Pillbox

Advice for awkward people

Dear Patrick,

I just got the complete series of The Wire and I really want to start watching it. But finals are coming up, and I know if I start watching I won’t stop until I finish every episode. Is there any way I can have my cake and eat it too?

Thanks,
Barely Attentive but Diligently Learning, Yet Shows Temptation. Uncertainly Deciding: Yes, I Need Guidance

Dear BADLY STUDYING,

At least you have good taste in TV shows. If this were Two and Half Men we were talking about, I’d tell you to burn it and get back to studying. But with The Wire we have a real dilemma. On the one hand, you don’t want to flunk out of school. On the other, it’s a really good show. Watching what goes on in the Baltimore war on drugs is so much more riveting than calculus.

Now, there’s a very simple solution that may even help your studying. People tend to procrastinate because they lose a sense of the rewards for their work. Instead of doing this, use it as a reward. You can watch one episode after you’ve made a review sheet, and another after you’ve taken a practice test, but only if you scored above an 80.

**Or just have a marathon and get straight Cs,
Patrick Hoskins **

Dear Patrick,

I’ve been protesting the Wall Street industrial complex for years. But now these Occupy dudes come along and they’re all about how Wall Street is bad and banks need to go. Give me a break — they’re just doing it to pick up chicks. And now that everyone’s doing it, it’s harder for me to pick up chicks. How can I raise my street cred?

Thanks,
Picking Up Hipsters, Liberals, Environmentalists, and the Socially Engaged

Dear PUH-LEASE,

I hear you, man. It used to be that you could just complain about how Congress was bought and paid for, and everyone would think you were insightful and knew about politics. Now they just give you a dumb look. It’s become a lot harder to seem like you care without doing any actual work.

There’s a simple fix, though, that will have hippie girls crawling all over you, with just an afternoon’s work. Go to one of those Occupy protests right before the police move in, and then make sure you get maced and/or beaten. If there’s anything girls like, it’s baton-sized bruises.

Chicks dig rap sheets,
Patrick Hoskins

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