June 24th, 2011

krazy koati

Every word you're told will be 18 karat gold

Dear Hinter,

I keep getting broken pie. How does someone else fix that?

-- Adele Microplanner.

Dear Microplaner (nb):

Some say it is not the pie that is broken but your expectation of pie which is. We don't let them work pie. We're not so crazy about them working expectations either but at least they can't do worse than suggest we find inner tranquility underneath ice cream or Cool Whip.

You don't specify what kind of pie it is or how it's broken, which we're coming to expect these days. Look for the obvious problems first: is your pie plugged in? Have you rebooted it lately? Have all system updates been done, and are your virus screenings vaccinated? If so, you have a computer, not a pie. Try to keep up; we have a lot of ground to cover and the museum opens at 8:00.

Back on pie: make sure the pie is level, test the color with some crazy glue to an inconspicuous corner, and decide the pie reflects an avant-garde notion challenging the nature of ``pie''. If yours was supposed to be an avant-garde pie and it turns out ordinary, explain it's so avant it's looped back around and you're lucky it didn't come out cupcakes. Any other reader suggestions?


Reader Suggestion:

If all you have to eat are cake, soy, cake, ginger, and staples, you can make a pretty good cake if you leave out the soy, ginger, and staples and eat the remaining ingredients. Alternatively you can combine the cake and cake and abandon the other ingredients on the fridge door where they can fall out when you open it. If all you want is a tolerable cake try the cake and cake with a soy sprinkling. Not too much.

-- Avery 5160


Dear Hinter,

I've been working with a partner I'll call ... uh ... ``Part-er'' building our own full-scale Jupiter with lots of neat new features. But we may have to split because I want to use the GPL Jupiter source code while he says that forces us to share our plans for some right zippy new Great Spots of various Things. Who's right?

-- Pentel.

Dear Pentel,

Using GPL planets implies a number of clear and distinct legal issues (not to mention moral ones) we couldn't be bothered to look up either. The important thing everyone should know is your partner is absolutely right and you're a horrible, horrible person, Bill, and you also need to take a class on how to make up aliases. Here's a free starter lesson: don't use our real name as an alias! You know, sometimes in the advice-column business you want the authority to swat people on the head. We mean their head.


Dear Hinter,

I'm being plagued by a mischievous fog. Any advice?

-- Registros de Pagina.

Dear Reg:

You don't specify whether it's a legitimate fog, which is the sort of omission you readers are always including, unless that doesn't make any grammatical sense. We blame typewriters, though not for this. Treatment will depend on whether it is a legitimate fog; you can try telling whether it is by quizzing the fog about its feelings regarding Charles Napoléon, potentially the holder of the Bonapartist claim to Emperor of France. We don't know how to interpret its answers either but the question should confuse the fog long enough for the sun to come out.


Hinter Follow-Up!

Longtime readers of this feature may remember advice given to a struggling young commercial artist in Kansas City about developing his artistic ambitions. We thought you'd like to know that after a few years of turmoil he eventually moved out west and became Walt Disney! We'd like to think this is the sort of thing achievable by anyone who has some spunk, determination, a time machine, a bit of luck, and a theory of mind adequate to the duplication and transplantation of personalities.

But he didn't become that Walt Disney, only a Walt Disney. However, as you pass the Walt Disneys on the street corners this season do give them a smile and a wave because one of them might just be among the faithful readers.



Trivia: In 1809 a bank in Rhode Island issued banknotes amounting to $800,000, although it was capitalized only to the amount of $45. Source: An Empire Of Wealth: The Epic History Of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Rites Of Peace: The Fall Of Napoleon And The Congress Of Vienna, Adam Zamoyski.