pest control

Dear Cheese Father,

Our Children have monsters in their closets, but our landlord says that getting a pikaboo violates the “no pets” portion of our contract. What else can we do?

Trapped Renter

Dear Renter,

Monsters, and whose responsibility they are, is something you really should have negotiated with your landlord about before you moved in. Check your contract again, but look under Pest Control to see if he would have to help you get the monsters out.

Pikaboo attacking

If that doesn’t work out, it’s never too late to try and renegotiate. If he will hear you out, tell him what a safe ‘pet’ a Pikaboo can be. Technically, they aren’t even a “live animal”. They feed on electricity, and so are incapable of producing waste that would stain any carpet. They don’t have claws that need sharpening on furniture. They will never track in dirt, mud, or yak droppings from next door. They are not outgoing enough to bother the neighbors. And they are fairly unlikely to start house fires.

If he still stands firm on “No Pets”, you can use the same arguments to try and reclassify a Pikaboo as a small appliance.


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Dear Cheese Guy,

Bats keep getting into my house. How can I put a stop to this?

Invaded Belfry

Dear Bel,

Remember, bats navigate their world mostly by sound. If you sound-proof your home, it should be nearly invisible to them. Any bats still hiding inside will immediately attempt to move out because they are blind and miserable in the soundless environment you've created.


pretty divider

Dear Square Root of Kevin,

I hate my job and who it's made me become. I want to go back and make it so I never worked there, but I lose my nerve when I think about all the movies I've seen where people mess up the future or almost destroy the whole space time continuum. How dangerous is it really to do this? Am I really putting the whole universe at risk?

Needing a Change

Dear Needy,

Time travel is indeed risky business; There are the risks of unintended changes* to the timeline, the hazard of less than 100% reliable transportation back to the present day, and those pesky paradoxes that you were referring to.

While indeed very dangerous, I can't say that paradoxes necessarily put the whole universe at stake. It's possible that the damage could be very localized, limited only to your own galaxy. But I'm sure your neighbors would agree that this is still a significant risk. Proceed with extreme caution.

Something else to consider is that most time travelers retain their memories of what the timeline was like before they changed it. This means that in your case, changing the past will not help your goal to change who you have become. What you should do is ask a trusted friend to go back and make the change for you.



Examples of possible unintended changes worth consideration:
Preventing an accident that turned out to be how your parents met;
Redirecting the path an abandoned puppy that would later have been rescued, adopted by the old couple down the street, and later foiled an attempted burglary on their home;
Swatting a fly that was the grandfather of the one that irritated your great aunt, causing her to wave her hand and spill her drink, which would have caught the attention of her no-longer-husband-to-be thus canceling the birth of that cousin with the birthmark that inspired your mother's interest in botany.

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