Are you in need of advice? Why not seek some guidance from a man who truly understands such concepts as embarrassment, humiliation, pain and defeat? If you have a question or problem drop Guy a line. If we like your letter, we may display it on this page. Keep in mind that we hold the right to edit any mail we receive. Once a message is sent it becomes the property of the "Ask Guy" Column. Included on this page are just two letters Guy has already received:

Dear Sir Guy,                  Dear Sir Guy,
My humblest excuses  for       My name is Janet and I am 
intruding    on     your       Lady   of    Dunoon,   in 
precious  time,  but   I       Scotland. I am English by
must  have  your  advice       birth,   but  married  to 
on, what  must surely be       Lord MCTough. I have been
in your eyes,  a    very       living       at       his 
peculiar   matter.    My       northern castle  for five 
father,  the  Count   of       years  now,  and   it  is 
Doornesteyn  (that    is       there  where  my  problem 
Doornesteyn in Holland),       problem             lies.
has a  distant  relative 
in England and he wishes       Castle Dunoon has been in
me to pay him a visit so       my  husband's family  for 
that I can be exposed to       over  five  hundred years
some  good old-fashioned       and  he's  awfully  proud 
English         culture.       of  it, despite  it being 
Unfortunately  for   me,       in a  terrible  state  by 
the good   old-fashioned       now.  To put it straight,
English culture includes       the  place  is  damp  and
horses.     Here      in       windy.  This winter being
Doornesteyn, located  on       very cold, our breath now
a  small  island, we  do       nearly freezes  even when 
not use horses but small       we're near the fire. With
boats                for       the snow  from  the  past
transportation.  So  you       week, the  children  were
see,  I   have  had   no       able to build snow men in
experience    whatsoever       the  great  hall, and  at 
riding on  horseback.  I       nights I cannot sleep for
have  tried to  practise       constant       shivering.
on cows  instead.  We do  
have plenty of cows here       My husband's  kin are all
in Holland,  but you can       very  tough   people  and 
imagine how unsuccessful       they don't seem to have a
that       has     been.       problem  with  the  cold,
                               and neither  does he.  He
Since  you  are  such an       won't  give me money  for 
excellent       horseman       extra capes  or have  the  
yourself and since  your       castle  restored   simply
expertise  of horses  is       because  he  is  of   the 
well known  even  beyond       opinion  that it is  warm
England's   borders,   I       enough.  I   have   tried 
turn   to   you   in  my       talking  to  him  but  he 
despair. I  do  not wish       simply  will not  listen.
to disgrace the house of  
Doornesteyn  with   this       What    must    I     do?
little   disability   of  
mine.  I am in desperate       Sir  Guy,   please   help
need of  some  pointers.       me.     I'm     freezing!
In short, my  request to       
you  is  that  you  will          Yours shiveringly,
help  me  bluff  my  way  
onto horseback. I  would          Lady Janet MCTough    
be  so  grateful if  you              of Donoon
would  help me, though I  
do not know  how I could 
ever return the  favour.       Dear Lady MCTough, 
     Marie Elisabeth,          As a man  who lives  in a            
      jonkvrouwe van           cold,  drafty  castle,  I 
    Doornesteyn (Mary          truly   sympathize   with 
    Elisabeth, lady of         your plight. Fortunately,
    Doornesteyn - or Em        however,   the    Sheriff 
   as my friends call me)      hates  the  cold, so I've
                               yet to  see snow  in  the 
                               great               hall. 
Dear Lady of Doornesteyn, 
                               The   trouble   obviously 
You've come to the right       lies  with   your  insane 
man  for advice!  Riding       Scottish   husband.   You
is not an easy  skill to       must  convince  him  that 
acquire, but I believe I       heat is essential. I have
may be able  to give you       devised   a   plan   that 
some of those "pointers"       should  get  that message
you referred  to in your       across.  If Lord  MCTough
letter.   Firstly,   and       will  not listen  to  his
most   importantly,  you       wife,  perhaps  he  would
must  attempt  to  mount       listen  to  a   prominent 
the     horse.     Never       Scottish  duke  or  earl?
approach the  horse from       As you have only lived in
behind, but  the  front,       Scotland   for  a   short 
and  mount  on the  left       time,  you  may  not   be 
side.  In fact,  bring a       acquainted with such men.
trusted servant with you       That doesn't matter.  You
to England. He should be       just need to find someone
strong  enough  to  lift       who  will  impersonate  a
you and brave  enough to       Scottish duke or earl. As 
lead the horse,  but I'm       your  household  expenses 
leaping ahead of myself.       are controlled by an iron
                               fist, you'll need to find
When you are on the left       a  man who  will  do  the  
side of the  horse, tell       deed in  exchange  for  a
your servant to lift you       different    kind      of 
onto the saddle. Perhaps       reward...if you know what
he   can   practise   by       I   mean.  If   such   an 
lifting you onto cows or       enticement             is 
fences. Make sure you're       unsuccessful  (I've never
facing the right way. If       met  you, so  perhaps  it 
you were on  a cow you'd       would be), then you could
be   facing    the   end       order  a servant who your
chewing cud, not the one       husband doesn't know very
leaving clumps of it all       well to play the part. If
over the field. You will       he's  had to live in  the 
be using a  side saddle,       same conditions you have,
so  you  should  try  to       my lady, surely  he'll be
become   accustomed   to       happy    to    volunteer!
one.  If  there  are  no 
side     saddles      in       Now, once  you've found a 
Doornesteyn, you  should       suitable   disguise   for  
study  the  way   Norman       the "duke" or "earl," you
ladies  sit.  If you  do       must  arrange for him  to
not have  an opportunity       pay an  unexpected  visit 
to  study  them,  spread       to  the  castle.  He  can 
your skirts  out to  try       then  exclaim  in a  loud 
to  hide  any  mistakes.       voice   how   cold    and 
If     possible,    your       inhospitable  the  castle 
servant should  lead the       is and  say  that  only a 
horse  by   the   bridle       pack of  barbarians could
(that  device   on   the       live in such a place.  He
horse's  head  with  the       can then  refuse to  stay 
leather straps). If your       and  announce  that  he's   
relatives wish to do any       going  to  tell  all  his 
extensive   riding,  you       friends to stay away from
must      feign       an       MCTough  Castle and  seek 
indisposition.  It could       shelter somewhere else if
be one of  those womanly       they're cold and tired. A
diseases,  such  as  the       peasant's hut would be  a
one my  secretary  keeps       vast       improvement... 
catching.  Whenever  she
is suffering  from  this       If   this  plan   doesn't 
disease, she  refuses to       work,  I  suppose  you'll 
do anything because it's       have  no  choice  but  to
"that   time    of   the       return to  England again!
month".     Of   course,
lately, it's  been "that
time of the month" every 
day of the month, so I'm
beginning    to     grow
suspicious.   I  suspect 
that she contracted this
disease  many  years ago 
and  never  recovered...
   Sir Guy of Gisburne
P.S. Don't worry too much 
about  how you'll  return 
this "favour". I'll think
of           something...

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