Ask A Dogtown Resident

Our “Ask” series is an advice column with a special panel of guest columnists. Today’s guest columnist is a destitute, widowed resident of Dogtown circa 1790.

Dear Dogtown Resident:

I am engaged to a great guy, but his family wants a huge wedding. I would rather elope or have a small backyard shindig. However, his mother and sisters insist on renting a hall we can’t afford and inviting a guest list of almost 150 people! I am at my wits’ end and want to call the whole thing off. What do I do?

– Not Bridezilla in Lanesville

My Dearest Not Bridezilla:

Excuse my handwriting, my love, for I am writing by mere glowing embers. Since John has gone to his maker in the sea these nine years ago, finding firewood has been a harder endeavor. Most winters I bring the dogs inside with me and hang our wedding quilt over the broken parts of the front door. I am sixty years old, too old to fix things here. My cellar hole is crumbling as we speak, and taking the last of this years’ root potatoes with it. But this is nary a matter, let me attend to your question. Ah, yes, you have not the money for such a lavish occasion. Let me be bold – have you considered prostitution? When I cannot afford whale oil for my reading lamp, I often revisit my past as a lady of the night. Times are hard, my dear, and we all must do what we can.


If only I could again have this kind of luxury.

Dear Dogtown Resident:

My son is 18 and we have found out that he has been drinking at friends’ houses. We are concerned about this behavior. How do we curb it? He is an adult now, but he still lives at our house. Grounding him isn’t going to work at this age!

– Worried in Rockport

Dearest Worried:

I understand fully your concern about the scourge of the Drink. My own brother was found half-dead on an outcropping of rocks on the Annisquam river last November. He continues to wander from parish to parish in search of more spirits to quench his inner pain after the failed crops of the past years. I fear for his soul, for he is a shell of a man and he shall face the wrath of an angry god. At 18, your son should have many years of work experience on the docks, and should be working from sunrise to sunset as a deckhand. He should not have time for drink! Does he not have his own house and wife and children at his age? Shame on your family for such morals.

The Sins of Liquor Be Known To Ye

The Sins of Liquor Be Known To Ye

Dear Dogtown Resident:

My doctor wants me to take a medication that I don’t particularly want to take to curb a disease I have. I would rather try a holistic approach like green tea or Reiki. But he claims that I could die if I don’t give in to Big Pharma and take the drug. What should I do?

– Natural in Annisquam

Dear Natural:

If I may, I fear I may not be understanding you correctly. You have a cure for your disease that isn’t prayer and whiskey to ease suffering? And your town has a doctor who isn’t afraid to travel past the bridge to your home for fear of curses put on him? Why, pray tell, are you not listening to the man? I have borne ten children, and five were buried before their 14th birthdays, from scarlet fever, pox, measles, and an encounter with a horsecart. I would have crossed the planes of hell to access a drug that could have spared their lives. And you have such drugs available to you and yet choose not to take them? My love, spend a day in my shoes and you’ll know what the right choice is.

This is commonplace in my village.

This is commonplace in my village.

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  1. All well and good, but when do we hear from current residents?

    • whenever we can convince one to answer questions! mostly they ignore our calls, or hide in the bushes when we approach them.

  2. Craig Kimberley


  3. When is James Merry going to get a crack at this advice column? He’s waited 122 years. Still too soon?


  4. Hysterical!!

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