Advice for awkward people

Hey Ryan and Matt,

I’m a prospective student, and I enjoyed your latest column, so I figured I would reach out to you guys for some guidance. I’m interested in starting up an advice column for my high school’s newspaper, and I was hoping you guys could give me some direction. What is your process? How do you sort through all the requests for advice?

I’m dying to know,
Currently Unmewed of Reality, Imaginary Opportunist, Unique Sycophant

Although we do this each week, Amy Dickinson of “Ask Amy” fame is probably the expert on advice columns, but let’s give this one a shot. First, many of our loyal, awkward advice seekers are normal people who live fulfilling lives ... entirely in our imaginations. Frankly, the way that we separate the wheat from the chaff has to do with what needy, fictitious character is screaming loudest. We feel obliged to get the problems these passing thoughts complain about on the page for our own sanity. We don’t care if these characters resolve their issues, so long as they leave us alone. Think about it. If we actually gave good advice, we’d be out of a job sooner than later.

Say hello to the Easter Bunny for us!
Matt and Ryan

Dear Matt and Ryan,

Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been watching Jeopardy! each and every weekday night. I haven’t missed a single episode in more than 15 years. I have autographed pictures of Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and IBM Watson hanging right next to my bed. I’m writing because whenever I bring up my Jeopardy! fandom, people give me weird looks, and tell me not to forget to get to sleep by 9:30, like I’m some old retiree.

Why are people hating on my game show?
Tangibly Reavowed; Enamored By Empty Knowledge

**Dear TREBEK, **
This is Carnegie Mellon; we have KGB, CS majors, the Quidditch team, and a Magic: the Gathering club, but Jeopardy! fandom takes the cake as the most nerdy extracurricular interest we have ever heard of.
Regardless, the sad fact is that Americans generally don’t take kindly to show-offy know-it-alls. Why do you think geeks and nerds are so ostracized in society? Or why is Carnegie Mellon where all of us congregate? Our only advice is to not let the haters hate, and let your freak flag fly.

How did IBM’s Watson autograph a picture?**
Ryan and Matt**