Dear Scabby: I met a rad girl at a show tonight where my dear friend was headlining. I gave her my number but realized it may have been incorrect. Now I feel like a creep trying to connect with her. What to do? -PUZZLED IN PA
Dear Puzzled in PA: Before my septum collapsed, I tracked people down using their scent. My bloodhound nose could locate anyone within a 5-mile radius, dubbing me a kind of pheromonal GPS. Assuming this is a skill you don’t possess, you’ll have to do things the old fashioned way and try every possible combination of 10 digit phone numbers. If she’s as “rad” as you say she is, this shouldn’t be a problem.
When in doubt, try consulting one of your favorite romance movies for guidance, such as “Serendipity,” “Casablanca” or “Fear.” If you’ve never seen it, “Fear” is the classic love story of David (Mark Wahlberg) and Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) as they navigate young love. I’ve always related to this movie because most of my sexual experiences also happen at carnivals. Spoiler alert: There is an erotic moment on a roller coaster so romantic that it makes the sex scene in “Titanic” look like an outtake from “Deliverance.”
Go after her and don’t be too proud to beg. Pride is for posers. More often than not, when a person flat out denies you and rebuffs all of your sexual advances, they’re just playing hard to get. I once had a man elevate the game to a whole new level by taking out a restraining order against me. Luckily, the law is no match for the lawless and I scored myself a second (albeit supervised) date.
Dear Scabby: I’ve been in a creative slump for several months now and I feel like I’m never going to have an original idea ever again. It makes me feel like a fraud. What should I do when I can’t find my inspiration? -BLOCKED IN BALTIMORE
Dear Blocked In Baltimore: I used to think that drugs and alcohol made people more creative. I still think that, which is why I’m high right now feverishly writing this response on the back of my CVS receipt for Sudafed and chocolate milk. Substance abuse is also helpful with entrepreneurial pursuits. Cocaine has been imperative in helping me invent things that already exist but with a slight twist. I’m nearly finished with my prototype for a microwave that uses ringtones instead of beeps, which is sure to for real be my ticket to the big time, at which point I’ll really be ready to tell my dad to go fuck himself, God rest his soul.
Running low on creativity does not mean you are running out of creativity. As with everything, transferring an idea into a final product is a cycle that ebbs and flows based on factors that can’t always be controlled. If you rush the process, you risk looking like that guy in the back of the movie theater who shouts empty observations and tries to pass them off as comedy gold.
Depending on the critic, anything you create will simultaneously be regarded as your best or worst work, thus nullifying the importance of “audience.” I recently went to an exhibit where a dead ant glued to a piece of cardstock was regarded as art, in which case my house is priceless. The buyer of this piece will likely regard it as understated while the ant probably considers it a bit overdone. As for originality, I’ve always said it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
Dear Scabby: My friend’s band fucking sucks. Like, really bad. She’s constantly asking me what I think about new songs and how her shows went, and I don’t feel like I can keep up with the lies any longer. Should I keep being supportive, or give it to her straight? -CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITICAL
Dear Constructively Critical: Writing and performing music is no easy task, which is why it’s crucial to remain supportive of your friend as she finds her footing. When I first started performing, I used band names that would make it impossible to tell if the audience loved or hated me. After the break up of “You suck,” I formed “Get Out of Ohio,” and finally “No Encore.” Luckily, we killed every time, so those names were just precautionary.
Creating music is done so from under an umbrella of poetic license, which makes it hard to label a band as definitively good or bad. That being said, it sounds like your friend’s band sucks and the scene is already oversaturated with unnatural born musicians. Perhaps she’d consider a career that doesn’t require an audience, such as embalming or teaching Zumba.
A good friend will be honest with you, but a great friend will lie straight to your face and talk shit behind your back. When you give someone constructive criticism, you run the risk of them using it to better themselves, which brings them one step closer to surpassing you creatively. Is that what you want? (Tip: Make it a point to owe friends money so that they’ll always have a reason to stay in contact with you).
Scabby is the self-proclaimed mother of the Richmond, VA hardcore scene (and also a number of illegitimate children who have been trying to get in touch with her via ancestry.com.) She came this close to getting her associates degree in psychology from an online program that was later shut down for reasons we cannot disclose due to an ongoing investigation. Originally named Gabby F., she started going by Scabby after an untreated bed bugs “situation” in her first squat made national news, and is assumed to be anywhere between 50 and 100 years old. She looks forward to answering your most pressing questions and encourages people to push each other mentally, emotionally, and literally. You can contact Scabby at [email protected].