Dear Rosie: I am a fearful person and it’s ruining my life! I’m afraid of people so I’ve never had the nerve to ask a girl out or hit my boss up for a raise. Once I got invited to a party but I didn’t go because it was at night and I’m scared of the dark. Anyway, how would I get there? I never learned to drive because I’m scared of cars. Rosie, what can I do? Trembling in Trenton
Dear Trembling: First of all, let me assure you that your fears are perfectly normal. I’m scared of all kinds of things, too, deliverymen and veterinarians and the vacuum cleaner, plus this new stove we have at our house makes such a terrible noise – peep! – that every time somebody turns it on I stop eating and slink out the back door. And you’re certainly right to be frightened of cars. A friend of mine used to chase them and he was mashed flat! But remember, cars can be your friend. Sometimes they take you to the vet’s office but more often it’s a nice hike where you get to run through the woods and bark at squirrels. What can you do about your fears? I’ve found that it helps to curl up underneath a desk or under the bed for a while. If you’re outside, cedar trees are the best bet because their branches go all the way down to the ground and nobody can see you. Or sometimes I just pee myself.
Dear Rosie: The other girls at my high school treat me like dirt. They say mean things about me on Facebook, sneer at me in the lunchroom and hide my clothes from me when I have to change in gym class. One of them stole my boyfriend and another beat up my kid sister. What can I do? Resentful in Rising Fawn
Dear Resentful: The Buddhists have a chant that translates, more or less: “Hate is never ended by hate but only by love.” Whether their villages have been burned or their family members slaughtered in unjust wars, if they chant this long enough they find that peace and joy are restored to the universe. But me personally, I would bite them.
Dear Rosie: I’m a single man with a good job and reasonably good looks, but the woman I’m in love with doesn’t know I exist! I’ve tried getting her attention by clever conversation or fabulous feats, but when I send flowers she ignores me and she didn’t bat an eyelash when I was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize.
Rosie, how can I make her notice me? Wistful in Wildwood
Dear Wistful: When I want to get people’s attention what I do is go into their room and lick my butt noisily until they wake up. Alternatively, you could stick your snout under the sheets and give their butt the old cold-nose treatment, or go outside and marathon-bark at a gnat until everyone in the ZIP code’s awake. Or you could always poop on the floor.