You're young. You're confused. You wanna do the right thing, but man, is life a mess sometimes! In other words, you're All Twangled Up. Fear not -- Spanky is here to help: a man with no home, but with volumes of home-spun wisdom. A man with a classified past, but a very public future. Part lounge lizard, part backwoods preacher. A guy who knows the ropes, and how to untangle 'em, too. Got a problem? Spanky's here to help.

We can't guarantee his advice actually will help, but it's sure to take you down interesting paths. Email your queries to Spanky and end (or deepen) the confusion!


Letter of the Month
this site sucks. u didnt answer 1 of my questions, u need to get a life. u need to take this off tha web. good bye

Nick Cassella

Gee Nick,

A. I don't answer all the questions because I do have a life.

B. This is the first email you ever sent me-- under this reply address, at least.

C. Judging from your atrocious spelling and 'me me me' attitude, I would guess that you are a spoiled brat who's difficulties in life spring from a propensity to cut corners and failure to appreciate the details and finer things in life. You often sit around sulking about your lot in life, and think all your problems would be solved if those around you would change to suit your needs. Well take a look inside and figure out what you can do to take a proactive approach to improving the things that bug you.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

Quiet Time
Dear Spanky,
I have a boyfriend and we're fine together, but the problem is that we don't have anything to say to each other on the phone and I love phone conversations, but he's a very quiet person. What should I say to him to make our conversations more interesting? Besides "How was your day?" or "What are you doing?"

NEEDY TEEN (Jennifer)

Jennifer the needy teen, I must tell you that I'm not much of a phone guy myself. Most guys aren't. All I can say is think of the stuff you'd say if you were face to face. Ask him his opinion about thing's yourinterested in or things he's interested in. Topics can range from TV shows to world politics. Talk about your plans for the weekend and so on. Like I said, I'm not much a phone guy myself so I may not be much help on this one.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

Date Ideas
Dear Spanky,
I have this girl that i am dating, and it is going really good. We do all the boyfriend/girlfriend stuff, but i think that something is missing. I want to be able to take her on dates that she will NEVER forget! But all i can think of is going out to eat, and to a movie. Please give me some really cool ideas for dates that she will never forget

Thank You

Dirt track race
Roller derby
Frog giggin'
Monster truck rally
Pro 'rassling
Penetrators show (might require fake IDs)
Any sports event, really
Disney on Ice

It doesn't really matter as long as you two have fun together. You don't even have to go to something you like. Go to some of the events listed above and make fun of the people in attendance. Look in the paper forspecial events coming through town. Shoot, you may even find out you're roller derby fan after all.

Have fun and Happy Reverbs!

Workin' Up The Nerve
Dear Spanky,
There's this girl I really want to ask out, but I don't have enough time.She's in to of my class's and I want to ask her before the Halloween dance. What should I do?

Josh 11


Sorry this is late and no good for you concerning the Halloween Dance. I've been tied up and you'd be surprised how many "All Twangled Up" e mails I get.

In the future, you just have to suck it up and ask the question. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no. That's just the way it goes. Remember that in cases like this, if they turn you down, it's still better to regret asking them than regretting not asking and torturing yourself with the "what ifs" forever.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

No Boyfriend Again
Hey spanky i need serious help i like this guy at school and on valentines i gave him a pink carnation and it meant secret admirer. When the teacher annouced him name ''Geoffery'' the teacher said who it was from ''Julie''every one laughed at me.I really like him but he don't like me.I don't have a boyfriend because this guy ''Alex''was going out with me because he had gotten dumped and he asked me out and i said ''yes'' then he dumped me for the same girl who dumped him.So i don't have a boyfriend.I go throughthese stages that i like different boy all at the same time what shall i do???????I dont know how to get a boyfriend know


First off, don't get in a position where you feel you have to have a boyfriend. You'll just attract the dregs of society that will crap all over you like "Alex." Just bee bop through life and if a cool guy comes along great. If not don't worry about it. Revel in your freedom.

Also, you really should work on your grammar.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

More Than Friends?
Dear Spanky,
I'm a 17 year old guy who told his best friend who is a girl that I've liked her for a long time. So I later found out that she likes me too. We hung out at my place on halloween and established that we were going out. I was so pumped! Anyway when it was time for her to go I had a feeling that she wanted to kiss so I made the attemped and right before our lips touched she said that it was too weird. I totally understood because we've been friends for 3 years. Anyway I was dropping her off at her house when she asked me if i wanted to do something in a couple of days. Naturally i said yes. Before she got out of the car she wanted to try kissing again and we did but it was difficult to get into postion so it wasn't all that good. So tonight she came over, sat down and said that we should be friends again. I was shocked because she told everyone that we were going out and she was really happy. I asked her why and she said because it's just too weird. She didn't even give me a chance. Four days isn't much of a chance for us to even realize what was going on. So now i'm in a difficult postion of going back to normal. We have this connection with each other. I don't know what to do? I will tell you this "I will always like her a lot and if she ever changes her mind about the situation I'll be right there. So I guess my question is, how should I act when i'm around her? Should I still drop hints that i like her or should i just be like I was before we went out?

You definitely have the ingredients for a fine bowl of awkward soup there. Sounds like you two did too much planning. Falling in love is like a last-minute road trip. You don't call Triple-A for map beforehand, you just get in and go. There's no way a kiss will be worth a damn if you discuss it beforehand. You have to let it happen when the moment sweeps you up. But never fear, you didn't make an uncommon mistake, or something that can't be overcome. One night when y'all are alone watching TV or something, hold her hand, caress her knuckles and whatnot, then ease into a kiss. Don't ever say a word, and ease into it slowly like a hot bath. It may take 30 minutes to an hour to get to the kiss but what your doing is gradually getting used to the idea and building the anticipation.

Of course, keep in mind that dating will change the whole relationship.Probably for the best at first but the risk of ruining the whole thing in time is pretty high.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

Same Story, Different Names
Dear Spanky,
This is kind of a long love triangle. See, I liked this guy, and I told him, and he said that he'd like to go out with me. Then we didn't see each other for awhile, and now he's going steady with a good friend of mine. That's fine, I'm over him, but that's not my problem. My problem is, that my friend tries to use use him to get me to do things for her, 'cause she thinks that I'll still like him. I do, but just as friends, and I'm pretty hurt that she's using me. I haven't known her that long and I've already helped her though quite a few "crises", so basically, HELP! I don't know what to do! It doesn't look like people sign their notes, but I'll sign mine.


Well Betrayed,
I'm not sure I understand exactly what's going on but I get the gist of it, and details aren't important anyhow. Basically if you think this friend of yours is manipulating you because of this guy I'd call her on it. Let her know you'll be there if she needs you but don't try to manipulate your emotions because you don't have any for the guy. That's just kinda insulting. My basic philosophy is to be honest but use tact.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

Literally The Boy Next Door
Dear Spanky,
This guy has lived next door to me for about 5 years now and our families are really close so we've grown up very much together. "Nick" is a really introverted guy and last year I decided that I wanted to be his friend - for a few reasons, 1, he didn't have many friends to begin with, and 2, his self confidence was low and I wanted him to be happy. So I started talking to him more, hanging out with him on the weekends, and writing him notes - just little things like that. Then one day 6 months ago it dawned on me that I really liked him as more than a friend.

I was embarrassed to admit it at first because, well, he's not the most popular guy around, but I'm over than now and I don't care if the whole world knows....but anyway... In, I guess, June, we found out that the feeling was pretty much mutual when we just kind of ended up holding hands. It scared him and he said that he didn't feel anything, but then later admitted that he had liked me all along...blah,blah,blah. We hooked up, he went out of town for 3 weeks, comes back and he ignores me like we had never even considered having a relationship.

There is the first question - WHY WOULD HE HAVE CHANGED HIS MIND SO EASILY? Well, so since then I think that I love him and he knows that I really really like him and sometimes he acts like he likes me and sometimes he doesn't. I can't keep guessing b/c I end up getting my hopes up and then getting hurt. I don't know what to do, but like I said, it's been 6 months since I first started feeling this way and my feelings have only gotten stronger for him. I really think he might be "the one", but I don't know what to do about getting his real opinion about me - whether he feels the same way and is too shy to admit it or if he just likes acting like he feels the same way, but really doesn't. PLEASE HELP!!!!

From what you've told me, this guy sounds like he's terrified of opening himself up. I'm only speculating here but he may be affraid of what would happen if you two went out and then broke up. In most cases, you can just ignore the "x" in the halls at school but that gets tougher when the "x" lives next door and your families are good friends. That may not be the problem, and I'm not saying it's a good reason if it is, but it's something to consider.

More likely this guy just has cold feet. You said he's pretty shy to beginwith so he probably does a good job holding his emotions in. All you can really do is talk to him and try to get to the root of the problem. It sounds like you're a pretty level headed girl with your heart in the right place. If he can't see that, move on until somebody comes along that can.

Good Luck and Happy Reverbs!

And They Called It Preppy Love
Dear Spanky,
I like this boy at school. He knows. Well we talk on the phone and everything. He said before he would go out with me because I'm preppy. Well on the phone said I'm preppy sometimes. but I don't mean to be preppy I told him. How can I not be so preppy?

Don't worry about. Sounds like he likes the way you look. No matter what you do or how you dress, you're going to be tagged with a title. People like to pigeonhole things because it makes life easier for them, and they don't have to think so hard. Thank your lucky stars you're no hippy. Then we would need to talk seriously.

A Question Of Chemistry
Dear Spanky,
I'm a 19 year-old male who has become very interested in my female classmate. We attend the same Chemistry class and are lab partners. We've gotten to know each other a little bit, but I'm unsure whether or not she likes me enough to accept an invitation to go out. Sometimes she'll laugh at bad jokes I make, but at other times, all I'll get is a brief 'hello' when I pass her in the halls. One day she disclosed to me her grandfather's cancer and the next day we hardly spoke. Part of it is me, sometimes I'm open and easy to talk to, and at other times, I get very nervous and can hardly speak. Anyways, I'm ready to ask her out, I'm just not sure if I should. We are lab partners, so if she declined there would be this awkward tension between us for the next four months, but I feel guilty each week that passes where I haven't asked her out.

Also, if do ask her out, how do I say it? I'm partial to humor, but if my invitation needs to be serious as well, I could use some advice. Thanks.

Ya know, when in doubt in cases like this, It's always better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't. You need to go ahead and ask her out or you might regret lost time you could have shared together. To avoid any future awkwardness, I'd suggest asking her to accompany you to an event you're planning to attend with or with out her. Be it going to see a band or a school function of some sort. Present it in such a way that you thought she'd enjoy going and you thought it would be fun to go together. This gives you an out of sorts to brush it off if she turns you down as well as opening the possibility for a great new landscape of opportunity.

Having said that, I still believe the direct approach is still best. It leaves no questions and you know where you stand afterwards.

Three-Year Itch
Dear Spanky,
Hey man. Please help me if you can (btw, I'm a boy) This is my problem:
I moved to a new school 3 years ago, and I saw this beautiful girl in the next class. I thought she was very beautiful and cute, but I didn't came near her or anything.I also had a class with her on my first year, but I never talked to her. Well, now, 3 years later, I realized that I'm kinda in love with her and I wanted to do something about it (start talking with her or anything). The problem is, I don't know how. I can't just come to her and say "hi" after I haven't spoke with her the last 3 years (it would be easier if it would be the first time I saw her). I don't have any more classes with her, and I see her only on breaks and sometimes in the library. I know one of her friends, but when I spoke with her and asked her to get me some info, she told me (a few days later) that the girl I love isn't looking for a relationship or anything, and that she had an older boyfriend (she's 18 and her x is 22), and that she prefers older boys. I didn't took it seriously or anything, or decided to give up. I dunno how her friend can help me more than she did (only discouraging me). So I know what to do, I just don't know how to do it. So please help me, 'cuz I'm really desperate. Thanks in advance

You've got a tough nut to crack there. This chick "only likes older guys" in large part due to the prestige involved with being able to tell the whole school about it. This guy could have been a complete bozo but who would know because he's not around to prove it? Anyhow I won't go into to all that.

You're desperate so you're going to have to completely out-flank this chick. The most important thing to remember is not to show your hand. If it's called pull one out of your sleeve. First thing you have to do, no matter what, is get to talking with her.

Start saying "hi" when you pass her in the hall. If she's in the library sit down at the table with her and strike up a conversation. I'd be willing to bet this chick likes talking about herself, so make a comment about something she's wearing or has on her keyring or something. Now the common misconception is to say "That sure is a great sweater" or something like that. Don't be gushy.

If she's wearing a striped shirt, ask if her Dad works for the NFL. The idea is to throw her off and give her something completely different from what she's used to hearing from guys. Get her off her game, saying something that she has no pre-planned comeback for. She'll most likely say something like "huh?" Then tell her because of her shirt you thought maybe her dad was a referee or something. You must say this with a smile on your face or you just sound like a jack ass though. Move on from there, ask her name whether you know it or not and introduce yourself. Then tell her you like the shirt even if her dad doesn't work for the NFL.

You have to open the lines of communication before anything will happen. And you have to give her a reason to be intrigued by you. Also, don't fret about being at school for three years and not hitting on her until now. Make her believe you haven't noticed her until now.

Hopefully this helps.