It’s time for my regular Q&A column, the column where I address letters and answer questions instead of doing actual research. I’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions into a generic Q&A column.

Here we go:

Q: Dear Sean, I am 2,198 years old and I hate you. You have a social platform you could use to bring social change, and yet you won’t speak out against [fill in the blank]. You are a worthless, spineless worm.

A: First off. Worms are not worthless. Spineless, yes. Worthless, no.

Q: You’re still a worm.

A: Shows what you know, Mister. Worms are responsible for life on earth. They help the earth supply food which makes life on this planet possible.

Q: What?

A: You heard me. For starters, worms clean contaminated soil by a process wherein micro-organisms consume and break down environmental pollutants converting them to non-toxic molecules. This process is called “bioremediation.”

Secondly, worms break down and recycle organic matter within soil, fertilizing the earth and ensuring the topsoil is supplied with nutrients which are essential for the growing of food.

Q: You’re still a worm.

A: Maybe so, but have you ever seen those little mounds of dirt on top of the soil? They’re called worm castings. Literally, “worm poop.” Worm poop is the byproduct of this recycling process. This worm poop contains five-times more nitrogen, seven-times more phosphorus, and 1000-times more beneficial bacteria than the original soil, which is essential for plants to thrive. Simply put, without worm poop the organic world would cease to exist.

Q: Huh. I never knew that about worms.

A: Neither did I. I just looked it up on Google.

Q: But, what if the critical reader above had called you a “spineless turd” instead of a “spineless worm”?

A: Google has nothing positive to say about turds.

Q: Dear Sean, how do you remember interviews with people you write about? It seems like you write about people you’ve met in public. Do you keep notes? Do you have a photographic memory?

A: I’m sorry, I’ve already forgotten the question.

Q: Sean, you are from Florida. Why do you live in Birmingham now? What made you choose to move?

A: I moved to Birmingham because this city has more breweries per capita than actual capita.

Q: I am a very fundamentalist person and I sometimes like your writing. But I don’t like it when you write about beer. Why must you always push that envelope? Don’t you know that it breaks God’s heart?

A: Beer hasn’t always been sinful, you know. That’s a pretty new concept. And it’s an almost exclusively American idea. For the first 1,800 years of Christianity devout people consumed alcohol which often came in the form of Boone’s Farm.

And let me tell you, friend, Boone’s Farm assorted wine flavors will destroy your life. If you so much as look at a bottle of Strawberry Boone’s Farm you will be sick for 40 days and 40 nights.

I do, however, understand what you’re saying. And I sincerely apologize for offending you. I, too, was raised as a fundamentalist. Southern Baptist, actually. So I get it. The mention of beer can be offensive to some. Especially when you mention beers like Natural Light, Keystone, Miller Lite, and Mick Ultra which are not beers at all but the byproduct of worms.

Q: Why do you write about the topic of mental health all the time?

A: Because it’s a lot more fun than writing about, for example, the IRS.

Q: Can you be serious for one moment?

A: This has yet to be determined.

Q: You write about depression pretty often. Is depression something you’ve gone through yourself?

A: Yes. Although I don’t know if you ever go “through” depression. Meaning, I don’t think true depression is like the common cold where it suddenly goes away and you’re all better.

I think certain people have depressive tendencies, which are the results of either personality, trauma, or circumstances. But to answer your question, yes. I have been depressed before.

I grew up in a fractured home of abuse, suicide, and general crappiness. Depression is something I’ve struggled with all my life, from age 11. Right now, I’m good. But I haven’t always been.

The only reason I’m doing okay right now is because very wise and loving people have helped me get through some pretty hard times. That could all change if my life circumstances went to pot. In which case, I would need to depend on strong people to help get me through.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Yellow.

Q: Favorite movie?

A: It’s a toss-up. Between “Music Man” and “Dumbo.”

Q: “Dumbo?” Really?

A: If you have ever watched “Dumbo,” there is a scene where Dumbo’s mother is imprisoned and little Dumbo visits her. The song “Baby Mine” is played, and Dumbo’s mother rocks him like a baby. If you don’t cry at this scene like the little wretched sinner that you are, you have no soul.

Q: Favorite TV show.

A: Andy Griffith.

Q: Favorite candy?

A: Werther’s Originals.

Q: Favorite food in general?

A: Anything at a Southern Baptist potluck.

Q: Dear Sean, I am a writer. Will you read my poem and give me some feedback?

A: Absolutely. You are awesome.

Q: Wait. You probably say that to everyone.

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Why?

A: Because you ARE awesome. You need to believe that. Moreover, you don’t need anyone to tell you how great you are. You don’t need anyone’s validation except your own.

And who cares what ONE person thinks about you, anyway? They’re just ONE person with ONE opinion. And you know which orifice of the body they say opinions are like, right?

Someone’s opinion of you—whether positive or negative—should have no bearing on your life. You are a beautiful human being, you don’t need anyone to certify that. It’s true because it is true.

Q: Even if they call you a spineless worm?

A: Even if.


  1. Diana - April 22, 2023 11:21 am

    Great Q&A! Another question for you. Have you ever watched the documentary How Beer Saved the World?

  2. stephenpe - April 22, 2023 8:09 pm

    Funnier than most of your columns.
    Here is a question. Your fame is growing exponentially, at least here in the south it seems. How does that feel? Are you feeling like you are being pulled in many directions? If you ever get near Jax or Gainesville Fla Im coming to see you, Even Tallahassee.


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