Auntie Deborah’s Agony Column (The Best of…)

Back in 2015, I had fun playing around with an advice column for my favorite characters. I hope you’ll enjoy these “Best of…” entries from that column.

Dear Auntie,

After way too many experiences dating angsty, unemployed vampires, I finally met a nice, soft-spoken, polite man. He even has a fairly normal name, Norman. He even has a job, working at a motel. Things were going very well when I realized something was a little “off.” I wonder if that’s my own projection from my past romantic relationships. How do I know what’s normal? Anyway, he’s invited me to meet his mother. What should I bring?

— Buffy

Dear Buffy,

You are wise to trust your instincts, for they have served you well through many perils. All too often, women are trained to ignore otheirgut feelings about a person or situation. We allow ourselves to be persuaded into dangerous circumstances instead of standing up for ourselves. Norman may be what he seems, but he may harbor a darker side that your intuition is warning you about.

My advice is to come prepared for anything. Never mind flowers or a bottle of wine! Bring your slayer arsenal — stakes, spears, swords, the works — and keep your wits about you. Make sure you have an exit strategy if things go sour. And whatever you do, do not get into the shower.

— Auntie Deborah

Dear Auntie Deborah,

I’ve suddenly found myself in a land of many colors, where troubles melt like lemon drops. My problem, though, is that this green-faced woman keeps sky-writing love letters to me…for everybody to see! I don’t return her affections, so what should I do?


Dear Dorothy,
You’ve clearly ended up in a slash version of your own book. My advice is to click your heels like crazy before the flying monkeys get any ideas.

—Auntie Deborah

This last entry contains references to the works of J. K. Rowling. It’s behind a page break. Like the others, it is from 2015. Please take it in the playful spirit in which it was originally written.

Dear Auntie Deb,
My companions and I are on a desperate mission to save Middle Earth by throwing the One Ring into the fires of Mt. Doom. Our message to the eagles, imploring them to carry us thither, has gone unanswered. Now a misshapen, gangrel creature seems bent on blocking my every move. He insists that “Frodo Baggins must not go to Mordor!” He calls himself an elf, although he bears not the slightest semblance to them. Why have the eagles failed us and what should I do about the creature?

— Frodo

Dear Frodo,

Your creature, Dobby, is a House Elf, quite a different breed from the folk of Lothlorien and the Woodland Realm. Clearly, he suffers from Periodic Saving The Hero Disorder (PSTHD). As a result, he has acquired considerable experience in intercepting missives to helpful fowl, so it is entirely likely that the eagles never received your message. Reasoning with him will do no good, and you have no power to compel him. The only person who can do that is his master, Lucius Malfoy. As you may have suspected from Malfoy’s long, straight, white-blond hair, he is distantly related to the elves you know, although of greatly reduced circumstances, power, and nobility. My advice is to ask Legolas to have a word with Malfoy on the subject of keeping his House Elf in the proper book. Or better yet, give him a ten-gallon hat and a one-way ticket to Laramie. You could swear never, ever to go to Hogwarts, but I really think Legolas is your best bet.
— Auntie Deborah

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