Dear Daniel

For reasons that are unclear to me, people are always asking me questions. Things like “what the hell do you think you’re doing” and “did you know that’s illegal,” for example. I, being a man of the world, do my best to impart my wisdom upon these poor confused souls. Here’s a few questions that have appeared in my inbox recently.

Dear Daniel,

I work for a large biotech company, genetically engineering crops to be resistant to the pesticides and herbicides we sell. A few days ago, we noticed in our test fields that the weeds were not only failing to die, but were exhibiting signs of evolution, in the form of developing a simple but elegant written language and fashioning crude weapons out of the irrigation equipment. As I am the lead field tech, I suspect these plant-people have come to revere me as some sort of god. My question is twofold: how do I explain this to my superiors, and how would I list this on my resume?

Deity in Denver

Dear Deity,

Clearly you are new to the field of biotech, as what you have here is nothing more than an infestation of plantoids. They have been popping up ever since scientists first genetically modified corn back in the 1960s. The first field researchers ended up having to have ears of corn surgically removed; they went went on to invent ethanol as revenge. Your superiors will know how to deal with plantoids; I understand napalm is commonly used. As for your resume, a simple annotation of “Plantoid Wrangler” will do.

Dear Daniel,

I am a popular swordfighting instructor/cosplayer, enough to where I have accumulated a bit of a cult following. It seems like no matter where I go, there they are, wearing hooded robes and chanting. Lately, they have indicated they plan to sacrifice me to their goat-god, Zaldabu. I am worried that this will cut into my leisure time. How do I handle the demands of fleeing from a blood-crazed cult while still having time for recreation?

Mobbed in Massachusetts

Dear Mobbed,

First of all, we are hardly a cult. We are more a loose group of devoted admirers who trade pictures we have surreptitiously taken of you while you sleep or dine with friends. We only worship Zaldabu in jest. My advice is to give this cult the attention they seek for a while, and then they will get bored and move on to the next polymath. Greet them in thin, easy-to-stab-through clothing.

Dear Daniel,

I have a problem. See, for as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of a huge, faceless media conglomerate. It owns my local newspaper, favorite movie studio, two of my local TV channels, my favorite 24-hour news channel, and one-fifth of the moon. I have even named my children after them. But lately, my eye has began to wander- I find myself consuming media produced by OTHER huge, faceless media conglomerates. My question is, how do I tell a huge, faceless media conglomerate that I no longer want to be exclusive?

Televised in Topeka

Dear Televised,

It is a well-known fact that huge, faceless media conglomerates are deeply insecure. That’s why they buy up everything; they are trying to fill that aching emptiness inside of them with material goods, and it’s sad to watch. Breach the subject carefully; perhaps after a moment of intimacy, like when they data mine your personal information for marketing purposes. Stress the good, like how they keep you feeling content about the world around you by spoon-feeding you mindless entertainment and comforting lies. Then explain your need to branch out and experience new ways if being marketed to. It won’t be easy, but with a little luck, you can redefine the relationship.

Those wanting to write to Daniel are urged to reconsider.

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