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Dear Shrannie

Advice from
Shrann Landers

Dear Shrann Landers:
I joined Starfleet after the Xindi attack because I wanted to protect our planet and serve our people. I finally got a post on Enterprise -- the ship that defeated the Xindi! -- and for a while, things were going great. We stopped a war, we killed off a bunch of Augments before they attacked Earth, we fought some Klingons, it was really exciting. Then my boss left for another ship, and I got his job! Couldn't have been better. I was finally getting somewhere.

But then things started to go south. My boss came back barely two weeks later -- big stunt, really risky, everyone was all worried, but they had to have him back 'cause nobody else can do what he can do 'cause he's so special -- and kept telling me how to do my job. My job, not his. And even though he swore up and down that he didn't want my job, by the time New Year's rolled around, there he was, back in command again. Then this beautiful Orion woman fell for me -- for me, not my boss -- and said she wanted to stay with me forever! And what does my boss do? He stuns her! And throws her and her sisters off the ship! I thought it couldn't possibly get worse, but then my boss's best buddy the gun nut accuses me of sabotaging the shuttlepod! (Which I totally didn't do. I couldn't have, because my boss took me off shuttlepod detail when he took my job. So there, you explosives freak. I bet you keep back issues of Solider of Fortune under your mattress.)

So now I'm completely pissed. My boss is head of the department and a senior officer and I'm nobody. He doesn't even admit that I'm good enough to be his second-in-command -- he put his crony back in that spot the minute he got back. If I wasn't just as good as him, the captain wouldn't have given me his job in the first place, right? What do I do?
-- Second-Best

Dear Negative Two:
Stop whining, get over yourself, quit insulting trained sharpshooters, and transfer to another ship. If you were really that good, the captain wouldn't have taken your boss back. Oh, and the green tramp? She was just using you.

Dear Shrannie:
I broke my arm this morning and I haven't reported it yet. The problem is the ship's physician. He's a friend of mine, but I really don't want him treating me anymore. Truth be told, I'm quite certain that Regulan bloodworm he put in me two years ago to heal my punctured leg never actually did come out. Any advice?
-- Wounded and Worried

Dear Wing Clipped:
As long as you're willing to cough up the out-of-network co-pay, there shouldn't be a problem with asking to see a different doctor. It's just business, and your friend shouldn't think otherwise.

However, you should definitely see somebody about getting the bloodworm extracted, or you're going to be in for a very rude surprise some romantic evening.

Dear Mr. Landers:
I find your profession completely illogical. However, as it potentially impacts the productivity of my crew, it is my duty to inquire as to your qualifications for conducting said business.
-- Pseudonyms Are Irrelevant "Nicknames"

Dear PAIN:
Vulcans are supposed to have pointy ears, not big noses. My qualifications? People ask me questions and I answer 'em. How's that for logical?

By the way, there's nothing worse than an impacted productivity. You'd better get that looked at.

Dear Shrann Landers:
Ever since I was a little girl my dream was to learn as many languages as I could. I'm very proud to say that I have grown up to be one of the best linguists around. Not long after I graduated I was offered this great job aboard a starship -- not just any starship, but the flagship of the fleet! I thought it would be challenging, but instead, after the thrill of the first few months, I find I'm really getting depressed. I made the mistake of improving a hand-held translation device, so I've slowly lost my touch because it's been doing the work for me. The last time I had to act as interpreter I almost caused a diplomatic incident. How can I regain some self-confidence?
-- Lost in Translation

Dear Lost:
Adopt four or five teenagers for a month. After a few weeks of their bizarre slang, sullen pouts, deliberate mumbling, and byzantine social lives, remembering a measly three dozen languages will seem like a piece of cake.

Dear Shrannie:
Which way should the toilet paper hang, in front or in back? We've been arguing about this for so long I'm afraid we're going to split up over it.
-- Rubbed the Wrong Way

Dear Anal-Retentive:
If it bothers you that much, tear off each individual square and stack them neatly. Problem solved. Then you should get some therapy for the rest of your problems.

Dear Shrannie:
Boxers or briefs?
-- Curious

Dear Nosey:

Dear Shrannie:
I'm on a ship in the middle of nowhere and there's nothing to do for entertainment except for watching these lousy horror movies once a week. I'm thinking a weekly craps night would liven things up. Only I'm not sure the captain would approve, and if I ask him he might say no. Do you think I should just go for it?
-- This Mamma Really Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Dear Shoe Freak:
1) It's always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Get the head of security involved from the beginning and you'll have a much easier time of hiding it.
2) Flattery will get you everywhere. When the captain does find out, congratulate him on his superior powers of sleuthing and intellect and tell him he's earned an elite spot in the game rotation.

Dear Shrann Landers:
What do you get for a gift for a guy whose favorite hobby is playing with explosives?
-- Bomb Squad

Dear Boom-Boom:

Dear Shrannie:
When you flush the toilet, where does it go?
-- Molly McCook

Dear Poop Question:
To the river which runs under your house and connects to your toilet. And if you keep sending me stupid questions, the next time you have to go potty, it's going to come right up the pipes and splash blue all over your little Scots-Irish butt.

Dear Shrann:
I'm friendly, good-natured, young, handsome, athletic, courteous, very intelligent, and the best at what I do. But I've been on this starship for four years now and haven't had a single date. What's wrong with me?!
-- Past 16 and Never Been Kissed

Dear Wesley:
You're annoying.

Dear Shrannie:
Do you think facial hair is appropriate for a Starfleet officer? I've been overlooked for promotion repeatedly, and I'm wondering if a goatee could possibly improve my odds?
-- Smooth as a Baby's Bottom

Dear AssFace:
If you want to be a Starfleet captain, it's not the hair on your chin which is the problem.

Dear Shrannie:
I've really stepped in it now. I accidentally popped the captain's water polo ball and there's no way to get him a new one till we get back to Earth -- which could be months or even years from now. He's having T'Pol analyze it for fingerprints. Now I'll never get that promotion. I may even get brig time for this. What can I do?
-- Trapped and Cornered

Dear Fugitive:
Tell him you caught Porthos gnawing on it and bravely flung yourself into the fray to pry it from his jaws. The dog may have to go a few weeks without cheese, but at least he can't refute your story. In the future, I highly recommend keeping your paws to yourself.

Dear Shrann:
I just had one of my crewmates, a Vulcan, come into Sickbay and ask to be treated for an "impacted productivity." Did you have anything to do with this?
-- I'm a Doctor, Not a Grammarian

Dear Gramma:
Would I try to put one over on a snooping green-blooded pointy-eared passionless logic-obsessed pedant? The entire race has impacted personalities, for crying out loud. Prescribe a strong laxative and consider it a job well done.

Dear Shrannie:
I can't stand sitting in this chair any longer. I'd really like to order a new one, but I'm afraid I'll offend my buddy who just went through hell customizing this one for me. How would you handle this?
-- Slip-Sliding Away

Dear Slipshod:
Hire someone on the sly to break it for you. Tell your buddy you'd rather spare him the agony of doing all that customization again so you're buying a new one. Then hire the chair-breaker to break a bunch of other things to keep your buddy too busy to sulk over the stupid chair.

Dear Shrann Landers:
How can I get Alpha Male to give me cheese more often? I know it's not good for me but a great brie with a vintage port is a little slice of heaven.
-- I Hanker For a Hunk'a Cheese

Dear Cheezy Poofs:
Offer to make your pack leader a deal: he gives you some gouda, and you'll clean his latrine with your tongue for a week. It's a fair exchange, considering.

Dear Shrannie:
Do you think it's true that we all have doppelgängers in other species?
— Beside Myself

Dear Twofer:
Only the best of us. I myself have a Terran and Norcadian duplicate as well as two different Ferengi doubles, plus a slew of Vorta clones. None of them share my fetching antennae, however, so clearly I'm the original.

Dear Shrannie, April 8, 2005

Dear Shrannie, September 5, 2005

Co-writer: Tripper