Ask Mr. Dreadful

6 Conversations

Voted h2g2's best agony column 23 years running.1

Do you have difficulties with pirates?

Are you unsure of the correct way to badger a badger or clean a polecat?

Is your life unfulfilled and void of helpful advice?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then... Ask Mr. Dreadful.

The Rules of Ask Mr. Dreadful

Nobody likes rules, but in order to keep things running smoothly I thought I'd come up with a few.

  1. Mr. Dreadful will accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, death, prison sentences or deportation which results from people following his advice.
  2. Keep it clean, folks. h2g2 is a family site and while Carry On style, tongue-in-cheek rudeness and crudity will be tolerated anything overtly sexual or offensive will be Yikes’d faster than a really fast thing.
  3. Please start a new thread for each new question, that way it'll be a lot easier to manage than it used to be.
  4. Anybody can answer a question but Mr. Dreadful’s word is law, thus he may overrule any previous advice given.
  5. These rules are more what you call guidelines.
  6. Any insults directed at Mr. Dreadful will result in a sail-by broadside followed by a full boarding action. Arrr!
  7. Anything that is placed in the threads may end up in The Post.

Read the h2g2 Post

Here are some examples of the problems I have solved in the past:

Dear Mr Dreadful,

I'm finding piracy increasingly difficult thanks to the current NHS guidelines regarding artificial limbs. It is becoming ever more problematic to recruit a crew with hooks for hands, peg-legs and eye-patches given the current propensity for realistic artificial limbs and glass eyes. And don't get me started on the European courts view on corporal punishment - no more flogging, plank walking or keel hauling - how am I to keep discipline?

Yours frustratedly,

Pirate Moose

Dear Pirate Moose,

Your problems in finding artificial limbs can easily be solved with a quick trip to Ikea. A purchase of coffee tables and coat hangers will provide you with a great many peg legs and hook hands and a knock-down price. Eye patches are occasionally available in Christmas crackers.

The corporal punishment issue is a tricky one... I would recommend filming it and then selling it to Channel 4 as the latest reality TV sensation. You can get away with practically anything that way.


Dear Mr Dreadful,

Please help me I'm in a terrible fix. Yesterday evening on my way home to Leylandii Mews from the cafe I took the number 6 bus as is my habit. I sat on the seat nearest the door in case of emergencies in which case I would be first off. I digress.

With my hands thrust deeply into the pockets of my mackintosh, as it has been seasonally chilly of late, I became aware of a blue rinsed matron pointing at me and shouting for the conductor. On glancing down I realised that I had, unbeknown to me, forgotten to remove several ferrets from my trousers before leaving work. My attempts to calm the little beggars down by stroking them only seemed to exacerbate the situation.

The nice constable who through me in the back of the big white van said that his aunty Edna was disgusted that the police allowed this sort of thing to happen on public transport and the boys at the nick would sort me out. They said something about using my fingers while I could. What should I do?

Albert Ross Esq.

VD, CDM and Scar

Cell 6a

Old Bridewell

Dear Mr. Ross,

Tell them it was for charity, you can get away with a lot by using that line.

If that doesn't work see if the nick you're in has a metalworking shop and try to construct a howitzer or mortar and also check if there are any books on being a human cannonball in the prison library. When asked about what you're making say it's modern art and make sure you constantly whistle the theme tune to the 'Great Escape', that way the guards will be looking for a tunnel while you execute your cunning plan.

Don't drop the soap.

1Data inaccurate at the time of printing

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more