Newspapers have Ann Landers, Dear Abby, and Dr. Joyce Brothers. Television has E. Jean Carroll and the Psychic Friends Network. But only the Internet has Hassling Heather. For every forum or website that aims to provide serious advice to, say, the lovelorn — such as America Online’s NetGirl — there are a dozen skewed home pages that field ridiculous inquiries from the cynical or clueless. Here are a few.
Ask Senor CPU Specialties: Withering sarcasm, Windows 95. Caveat emptor: ”Let’s check out some of the mail I received while I was being castrated in Guatemala.” Sample advice: ”How many floppies does it take to equal the memory on one CD? What do I look like, a calculator?”
Ask Mr. Bad Advice! Specialty: Mental cruelty. Caveat emptor: ”You can always count on Mr. Bad Advice to tell you exactly what you didn’t need to know.” Sample advice: ”Suitable for day or night, elegant and yet understated, black is the perfect choice for many events that require clothing.”
Hassling Heather Specialty: Teenage angst. Caveat emptor: Rants the 17-year-old Heather about schoolwork: ”B’s??? I pray for B’s!” Sample advice: ”I do not believe God intended E-mail addresses to be worn on people’s asses.”
Internet Agony Entity Specialties: Disastrous relationships, Star Trek. Caveat emptor: ”No effort whatsoever has been made to be unbiased or reasonable.” Sample advice: ”You know you’re in trouble when you see on TV that 100 people are trapped in a mine and you say, ‘Well, can’t they just beam them out?”’
Sir Charles Grandiose Specialty: Eighteenth-century manners. Caveat emptor: ”I — have deigned to bring both wit and wisdom to misbeguided [sic] heathens and the lower classes.” Sample advice: ”One fears that he was dropped upon his cranium once [sic] too many times as a child.”