Storm Will Give You Bad Advice #0001

Without even tweeting or fb-ing, I’ve already received a nice number of serious and well-conceived questions that deserve equally serious consideration. However, they chose to ask me, despite being fully aware that I intend to provide bad advice. The first handful are below.

Remember, I’m not an expert of any kind, I cannot vouch for the efficacy or legality of my advice, and as a blanket statement recommend that no one should follow it, ever. It is bad advice.

I will also not be held accountable if any of my advice is found to be thought-provoking, or if any portion therein could be deemed to be, by a deranged mind, constructive.

So let’s hop to it!

Dear Storm –

I’m trying to lose some weight these days, but I’m having trouble finding an exercise-regimen that works for me. Do you have any advice on how to find the best regimen?

– Skyen

Having (intentionally) lost 50 pounds last year, I could probably help. In essence it came down to moderate exercise and disciplined eating, but there were a lot of other fussy details that went along with it (that I’ll probably get around to jotting down at another time), and it took a great deal of patience, and who wants THAT? So my advice to you is classic aversion therapy, applied since time immemorial to stop children from smoking.

Adapted to deal with food instead of tobacco consumption, here’s how it works (NOTE: it will require the help of a friend):

  1. Make a list of all your favorite foods. Select the ten which are the most calorie-dense, rich, sweet, or otherwise unhealthy.
  2. Purchase a quantity of said foods sufficient to feed you for at least one month.
  3. Have your friend lock you in your home, with instructions not to let you out for three days.
  4. Eat all of the food. ALL OF IT.
  5. IMPORTANT: before your friend locks you in, make sure they’ve devised a serious consequence that will only come into play if you do not eat every last scrap of food (consequences that involve your immediate mortal demise will produce the best results). By making the consequences of your inaction real, you will thus find the necessary motivation.

If you see this regimen through to the end, there’s a good chance that you will never want to ever eat again. Problem solved. Next. – “S”

If you’re married without children, some people act like you’re a leper. What’s the best way to deal with people who nag you about when you’re going to have kids? – Erin

I can totally relate! Simply tell them “I’ll have children just as soon as they take me off that stupid sexual predator list.” They will not ask again, nor offer you advice, nor seek to “heal you” as they might a true leper, since everyone knows that sexual predation (particularly when involving minors as is implied by the context of your statement to them) is not curable. So if they really are decent people, they will accept you for the predator they believe you to be. – “S”

I got my job almost six years ago straight out of Uni (College). I find the sector tedious, the job alternately stressful and stultifying. It pays surprisingly well because it is so specialised and conversely has provided me with no immediately obvious transferrable skills.

I want to do something else but find myself stalled at the first hurdle: I have no idea what to do. I could do any number of things but I’m so beaten down, all I can think of is things I don’t want to do.
Where next? – Rudderless, UK

As it happens, Mrs. Storm went through this very same dilemma not long ago. My advice to you is to become a Park Ranger looking after the sled dog kennels at Denali National Park in Alaska. Why?

  • You’ll get to work with dogs. Dogs do not care about your skills, except for your ability to feed and pet them.
  • You may be starting from the bottom rung again, but you will be working with dogs (see bullet 1).
  • As an employee and resident of a National Park, you are permitted to live anywhere in the Park for free. You are also allowed to eat anything you find, so long as you consume it within sight of a Park native that also consumes it.
    • EXAMPLE #1: Dall sheep are known to eat frozen grass, sedge stems, and soil. If within sight of a Dall sheep, you have found your supper.
    • EXAMPLE #2: Among other things, wolves eat Dall sheep. Therefore, if you are within sight of both a Dall sheep and a wolf, and believe you can eat the Dall sheep without being eaten by the wolf, go for it. (Because I do not want to get you fired from your new job, please note that wolves are at the top of the food chain at Denali National Park, and therefore you may not eat a wolf unless it is already dead and in sight of a scavenger.) What it really comes down to is the level of risk you’re comfortable with. And although I’ve never seen you, I have full confidence that you could probably evade a wolf, if not an entire pack.
  • You will make Mrs. Storm envious (which would be amusing to me), because although she loves dogs and thought about applying for the job, she did not, because she hates the cold, because I do not want to live in Alaska quite yet, and because it is wholly impractical.
  • It is the only job opening available in the world.

Please send pictures after you’ve changed jobs and I will publish them here on Longer Thoughts. In return I will send you mittens. – “S”

Would YOU like some bad advice? From ME? Simply send an e-mail to, and please put the words “bad advice” in the Subject line so that I can tell it apart from all of the space junk. Please visit this post for complete details, disclaimers, and other caveats. On second thought, it is MANDATORY, for both of our sakes!


  1. Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Of course! That will go over especially well when it’s my students asking the question. Why didn’t I think of that?? 😉 Thanks, Storm!

  2. Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Excellent…advice is exactly as advertised!


  3. Skyen
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    When they let me outta the hospital, I will name my new artificial stomach in your honour. Thanks Storm 😉

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