Sage Advice 116: My Star Trek: The Next Generation Fan Fiction*

*(I must begin this piece by admitting to everything I remember about Star Trek: The Next Generation: back when I was about eight-years-old, my dad would watch it after I was done watching X-Men the cartoon; the guy from Reading Rainbow was in it and looked like he had lasers in his eyes or something; a very pale guy was actually a robot (I’m assuming he bled milk much like the robot-people in the film Alien); there was an angry guy with a wrinkly forehead in it.)

FADE IN to a really complicated ship with lots of lights and buttons going on. The captain of the USS Space Ship Town, named for being big enough for an entire town to live in, sits in a really big chair. He looks out of the ship’s windshield window, into a vast sea of blackness and like stares and stuff. He’s like really looking into it. Like really hard. Like he’s pondering some really deep stuff. Straight intellectual stuff. A dumb looking, really pale robot guy who probably bleeds milk like that dumb robot in Alien enters.

Disgusting Milk Robot (completely monotone and boring): Captain, you wanted to see me?

Captain Xavier: Yes, Milk Robot, I want you to tell Reading Rainbow that I need to talk to him about our next mission or whatever we call what we do while we vaguely fly around in space.

Disgusting Milk Robot: Aye Aye, Captain.

Captain Xavier: Oh, and Milk Robot.

Disgusting Milk Robot: Yes, Captain?

Captain Xavier: Remember to refill your milk canons or however you work. I’m willing to bet that whatever is inside you is really gross and needs to be cleaned out at least like twice a week.

Disgusting Milk Robot: Of course, Captain.

A crazy hologram thing appears at the captain’s chair. He has like all these buttons and gadgets on the armrests of his chair, and boy do they do some wild stuff. An insane hologram thing is one of those gadgets. So anyway, the hologram, which is a communication device (duh), is of Reading Rainbow.

Reading Rainbow: You wanted to speak to me Captain?

Captain Xavier: Oh good, that gross robot was really quick, eh?

Reading Rainbow: Yes, Captain. Though, I must admit, I find his disgusting milk-based body off putting and an overall burden on the ship’s productivity.

Captain Xavier: I agree, Reading Rainbow, but we must have a certain number of robots on our ship as per intergalactic space laws and what have you. They can think or something.

Reading Rainbow: Oh my, I bet there’s a theme or a moral in that dilemma that could be applied to the struggles of many different people throughout time. It’s almost like a lesson that everyone should have learned a long time ago because most conflicts tend to repeat themselves.

Captain Xavier: Shut up.

Reading Rainbow: Okay.

Captain Xavier: Reading Rainbow, I wanted to ask you what you did on this ship exactly. Are you an engineer? Are you in the medical bay? Or do you just hang out because you have laser eyes probably and cool sunglasses?

Reading Rainbow: Well captain, I instill a love for reading into the entire crew. This is important because as we’re deep in space and begin to get tired of our nightly orgies I assume we have because what else would you do in space for so long we can turn to the power of reading to captivate our collective imagination and spirit. It’s a lovely sentiment and I’m chafing.

Captain Xavier: And the lasers?

Reading Rainbow: That’s for clearing out shrubs and what have you on planets that we visit that are covered in plant life. Since we assume all plants are like the plants we have on our planet, we just murder the hell out of anything that’s green and/or tree-looking.

Captain Xavier: Shut up.

Reading Rainbow: Okay.

A really big guy with a really wrinkly forehead enters. He looks angry, but no one seems to mind because he always looks angry.

Wrinkled Forehead Guy: Captain, our next mission or whatever we call it involves us landing on a planet where all of the intelligent life looks like plant life from your planet.

Captain Xavier: Jesus Christ, your forehead freaks me out.

Wrinkled Forehead Guy: Sir, your reference eludes me as I’m from—

Captain Xavier: I mean, is it technically your scrotum? It looks a little bit like a human scrotum. Here, let me show you.

The Captain begins to unzip his space pants.

Wrinkled Forehead Guy: Sir, there is no need to show me your genitals again.

Captain Xavier (zipping his space pants back up): Fine then. Your loss.

Reading Rainbow appears on the hologram communication device thing. It makes a really cool noise.

Reading Rainbow: Captain, we are about to land on this new planet where all of the intelligent life looks like plants from our planet. Also, since this show is probably really similar to X-Men the cartoon, I’m just going to go by Cyclops from here on out.

Captain Xavier: That’s fine. Okay, let’s get wrinkled foreskin, milk robot, Cyclops, and me into some badass astronaut gear and go check out this planet together.

Female Character: Hey, I’m gonna come along too. That will probably give like another interesting perspective on the events that unfold.

Captain Xavier: Yeah, sure. C’mon.

Female Character: Also, I don’t know what my name is, so let’s just call me Rogue or Storm or Jean.

Captain Xavier: Sure.

CUT TO a planet covered in vegetation. The USS Space Ship Town team—Wrinkled Forehead Guy, Disgusting Milk Robot From Alien, Jean Grey, Captain Xavier, and Cyclops—are all dressed in really cool astronaut suits. They’re totally ready to check out what this planet is all about. Suddenly, one of the crazy plants growing from the ground begins to speak.

Crazy Plant On Plant Planet: Welcome, travelers, my name is Planty. I am leader of the plant planet. We are a peaceful race. Can we offer you anything to aid you on your journey because even though you are very foreign looking to us we wish to cause you absolutely no harm despite such hospitality leaving us very vulnerable to an attack?

Cyclops laser-eye blasts the boring plant.

Captain Xavier: Stand down, Cyclops! Don’t you see? We’re the invaders! Whoa! What a twist!

Cyclops: You’re right, Captain. I’m sure we can all learn a little about humanity from this tragic event.

A massive Sentinel lands next to the team, shaking the ground beneath them. The purple behemoth points at the team, preparing to fire crazy lasers and stuff.

Wrinkled Forehead Guy: I’ll be Wolverine!


-Matthew Fugere


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Sage Advice 115: Summer Blockbusters Of 2013

I don’t like movies. I’m not sure if it’s because of the loud sounds or that time I walked into a room of three raccoons fighting with cotton swabs and fire and thought it was Transformers 2 for 4 hours, but something about the cinema just doesn’t work with me. That being said, I’m still an expert on all things film. That second thing being said, I believe it’s a duty of mine to analyze, judge, and recommend the major films of summer 2013. You will be able to use this movie guide to direct your summer flick outings. Below you’ll find a selection of movies, a written analysis for each movie, a final grade for each movie, and my own artistic visual interpretation. Here we go!

The Wolverine

I haven’t seen this movie, nor do I have any idea what it is about. Based off the title, however, we can assume the story must follow trials and tribulations of a frustrated mammal that is sick of representing its entire species. I mean, if the little bugger is the wolverine, then that means everyone is talking about ’em like he (or maybe she) is the main wolverine. Imagine that: you have to represent your entire species in a ninety-minute summer movie. That’s a lot of pressure for such a small animal native to Canada. I wonder if its nationality will play a pivotal role in the creature’s journey? I can’t wait to find out.


Photo Aug 06, 8 34 11 PM

2 Guns

I haven’t seen this movie, nor do I have any idea what it is about. The title seems pretty obvious, though: two automatic weapons fall in love and chase one another through let’s say the streets of New York. Maybe one falls for the other while that one plays hard to get or maybe like one of them breaks up with the other and like they end up back together or maybe it’s a porno? I don’t know. Anyway, 2 Guns is probably a delight that will warm the hearts of everyone who is tricked into enduring it.


Photo Aug 06, 8 41 20 PM

Pacific Rim

I haven’t seen this movie, nor do I have any idea what it is about. I bet it’s gonna take place in California or maybe Washington? That’s where the Pacific is, right? Then again, it could be Asia. Like eastern Asia. Maybe Japan? The rim part sounds sexual, and I’m not comfortable with that.

FINAL GRADE: Let’s say “the ocean”

Photo Aug 06, 8 44 45 PM

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

I haven’t seen this movie, nor do I have any idea what it is about. This is the kind of movie that has a dude’s name for the title. I have no idea who he is, so it’s hard to know what he does or what he digs. That Sea of Monsters thing probably indicates a sea with some monsters in it. Hey, maybe it takes place in the Pacific? Is this movie and the last one crossover movies?

FINAL GRADE: Percy Jackson’s Pacific Rims a Sea of Monsters

Photo Aug 06, 8 44 45 PM


Probably planes?

FINAL GRADE: I flew in one of those once. I had to go to a funeral.

Photo Aug 06, 8 54 09 PM

Well, that about does it for my summer blockbuster breakdown 2013 edition. Goddamn it! Why didn’t I call the article Summer Blockbuster Breakdown 2013 Edition? Is it too late to edit?

Matthew Fugere

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Sage Advice 114: A Pussy Bias: Sexism In Our Use Of Vulgar Language

I say dick at least a hundred times a day. Of those hundred times, only about 30% are in reference to my body. The rest of those dick utterances are in reference to vague nouns and other peoples’ bodies. I say dick liberally and without much thought or effort.

I say pussy maybe a hundred times a month. It’s much rarer in my daily vocabulary. I’m generally cautious to even say it. If I’m about to say pussy, I’m usually planning about ten sentences ahead of the moment. “You gotta say pussy in this next paragraph,” I say to myself. “Get ready for that. You’ll probably blush a little once grandma hears that word come out of your mouth.”

That’s an exaggeration of course, but the basic problem is very real for me; I’m far more socially comfortable with saying dick than I am with saying pussy. The simple analysis for this issue is to just say that I’m a guy, and, therefore, I am probably just more comfortable with referring to my own genitalia in a vulgar manner than I am of the opposite gender’s genitalia.

But then I start to think about how often I hear dick and pussy said by people around me. All the people around me. Friends, family, strangers, the media, bird calls, children, machinery sounds, the voices in my head. How often do I hear dick and pussy? When I really consider the question, it seems as though dick heavily outweighs pussy. I hear people say dick almost as often as I say dick. It’s casually tossed about to the point of almost having no meaning. Pussy, on the other hand, comes off as more reserved. Almost as if it’s being saved for a special occasion, pussy only seems to be used for two reasons: a) Drunk guys trying to articulate their annoying desires (i.e. Let’s get some pussy, bro!) b) People trying to shame others (i.e. Don’t be such a pussy, bro!).

Pussy as a word ends up being hyper-sexualized or hyper-shamed. There seems to be very little room for middle ground with its usage. Someone is either expressing a sexual desire or trying their best to belittle another person.

Dick is unfairly a more versatile and less venomous word than pussy. Let’s look at the word outside of its anatomical reference. We call people dicks and pussies all the time, but what do we really mean when we use those words?

Look at these examples:

“You’re being a dick.”

Whoever is being described as a dick here is most likely acting outlandish, mean, rude, or vulgar. When you’re being a dick, you’re usually being a fool—someone shakes their head at you because of the ridiculous or mean-spirited actions you’re performing. Being a dick isn’t good, but it’s usually not the worst thing you can be. There isn’t much shame with being a dick. In fact, people acting like dicks are usually shameless. You probably know a few people, maybe even close friends, who are actually proud of their dickish behavior. Dicks are annoying, but they are never shamed. Instead, they are often tolerated.

Now let’s look at pussy in a similar fashion:

“You’re being a pussy.”

You’re being a wimp, a weakling, or the kind of person who is unable to perform a task adequately or without complaint. Pussies are people who have no confidence. Pussies, almost always, are put to shame. Being called a pussy is supposed to demean and belittle you. Nobody wants to be called a pussy. For every person you know who proudly proclaims “I’m such a dick,” you know absolutely zero people who proudly proclaim “I’m such a pussy.” If someone does get branded as a consistent pussy—someone who consistently fails to exhibit confidence—that person is forever shamed and treated like a social leper. “That person is a pussy,” you might hear someone say. And now you look down on him or her. You don’t respect him or her. Nobody respects a pussy.

This isn’t fair at all. In terms anatomical importance, a pussy and a dick are pretty much equal. They perform similar bodily functions. They each act as strong indicators of their respective genders (strictly from a biological sense, otherwise gender is a social construction). They’re both, essentially, needed for a species to continue. They’re both important. Neither one should be shamed in any respect, but if we are shaming genitals or people being compared to genitals, then we need make sure the shame is equally distributed. In other words, if the person acting like a pussy is forced to feel shame, then the person acting like a dick should feel just as ashamed.

When it comes to saying the words—not necessarily being called the words—I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed or embarrassed with either. I use dick so frequently that it molds into nearly every part of speech for me. Many a time have I used dick as an adjective and even a verb during my everyday conversations. My colloquialisms are absolutely saturated with dicks. Unfortunately, pussy doesn’t get the same treatment, but it definitely deserves to.

And let’s be honest, if any word can handle being used in a variety of ways, it’s definitely pussy. Pussies are durable and strong. They make life, and they bleed every once in awhile. Pussies are tough. What do dicks do? They sit around, limp and useless, until they’re called to a few minutes worth of action. And the second they’re done doing that, it’s back to limp and useless.

It’s probably really easy to write off the idea of letting pussy be more acceptable in our vulgarity. After all, who would take anything seriously after reading the words dick 29 times and pussy 37 times. I would argue that it’s important, though. For me, language that’s considered foul is only used with my most revered company present. I say “bad” words around my friends and family. The people I care most about hear me say the most vulgar things. It doesn’t make sense that the most intimate conversations you’ll have with the people who matter most should shy away from a word just because the rest of our culture has forced shame and sexuality onto it. I simply believe we should be just as comfortable with pussy as we are with dick.

I fear someone might read this and say, “This guy just wants to say pussy without feeling weird.” And, yes, that’s partly true. However, I want everyone to say pussy without feeling weird. Whether pussies or dicks, our vulgar language should treat all genitalia equally.

-Matthew Fugere

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Sage Advice 113: Suggestions For New Flavors Of DORITOS®

The following is a list of suggestions for new flavors of DORITOS®:

  • Leftover Chinese food
  • Dog fur
  • Bread
  • Old newspaper
  • Canadian
  • Canadian bacon
  • A mixture of all the current flavors
  • Sweat
  • Contact lenses
  • Vague meat
  • Nacho con diarrhea
  • Diarrhea con nacho
  • Diarrhea
  • E. coli
  • Wet pavement smell
  • Mulched grass
  • Depleted fire hydrant
  • Actual jalapenos
  • Cartoon carrots like the ones Bugs Bunny used to eat that didn’t really look like carrots
  • Moon dust
  • Cupcakes
  • Velvet
  • Velveteen Rabbit
  • Loneliness
  • 42 trombones that were played by fat middle school children
  • Brass instrument saliva residue
  • Colin Farrell
  • Warm spoons
  • Between couch cushions
  • Cool Dude Ranch
  • Maybe some kind of jelly preservatives?
  • The taste of a Ben & Jerry’s DORITOS® inspired ice cream
  • Ducks
  • Gunpowder
  • Freedom

That’s all for now.


-Matthew Fugere

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Sage Advice 112: Harry Cram, The Film Critic Who Thinks Movies Are Real, Reviews The Dark Knight Rises

Occasionally, I like to have guest writers on Sage Advice. Harry Cram, a film critic I met in a Denny’s restroom when I was in grade school, has been reviewing films over thirty years. He also thinks all movies are real. Here’s his review of a film that came out awhile ago.

As if The Avengers, a movie that proved gods and radioactive monsters are working together and filming their adventures to show off to the general public, wasn’t enough to scare me into realizing super-humans completely neglect property damage costs and insurance premiums, The Dark Knight Rises comes around only to further destroy my sense of security.

The movie starts out explaining what’s going on takes place eight years after what happened in 2008, when The Dark Knight happened. That means The Dark Knight Rises takes place four years from now. I don’t know how these filmmakers keep getting their hands on the world’s time-machines, but I think they’re really wasting that technology by capturing the antics of a billionaire who thinks giving back to his community means attacking strangers while dressed like a wild animal. I was already upset when the young man in Back to the Future used the precious resources of what has to be the only time-machine available just to hit on his mother, something he could have easily done without travelling through time.

Then again, I suppose it’s important that the events that will unfold in Gotham City get extensive coverage. After all, this is a city that has been under attack by various terrorists wielding dangerous superpowers since 1989, yet I still can’t find it on a map (this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, however, as I’ve also never found Narnia, Mordor, or London on a map either despite all of these places being regular battlegrounds for wizards and other violent individuals).

Like most movies I go to, I was thrown out for using my cellphone to call various media outlets to warn them about the coming violence and destruction of a major city, so I didn’t get to see the last hour of the film. The Dark Knight Rises has me once again too afraid to go outside because of the possibility of random terrorism and people dressed like wild animals attacking me. Not since I was thrown out halfway through 1998’s Armageddon for asking the other moviegoers to start an orgy with me since the world was about to end have I come out of a film so terrified of the outside world. I’m going back to my underground bunker to cry and eat rations.

My Grade: D- because Christopher Nolan stole a time-machine

-Harry Cram

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Sage Advice 111: 10 to Infinity

How many numbers are there? I’m not trying to trick you with this question, but I’ve gotten two different answers to what should be a straightforward query.

Some people will say there are 10 numbers. They go as follows:











Other people will say that there is an infinite amount of numbers, both backward and forward, negative and positive. They go as follows:


I guess there are only 10 numbers just like there are only 26 letters, but what about numbers that aren’t part of the glamorous 10? Even 10 itself is a number that isn’t technically part of the only 10 numbers. You have to use a number that isn’t a number to describe the number of numbers there are.

If you combine 2 or more of the 10 numbers that are the original numbers, you don’t get something considered one of the original numbers. It’s like when you build a house made out of bricks. The pile of bricks aren’t where the heart is. Home happens to be where a vital organ is because we call that pile of bricks our home.

But numbers don’t really have a new word for when they’re combined to make other numbers that aren’t technically part of the original list of numbers.

Bricks are to house as letters are to words as numbers are to more numbers.

Maybe there’s a word for this I don’t know. I’m not much of a math guy, so there’s a good chance that someone who likes numbers is reading this and using a bunch of letters to make words that construct sentences that call me stupid.

If there isn’t a number-word made out of original numbers, though, then why don’t we have one? It might be because that numbers are already pretty crazy. They keep going, you know. They don’t stop.

Oh wait. I just got an email about how they just discovered the last number. It’s 999, 999, 999, 999, 324, 999, 999, 111, 435, 999, 098, 000, 999, 999, 999, 999, 999, 999, 000, 757, 480, 411, 999, 002.

I think we can all agree that it’s good we ended on an even number.

Man, that’s crazy. Where were we?

Right, we were talking about what it’s called when you put a bunch of numbers together to make other numbers that aren’t numbers. We need a word for it…

Picklefart? Immature, I know. I’m being silly.

Numberista? That sound Spanish. Is that Spanish? I don’t know.

Nomcomplicationbers? What? That’s either an erotic, pleasuring tool or part of a combustible engine. Or both. I’m not here to judge.

I’m not the guy for this. It’s never been my job to make up words—and for good reason. That’s a job for a thinking person, someone who can breakdown phonemes and their connections to culture and speech and other stuff I don’t get.

For now, I think we should settle down and forget I ever brought this up. And don’t question that last-number-ever bit, either. That’s totally true.

-Matthew Fugere

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Sage Advice 110: The Public Domain Of Me

To the best of my knowledge, I have only been quoted in a widely-read publication once in my entire life. Perhaps it’s important to qualify widely-read: I was quoted in my high school newspaper. Assuming even a slight fraction of the student body read it, then we’re talking a few hundred people reading a statement from me—perhaps the largest audience I’ve ever had.

Who was reading isn’t nearly as crucial as what they were reading, though (at least not for me). During my senior year, students were given a survey to fill out that the editors of the school paper were going to use for content. I suppose it’s easier than getting interviews with people through the archaic manner of talking to them. The questions were all regarding how you felt about “being the future.” The logic: you are young; therefore you are presumably the future.

Being a man of brevity when possible, I broke my response for the multi-questioned survey to one answer: “We’re the future? Well, that sucks.” Without my permission or knowledge, I found my half-assed remark in giant, bold letters next to a picture one of the newspaper students took of me in the school paper just a few months later, long after I had forgotten about it.

Despite it being more of a spontaneous answer than one of reflection and consideration, based off my contribution to the world so far, I think it’s safe to say I pretty much nailed it when it came to my evaluation high school graduating class.

My amazing foresight aside, I am concerned with how easily something I totally forgot about was able to be lifted from my likeness and used for another’s benefit. As such, I’ve decided to take a little more control over such a situation by creating a few quotes from me that are, for all practical purposes, open to the public.

Feel free to utilize any of the following quotes without my permission, completely out of context, and for any of your financial/social/personal gains. All that I ask is that you remember cite my name when using them.

Quotes from Matthew Fugere:

“You can’t sell babies at the grocery store these days, and I think that’s a shame.”

“I’ve never used that finger before.”

“If you can smell a raccoon in your bathroom, you’ve got a serious problem with your neighbors.”

“Can’t believe it’s 4 o’clock already and I’m not even drunk. What’s the point of Disney World?”

“You don’t tell me where to buy canned goods with Canadian money.”

“I’m out of order? More like you’re taking my order! Suck on that!”

“Still not sure what Tumblr is for.”

“If I’m not allowed in the bathroom to change this baby’s diaper, then I don’t see the point in even having an AutoZone in this town. No, it’s not my child, per se.”

“Latin is bullshit.”

“Greek is bullshit.”

“English is bullshit.”

“Carpe shut up.”

“My dad likes sports, so there’s no need to call me a homosexual.”

“Meth isn’t that bad.”

“I only believe in one God: The United States of Tara. Wait, is she The Wire?”

“Feet don’t count as legs, dummy.”

“U is the least manly vowel.”

“Oh fuck me, dinosaurs are so weird when you think about it.”

“I say we send some ducks to the moon just to see how that shit turns out.”

“I say we send more things to the moon in general just to see how that shit turns out.”

“If you make me drink the milk that’s leftover from my cereal, we can’t be friends and I hate you.”

“I bet it’s crazy when dogs eat fruit.”

“When people finally figure out I’m just three bear cubs in a man suit, I’ll get my own reality show on The History Channel.”

“All fat white people can play guitar. It’s a fact.”

“I can go six days without bathing before I notice my own stench. Beat that.”

“One time I met the lead singer of that band Alien Ant Farm at a Warped Tour. He made me uncomfortable.”

“Chickens are pretty funny.”

-Matthew Fugere

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