Since the introduction of Mr. Knowitall, who is our resident historian, economist, food critic, movie reviewer, foreign affairs consultant, science correspondent, consumer products expert and vending machine repairman (not necessarily in that order), many of you have written in seeking advice about holiday gift-giving.
Due to the enormous volume of email we received, they will be answered through a lottery-style process — which means that, until he wins the lottery, Mr. Knowitall will continue to answer your questions.
So let us begin.
Dear Mr. Knowitall: Do those electronic muscle stimulators really help trim fat and tone muscles?
— Really hope so in Reedsport
Dear Really: As you know, the principle behind the device is the utilization of a continuous sequence of small shocks that stimulates muscle activity, similar to your body’s own natural electrical impulses. An easy way to think of it is to visualize a car and its battery. Now visualize the car, the battery — and a pair of jumper cables clamped to your buttocks as someone starts the engine. While there’s no scientific proof this will trim fat and build muscle, studies show that most people find themselves stimulated enough to go to the gym after one session.
Dear Mr. Knowitall: I’m looking at getting my husband something to help with his snoring. Any suggestions?
— Yawning in Yachats
Dear Yawning: I’ll tell you there are a lot of products out there that claim to end snoring problems, and most of these products are 100 percent effective. And though they may look and cost differently, these devices all rely on the same two principles, which are:
• Fit into someone’s nostrils
• Be really uncomfortable
This combination is proven effective because it:
• Keeps snorers from sleeping
My advice is to try rolling him on his side. If that doesn’t work try rolling him the other way. If that doesn’t work, keep rolling until you hear a big thud. Repeat this until he’s too frightened to sleep.
Dear Mr. Knowitall: I’m thinking of getting my wife some of that spray that helps remove body hair. Is it safe?
— Harry in Halifax
Dear Harry: Not for you, it isn’t.
Dear Mr. Knowitall: I’d like to get my wife a personal protection device for Christmas. I heard about something on the Internet that’s a combination pepper-spray gun, flash light and whistle. Any idea where to find it?
— Wondering in Waldport
Dear Wondering: It’s called the Pepper Escort defense kit and was invented by Dan McClarin out of concern for his daughters, who are apparently very attractive and excellent at multi-tasking. The gun shoots a steady stream of pepper spray, which causes burning of the eyes and throat, constriction of the nasal passages, and inhibited breathing. Aimed in the opposite direction, the gun can be equally effective against an attacker. In addition, you can also blow your whistle and shine the flashlight in his eyes.
Yawning in Yachats, if you’re still reading, this is one option I hadn’t thought about…
Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for today because, as I’m sure you understand, Mr. Knowitall is a busy man. Especially when the Cheetos runs out in the vending machine. If you have any questions, write to Mr. Knowitall here or at the email link below this post, and I’ll make sure he gets it.
Your questions, I mean.
Ned Hickson is a nationally syndicated humor columnist with News Media Corporation and the editor of Siuslaw News. He is also the author of Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of more than a decade of humor columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, a writer’s survival guide. Both are available from Port Hole Publishing.