You’re a Horrible Person, But I Like You

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Advice from Fred Armisen, Zach Galifianakis, and more.

Aziz Ansari

Dear Aziz:
How long can you spend masturbating to pictures of ex- girlfriends on Facebook before it becomes a problem?
Boise, ID

Dear Ethan:
At the current time, I’d say you don’t have a problem. But if it moves from Facebook to Twitter and you are simply masturbating to her Twitter updates, then it’s time to step away and reassess the situation.

Fred Armisen

Dear Fred:
What do you think is the best way to tell my dad I’m a lesbian? I’m thinking he’s already suspicious since I’m thirty- one and haven’t yet brought a guy home.
Jennifer Alfonso
Tampa, FL

Dear Jennifer:
I’ll tell him. What’s his number? Let me practice what I’m going to say to him. “Hi, Mr. Alfonso? I’m Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live on NBC.” No, no, no. “Hey! Señor Alfonso! Whatchoo’ doin’? Slap me five!” No. “Mr. Alfonso, this is an amazing, weird planet we live on. Look at that sky. Is there a name for such a beautiful color? Let’s talk about your daughter.” No. I’ll figure it out. But again, his number, please.

Samantha Bee

Dear Samantha:
Why, to put it delicately, does the carpet not always match the drapes?
Gavin Katz
Woodbury, MN

Dear Gavin:
Oh my god, did I just wake up in a 1970s porno? Nobody lays broadloom anymore; it’s hardwood all the way. At the most you might put a runner down for a little traction, but that’s it. Your question is irrelevant. You’re like an adorable little anachronism. Did you type this question on your typewriter and send it in via pony?

Rob Corddry

Dear Rob:
The other day somebody asked me what my spirit animal is, and I honestly had no idea what to tell him. Where would I find this information? And do I get a say in the matter?
Brendan S. G.
Albuquerque, NM

Dear Brendan:
I will answer your question in the form of a story, not unlike the way Jesus would.

When I was a young man, I was an avid hiker. I would spend hours walking trails, communing with nature. It was there that I developed a profound communion with the residents of the forest. It was there that I felt I could communicate with them on some basic level. It was also there that I ate a poisonous mushroom and tripped my nuts off for days until the forest ranger found me living in a burned- out car surrounded by waterlogged Playboy magazines.

Long parable short, my spirit animal is Miss February 1986’s vagina.

Paul Feig

Dear Paul:
My girlfriend’s birthday is coming up in two weeks, and I only have five bucks to my name until I get paid next month. Any ideas?
Oakland, CA

Dear Jay:
You poor bastard. Literally. Five bucks until next month’s paycheck? I know the economy is bad but yikes. What your girlfriend needs for her birthday is a new boyfriend with a better- paying job. I’m just kidding. Hittin’ you with a little tough love because even though I’ve only known you for five seconds, you’re like a son to me. You sound like a good, earnest guy and the fact that you would spend your last five dollars on a present for your girlfriend and not something crazy like food or paying your electric bill makes me want to help you out. I’d say take that five bucks to an office supply store, buy a hundred sheets of paper; a roll of tape, and a Magic Marker, write “Happy Birthday (your girlfriend’s name)!” on each of the hundred pieces of paper, and then tape the papers all along the route your girlfriend takes to work in the morning. She’ll love the gesture and if she doesn’t, well, then break up with her. She’s not worth spending your hard- earned cash on.
Feig out!

Jim Gaffigan

Dear Jim:
My best friend’s been turning into a real ass lately. Says he’s been getting migraines. I think it’s the recession. We need marriage counseling, except not for married people. Where do friends go for that sort of thing? Or better yet, what’s your ten- step recovery program for friends on the rocks?
David V.
Pasadena, TX

Dear David:
Let me be clear up front. Your letter reminded me why I hate all sitcoms about groups of friends. Now back to you. I must admit you sound like a really great friend.

DAVID: How’s it going?
FRIEND: Unfortunately, I have another really bad migraine.
DAVID: You’re turning into an ass.

I suppose if your friend got a terminal disease you might want to sue him. Heck, you should be counseling people on sensitivity. Please accept my friend request.

Zach Galifianakis

Dear Zach:
My girlfriend and I have been together for about two months. The relationship is still new, but I think we’re going to be together for a while. Some days she has a mustache, though. It’s light and wispy and makes me want to die. Is there any subtle, safe way to alert her to her own facial hair and make her get rid of the mustache?
Eddie Turner
Atlanta, GA

Dear Eddie:
I know what you’re feeling. I date a Jewish girl with a Hitler mustache and I’ve never said anything to her. I even bought a biography of Frida Kahlo and pretended to read it while my girlfriend looked on. I just shook my head and muttered, “Can you believe this woman?” It went right over my girlfriend’s mustached head. Now, I’m not normally one to recommend roofies, but sometimes they can help. Do I need to say anything else?

Mindy Kaling

Dear Mindy:
My husband is a terrible author. He’s been working on the same novel for almost a decade, and I’m so tired of reading his “latest revision.” I just can’t fake it anymore, and he gets suspicious when I claim to have a headache or eye cramps. How can I avoid his sloppy prose while also sparing his feelings?
Guilty Wife in Baton Rouge

Dear Guilty Wife:
You think the fact that he’s bad is the reason you hate reading his stuff, but it’s not. When I carried on my decades- long affair with Tom Wolfe — you should’ve seen the two of us, nattily dressed in matching white suits — he always asked me to read his work. It was dreadful. It got to the point where I had to put down chapter two of The Right Stuff and say: “They go to space, they don’t go to space, I don’t care anymore!” And he’s a good writer. It’s torture. I would check into a women’s shelter.

John Oliver

Dear John:
I’ve got about six pounds of grass cuttings in my garage and no clue what to do with it. Any ideas?
Dr. L. Harrison
Seattle, WA

Dear Dr. L. Harrison:
I will personally give you fifteen dollars if you cover yourself head to toe in glue, roll around in the grass cuttings, and go running down your street screaming, “Look at me; I’m a sticky wicket!” You may be jeopardizing your right to practice medicine, but I’m guessing that you’re one of those “I’m- a- doctor- of- Shakespeare- not- a- real- doctor” doctors. So you don’t really have much to lose.

I have two fives and five ones with your name on them. Your move.

Amy Sedaris

Dear Amy:
They say that the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. More specifically, what do you think is the best meal to serve my man to make sure he’ll never, ever leave me?
Dani Kando- Kaiser
Sacramento, CA

Dear Dani:
First of all, I’m a bit of an amateur coroner. Let’s just say I like to poke around. The fastest way to a man’s heart is definitely through the chest cavity. Yeah, it’s a bit of a bother sawing through all that bone, but trust me, it’s a straight shot.

To answer your question about serving a dish that will keep your man happy, I suggest a Honey Baked west vagina ham, or turkey cordon blow him. Or how about chicken snatchatori?

Excerpted from You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice. Copyright © 2010 by Believer Inc. and reprinted by permission of Vintage Books.