Answerman Rocks

Dear Answerman: I’m seeing a counselor because I have too much stress in my life. He suggested I get a hobby. He said it will relax me and lower my blood pressure.

I’m thinking I might like rock collecting. What do you know about this subject? — Uptight in Upper Michigan

Dear Uptight: Rock collectors are some of the most relaxed people in the world. This is because the planet is one huge rock, making this hobby easier than, say, looking for Bigfoot or collecting Jerry Mathers memorabilia. Intellectuals call rock collectors petrologists, and have done so since the pet rock era of the 1970’s.

Before you go petrologising for the first time, decide what variety of rock you want to collect. There are three species of rock to chose from: Ingenious, sedentary, and metallic. Ingenious rocks are more valuable, but sedentary rocks are easier to find. Metallic rocks are heavy.

Rocks also come in four geological classes: boulders, stones, gravel, and dirt. Most amateur collectors work with stones, but gravel will do in a pinch. Dirt collectors are generally looked down on by other collectors, and don’t get invited to the best rock shows.

The tools you need for rock collecting are a bag and a car. Put the rocks in a bag as you find them, and drive them home in your car.

You mentioned you are seeing a counselor for stress, so I will assume you are married. If this is the case, you need to rent a storage facility for your rock collection, because you won’t be allowed to keep it in the house. If you can’t afford storage, you might want to consider “catch and release” rock collecting.

Dear Mr. Crossett: On behalf of my client (hereafter referred to as the injured party), it has come to my attention that your column does not list a medical degree or any qualification for dispensing expert medical advice as expressly claimed in the addendum to your feature. I am hereby requesting to know on what basis you claim this “expertise,” specifically in the area of medicine. If you wish to avoid litigation I suggest you reply promptly and with documentation. — Attorney at Law in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dear Salt Lake: I’m sorry to hear about your injury. My advice is to avoid such wild parties in the future.

As for my expertise, it is amazing, isn’t it? I’m not sure how I got this smart. At some point in my youth I hit the tipping point, and now my knowledge builds on itself, so I can create facts out of thin air. I also have an indelibate memory, which means once I make up a fact I never forget it.

I don’t send documentation to all my readers, but because you were so complimentary, I’m going to send you an autographed photograph of myself with two cats!

For expert advice on all matters, legal, medical, theological, romantic, involving quantum physics, ancient history, plumbing or sports, contact the Answer Man at larry@themidwestjourney.com.