ask a scientist



name: lisa
query: Me and my sister are trying to convince my mom to buy us a drum set and a
bass.? What are some good ways for convincing?

Dear Lisa and sis,

Here is a sample conversation in which you convince your mom to do as you wish:

"Hey, Mom? Have you ever heard of Chris Cain and Michael Tapper?"

Mom's face flushes and she smiles shyly. "Chris and Michael... wow... Yes, um... yeah, sweetie, I have. Why... why do you ask?"

"Well, Janie and I think they're the best. We think about them all the time, and we both get a funny tickly feeling in our stomachs when we look at pictures of them. We think it's perfessional aducation?"

Mom's eyes are closed; one hand is pressed to her cheek and the other slowly moves across her abdomen. "Adulation. Oh, Lisa... oh, honey... god, I had forgotten about those days..."


Mom is running her hands through her hair and gently moaning / humming 'coming clean' under her breath.


In this mood, she'll do anything, if we know your mom.


name: malcolm
query: dear scientists,
?? i have nintendo.
um... how can i get from no sco to norcal with the least monetary spending
possible? (provided there is no abducting or killing taking place)

Dear Malcolm,

Congratulations on the Nintendo. That would make a pretty nice t-shirt:

i have nintendo.

If by "no sco" you mean Nova Scotia and by "norcal" you mean Northern California, which seems a safe enough bet, then probably the way to make your passage at the absolute minimum cost to yourself -- like, if you're looking to really pinch pennies, here -- would be to try to book a really, really, really, REALLY cheap flight on Orbitz or Hotwire or something. We'd try that.

Alternatively you could abduct and kill some people and search their persons for, like, coordinates to a wormhole that leads from NoSco to NorCal. Ah, but then that clearly violates your conditions. Hmm.

Well, how big are you? And do you have good balance? We already know you have an excellent way with people. Here's where this is going: You could become a flight attendant. See, not only would you, as a flight attendant, get free flights, but you'd also get to (ahem) JOIN THE MILE-HIGH CLUB. Probably fifty times over, in fact. Which would leave you relaxed, if not rested, when you touch down at SanFran International hours before W.A.S.'s next sell-out show at The Pleasuredome, or The Pepsi Arena, or The Stork -- wherever we happen to be playing.

In conclusion, Malcolm, we have chosen your career: it is to mind the friendly skies and engage in a cramped galavant or two with every toothsome stewardess lucky enough to talk her way onto a crew with 'Musky Malcolm the Priapic'. For thus will you come to be known by those callipygian nymphs who have long endured vertiginous views and a narrow workplace with the faith that one day, as they passed from galley to aisle, someone like you would fold open that door, reach out from the lavatory and pull them into a 30.000 foot closeted embrace.


name: Candy
query: Do you "hook-up" with fans at/after/during your concerts?

Dear Candy,

If by "hook up" you refer to the thrilling audiopathic connection that arcs like a ghostbuster's proton beam between musician and audience member during a performance, then absolutely, we hook up, big time.

If you're talking about something sexual, then holy s--t, you should see some of the s--t we do.



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