What would Joe Chip do?

Lost in a crowd

Dear Mr Chip,

Its new years eve.  I’ll be in the city, in a mass of humanity.  They’ll all be revelling together.  The clock will strike, a couple of million dollars worth of fireworks will explode, the crowd will erupt.  Everyone will be hugging and kissing.  I know what is going to happen.  I am going to be standing there, all alone, lonely and lost among a quarter of a million people.  No one will greet me, there will be no one to touch me, no eye will I catch.  I’ll just wander by.



Dear Me,

I really have to stop writing to myself for advice.


Joe Chip


Dear Comrade,

Though I feel it must be close, the Revolution has not yet come.  GFC, climate change, massacres, unemployment, banks foreclosing all over, but nothing.  What are we doing wrong?


Dear Karl,

We get what we deserve.  Next year in Jerusalem? (to quote Yasser Arafat)

Your mate,

Joe Chip


Dear Joe,

An old friend has become involved in a Sabbatarian Yahweh cult and keeps sending photo-shopped pictures of the Pope on Facebook.


Dear Moshe,

I know and it is really giving me the shits!!



Dear Mr Joe’s’,

I am planning a new year excursion to Taronga Park Zoological Garden.  I am concerned however what should happen if a lion was to escape while I was there.

From Joshy

Dear Joshy,

So long as you are not the slowest person there, everything should be ok.  Make sure you take a child you are not too fond of, in case of true emergency.  If multiple lions attack, expect bites.  Unless of course you are Adam West, in which case no doubt you will have just the right tool hanging from your utility belt.  I know some people will think this is a ridiculous question, however I am sure no one in Shanghai the other day expected the wall of the shark tank to collapse.  Boy Scouts are always prepared, which makes them the most paranoid people in existence.  Their life spans are significantly reduced by many years because of their constant anxiety, which hardly makes up for the one in a million of them who survives a meteorite hitting him on the noggin just because he happened to always wear an anti-meteorite helmet (how would that have helped with the Tunguska impact, I have no idea – yes I do, I know for a fact that no boy scouts survived that event.)  This is why I go nowhere, especially nowhere with lions, and nowhere on New Years Eve.  I trust this is of no use.


Mr Chip



Tips for healthy living

Dear Joshing Chipster,

What tips do you have for young people in this hustle and bustle world?

Franny and Zooey


Dear Salinger Offspring,

Don’t get me started.  Or alternatively, do.  Where do I start?

1.  Don’t marry an evil person.

2.  Don’t put eyeballs in your mouth.

3.  Don’t eat candy you find lying around.

4.  Remember, guns don’t kill people.  Mostly, its the bullets.

5.  If somebody goes to stab you, make your body go really hard.

6.  Friends are replaceable.  So is money, but you have to work to get that.

7.  If you hear a scary noise outside, stay inside.

8.  Lots of the stuff your parents tell you will turn out to be right, which is very very annoying.

9.  Let it go.  Let it all go.

10.  Stay clear of zombies and other monsters.

11.  Don’t.  You will get caught.

12.  If your plane is about to crash, try and be floaty.

13.  Don’t start a war in south east Asia.

14.  Don’t get a tattoo with your girl/boy friend’s name, because they are hard to change.  Get a generic one, that just says something like “Boyfriend” or “I heart Girlfriend”.

15.  Flags are not worth dying for, and taste like shit.

16.  Stephen King has written too much, and needs to find characters who are not best selling authors.

17.  Don’t tease vegans, they bite even though they will spit your blood out.

18.  It is possible to own too many books about wars.

19.  Tolerance is no excuse.

20.  Shit, I forget the other one.

I’m going to sleep now, I’m tired.

Yours truly,

Joelene, Joelene, Joelene, Joelene, I’m begging of you please don’t take my man.

A simple plea for understanding

Dear Joe,

My wife does not understand me.  I think I shall have to stray.  Do you have any tips?


Dear Ozy,

I am neither the Fonz nor JJ “the Casanova of the Ghetto”, able or willing to provide such amorous advice that you will misuse.  (I’m certainly outing myself here with all my modern pop references.  You’ll start thinking I’m some hip escapee from the Mod Squad or Room 222.)  I do not approve and will not assist.

Is it “understanding” that you seek from women?  In the words of Vyvyan “I’ve never heard it called that before!” (there, I’ve done it again). If so, why have you not prioritised “ability to speak English” on the forms you have been completing with RSVP?

Perhaps you should learn to enunciate more clearly.  However, the problem is that you’re wife understands you perfectly well – she understands that you are a sleaze who should wash more often.  Beware sir, you are a cad, and I have your return address, and you are due a thrashing – perhaps that is language you understand!

In the meantime, please read my poem on a not unrelated topic.

Yours most faithfully,

Your mate,

Joe Chip


Dear Mr Chips,

My parents won’t let me play with the other kids in the dark, zombie haunted caverns beneath my town.  Now everyone thinks I am uncool and a chicken.

Little Billy

Liebe meine kleine Billy,

Parents have to set rules, it is their function.  It is your job to rebel, that is your function.  It has always been thus.  It is a little more difficult now with “helicopter parents” who fuss and keep their children away from danger, protect them from perverts, teach them to swim and generally behave effeminately.  The race is in danger of avoiding all exposure to Darwinian forces.  If you do not take risks, what chance is there that we will evolve?  It is only through children exposing themselves to death (or at least the removal of their ability to reproduce) that the human race can develop further.  If all children survive childhood, what will happen to us?  You go chase those zombies, Billy, for the good of the Empire.  The People.  The Leader.

Herr Pommes Frites

(there is an interesting article on those caverns here…)

Nobody likes a smart arse

Dear Joe,

Recently I parked my car in the city.  I saw a sign saying that “any vehicles parked here will be towed away at owner’s expence”.  As you and I both know, there is no such thing as an “expence”, so I knew I was on safe grounds parking there, and I left a note to that effect.  When I returned, my car was missing.  I reported it to the police.  I now suspect that perhaps it was towed by the people who posted the sign, and this despite my note.  What should I do?  I feel like giving them a piece of my mind.

Yours most fashionably,

Charles Pert

Dear Perty,

Bubba will be very happy to take a piece of your mind.  Have you seen the sorts of people who run these things?  Timid little guys don’t go into that business.  They weigh 25 stone and have crowbars sticking out of their back pocket for when they might need to remove a burger from between their two remaining teeth.

Do you go through the Bible looking for loopholes that you think you will be able to argue with God about on Judgement Day?  Spelling mistakes do not void power.  A grammatical error never flummoxed the nazis.  Start loosening up your wallet, Perty, and when you meet Bubba, smile and grovel a lot.  Yes sir, I am a dickhead, Mr Bubba Sir.  Yes, I will be leaving a tip.

Why don’t you ask me something hard?


Dear Sir Joseph,

Do you have any handy hints for removing soup stains from underpants?


Dear Tarquin,

I will tell you how to get soup stains out of underpants, the moment you explain how you got soup stains there in the first place.

If you normally nosh in your undies, perhaps you should be more concerned about the burns from the soup than the stain.  Unless of course you were eating cold borscht.  In which case it is going to be a bugger getting the beetroot out.

Purplishly yours,

Mr Chip

Visiting Willy

Dear Joe,

This morning while washing myself in the shower, I discovered a penis in my nether regions.  At first I thought it may have been left behind by some visitor, but on closer examination I see that it is attached.  I find it hard to believe that I hadn’t noticed this before.  What do you think?

Willhemina  Will

Dear W,

I actually thought a lot of things.  Whooh!  It is a fact though that sometimes they do take a while to grow in.  It can be a shock I suppose when you thought you were a young lady to find that you are not.  I find that it is important not to dwell on things, and just get on with it, and I suggest you do the same.  You’ll have to act in a manly fashion from now on, of course, but it will come naturally after a while.  I’m sure you’ve seen men about, just do the things that they do.  You must be interested in blogging to be leaving this message here.  There are many excellent blogs by the ladies where they complain about the men, so that will give you a pretty good idea how we behave.  And you’ll have to excuse me, I seem to have developed an Irish accent along the way today.

Oh, and keep it clean, if you damage this one, its unlikely that it will grow back.  Its not a lizard’s tail, after all.  (Or perhaps it is.  You’d better get that checked out.  If you are just suffering from ingrown lizard, you may not have to change your life that much at all.  Unless you want to, of course.)

With fond regards and manly greetings,


Zippity Chippiter

(and with a hello to Gingerfightback)

Coming out

Dear uncle Joe,

I am going to “come out” to my parents.  I am concerned that they will not understand.


Dear nifty Nev,

I am sure they will understand.  Its on all the shows now.

Sir Joseph


A Cry from the Heart

Dear Joe,


Help me please!




Dear Distressed,

Thats just lazy.  What the hell am I supposed to do with that?  You and your problems can just bugger off.


Mr Chips


Dear Sir Joseph,

I am worried that I will have no-one for Valentine’s Day.  What should I do?



Dear Elly-Mae,

I honestly thought that you had written Vaseline Day.  What sort of holiday would that be?  Get that into ya.

Anxiety is born of uncertainty.  You should relax and accept that you will have no one for Valentine’s Day, and your worries will be gone.  You should however worry a bit more about that possible melanoma.  I’m sure it will be fine, but please see a doctor about it.  Vaseline won’t help.


The Chippiest

Difficult choices

Dear good Sir Chip,

A lot of pressure is being put on me by my family to enter an arranged marriage.  The girl was picked for me when I was just a child.  I am outraged that we are both being treated as possessions.  I am an adult in a free country with the ability to make my own choices.  I feel I must split from my family.  What should I do?


Dear Billy Boy,

Thank you for the great faith you have placed in me by raising this delicate and important question.

I appreciate that you forwarded this question anonymously, but there was enough metadata attached for me to work out your details.  I have thoroughly researched the issue, and looked into both you and the young lady.

I have to say, are you nuts?  I’ve seen the girls you go out with.  You should be glad to hive off your decision making.  You should never ever make a choice about this area of your life again.  You think Mum and Dad can do any worse than you?  Have you looked in a mirror?  You ain’t no oil painting (except maybe in the Dorian Gray sense).  Have you had a long hard look at your romantic “successes”?  (What, both of them?  Including the one you paid?)  Put your hat in your hand, go home right now, look down at the ground and say in a soft but clear voice “I am very sorry Mummy and Daddy, I have been naughty, may I get married now please?”

And you be very nice to that young lady and just hope that she doesn’t write to me for advice.

I liked the “good Sir Chip” salutation, we might look at making that the standard, by the way.  Very good.

With deep sincerity and faithfulness of purpose,

Your mate,

Joe Chip


Dear Mr Chips,

I have vegans coming for dinner!  HELP!!!


Dear Ms Wrinklehead,

Never fear, I have the recipe for an excellent and nutritious salad here.  And for dessert, given them American chocolate.  It tastes so bad they’ll think it is a vegan health product.

Your Mate,

Joe the Chippiest

Strange infestation

Dear Mr Chips,

I am a bit worried that my lady friend may be suffering from an infestation of womb-bats.  Sometimes when it is quiet I hear a strange rustling noise, like the crumpling of autumn leaves, coming from around her lap, if you know what I mean.  I’ve noticed that she always makes excuses and absents herself from company, no matter what the occasion, just around sunset.  What should I do?

Yours truly,


Dear Bob,

You gave me a little bit of a fright there, when I first read womb-bat I thought you had written wombat, and given you were talking about the lady’s nether regions, all I could do was meditate on the size of a wombat and shudder in fright.  Then I realised you were speaking of the cryptid womb-bats, those cute tiny little creatures with the big eyes.

The answer is that you should do nothing.  Womb-bats are not spoken of in polite company.  In this more enlightened era, womb-bats are a protected species, and although not endangered, they may not be interfered with.  If the issue overwhelms you, you have some decisions to make.  If you married the lady, you would be seen as part of the animals’ environment.  While that may afford you some benefits, divorce would of course be impossible without breaking a number of environmental protection laws.

Your mate,

My mate Joe Chip



Dear Sir Chippy,

I have recently started dating an Indian boy.  I have invited him for dinner at my house.  I have not cooked for him before, and I have a dilemma.  I had thought that he was Hindu, but I have now found out that he is Zoroastrian.  What would you suggest I cook?



Dear Bobette,

I advise that you keep it simple.  A good serving of fire never goes astray.

Your mate, My mate Joe Chip

Uninvited dinner guests

Dear Mr Chips,
What would you do? Imagine you were at a nice restaurant, with a lady you were very fond of, when suddenly zombies burst through the glass windows. You have a powerful handgun, but remember that you only have two bullets.



Dear Unsure,

Did that really happen?  I’d like to know what you did.  Apparently you survived, unless zombies are a lot more articulate and computer literate than I realised.

Or is this like the pharisees throwing some weird question at Jesus to try and make him look silly?  (I make no comparison between myself and the more well known JC.)  Not that Jesus was an open carrier.  Why have I only go two bullets?  (Jesus would never run out of bullets.)  Did I have to pawn the rest to pay for the restaurant meal?  She better be a nice lady.  So what are you getting at?  Are you asking if I am the sort of person who always has two bullets in case something bad happens and I have to murder my dinner companion and top myself?  (He’s a good date, he’s always suicide prepared!)

Joe Chip does not swing that way!!  I’m not murdering some nice lady and killing myself.  That’s not the way I was brought up and does not accord to the worldview and approach to life to which I subscribe.  Murder-suicide may be the first choice of most people in a difficult situation, but I am sorry, its just not for me.

There are two certainties in life.  The first is that there is always a lead zombie.  Take them out, head shot between the eyes.  Believe it or not, it does give the other zombies pause, despite the stories otherwise, and will buy you a few valuable seconds.

The other certainty in life is that there is always someone at a restaurant – waiter, diner, thief – who has annoyed the hell out of you and really and truly deserves to die.  Joe Chip will not kill them, it is not his way.  However, I will decide that they have annoyed me enough that they get a bullet in the leg.  The smell of blood will distract the zombies, and will slow the annoying person down so that they get more attention.  I hope they make it out alive, I really do.  However, I am responsible for only my own actions, not those of zombies, and if they get eaten, that is not my fault.  After all, they did deserve to get shot.

I then slip out the back door and take my lady friend home.  She will probably decide that my actions were the most romantic thing she has ever experienced in her life, and grateful that she still has a life, I think I may get a good night kiss after all.


Another writer asked a similar question about dating and restaurant etiquette.  In this case, it was what to do if you were out on a date and discovered that all of the air in the atmosphere was about to be converted into water.  I have covered this elsewhere.  Do not make my mistake, do not use your last piece of oxy-gum and hope that your date does not notice you did not share.


Dear Joe Chip, boo-hoo, blah blah, world awful, despair, global warming, what can I do.

Dear Sook, cut the crying, and buy lottery tickets to fund world revolution.  OK?

(For Adrianna F, who likes zombies)

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