Monday, 18 April 2011

Ask Dr. Bartender

Back when we first started E14, we honestly had no idea how popular it would become. Now, we run hugely successful competitions, interview celebrities and deal with some of the top publishers in the media industry. However, nothing prepared us for the first time we started receiving advice requests. Of course, one thing about all our contributors is that none of them felt comfortable giving advice to the world at large. We resolved, however, not to let our loyal public down, and set about hiring someone who could. Here for your reading pleasure is the first instalment of Ask Dr. Bartender. Enjoy!

Q: I am in university studying Chemistry, and I have a friend who plagarises essay content and still gets top marks. I've also seen him cheat from other people in tests and exams. It really annoys me because I'm a consistently top performing student, and I have to work really hard in order to get my grades. What would you suggest to make her see the error of her ways?
Julie, 23, Essex

Dr B: Hi Julie, thanks for writing in. I can understand why this is frustrating for you, as despite the fact that you are told to concentrate only on your own studies, something like this will no doubt capture your attention, as it rightly should.

First and foremost, if this is an indication of anything, it's that your efforts in working hard are futile. Your friend is succeeding with no effort, and you are succeeding by losing all of your free time and almost certainly alienating your friends on Facebook by complaining about how hard you work and giving across the impression that nobody else in the world has ever worked as hard as you. It's a safe bet that this girl is signficantly more popular than you, which is also fortunate for her as she will no doubt have more time to socialise.

The advice, therefore, that I am going to give to you is simple: Start plagiarising as well. Not only will you start achieving the maximum achievement with the minimum of effort, but you will also begin to see that the professors may ask questions of you. Then you can say it was coincedence. If your copying is seen as coincedence, and your friend attempts to claim the same, she will be exposed as having copied your excuse!

I realise that those around you have probably told you to ignore this, and I tend to hear the phrase "What goes around comes around" as advice when used in this context. However, when faced with those nay-sayers, bear in mind that if this girl goes on to be successful in life, then if a Porsche goes around, it's not going to be replaced by a Ford Fiesta mid-journey.

Q: I am seventeen and I have a problem. I am still being bullied by a boy at school. Every day I come into the building and he first spits on me, then kicks me and calls me offensive names. Should I ignore him, or fight back?
Daniel, 17, Warwickshire

Dr B: Bullying takes many forms, and physical bullying is the worst kind, although there are also emotional bullies, as well as mental bullying. In my experience, there are many different ways to deal with them, but ignorance is not one of them. Some ways that work include bribery. I recall when I experienced bullies in the past, I simply paid them off in sufficient volume to purchase a large quantity of drugs. Their subsequent addiction would then allow me ample time to have a sex change and move to another town. Alternatively, a more direct approach is to suggest that you had intimate personal relations with a member of their close family. Mothers are usually best, but older sisters are generally fair game as well. If you can supply photographic evidence, so much the better, but try to keep them PG where possible: nobody wants to see their mum's downstairs curtains in that much depth. As an addendum, make sure if you do mention having copulated with their mother that the experience was less than pleasant for you as well, in order to show your dedication to the cause.

However, Daniel, you have a bigger problem. My travels in the Congo brought me into contact with a tribe who expressed homosexual interest with exactly those methods in that precise order. Perhaps the problem is simply that what you see as bullying is actually the young man's way of addressing his sexual frustration at being a homosexual young man trapped in a harsh and uncaring world. I would suggest having a conversation with him on this subject, and make it clear that you are accepting of his homosexuality. Make sure that this is done in a public forum for maximum effect, perhaps during registration first thing in the morning. I anticipate that at first break, he will come rushing over to converse with you.

Q: I have been with my husband for ten years, and just recently he has been talking a lot about women on the TV, about how attractive they are and things like that. Is he losing interest?
Elaine, 42, Bedfordshire

Dr B: Elaine, you are going about this the wrong way. The question that you need to be asking yourself is not 'is he still interested?' If he's been with you for ten years, he is either interested or he feels that he's set in his ways now and can't escape. If you want a basic example of this effect, I recommend lying in a hammock for more than two hours.

Anyway, the more correct question to ask is 'what can I do to draw his attention away from the women on TV, and restore his attention to me thus placating my ego?' This is more straightforward, and there are many steps that you can take to subtly turn him off the hugely attractive women on television.

One thing to try is to allude to a female TV personality's personal demons. While he is browsing the DVDs in a store and comes across the new Kerry Katona weight loss DVD, offset his admiration for her weight loss by reminding him of her numerous drug and alcohol problems. If you can load up the This Morning interview where she looks strung out and off her tits live, this will earn you bonus points. Ultimately, men need to be reminded that the women on television are often dealing with substance addiction, and that this would need to be dealt with as part of day to day life.

Something else that can be tried is to make him aware of some sort of problem with his own physical form. He will change his tune regarding the attractiveness of the women on television if he's made starkly aware of the fact that he doesn't stand a chance of attracting a young, attractive female of the kind that usually stars in movies. If anything, maybe even make those comments when someone unattractive or frumpy is on the screen, just to really hammer it home that your husband would be unable to woo another female.

If you have any questions for Dr. Bartender, feel free to email us at, and we will pass your questions to him!


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The King of Plagues is available from Thursday 21st April, priced £12.99 (Trade Paperback) and £18.99 (Hardback).

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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