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Friday, June 05, 2009


Oh hello, friends. As many of you know, I have been recovering from the flu for several days, and my doctor has just prescribed me a massive bottle of codeine cough syrup to help alleviate this rib-shattering cough that I’ve been enjoying so much. He has also ordered me to rest for a few days, so here I am, at my desk, resting.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t answer some of your questions, now, does it?

Itokro says: I was at a largish UK bookshop today. They had half a shelf devoted to 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

This is NOT an advice question, but something I wanted to put in because I am SO EXCITED to finally be out in the UK. It has been my DREAM to have a book out there, and now, that dream has been realized. 13 Little Blue Envelopes will be available exclusively at Waterstone’s until June 26th (where it is part of an awesome 3 for 2 promotion, so it is practically FREE!), and after that, it will be available EVERYWHERE. (Well, everywhere with books. Not at Argos or Tie Rack.) And I'll be having a LONDON GATHERING, location TBA, on June 27th.

ON TO THE ADVICE! Off goes the cap! Glug, glug, glug! Medicine taken!

I am now ready to advise.

Neil asks: How to do I, a math nerd from Scotland, survive a summer in Canada?

Here’s a math problem for you, Neil. 78% of all the meat consumed by Americans comes from Canada. 56% of all UK tourists who go to Canada are never heard from again. Pieces of British passports are found in 17% of all burgers served in the United States. Mathematically speaking, how do you think you’re going to taste when you’re served up with French fries? Good luck with your trip!

McChrista asks: How can I figure out if the guy I like likes me back if we don't talk that often?

The first thing you have to do in a case like this is ascertain whether or not the guy in question actually speaks English. Because this could be your whole problem. The way to get to the bottom of this is by going up to your love interest, getting close into his face, and saying DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? really slowly and loudly. If doesn't react, then your problem is essentially solved, and you should just start making out at once. Wherever you are.

Making out starts now!

If he says, “Yes” then things are a bit more tricky, because he’s probably wondering why you asked if he speaks English. He’ll feel like you don’t know him as well as you should. Start laughing IMMEDIATELY. LOUDLY. Like it was all a joke. He won’t get it, of course, because there is nothing to get. This will make you seem clever.

The laughing makes you seem smart.

Follow this up with something smooth, like, “What is your favorite flavor?” or “Do you follow the shipping news?” or “Would you like to see my calendar of adorable kittens dressed in people outfits?” Any of these questions should get you on an even conversational keel for a few moments. You should use this time to search his pockets for pictures of you. I realize that this can be hard to pull off, so this is why you knock him out with a lamp while he’s answering you. If he has a picture of you, feel free to make out with him the moment he looks even remotely conscious. If he doesn’t have a picture of you, plant one and run away quickly and hide. Approach only when he seems to be regaining consciousness. Say, “I can’t believe that man hit you over the head with that TIRE IRON! Let me NURSE you!” If he appears to remember that you hit him with a lamp, hit him again and keep repeating until he doesn’t remember and then get in there with the nursing line, which always works.

Or just send him an e-mail asking him out for coffee. Whichever.

Anonymous asks: I need advice on how to steal Snape back from the magical frogs named Elmond who are using him in their evil plot to mesh headphones with Twinkies and use it to infect the entire printer force with Frolic Disease.

Someone had better give me back my codeine syrup!

Sarah asks: How should I make money without doing anything?

Sarah, this question has haunted me for years. I like to think I’ve come pretty close, but this is an elusive prize. ABBA, of course, explores this question, because ABBA thinks of everything:

Shrieky asks: There is a girl (who we shall call GirlWhoMakesCoffee) who bugs me. She is in my German class and she comes early EVERY morning and makes COFFEE so my teacher doesn't have to. (Our teacher lets us have coffee and tea in class because she is made of win.) When we were in middle school, GirlWhoMakesCoffee learned the first names of all the teachers and would refer to them in conversation ONLY BY THEIR FIRST NAME. That is the kind of person she is. Not one single teacher sees through her, they all luuuuuuuurve her and think she's the best thing since Scantron cards, etc. Now, unfortunately, my German teacher thinks my friends and I like her, so we are stuck doing our final project with her. There is no way out of this situation. It wouldn't be so bad (well actually it would be), but she keeps looking up literal translations for things in the dictionary. THIS IS BAD. We cannot trust her to write anything because we would have to do it all over again. We're going to have to put up with this situation next year too. What should we do?

I’d switch to French.

Anonymous said: I secretly love a small Asian boy who is moving away next year. Any ideas?

How small? Because if he’s as small as you seem to be implying, you could just CATCH HIM IN A SHOEBOX and keep him forever, like a talking hamster!

I hope this helps! I’ll be answering MORE questions later, after I talk to these NICE BUTTERFLIES that have just come in. Please leave yours below.

Oh, and if you follow me on Twitter, here are the answers (in CODED INITIALS) to today’s BLIND GOSSIP ITEMS: C.C, K.N., S.W., L.B., H.B., J.L. C.C., J.L.B.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it! Still calling the DEA though. :P

6:58 AM  
Blogger valerie2776 said...

Will you interview the butterflies for us? I have always wanted to talk to a butterfly.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Anila said...

are the two c.c.s the same person?

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maureen... I love you. So much. <3

7:12 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Great blog/post as usual.
Um, this girl just came up to me & yelled slowly "Do you speak English". I said yes,and then she hit me with a lamp. I came to, and she did it again. Now i am being nursed by her. How do I tell her I'm in love with her now?
Love from Canada
PS We TRY to keep the passports out of the meat.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Katy said...

Hahaha nice :]
Im definately going to try the whole hitting with a lamp thing.
But i have a question:
Me and my friends are going to be really far away from each other the whole summer! How do we make sure to say in touch? (at some points, people wont have internet either!)

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Does the "do you speak English"/lamp hitting trick work the other way? As in, I am a guy, does it work on girls?

7:21 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Maureen, how am I supposed to get my friends to read Harry Potter when they write it off after watching one of the movies?

7:30 AM  
Blogger Tenley Nadine said...

This is the only blog on the internet that makes me literally laugh out loud.

Question: I've known this guy (who I will leave anonymous, cough Kyle cough) that I have liked since 9th grade (I just graduated). However there are some problems, we never really talk, and more importantly I moved roughly 13 hours away. Is it worth my time to try to pursue the relationship even though were so far apart? Also, is there any specific ways to tell if he likes me back?

Or if you don't answer my question you should answer Rob's question (the 5th question from the top).

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do believe that I had inspired you posting that ABBA video because a little before you posted this, out of the pure goodness of my heart, I had sent you a link to that exact video.
Your welcome. xD

I noticed at LeakyCon how much you must have learned from ABBA in your life time. You remind me of them. Hah! :)

I would ask you advice, but my problems are pretty much unsolvable. Oh right, you're maureen.

Okay here it is then:
I got into a REALLY big fight over something stupid with a really close friend of mine. It included a lot of swearing and being sworn at. He recently apologized, and I apologized as much as I could. He still wants to be my friend, and I still wanna be his, but at the same time, I just dont FEEL the same anymore. I feel nothing towards him: no sense of friendship at all. PLEASE, O MIRACULOUS ADVICE GIVER, GIVE ME THE ANSWER! What should I doooo?

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Starlysh said...

I love this blog. And I love Carey Grant. And your love for Carey Grant.

Question: I'm a paranoid person. I think people talk about me. How do I become less crazy?

8:33 AM  
Blogger delightfully mediocre said...

*leaves butterflies, backs away slowly*


8:37 AM  
Anonymous Bo-Dara said...

Ok so I'm a big reader right..I love books if I could marry a book I would. (Kidding) SO I haven't been to a bookstore or library in 5 months...How do you deal with book withdraw?

8:43 AM  
Blogger angela said...

Soo I have MULTIPLE questions. Isn't that fun?
I think soo. (:

Topic One: I AM THE MATCHMAKER OF ALL(tis utterly and completely true, btw)
Q1:I match make my friends. Unfortunately, I have just realized that for the past three years I have been in love with this boy, whom we shall call N. One of my best friends MA. also likes N. and has a MUCH better chance with him then I, because, well, he likes her back. Did I mention N. and I are like best friends? Well, we are. MA. and N. went out before, but N. did something low in the break-up process and we don't talk about that. ADVICIES???*ahem* Also, i kinda sorta set up MA. and N. again.*ahem*
Q2: Me and one fo my best guy friends *ahem* the aforementioned N.*ahem* are HORRIBLE at small talk. We look up things to talk about on the internet and so far have great inside jokes about care bears and state names. I need more ideas!!! Help me out. (: We like the same kind of music, because he's my "music god" according to him. SO no-go on the ABBA methinks. (Don't think too horribly of him!)


Q1: How did the phrase "yessireebob" come about?

Q2:Do you think Mary Poppin's is conceited?

Q3:What are your views on the old tv show Friends?

Q4:What are the chances of you coming to Chicago?

Q5:What are the chances of you maknig a house call and taking me to London with you?

Q6:If the above is NOT possible, could we make it possible to trick another YA author into doing this? And have it be a sekrit and MUCHO fun. I am a very enjoyable person to be around...methinks.? (:

Q7:You went to Leakycon. <---statement. Have you ever heard of HEX?<---quesiton
^just clarifying (:

I bid you adieu.

And I take German. We don't drink tea or coffee. Hmmph. I am upset by this..

Q-THELAST: Have you ever heard of the tv show Castle. If not: go watch it right now online somewhere. If yes: isn't it amazingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg?<--a LOT of gs. etc.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Summer said...

my captcha word is rational. ha.

do you have any tips for taking the SATs? I'm freaking out.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Pineapple said...

My roommate and I want to keep a cat in our apartment, but our landlord only allows caged pets. What else can we do?

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I show my brother's Best Friend the hemp bracelet i made, and he asks me to put it on him and he keeps it, does it mean he is hopelessly in love with me?

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm graduating this year and leaving for university in the fall. I've developed undeniably strong feelings for a friend that I've known since I was seven. We're pretty much best friends now, and I value his feindship so much. I need to tell him before moving but how do I do it without making our friendship awkward?

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question. Actually, I have two.

Is it REALLY TRUE that you're coming to London this month??

If so, would you like to have coffee with me? (But not like in a date, as per your advice in this post.)

Thanks. Yours, in a non-stalkery way,


3:06 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Maureen, you are the best. I love you. :)

So I went on this cruise last December, and while on it I met this really cute guy, who is really funny, and who I really like. the only problem is is that I never got his phone number or anything, and I only know his first name. I also have no idea where he lives. So basically I have no way to contact Tony. Can you see the problem? I was thinking that since you are magical you would be able to help me with this situation, either with advice or by finding him for me.


7:26 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hahahahahaha I totally, totally, totally love the advice you gave McChrista :P
I just might have to take notes on that for future reference myself :P


7:58 PM  
Blogger barefootfiona said...

Why must I go be on holiday on the 27th of June? I *live* in the UK! Why, on the one weekemnd in June that I am not in the country, why is it that day? Sob. Fate, wherefore mockest thou my self?

And why do you persuade peopel to switch to French? What's wrong with German? (screams the angry German hybrid)

8:14 PM  
Blogger FlippedPancake said...

Maureen, i have a problem!

I recently was talking to my friend online, and he told me he received this utterly tasteless, out-of-line, text message concerning dead relatives from an anonymous person. Then, another of my friends mentioned he had ALSO gotten a similar message.
Both were shocked and hurt.
I then found out that the people behind the text-messages were my two closest friends from childhood. One of them is even considered family in my household. On finding out they were the culprits, i asked them about it. They said they were in a bad mood and just felt like tearing someone down. I was disgusted, screamed at them, and immediately broke all contact with them. I didn't regret it and went to go be better friends with the two who received the messages. One of them decided he wanted to get a sandwich, and left, but came back saying he lost him umbrella. I said I would find it. This lead to a sequence that included me running through the streets of Manhattan, barefoot, in the snow, vaulting over wooden picket fences (in manhattan?!) in search of a deli with very tall chairs.

Then i woke up.

If my friends are this mean in my subconscious, should i trust them in the real world, or should i be scared of some Freddy Crugar backlash type incident, minus the pointy claws?

And do you know if this tall-chaired deli really exists, or of ANY picket fences in the city, let alone, ones short enough to vault over?

10:16 PM  
Blogger Shrieky said...

Thanks, Maureen. :D Unfortunately GirlWHoMakesCoffee is also in my French class. She is definitely FOLLOWING ME.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me and my friends were doing a Would you rather book today:

Would you rather fall in love but never be loved, or be loved but never love?

Would you rather eat roadkill or gum off NYC roads?

2:19 AM  
Anonymous lizzieq said...

PANTS used to be considered a dirty word in England. How does this make you feel?

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Butterflies are evil. They lead you into bottomless pits.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Marlee Grace said...

Is it terribly sad that I saw Suite Scarlett on my summer reading list and squeed in public?

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MJ, my mum just exclaimed that she wants us to move to a different apartment but I really don't want to move and I like this one. How do I prevent this move from taking place?

11:40 AM  
Blogger Mina said...


Isn't this your worst nightmare: A 600ft JELLYFISH CROP CIRCLE!!!!!!!


9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, if "Shrieky" reads this, I'm just wondering: are you a fan of Jaclyn Moriarty?

You speak the way some of her character do.

Not that that's a bad thing; Jaclyn Moriarty is an amazing writer (and most of her characters are pretty cool).

7:46 AM  
Blogger Shrieky said...

Hi, Anonymous. I must confess that I've only ever read one book by Jaclyn Moriarty but I LOVED IT. I only just read it though and I've been talking like this pretty much my whole life. But now you have INSPIRED me to read more of her books. I need to find these characters who speak LIKE ME.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So. Last summer, at nerd camp, I met this guy. I liked him a lot. A lot. We were really close and stuff and we have kept in touch over the year. I am going to be seeing him again this summer. But were/are several problem.
1. He is 5 inches shorter than me. I am not really tall or anything. He is just reeeeally short. That was the main reason that I didn't tell him how I felt last summer. How do I not be so shallow?
2. I have never told a boy that I like them before. I would be too embarrassed if he didn't feel the same way.
3. He lives in New Jersey and I live in Washington state. Big difference.

8:06 AM  

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