Dr Know It All can answer any of your questions. He just happens to know everything. Dr Know It All selects a few letters from readers to answer each week. Readers should feel free to mail the doctor a question at the Town Crier ([email protected]). The doctor remains anonymous.


Dear Dr Know It All:

I have a friend who is a serious talker. I don’t think he’s heard a word from anyone else for 10 or more years. Usually, the only way I can escape from his monologues is to suddenly run to the bathroom or ask a friend to text me with an apparently urgent message. Is there any way I can reform him, or at least come up with better excuses for leaving?


There are several. First, ask your friend to “hold a minute” while you pull out a steno pad and inform him that it’s all so fascinating that you’d like to take notes. Sadly, you’re a slow writer so it may take hours for you to painstakingly document every word. But keep at it. Soon your loquacious acquaintance will get so bored he will walk away. 

Secondly, try beginning to film a smart-phone video of all your conversations with “Chatty Kathy.” Insist that he (I’m assuming it’s a man) always sit with you to instantly watch the playback. In addition to boring him silly, you’ll have the added benefit of teaching your friend to despise you. 


Dear Dr Know It All:

I feel a little silly but I have a question about my parrot, Paulette. She’s very pretty and a big fan of camembert on crackers, but the problem is she only talks in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep. The strangest thing is that she doesn’t just say the occasional word or two, but repeats entire segments of cable TV news shows. I can be nearly asleep, then suddenly I’ll hear Bill O’Reilly, Wolf Blitzer or Rachel Maddow harping at me, until the next commercial break — don’t get me started on Paulette’s AARP routines — from the next room. Do you have an answer?


Yes. Take away the TV remote.