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Pythia Defool’s advice column, “Ask Roger,” was a mainstay in the Chattanooga Tribune from 1976-1983. It was later renamed “Ask Pythia” following the landmark Supreme Court Case, Lady v. Florida, which granted women the right to have their names appear in print. Dear Pythia is a revival of her classic advice column and is composed in beautiful downtown Tampa Bay. For advice, email

Dear Pythia:

I’m an employer seeking to hire a new employee. Recently, a promising applicant confirmed his interview and then proceeded to not show up. He claimed to be in a car accident. This is the fourth interviewee to cancel because of an automobile incident. What can I do differently?

— Frustrated Employer


Dear Frustrated,

Your frustration is understandable. Hell, it’s your first name! Ever consider going by Ted?

Ted, the first step towards resolving an interpersonal conflict is understanding the other person’s perspective. Let’s take a drive down empathy lane to see why your applicants are fabricating bogus claims about car accidents.

It’s the night before your big job interview at the Preparation H factory and you’re antsy like a hyena covered in fire ants. To calm those itchy nerves, you pop into your neighborhood watering hole. “Norm!” the patrons cheer as you walk in the door. Coach greets you with one of his dissociated salutations typical of early onset dementia. You order a beer as Cliff, the e’er uniformed, yet ne’er working, mailman regales you with his usual hogwash. You down nameless beer after nameless beer until you become incontinent and blackout.

You wake up behind the wheel of a stolen Ford Taurus careening through Chinatown. You’re wearing a feather boa, your mouth tastes metallic and there’s a gun in the passenger seat. What’s that?! The road is blocked by a stalled school bus! It’s full of Mensa scholars! They’re late for the Science Olympiad! Not today, God!! You veer into an adjacent community garden. As you thump to a halt, butternut squash shrapnel flies through your windshield. You’re whiplashed and bleeding. You definitely can’t go into your job interview looking like this.

Ted, now that we’ve driven a mile in your applicant’s shoes I recommend you delete your job posting, change your phone number, and scale back your operations. People are a liability.



Dear Pythia

Pythia Defool was conceived during the Dust Bowl and now lives in the Whispering Oaks retirement community just west of Memorial Park Cemetery in Tampa Bay. She’s excited to contribute to The Prompt.

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