Prompt Images

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:

My husband is addicted to his phone. At night, he stays up scrolling. In the morning, he wakes up scrolling. On the toilet, he’s wiping with one hand, scrolling with the other. I’m not a technophobe, but my husband needs help.

Concerned Phony

Dear Concerned,

Before Whispering Oaks padlocked our doors to deter COVID from kicking its way inside, I would spend my afternoons strolling around Fiesta Plaza. Inspired by Parisian promenades, Fiesta Plaza is a gathering place for academics and artisans who dine with dignity at Happy Fish, China Wok, and Rent-A-Center.

Over the last decade, I watched the intellectual cornerstone of Tampa Bay transform from Raphael’s The School of Athens into a bucket of squirrels dodging bumper cars.

It is fun to play Mahjong on your phone, but it is less fun when you run into your opponent while they are driving a Grand Cherokee. (Most of Fiesta Plaza is a parking lot.)

Your husband’s fixation on his phone is a universal phenomenon, as evidenced by the spike in Fiesta Plaza fender benders. After all, if you had a book containing the entirety of human knowledge and creativity wouldn’t you want to read it?

With that in mind, it is unlikely your husband will stop using his phone entirely because it is such a sweet, darling dopamine trigger. However, your husband can and should cut back on his usage. Try suggesting these small changes to knock him out of his usual scrolling routine:

  1. Read a book before bed.
  2. Set your morning alarm to live radio.
  3. Replace your toilet paper with fly paper.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to remind him that the internet is a tool, and even the finest shoemaker does not sleep with their awl.

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.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more