Sage: All right, so the red blinking light means that we’re on. See? I don’t need the young ‘uns! I can do this all by myself.
Sage: Hello darlings! Welcome to the first episode of ‘Ask Auntie Sage’. As many of you are aware, my name is Sage Solanaceae Harper and I am resident Agony Aunt here in… well I’m not really sure which world I’m in right now; the edges sure do blur! Tonight, I shall be answering some of your questions, live and uninterrupted—
Wyatt: Mum, I’m heading to Becky’s party now.
Sage: Hush, Wyatt! I’m live to the people!
Wyatt: Huh. So you are.
Sage: Don’t act so surprised! I set everything up by myself and I can already see the view counter ticking up. I’m not a completely decrepit old woman, you know.
Wyatt: Yeah. You know this is pointed at your feet, right?
Sage: It is?
Wyatt: Totally. One second… there we go. Hey there, people! She has a face!
Wyatt: Awesome. The guests are fed and I’m off – don’t wait up!
Sage: Oh… oh no, darling, it’s sliding back down again.
Wyatt: Yeah. Looks like the catch is broken. I’ll fix it later.
Sage: I can fix it.
Wyatt: By hand?
Sage: How hard can it be? What if I fiddle with this—
Wyatt: OK, so now you know not to fiddle with that.
Sage: Oh bother! I don’t know how to use these things at all. Who am I fooling?
Wyatt: Literally no-one. Bye!
Sage: Please, darling. Will you operate the camera? This session will only take an hour or so and I will be so grateful.
Wyatt: But the party—
Sage: It’s only 7pm. What’s the rush to go? Is Becky—?
Wyatt: Nope, no. She’s not a love interest. Noooope.
Sage: Then please. For your dear old Mum? For all the people watching? Pretty please.
Wyatt: Ugh! Fine! Whatever. Not like I need to have a life or anything.
Sage: Welcome! I’m Sage… blah blah blah. Let’s get on to the first question, shall we?
Sage: Our first question is from Agravaine Orgueilleus du Bois – I do hope I am pronouncing that correctly! – they write: “Dear Auntie Sage, I find myself in a predicament. My niece and nephew refuse to listen to me. How to I make them fear the Watcher and get them back in line?”
Wyatt: You could try backing off and letting them have a life.
Sage: This isn’t ‘Ask Uncle Wyatt’, darling. Please be quiet.
Sage: Now, Agravaine, let me tell you a tale. It was about 1700 and I was around eight years old—
Wyatt: You were eight in 1700? Are you sure?
Sage: Of course I’m sure I— Oh. Oh bother! Yes, of course… I meant, it was around 17:00 hours when I was eight years old which was… I don’t know, around 1940? Regardless of the precise times, I was spending the evening, like most evenings, with my minder, Ma.
Sage: I wasn’t always the calm and charming woman you see now before you. I was something of a brat I realise now with hindsight. I didn’t want to listen to anything Ma ever had to say to me. ‘You’re not my mother!’ I would yell at her. ‘You can’t control me!’
Wyatt: Woah, wait are you really suggesting that Aggro- Aggivibe- whatever their name was hangs their niece and nephew up by their underwear?! Mum, that’s… woah. They’re not living in medieval times.
Sage: Come to think of it, I’m not sure that I ever listened to her even when I was strung up by my bloomers. Moving on.
Sage: Our next question is from Kellie Heffner. They write: “Dear Auntie Sage, the other day I accidentally overheard this conversation between two ladies in the grocery store. One of them was very excited because she managed to fish out ‘a particularly well-shaped cucumber’ from the bottom of the crate. ‘Not for a salad’ she said to her friend. What could she possibly mean? What else can you use a cucumber for other than salad? And why does the shape matter?”
Wyatt: Shit, really? Really ‘Kellie’?
Sage: Language, Wyatt! Children could be viewing this!
Snuffy: I hope not.
Sage: Apologies, Kellie. My son can be rather overdramatic. Where were we? Cucumber, grocery store… oh yes. “Why does the shape matter? I tried to ask my dearest friend Tony. He was staring at me for nearly a minute with one of his typical unreadable expressions and then said he needed to fix something in his bedroom. I know he only cares for his beloved pasta, but he could at least admit he didn’t know the answer! Sage, you’re my last hope to ever figure out what cucumbers are used for other than a salad. Please help!”
Sage: Now, I must admit, Kellie that I gave this question rather considerable thought. My first alternative use was alongside a refreshing face mask…
Sage: …But then I thought – ‘why would the shape matter if one was to slice it to wear upon one’s eyes?’
Sage: As I pondered, I began to understand that the tapered, cylindrical shape of a cucumber could lend itself well to a series of creative uses around the home.
Sage: A toilet plunger, perhaps.
Sage: A rolling pin, in a pinch.
Sage: Or a weapon against night-time intruders.
Wyatt: OK… that was remarkably tame.
Sage: And of course, one could always use it as a sex toy.
Wyatt: Next question!
Sage: It goes without saying that one should not attempt to consume the cucumber after these alternative activities. Except the last, that could be fine—
Wyatt: Next question or you’re on your own!
Sage: Oh fine, but everyone was thinking it. Moving on.
Sage: “Dear Auntie Sage, I address this question to you not as a life coach, but in your capacity as an experienced Vampire Hunter.” Experienced vampire hunter? How can one hunt vampires, my dear – they don’t exist. One may as well be hunting unicorns—
Sage: Gracious moon! More technical issues, Wyatt? And they say that this new-fangled nonsense is supposed to make the world easier. Ahem. “In a situation where a “mundane” vampire, as far as those beings can ever be called mundane, had been able to feed off a witch or witches, is there a danger of them being capable of wielding some of the victim’s powers?” No, is the short answer—
Sage: Pies? Wyatt…? Is that you playing silly? Wyatt? I think… was that an echo or… ahem. Where was I? Well, this is a very interesting question and very Halloween-themed! I shall play along for you but no, a vampire could not absorb powers from a witch.
Sage: Lies? What? But… they couldn’t! A witch’s power is gifted from Mother Nature, as She defines and it cannot be wielded by anyone other than another witch!
Sage: But… I… vampires, if they existed, infected as they would be with such a vile curse, could not wield the pure gift that is nature’s raw magick, it would be incompatible. Magick cannot occupy one without a soul–
Sage: Wyatt?! This isn’t funny!
Wyatt: I know! I just totally missed the pan. What did I miss? What happened to the lights?
Sage: I don’t know I… I think a fuse blew. And oh— Oh, they’re back. It must have been a… a power cut? A series of power cuts. Perhaps?
Wyatt: Oh? Camera stayed rolling. Maybe the Watcher forgot to charge her laptop. So, what question are we up to?
Sage: Um we are.. we… um. Oh, the last one.
Wyatt: You alright, Mum?
Sage: I’m fine; don’t fuss. Right, question, question. This final question was submitted by Mork. They write: “Dear Auntie Sage, I am having a Hallowe’en party this year but I have no idea what food to serve! Everything I prepare is just too cute and pretty! What would you recommend?”
Wyatt: Finally a normal question.
Sage: With an easy answer! Mork, simply clear your counter, wave your hand and—
Wyatt: Mum! Ixnay on the, uh, spellay.
Wyatt: Mork has to cook. Y’know, using ovens and pans and um… colanders?
Sage: Oh! Oh my good gracious, yes you’re right. Oh dear. Whatever under the moon will I… Wyatt, any advice?
Wyatt: Nope. I literally survive on pizza and noodles when you’re not around.
Sage: I see. In that case I’ll need to consult… someone else. And I need a breather. We’ll be back after this short commercial break!
Wyatt: But we don’t have any commercials to run—
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Sage: And we’re back!
Wyatt: Who the heck is ‘Seth Grimm?’ and why are you promoting his puzzles?
Sage: Never mind that. Now, back to the question. Dearest Mork, whereas I am a splendid cook, I’m afraid that when it comes to catering for the masses, I am just as clueless as you. So please welcome my special guest, Barbara Bucket!
Babs: Um, how did I get here? What am I wearing?
Sage: Babs, can I call you Babs? Welcome to—
Babs: Who are you? Is that a camera? Am I on camera?
Sage: You’re, um, dreaming Barbara.
Babs: I am? Then where’s Thorne Bailey?
Sage: He’s… touring. So, Barbara, I have a question I was hoping you could answer, seeing as you are quite the expert at creating horrific foods, apparently.
Babs: Excuse me?
Sage: Mork asks, ‘what would you recommend serving at a Halloween party?’
Babs: This is the weirdest dream ever. Why is there a hobo operating the camera?
Wyatt: I’m supposed to be a zombie.
Sage: That’s my son and that outfit is quite smart by his standards.
Babs: I see. And you want my catering expertise? OK, well while I wait for Thorne to arrive in this dream, I might as well. Catering depends very much on the type of party. What type of party is Mork having? Is it a children’s party? A formal dinner party? A cocktail party?
Sage: Oh I don’t darn know! Cocktail party, let’s just go with that.
Babs: In that case it’s easy – make canapes! They are little finger foods for those of you who are not familiar. They are simple to make and easy to eat when you have a cocktail in one hand. A very simple canape recipe – and one that always disappears very quickly when I offer it to anyone at my PTA meetings – is my signature jam and horse bite.
Sage: Jam and horse? What a peculiar name. Why do you call it that?
Babs: …because that’s what it contains.
Wyatt: What the f—
Sage: Right! Well, we hope that answers your question, Mork! That certainly sounds horrific!
Babs: Don’t you want the recipe?
Sage: We would love it, but—
Wyatt: —we’d sooner starve—
Sage: —We’re out of time!
Sage: Thank you to everyone who submitted a question; apologies if I didn’t get around to answering yours.
Sage: Please tune in for the next episode and thank you so much for all your support!