

Speaking of gorillas, let me share my favorite gorilla joke.

The local zoo had acquired a very rare female gorilla. Within a short time, she became very obstreperous and difficult to handle. The zoo veterinarian determined she was in heat. What could they do? There was no male of this species available.

The zoo director had noticed that the gorilla seemed to become more calm and placid, even coy, whenever Chuck was near. He was the employee who brought her food each day. It was rumored that Chuck possessed ample ability to satisfy any female since he had the physique of a Tarzan but he wasn't very bright. So maybe there was a solution. Perhaps they could entice him to satisfy the female gorilla.

The director offered him a proposition – would he be willing to mate with the gorilla for $500. Chuck said that he was interested but would have to think the matter over.

The following day, he announced that he would accept the offer, but only under two conditions:

"First," he said, "I don't want to kiss her,"

The director quickly agreed. What was the second condition?

"Well," said Chuck, "You gotta give me another week to come up with the five hundred bucks."

Advice Giver in the Prehistoric Era
Advice Giver in the Prehistoric Era

Dear Advice Person:

Please tell me how much do you charge to give advice?

me$100 for 2 questions.

What is your second question?

Dear Advice Giver:

Why is it that only women seem to write Advice Columns?

me – Let me give you an example. I asked my male executive assistant to write my column when I was ill one day. Here is the question and his answer:

Dear Advice Person:

I need your advice. One day last week I drove off to work leaving my husband at home watching television as usual. I drove about three blocks when the engine stalled and the car would not start again. I walked home to get my husband to help me.

He didn’t hear me come in the door and when I walked into our bedroom I got the shock of my life. There was my husband with the 22-year old daughter of our next door neighbor. We are both in our 40s and have been married for ten years.

When I confronted him he admitted they had been having an affair for the past six months. I told him I would leave him if he didn’t stop seeing her. He lost his job a year ago and has been feeling very depressed.

I love my husband but he has become very distant and will not go to counseling. Can you please help me? Signed: Desperate

Dear Desperate,

When a car stalls after being driven a short distance, take these steps. First, check that there is nothing clogging the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold. Check all grounding wires. If the problem still exists, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty. I hope this helps.
Very truly yours,

I rest my case.

Can You Answer These?

Some questions are more difficult to answer than others – here are a few that stumped me:

• Two women moved into the apartment across the hall from me. One appears to be in her twenties and the other in her thirties. They go everywhere together and I have never seen a man go in or out of their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

• What can I do about all the sex, nudity, coarse language and violence on my VCR?

• We call gulls that fly over the sea seagulls. If they flew over the bay could we call them bagels?

• I suspected that my husband had been fooling around, and when I confronted him with the evidence he denied everything and said it would never happen again. Should I believe him?

• Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his faith?

• If we are not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

• My mother is angry and short-tempered. Do you think she is going through her mental pause?

• You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in making love to send him to a psychologist. Well, my husband lost all interest years ago and he IS a psychologist. What should I do?

That’s all the advice for today, folks. If you have any questions for the Advice Column columnist, please post them in the Comments section below.

“A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.” – Bill Cosby

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"

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Comments 93 comments

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa

that is to funny. i to read the advice columnist in our loca l paper. after reading the majority of their answers i feel sure i am more qualified than they are to offer advice. lol. thanks for the great hub and the laugh. voted up, useful, funny and interesting.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Excellent article! I'd love to be an advice columnist even though I might not give the best advice. I am a BIG fan of Dear Abby and Ann! Funny hub drbj!:)

peramore20 profile image

peramore20 5 years ago from Turtle Creek, PA

Your article was definitely amusing. Thanks for the laugh.

joejagodensky profile image

joejagodensky 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We have all the answers but present them as suggestions. Sound like the Catholic Church, only softer.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Ok, you start the psychological advice column and I'll start the minor medical issues advice column. We'll be famous like Ann and Abby.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I wish you would stop writing these very funny articles for me to find first thing in the day. I'm a morning grouch by nature, and your stuff just forces me to laugh. I don't know whether to explode in frustration, or roll around the floor in uncontrolled mirth.

Voted up, with all the buttons pressed.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

I loved it! I couldn't help but laugh at all of them. My favorite was the male assistance. Great one! Thanks for the laugh this morning.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Thanks for the chuckle. I needed it as I'm about to go off for a 13 hour shift.... Sigh! Lynda

LewSethics profile image

LewSethics 4 years ago

A fun article! Now that I know everything there is to know about giving advice, I'll start my own column. I think I'll call it 'Hey Stupid! You have to do it my way'!

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

My friend, I can't stop laughing. You are the best in finding nice topic like this one. Rated up!


timorous profile image

timorous 4 years ago from Me to You

Haha. Nice one drbj. Sometimes the queries are just as funny as the advice. Thanks for the advice..and the chuckles.

amillar profile image

amillar 4 years ago from Scotland, UK

I have no advice for you drbj - other than to suggest respectfully that you should keep advising and telling your funny jokes. (BTW, your male executive assistant's promising too, but next time, he might advise that it's quicker phoning a taxi.)

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

drbj - I have no desire to dispense advice but you have laid this out quite well. My advice and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee down at the local diner. Maybe!

The Frog

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Drbj - I always wanted to be Dear Abby when I was young - I think I was reading her column faithfully when I was about 12:). I didn't want to actually give out real advice though - I wanted to just say crazy stuff:). Like for those lonely people looking for new relationships? I'd say skip it and get a good dog - they're loyal! Haha!

Up and everything!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, T.L. Me, too. Sometimes when I read the advice in the newspaper, I think what a hoot, I could do better than that. So I know exactly where you are coming from, m'dear. Happy to give you a laugh and delighted by your kind comments and the Up.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I must admit that the topic, " Adcice column " started me laughing before i read a line. I knew how hilarious you could make it, and you did. My favorite, the guy needing time to make the $ 500.00 bucks..HaHa..Loved it..I have to go Google ( cretin ) it's not in my dictionary..Hee..Cheers.. I'm back, it's a stupid person. I always learn new words from you....

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You, too, Linda? I knew there was an Advice Columnist within you, my dear, could tell from your perceptive hubs. Yes, Ann and Abby were always interesting with their responses - not always the best, but definitely the funniest. Thanks for your sweet comments.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, peramore, thank you for the 'amusing.' You are welcome for the 'laugh.'

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Joe - what an interesting comment. You may be absolutely right. An experienced advice columnist should present the answers as suggestions, and if they sound like 'from the pulpit,' only softer, so be it. Thanks for stopping by.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Boy child: Momma, where do you think its at? Mom: Behind that preposition at. Drbj's advice, Gorilla joke, and hard to answer questions all taken to heart, and funny bone too for that matter. Drbj, youse the funniest advice giver this side of Kalamazoo!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hey, Lela, what a fascinating concept. You can be the medical issues advice columnist and I'll be the psych advice columnist. We can write the column together so the reader gets twice as much 'bang for the buck.'

Now what to call the column? What do you think of 'Shrink and Think'?

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, christopher, you are such a sweetie pie. And I don't believe for one cotton-pickin' minute that you are a morning grouch. Perhaps quiet and introspective, but NOT a grouch.

Regardless, if I force you to laugh, please do not explode. Rolling around on the floor in uncontrolled mirth is much preferred. And thank you, m'dear for all the button pressing and the Up.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

How about "Bloody Shrink"?

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, tip - you are most welcome for the laugh this morning and thanks for loving this and laughing at ALL my crazy ruminations. You are my kind of commenter, m'luv.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, Lynda, pore baby. You're working a 13-hour shift? That's just this side of brutal, m'love. So I'm doubly delighted I could give you a chuckle. If you need another, just remember Chuck and his hirsute 'date.' That oughta work.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Lew, so nice to meet you. Yes, do start your own column and the "Hey, Stupid ... " is catchy and most definitely provocative. I'll be happy to help you. You already know my rate for two questions. Heh, heh.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Gi, pras, I think I can hear you laughing from here. It's always my pleasure to have you visit - especially when you can't stop laughing. Thanks for the visit and the Up. Hope all is well with your world.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, timorous. Haha is good. You are on the mark - sometimes the questions are even funnier than the advice. You are welcome for both the advice and the chuckles. Stay happy.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Well, if you have no advice for me, amillar, then you are the first in a very, very long time. Usually, people tell me where to go. Heh, heh.

I will follow your suggestion though and continue to tell my funny (to me) jokes. You said my assistant was promising; now he's asking for a raise. Such is the price of fame.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Funny hub! I have to admit that reading some advice columns, I quite naturally believe that I would offer better advice of my own..... The jokes and humorous advice Q&As are priceless. Rated up and funny :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You are on the mark, dear Frog. Advice dispensing ain't what it used to be, and neither is the price of coffee. Thanks for stopping by between your acute political observations. You are always welcome, you know.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You know what, Kelly? You ARE Dear Abby - in a more modern format. Your hubs are always insightful, informative and your advice is realistic. I'm not surprised you wanted to be Abby when young. Who knows, your 'crazy' advice at the tender age of eleven might have sold papers. They need all the help they can get these days.

Thank you, m'luv, for the Up and everything!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, you are funny, Ruby. Laughing at the title before you read a line? Thank you for your faith in 'hilarious' me. I will try not to disappoint you.

Chuck, the 'gorilla guy,' is one of my favorites, too, always makes me laugh just to think about him and his date.

And I'm happy to enhance your vocabulary, m'luv, any time. Now you are even more perspicacious than before. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Deligted I found your funny bone, Alastar, and I knew you would especially enjoy that gorilla joke with your outstanding, discerning, inquisitive mind.

Really appreciate your remark - 'YOUSE the funniest advice giver this side of Kalamazoo!' Where did you learn to speak Brooklynese, my friend.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

"Bloody Shrink?" Lela. That could work. Unless readers start pestering us for the cocktail recipe!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

That's what I and many other hubbers think, too, Steph. We could write much more interesting and pertinent advice columns than what we read in the newspapers.

Thank you, m'dear, for finding the jokes funny and the humorous Q&A priceless. And the Up. You are the best.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very funny advice collection, drbj. I used to read the advice column in the newspaper when I was a teenager, but I haven't done so for years. Your advice is certainly more entertaining than what I used to read in the newspaper!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Alicia. Newspapers have shrunk so in the last few years there is little else to read but the comics and the Advice Column.

Thank you for finding my advice more entertaining than that you used to read. That makes two of us. Heh, heh.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Thank you for taking the sting out of the mess we are in. I am in a great mood now thanks to you. Up and very, very funny!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

It's my sincere pleasure to put you in a great mood, bp. Now if we could just get the Repub candidates to stop taking pot shots at each other and concentrate on our (?) leader, perhaps we could make some headway. Thank you for the Up and the very, very funny, m'dear.

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

My dear drbj, I am sitting here giggling. This is so funny.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Your giggling, dear Becky, is music to my ears. Giggle away, my dear. Delighted you found this funny. Thanks for stopping by.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

Thanks for the laugh. I loved the story of why you don’t consider men suitable for writing advice columns. And some of those questions at the end were hilarious.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, Melovy. You are absolutely welcome for the laugh. I can tell you relate to the 'men writing advice' portion. Delighted you stopped by and the 'hilarious.'

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Dear dr. bj, I just don't know what I should do about this. My husband is always complaining about hair in sandwiches that I send to work with him. Should I give him money for lunch or should I just quit making him a lunch?

Boo Hiss I know couldn't come up with any funny...just dumb:)

I loved this hub and laughed all the way through it.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Dear Just Ask Susan, I could advise you to have the ungrateful bum make his own sandwich for lunch, or buy his lunch from the vending machine and deduct the cost from the gas allowance you give him.

Instead, I would suggest you have him bring home one of these putative hairs since I suspect it may be from the head of his attractive blonde co-worker/lunch companion. Just sayin'.

Thank you Susan for posting this very funny Question - never dumb, my dear - and for laughing all the way through this hub. My pleasure!

My Minds Eye53 profile image

My Minds Eye53 4 years ago from Tennessee

I wanted to be "Dear Abby" also. I also wanted to be Erma Bombeck. I wonder what would happen if I combined the two?

Voted up

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, My Minds Eye. So you, too, wanted to be Abby and Erma? Who knew? I loved Erma - she was a brilliant humorist. In fact I wrote "Tribute to Erma Bombect" to display a little of her humor. Thanks for stopping by and the Up, my dear. profile image 4 years ago

Hello Dr BJ - my friend - I've discovered most people only hear what they want to hear - I've dropped the idea of ever giving advice - I just throw questions at em and hope they reach the right conclusion now! And then who am I to say anyone else is right or wrong!

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

I thought the zookeeper made ol' Chuck a pretty good offer too! LOL! This was quite funny...enjoyed it very much. WB

missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

drbj - You sure have a way with words! I have always been a fan of your pun hubs and your wit continues to flow. I was a fan of Dear Abby. It was a regular read for me. You have expanded on many wonderful ideas and tips. Rules #1 and 2 are not only funny, but true - can I just snip that part out for my mom-in-law? (giggle)

Again, a real joy to read - voted up and across

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

What a great hub;thanks for sharing.

I loved it and here's to many more to share on here.

Take care and enjoy your day.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, psychicdog, yes, it's true that many people only hear what they want to hear. That's why it is so important when you are working with someone and need to give advice, to follow the 2 rules above. Sometimes you can break through if you are tactful and persuasive and do NOT give orders.

But no one ever said it was easy. Perhaps that's why there are so few good advice columnists around these days. Except for you and me, of course. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I dunno, Wayne, Chuck wasn't too swift but I'll bet you coulda negotiated a deep discount. Heh, heh.

Thanks for finding this funny and enjoying the ride.

You know I was kidding in that first sentence ... don't you? Don't you?

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, missolive, it's a genuine pleasure to see you here. Thank you for your sublime comments. You know you are welcome any time. Especially when you use comments like 'a way with words' and 'wit continues to flow." May it ever be thus, m'dear.

You are so right, rules #1 and 2 are true and do work in real life. I can attest to that. Wanna use them for your mom-in-law? Be my guest. Thank you for the Up and wow, the 'across,' too.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Eddy, for the visit and your gracious comments. Yes, there's a lot more here where that came from. You might like to read some of my other 20 or so Interviews with Undead Celebrities and Weird Animals series. Be my guest and let me know what you think. Would be delighted to get your thoughtful feedback.

bell du jour profile image

bell du jour 4 years ago from Ireland

LOL absolutely brilliant!!...thanks for the advice, albeit tongue in cheek:-)I particularly like the one about the car breaking down. Voted up and awesome :-)


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, Bell. Delighted you enjoyed this 'absolutely brilliant' advice and thanks for the up and awesome. Look forward to visiting with you again.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Haha! Drbj - I love your comments:) lol. You're the best!

scentualhealing profile image

scentualhealing 4 years ago from Georgia

very good insight, very good writing

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

And I love you for loving my comments, Kelly. If I'm the best, then you, m'dear, are the bestest!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, scentualhealing, for your greater than average intelligence and perception. How else would you recognize my very good insight and very good writing? :)

Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Damn Dr. BJ, I thought you really "got the job." You would be SO great!!! Of course, the Advice Column would have to be located in the middle of the comics section. But I'm sure that could be worked out. I must share this!

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

Boy, I'll tell you, you are the funniest writer on HubPages. I laughed out loud at several junctures. I think this is your most witty work. I could not have enjoyed it more. I got a chuckle out of your advice to Jennifer. And I thought the manly advice was perfect.

I had not heard of this quote:

"Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it."

Ah, leave it to Ben.

I laughed aloud—a belly laugh, mind you—when I was surprised by this line:

"You gotta give me another week to come up with the five hundred bucks."

And then, I thought this was great:

"If we are not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?"

Thank you for this treasure trove of hilarious advice.

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I have written newspaper columns about culture, religion and social anthropology but never tried hands at advice column. Thanks for sharing these useful tips.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Sharon. Thanks for your inquiry. Oh, yes, I got the job but had to take a sabbatical. I was getting way too many questions from presidential candidates. Even our leader wanted to know if he was on the right track.

I responded, "Yes, if the train is headed out of D.C."

Next day, parked outside were several black SUVs driven by men in black suits with dark sunglasses and ear plug cords hanging down their necks who I never noticed in my neighborhood before.

FYI - My column had been on the comics page - it's been replaced by 'Pearls before Swine' and 'Hagar the Horrible. So I am ceasing and desisting in case someone is sending me a message. Thank you my dear, for your visit and your sharing this.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Wow, I'm going to put your sublime comments in my Memory Book, James. You actually laughed out loud several times? Double Wow! And to be called 'the funniest writer on HubPages' by one of the most talented Hubbers I know, is the epitome of achievement.

Thank you for enjoying my 'most witty work.' And for mentioning in detail various nuggets that you enjoyed which I was particularly fond of myself. Especially the gorilla joke - an old but treasured favorite.

Your visit and your gracious words are most appreciated, my friend.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, Vinaya. With your background of writing such eclectic newspaper columns, you would, no doubt, be excellent at giving advice. No need for thanks, m'dear, for the 'useful tips,' the pleasure was entirely mine.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan

Some day when your feeling chatty you'll have to give me a call because I have one doozie of a story for you!! I'd write a book about it but I'm afraid folks would think I'd went and lost my mind!! I'm certain in just a short time I will, but for now I'm trying to hang on to those tiny threads that are left. I would dearly love to hear the comedic spin you'd put on it.

I have to agree with James up there - You ARE the funniest writer here on HubPages... If I wore a hat, I'd tip it toward you!!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You have my complete attention, susie. Any time you feel like it, send me an email about that doozie of a story and maybe we can write something about it together. Wouldn't that be a hoot? We'd be the perfect pair - you with a few threads and me taking a sabbatical from my meds.

Thank you for that fabulous accolade. I'll just consider your imaginary hat tipped. Heh, heh.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi drbj - thanks for the great laughs. I don't know how you come up with them. I was thinking that we need an advise column here on HP - you'd be the go to person for it! I've always wondered about advice columns, and if the writers ever just make up their own questions.

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

This is great... I have always wanted to be an advice columnist... mainly because I think it would be cool to get paid to give people my opinion. After all, I was going to share it anyway so why not earn some bucks while i am there.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Benjamin Franklin was a wise man! ;-)

I used to read Ann Landers when I was in high school. She used to get some real zingers in, without actually calling someone stupid.

Your "stumper" about the bad/rotten/naughty things 'on the VCR' reminds me of this (supposedly true) story:

A woman called the police because she was offended by the neighbors sunbathing in the nude in view of her bedroom window. The cops came over, looked out the window, and stated that they did not see anyone or anything out of order--to which the woman replied, "Well, stand on that chair right there, and you'll see plenty!"

Good hub--voted up and funny.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Dolores. You are so welcome. Providing great laughs is my favorite thing to do. And your supposition about advice columnists creating problems so they can solve them is absoluely correct, m'dear. If the mailbag is empty, those intriguing questions have to come from somewhere so the columnist can make a living. Right?

Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Dear drbj, I am fairly sensible, love reading and writing and consider myself evenly balanced. I recently read an article on 'how to write an advice column' that had me choking on my epiglottis, crying with laughter, thumping my desk like Tarzan thumps his chest and having to get up and run out of my study. Is this 'normal'?

PS: And one more thing, is it ok to find oneself attracted to someone who uses the word 'obstreperous' and being titillated by their punchy one liners?

PPS: where can I get hold of some good lebanese films?

Please help!


imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

I began reading Dear Abbey and Ann Landers as a child until they were no longer published in my local newspaper. I thoroughly enjoyed the submitted questions as well as the responses. I would absolutely love to read your column...did I miss it somewhere in this hub? Is it online? Reading columns like this was a regular staple of everyday living...I still miss them to this day!

If you don't mind drbj, I like to give a shot at those questions/comments that stumped you..ahem (clearing my throat):

1. I can only suggest that perhaps the women are sisters, and that they get their freak on away from the apartment. Maybe they each think that this will curb the nosiness of the neighbor. I hope this helps.

2.Dust off your VCR, and hit replay!

3. They are still seagulls, with an unlimited appreciation for the bay.

4. You should believe him, but you should never trust him again...get a camera.

5. Your son is not turning against faith, he is on the other hand karate chopping faith one hail mary at a time.

6. Animals are made of meat simply to help keep your teeth healthy and strong. You do need strong teeth to chew the fat.

7.Perhaps your Mother is going through mental-pause, and menopause...they are indeed one and the same.

8. You can be the other woman who goes to see the psychologist...your husband...get your freak on!!

Doesn't it amaze you...the kind of questions you'll get, and the sincerity behind the lack of awareness?!

I thoroughly enjoyed this hub drbj...and maybe, just maybe if the dude that feeds the gorilla can't come up with the $500.00 smackers, he can get them to accept a coupon instead!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I'm not surprised, Stacy, that you as well as other creative hubbers I've met may have desired a career as an advice columnist. After all, isn't that what many of us do with some of our various inventive hubs? Offer advice?

Intelligent people like thee and me, m'dear, would love to earn from our opinions. In the meantime, though, we do have Adwords and Adsense. Thanks for stopping by - it's always my pleasure to see you here.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, Ms Lizzie, Benjamin Franklin was a wise man and so are you, m'dear for finding this hub - one of my favorites. I was Ann's fan, too, and do miss her zingers.

Love your 'true' story about the gal who called the cops because she was offended by her neighbors' nude sunbathing. And then it turned out she had to stand on a chair and God knows what other contortions she had to perform, to see them. Heh, heh.

I think that's called 'motivation.' Thank you, m'luv, for the Up and funny. If you like laughing, take a look at my "Old Age Benefits." Not that you need them, of course, just that you will find them something to laugh at.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Doc Mohan. I sincerely hope your epiglottis and other related organs are recuperating from the trauma and strain encountered by laughing at this hub. Be assured your behavior falls within the normal guidelines and when those fellows in the white coats knock on your door, do NOT let them in!

In addition, it is eminently appropriate as well as perspicacious (one of my favorite words - already used it once in a comment above) to find yourself attracted to someone who uses the word 'obstreperous.' Titillation, too, is good - trust me. Thank you for your hilarious yet perspicuous comments. You make my day.

As to your query about finding some good 'lebanese' films, I fear my response could be interpreted as prurient by the noble Hubpages powers. Sorry!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

What a pleasure to meet you, imatellmuva. Love your Hub name. Thank you for enjoying these Q and A responses. I'm receiving such interesting, inventive comments from hubbers like yourself I may publish an Advice Column hub, Part Two. And it will by your fault. Heh, heh.

In response to those difficult questions which you answered so ingeniously, I loved your putative answers. Especially your response that mental pause and menopause may be one and the same. Brilliant, my dear.' Take a look at my Interviews with Dead Celebrities and let me know what you think.

BTW, Chuck did give his hirsute girlfriend a coupon ... and she ate it!

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

drbj, The pleasure is all mine! I love your avatar...makes me feel safe! And how you speak through your writing, makes me want to read more and more!

Just so you know I had to look up, thanks! LOL

I will indeed look at the Interviews with Dead Celebrities!

drbj...You Rock!!!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You just keep this up, ima... with comments like 'You Rock!' and you just may become my new BFF. Promise.

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

...pinkie swear!

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

You have a great sense of humor. Advice columns can be interesting and some used to be on general. I remember a TV show a long time ago about a man taking a job as a columnist of the Dear Abbey sort. I believe the part was played by Peter Lawford.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Don, for both the visit and enjoying my sense of humor. That makes two of us. :) That film you mention about a male advice columnist with Peter Lawford in that role sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

drbj....LOL! Very good! Perhaps your advice expert should join forces with Gabby. Surely between the 2, they can solve all problems. Your expert is definitely a no-nonsense kind of person......add an old lady who has lost touch with reality and imagine the possibilities!!! UP+++

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

What a great suggestion, Paula. I am positive that between Gabby and myself we could solve the problems of the universe. After all, two old ladies who have lost touch with reality can accomplish so much more than just one! :)

And thanks for the UP+++, m'dear.

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

now, see, you've gone and ruined one of my best coaching techniques. I always figured anyone who asked for my advice wouldn't know what a cretinous lout was.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Touche! Chris. How about a new coaching substitute? Would dupe work?

zombielogic profile image

zombielogic 3 years ago from Rockford, Illinois

Ubermenscher took this advice and started an advice column

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, zonbielogic - good for Ubermenscher!

Giao 22 months ago

Hi, thank you for your help. My teacher give me the homework for the advice column but I don't know how to do it. I have to write a advice column about the square love of "Midsummer's night dream": Demetrius, Helena, Hermia and Lysander. Can you give me some example?

drbj profile image

drbj 22 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Giao - Get Puck out of the picture and those four individuals may find true love. If you think 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' is complicated, read the synopsis of Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Ernest."

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