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UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day!

Q. Dear Umbra,

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I just finished drinking a soda—actually, I still have a sip or two left but wanted to go ahead and email you, so I’d have an answer by the time I finish it. What should I do when the can is empty? Yes, I know I can just recycle it, but it’s really not my style to take such an easy way out. I’m more of a road-less-traveled kind of guy. Should I bury it? Fill it with water and drop in a couple goldfish? Lambast myself for having bought a soda in the first place? Cut it into tiny pieces and decoupage a lamp?

Your friend,
Zack M.
Bayside, Calif.

A. Dearest Mark and all my beloved readers,

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soda canIn order to further the mission of one of my many mantras, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” I’ve decided it’s high time I reduce the number of words I use in this column and the amount of time I spend on the Internet, phone, and out in the field hunting and gathering for information to answer your queries. Thusly, I’m opting to henceforth condense my responses to a simple link, which will answer all your burning questions. So for you, dear Mark, cliquez ici for your answer. More info for you, more shuteye in the stacks for me.

Nap timely,

Q. Dear Umbra,

What’s the deal with the climate bill?

Slaterville, Utah

A. Dearest A.C.,

Here you go.


Q. Dear Umbra,

Long-time reader, first-time writer here. I get really anxious whenever I go to the bathroom, even to just blow my nose, because I know I’m going to be using toilet paper, water (to flush the toilet and wash my hands), soap (hand washing), and paper towels (hand drying). It all just seems so wasteful. What can I do to alleviate my anxiety?

Jesse S.
Belding, Mich.

A. Dearest Jesse,

You’re welcome. Or there’s this one. Take your pick.

Bonne chance-ly,