When Advice Columns Go Hilariously Wrong

In this age of widespread internet use, there are thousands upon thousands of places to seek advice. Some of it is worthy advice, other times it can be downright poor or reckless advice. But advice is free for the taking to anyone that can access the 'net. There was an age -not so long ago- when professional and quasi-professional advice-giving was to not so generally available. People who had personal dilemmas and who didn't want to turn to friends or family, or who were shy to open up to counselors or spiritual advisors, had little choice but to seek out the advice they needed from newspaper "advice columnists". There were many enough around and practically every print press had their own local version of Dear Abby. These advice-givers didn't charge for their help, and most of them never expected to be famous. And for the price of pen, paper, envelope and stamp you just sent your questions through the U.S. Post Office, and in return they would write back with their homespun opinions about your dilemma.


While the popularity of newspaper advice columns has waned with the growth of the 'net, the truth is many of the old-school advice-givers knew more about life than a lot of the smug know-it-all's we find online. Thankfully, their advice is still found in many smaller local newspapers, and Dear Abby indeed is still around (albeit in her second incarnation). These sages not only specialize in personal private problems, but often address particular aspects of life, such as cleaning your house, repairing cars, raising children, training pets, ect.


As serious as are the issues these hard-working folks address, there is often humor to be found in the classic newspaper advice column. The following column clippings are from my private collection and presented for the humorous aspects of their content. I'll post the older ones first and move on to the more modern.


This first clipping is from a column called "Mage Marvelous Mavis" and I found it in an old newspaper from North Carolina called Bluebird Nest News. It is pretty clear that even from her closeted desk room at the newspaper, Mavis was a little more perceptive than the poor reader writing in.


From the "Letters To Maureen & Mike" column, circa 1955.


Regional columnist "Rose" was said to have started out as a comedy performer at the Grand Ole Opry. She took up spinning her common sense advice in her golden years - and free of charge. She never accepted a salary or paycheck from the papers that published her column.


More insight from "Rose".


According to my sources, Heidi Helpful's column didn't last long. But this answer shows she could smell out a rat without even being there.


Allen here didn't reply to Peggy's question, and I am still wondering about that cruise control!


I have no idea where "Ms. Laurie" is today, but I think it is fair to surmise she probably never spent a hard-working day outside of the cloistered halls of Academia.


And this, friends, is why you never ask a man to make the jello...


If Nurse Anna had been smart, she may have claimed the next notch on hubby's bed post. But no, she had ethics. (And seriously, good for her!)


Rachel had better hope her neighbor isn't a grammar Nazi, or I see trouble ahead..or is that Tribbles ahead?


DRUUUM roll please! Presenting the world's most oblivious gamer!!!


Carlos may be a simple carpenter, but by golly he is one HONEST carpenter!



This Hub ©August 16, 2014 by Beth Perry

DEAR ABBY performed by John Prine

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Comments 26 comments

travmaj profile image

travmaj 2 years ago from australia

Beth, absolutely hilarious, what a great collection of agonies! Oh dear, think Mavis was in for a shock re her husband - Worried mum and her daughter a bit of a worry and Tom and his problem might be up in flames by now. Enjoyed reading these very much, made my day.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Travmaj, yes I have wondered myself whatever happened to Tom!

Thank you much for reading and the comments :)


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona

This is a funny and unique topic Beth! I love it! Voted up! & Tweeted Out!


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I like the way you put all the information together. Funny indeed and thank you for sharing another interesting hub.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

swilliams, I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank-you!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

DDE, thanks so much :)


SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

These are priceless! What a fun page :)


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

SheGetsCreative, thank you for dropping in to read :)


quildon profile image

quildon 2 years ago from Florida

Hilarious! Reminds me of the days when I looked forward to reading those advice columns. Some of them were really quite good.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

quildon, I'm happy you enjoyed them!


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Hi Beth, boy were those silly. Some were so stupid they were funny, when I read "Fred and Ted's..." I just burst out laughing. That Ms. Laurie was idiotic, I would have answered it in two words - The police. The song on the video was funny too! That definitely gets voted up, shared & pinned.

Kevin


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Thanks Kevin, much appreciated!

And yeah, that is a humorous song. I remembered hearing it on the radio when I was a kid and took a chance it might be at Youtube.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

That's two times in a row you've had me howling. I just might expect this every time I visit you. :)

You asked for my website....www.williamdhollandauthor.com....thanks.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

billybuc, thank you for reading and commenting - and thanks much for the website addy!


DrBillSmithWriter profile image

DrBillSmithWriter 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

What fun!! Thanks for sharing!! ;-)


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

You're welcome DrBillSmithWriter! And thanks for dropping in :)


Judy Filarecki profile image

Judy Filarecki 2 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

Thanks for so many laughs. It is perfect for starting the day.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Judy, I am so happy it did! Thanks for dropping by to read :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Some of those questions are ludicrous and the answers funny. That is quite a collection you have there! :))


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Peggy W, I am tickled you enjoyed them and thanks much for dropping in!


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 2 years ago from Oklahoma

Hilarious! I wish I could do a local advice column and be so blunt. Sadly, too many people know me in this small town. I might get tarred and feathered. :) Loved the read!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Sharkye11, why don't you use a pen name to write one? That'd be so cool!

Thanks much for reading and commenting :)


chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 2 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

Too funny! Incredible to think that some are for real. You've done some great research - could you stop yourself from howling? These deserve a share and some votes.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

chef-de-jour, thank you very much and I'm so glad you got some entertainment out of them!


Melinda Longoria profile image

Melinda Longoria 2 years ago from Garland, Texas

Oh my goodness. Some of these are really out there, aren't they? LoL


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Melinda, thank you much for dropping in!

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