Agony Niece: An Advice Column
May 9, 2017

jamieloftus copyMy name is Jamie Loftus and I’m the only person qualified to give anyone advice, under any circumstances. I learned how to read very early in life, and there is an excellent VHS tape of me ably reading the Rugrats tie-in book Junk, Sweet Junk as evidence. Later on, I would go on to read many other books, among them the Catdog tie-in book Catdog’s Vacation. You can trust me. I know things that others simply do not know.

I can read. Let me give you advice.

Question: how do i get past the ennui of small talk to get to something more substantive? maybe not a full blown relationship but like talking about stuff that’s not just how our days are going? – Scott

Answer: Hello, Scott! My name is Jamie and my middle name is Bethany, which was named from a previous miscarriage my mom had in 1988, yikes! Although if that had worked out maybe I wouldn’t be here now, solving your problems with grace and a certain quality that can’t be described…though some have called it, “the it factor.”

With that in mind, her demise and the years of devastation faced by my parents in the aftermath is your gain, although I would prefer to not exist if you want to know the truth.

I believe your problem has a two-pronged solution, much like the end of an electrical cord, but not the showy ones that have that big phallic piece at the bottom. To develop a more meaningful conversation with someone, you must first make sure you’re pulling from what you know of them already in order to develop a more intimate conversation. 

For instance, imagine we have had several short conversations, and one day I mentioned to you that I thought the weather was nice. Here are some questions you could ask to give the conversation some depth:

– “What was the weather like on the worst day of your life?”

– “Is it because you can wear less clothes when the weather is nice? My impression of you is that of a woman with loose morals.”

– “This weather reminds me of the day my father hit a teenager on a bicycle with his car and went to jail for the rest of his life, even though the evidence suggests that the teenager was committing suicide and there was a short HBO documentary produced on the topic that seemed pretty firmly in my dad’s corner. Would you like to hear it?”

Don’t be afraid to offend your conversation partner – you are a disrupter, and your voice must be heard. Use context from previous conversations to create new, less comfortable ones.

Secondly, it would be a good idea to change your name from Scott to something less Scott-like. In my experience, no one ever looks forward to a conversation of any duration with a Scott. 

Question: Dear Jamie,

I’m at the Wendy’s drive-thru and I don’t know what to order. Should I get a baconator or the spicy chicken sandwich? The talk-box is now yelling at me and I don’t know what I want to eat. Also, I shit my pants on the ride over here and my car smells. How do I fix my general anxiety disorder?

Andrew in New Jersey

Answer: Hello Andrew! Jamie, here. I can tell by the style in which you wrote me that you tend to use humor as a crutch – nothing wrong with that, but it makes you look very stupid and insecure and causes your friends (or who you think are your friends) to slander you behind your back. I’m going to skip your whole “skit” about the drive-thru, although I hope it worked out – Baconator and a good fabric soap would be my solution.

As for your general anxiety disorder, that’s a little trickier to tackle. Whenever I am feeling anxious, I ask myself this: Are there people in the world who are smarter than me? Are there people in the world who are more attractive than me? Did I neglect to get at least two PhDs to prove that not only am I attractive, I’ve got more going for me, too?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” it’s best to accept that you deserve your anxiety disorder and it’s a punishment for not being good, attractive, or career-oriented enough. Fortunately, I have never made a mistake, and so the concept of anxiety is lost on me or any other perfect person.

I would offer the same advice to anyone who feels that they do not deserve love or were betrayed by a loved one – it is most likely your fault, and it will happen again…and soon!

Question: I work a very boring office job. All of my coworkers are older than me, have kids, super religious, and are weirdly conservative. 

My problem is this- whenever they (with good intentions) try to get to know me better by asking me questions about my life outside of work, I do not want them to know ANYTHING about me outside of my time in the office 8-5 Monday to Friday- especially since my hobbies are things like comedy, activism, and premarital sexual activity. I have no interest in explaining my personal life to them, because it would be super weird and they’d definitely be judgmental. 

What do I do when they ask me these questions? Should I lie? Should I be honest? Help! 

Not Here to Make Friends 

Answer: Hello, Not Here! First of all, thank you for letting us know you fuck! If you would like to swap the date that you lost your virginity with me, I’d gladly do so.

This is a rather complicated question – of course, you don’t want your coworkers to know too much about you, but feeling dishonest is never fun, except when it’s to someone who really trusts you and will be devastated when they learn the truth. That is pretty funny.

I recommend that you tell the truth – tell your coworkers that you are a comedy performer, and invite them to a show you’re doing. However, there is the catch. Give them an address of somewhere you won’t feel too bad about destroying, tell your one funniest joke and leave the home with the stove on with your coworkers inside. Even if you bomb, they will never know and also you will be a murderer. Something interesting to avoid talking about at your next job!


The Higgs Weldon is a humor website with funny stories, articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was started by the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes! 


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