The following is presented with appreciation for The Beatles by Bob Spitz, which provided the answers below.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: What are the renter’s options when a landlord won’t sign the darn lease? I’ve been waiting two weeks, and the owner’s receptionist says that he’s on vacation. When he gets back, then he’ll sign. I don’t think he’s trying to cheat me, but the attitude here seems one-sided. Until I have a signed lease, I don’t know I have an apartment.
Dear Dangling: Water. Those who were drawn to it—the seafarers to whom the infinitesimal lap against a bow and the white blown spray prefigured a window on the world, the merchants and craftsmen who plied goods from the North and Midlands into commercial dynasties, and the dockhands and laborers bred to keep the machinery moving—allowed the mystery of the Mersey to lay hold of their imagination.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: My left foot has been itching for a while, and creams don’t seem to help. The itch is mainly on the top and front of the ankle. The skin there gets red but not really hard. The itch goes away after that, but it comes back if I watch television for a while. Does my condition sound serious?
Dear Anxious: The river, with its dark, brooding magnetism, drove the city as if throughout its existence it had been waiting for a subject as pliant and as pure as these shores, those spiny timber docks, that rim of sea.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: Can a printer be serviced with proper safeguards for the owner’s privacy? I’m worried that my last few attempts at printing will come popping out of the machine. No need to detail the contents here, but I’d like to avoid embarrassment.
Signed, On Guard
Dear On Guard: This wasn’t a typical Lancashire shoreline, fashioned for pleasure boats and sunbathers, but a remarkable seven-and-a-half-mile natural harbor studded with chocolate-dark rock that clung to Liverpool’s lofty townscape like a dressmaker’s hem.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: Whew! The Big-neglected stains in my bathroom sink shrug off ordinary cleansers. Is there any product you can recommend that would tackle the problem without undue risk of corrosion? If you can’t recommend a brand, a class of products will do just fine. I’m especially worried because the sink is marble and has some cracks.
Dear Seeking: Lives begun together ended apart, as happens everywhere, even in pop songs.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: Believe it or not, but my girlfriend says I’m a bad person because I won’t upgrade my blender. I buy a cheap one every year and throw it out when the gears get overloaded. She says that adds to waste in the environment. But I don’t want to deal with a higher price tag or complicated instructions. What’s my move?
Signed, Thrifty and Cautious
Dear Thrifty and Cautious: But the Beatles were no longer just boys who had played rock ’n’ roll. They had been mere babies when it all happened; when the band split, McCartney was all of 29 years old, John and Ringo 30, and George, 27. But on reflection, on the radio, on vinyl and cassette and CD, they became not kids, not a band, not anything like anything else.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: A dear and valued friend has the habit of making what I consider uneducated remarks about people of various groups. How do I stop this without putting her on the spot? Let me stress that she is a dear friend.
Dear Loving: The Beatles. A vastness of talent, of charm, of genius, incomprehensible, an ocean like the one four boys once looked out upon, peering west from the hills of Liverpool. And from them, a flood of song and love and pain and beauty, a flood that cascaded out of the Cavern and Hamburg and London town, into the world, a flow that pushed aside what had come before, that cleansed and battered and in the end nourished.
Dear Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography: My neighbor insists I saw his fender-bender with a mutual friend and that I’m keeping quiet to avoid trouble. I was too far away, but good luck getting him to see that. How do I get my point across and, hopefully, make some peace between the three of us?
Signed, In the Middle
Dear In the Middle: Water.
—Ask the Opening and Finish of a Really Big Beatles Biography is a steal of The Onion’s “Ask a...” feature, which usually concludes with boilerplate saying the supposed column appears in more than 250 papers nationwide.