- Books, Literature, and Writing
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