Common Nonsense – Letter 6

Dear Alan the so-called Genius,

After a lifetime of avoiding the evil and radiation of electronics, your brother finally convinced me to buy one of those personal computers that are gaining popularity. His stories of naked ladies and this magical item known as “porn” (or is it pr0n, I’ve seen it both ways and just don’t know which way is correct.) really sold me, especially after your mother left claiming she could no longer live with getting her news from the televisions in the front window of the corner electronics store that we’re all still shocked exists.

Subsequent to finding the Google machine I learned of this strange new concept called “ego-surfing” and decided to try it. Using my original name: Alan Henguver produced only pictures of a very strange bearded man, sometimes with a baby, so I decided to use my old local newspaper advice-columnist name: Alan the Genius.

I think you know what happened next. Around page fifty-seven there was your site and though at first I thought it a coincidence after seeing your warped version of our hot-tub coming of age story I knew you had stolen not only my name, but my old livelihood.

First of all that contraption we built was not a mini-sauna it was a new bathtub. It was very difficult to build as the company sent over a videotape with detailed instructions on how to build it but alas no device on which to play it. I don’t really recall why we built it in the basement, I think it had something to do with the fact that your mother liked cold baths and hot air rises; I guess I just assumed the same with anything hot.

You know we were never a very affluent family, sure the lack of electronics certainly eased the financial blow to our daily lives but still the whole “taking-baths-together-while-standing-in-a-tiny-bathtub” tradition was a weekly routine. Did you block that out of your head? Our discussions of “meat, sports, and babes” were also part of this routine, I guess when you’re standing back to back naked with your father in a sauna/bath you’ll discuss anything to distract yourself. Is that why you were never joined any sports teems, and became vegetarian?

Finally the “sweat of Odin” tradition you explained offends me. You know that our Norse lineage is very secretive and well protected and that the sweat of Odin may not be shared with any outsiders. You may have very well ended the secret traditions the sons of Odin. Thanks son.

I want you to know that while I appreciate the effort you and your brother have put into this spiderwebsite you must be more careful of the secrets you give out and also stop using my given advice columnist name.

-Your father: Alan the (ORIGINAL) Genius


Common Nonsense – Letter 5

Alan the Genius,

You are so right. I don’t know how the simply amazing idea of having a song blast into your ears the second a website loads slipped right past me. You know what they say: sometimes you can obtain a college degree in the subject and work for years as a web designer, and then your brother comes in and blasts you away with his outside the box thinking.

As per your request, I have added a midi file (it’s the high-tech way computers play music) of Any Way You Want It by Journey.

As for how the traffic has been, head to the site and take a look at our webcounter. There are SO MANY HITS that it does not even slow down to give me a proper number!

Check it out for yourself:

With a site in such high demand, it is obviously a money-volcano waiting to erupt. I suggest sending discount coupons to various companies to entice them to advertise with you. Sketch up a couple coupon ideas (wording, pictures — however in-depth you’d like to get) and then we can start dispersing them to Fortune500 businesses looking to get even richer.

Your latest bit of advice brought back terrible memories. I never got how you could stand Dad. I despised our odd upbringing. Living without electricity and modern technologies was ridiculous. Sure, maybe if we lived in a cabin in the woods…but we were in NEW YORK CITY. We were the only family on the block — or in the entire borough I bet — who didn’t have a TV, or a phone…or even a working light switch.

I guess that’s why I decided to learn everything about computers. I became technology obsessed.

Also, things with Susan have been going great. Sometimes I’ll admit that I would like a regular conversation rather than wild sex dressed as a caveman; but I’m a tad bit worried if I try that out it may end our relationship as a whole!

I’m reluctant to ask you for advice given that it was following your brilliant advice that drove Carolyn away. But…do you have any pointers?

And please, I don’t want to hear anything about dressing up as a giant sandwich and slathering mayonnaise all over myself. It didn’t work last time and it certainly won’t work this time!

– Rich

Common Nonsense – Letter 4


If I may be so bold, I must say that this is the finest website I have ever laid by genius eyes on. With that being said, my ears left your website a little bit underwhelmed. Can you do something about that? I’m thinking some Europe or Journey. What do you say? I don’t just want this to just be an advice column, I want it to be a full-on multimedia experience!

How has the traffic been? Have we gotten any e-mails from advertisers looking to give us lots of money to put more animated GIF’s on our site? I sure hope so – Lisa has been on my ass (literally and figuratively) about bringing some money into the household. Sure, I’ve been unemployed for 3 years, but I was trying to find my calling. It still perplexes me why she doesn’t understand that.

Anyway, I received another reply from Craigslist, here’s another Golden Nugget of Knowledge:

Dear Alan the Genius,
My 13 year-old son and I are constantly at odds. It seems like every time we are together he is looking for a way to push my buttons. Just yesterday when I told him to come to dinner he yelled from his room, “I’m not eating anything you make because it all tastes like dick.”
I feel like I’m a good father (and at the very least a passable cook), I never hit my son and I’ve provided him basically anything he could ask for. What can I do to bring us back together?
A Good Father

A Good Father,
If you’re writing to me with this problem I’m going to assume you have yet to perform the “Alan the Genius Coming of Age Ritual”. Here’s how you can become closer to your son:
First, construct a mini-sauna with a tap at the bottom. It should be large enough for you and your son to fit inside while standing back to back and that is all. Simply hook your furnace up to your sauna and figure out a way to get your son inside (chloroform?). Stand in the sauna with your son for exactly 3.5 hours. Discuss these three topics: Sports, meat, and babes. Instruct your wife to unlock the sauna after the allotted time. You will then fill 2 pint glasses with you and your son’s sweat from the tap. You will both chug these pints and upon completion exclaim “TO ODIN!” Your son will forever be connected to you through your perspiration and you will no longer need to suffer his teenage-ness.
You’re Welcome,
Alan the Genius

Do you remember when Dad had us do the coming of age ritual? Man, crazy times, right?

-Alan (the Genius)

PS: Congrats on the new Beau, don’t fuck this one up like you did with Carolyn!

Common Nonsense – Letter 3


I must admit that I have not made a website of this caliber in a long while. After I read that you do not know much about web design, yet you had specific demands regarding animated gifs and flaming logos, I felt I knew EXACTLY what you were looking for. Please type this into your web browser to view the page:

Also, did you make up that letter? If not, I must say that your advice is pretty brilliant. Allow me to explain.

Last night I was at a bar, minding my own, when I noticed a pretty gal across the way. Normally, I approach and stay respectful, explain that I’m a freelance web-designer, and engage in some small talk. Things go well, but it never really leads to romance. I guess it’s a combination of my job not being all that exciting, my somewhat nervous demeanor, and my profuse sweating.

But last night, I decided to switch things up!

I approached this pretty gal and asked her name. “Susan,” she replied. I said to her, “Susan, I mean no disrespect, but I’ve got a tigerskin caveman outfit at home waiting for just the right lady; and I feel like you’re…that…lady!”

Turns out Susan has a “caveman fetish,” and so we got to shout semantically devoid grunts ALL NIGHT LONG. It was prety wild. And she’s already called me back today!

I really don’t want your advice to be accurate, but…so far so good.

Let me know what you think of the webpage. I feel it perfectly nails everything you think a website should be.

Oh, and send more letters if you got ’em.



Common Nonsense – Letter 1


Let me start by saying that you shouldn’t have stabbed your wife, even if it was “amidst a flurry of hot passion” as you put it. I don’t know why you thought that would be a good idea.

Furthermore, to stab her with a plastic spork is just absurd. I mean, I know you were eating Taco Bell when she jumped on top of you dressed as a “sexy burrito” (what does that even mean?), but you shouldn’t go THAT FAR with your roleplaying. I’m just glad Lisa is ok. I guess I will never understand your marriage. It seems to be based on odd culinary choices, bizarre interests, and bouts of wild sex.

The last part doesn’t sound too bad, but I still don’t think it qualifies you to run an advice-column website on dating and relationships. And just because I’m your brother and I’m a web-designer doesn’t mean I share your vision. When it comes to the world of relationships and sexuality, I’m definitely not running your way for advice.

But even though I’m not thrilled about it, I’ll help you get it off the ground. What’s one more crazy website added to the internet, right? Send me a couple sample reader-questions and your answers and I’ll get some sketches going. Let me know any specific design elements you want included as well.

And please…try not to be so weird.