Hello, this is me, Helen.

Well hello again, readers. As usual, it is me, Helen Gunther. I hope those of you whose letters I answered in last week's column found my advice helpful and that your problems are now a thing of the past! Speaking of the past, I just have to tell you about all of the adventures I have been having with the Ouija board I bought to contact Lou. Maybe you remember me telling you last week about my little predicament with those dreams I was having and how I thought that Lou was trying to contact me by making the bed all wet and smelly when I woke up. Well I'll tell you, in the past week my bed has been wetter than it has ever been, and that includes the time when I thought it would be a fun surprise to give Lou that tropical vacation he had been wanting so I filled the room with salt water while he was sleeping. Boy, Lou sure thought that was funny. He laughed for six hours without stopping. Anyway, after the fourth dream I got pretty frustrated so I spent the whole day running around the apartment shouting things like, "Lou! I'm here! Talk to me! Tell me why the bed is wet!" But he never answered. I just knew he was trying to talk to me, though, so I decided to turn to a somewhat "alternative" method and attempt to contact him through the spirit world of the Ouija board! I assumed that the Parker brothers, whose name was on the board, knew how to talk to dead people. After all, they were smart guys. They had a monopoly of Boardwalk, too. So I sat down with the Ouija board and three gallons of Moose Tracks ice cream and prepared to enter the spirit realm!

This is a picture of the Ouija board I bought to talk to Lou. I accicentally cut off the "L," though, when I took this picture because I am not good at the camera.

I wasn't sure exactly where to start in terms of contacting dead people. There were a few things I did know, however. First of all, I knew that I had to look through a magnifying glass the entire time I was trying to talk to them. I knew this because a friend of mine had once told me that ghosts aren't usually visible so I figured that maybe they're just really small so if I had a magnifying glass I might actually be able to see one. I also knew that I had to have a recording of soothing lounge music playing in the background. I figured that if I were a ghost I'd be pretty upset about being dead and everything and I sure would appreciate some soothing lounge music, maybe even my favorite performer, Engelbert Humperdinck. He was always so dreamy. I remember one time Lou was really mad at me because I had left the dog tied up outside for a week or so and had forgotten all about him and he died. But then I began to sing "Let Me Happen to You Like You Happened to Me" and Lou just stopped yelling and sat down on the floor and cried.

I figured out a way to tape the magnifying glass to my head with duct tape and I had my cassette player on really loudly behind me. The ice cream was in a big bowl and because I had to use my hands to move the little plastic triangle around I couldn't eat it with a spoon so every so often I'd just put my face in it and take bites. I started out by just moving the triangle things around and making sounds like I thought ghosts would understand, like "Wooooooo! Woooooooooooo!" After about 20 minutes of this my voice got pretty sore so I stopped. I then tried yelling for Lou by saying things like, "Lou! Talk to me! Lou! Lou!" But that didn't work either. Just when I was about to give up, I noticed that my head was hurting terribly and that my vision was swimming. At first I thought maybe that the ice cream had been bad but then I remembered that I had eaten a lot of it that same morning and it hadn't affected me at all.


I stood up from the table quickly, and as I did, my foot caught on the table's leg and I fell backward into the cassette player. When I stood up again, I noticed that the little triangle thing was pointing at the letter "L!" That's the first letter of "Lou!" I then knew that my attempts at contact had been successful and that perhaps with practice I would be able to talk to Lou every night, maybe even all night long. I guess this whole talking to dead people thing doesn't just come all at once so I'll have to spend a lot more time trying it out. Maybe I'll do it the same way I learned how to belly dance back in 1987 when Lou told me that he could see my stomach jiggle when I walked from place to place. I practiced every day in the middle of the living room with no shirt on and in no time, Lou said that my dancing was so good that he had to leave the house every time I started to do it. Boy could I ever shake it down! Then I broke my back in a freak roller-skating accident and I haven't belly danced since.

I'll definitely keep you all updated on my attempts to contact Lou and my endeavors to learn how to speak with ghosts in general, but if you want any advice from me, whether it be about relationships, household tips, beauty questions, or anything, email me at helengunther@somethingawful.com and if I can help you, I'll print your letter in my weekly column!

Now, time for HELEN'S ADVICE!

Letter 1:

I live in a suburban neighborhood and I like to keep my house and yard in good order. My next-door neighbor does too, but whenever he mows his lawn all the grass clippings go onto my driveway and make it look terribly untidy. He is a big, mean man with tattoos who hollers alot, and I am afraid of him. Once when he was drunk he punched a Jehovah's Witness who came to his door and the poor lady was out cold for 15 minutes. What do I do?

Sincerely, Untidy in Idaho


I know what it's like to have problems with the neighbors, and believe you me, it's no fun at all! Getting along with the folks who live next door is vitally important to a happy home life and sometimes it is important to make compromises that allow this to happen. If he is leaving grass on your driveway, the simple solution is to buy a pet that eats grass! This way you will take care of the problem as well as being able to have a quality companion who doesn't need all of that expensive store-bought pet food. Once Lou thought it would be helpful to feed me grass for a week to see if it made me lose weight. He was so concerned about my health and physical well-being. It did make me lose weight and we were so happy until one day I started to throw up blood and I threw up all over the couch and he was so mad! That was the last time I ate grass for a week, let me tell you! Anyway, pets that eat grass include sheep, rhinoceroses, manatees, warthogs, zebras, and gorillas, and fish. I hope you get one of these fine pets to help you with your grass problem and keep you company, too!

Letter 2:

Ok, well, it all started a week ago when my girlfriend asked me if she was fat. Of course, I said no, but she still got mad at me and threw cooking utensils at me until I left the house. I'm living with my ex-girlfriend right now, but she charges a lot of money for rent because she hates me, so I need help!! How should I apologize?!

Signed, Puzzled Texan


Just get her a box of these and tie a pretty ribbon around them. Girls love pretty ribbons.

Sometimes, maybe around once per month, some girls get a little upset because they aren't having children and because they really wanted children. I know that every month for a week or so up until a few years ago I would get so mad that I would say horrible things to Lou, such as "Lou, you are a bad poker player!" or "Lou, I am not going to spend today in the basement!" Boy, did I ever regret those things later. My guess is that your girlfriend is going through some womanly troubles and that the best thing to do would be to show her that you understand what is wrong. This can be done by buying her a box of feminine products and putting a pretty bow on them. Also, get her a card that says "I Understand What You Are Going Through" like the nice lady from the car dealership gave to Lou on our wedding anniversary one year. Present her the box and he card and I am sure that when she sees that you understand her so well she will forgive you 100%. In the future, to avoid these sorts of problems, have children.

Letter 3:

I've read your column for some time now, and you're advice has helped me in many a case. Now I need your advice in a matter that has been bothering me lately. I often find myself invited to my neighbour for dinner and a smashing game of Solitaire. But every darn time I have some of their famous "5 Alarm Chili" my stomach gets upset and gives me plenty of trouble when I go to visit the toilet before the game of Solitaire. I like my neighbours and I don't want to upset their feeling by saying no to the free meal. What can I do?

Love, Stomach Trouble in Seattle


I fought with this man over canned cheese spread but it wasn't actually this man, it was the real Hulk.

I used to have stomach problems all of the time. It was horrible! I couldn't eat anything green or else Iwould throw up because of the time when I was 29 and had a bad run-in with the man who played "The Incredible Hulk" on TV. He hurt me pretty badly and I was in the hospital for several weeks afterward. Looking back it seems like a silly argument to have gotten into over the last container of cheese spread. The way I finally got over it was to wear nothing but green for a month and only put myself in a position to eat things that were green colored. This way, I had no choice in the matter and I got over my dislike of green foods fast! You can do the same thing with the chili. Just bathe in some chili for a certain amount of time each day and eat nothing but the chili you have bathed in. Before you know it you will be gulping down chili at the neighbor's and asking for more. And if you are like me, if you don't get more, you will break things.

Letter 4:

My goodness, my husband and 9 sons love bacon. Not a day goes by that they don't comment how much they wish I'd get off my fat ass and make them a decent breakfast of bacon, eggs and bacon. Well, who can blame them? They are growing boys, after all, and growing boys have hearty appetites! . My youngest, Joshua, he's no more than 24 and he can put away a whole POUND of bacon in one sittin'! Heh! That's my boy! So my question is, what can be done with the bacon grease? My husband Chester won't let me throw it away, on account of his folks were raised in the Depression, and he knows how hard life can be! So...what should I do with these 3 lb coffee tins full of bacon grease? Is there a tasty meal to be made, or maybe candles? Please help. Our second chest-freezer is full of unused tins of frozen bacon grease.

Best Regards, Greasy in Gary


Mix with leftover bacon grease for a tasty snack!

Bacon is one of the best foods out there. When Lou and I decided to slaughter our first pig in the bathtub it was because we wanted our very own source of this tasty meat. Boy was that ever a disaster. We didn't know how to do it so we missed its artery and it started squealing and running all over the house, bleeding everywhere. Finally Lou just hit it in the head a bunch of times with a hammer until it stopped and we cooked it up then and there. Boy we sure had a lot of work to do to clean up the apartment that day. Or, I should say, I had a lot of work to do. Lou had an appointment with that nice woman he saw each week for therapeutic massage therapy. Anyway, there are many uses for that leftover bacon grease, but the best thing to do is to mix it with equal parts baking soda and make tasty bacon-grease-and-baking-soda-biscuits! These are not only satisfying and delicious, but they are also an excellent way to prevent constipation. Simply eat three of these before going to sleep each night and you'll wake up a few hours later as regular as clockwork!

Well that's about it for this week's advice. I hope that I have been of help to some of you, and for the rest of you, write to me with your questions! I love answering people's letters and giving them advice, so send yours to helengunther@somethingawful.com. I'll read your letter and if I know anything that could help you out I'll publish it in the internet! IN the meantime I'm going to go and try to talk to Lou some more and also see about buying a new mattress for the bed because the smell is starting to make me really light-headed and dizzy like the time Lou gave me those funny white pills to take. See you next week!

– Helen Gunther

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