Lately I've found that I do things unconsciously while I'm reading. At work I was proofreading a document for quite a while. I got up to use the bathroom and noticed in the mirror that I had been apparently gouging a groove in my forehead with my thumbnail while proofreading. On other occasions I've caught myself twisting my ears while reading; afterwards my ears were all red in the bathroom mirror. Solution: Quit looking in the mirror.

If you've ever been on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, maybe you've seen a guy with a face painted silver and wearing silver clothing. At first there was just one silver man, standing perfectly still on a box, and I believe he had a container conveniently placed where people could contribute cash for whatever his solo tableau was worth. Later another silver guy or guys dressed in the same way, across the street, but I think they used music and robot movements in their act; I never stopped to watch. Last week I stood next to one of those guys on the morning train to work. Fun fact: His silver clothes smell like they've never been washed.

I was getting ready for work and checked out the condition of my pants before putting them on. There was a hole worn through the seat of the pants. How long had they been like that? I'm sure I wore those pants a couple weeks earlier. Supposed comments from fellow commuters waiting on the train platform: Gee, if it weren't for the gouge in his forehead, the red ears, and the hole in the seat of his pants, that old man would look pretty friggin' suave.

Dear Mr. Answer Man

Dear Mr. Answer Man,
Why do I keep seeing news stories about competitive eating? Where do people get the idea to do this stuff? I saw one where a guy ate 50 hot dogs in ten minutes.

Dear Gary,
It's all from the Christian faith. In a Bible story known as the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus ate one hundred loaves of bread and seven fishes in one sitting. And since He did it on his birthday, it was a Christmas miracle. Thank you for your question.