Ask Azra: Career Advice

Hey Azra,

I’m a junior in highschool. There’s a lot of pressure to choose my future career. The problem is that I have no idea what I want to do. How can I decide the course of my entire life when I’m only sixteen?

Undeclared Future of the World.

 

Dear Undeclared,

What do you mean you haven’t decided on your career yet? Why is it taking you so long? You only have one more year left before officially starting your life. You have to get this right and you can’t change your mind. Ever.

Make sure you choose something that is critical to human existence, but isn’t so popular that the work force will be flooded with applicants. You need to be in demand and unique, offering something that humans can’t do without such as coopers or telephone operators.

The future is coming at you fast. Better choose quickly and wisely.

Jack of All Trades,

Azra

Ask Azra: Family Reunion Mess

Dear Azra,

I am about to host the first ever reunion for our family this month. I thought I was ready- I’ve got lodging for everyone, an activity program, and a food plan. But then everything fell apart. Not with anything I had planned, mind you. Rather with my family. All of a sudden a huge fight happened between my grandmother and my uncle. The details are unclear, but it has something to do with some property and a gang of raccoons. Whatever the details are, the family is now divided into two camps: my grandmother’s side and my uncle’s side. Both have called me and said they were coming to the reunion and made me promise to dis-invite the other. Now not only am I caught in the middle of what is going to be a massive family war, I am also playing hostess to the first major battle. Help!

Family Feud Victim

 

Dear Victim,

What is it with the idea of family reunions? All of the ones I’ve been involved with inevitably become a hot mess of bickering and paranoia which only increases the dread of the next forced family gathering. All in all, it is this angel’s idea of a terrible time, even without all the Hatfield vs McCoy drama that you have on your hands.

Still, have you thought about capitalizing on all of this threatened chaos? What I mean by that is if there’s going to be a fight, charge the public to come watch. Make it a real spectacle that everyone will want to witness first hand. Change your food plan to concession stands. Sacrifice the lodging budget to rent out the biggest venue you can find. Invest in an aggressive marketing campaign and street team to really promote this event. You have enough lead time on this to really generate a buzz.

When the time comes, arm your family members with the weapon of your choice; wooden swords, paint guns, rulers, dodgeballs, or cafeteria food. Lead them to the center of the venue with clip on mics and let them battle to the death.

I guarantee that the crowd will go wild! Plus you can profit from your family feud! Really, there’s nothing more American than that!

Put the fun back in dysfunction.

Azra

Ask Azra: When to Pop the Question

Dear Azra

There’s this girl who is absolutely incredible. She and I have been dating for a while now and I feel so lucky to be with her. I truly think she’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. BUT... I am not sure if she will say yes. She hasn’t mentioned anything about marriage or engagement or formal commitment. I’m worried if I pop the question then she will reject me and I will have ruined the best thing in my life. What should I do?

Desperately Hearing Wedding Bells

 

Dear Wedding Bells,

There are many times in life where humans will discount their gut instincts about situations like this. There’s an odd tendency to gloss over these hesitations as nerves which, ultimately, proves to be that human’s undoing.

Trust your guts. Do. Not. Ask. Her. To. Be. Your. Spouse.

If you’re worried that this girl won’t say yes, then she probably won’t. The reasons why she will inevitably decline your undoubtedly beautifully staged proposal will be the greatest unsolved mystery of your life.

Which brings me to my next point. If proposing is out of the question, then it stands to reason that even broaching the topic with her is risky. If she knows you’ve got marriage on your mind and she is adamantly against it, that “honest” conversation might just be the beginning of the end for your perfect relationship.

You’re better off just forgetting the whole thing. Try to be happy with your lot in life as it is. I mean, why ruin the best thing you’ve got going in your life over a piece of paper?

 

Common Law Advocate

Azra

Ask Azra: How To Handle An Inheritance

Dear Azra,

My wife’s great uncle just passed. We were contacted by his lawyers and they told us that he left his entire estate to my wife. While I don’t know exactly how much we are getting or what all the estate entails, I do know that it includes a mansion up in the hills. Any advice on how to adjust to my new life of luxury?

Thanks,

Rollin in Dough

Dear Rollin.

Obviously there is only one thing you can do when faced with such an abrupt shift in personal wealth. You are now a billionaire and you should quickly establish you eccentricity so you can fit in with the other billionaires. Quit your job. Like, immediately. You don’t need it and the limitations it places on you. Sell the home you are currently living in. Or, better yet, give it away! After all, you now have this rumored mansion in the hills to call home now. Plus it’s important to be benevolent to the little people who don’t have as much as you. Finally, and this is a BIG one, make your new social status known to EVERYONE. Take out ad space on the television, buy a billboard, blast it out on social media. Let them all bask in the glory of your new inheritance and wrestle with their jealousy.

Happy Windfalling,

Azra

***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.

 

Ask Azra: Doomsday Dilemma

Dear Azra, I sincerely believe that we are living in the end of times. Be it from sociopolitical fallout, nuclear winter, or even natural disaster, the end of the world is just around the corner. My family, however, doesn’t believe me. My friends just laugh at me when I bring up the subject of being prepared. I need to make sure they are safe no matter what happens. I’ve started to stock pile some of the essential things we will need during the end of civilization, but I’m afraid to tell my wife and my kids about because they might send me back to the institution. How can I get them prepared when they refuse to even acknowledge the end is coming?

All the Best,

Preparer of the Preparations

 

            Dear Preparer,

I admire your tenacity and determination to make sure your family is taken care of during the end of times. What you are doing is very smart and eventually your family will thank you. But for now, it’s important to make sure your preparations are 100% complete before it’s too late. Then, once you are ready for them, you will need to lure your family there, either by hiring kidnappers, kidnapping them yourself or just drugging them and dragging them to your fully furnished bunker. When they come to, you can convince them that you are not, indeed, crazy. It’s the world that is crazy.

May the odds be in your favor!

Azra

***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.

Ask Azra: Tattoo or Not to Tattoo?

Dear Azra. A friend of mine wants to get into tattooing people for a living. He asked if I would be willing to let him practice his art on me. I’ve never gotten a tattoo before. What do you think? Should I do it?

Sincerely,

Ink Curious

Dearest Curious. What an incredible opportunity you’ve been given! Do you know that people spend decades searching for a reasonable tattoo artist? You’ve got one who is just getting started and that means your skin will be worth millions when he becomes famous! You just have to make sure you outlive him (because statistically speaking, artists only become famous after they’ve died).

I think you should definitely let him practice on you. This is a once in a lifetime chance. However, since it is your first tattoo, you should know some basic things about the process.

·         Tattoos hurt. A lot. Prepare yourself with pain killers or that numbing stuff from the dentist.

·         It is best to let your artist decide on the art and the placement of the piece. They are, after all, the experts. That being said, the more visible the ink, the better. See about getting some on your face.

·         Don’t wash it. Washing a fresh tattoo will allow the ink to run out. Just stay dirty.

Happy Inking!

Azra

***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.

Ask Azra: How To Be The Other Woman

Hi Azra! I’ve been seeing someone for about four months now. I feel like things are getting pretty serious between us. The only problem is that he’s married. He says their relationship has been over for years, but he’s not willing to get a divorce. He makes me so happy, happier than I’ve ever been. I can’t imagine myself without him. I need to know how to get him to leave his wife. We were meant to be together and she is just in the way.

Sincerely,

Lovelorn

Dear Lovelorn. I really hate to tell you this, but if he’s not leaving his wife after four months of seeing you on the side, then you’ve REALLY got to step up your game. Girl, he should have left her after the first date with you! Never fear. I will point out a couple of common mistakes you and several other women have made when they decided to seriously date a married man and how to correct them.

·         Not understanding your enemy. If you decide to hook up with a married person, odds are that you are going to make a mortal enemy out of their current spouse or significant other. The likelihood of this increases the longer the affair goes on. You need to give yourself an edge by thoroughly investigating the enemy. The name of the game is getting enough dirt to completely bury them. Stalk them on social media. Infiltrate their circle of friends. Make them actually like you before they find out you’re in the process of stealing their spouse. When they do finally discover what’s going on, you’ll have a significant advantage in the war ahead of you.

·         As you get to know your enemy, it’s equally imperative to clean up your own history. As soon as the news breaks that you’re in the picture, you will be the target of all sorts of investigative googling. Don’t give them anything that can be used against you. Make your own internet record as spotless as you can. You need to outshine them in every way possible.

·         Make sure your intentions are clear to the person you are seeing. You intend to be in their life indefinitely and you won’t take no for an answer. Furthermore, you intend to take this inconvenient truth to anyone who will listen- including their friends and family. Do not, I repeat, do not keep this affair a secret! Shout it from the rooftops! Make sure you gather significant evidence of the relationship and post it on every social media outlet there is. This will make sure your chosen partner can’t say that you’ve been making up or that you are delusional. After all, the foundation of a true relationship is honesty. Also, this will be incredibly helpful for blackmail purposes should the relationship sour.

·         Give deadlines for certain milestones in said relationship. Get that engagement ring at the five month anniversary! Insist on moving in after the third date! It’s not like they don’t know what being in a relationship is like.

There are many more pitfalls, but for now these tips should get you on the right track. Good luck, Lovelorn!

I want an invite to the wedding!

Azra

***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.

Ask Azra: My In-Laws Hate Me, What Can I Do?

Hi Azra. I just got married a couple of months ago. My wife and I are generally happy except for one thing: my In-laws hate my guts. I thought everything was fine- the wedding went off without a hitch. Ever since then, they’ve been treating me like I’m garbage. They say horrible things about me to my face. If I come to family functions, they make a big deal about me showing up uninvited. They constantly ask my wife when she’s going to divorce me. My wife says that I’m exaggerating and that they are just joking around. It’s not funny at all. How can I make it stop before it gets even worse?

Please Help,

A Sorry Son-in Law

 

Dear Sorry,

Wow, that totally sucks. It’s awful not being accepted by the family of your loved one. But, never fear, there is a way to cope! And that is by keeping track of all the insults and all the slights that they cast your way and plot to get back at them is subtle, passive aggressive ways. Remember, at some point when they are old and feeble, they will need you to take care of them. That will be the perfect time for revenge.

Now, you will be tempted to do something grand after years of their torment. You want to make them pay for it all at once. This is the wrong train of thought for this kind of game. Consider this: A thousand small inconveniences are better than a full out catastrophe, right? The smaller the actions on your part can generate the biggest reaction in them. They dished it out in small portions, so the justice you seek should be doled out the same way.

So, keep track of it all, stew on it, have it all in the forefront of your mind at all times. Really hold all of that discontent inside and only let it out when the time is right to sew all of their pockets closed or to misspell their names on birthday cards or to have their least favorite vegetable on hand for meals. Keep the battery life on their electronic devices only half-way charged. Move their keys out of the customary spot and put them somewhere obvious, yet different.

The actions are small, but the satisfaction will be great.

Pettiness Is A Super Power,

Azra

Ask Azra: How to Tell Someone You Gave Them an STD

Azra, help!

A month ago, my girlfriend and I got into a huge fight. We technically broke up, so I went and had sex with someone else. My girlfriend and I have since gotten back together, and I haven’t told her about my little adventure. Well, I’ve recently been tested for an STD and the results are positive. How do I tell my girlfriend that she probably now has Gonorrhea without her breaking up with me for good?

Regretfully Laid

Oh, Regretfully Laid. Your pickle got you into quite a pickle, didn’t it? Well, never fear. Uncle Azra is here to help.

The first thing you need to consider is whether or not you will tell her in person. There are benefits to confessing from afar, like not being kicked in the kumquats. However, I’ve found that it is far more impactful to be there in person. It is better to gage if the presentation is going well or if adjustments should be made along the way. For instance, the balloons spelling out the STD make her see red? You can let them go into the atmosphere, thereby nullifying the inevitable emotional outburst at the extravagant use of helium.

 Next, decide on the setting for your confession. I would recommend somewhere public. Her place of work or even in the middle of a busy restaurant.  The more people that are around the better. Why? Because the more people around mean more witnesses. More witnesses mean more likely videos of the interaction will hit YouTube. This means more entertainment for the rest of us. You could be internet famous depending on how this goes!

Finally, the most important part- the message delivery. There are countless ways to blurt it out and it is imperative that you choose the right one. Singing telegrams are a fun and cheerful way to get the message conveyed. As are specially decorated cakes that can be shared with others. There are also these wonderful plushies that are in the shape of the bacterial infection of whatever disease you gave her. If you can’t find them on the internet, I bet you can ask someone to make one for you. By making the delivery of the message fun and cheerful, it will lessen the impact of the cold, hard truth that now she has to get medical attention for a disease you gave her.

All of this is if you decide to come clean. If you don’t want to even broach the subject, let alone confess to any sort of wrong doing, there are a few different avenues to take:

1.       Deflection. Get good and angry and insist that she was the one who gave you the infection, not the other way around. Stick to your guns if you choose this tactic. There is most likely going to be confusion and a lot of tears on her end. Stay strong and commit to this.

2.       You can get enough of the drugs you are treating yourself with for her and sprinkle them into her food thereby curing her without her even knowing something was amiss!

3.       Plead ignorance. You don’t know what’s wrong with her and her lady bits. You’re not a gynecologist, nor do you play one on TV (unless you do play one on TV... In which case you can plead that you aren’t a REAL gynecologist. Unless you ARE a real gynecologist, in which case, refer to deflection).

Best of luck, Regretfully Laid! I’m eagerly awaiting you becoming an internet celebrity!

Azra

***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.

New Year, New Blogs: A Peek Into What’s In Store For 2018

We are over a week into this New Year. So far so good, right? Well, following my own advice, I’ve decided to change up the way I do blogs this year. All of them are geared towards helping people (really, it won’t be all bad advice).

Don’t worry, Azra will still be dispensing all of his horrible advice, but it will be in a new way. Instead of focusing just on parenting, He’s decided to take on general questions about life, love, pop culture, history, even cooking. Yes, Azra has talked me into a new blog series for him called “Ask Azra” and it will be about as cheesy and terrible as his parenting blog (don’t tell him I said that).

In addition to Azra potentially ruining people’s lives, I am also introducing two new blog series: Writers Helping Writers and Indie Book Review.

Writers Helping Writers is a topic by topic overview of how to go from first draft to published novel and everything in between. This stems from my own personal experiences in the hopes that it will help aspiring authors on their own journey.

Indie Book Review is just that. I will read and review one Indie produced book a month. These books I will have gotten from my travels (I have met these authors either at conventions or book festivals) or by your suggestion. I’ve got a few good ones lined up already that I can’t wait to get into.

There is one more thing... I need your help to do all of this. That’s right, you are an integral part of my 2018 blog experiment! Here’s what I need you to do:

If you have questions for either the Ask Azra or Writers Helping Writers segments, let me know. Also, if you have an Indie produced book you want to spread the word about, give me the title and the author name and I will take the recommendation. It’s super easy to let us know your questions and recommendations. Simply drop us a line at fivesmilingfish@gmail.com. Or, you can comment on this or any posted blog. Additionally you can leave us a comment on Facebook. We really do read and appreciate any and all messages and shares.

Thank you for your help. Here’s hoping the rest of 2018 will go as well as this first week has!

Smiles,

Kira