Actual questions to Dear Abby, as answered by Stephen Harper

“You sicken me.”


The Mailbag will return next week. In its place today, actual questions to Dear Abby – as answered by Stephen Harper.


DEAR ABBY: Please settle a disagreement for us. Is a butter knife used to put your butter on your plate, or to spread the butter on your bread? — ETIQUETTE-CHALLENGED


Let me ask you a question: Why do you hate our troops? I mean, you claim to support the soldiers who are fighting in Afghanistan – and yet here you are, devoting precious time to writing letters about butter and utensils when you could be supporting our troops even harder. Why don’t you ask your friends in the Taliban what the butter knife is for, Etiquette-Challenged? They’ll tell you it’s for stabbing into the heart of freedom and slathering it with rich, creamy terror.

It’s a good thing you weren’t around in the ’40s. We’d all be speaking German but, hey, on the upside, we’d know where the fish fork goes. You sicken me.


DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law is in the process of losing weight. We’re all very proud of her.

The problem is, whenever we are around her, she goes on and on about what she did or did not eat that day. She also gives us disapproving looks or makes unwelcome comments about what we are eating.

We have tried to gently change the subject, but it always goes back to food. Is there anything we can do or say to stop this without hurting her feelings? – HUNGRY FOR ADVICE


How dare you insult our soldiers in Afghanistan by accusing them of wrongdoing? Our soldiers are above reproach. They have been fighting for democracy and there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest they have been complicit in torture. To suggest otherwise is a wanton act of treason. You sicken me.


DEAR ABBY: I work in an office with more than 30 employees. Two weeks ago an envelope was sent around seeking our mandatory contributions to give gifts to the leader of the office “to show our appreciation.”

I was always taught one never “gifts up” the chain of command. I show my appreciation each day by being a good employee. Am I wrong? – BLACKMAILED


Or should I say, Dear JOHN BAIRD?

That’s right, John. I’d heard it was you that was bellyaching. I hear everything, John.

Plus, I could tell from the card. Everyone else jotted down some nice words like “Thanks for everything” (Chuck Strahl), “You complete me” (Tony Clement) or “Exactly how long are you going to hold this grudge?” (Diane Ablonczy). But you just signed your name, John.

I bet you didn’t even chip in for the bottle of Brut 33. You sicken me.


DEAR ABBY: I work at a public library and live not far from where I work. A lot of people who use the library live in my apartment building and I run into them often. These people never hesitate to stop me when I’m clearly off the clock to ask me a slew of library questions.

I confess I’m a bit of a doormat, and I’m afraid to ask them to leave me alone. Is there a way to tell those people to quit harassing me when I’m not working? I’d feel so much better about myself if I learned how. – THE ANSWER LADY


Really? You get asked a slew of library questions, do you? People really beating down the doors to get the latest skinny on what’s happening at the public library, are they? Lots of urgent queries related to the hottest advancements on the Dewey decimal front, are there? People desperately wondering if the National Geographic from November, 2004 has come in yet, are they?

You want some advice? Here’s my advice: Stop looking in the mirror and asking yourself so many questions about the library.

You sicken me.


DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are involved in a power struggle with my brother. At Christmas we invite him and his family to our home. We try to make our Christmas dinner fun and festive, so a lot of planning goes into the menu.

Every year, a day or two before the event, my brother calls to ask what’s on the menu, then offers his unwanted opinion on what we should or shouldn’t serve.

Last year he told me he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the meal because we weren’t serving one of the items he feels is “traditional” in our family. He says he’s family so he’s entitled to make suggestions. When I was unwilling to accommodate his “simple” request, he got upset. I’m on the verge of not inviting his family in the future. What should I do? — OFFENDED


You know what works for me? Every time I run into a bit of a rough patch, I make one well-timed phone call to the Governor-General of Canada and – poof! – problemo solved. Did it during the holidays in 2008. Did it again in 2009. And each time, all my nagging issues just sort of went away. Takes, like, 20 minutes. I highly recommend giving her a call!

P.S. You sicken me.


DEAR ABBY: How do you explain to a man how uncomfortable hot flashes are? I’m a perimenopausal woman who has been married for 12 years to a sweet husband who loves to “snuggle.” But when I’m having a hot flash, the last thing I want is a warm body touching me. My husband thinks I’m “mean” and that I’m one of those “freaky females.”

How can I make him understand that hot flashes happen, and that it should be OK for me to ask for some space until the feeling passes? – HOT FLASH HILDA


Is this some kind of prank? Hot flashes, snuggling – as if those are real things! That’s hilarious. It must be MacKay. MacKay, you’re hilarious. How do you come up with this stuff?


DEAR ABBY: Please settle a disagreement I’m having with my husband. In the song Jingle Bells, he insists the horse’s name is “Bob Tail.” However, I’m pretty sure it’s a description of the horse, as their tails used to be “bobbed,” or cut short.

Please understand my husband is one of those guys who is “never wrong!” – JINGLE BELLE



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Actual questions to Dear Abby, as answered by Stephen Harper

  1. nice change

  2. Pathetic piece of garbage, what a waste of space in Maclean's

    • Steve?

      • hahahah

  3. Hilarious as always SF.

  4. Yeah Scott did you not hear? Sense of humour has been prorogued until March 3…

  5. It's the 'feel good' blog of the morning!
    Almost shot tea out my nose a couple of times.

  6. You this paper carries mark steyn, right?

  7. Humour is never easy, and the John Baird one was fabulous.

  8. Clearly "Pointless" is Steyn

  9. How does it feel to have gotten paid to write that, SF? Pretty good, I expect.

  10. P.S. That was exactly the answer I would have given the librarian, too, regardless of whether I was Stephen Harper when I did it.

  11. What a sight that would have been, tea from your nose.Ewww

  12. This is the biggest piece of garbage I have ever seen in Macleans.
    I hope you don't make this a practice or I'll quit buying such trash. It isn't even humorous. People like Andrew Coyne who write for your magazine should protest such childish journalism. It's like that stupid Saturday afternoon program on CBC.

    • Let's all tell Bobby Hawley to quit buying the trash, since Tories have no sense of humour anyway! I loved the article!

  13. Dear Abby,
    I try to write funny stuff for Maclean's magazine, but no matter how hard I try, there are some people who seem to hate it. Not only do they think it's not funny, but they sometimes even call it garbage. It really hurts. What can I do to be funnier?
    Scoot Feschuk
    Dear Scoot,
    In order to be funny, I find fart jokes always work. Especially Liberals farting or anyone from the Green Party or the NDP farting. Now that's funny stuff. Just don't joke about any Conservatives. Farting or not, we're never funny. We're very serious. Seriously. Let me be clear on that.
    Stephen Harper

    • I really like the "let me be clear"… nice touch. I think he said that 80 billion times on the mansbridge interview

  14. 1. This is a blog
    2. This is Feschuk (Who is also https://twitter.com/VoiceInPMsHead )
    3. Nothing he ever does could or should be considered journalism, it's comedy pure and simple and it's needed in this cold and dark world.

  15. Yes, Scott, the internet is running out of space. Please stop filling it up.

    Anyone else think we can make one of those turn-a-politicians's-name-into-a-verb contests out of this? Like, Johnnie felt Bairded when his school adopted a uniform of grey dress pants and blue sweater vests.

  16. You sicken me!

  17. Mary Jane. Nice work. Now that's good old fashioned funny stuff.

  18. TOO FUNNY Scott Feschuk!

    How very true indeed. Made my day!

    One thing about the Harper's Handy Prorogation is that we can be spared from this incessant troops reputation as political cover schtick / comedy routine.

    BTW: None of our troops were maligned or intentionally put in harms way as a result of this comment. Not so Harper.

  19. 4. You don't have to pay to visit the website and read the blog.

  20. Although, in my defence, I've decorated my tip jar with fancy bows to make it very hard to miss.

  21. Yes, Scott, the internet is running out of space. Please stop filling it up.

    Anyone else think we can make one of those turn-a-politicians's-name-into-a-verb contests out of this? Like, Johnnie felt Bairded when his school adopted a uniform of grey dress pants and blue sweater vests.

  22. describing it as comedy is really pushing the definition

    • Well, it's hard to see your commentary as credible when your handle is synonymous with double penile penetration.

  23. Grrrr, Librarian, grrrrrr!

  24. I appreciated that. Good political humour should make you laugh even if it's making fun of your team. I'm a 21 year old Conservative voter. I think Stephen Harper is awesome. I root for the Conservatives during question period, as if it was a sporting event and they were a hockey team (and sometimes, that's not far from the truth). All that said, I thought this was brilliant. To the older Conservatives… man. It's a joke. Lighten up.

  25. Love "you sicken me". It's like Carol Beer's cough on Little Britain.

  26. WTF is double penile penetration? Wai are you reading Penthouse Forum Letters again?

  27. Scott, I always love your stuff, but what was this?

  28. Come on you people, get a sense of humour!!
    p.s. You sicken me!!!

  29. Scott Feschuk, you're my hero.

  30. Scottt….your articles make MacLeans magazine, in my opinion.

  31. I need a holiday from the politicos. The constant visual overload of Harper is causing me grief. I can't speak without buttoning my coat. I smirk all the time when I talk -or is it a real grin? I start every sentence with " Let me be clear or Look. " Real people are starting to avoid me . See you in march.

  32. You make me laugh out loud, Scott. Not many do. Thanks.

  33. I like Harper a lot, but this was too funny. High five.
    Anyone notice how Proroguing Parliament has been minimally complained about? Any bets that they probably ALL want to attend the Olympics.

  34. Very funny. I can hear his voice as I read the replies…

  35. It was a good laugh.

    Although I've never heard Harper utter the words "you sicken me" ever. He says "frankly" or "to be very frank" a lot, just as Martin used to always say "let me be clear", "let me be absolutey clear", … , escalating up depending on how many times he had already used it.

  36. I would reaqlly like to see some serious journalism from this magazine, like in the old days. But I guess you are not capable. I cancelled my subscription some time ago but look at this online just to see how far down hill you can go.

  37. Wow, what a massaive waste of time.

  38. Being for the winter in CALIFORNIA, it is good to see some canadian commentaries on good friend Harper. US papers do not find Canada interesting enough to write about. The winter Olympics might change that,I hope.
    My MacLeans issues are piling up in my Saskatoon home, miss them badly for it is the best magazine in Canada. Jack vanMeenen

  39. I can’t stop laughing. This is good.

  40. Dear Addy, I have been married just a bit more than 2 years now. My husband and I have a 1 year old son together. I don't know what's wrong with me. I try everything I can to get my husbands attention. He'd rather spend more of his time away from the home, than with me and the baby. I really miss him alot, and have expressed my feelings with him on sevral occasions, but it seems like he's not listening anymore. My husband has admitted to cheating on me in the past, and is addicted to porn, and also has talked about devorce already. Somehow I still love him, but hate what he's been doing to us and himself. How can I get him to fall inlove with me again???

    Sadly yours Lois

  41. Obviously only elitist liberals write in to Dear Stephen. They make me sick

  42. I don't care if this artical is supposed to be "humorous" because it's not. This sickens me. They were asking questions not hating or being unsupportive of our troops. I serve and to me, this isn't in the slightest way funny.

  43. Dear Abby,  this is in response to your letter to UNHAPPY TEEN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, published Saturday, 03. December 2011.  I disagree with you telling her that it’s time she accelerates the process of growing up.  I think she sounds much more mature than her mother…obviously!  First, it is difficult and scary to witness someone having a seizure; especially children.  This girl had to grow up being afraid that her mom would die (which is what children think). She, however, knows what it is like and doesn’t want another child to suffer the same consequences.  Two:  Why on this earth would a mother of already healthy children want to have more when she is unhealthy herself?   What if, God forbid, she die during a seizure (it does and has happened) who is responsible to raise the newborn?  I realize a lady with who has health problems still has the right to have children; but she should think ahead a little more – of the child, not herself!  I think her daughter who wrote you is very intelligent and grown up for the age of 15.

  44. sister that hugs her borther and wants to sit in
    his lap who is also a jr in collage. why is she so attached to my husband? She
    has a boyfriend and I am vewry uncomfortiable with this not because she has not
    kidding you sat on me or laid on me to get closer to him. very tired of being a doormat! Why does she feel like this is approperate? his whole family has made
    petty comments why can’t they stop?

  45. also annonimus . I was told by his sister I was invited to a holiday at her place where he would have holiday meals and she said I could come as long as we are actually still together…

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