Put away your Hershey’s and embrace some turkeys because Halloween has made way for Thanksgiving season. The climate is cooler, the stakes are higher and those repeated weeks of missing “just one more class” are finally catching up to you. If it ever seems like you’re barely ambling by like a puppet on a broken marionette, have more confidence in yourself! At least you aren’t doing as badly as the person who submitted a question for this week. 

Dear Doolino,

It’s your boy Uncle Kracker. I was supposed to perform at Homecoming before I got sidelined with a different project. I was wondering if you could help me “Krack” down on an issue that has been plaguing my life. 

There I was, sitting on my patio at my Michigan estate, when I saw a small squirrel approach me. I tried to go in for the pet, but he scurried away, scared, probably a-“Krack”-nophobic. As the squirrel ran to a nearby hill, he looked back at me wistfully. I could see in his eyes that he wanted me to follow. I ran in hot pursuit and named him Gregory.

The squirrel led me to a deep grotto in the nearby woods. We descended for what seemed like hours in pitch blackness. The only sounds I could hear were the rhythmic pitter-patter of Gregory’s little paws and the roaring water in the distance. 

Eventually, we reached level ground, where I saw them: an entire colony of hundreds, maybe thousands, of squirrels, all circled around a horde of walnuts. One of the squirrels, an older-looking one with a comically miniature walking cane, approached me and started speaking to me telepathically. I was taken aback, suspicious of the sinister aura in that crowded underground vault of rodents. 

“My good man, we are an intelligent race of squirrels, ancestors of a once prosperous civilization. Here, we have assembled our true progenitor’s secret treasure: a large pile of walnuts. However, evolution has been unkind to us over the generations, and we seem to be unable to efficiently open all of these special nuts,” the elder squirrel directly communicated to my consciousness.

“This is where you come in. Let’s get “Kracking” then, shall we?” he added.

Those were the last words I remember before the squirrels bound me with rope, a smidge on the tight side. They locked me in a sealed container in the grotto and forced me into a lifetime of labor cracking walnuts for them. 

I don’t even know why they want me to do this. Aren’t squirrels biologically adapted to cracking nuts? I’m not even particularly good at it. They can visibly see me struggle to get my nails under the crevices of the shell. They seem to have misunderstood my name to be some sort of testament to my nut-cracking capacities, when really it’s just a name Kid Rock gave me because I’m white. 

I write this note to you on a napkin that Gregory grabbed for me from the outside world. I think he feels guilty for getting me into this situation because he keeps giving me his scraps of walnuts. I don’t blame him. He was just following orders. 

I have been here for one month now. I had to miss the Homecoming concert and have Kristian Bush cover for me instead. Though I will admit my nut-cracking skills have improved, this simply isn’t a life for a former Billboard Top 100 artist famous for “Follow Me” and “Drift Away.” How do I get out of this situation?


The NutKracker

Dear NutKracker,

You know, the moment you canceled the alumni concert I had a suspicion that you had been kidnapped by telepathic squirrels in some bizarre misunderstanding involving a rodent prophet’s secret treasure. Not many people know that the same thing happened to Migos a few years ago as well. 

It is unethical of the squirrels to keep you locked up against your will. At the same time, it might look bad if a white, privileged skeleton tries to dictate what squirrels want to do on squirrel soil. In an effort not to commit to my skeletocentric worldview, I think it best to let the squirrels decide what to do with you. Though it is sad what has happened, you sort of deserve it for chasing a squirrel. 

Either way, the seven undergraduates who actually attended the alumni concert were heartbroken but carried on. Seize your fate as the true shepherd of the squirrels because it’ll probably do you better than your music career.