Skip Navigation

Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for What's What and What to Do About It
Book cover for What's What and What to Do About It

Imaginary advice columnist Waldo Mellon offers humor and wisdom as a balm for the anxieties of life.

Dear Abby, Dear Ann Landers... make room for Dear Waldo, the imaginary advice columnist of the woes and foibles of human existence from screenwriter Steve Adams.

"Dear Waldo,
"My moron brother Lance is obsessed with the idea that there's millions and millions of other planets with life on them. How do I break the news to him it isn't so?

"Dear Bruno,
"Before I answer your question, I'd like to point out that there is no such thing as a moron or an idiot or an imbecile. There are only living things that know different things than you know.
"To answer your question, let's take a look at this thing called Life that your brother is talking about. Of course there's a much earlier model of Living Things: Plants. The basic different between Animals and Plants is that Animals are cordless, whereas Plants have to be plugged in..."

"Dear Waldo,
"I have done a horrible thing. It's such a horrible thing that I can't tell anybody. I'm hoping you can help me.

"Dear Anonymous,
"Unless you're born and then die real quick, you will live to do what you think are horrible things. May I take me, for instance?
"Here I am taking my brother's bunny out of the cage and I'm throwing him up and I'm letting him land on the floor. Over and over. It couldn't move its hind legs after that. A few days later my father poured some chloroform on to a rag and put the rag and the bunny into a shoe box and held it tight until everything stopped moving...
"In my opinion we all have a Treasure Box in our heads. It's where we store our essence: The greatest of our great pleasures, our proud moments, and great sorrows. So why not place into that same Treasure Box the most horrible of our horrors?
"Anonymous, answer honestly: which has done a better job of sharpening your focus--the good things you've done, or the bad things?
"And so, Anonymous, that horrible thing you did that broke no laws and hurt no one but yourself? Toss it in your Treasure Box and move on.
"Your fan,
"Waldo Mellon"

Book cover for What's What and What to Do About It
Book cover for What's What and What to Do About It

Buying options

“If you want to read the best writer I know who has a voice like no other, do yourself a favor and check out What's What and What to Do about It by Waldo Mellon, aka Steve Adams. And I'm not just saying that because he has a gun cocked to my temple. I would say it regardless.”

“A unique blend of wisdom, wackiness, and a wry and sincere voice make [Mellon] a real treasure.”

“Waldo Mellon snuck up on me with the tender and generous message that we all deserve more happiness. Along the way, he made me laugh so hard I blew crackers out my nose. This is more than happiness. This is bliss.”

Waldo Mellon has written for television and film for the last forty years from his home base outside Amherst, MA. Three of his screenplays were made into the movies EnvyWaiting for Forever, and No Stranger than Love–– "three screenplays I'm proud of, though not the movies that were made from them." What's What and What to Do about It is his first book. He is currently working on a sequel: What's Death and What to Do about It, and reports being "excited to see how that one comes out."