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
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?
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
your boss back. Oh, and the green tramp? She was just using
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"
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
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.
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
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
Boxers or briefs?
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
Dear Shrann Landers:
What do you get for a gift for a guy whose favorite hobby
is playing with explosives?
-- Bomb Squad
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.
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
What's wrong with me?!
-- Past 16 and Never Been Kissed
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
If you want to be a Starfleet captain, it's not the hair on your chin which
is the problem.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Do you think it's true that we all have doppelgängers
in other species?
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.
April 8, 2005
September 5, 2005