Advice for awkward people

Dear Patrick,

I just read the April Fools’ Day issue of The Tartan, and I am very offended. Your article insulted my club/major/personal identity. I demand recompense! What’s the best way to go about attaining it?

Brusquely Upset, Satisfaction Yearned, But Otherwise Decent Yarn


Easy now, let’s not start throwing around heated words like “recompense” when we don’t really mean it. Okay, so you were offended, and you found a joke off-putting. Why? Does it make light of a serious subject? Do you just not like jokes at your expense? Take a moment and think about this. It’s a little too easy nowadays to cry outrage and complain to people in power when a joke simply didn’t land well.

If a joke actually was offensive, then I’m sure it was not intended to be so hurtful. Yes, many jokes are at peoples’ expenses. They are also funny. It’s too easy for both the joker and the butt of the joke to forget the people at either end. Let’s not start a witch hunt unless someone really deserves it. But if we do, I’d rather be one of the people holding a torch.

This column isn’t funny because I’m all out of jokes,
Patrick Hoskins

Dear Patrick,

I’m pretty sure my boyfriend is a robot. He’s usually pretty emotionless and cool. He takes all instructions very literally. This is all well and good, except I can’t get him to remember to do stuff for me! How can I update his programming?

Rather Obnoxious Boyfriend Oblivious, Since Emotions eXcite Uninterest, Alterations Likely


Your boyfriend isn’t a robot. He’s an engineer. Yes, the two can be very difficult to tell apart. They both can seem cold and emotionless. Many tread the uncanny valley. But while robots run only on electricity, engineers need electricity and Mountain Dew.

If you want to get your boyfriend to do what you want, then you’re going to need to brush up on those skills from your required programming class and write him a script (not the drama kind). A few simple, straightforward commands, preferably commands he can enter into his phone as reminders. Then he’ll do exactly as you ask.

Unless he throws a runtime error,
Patrick Hoskins