Academic Probation
Danny Kirk/the Gauntlet

The Ancient Chinese Art of Advice

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When the brass decided the Gauntlet's budget wasn't big enough to sustain separate Advice and Time-Travel Divisions, we fought tooth and nail for you, our readers. To think: a professional newspaper running without advice or time-travel; ludicrous! But it was for naught--budget restraints caused by the so-called "digital revolution" are forcing every rag to lose something dear these days. We did, however, procure a happy medium--a merger, in fact--for you, dear reader, and that's why not your typical advice column presents...

The Ancient Chinese Art of Advice

This week in not your typical advice column, A/T-T 2686 AD-native columnist Nano-Ellen @Xonn travels to 303 AD to get help from Taoist Chinese sage Lao Zhi.

Dear Gauntlet Advice/Time-Travel Division,
Here's the deal. I'm a pretty classy guy. I dress well and showeron a semi-regular basis. I don't stutter and can hold a basic conversation, so I've never had much of a problem with picking up the ladies. I've got a swinging pad, a good stereo with some decent mood music. You know where I'm going with this. I can get myself into the thick of things without too much effort.
My problem is, I'm not particularly... gifted. In the pants. I've tried everything. Pumps are just painful, saline's too squishy, and I can't figure out how to use a BowFlex down there. I've even considered prayer, but Krishna just doesn't seem to care.
Is there anything you can suggest? I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but… I guess that's exactly what I'm trying to do.
Help me please,
Classy but deflated

Lao Zhi says:

My son, is it not said "attack the enemy where he is unprepared, and appear where you are not expected?" Consider venerable Lao Tzu's words:
Blowhards have no standing,
The self-promoting are
not distinguished,
Show-offs do not shine,
Braggarts have nothing to show,
The self-important are
here and gone.
Are these not the words of the sagacious, if poorly-endowed?

The I Ching says:

Chen- The Arousing
Shock brings success.
Shock comes-oh, oh!
Laughing words-ha, ha!
The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.

Nano-Ellen's interperetation:

You could get a big pee-wee and brag all day long, or you could just stick it somewhere nobody expects. Pow!

Dear Gauntlet Advice/Time-Travel Division,

I met the most wonderful meat at the bar last night. I guess it could have been the musk, but I was getting the hella soakums telling me I had to do something involving a hole right away. The one problem with this course of action was standing right behind me, though-my boyfriend.
To my soppy disappointment, I ended up erring on the side of caution and going on a wild night of one-on-one passion that I just know could have been wilder.
I figured since you guys have time machines now, you could run whatever advice you have an issue ago and allow me to justify to myself why a trifecta was necessary. God help me I'm weak and will have needed your help.
Looking forward to having not written this letter,
Going to have been wilder

Lao Zhi says:

Does not Sun Tzu tell us "unless you know the mountains and forests, the defiles and impasses, the lay of the marshes and swamps, you cannot maneuver with an armed force. Unless you use local guides, you cannot get the advantage of the land." Remember also "in battle, confrontation is done directly, victory is gained by surprise."

The I Ching says:
Ta Ch'u- The Taming Power of the Great
Not eating at home brings
good fortune.
It furthers one to cross
the great water.

Nano-Ellen's interperetation:

Grandfather paradoxes aside, we at the Gauntlet are here to help. So here's what you do: don't just try and incorporate your boyfriend, use him! After all, who knows the "mountains and forests" of a boy better than another boy. Follow the wise sage's advice and you'll be as meated as you need for the forseeable future. And if the first run fails: engage in a surprise attack! Warning: the Gauntlet does not endorse the use of rohypnol.

Dear Gauntlet Advice/Time-Travel Division,
I've been making intimates with this girl "Lucy" for a while now, just a no promises sort of thing. At first it was great, but now she's all talking about her "needs." I tried telling her that if thirty seconds ain't enough she just ain't trying, but now she starting to make me feel guilty and shit.
But the way I see it, why do I gotta work harder than her? It's not my fault she don't know how to finish herself off. I mean, if it works for me, why ain't it working for her? Bet you anything the girl's just lazy.

So what's the word? Do I tell Lucy to stop being such a selfish little bitch, or is the selfish little bitch actually right? I'll trust whatever you guys say, you got the future on your side.
Thanks,
Trying To Be A Gentleman

Lao Zhi says:

The Art of War tells us "the important thing in a war is victory, not persistence...it is important to be quick. If you are quick, then you can economize on expenditures and allow the people to rest."

The I Ching says:

Hêng- Duration

Duration. Success. No blame.
Perseverance furthers.
It furthers one to have
somewhere to go.

Nano-Ellen's interperetation:

It's not about how you get there, it's about where you go and only being concerned with getting there quickly. If she's moving too slow and bitching like a woman about it, maybe you should ditch her. Quicker action means more sleep after, right? I think you see where this relationship needs to go.

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