Posts by Dr. Boli


Sir: Several of my neighbors have yard signs with the appallingly provocative slogan “WATER IS LIFE.”

“Water is life!” Try telling that to the two thousand people who died in the Johnstown Flood! Try telling that to the passengers who went down with the Lusitania! I’ll bet they didn’t go down singing “Water is life” while the stuff filled their lungs. What’s wrong with these neighbors, anyway? Can’t they see through this transparent pro-water propaganda? I don’t know who’s behind this, but I’ll bet it’s the Public Utilities Commission. They’ve been trying for years to snooker me into connecting my house to running water, but I prefer to drink from the pothole down the street. Do you know that the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority keeps a reservoir with enough water to drown every man, woman, and child in Highland Park? I bet you didn’t hear that in your pro-water propaganda, did you, Mr. Water-Is-Life? I bet they didn’t tell you that 90% of the damage in Hurricane Sandy was caused by water, according to plausible figures I invented myself, did they?

Also, this flatware said it was “stainless steel,” but this knife has dried peanut butter all over it. What’s up with that?

——Sincerely, Nebridius Gasket, Mount Oliver (borough).


Our web pages are undergoing maintenance, which may result in the display of old data. This message will be removed once maintenance is complete. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy this encore performance of the weather from August 13, 1948.


Dear Dr. Boli: I always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve been reading quotations from famous writers to inspire me. Like I just came across this one from some guy who was, like, a writer, I think.

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it.

——Charles Bukowski, So You Want to Be a Writer.

So I wanted to know if this is like good advice, or what? —Sincerely, Olivia, Mr. Cramer’s 10th-Grade Creative-Writing Class.

Dear Miss: Professional writers often give advice like this to aspiring writers. You must be sincere above all, they say. Every word must force itself out of the depths of your soul, and you must never set pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, until you cannot bear to keep silent. Professional writers give you advice like this because they know that, if you follow it, you will never be a professional writer, and thus their competition will be reduced in the marketplace. Professional writers can be very devious.


Piano-Wire Spaghetti with Lava Balls.

Hornet Salad.

Shale Muesli with Gravel.

Thistle Fritters.

Hot Pepper and Vinegar Lemon Smoothie.

Icepicks au Gratin.

Macaroni and Cheese with the Queen Consort of Lesotho Looking Over Your Shoulder.


Sir: It has been an honor to serve in this cliff-diving expedition. However, in light of recent events, I must regretfully submit my resignation.

When we all jumped off this cliff, I was very proud of what we were accomplishing. As I watched our mob of enthusiastic supporters plummet toward the bottom, it gave me great satisfaction to see how our work was accelerating at a rate of nearly 9.81 meters per second per second—a rate I believe to be unmatched by any previous expedition. I am still proud to have been part of those early successes.

More recent events, however, have left me at a loss for words. The mob of supporters, whom you encouraged to precede us, did not float lightly to the ground as we had all been led to expect. They have made a considerable mess where they landed, and it will take some time to clean it up. I must be blunt and say that this outcome raises serious questions about your own leadership.

After the events we have all witnessed, I cannot in good conscience remain a part of this expedition. Although we have only a few yards to go before we hit the rocks below, I can no longer be associated with this endeavor for even that short distance. History will judge me if I do not take a stand now. I will be leaving this plummet immediately. I thank you for your confidence in me, and I urge you to conduct the remainder of your descent in an orderly fashion.


Hey there! Long time no see! Remember us, the guys at Rudy Rooter Plumbing? You haven’t called us in a while. Well, here’s some encouragement: mention this ad, and we’ll give you $75 off your next clog! You’d be a fool to miss a bargain like this! So go into the bathroom and clog something, because we miss you.