Abby's life must be really easy because she can make any problem into practically nothing! For example:
"Report your sister to Child Protection Services. It could be the wake-up call she needs."
"Have a discussion with your 16-year-old daughter about why she feels the need to lie about everything."
"Try volunteering for your local hospital or baking a cake for a family in need. That should help you get your mind off your problems."
"Go to counseling."
People must know this is the kind of thing an advice columnist will tell them if they write in, even if in a real live situation, it might sort of be impossible to call Child Protection Services on your own sister. And volunteering at a local hospital? Actually, I don't even need to volunteer at a hospital because I am so easily distracted from my problems that I already forgot what they were. So thanks for that, Abs. And quit smoking? I bet whoever asked the question wasn't expecting that one! I mean, everyone knows professional advice-givers love smokers, second only to serial cheaters and insensitive atheists.
In light of this, I find myself wondering: what is it that makes people write to advice columnists? Are they hoping, in some small, secret, highly irrational way, that the columnist will somehow do the dirty work for them, and they won't have to actually go and quit smoking themselves?