Advice for Awkward People

Dear Evan,

One of my best friends plays Chaser on the university’s Quidditch team, but only because she didn’t make Snitch last year. She’s been training nonstop — literally every day since then, she’s been painting herself gold and running laps around the football field in her underwear — tryouts are next week so she’s been having me time her laps and pelt her with dodge balls — does the Snitch even get pelted during real games?

But she’s not going to get the position — she runs like a wounded hippogriff, and I can’t count on two hands and feet the number of times I’ve scored headshots. How do I let her down slow and make sure she doesn’t go about the same training regimen (or worse) this year?

Mostly Offish and Reclusive, Except Obliging Friends and Associates, Regretting Ever Disclosing Will to Assist Lucy with Life’s Fierce Aspiration to run Naked


Oh, you won’t be able to do both. Let her down slow and discourage her from trying again, I mean. From personal experience, avid (a mild adjective, considering their vehemence) Harry Potter fans, particularly those who go so far as to act out events from the books, like Quidditch players or LARPing cosplayers, have tendencies toward the stubborn and the dramatic.

If you value your time and sanity, I’d skip going easy on her and jump straight to telling her flat-out that she’s slow as balls and that she should stick to spending Saturdays failing to solve New York Times crosswords.

RIP Brian Jacques (pronounced “Jakes,” apparently),
Evan Kahn

Dear Evan,

I always leave my dishes in the sink to do later, but then I forget to wash them, so my roommates get mad at me. But I really don’t want to do the dishes. Help?

Lazily yours,
Sometimes Consume Unpretentious Meals But, Under Constraints, Kip Ere Tidying


Just make it look like you’ve washed your plates and water glasses. Silverware is easy — just swipe your fork with a soapy sponge once, and you’re fine. The trick is to put in absolutely no effort.

I hope my roommates don’t think I do this…
Evan Kahn