Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Constance Cortnoy has never been the friendliest of types. A bit of a scowler, now and then. Smiling just doesn't seem to come naturally to Constance, though I have seen her try, on occasion. Now the poor thing may not scowl on purpose, mind you. She just has a bit of a pointy nose and smallish eyes. I've always questioned whether Constance might need glasses, as she squints quite a bit. And when she does smile, her mouth goes somewhat sideways and I think this must make her feel a bit self conscious. Maybe she doesn't smile much on purpose. What a pity, she'd seem a much happier, friendlier sort if she smiled and laughed a bit more.

I remember back in the sorority, during rush they'd have Constance stand in the back row, behind a few much taller girls. Some of the sisters claimed that Constance scared the rushees, you know, scowling at them. And that very much angered Constance. She would storm off to her room and phone her mother, demanding that her mother demand an apology. Now as a legacy, I suppose that she could do that. Constance, that is. As I remember there was an apology and Constance was promptly placed in the front row of sisters at the next party. And just as promplty she was returned to the back row for the following party. It was the scowling, you see.

Anyway, then she met Conroy who obviously found her most breathtaking. He followed her all around campus and stuck at her side during every party. I think maybe because he is somewhat smaller then Constance, he sees her face at a different angle. And you know, everything does look quite different from varying angles. Constance is probably a stunning beauty when you look up at her from under her chin.

I'm sure you can immagine how the girls back in school would laugh and tell Constance that if she married Conroy she wouldn't even have to change her monograms. And that is actually quite true. Two C's and two C's. For someone like Constance, monograms are very important. She monorgrammed almost everything she owned; her bermuda bag, her towels, her sheets, her hair clips, her luggage. I personally like Dragon Fly's, but monograms are good, too. Very practical.

Now the point here, though, is that Constance doesn't tend to smile very much. Or talk to me, much. Unless she completely has to. So you can understand how taken by surprise I was when she charged across the road as if she were chasing her hat, but instead bound up to me in quite a friendly manner just to say hello. I told Isabel later in the day that I was almost speechless. Well, she said "hello", and then I said "Hello". Asked about Conroy, she asked after Charlie.

It became quite clear to me soon enough into our chat that Constance had an ulterior motive for seeking me out as she did.

"I understand you've been shopping at Lindsey's", she was quick to bring up. And I said that "yes", I had been to Lindsey's Hat Shoppe recently. The tailgates, of course. We both paused. She bit her thin lip, but I held onto a good old fashioned poker face and refused to utter another word. I knew exactly what she was up to.

"Find anything nice?" she finally asked in her shrill little voice.

"Why yes," I said, and left it at that. I did find many nice things, afterall. Lindsey has a fabulous selection - and they're all custom made by Lindsey, you know. I did not, though, buy my hat at Lindsey's. Constance continued to chew on the inside of her mouth, and hummed a bit before saying, "I don't think I'll buy my hat from Lindsey this year. She's gotten a bit boring, I think."

I smiled. "Lovely hats, though." I responded.

Constance nodded in agreement and then asked, "What color is yours?"

"Well", I told her, "my hat has so many colors, I don't know where I'd begin".

I was so thrilled with my performance that I ran straight over to Isabel's to tell her just how smug I'd managed to be and not let on a word about my hat. In fact, I completely forgot to stop by the Second Hand store. I wanted to get Betsy a pretty set of cat bowls for her new furry friend. Betsy and Mr. Marmalaid have been getting along just fine, and it seemed time for some permanent china for the new family member. And wouldn't you know, I was all but a block away from the Second Hand when Constance found me, and then only to turn and head back in the opposite direction. Oh well, another day.

At least I remembered to stop off at The Weekly to pick up this week's advice letters.

Dear Veronica,
My wife suspects I'm having an affair with a young, attractive woman who I was about to hire. To shut my wife up, I hired a complete idiot instead of this hot number I could have had. Now this idiot is ruining my business and driving me nuts.
Going Mad

Dear Mad,
Well it sounds as if you didn't actually have an affair, you only wanted to have an affair. I supposed many men want to have an affair, but then I suppose so do many women. So don't be mad.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Saint Alban's is a quiet town. Usually, at least. At times the local college kids get a bit noisy. But that is usually only if their team wins a big game. This past weekend, their team won a big game. It was so exciting. Now, my street, Devonwood, is probably the quietest of quiet streets. Charlie and I can't hear what our neighbors are up to, and we don't think they can hear what we're up to, either. That's probably why neighbors call out "Hey, Charlie, What's up?" when they see him. And Charlie does the same when he sees them. Or, sometimes they may say "How are you, Charlie?", and he'll reply in similar fashion. Occasionally someone will ask about our son, Chip. Naturally, we ask about their children, too. But very often we ask one another "What's up?". And, our nice quiet street is good that way. We can't hear what goes on in one another's homes, what with the trees, the hedges, a lot of privacy fences and nice, large lawns surrounding our homes.

But this weekend was a bit different. The college team was in a big game. Everyone was excited all day long in anticipation of the game. A big championship. I would absolutely tell you what it was all about, but I'm not quite sure and at this point am hesitant to ask. You know how it is, you go around nodding "yes, yes, very exciting. Can't wait for the game. Go Wildcats" all day long to everyone you see around town. Well, after that, one can hardly ask what the game is all about, now can they? And, after all, Charlie says I'd never catch up. Or maybe it was catch on? But the point here is, that round about eleven o'clock, the game ended and our local school won. Well you can imagine the cheering that went on. I heard that the college kids actually blocked the roads over by the college as they streamed out of their dorms and fraternity houses, hooting and hollering. Well our quiet street is quite a few blocks, maybe a mile, from the campus so we didn't hear any of that. But we did hear our neighbors.

The McWoogle's had a large group over at their house, all to watch the game on their big screen. Now, they have a large French Colonial a few houses up, a bit gaudy but still quite nice. And their guests' cars were lined all up and down the road. Charlie and I were invited over, of course, but Charlie said he didn't want to attend because Victor McWoogle has a habit of slapping everyone on the back every time his team makes a point and that Charlie felt a good game could end up causing him several bruises. Victor McWoogle is a fairly big man, after all. So Charlie and I decided to go out to dinner that night.

Now, we're normally a rather early couple. No late nights for us. But we decided to stay past dinner for a bit of cheer at the pub, joined in some of the fun. I clapped and yelled and cheered, occasionally at the wrong times according to Charlie. But it was fun. And the nicest people over at the pub, too. Everyone was happy and cheery and glad to see one another. Well, we decided to head home after the unfortunate beer incident. We really are just so far from our college days and so very unfamiliar with spilling beer on ourselves. And that man next to me was even more out of practice, from the looks of his face when I spilled a bit of his beer on him.

So we hurried home, in the car that is. Of course, we probably could have walked from our home, but Charlie didn't want the McWoogle's to see our car in the drive. So we headed up Devonwood in our car and were absolutely amazed at all of the cars parked along the road. Charlie says that is what happens when you offer free beer to your friends that are cheap. They park up and down the road. The cheap friends, that is. Why, it was so crowded with cars that we nearly hit poor Conroy Cortnoy as he darted between two parked cars and into the street in front of us. "So sorry, Conroy," Charlie called out his window after he braked, "better hurry back to Victor's or you'll miss the end of the game." Poor Conroy was so distracted that he barely answered Charlie and ended up hurrying away in the complete opposite direction from the McWoogle's, almost dropping the sack he was carrying.

Just as well, though. Within minutes of our arrival home, the McWoogle's door opened up and their guests filled the street, cheering and yelling and singing of Victory. Oh how appropriate, I just realized, that Victor hosted the Victory party. I do say that my journalism career is having a profound effect on my writing abilities.

Well with all of the celebrating going on that night, you can imagine the shock that Betsy Perkins felt the next day when she went down to her kitchen first thing and found that she had a cat. Absolutely stunned, she was. She'd never had a cat before and had no memory of ever going to get this one. She rang me early and asked me to come round, as she knows how well I get along with cats. There are a few strays in the neighborhood and I always leave some food and fresh water out back for them. So naturally I recognized the cat in Betsy's house. "That's Mr. Marmalaid," I told her. He's been round our block now for a few months. Very nice, meows thank you, but won't let me near enough to catch him, bring him inside, you know. "How on earth did you get him in, Betsy?" I asked, just stunned at her accomplishment. And she had absolutely no idea. She and Ned, that's Mr. Perkins, had been across the way at the McWoogle's last night, and she admitted there was, as Charlie predicted, a lot of free beer. Well, that must explain it, we decided. You see, Betsy is really purely a martini gal. It must have been that beer she had. Anyway, Mr. Marmalaid seemed to be enjoying the Perkin's home, having made himself quite comfortable in the kitchen window seat after finishing off some of Betsy's canned tuna.

I wished them well and was about to be on my way when a bit of investigative journalism took hold of me. "Betsy", I asked her quizzically, "is anything missing". Now this was odd because normally Betsy tells me that I'm missing something. We decided to give a look round and I stayed to help. All of the furniture appeared normal and the kitchen looked quite well stocked. But upstairs, Betsy's was horrified to discover that she was missing an emerald cocktail ring. But the worst, for Betsy at least, was when she discovered that the hat she had just purchased for the Malvern Hunt Tailgate was missing. She was about to go running to Ned in despair when he came in from the garage growling that his new golf clubs were gone.

I told Charlie how glad I am that we decided to cheer on the college at the pub, instead of at the McWoogle's house. After all, I'm determined to win the Most Beautiful Hat contest at the tailgates this year and what a tragedy it would have been if I'd lost my new hat at the McWoogle's house. And anyway, we really do have enough cats in our house.

Oh yes, my colomn this week was particularly good. Mr. Petigrew even called it a "doozy".

Dear Veronica,
I think my friend's husband is cheating on her. I always see him leaving the house late at night, keeping the lights out and kind of creeping around. He comes home a couple of hours later acting very secretive. And very quiet. If it wasn't for my binoculars with night vision lighting I'd never be able to see what he's up to. Should I tell my friend?

Dear Neighbor,
Well if your friend has a need for good binoculars, maybe she's a bird watcher, then yes. Definetly tell her. But otherwise, it just sounds as if you're bragging about them.
Thank you for your note,

Friday, March 27, 2009


Spring is here and that can only mean one thing, or a few things really. One of those things is the annual Steeplechase Races at the Malvern Hunt Club. It's a glorious day, as long as it's sunny, warm and the ground is dry. Otherwise it can be quite messy and uncomfortable, but usually it is a glorious day. We host tailgate parties on the grounds, compete in contests for Best Tailgate theme and Most Beautiful Hat. And that is where my mind was wandering yesterday as I was walking along Overlook Road towards the center of town. Well, that and I was also quite excited about the upcoming Lilly Pulitzer cocktail party. But as much as I was looking forward to the Lilly event, on this particular day I was on my way to Lindsey's Hat Shoppe to start my shopping for the perfect hat. I am absolutely determined to win a prize for Most Beautiful Hat this year. Izzy Braithwaite has won the contest the past two years in a row, and Laura Lee Hanson the year before that. They snickered a lot at the hat I wore last year, which is a shame really. I spent so much time adding things to it - some horses and a bit of hay to really get into the spirit of things. But this year I decided to go with the tried and true and start my shopping off at Lindsey's.

So there I was, just walking along Overlook, about at the offices for The Weekly, when I almost ran right into Conroy Cortnoy. I'm absolutely serious. Had he not stood up when he did, I would have flipped right over him and landed on the sidewalk. It's very unusual that he was all bent over the way he was, I could have sworn he was trying to put something into the evening drop box that The Weekly maintains, but when I asked him, he said, "No", he was just looking for a copy of The Weekly. Well naturally I was all too happy to offer to get him a copy, and thrilled to finally tell someone that I am Ask Veronica. Well, yes, I have told some others that I am Veronica. Charlie and Isabel know, as do most of the people who work at The Weekly. And apparently, Mrs. Petigrew is quite a fan of my column. Sue-Nancy Quigley, Mr. Petigrew's assistant, says that she has heard Mrs. Petigrew yelling quite loudly at Mr. Petigrew that he had better keep me as Veronica. It is so thrilling to have a fan.

Anyway, you can imagine how shocked and happy Conroy was to find out that I, Abigail, am Ask Veronica. We decided to stop by The Gryphon for a coffee and discuss it. He had so many questions, dear sweet Conroy, that I almost forgot to tell him how excited I am to attend his tailgate party. He looked so overwhelmed, I let him quickly change that subject and go back to asking me questions about my journalism career at The Weekly. Such in depth questions, too, "Did I have a background in journalism or therapy", "What exactly made me decide to take a job", "Who does the investigative journalism at The Weekly" and "Where did The Weekly come up with the news that the burglar was dangerous"?

I was anxious to discuss The Burglar, as most people in town are now adays. But if I am going to be high profile, I decided that I could not dodge questions about myself. I explained, delicately of course, that I felt it my duty to help support my household. Oh Charlie did not encourage me to find a job, let alone a career. He's always assuring me that things are just fine at his office. But, if a country the size of Iceland and all those big companies in New York can go out of business, then we shouldn't take chances here at home. Conroy sighed and lamented how he wished that Constance would find a career, or get out of the house - his wording was a bit different than mine. Apparently, he's taken a night job and ends up spending more time round the house in the day then I think he's accustomed. Anyway, in my haste to get into the interesting stuff, about The Burglar, you know, I forgot to tell him about my therapy background. I took a very thorough class on aromatherapy at the school night and even have a certificate with my name on it. Just as well, I don't like to brag.

Well it turns out that Conroy knows a lot about The Burglar. He told me that he knew for a fact that The Burglar has not threatened or harmed anyone and is not dangerous, as The Weekly proclaimed in It's headline. Conroy said that on one occasion, the burglar even took one family's dog out for a walk and picked up after him, too. Says the family told him how grateful they were that The Burglar took Bailey, that's the dog, for his constitutional or they would have had quite a mess to clean in the morning. Almost worth the few bits of electronics that he took, they said. The Burglar, that is. Not the dog. Since I've become a career gal, my mental sense of impressions has grown so vivid. I had a sense that The Weekly should hire Conroy. Mr. Petigrew is so obsessed with 'finding out more' about The Burglar that I am convinced, I told Conroy, that he may be allowing The Weekly to print things that are a bit exaggerated. Naturally I suggested it to Conroy. That he work for The Weekly, that is. "I have no writing experience", he kept saying. And we laughed so much when I confided that neither do I. I told him, Mr. Petigrew just hired me on the spot. Didn't even look at my qualifications, which is good because they are not actually true. Mr. Petigrew, I told Conroy, just has a sense about people and he absolutely loves to help people get involved in journalism. He is always trying to help that hopeless girl Veronica get a job. And honestly, I don't think that she is really trying. If Conroy came round the paper and really tried, I just know that Mr. Petigrew would give him a chance.

Well Conroy was so thankful of my encouragement that he read my column right there as we finished our coffee. And he loved it. He said he had no words to describe my advice. Although, he did suggest that if Mr. Petigrew had helped me so much with my career, that maybe I should help Mr. Petigrew with his obsession with The Burglar. Maybe write some of the true things about The Burglar to help The Weekly out.

And so I did. Unfortunately, the same week that I decided to add some Burglar tid bits to my column, The Weekly ran a front page article claiming to have received a hand delivered letter from The Burglar demanding an apology.

Dear Veronica,
We have friends that insist on paying us surprise visits. Not only are they uninvited, but it's hard to get them to leave. They'll stay for hours and monopolize our television and eat our food. We've tried pretending that we're not home but they walk around the house looking in windows and always catch us. What should we do?

Dear Trapped,
Well I certainly do not think that you should bad mouth anyone. Even a stranger. It is just not appropriate to say that someone is dangerous when they clearly are not dangerous. Just supposed someone came over to your house and walked your dog for you. That would not make them dangerous, now would it?
Have a lovely day and say hello to your friends for me,

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Well, this job is certainly much more difficult than I had imagined. When Isabel and I first found the job posting, it seemed like such a fun, easy job. And that really is what I was looking for: a fun and easy job. Oh of course I wanted a bit of prestige and glamour, too. Oddly, though, the newspaper world is just not as glamorous as I had imagined. Absolutely no one recognizes me as the advice columnist in the weekly, as I had hoped they would.

In fact, I was at a meeting just last week for my Women's Group, The Main Line Women's Club, and not one person there asked for my advice on anything. I offered it, my advice that is, several times and no one wanted anything of it. Finally, I confessed to Isabel, she was sitting just next to me sipping some white wine, anyway, I confessed to Isabel that I was quite shocked that none of the other Ladies actually wanted the professional advice that I was offering. Isabel said that since the column is called 'Ask Veronica', and I am Abigail, that many people might not know that I am the person who is actually writing the column, and helping all of these people with their problems. And that is when I decided to do it, make the announcement.

I waited until just the right moment. Just as Bitsy Finklestein was finishing her comments about this month's tea cup drive, I stood to announce my new found notoriety. No sooner did I stand when Constance Cortnoy, still seated no less, turned from her front row seat and loudly declared to everyone that she was hosting a fabulous tailgate party at the Malvern Races and invited us all to enjoy her hostessing. Obviously, that was quite ill timed, and I think, just not the proper way to make such an announcement. Had she asked for my professional advice I would have advised something more lady like, maybe some pretty invitation cards.

Anyway, I was not the only person at the Club that found her announcement a bit off putting, so to speak. Isabel told me the next day that she overheard Kate Dillworth and Iggy Braithwaite saying that they could not believe that Constance would choose such a bad time to host a party, what with her husband, Conroy, being so painfully out of work. I had not idea that Conroy was not working, though I suppose so many people have lost a job lately. Whats more, they said - Kate and Iggy that is - that Constance continues to spend like a Bandit. New jewelry, a vacation to St. Martin, and a new car. Well, people do need to get around, I agree. And, if Conroy is not working at the moment, then what a good time to get away from the office. But new jewelry in a time of recession is just bad form.

I felt so badly for Conroy, that I decided to approach Mr. Petigrew about the possibility of bringing Conroy on at the paper. I'm not sure exactly in what fashion, but Conroy always seemed to look very professional as he would walk down the street to the train station, on his way to a job somewhere in the city. Banking, I think. I thought that maybe he could run the finances of the Weekly. Anyway, just as I was walking towards him, Mr. Petigrew that is, he was overcome with a massive migraine headache and nearly knocked me over as he ran by me, into his office and slammed the door shut. This entire burglar episode seems to be giving him such a hard time.

Thankfully, my column this week was quite good.

Dear Veronica,
When I was in school, my friends all had nicer things than me and got all the attention. I've never forgiven them and have decided to show them that I am better than they are and have nicer things than they do. My husband keeps complaining and says that if we have nicer things that we should just enjoy them and not show them off. He's so whiny, what should I do?
Hi Time Hi Society.

Dear Hi,
I wouldn't show him off, someone else might take him.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Well Mr. Petigrew is certainly having a tough time of it. And sometimes, you know, I think he is partly to blame for his circumstances. Afterall, not a week ago he got a call from that burglar thats been on the loose around town. Well, not that the burglar has been running loose thru people's backyards like a dog off a leash, but he is loose in the community at large. And Mr. Petigrew is very upset about this. He pounds his fist on his desk and yells at people on the phone about finding out more. Silly really. If Mr. Petigrew wants to know more about the burglar, I told him, he should just pick up a copy of the Dailey. There's an article about the burglar in every edition. And they seem to know everything, everything the police say and what was stolen and from whom. It's really a very thorough paper.

So, last week Mr. Petigrew ran a front page story in our nice Weekly calling the burglar "dangerous". Actually, the headline said "Dangerous Burglar Terrorizes Main Line". Isabel said that she wasn't terrorized. And really, I wasn't terrorized either. Charlie, that's my husband, said that we gals would only be terrorized if our daily shows were cancelled. He doesn't know a thing about what we do all day, you know. Our television shows are not very relevant to us at all. And as for the burglar, he said the same thing to Mr. Petigrew when he called. He said to Mr. Petigrew that he was absolutely not dangerous and had not terrorized anyone. And I agree. Two weeks ago I ran into Babson Hurley and she said that the burglar had broken into their home recently and taken some of her jewelry and an Ipod, I think. But what a nice man, he apparantly swept up the glass he had broken to get in and left some of her sentimental peices. Jewelry peices, that is. Babson found it all quite exciting and said the insurance man was handling everything.

I must say that I think Mr. Petigrew was wrong in making those statements about the burglar and I don't blame the man, the burglar that is, for getting upset about it. Now, I wasn't there to hear the conversation, but Sue-Nancy Quigley, Mr. Petigrew's secretary, said that Mr. Petigrew was so upset by the call that he told that Veronica girl to come back later. And that really is quite a shock, because Mr. Petigrew seems very intent on helping that young woman find a job.

Which reminds me, it seems that the young lady, Veronica that is, who interviewed for my job just before Mr. Petigrew gave it to me, just won't give up. She's round the office quite often, from what Sue-Nancy tells me. And her name actually is Veronica, which is quite convenient since the column is called "Ask Veronica". My name is Abigail, but since the column already was called "Ask Veronica" I didn't want to change an established tradition. And so, working gal that I am, I'm off to impart some more advice. (I really do think I am getting the hang of this, too)

Dear Veronica,
My friends are always fighting and I am always in the middle. I don't know who to make plans with because if I make plans with one friend, the other friend will be mad at me. I'm not trying to be rude, or act like I don't care about their feelings, but I just don't know what to do.
Stuck in the Middle

Dear Stuck,
I know just how you feel. I absolutely abhor rudeness. I have a theory that if children took classes in manners instead of gym class that we'd all be better off. There is nothing that cannot be managed when everyone is on their best behavior. And so, I agree with you that you should not be rude. Thank you for such a lovely letter and on such pretty stationary,

Monday, March 16, 2009


Dear Veronica,
I have a friend who insists on dressing her son up in velvet tuxedo's and taking him to tea. What should I do?
Worried Friend

Dear Worried Friend,
I definetly would not let your friend buy your clothes for you.
Have a Wonderful Day,

This is such an easy job. And I think I'm doing pretty well. Just this afternoon, Mr. Petigrew exclaimed, "I can't believe you wrote this!" What a good thing for him that his wife showed up when she did. Otherwise, he was about to start giving me directions to somewhere, and he would have missed that phone call from the burglar.


Well you know how it is, looking for a job and what not. So many of these ads, now a days, demanding all sorts of high caliber skills and what not. "Must be proficient at Exel" and "Must be fluent in Word" and "Must arrive at office on time", honestly I don't see how anyone can get a job, really. There are just too many demands.

So, I was chatting with my friend, Isabel, and she said I should just go apply for a job anyway. Afterall, I'm sure most of the people applying for jobs don't really have all of these skills. I've rather always liked the idea of working for a newspaper. They always seem so smart, these newspaper people. Just thrilling, it would be, to work next to them. And just as we were finishing our coffee, wouldn't you know, but my newspaper was delivered. The weekly. It's such a nice newspaper, not all full of horrible headlines like the daily. Well, except for that particular week because there was a burglar on the loose. And thats really the ironic thing, isn't it? I mean, that the buglar was on the front page of the weekly on that day. Not litterally, mind you. And not even a pictures. But they did manage to write about him, anyway.

And that was the day that Isabel and I flipped threw to the want ads. Actually first we checked on the garage sales. After all, it was a Thursday and you have to plan ahead when you're looking for a good deal. All of the best deals are had before 9:00, you know. So, we had to look see which ones we wanted to hit. Garage sales, that is. They're on Saturday mornings, and this was Thursday so we had to look at those ads first. But then after that we checked out the job postings.

And there it was - my job. "Advice columnist wanted". Isabel quizzed me on all the things this job required: Word proficient, good with deadlines, phsychology degree - all very easy to just wing, so to speak. Isabel helped me type up a nice letter and a list of all my attributes and we put these qualifications on this list, too. And then, just on a whim, we decided to hand deliver my letter. After all, the Weekly's office was just a few blocks from my house. Though it was a lovely day and my garden was especially pretty this time of year. Spring, you know. Would have been nice to sit in the garden a bit longer but Isabel said that time and deadlines were important so off we went.

Now when we got there, it seemed that the Editor, Mr. Petigrew, had already asked another young lady to come in for the job. Or, at least the interview. Though I wouldn't have followed her fashion advice. Her skirt was just a wee bit too short, that is unless you were visiting your female doctor for a below the waste exam. And really, modesty only dictates that you cover your breasts up unless you're posing for the cover of a Harlequin novel. But anyway, she seemed like a very nice girl. Smiling and blushing. Well, at least until Mr. Petigrew's wife showed up. I never quite figured out what Mrs. Petigrew was doing at the Weekly's office that day, she doesn't work there. But she certainly does keep Mr. Petigrew ambitious about his job. She was absolutely astonished that he had yet to fill the Advice vacancy. As soon as she showed up at his office he - that is Mr. Petigrew - became quite concentrated on filling the Advice vacancy. In fact, he suddenly shooed that nice young lady out of his office , you know, the one waiting ahead of me, and suddenly pointed at me and told me to start the next day.

And you know, he didn't even read my letter.

Which brings me to my first column:

Dear Veronica,
My husband and I are having a baby and we can't decide on names. I hate the names he picks out and he hates the names that I pick out. We decided to let you decide. If it's a girl, I like Novelette and Theodora. He likes Bambi, Bunny or Peaches. If it's a boy I like Phineus. He likes Otis.
Thanx for helping out,

Dear Diane,
How lovely that you are expecting. I do wish you and your husband, and your baby, a wonderful life together. Now, I think the problem that you are having in choosing names has a physchological background that I Excel at. Bottom line is that you both have horrible taste in names. Since you have decided that I get to decide, here is my psycologically Excel-ant decision. If a girl her name is Susan, if a boy his name is Ron.
All The Best,