NEW COLUMN! “Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law”


Luke’s mother-in-law is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hello all. This is my first advice venture for TR. As a mom I have been giving advice for many more years than I care to admit. Sometimes it is taken, and sometimes not. Many times it goes in one ear and out the other, and many years later the light bulb finally comes on. I hope that this will be fun and you will enjoy. I am sure you will scratch your head over some of the answers, just like I did when I read the questions. I have raised Nerds, who have all now flown the coop – however they do come home to visit from time to time. I now raise cats, they take my advice as they want to eat – no just kidding. In my picture you see my baby kitty; his name is Frizzy. He got this name as when he was first born it looked like he had placed his paw in a light socket as his hair was 2 levels and was straight up.

Anyway, let’s get to the very interesting (and some troubling) questions.

Gene H. sent this one in: How do you convince your family to stop trying to buy you nerdy stuff? I ask because though I love Star Trek, I can not explain to them that an Enterprise gift is like a kick to the Jefffries tubes.

Ok – well I am a Star Trek fan from day one. Have seen, taped, etc all episodes of the various series and have the movies old and new on disc. I even still have a Leonard Nimoy album where he is holding a model of the Enterprise. I’ll take anything I can get my hands on that is related. I also have Tribbles and several signed scripts. I went to school with a kid and her uncle was a writer on the original show.

If they are giving you Enterprise gifts, they are at least trying to give you something that they think you are interested in. It’s the thought that counts – right? If you get duplicates – trade them, they probably will never know.

One thing that my Nerds have done so that I don’t get them the wrong, duplicates, etc items at birthdays, and Christmas is the Amazon wish list. Trust me, it has been a godsend as I can’t keep up with what they are already have.

Kyle A.: Can you get my mom off my back about the fact that I still play Pokemon? Yeah, I know I’m 27 mom. What’s your point?

Kyle, as you know I’m a mom and frankly I don’t see anything wrong with playing Pokemon. Of course, maybe she is objecting to the age of the other players; hopefully they are near your age for the most part or maybe younger relatives who like the game. Just being a good big brother or uncle, right? Anyway, I still have boxes of Pokemon cards in the house. Some have been played with, the others I am waiting for them to go up in value. So you can also tell your mom they are an investment for retirement. Yep, I’m waiting to sell off all my collections, but I also have stocks, bonds and a job.

Let your mom read this: Mrs A., playing Pokemon is not all that bad. If this is the worst thing Kyle is doing, you raised a good kid. I thank my lucky stars that the worst thing my nerds do is collect things and play with them. They also store a lot of their stuff at my house – yes the collections flow all the way out to my place. I have never had to bail them out of jail, nor have I ever seen them on America’s Most Wanted. They both have jobs and don’t get calls from collection agencies. So how bad is Pokemon, really.

From Lucy P.: What’s the AC rating of a level 2 Kendu Warrior?

Ok, here is one of the head scratchers for me. The Kendu Warrior is in DD game. It is an ugly little crow-like bird. A level one is generally an AC 14. I could not find any info on a level 2. Sorry, you stumped mom nerd.

Presumably they both mean “Kenku”…

This next one I can sink my kitty claws into. From EvilMonkeyPope. My cat wants to follow me everywhere but she’s not allowed in my studio because there’s too much delicate stuff she could beak or spill. Whenever i’m able to sneak away to the studio whilst she’s napping, she eventually sits outside the door & screams. She can do this for hours. So how can I make art on a regular basis without infuriating my cat?

I currently have 3 indoor cats and 5 outdoor cats. Needless to say, I don’t have a rat or bug problem. However I do have the same needy cat issue that you have. I also work at home. The baby Frizzy just hates it when I try to leave the house. It is a battle of wits trying to get out of the door and then he will sit at the front door and cry until I open the door and come back in. He gets hit by the door alot. To solve the ” I want to follow mommy,” I got a bunch of small plastic Christmas ornaments. I toss one down the hall by the door and he follows, I get out and he forgets about me. I have waited outside of the front door and don’t hear any crying. Don’t toss the ornament and there is crying.

He also likes to attack the laser printer paper in the office, so when I need to print I close the office doors – they have glass so he can still see me and that seems to be okay. He crys at solid doors. Heaven forbid I try to go to the bathroom without him. Gave up on that; he just comes in and likes to sit on the back of the toilet and loves flushing. Small minds are easily entertained. Perhaps you need to change the door so your cat can see you. I too have breakables in the office. I have a big box of papers that they can jump and play in, and window seats for sunning. They have learned the word “No” – most of the times, but sometimes we do have accidents. Got to love the babies and I have found that the stress relief is better then me yelling at clients. Good luck to you.

trvlguy sent in the following: What, would you say, is the appropriate amount of money to pay a prostitute for counting how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?

Well, first off, never quote money to a prostitute: it may be an undercover cop and you would be busted. Always let them say the price for the service. Then it depends on if it is a low class or high class one. Rates differ. you know. Does this require lodging, the interior of a vehicle or just on the street? These factors all make a difference.

Many years ago I was a cop and worked vice. Mostly worked around Disneyland and often got asked the price of an E ticket (that one dates me). Never got asked about Tootsie Roll pops; is that some new wording for something nasty? If you mean the candy it could be a good ice breaker and when you are busted you can always say you were merely asking about candy – oh sure, the cops will buy that one, just like the E ticket.

And bringing up the rear, this is a really good one from pauldmiller: How the hell do I get semen out of a cadaver?

Well, Paul, that depends on how it got there. Is there any reason we need to track you down and inform the local authorities? Are you playing with them in med school or something? Depraved coroner? Are you registered? How and why did it get there in the first place? Anyway, back to the answer for your question. I would suggest water and or fizzy soda pop – much like the old birth control method. Hey, but how often does that work? I would be more interested in your alibi and make sure you know the place’s security system (no cameras rolling). Run and get a new identity if someone wants to do a DNA test.

Well, hope you enjoyed the first round of Q and A. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with next. Also waiting to see how much Luke edits this.Should be interesting, he is tough on writers, even me. Later.

While we have an ample backlog of questions, if you’d like yours to be considered for next time, leave them in comments below.