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Q and A

Mar 16, 2007; BJ McKay and his Best Friend Bear Asks:

Hello Ms. Richter a (female) biology teacher informed me the other day that women have more blood circulating through their brains then when they are confronted with an issue more parts of their brain are availiable to contemplate the they endlessly ponder ramifications to events whereas males treat things as problems and attempt to find solutions. I could not help but remember one fine day past whence you informed me about the triptophane in whey transgressing the blood/brain barrier so I was wondering what you thought of these notions. I value your opinion highly. I am writing a similar email to Doctor Laura simply to see how wrong she can be. Excelsior!

Stacey answers:

Hello BJ & your little bear too. Yes, I've noticed that men like to find answers quickly while women like to wallow in ambiguity for a while. Sometimes this manifests itself in Male Answer Syndrome, which is when a man answers every question put to him whether he knows the answer or not. M.A.S. is annoying, but so fun to ridicule! You don't have to be a male to have male answer syndrome, which I prove as I write this by writing this. Men like answers, they like concrete solutions, they like grassy and tobacco smells, whereas ladies like feelings and shoes and floral scents. Nonetheless, your biology teacher sounds nuts. I don't think many scientists believe that circulating blood equals circulating thoughts, or that black bile causes melancholy for that matter.

They now sell tryptophan in capsules at the health food store, if you need to cram some serotonin into your brain. And who doesn't.

Mar 15, 2007; Liam from MySpace Asks:

You were right in your MySpace bulletin, your website does have a kick-ass design. Anyhoozle, here's a question for you: As a title for a book of short stories, how does the following grab you?: "Clever Boys and Weathered Girls"? What kind of stories would you expect from a collection with that title? Is it heinous? Personally, I feel pretty negatively toward it. Next question: Should I have used "towards" in that last sentence, or was "toward" correct? I await your response with bated breath.

Stacey answers:

Liam! Hi! I like the way "Clever Boys and Weathered Girls" sounds. It has a nice rhythm and trips off the tongue--and Liam, I just want to warn you that if you ever write a book you'll have to say the title over and over again to all sorts of people, like your dental hygienist, and it's truly a drag when people can't understand what you're saying. "Twin Study" is hard to enunciate, and I have a little lispy voice that no one can understand anyway. Even my father has taken to calling my new book "Twin Story." Which, by the way, is just freshly published and availble to buy! Twin Story! I'm so excited! I still haven't seen one in a store yet but I hear they're there. You really should get one before they all sell out.

Anyway, the main problem I have with the title is that I can't think of a single situation I've ever been in that has involved a clever boy and a weathered girl. I envision this: a pair of college boys are driving through the south, their car breaks down, and a toothless (yet strangely sexy) babe wanders into their life and steals their cellphones. Without their cellphones, they wither and die.

Both "toward" and "towards" are correct, in any situation, though American English favors "toward."

Mar 12, 2007; mike Asks:

how are you stacey richter?... well i just got done reading your work of "A Case study of Emergency Room Procedure..." and i was wondering if you can explain it to me because i found it a bit confusing... what tone are you aiming at?

Stacey answers:

I am fine, thank you. That story is based on the style of a research paper published in a sociology journal. These papers, like the story, are divided into sections, typically with an intro and conclusion, and feature copious citations. Of course my story is a fairytale and most sociology papers are not, though in the course of my research into methamphetamine addiction, I read quite a few papers where the research subjects seemed to have made up funny names for the drugs they were taking, which the researchers primly noted and then published in journals.

Mar 11, 2007; quixola Asks:

Skeleton goes into a bar... orders a beer and a mop.

Stacey answers:

That's a sad story.

Mar 11, 2007; bastard son of liarpants' longlost mother Asks:

If a dog eats asparagus, does it make their pee smell like asparagus?

Stacey answers:

I don't know.

Mar 10, 2007; Sock Loser Asks:

Stacey, are you one of those people who think lost socks go into another dimension? Maybe its called Lost Sock World. You should write a story about it! I�m wondering because I just did laundry and I swear that I put in a pair of orange socks but only one came out. They were my favorites, and now my day is ruined.

Stacey answers:

Loser, I'm sorry to hear about your sock. I don't think it's entered an alternative universe. I think it's probably stuck to something or else shoved under the dryer.

Mar 10, 2007; pp_spray Asks:

Do I have to go to school? I think its stoopid. PS I think your stoopid too.

Stacey answers:


Mar 10, 2007; Bastard Son of Liarpants Asks:

Ms. Richter, a lovely lady who pretended she was young gave me a book to read...A Prayer for Owen Meany, written by John Irving. She wants me to read it. I tried but frankly i don't care about any fiction but yours. Am I missing out on a really great book or is it dated and dullardish? Should I slog through this book? P.S. If i read it I might get laid.

Stacey answers:

Bastard Son of Liarpants, I sense a fear of commitment. Why don't you give the Irving 100 pages and see if you can get into it? Then if you don't like it you can throw it across the room. P.S. The fact that it might get you laid makes it intrinsically interesting. I just want to say: go for it!

Mar 10, 2007; INVADED Asks:

These ants are flying all over the group home where I work. What in tarnation? Are they termites? The exterminator can't come until Monday.

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Stacey answers:

INVADED, that's a carpenter ant. They live in moist, rotting wood and are very common. In the spring, the main colony sends out its extra fellows in order to form a satellite colony, which is probably what has happened in your workplace. Carpenter ants eat sugar and other bugs, but they nest in wood, chewing out hollows known as galleries. Isn't that lovely? Your chic little ants live in galleries. Perhaps they stroll through them, sipping white wine and making snide comments.

Mar 07, 2007; notastalkeriswear Asks:

Dear Stacey, Why aren't you appreciated for the genius that you are? Why would anyone bother to read the Bible when your books are readily available at local bookstores and libraries? Why is your immense talent so intimidating that I cower and cry after finishing one of your short stories?

Stacey answers:

Hi notastalkeriswear. Please be careful. If you cry and cower after reading one of my short stories, I'm afraid that your brain will explode if I ever succeed in publishing a novel. I don't want to hurt you. But I will if I have to.

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