Q: Do you really want to go prancing around Las Vegas with the kind of loser who could win your impossible plagiarism contest? I went online to figure out who you plagiarized, thinking it would only take a day or two to track down the authors of the responses in your plagiarized column. Twelve hours later, I gave up. The only person who could win this contest is some professional research geek! Devise a new, winnable contest or you’ll be heading to Las Vegas with someone who’s a total geek! Is that what you want? —Cry Foul
A: I said the plagiarism contest was tough, CF, and that’s why I made the prize package so spectacular. (That prize package again: Three days in Vegas at the Bellagio, with the flights, food, gambling, booze and hookers all on me.) I’m certainly not going to take someone to Las Vegas based on their ability to type a few lines into a search engine. Shit, I might as well have a “tie your own shoes” contest. I would rather go to Vegas with a research geek than some whiner who wants Las Vegas handed to him on a platter.
Q: There is a Web site that searches for plagiarized items called turnitin.com. Schools and universities use it to catch students. Your contest may be easier than you think. —Nancy
A: Read on, Nancy.
Q: I submitted your plagiarized answers to a plagiarism search engine and ran it through plagiarism-detecting software available at www.canexus.com/eve, and they both came up blank. Rest assured that the Internet will be no help to anybody. —Teach
A: Nice try, Teach.
Q: Where do you get your information? I’m referring to your reply to Montana Mama’s letter and your comment that, “One of the main features of homosexuality is promiscuity.” You are so wrong! My partner and I have been in a monogamous relationship for 18 years. My partner and I are homosexuals and you do not have the right to speak on our behalf — you are not the spokesperson for our community! Tell Montana Mama that her son can have a long-term monogamous relationship with another man. —Itchy & Scratchy
A: Did you finish reading the column you’re complaining about? Apparently not, or you would know that I didn’t write the response to Montana Mama. Like all the responses in that column, that advice was lifted from a book by some other advice-monger, a fact revealed at the end of the column. The next time you feel your panties crawling up your cracks, I&S, finish reading the column before you bang out an angry letter, OK?
Q: I’m concerned about the people who wrote you the letters you used for your contest. If they wrote you asking for advice, is it a good idea to use their letter as part of a joke? You said at the end that the letters were written by your readers. Granted, none of the letters would normally have been answered in your column, so the authors didn’t miss anything. I’m just concerned that they’re gonna be a little pissed off. —Bad Move
A: People send letters to advice columns to get advice from a disinterested third party. And what is advice? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, advice is “an opinion about what could or should be done.” The people whose letters I used in the plagiarism contest got what they had coming; the opinion of a disinterested third party. They just didn’t get the opinions of this disinterested third party. If the people whose letters I used are pissed, well, they’re free to file a complaint against me with my profession’s governing body, the Advice Columnists Association of North America. Complaints should be directed to Judith “Miss Manners” Martin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Dear Abby turned in one of her readers who wrote to her about his attraction to his girlfriend’s young daughters. What do you think about this? Isn’t there an assumption of confidentiality between advice columnists and their correspondents? Would you turn in someone who wrote to you about doing something illegal? —Safe With Dan
A: If I called the police every time someone doing something illegal sent me a letter I would be on the phone with the cops 24 hours a day. More than half my mail is about sodomy of one sort or another, SWD, and sodomy is illegal in a lot of the places where my column appears. And, shit, I often read my mail while I’m doing something illegal. That said, if I were to get a letter from someone who was raping kids I would definitely call the cops. The man that Abigail Van Buren turned in wasn’t raping kids, however, only fantasizing about raping kids. While his fantasies were deeply disturbing, they weren’t illegal. I’m torn: In Abby’s shoes, I probably wouldn’t have called the cops. I don’t think we want people with sexual fantasies involving children to feel as if they can’t reach out for help without being exposed or arrested. But if someone with access to my 4 year old wrote a letter to Dear Abby about fantasies concerning my son, I would want her to call the cops immediately.
Q: I refuse to believe that every single fantasy sent in was as boring as you say they were. What does that say about your readers? I for one would still be interested in hearing what people had to say. I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. People took the time to share their fantasies with you. The least you could do is print some of them. —Disappointed in Savage
A: Oh, all right, here’s a sample of the dull, dull, dull sexual fantasies that my readers sent in:
• I am Smurfette. Gargamel has kidnapped me from Smurf Village and he keeps me in a little birdcage. He paces up and down, describing his plans to destroy Smurf Village forever. I am horrified, but strangely aroused. He also is getting distracted from his plans by the thought of my small blue femininity waiting breathlessly in the cage. Finally, he opens the cage and runs his finger up and down my body. —Strange but True
• Apolo Ohno receiving a bare-bottom spanking from Kent McCord, officer Jim Reed from “Adam-12.” —Go for Gold
• Six women in skirts and business suits sit at an oval table discussing crucial business matters. I crawl around under the table like a dog, sniffing, licking and tasting everyone below the waist. —Whacking-off Over Fantasy
• I’m swimming around in the ocean when a group of octopuses pin me down with their tentacles. A huge queen octopus starts gently suctioning on my vagina until I orgasm. I’m scared at the beginning of the fantasy, but by the end, I succumb to the erotic power of the undulating appendages. —Perverted Member of the Humane Society
• Britney Spears naked, on her knees, pussy shaved, performing degrading things like rimming me, getting pissed and ejaculated on, having a black dildo with a tassel shoved up her ass and being led outside on a leash so she can tinkle in the grass. —PortnoyContact Dan Savage at email@example.com