Dear Jim,

Although my father and brother both disapproved of our relationship, things were going great with my boyfriend— he treated me almost like a princess.

But it seems of late that he has lost all his mirth. He lost his father recently and his mother remarried very soon after, which must be tough for him to deal with but all of a sudden he’s like a totally different person.

Until the other day he’d always remained the perfect gentleman. He took me to this play he’d produced and spent the whole time making crude comments and lewd suggestions. I want to be strong and be there for him, but I’m beginning to think that things are never going to work out between us.

And now on top of everything he’s killed my father!

Am I crazy to have my doubts?

     Dane in Distress, Elsinore

Dear Dane in Distress,

It’s only natural to have doubts about your relationship during clearly what is clearly a tough and stressful time for you both.

Guys can often forget that they’re not the only ones suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. What you have to do is remind him of your existence and your needs as a woman.

Try talking almost exclusively in riddles or singing songs about virginity— and if that fails nothing says ‘notice me’ quite as emphatically as a suicide.




Dear Jim,

I went to see my ex-wife today only to find the mutilated corpses of her and her ‘friend’ in the front courtyard.

Now I’m worried everyone will think I did it.

What should I do?

     Innocent of Los Angeles

Dear Innocent,

I assume you’ve already written a public letter expressing your innocence?

Try acting innocent— you know what they say, ‘innocent by name, innocent by nature.’ Your best bet is to go for a relaxing drive in an SUV to show you feel reflective but clear of conscience. There is a small chance that some people will interpret this as fleeing, which is why a novelty face-piece is essential— maybe a fake beard?




Dear Dr Jim,

I’ve recently discovered that whilst I’ve been working overtime to keep my carpentry business afloat my wife has been seeking solace in the arms of an omnipresent deity and now she’s pregnant with his child.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose my wife, but I know she’d be better off with Him. I mean he created all life in less than a week and he’s always there for her whilst I could only knock out a few cabinets in that time. Of course I’d have to spend so much time working I’d barely be present, let alone omnipresent.

And now with them having a child in the way it just feels like I’m the one in the way.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose my wife but I want to do the right thing for her and the baby…

     Cuckold Carpenter, Nazareth

Dear CC,

I’ve heard from many men in your position, and believe me, it always ends the same— the omnipotent lothario soon tires of his mortal matrimonial meddling, whilst the woman becomes desperate to rid herself of such a controlling, overbearing presence.

Stick out the rocky patch and get ready for parenthood. Christmas is a stressful time, and the new arrival won’t make things any easier!




Heil Dokter Jim,

I’ve been married to the love of my life for less than three days and already we’ve hit a rough patch.

We already had like, this massive row over the honeymoon— I wanted to go to the Bahamas or maybe Vegas but he wanted Russia. But he just sent all his work buddies instead and decided we’d just stay in our poky little bunker instead.

It’s ridiculous. Maybe it would be okay if we were alone but we live with his best friend and their whole family. They’re always getting together and making jokes or coming up with crazy schemes and here I am— his new wife— with only his stupid dog for company. I don’t even like dogs!

But that’s nothing next to what he wants me to do now. When he came over and whispered that he wanted us to do something intimate together I thought he finally He wanted to do something a bit kinky— I mean he’s the guy that was all about coprophilia when he was trying to get into art school!

But no, he’s got hold of some of those Zyklon B tablets you’re never hearing about in the press and he wants us to enter into a suicide pact.

I’m not so sure— what should I do Dokter Jim?!

     Conflcited Newlywed, Berlin

Dear Conflicted Newlywed,

I always find love can be the bitterest pill to swallow, although I’ve never tried this Zyklon B (is it anything like Ecstasy?). Anyway, the pill represents love, but only you can decide whether you want to swallow it. Unless he has a gun. And a total sense of panic.




Dear Doctor Jim,

I was created in a lab, and frankly I’m quite hideous— so hideous that my creator abandoned me!

Ever since I’ve been trying to make myself feel better by wreaking vengeance on his family, but this only makes me feel worse. I’ve discovered that it’s not looks, but actions that maketh the monster.

How can I break this terrible cycle of violence? All I want is to feel accepted.

     A Very Modern Prometheus, Geneva

Dear AVMP,

It sounds like you have a total lack of self-confidence. Try my book There’s No Such Thing As Ugly available for just $34.99 from my website, www.drjimsbrainfood.org.


TAGS: , , ,

James D. Irwin is a British writer based in the Hampshire countryside. His work has appeared online, in print, and on stage. He can be contacted at [email protected]

59 responses to “Doctor Jim, Agony Aunt”

  1. Amber says:

    I love you, Irwin. I love you.

  2. Matt says:

    Fuckin’ hell this is funny.

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right:

    1.) Ophelia from Hamlet

    2.) O.J. Simpson

    3.) Joseph, husband of Mary

    4.) Eva Braun

    5.) Frankenstein’s monster.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      cheers Matt— five out of five!

      • Matt says:

        Sweet – what do I win?

        Ophelia gave me a little trouble at first, before I clocked in to the theme of the piece.

        • You win a pint.

          You might have to wait a bit, but you win.

          Ophelia was the initial inspiration for this piece, and I was a bit unsure how easy it would be for people to get who it was. It’s still my favourite though, because I managed to reference the speech from Act II Scene II.

          See, it’s not all Point Break and Magnum, PI with me…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Ah, what a dope I am. I didn’t get Eva Braun. I was thinking of Isolde.

          I love the term “Agony Aunt.” It doesn’t crack me up, but it does make me smile, for some reason.

        • That one is probably one of the less obvious ones. Especially for those not as fascinated by the last days of the Third Reich as I am…

          I like the term Agony Aunt. It’s a strange term. I wanted to put an exclamation mark at the end.

  3. Very amusing, Jim. Funny stuff as usual.

  4. Mary Richert says:

    *SNORT!*

    Ok, I have always sortof quietly hated people who type “snort,” especially on forums and comments and such, but Jesus man, this was funny. Thanks for the boost. It’s been an odd day so far…

  5. This is exactly what TNB needs, a lit sex advice column. With prizes. Excellent. And, by the way, David Koresh is the Modern Prometheus.

  6. Judy Prince says:

    ” I mean he created all life in less than a week and he’s always there for her whilst I could only knock out a few cabinets in that time. Of course I’d have to spend so much time working I’d barely be present, let alone omnipresent.”

    Love this, Irwin! And I love your Dr Jim tone: “Guys can often forget that they’re not the only ones suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. What you have to do is remind him of your existence and your needs as a woman.”

    “Try talking almost exclusively in riddles or singing songs about virginity— and if that fails nothing says ‘notice me’ quite as emphatically as a suicide.”

    And the signatures (“Cuckold Carpenter, Nazareth,” and “Dane in Distress”)! HA!

    Still giggling over this: “Your best bet is to go for a relaxing drive in an SUV to show you feel reflective but clear of conscience. There is a small chance that some people will interpret this as fleeing, which is why a novelty face-piece is essential— maybe a fake beard?”

    • Thanks Judy.

      The signatures where the hardest part— also I wasn’t sure how similar US and UK culture is with regards to agony aunts.

      I actually did research. Not exactly hard or extensive research, but research nonetheless!

      • Judy Prince says:

        How come the signatures were more difficult than the text, Irwin?

        Re the UK-USA word differences, I’m guessing the only thing briefly confusing to a USAmerican might be the term “agony aunt” which in the USA would be “lovelorn columnist” (or some other label I’m not in touch with), but prolly a USA reader would think you’d invented it.

        This is a weird reaction to your post, Irwin, but I actually found myself thinking you’d be a great Agony Aunt! An Agony Aunt has to have chops as well as a pragmatically entertaining style. I was brought up in the Midwest with agony aunt Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer) whose sister aunt’ed in a rival newspaper.

        Years later I loved an upbeat, hilarious agony aunt in a popular women’s mag, but for some reason they yanked her after a year.

        • Well, the text wasn’t exactly easy *haughty laugh*.

          But the signatures were hard because it had to sound vaguely plausible, be vaguely amusing, adequately describe the actual person AND not give it away totally.

          With the text it’s essentially a certain way of describing events and responding to them with terrible advice based on the outcomes of those events.

          I guessed that the format was pretty self-explanatory even if the term ‘agony aunt’ might be confusing or unfamiliar.

          That is a weird reaction, but I’ll take it as a compliment.

          I give much better advice though. I give surprisingly good advice for a 21 year old with very little life experience…

        • Judy Prince says:

          ” . . . the signatures were hard because it had to sound vaguely plausible, be vaguely amusing, adequately describe the actual person AND not give it away totally.”

          I get it now, Irwin; that’s tricky, indeed.

          Now I’m ready for you to reveal this: “I give surprisingly good advice for a 21 year old with very little life experience…”

        • Judy Prince says:

          “I give surprisingly good advice for a 21 year old with very little life experience…”

          Irwin, my request was for some examples. (I failed to make myself clear in the previous comment.)

        • basically the main problem was being concise. I have trouble being concise. I talk for too much, often just explaining in an awkwardly long sentence the same trouble I’ve previously expressed in a perfectly adequate five word sentence.

          I can’t think of much advice off the top of my head. Basically I’m pretty good at seeing all the potential solutions and keeping calm. I’m really quite sensible.

        • Judy Prince says:

          Dear Dr Jim:

          TNB-commenting is taking over my life. I have back burners (hobs, to you) lit (lighted?) with writing projects well on the way to completion as well as ideas for new writings, but . . . well, you can fill in the heartbreak herein.

          Please alleviate my happy pain; get me to writing my own work!

          Dun Runnin in Darlington

        • Dear DRiD,

          um… when I work it out I’ll let you know!

          Also: always wondered what a back burner was.

    • I’m glad my comment board now has a catchphrase!

      • Richard Cox says:

        I should add that I found the whole thing very funny, but the Cuckold Carpenter one in particular made me chuckle, especially this paragraph:

        “I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose my wife, but I know she’d be better off with Him. I mean he created all life in less than a week and he’s always there for her whilst I could only knock out a few cabinets in that time. Of course I’d have to spend so much time working I’d barely be present, let alone omnipresent.”

        Let alone omnipresent! Lollerz.

  7. Zara Potts says:

    You should totally be the TNB Agony Aunt, Jim.
    There are many of us here who could do with some straight talking words of advice!

  8. sheree says:

    Ha! Smarty pants.

  9. Joe Daly says:

    Whoa there, mister. You mean guys are not the only ones enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

    You serious?

    Fuck.

    And Ecstasy does in fact, represent love. Until someone pulls a gun in the middle of an X deal gone sour. Then Ecstasy represents terror, greed, and grievous bodily harm.

  10. Nice one, Dr. Jim. A wonderful read here with my first cup of coffee of the day.

  11. Must remember never, ever to read an Irwin piece whilst drinking something. You owe me a laptop.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Ha! Thanks.

      But I’m not replacing your laptop. Unless I ever get rich. Then it’ll be laptops for all. It’ll be like an episode of Oprah.

  12. Michelle C says:

    Irwin this was too, too funny. I really needed a laugh today, so I’m so glad I saw this.

    As always, thanks for somehow intuiting my every need, and always fulfilling forthwith.

    p.s.
    You are so modest, I don’t believe you have ever mentioned before that you are a doctor!

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Thanks Michelle.

      I know a lot of people who would disagree with you on the modesty front!

      I’m not a doctor. I am a reverend though…

      • Michelle C says:

        Oh you must be one of these new-fangled reverend types? The kind that wears normal clothes, has halfway decent musical taste, plays “football”, hangs out in pubs, stuff like that?
        Cool, man.

        Question: Do you also lead a Christian rock air band?

  13. Gloria says:

    “Christmas is a stressful time, and the new arrival won’t make things any easier!” ha ha ha ha hah aha ha ah aha ha hahahahaha

    You are a genius. 🙂

  14. Slade Ham says:

    You’re a funny, funny kid, James. I’d still love to see your stand up. Just sayin’.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Thanks man.

      You know I’m going back to performing comedy?

      I’m writing a show right this minute. Or I was before I took this break…

      I spent all morning researching venue costs for putting on open mic nights, because there’s nowhere to perform comedy in Winchester.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *