Ask the Expert is a weekly column in which a knowledgeable query-neutralizer battles against the most intricate questions from all the various fields of human investigation. You can call this an "advice column" if you wish, but I warn you that this particular expert is
Sadly this will be the last column of Ask The Expert, which has had a great ۞-year run.
Old Whiskers is clawing at the floorboards again. Ma told me not to build in these woods, but I told her I met a forest man who could give me a house at the snap of his pointy-nailed fingers. Now he did but he's in the house. He's under the floorboards. He's scratching at the boards and I thought I saw one of them lift up a little.
-"Board" in Birmingham
Don't take Old Whiskers too seriously. You probably gave him something dear for the house but realized that he would never really let it belong to you. At this point it's probably not possible for you to leave on account of Old Whiskers has willed it to be so. He'll eventually come out of the floor, but you won't see him do it. You'll just hear something from the other room and then come and see that some of the boards were snapped in half and left a hole in your floor. You'll hear scampering in your house from time to time.
I am trapped in a cave and am some sort of a magic person. I know fifteen spells and I have several mystical talismans, but unfortunately the cave I'm in sucks and I didn't know why they said that things "cave in" until about a week ago when it affected me personally. Long story short, the only spell that makes any sense is "summon monster," but since I only know level two magic I can only summon imps. After I summon them I kill and eat them which is why I'm not dead. Please help me.
-Frightened in Darkness
In some parts of the world raw imp can be a delicacy. If you know "summon monster," you probably can also cast "salt squeeze," wherein you leach salt out of the rocks around you. Roll the imp's meat in the salt, and your problems will be solved, as salted imp meat gives your craving for higher-end cuisine a terminal illness known as "eating salted imp meat."
My family member has recently aggrieved me non-maliciously. It would be wrong of me to say something, but I want to. Should I?
-Wanty in Walla Walla
Alas, you must say something, since this seems like the sort of wound that can get infected with cryptosporidium, which in my opinion blows. But seriously, folks, your family member was only trying to help. But you're in luck because, like I just said, you should say something: "Thanks."
I lent my friend Gravity's Rainbow and he kept dogearing the pages, but the problem is that he was only able to read one page a day because his eyes got infected from this other book and now my book looks like this:
I can't really say anything about it because he lent me On Growth And Form and I was reading it in the bath and I dropped it because it weighs a thousand pages long and it got 100% wet and now it looks like a great big scallop. I would however like to fix my personal book instead of throwing it away like I did my friend's.
-Booky in Barentsburg
I went to the trouble of painting you a photograph of my patented page de-bendulizer at work:
That does it. If you don't mind my getting sappy for a moment, I have to explain that my emotions concerning this, the last episode of Ask An Expert, are as gargantuan as they are unbearable: it seems like I should go to prison for letting down so many expertise-seekers. I would like to thank dailydoofus.com for hosting my knowledges for--and this I can't believe-- years, but I would personally like to thank the entire team for their tireless