Advice and Riddles

Now we are halfway through 2021. Week 26 of Odd Prompts. and things are rolling along. I don’t want to jinx anything, so I’m not saying anything specific. Get thee behind me, Murphy! I have been writing along on Book #3 and I’m happy about that. These prompts are keeping my creativity stoked and I’m grateful to all the participants at More Odds Than Ends. They have kept me creative and mostly sane this last year plus. On the real life social side (just as important), husband and I had a lovely afternoon/evening with friends yesterday for Independence Day. Lots of good food, good company, swimming, bocce ball, and conversations. Great day. Back to the writing and creating today.

My prompt this week came from ‘nother Mike: When your etiquette column started using the tagline, “No question is too weird,” you didn’t expect to be asked what to do when your tail slips out of your tuxedo at a wedding… and then the questions got weirder…

Of course this made me think about Dear Abby and Miss Manners. And then it kind of went off the rails from there. Enjoy!


Dear Kalili,

I have a somewhat awkward question. A couple of weeks ago I was honored to be a groomsman at my cousin’s wedding. Everything was going well until we processed out of the temple. I didn’t realize it until we got all the way outside, but my tail had slipped out of my tuxedo and was (according to another cousin) waving like a flag the whole way down the aisle. How embarrassing! As soon as I realized what had happened, I quickly tucked it away and made sure it was secure against my back, but do you have any advice on how to prevent this from ever happening again and how to respond if it does? I have A LOT of cousins and I’m afraid I’m going to be in a number of weddings in the coming months. I certainly do not want this to happen again.

Thanks for your help.


Embarrassed Tail Waver

I reread the letter. That was the first one. I didn’t think things through when I decided on “No Question Is Too Weird” as the tagline for my advice column (written anonymously of course. I don’t need to be dealing with people’s personal problems when I’m trying to do my grocery shopping and keep my own tail from waving like some freak flag).

But it was only a week or so after I debuted the tagline that I got the letter about the tail coming out of the tux. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the first of what now number in the hundreds of letters. I decided that I would answer that letter in the paper, publicly. I figured everybody would enjoy the joke. I certainly thought it was a joke. I mean, I know who and what I’m related to (especially on my mother’s side), but as far as I know, I’m the only magical being in this town. At least that’s what I thought then.

So, I answered that first letter publicly. And then, the next week I got two more. How does one explain the sudden, and very public loss of a glamour by a fae? Humans do get startled when the person they’re talking with ages three hundred years in about ten seconds. Awkward!

And the week after that another four or five – what should you do when your cat starts talking with your dinner guests? (I was pretty proud of my response to that one – pretend that eldest child is learning the art of ventriloquism). And then it just snowballed from there. Oh, some of them are clearly jokes. I mean, even I know it’s not possible for two-year old child to transform into a dragon and back again in the middle of a company picnic. There’s just too much mass differential for that to happen.

On the other hand, many of them are clearly not jokes. Parents having to explain what happened when a young elf suddenly comes into his/her powers while playing with human friends. Yep. Seen it happen. That’s why most elf parents make sure that their children are only around other elves once they reach about ten years old (elves age at the same rate as humans until they are about thirty, then they stop aging. But before that, they look and act very similarly to human children as long as you don’t inspect their ears too closely).

So this deluge of letters…am I the only one who didn’t think there were any other magical beings in town? Sphinxes are supposed to be all-knowing…more or less. I’m not blind, but this town seems to be populated by the supporting casts of several hundred fairy tales. How did I not see this?

A new riddle for me to solve, I guess.


My prompt went to Leigh Kimmel. Head on over to More Odds Than Ends to see what prompted the silliness there and join in the fun!

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3 Replies to “Advice and Riddles”

  1. *is busy staring at husband, who other than a bit of silver looks like he has since 30, and his dad could use him for a shaving mirror. Who she calls Elf, because…ears….*


  2. I can but wonder what the answer to the first ‘strange’ question was. Perhaps something involving vet-wrap – something not overly constricting and not hard to remove from fur.

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