Not too long afterward, Pumpkin returned to the Counseling Center and rushed toward Little Miss Hood with another bright idea.
"Little Miss Hood! I've got another great idea for the school paper: 'Ask Dr. Love!' "
Little Miss Hood didn't even look back at him. "Who's Dr. Love?"
"I am! I'll be dispensing common-sense advice to kids about their tormented romantic lives!"
Little Miss Hood looked revolted. "You?! Are you insane?!"
"No, I'm not insane, Hood, and the fact that you said that reflects the utter desolation of your own emotional landscape!"
Cripes... Little Miss Hood thought.
"See? That's a column right there!"
Twenty minutes later, Little Miss Hood finally agreed. The compromise would be that she would be his supervisor and he could borrow a book from her concerning love, romance, and friendship: The Essential Guide To Familiar Quotations and Sayings.
"You've got mail."
"Oh, ho! I have an e-mail!" Pumpkin said excitedly. "Ask Dr. Love is officially in business! Excuse me, Little Miss Hood, but some poor soul needs the wisdom and understanding only I can provide!"
The letter said:
Dear Dr. Love:
An advice column in a school newspaper is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
You rival in intelligence
Pumpkin answered back:
This was not one of my better decisions, thought Little Miss Hood.
Soon Pumpkin got another letter.
Dear Dr. Love:
There is this really cute guy in my math class. I mean, he is a total hottie! Should I ask him out?
That depends on a wide variety of factors. First of all, how hot are you?
"You know, you can be replaced by a crossword puzzle," said Little Miss Hood darkly.
Dear Dr. Love,
Help! My boyfriend just broke up with me! I'm so sad! I love him so much!
Pumpkin looked through the book Little Miss Hood let him borrow for help on this one. Finally, he started typing.
You say you love him. But remember, there's a thin line between love and hate. Also, love means never having to say you're sorry. Plus, love is a many-splendored thing. And of course, love is blind.
Little Miss Hood sighed. It may have been a mistake to give him that book.
And Pumpkin got yet another letter.
Dear Dr. Love,
My girlfriend and I really enjoy board games. Every week she comes over and we play Candy Land, Monopoly, etc. But lately it seems she is getting bored with the same old games. What should I do?
Pumpkin sighed and wrote back.
Get a life...Or perhaps a Yahtzee!
Later, Pumpkin and Little Miss Hood left the Counseling Room.
"Listen, Little Miss Hood," said Pumpkin as they walked, "I don't want you to tell anyone that I'm Dr. Love!"
"Why not?" Little Miss Hood replied.
"Because remaining anonymous helps me maintain my integrity!"
"Did you read 'Ask Dr. Love' today?"
Pumpkin and Little Miss Hood turned to see two girls.
"Of course! Ask Dr. Love is the best!" said the second.
"I'm dying to know who Dr. Love is!" said the first.
Pumpkin called out to them. "Ladies! YOO-HOO!"
Gag me... thought Little Miss Hood angrily, and walked away. Although Pumpkin didn't know it, she had officially given up on him and his idea.