22 January 2013

Dear Downton Abby

The recent death of Pauline Phillips, better known as “Dear Abby,” has reminded us all of the value of good advice when it comes to proper behavior and personal problems.

Of course, there’s one place where everyone behaves properly — and everyone has terrible personal problems. Perhaps they need an advice columnist.

Wake up and smell the Montrachet, kids!

Dear Downton Abby,

Today, my supervisor upbraided me sharply because I did not know the difference between a soup spoon and a bouillon spoon. I am quite out of sorts. What should I do?

Clueless with Cutlery

Dear Clueless,

Tell him to go use the spoon for an aspic.

Dear Downton Abby:

I am the victim of a most unfortunate circumstance. After making the intimate acquaintance of a foreign gentleman to whom I was not wedded — he expired most suddenly, requiring a good deal of subterfuge on the part of myself, my mother, and one of the parlormaids. Do you see any potential harm in concealing the truth of this incident from my fiancé? I would drop the match altogether, but Granny says it’s a good one, and really, my prospects are otherwise dim. Moreover, my fiancé is the only person I have ever known who can inspire me to any sort of facial expression. Please help!

Somewhat Sullied Virtue

Dear Sullied,

The longer you string your fiancé along, the greater the risk that he’ll take up with some wishy-washy blonde heiress. Tell him the truth or don’t — but grab him while you can!

Dear Downton Abby,

The new footman is rather dishy. How can I get him to notice me? I’ve tried “accidentally” dropping by whenever he changes his shirt. Perhaps some sort of trickery would help my cause. Stealing his trousers and then pretending to find them and return them to him might do the job.

Surpassing the Love of Women
(P.S. I am not female.)

Dear Surpassing,

Fresher breath will make a difference! Try Entailmints, the new candy from Altoids!

Dear Downton Abby,

I seem to be the only person in the English-speaking world who truly cares that me husband is in prison for a crime I refuse to believe he may actually have committed. What should I do?

Keeper of the Flame

Dear Keeper,

Whatever you do, don’t just sit around reading his letters!

Rich people’s problems

Dear Downton Abby:

I recently received a substantial bequest from the estate of the late husband of my late fiancée. Of course I cannot accept the money. How best may I tell my wife of my decision?

Unbending Rectitude

Dear Rect,

Your question bores me. Shut up and take the money.

Dear Downton Abby,

Everyone treats me like a child! Perhaps ’tis because of me freakish inability to age — but that’s true of most folks in these parts, due to the mysterious properties of the local water, which is why we’d all like to stay on here. So I think ’tis more likely because of me lowly position in the household, but I digress. I look like I’m about 14, but I’m in me mid-to-late-20s now and I’ve been married and widowed already. Nobody understands that I have me needs, like any healthy girl. The footmen won’t even notice me! (Except for me husband, and he’s dead, like I told ye.) I’m at me wits’ end, I don’t mind telling ye.

Heat’s in the Kitchen

Dear Heat,

Have you considered another position?

I say, what’s that crashing sound?

Dear Downton Abby,

My husband invested and lost our entire fortune in a foolish business venture; lately I have learned that he has been mismanaging our estate, as well. A recent visit from my mother reminded me that I am in fact Jewish. What are the rules for divorce among Jewish people?


Dear Raspondent,

You can get one, maybe. I should be a rabbi, in your opinion?

Dear Downton Abby,

What is a “weak end”?

Countless Confusions

Dear Countless,

It’s what you get from too much horseback riding.

Readers, are you a middle child? Are you sibling to a middle child? We all know the resentment and loneliness — to say nothing of financial hardships — that can result. Write today to ask for a copy of my free pamphlet, Combatting Jan Brady Syndrome.

Lady Jan?
(Without the goo-goo-googly eyes.)


Elaine Fine said...

"Brilliant." (To be read in Lady Mary's voice.)

Anne said...

Your Abby is vastly more entertaining than D. Abby! lol

I swear Maggie Smith has her own writers.