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The Mission of the Advice Columnist

Sort 264 finds letters again.

by Dear Jon
May 11, 2004

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ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I noticed that you did not publish any advice this week, and I hear from reliable sources that this may be the result of a lack of questions submitted over the past week. Is it possible that over the years you have provided so much useful advice in this column and in your encyclopedia that there are no more questions left to ask and no more knowledge to be gained?

Sincerely, No More Questions
 
Dear No More,
 
If I were an optimist, that is what I would believe. All advice columnists should have, as our mission in life, that we intend to work ourselves out of our jobs. If I were an optimist I would take the empty mailbox as a sign that common sense is now prevailing all by itself. However, photographs of humiliated Iraqi prisoners, in addition to the phenomenon which is Donald Trump, leads me to conclude that common sense is nowhere in sight. If I were a pessimist I would conclude that the empty mailbox is a sign that people are too lazy to improve themselves by accepting my advice.
 
Realistically, I have to own up to the fact that, unlike other advice columnists syndicated by major newspapers to millions of readers, I have a loyal fan base of about 14 people. Of those 14, two of them will never ask me for advice, and two of them will ignore anything I say anyway, and the 10 remaining fit into the category of having had all their questions answered already. The occasional “hit” article, such as the Michelangelo Code, does not serve to increase regular readership, apparently.
 
However, there are points of light in this darkness. Letters have come in. Dear Jon continues to be a voice of male wisdom in a culture polarized by the contradictions of feminazism and prime-time network pornography.
 
So let us return to the issues that will improve your life if you would only pay attention.

 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Brats or burgers?

Sincerely,
Grill Man
 
Dear Grill,
 
That depends on the beer. Brats are good with lagers, whereas burgers require something stiffer. I would suggest that both meats are packaged in small enough amounts that really, you don’t have to choose. The advantage to not having to choose between meats is that you will not have to choose between beverages either. This is America. Have it all!

 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

We all know what the expression "out in the boonies" means, but where did that expression come from? What's a boonie? Or is it boony?

Ray Gun
 
Dear Ray,
 
As you are no doubt aware, Dear Jon does not look anything up. The answer that comes to mind seems logical to me, so I will declare it as absolute gospel truth.
 
The reference is to Daniel Boone, a frontiersmen from the revolutionary period who opened Kentucky to settlement. “Out in the boonies” would mean, therefore, one of two things. 1. Somewhere remote from civilization in terms of a rustic, backwards setting; provincial, as it were, or lacking any kind of sophistication whatsoever. 2. “Out in the boonies” could also be in reference to “anywhere in Kentucky.”

 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Now that "Friends" is over, what am I going to do?

"Friends"-less
 
Dear Less,
 
Make real ones?

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