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Ask the Giant Squid: Getting the Grip So As to Extricate from the Stuff

Dear Giant Squid,

I have a friend that is in a really rough spot right now. She is getting in stuff that isn't healthy for her and her parents just got a divorce. She won't take me up on my offer to help her. And she needs someone there for her. What should I do?


(Loving Readers: This request-for-comments shall remain atop the page for several days, with newer News appearing below. Please scroll down to read more, or click through to aid us in aiding this poor naif in lending her friend-mate succor.)

Dearest Friend of the Girl Who Has Got into the Stuff,

As my typist and secretary, young Jarwaun, read your missive aloud to me, my sometimes-assistant Rob did read from over the boy's slumpy shoulder, t-shirted enshrouded. Shaking his head in negation -- not of you, your friend, or the question, but rather of the entire pitiless Universe which sought to cast her, blameless and tempest-tossed, from its own dross -- dear Rob did concisely encapsulate the solution:

"Damn," he did tsk, "Teen girls in trouble. Story as old as . . . um . . books, an shit. Whatever. That chick needs to get a grip."

Jarwaun himself clucked of the tongue, nodding, "True that. True. That."

Surprisingly, I found myself in undisputed agreence. There have been few troubles in my life -- be they atomic submersible, slavering sperm whale, or lust- and blood-ragéd lover -- which resisted redress via the quick application of my hunting tentacles, the grip and twist, and inevitable crunch as my beak was brought to bear. As such, I felt that Rob had neatly severed this Gordian Knot in his assessment.

But, upon further reflection, I did find myself the bit flummoxed. In the case of bull, bear, avalanche, and forceful tax-reassessment, I do know precisely where to grip, how long to hold the foe beneath still waters, the degrees of torque to apply, and the reasons to proffer. In this matter, I find myself a bit less clear on what the "stuff" your cohort does get herself into, and thus am at a loss as to how to advise she extricate herself. A lady sunk in the quickened-sand does need to address her quandary in a matter quite different from the lass trapped atop the burning building, or in the car quickly submerging, or buried alive, or buried non-alive. Knowing not the peculiarities of her stuff, I feel ill-suited to advise how to get her grip. Rob, of course, seemed clear of mind on all of these details, even at only the briefest glance -- his wisdom, it seems, comes in startling, shimmering flashes of insight, or not at all.

Unfortunately, Rob has left the lab for the day in order to "Eat some chemicals and play putt-putt. You know, for old time's sake. Day's too nice to sit around in this ice-cube tray, you know?"

So, then, my readers, I turn to you. Please join me in the comments below, where we might together discuss this lady's plight, how she might grip it, and ultimately escape it's razored maw, sucking muck, or crushing weight.

I Eagerly Await Your Aid, and Remain,

Your Giant Squid


You can't fix people. People fix themselves. Either she'll come through the other end of "stuff" stronger, wiser or sadder... or not. You can't change that.


There are few actions more worthwhile in the human experience than the act of giving unconditional love. You can be the catalyst for change, and that's exactly why people insist on the opposite. When we deny possessing the ability to help, we deny responsibility for the consequences of doing nothing. The contemporary impulse is to delegate responsibility to sanitary third-party institutions, medical professionals and assorted other hacks who make their money providing the services that friends and family used to. This rapes the very soul of human interaction. Fuck AA, fuck tough love. Go with your gut and be "there for her".