DEAR MERCURY: I went to the doctor and she said I have "glue ear." What is glue ear? I don't want to have glue ear.
Rebecca, age 8
Arts Editrix Julianne Shepherd responds: Don't worry; glue ear is easy to cure. Your ear is just filling up with fluid that normally goes into your stomach, but got stuck because it's so glue-y. Not everyone gets glue ear; it's what makes you so special! Plus, it will prepare you for when you get older and your hearing goes away from hanging out at rock shows and inhaling secondhand smoke. Hope that helps!
THE BIGGER THEY ARE...
DEAR MERCURY: There's a kid at school picking on me. He's a bully, and I don't know what to do. Help!
Jeremy, age 9
News Editor Phil Busse responds: Jeremy, while some "adults" may say to turn the other cheek, don't believe them! The only way to fight bullies is with more power! Ask your dad to beat this kid up. If your dad says "no" and suggests that you can talk through your problems, call him a "pussy." Let him know that his inadequacy is undermining his position as a strong male role model.
THE BELLY OF THE BEAST
DEAR MERCURY: My Sunday school teacher says that Jonah lived for three days in the belly of the whale. I told her I didn't think this was possible, and she got real mad. How could Jonah survive three days inside a whale?
Francie, age 11
Wm. Steven Humphrey responds: I also have a question for you, Francie. "Why so skeptical?" The reason your teacher got mad is because you are a "Christian liberal." Liberals are inclined to believe this story is simply an allegory, and not actual history. Here are the facts: A sperm whale, white shark, or whale shark could easily swallow a man whole. There's always some air in a whale's stomach, and as long as the animal (or man!) inside is still alive, digestive activity will not begin. However, I believe this is an example of one of God's miracles, because as it says in Jonah 2:10 (King James Version), "And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." God created you, Francie, so He is certainly capable of making a fish vomit up a living man. Repeat after me: God said it, I believe it, and that's the end of it.
THEY CALL IT PUPPY LOVE
DEAR MERCURY: I have a crush on this girl at school. She knows, but she wants me to say it, and not my friends to do it for me, what do I do?
Joe, age 9
Associate Editor Katie Shimer responds: Joe, it's not that hard. "I like you, do you like me?" is seven measly words. In a few years, it'll be her asking the questions: Will you buy me that Fendi bag for Christmas, will we ever get that house in the West Hills, will you impregnate me, I want a little baby to love. These are the easy times; kisses without sex, relationships without real commitment, dates without having to pay... so go for it. If you're still scared, write "I have a crush on you" on a piece of red construction paper, sign it, and say, "Meet me on the playground at 4 pm," then make out with her. You won't be sorry.
RIDE THE WILD ELEPHANT
DEAR MERCURY: My mom won't let me ride an elephant because she says I don't know how. Tell me how to ride an elephant.
Marcus, age 7
Editorial Assistant Marjorie Skinner responds: First of all, Marcus, don't try riding an elephant during mating season, because they're cranky and uncooperative (your mom can explain why). When you're ready to ride, nicely ask the elephant to kneel (by the way, don't try this on wild, untrained beasts!) and climb up using the left knee and ear for a boost. Elephants have bumpy skin, which is good for footholds. Ride with your legs wrapped around the sides of its neck, rocking side to side with the elephant's steps so you don't end up with a sore toosh.
A CAREER IN MUCKRAKING
DEAR MERCURY: I want to work for a newspaper. How much money do you make?
Craig, age 10
Assistant Editor Justin Sanders responds: To answer your question, I've taken the amount of money I make per month and subtracted the amount of money I pay in rent, groceries, car insurance, college loan payments, utilities, credit card payments, and "entertainment expenses." The grand total is... $20 per month! Fortunately, I'm not in this business for the money; I just want to build a good resume so that one day I can get a real job. Good luck!