Sedaratives: Nell Scovell

Sedaratives: Nell Scovell

Nell Scovell
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Dear Sedaratives:

Is there any way to make laundry more fun?

Glencoe, IL

Dear M:

Replace the word “laundry” with “Asians” and re-read your query.  Now replace “laundry” with “people in wheelchairs.” Now “accountants.” See my point? Your question is extremely judgmental, condemning laundry without acknowledging the subjectivity of your statement.  So let’s get to the real problem: Have you ever noticed that when you’re wearing clothes, they’re just clothes, but when you take those clothes off, they become laundry? The clothes haven’t changed; you have.  So if dealing with the laundry isn’t fun, I suggest you look at the man in the mirror and not the clothes in the hamper. You are the problem…not the laundry, or for that matter, Asians or people in wheelchairs. (Although accountants are simply not fun and there’s nothing you can do about it.)



Dear Sedaratives,

I get really high on allergy medicine. Not on purpose; I just feel like my head is abuzz when I take Claritin. I’ve tried others and I don’t get the same high. Does the high mean it’s working and I need to get past my fear of addiction?

Chris M.
Las Cruces, N.M.

Dear Chris,

Good news! There’s no need for you to worry about becoming an addict. Bad news! You already are one. Residing in New Mexico means you are almost certainly addicted to oil. When was the last time you went a week without heating your home or getting into your car? And like most Americans, I bet you’re also addicted to corn syrup, caffeine, the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and cheap goods from China. Oh yeah, I can smell the Walmart on you even through the internet. And speaking of the internet, I bet you’re addicted to that, too. And porn, obviously. When was the last time you went a day without porn? And there’s something else you can’t live without: as the late Robert Palmer observed, you might as well face it, you’re addicted to love. So I wouldn’t be concerned about adding the Claritin monkey to that load on your back. It’ll jump right in and play with the troop that’s already there.



Dear Sedaratives:

Flan is disgusting. Why do the Spanish insist on pretending it’s a dessert? How do I get out of eating it at my mother-in-law’s house?

Ben S.
Santa Clara, CA

Dear Ben S:

I thought it might be helpful to break down flan to its ingredients in an effort to determine what, in fact, makes it so disgusting.  I got this from a recipe for traditional Spanish flan.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup snot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Studying the ingredients, I narrowed down the possibility for disgustingness to the vanilla or snot.  Hard call. Maybe you could ask your mother-in-law to make two different versions next time—omitting the vanilla in one and the snot in the other? A taste test might prove illuminating. As for the Spanish insisting that flan is a dessert, they also insisted that the Jews and Muslims leave their country in 1492. It is my belief that an orthodoxy in religion leads to a boring and bland culture which helps explain why Spain is now “the flan” of Europe.  



Dear Sedaratives:

I would like to know more about the Continental Congress and what they ate and drank while in session. The internet seems biased and I’ve been warned not to trust Wikipedia. Do you have any knowledge in this area?

Ms. DiFranco
West Chester, PA

Dear Ms DiFranco:

I know this one!  The Continental Congress began each morning with orange juice, coffee, and a basket of assorted breads.  (In fact, we still call this a “continental breakfast.”) Lunch was a light salad. For dinner, they went potluck with each of the 13 colonies contributing a dish.  Colonies that began with initials A to H were required to bring appetizers; I to N were responsible for a main course; and O to Z brought dessert. On the evening of June19, 1775, the menu was listed as follows:

Connecticut: Hog Ear bites

Delaware: Oyster fritters

Georgia: Lemon butter finger sandwiches

Maryland: Muddle (fish stew)

Massachusetts: Muddle (fish stew) (Wouldn’t you know, both states brought the same thing and everyone ate the one from Massachusetts not Maryland. It’s so political.)

New Hampshire: Assorted game with assorted okra

New Jersey: Herrico (Mutton stew with turnips)

New York:  Brown duck porridge (unclear whether “brown” refers to the color of the duck or the porridge)

North Carolina:  Cold roast venison platter (store-bought since the state forgot to cook)

Pennsylvania: Johnnycakes (also the state’s nickname for John Adams)

Rhode Island: Gooseberry Fool

South Carolina: Sesame brittle

Virginia: Muskrat pudding with hot butter sauce

Potables: Spruce beer and switchel, made of water, ginger, molasses and vinegar—like drinking a slightly tastier douche.



Dear Sedaratives:

My kid’s daycare taught him about juice. I’d never told him about juice and certainly had never served it. Now that Pandora’s juice box has been opened, I can’t close it up again. My kid now believes I’m keeping the best things in life away from him. How do I get back on his good side?

Name withheld
Warren, MI

Dear Name:

I see you constructed an entire question just to incorporate the clever phrase “Pandora’s juice box.” Good for you!  Might I suggest some other possibilities for humor including “Pandora” and an unexpected “box”. How about: Pandora’s tool box…Pandora’s pill box….Pandora’s recipe box…Pandora’s boom box…and, of course, Pandora’s litter box. (I think we can all guess what was left in the bottom of that one…and it didn’t smell as fresh as hope.)



Dear Sedaratives:

I have Santa Claus pajamas and I wear them all the time because they are cozy. My friend Britney said that I can’t wear them unless it’s Christmas time because it’s sacrilegious.  I said it has nothing to do with Jesus. She said that Santa Claus is an extension of Jesus. I don’t think she’s right, but is she right?

Madison (aka Maddie) Frame
Atlanta, GA

Dear Maddie:

Pajamas? Cozy? My friend Britney? I can only assume that anyone still using these words is about six years old.  If you are over six and still believe in concepts like “Santa Claus,” “Jesus,” and “pajamas” then I can’t help you.  If you really want an answer, my advice would be for you to put on those red p.j.’s, kneel by the side of your bed, and pray to Jesus…or Santa. (The result will be the same.)



Dear Sedaratives:

I don’t use legal pads for anything remotely legal. In fact some of the things I do might be illegal or at least frowned upon. Should I switch to spiral notebooks? Or composition books?

Los Angeles, CA

Dear Bills:

Well, people don’t use sanitary pads for anything remotely sanitary so you’re in good company.  But here’s the real reason NOT to use legal pads: lawyers use them and you should never do anything that a lawyer does.  Seriously. Just don’t.


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