ASK MAX :: Nagging Rights

May 14th 2013

Dear Max,

How can I encourage my housemates to recycle without seeming like a big nag?

I also have to constantly remind them to turn lights off when they exit rooms making me seem more annoying and anal.





Dear Bridie,

In this life, there are some problems you can solve on your own. This is not one of those problems. You did the right thing coming to me.

Let’s get this out of the way right now:

‘Helpies’ is not a real word! Helpies is a blight on the way in which we, as human beings communicate, and frankly, I think the real issue here isn’t your housemates staging a purposefully insidious coup against the planet Earth at large.

The real issue here, Bridie, is that you are doing a woefully inept job of manipulating the English language to talk your housemates into doing what you want them to. Sure, incorporating cool-guy lingo into your day-to-day vocab might make you sound suave as fuck – but it is empirical fact that your yoloisms serve no practical purpose in the outside world whatsoever. To put it into terms (and a font) you’ll understand, what I’m saying is this:

If you truly want mad helpies, you’re going to have to cool your kewl –

tell the universe to boz a soz while you snapadoo your yapadoo… Motherfucker.


While this does mean saying suh to the sick sayings that have serviced you so soundly in the past, you shouldn’t stress on it.

Luckily for you, I’ve put together a list of devices you can employ to become a grand master of the English language, yo, and talk your housemates out of holding the planet earth as a hostage in their bizarre protest against you and your stupid face.

While I encourage you to start off by using these one-at-a-time, with some practise, you should be using all of these techniques at once for maximum efficiency:

REVERSE, REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY: You may be familiar with reverse psychology – where you say the opposite of what you mean to achieve a desired result. Reverse reverse psychology takes this one step further – you say the opposite of the opposite of what you mean to achieve your goal. i.e. “I really hope nobody makes me the opposite of a cheese sandwich right now.”

TRITONE SUBSTITUTION: Originally used by jazz musicians who swapped the third and seventh notes in a scale or something because jazz, Tritone substitution in English refers to swapping the third and seventh words of every sentence to create interest and tension.

BI-LABIAL PLOSIVES: This really speaks for itself. What’s better than one explosive labia? Two explosive labias. (NB: if you have difficulty locating the labia, please see the attached diagram.)


I would wager that putting these techniques to good use will substantially improve your relationship with your housemates. It also works in their favour as well: not only do they lose a naggy, responsible housemate who does deeply passive aggressive shit like writing to a radio advice columnist to teach them a lesson, but they also gain a quirky new best friend who talks (and probably looks) like Yoda. Problem solved!


Word to your mother,





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