“Dear General Rossum,
My boyfriend of six months and I have been invited to a friend’s Halloween party, and I want to go in a couple’s costume. I think it’d be really cute, but he says we’d “look like total dorks.” This makes me wonder if he’s embarrassed to be seen with me or something. What should I do?
Watson missing a Holmes in Williamsburg”
There are plenty of outfit pairings you can get your boyfriend to play that work without his permission. There’s Hannibal Lecter on that gurney thing and his handler, a nurse and a patient in a drug-induced coma, alien and the abducted redneck, and the witch with Hansel stuck in an oven. A good club over the head and you can dress him however you want.
You also could propose going as heartbroken dumped guy and woman looking for better prospects. When you suggest it, be sure to point out how much money you can save by not having to dress up in anything other than what you’ve already got in your closets.
If you want him to willingly dress up, the best solution is to convince his most attractive friend to go in a couple’s costume with you. I’m sure he’ll try to make it a three-person costume. Maybe go as Santa and an elf, so he’ll dress as Ms. Claus. Teach him a thing or two.
“Dear General Rossum,
With all your years of military experience, I’d bet you have a pretty solid zombie survival plan. I’d love to compare notes. Mine is to hole up in a department store so I’ll have access to food, weaponry, and building materials. What would you do?
Survivalist in San Francisco”
Good try, but your plan only works until you inevitably run out of supplies. My plan already in motion. Everyone knows you kill a zombie by removing the head, so I’ve been secretly implanting remote-controlled microbombs at the base of the skull of everyone within a two mile radius. Any of my neighbors turn and I can turn them into brainfetti with the same mechanism that unlocks my car.
After that I make a beeline for my sailing boat where I’ve stashed half my armory and anchor it a mile off shore. You never see swimming zombies. Then I can fish for food and desalinate the ocean for drinking water. I’ll spend my days picking off zombies on the shore until humanity is ready for me to return and lead the next age of humanity.
Of course, all of that assumes zombieism is viral. If it’s magic you just punch the witchdoctor in the head. I’d still probably set off the bombs though. It’d be a symphony.
“Dear General Rossum” is a fictional weekly advice column written by Peter Williams.
Send your emails for General Rossum to firstname.lastname@example.org