Ask a Gaxian

Dear Gax,

I work in an office with five other people. One of my co-workers is a compulsive coffee drinker. The rest of us drink a moderate amount.

The office rule is that whoever drinks the last cup must make more. Yet often the coffee-hound drinks most of the pot, leaving half a cup or so for the next person, who must inevitably make a new pot despite not drinking much of the previous one. Shouldn’t the person who drinks the most coffee shoulder most of the burden making more? How can we enforce this in the office?

— Forcibly Decaffeinated

Dear Forcibly,

Your office cannot function at peak efficiency if you are constantly being bothered by this petty coffee squabbling. Have you tried asking the coffee-fiend nicely to make more pots more often, in the selfless interest of interoffice tranquility? Some individuals must always sacrifice for the good of the hive. My guess from the tone of your letter, however, is that you have not even bothered to address your concern with this person directly. You write me passive-aggressively, perhaps hoping that the coffee-drinker will see his letter here and wordlessly correct his behavior, sparing both of you the awkwardness of a confrontation. This is unlikely to work, but if the aim is not to rectify the problem but rather to satisfy your urge to have “done something about” the problem, congratulations. You are quite the hero.

If this coffee thing is bothering you so much, simply follow the person to his car, wait until he closes the door (with the windows rolled up), place a 4-mil solar bomb against the driver’s window and flash-heat the interior of the car to five million degrees. It will appear as if he died from sunstroke and you will be in the clear. Do not write me when you then have to deal with this man’s extra workload, however. Every decisive action changes the game board.

Gax, challengingly

My husband is a kind and supportive soul, with one exception. Whenever I try to fix something around the house, he gets in my way, insisting that I’m doing it wrong and that he be the one to make any repairs. But he never has the time, and it’s not like he’s Bob Vila, either: I’m just as handy as he is. And if he finds that I’ve done something while he’s gone, he’ll nitpick it to death and often keep tinkering with it himself until it’s “perfect.” How can I get out of this marriage?

— Needs Repair

Dear Needs,

When home life becomes so tranquil that minor quarrels are elevated into insurmountable hurdles, truly you live a charmed life. When I was growing up, I had to battle five thousand swarming siblings to suck tiny drops of spilled blood from scalding rocks. It was my only source of nourishment throughout my entire elementary-school career. If someone stopped attempting to claw my eyes out long enough to offer to fix my sink, even if he never did it I would still consider this person heart-bonded to me for life. It is an expression of compassion that you are reading as contempt, and for that you should be made to run the Graxfian Path. If you reach Spine Rock before dying of metabolic disease you will be able to choose a new mate from the egg-broods there.

If you choose not to do this, you should instead learn how to fix the sink such that when your husband attempts to continue tinkering, he is scalded with boiling wastewater. If you can manage to assert dominance in this way then you will have my hearty congratulations. I am nothing if not egalitarian and venomous.

Gax, forcibly

I have two children, girls, aged 9 and 7. The 7-year-old shows all signs of becoming a great Gawxor warrior: she files her teeth on stones; she runs barefoot across the top of our wrought-iron fence; she’s even taken to chitin-crusting her hair without being told (she keeps an ant farm in her room). The 9-year-old, however, never showed any interest at all — right now she’s keen on becoming a veterinarian, although as you know, kids go through phases. Should I hold out hope? It is possible she may yet take up with the Ganzzax scribe tribe? Or should we accelerate the Gawxor indoctrination to make up for lost time?

— Wants Two Gawxori

Dear Wants,

You white people trying to be Gaxian make me sick. You can’t just read Wikipedia and watch a few movies and think you know what it’s like to be Gaxian. Did you watch the burning moon of Gax’an collide with Gax-Prime? Did you dance with glee from webbed foot to webbed foot, anticipating the triennial Measuring of the Neck? Did you savor the taste of your first egg, knowing that each bite was eliminating heirs from your house? If you haven’t, I recommend the very good book Ganaxorr: A Handbook of Gaxian Ritual by Professor Reed Barnes at NYU. The Lonely Planet Guide to Gax has some good stuff too. I am extensively quoted in both books, occasionally contradictingly.

Let your older daughter become a veterinarian. When your youngest goes through the Change it may be handy to have a relative with access to equine-strength drugs (depending on the status of the laws by then). This is what we call gaxnat, “living in concert.” If any members of your family — or anyone reading — requires personal individualized consultation for any Ganaxorr, I am available on an hourly basis and will also consider working in exchange for waste varnish from any deck-refinishing projects you may be undertaking. That stuff is very tightly controlled where I come from.

Gax, anticipatingly

[Gax is an alien from the planet Gax. Have a question for Gax? Leave a comment on this post.]

33 thoughts on “Ask a Gaxian”

  1. Gax,

    How would I tell a parent I have performed poorly at school and doubt my ability to learn altogether?

    -So Much Learning

  2. Esteemed Gax,

    I am a genderqueer human, which is to say that I belong to neither of the genders in the Earth-Human binary system. The Earth-Humans seem inclined to inject me with chemicals and rearrange my body parts, seemingly at random, until I resemble one of their desired genders. I am quite content with my current chemicals and positions of body parts, so my question is this: In your travels, have you encountered any planets which have multiple genders of inhabitants, or whose inhabitants are less inclined to cut each other up? I am willing to breathe a sulphur-based atmosphere.



  3. Oh powerful Gax,

    In the Gaxian mating rituals, is there an equivalent for “necking” ?

    – Curious

  4. Gax,

    I want to lose weight, but never go to the gym. I want to become a writer, but lack the discipline to write on a daily basis. My car is in disrepair, my house is a mess. I seem to be suffering from chronic laziness. How can I whip myself into a more industrious lifestyle?

    – Charlie L. Bones

  5. Dear Gax, I have no waste varnish on hand, but I can offer sandwiches of sealing wax and soap. I realise that is the appropriate bribe for a Triantiwontigongolope, not a Gaxian, but as sealing wax is also considered appropriate for mollifying dragons, I thought it might do…

  6. Dear Gax,

    I am plagued by the constant fear of the Parthenon. I cower in terror at the thought of the Sphinx. My friends chide me when I yelp at the site of China’s Great Wall. Yes, I am afflicted with a fear of old monuments. My friends insist that their powers have long since vanished, but I know well in my hearth that their old magic holds true to this day.

    Thus, I ask you, how can I protect myself from these horrors? How may I relinquish the hold that these Ancient Wonders have on my heart? TELL ME! HOW can I be free?!?!

    Failing that, I’d like some tips on how to pick up the ladies.

    -Hiding Under The Covers

  7. Your Gaxiousness,
    Man, when Malki ! said we’d be hearing more from Gax in the future, he wasn’t kidding, was he?

  8. Dear Gax,
    My boyfriend may be romantically involved with a fellow earthling. She is superior as a mate in many ways, but I am enamored with mia amore, and do not wish to lose him before he can give me offspring. How do I eliminate her as a threat and make my man return to me?
    Achy Break His Heart

  9. Dear Gax,

    I require assistance and I’m at my wit’s end. You see, I work in an office full of idiots, and though I am their assigned overlord, I have to constantly defenstrate their personal belongings, sometimes even one of the employees, just to garner enough productivity to get through the day (we work near the top of a forty-three story building by the way). The defenestration tactic seems to be working fine enough, at least until I can perfect the Eviscerator 9000, but the boys up in corporate are giving me flak (something about human rights, I don’t know) and they want me to stop all together. This, of course, I cannot do, so my question is: how might I best defeat my enemies without subsequent disaster from wiping out the highest order of management, all the while accruing some very bad karma?

    – Waiting Patiently

  10. Dear Gax,

    A close companion of mine is a Gaxian, and has given out invitations to, from what I could gather, is his wedding. What is the appropriate behaviour for a Gaxian wedding? Should I bring a gift? Wear any particular clothes? I’d hate to cause offense…

    ~Nuptials? No Clue

  11. Ho Gax,

    I have 3 strong daughters that I want to grow into strong women (they are currently 2yrs, 4yrs, and 12yrs old). I have no sons. What advice can you give a father about raising independent daughters?

    Abu el Banat

  12. I have a two-year-old son who is basically trouble incarnate. This child positively delights in doing things he knows he shouldn’t, and thinks up new ways to aggravate me on a daily basis. His elder brother was a much easier child, so I’m at a loss for how to deal with the little weasel. He isn’t old enough for time-outs yet. Any suggestions?

    -Aggravated and exhausted

  13. Gaximus Prime,

    In my experience, it often seems that it is better to live on a gut level and strike the world with intensity and vigor, throwing care to the wind. The opposite… a constant assessment of one’s place in society, and planning to avoid chaos seems to be counter productive. Yielding much heartbreak and disappointment. My question dear Gax, is which one are you? The “devil may care” attitude, or the “planner”?

  14. Gax,

    When arranging a business partner is it more appropriate to choose a warrior of equal skill, or one who you can dominate easily? My operation is frought with hipocracy and I’m beginning to wonder if you were right all along: just eat them.

  15. Dear Gax,

    We know about your plan. We know about the secret you hid underneath the gas clouds of Jupiter as well as the ruins on Mercury, and we are no longer content to simply observe you. Do you ever wonder why it is that you have not been absconded or otherwise removed from public sight? Have you ever considered why there have not been any attempts made against your life while you stay on our planet? It is because we have willed it and made it so. We have been protecting and watching you all this time from the shadows. And now, we know what nefarious deeds you have concocted and Gax, we do not approve. Cease and desist any and all such conspiracies and acts or we cannot be held accountable for whatever misery befalls you. And trust us, suffering will be a certainty. Agony so great that Job himself would look down and pity you. You have been warned, Gax. Do not raise our ire any further.

    Patiently and readily,
    The All Seeing Eye

  16. Hey Gax!

    Whatever happened between you and Debbie after you flashed your goods to her?!


  17. Dear Gax,
    The country I live in (the name of wich i shan’t divulge) has constantly overlooked the essential topic of academic research, and our educational system has been vexated over the years by governors who adopted a feroucious funding-cut policy instead of dealing with the much worse problems of corruption and tax evasion.
    As college students, my colleagues (even the most eager-studying ones) and I are being put in the condition of not being able to take all the examinations in our academic curriculum by the end of the standard term, thus being forced to pay tuition for an extra year in order to graduate.
    Isn’t this unfair? Should I get politically involved to try and fix this situation? What would you do?
    -Aggravated Student

  18. Dear Gax,
    I read on the Gaxian Wiki that video-games in your galactic area are very different from ours. Is there any stores in our solar system that sell them, or is it not recommended for humans to play them? I just wanted to know more about the electronic side of your culture.

    In Reverence of Gaxian Technology

  19. Dearest Biped, Gax.
    Salutations! This is the Endraxxin Hive-Mind of Gethhhrill. I, like you, have been stranded on this blue-green planet called “Earth” for serveral millenia and have grown a little homesick. You see, infiltrating the highest echelons of government and society with our “mind brood” takes its toll, and we long for the Auburn Seas of Gethh. To taste the nitrogen oxide atmosphere with my olfactory folicles and feel the radiation from our binary suns. Can you give me some advice to take our troubles off our very large ovoid minds?

    Sincerely, The Endraxxin Hive-Mind of Planet Gethhhrill
    Many long centuries too you.

  20. Dear Gax,

    How many licks *does* it take to get to the center of a TootsiePOP? The owl keeps eating them.

    – Your World May Already Know

  21. *high pitched squeal*
    *guttural moans*
    *high pitched squeal*
    *high pitched squeal*
    *rapid clicking*
    *rapid clicking*
    *high pitched squeal*

  22. Dear Gax,

    It has come to my attention that I am choking! Quickly, how does one perform the Heimlich Maneuver on oneself?



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