DEAR RITA: I'm the captain of the Quidditch team and I can't get the players in the right state of mind! How would you go about motivating people? -- CONFOUNDED CAPTAIN
DEAR CONFOUNDED CAPTAIN: Well, let's see... on a Quidditch team, we have three Chasers, two Beaters, a Keeper, and a Seeker, who all have different duties and skills in terms of the sport. Therefore, as far as I can tell... the only common denominator is you, the team captain. If the other players are unable to pull it together and put their best towards their sport, and are content to lose their concentration (and their Quidditch matches), it's almost certainly entirely your fault. The wisest thing to do would be to step down and allow someone more competent to fill in your captain's slot.
However, if you are too proud to admit and deal with the consequences of your own shortcomings, then I suggest peppering your pep talks with plenteous profanity. In the heated world of competition, there's no room for walking on eggshells in the verbal sense. Snap those sissies into shape with some well-placed and creative expletives. I'd give you some suberb suggestions of swears, but unfortunately such things have been deemed unfit to print. Perhaps you know a sailor you could ask?
DEAR RITA: Look, my family lies to me all the time. They don't respect me enough. Should I just completely ignore what they say and use conspicuous ways to find out the truth? Or should I listen to them and realize that they know what's best for me? -- TORMENTED TEEN
DEAR TORMENTED TEEN: Look, you. Your family, especially your parents, only want what's best for you. The same is generally true for just about anyone who is older than you. And believe me, teenagers only think they know everything. And considering the fact that your parents have more years and thus more experience than you, you have to listen to whatever they say. It's a little something called "respecting your elders."
Everything your parents do or tell you is in your best interests, let me assure you. And everything they tell you is almost certainly true, as well. Eating the crusts of bread will make your hair curly; carrots help improve your night vision; if you make a face for too long your face will freeze that way if you eat seeds then a plant will grow in your stomach; and picking your nose will cause your head to cave in. And if you wear too short a skirt and hang out with the wrong crowd, you'll wind up pregnant and addicted to crack.