Ask Giz: Scratched Records, Ass Tattoos, and Cellphone Fetishes

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An unfortunate electronics-based ass explosion. A confused lad with dirty vinyl. A relationship doomed by a ringtone. This week's questions tortured us for minutes, but we recovered. And we came up with answers.


First in our inbox: a foreign student in need.

I am a messy student living in Belgium, and I love listening to LPs on my moderate/shitty audio system: It's comprised of a 10-year-old, 80-watt amp, a $40 preamp, and a 30-year-old Panasonic turntable I inherited. Some weeks ago a given Grooteclaes fell off my wall and onto the turntable while it was playing a valuable LP. Glass was everywhere, but the record looked OK. I cleaned up, and tried to play the record again, but the needle kept bouncing off the disc. I sprayed some compressed air on it, but nothing changed. Here's my question: Since there might be some glass particles inside the grooves, would it not be dangerous to wipe it down?

Grooteclaesed in Geraardsbergen


At first we thought a Grooteclaes was a mythical creature, but then we actually looked it up. Translation for the rest of you: artwork. Hubert Grooteclaes was a Belgian photographer of some regard. So we're guessing that our Belgian buddy had a framed photo fall on his record player.

Dude, you must have been CRANKING that TC Matic.

Anyway, the question at hand is whether the student in question should wipe his record down. Uhm... who cares. First off, Groot, you're right that wiping down the record could damage it further. If you really wanted to clean it, we'd suggest running it under water to rinse the glass out. After that, some enthusiasts recommend attaching it to a drill bit and spinning it dry. Seriously!

But dude, it's a record, and you live in Europe. You have Spotify! Let go of the past and wise up: You have a golden opportunity here. Literally.


Now that you're lacking some wall candy, spray-paint your record gold, hang it on the wall, and pretend you're a successful record producer. Pick up a set of shutter shades and a couple fur pillows, and you'll be KILLIN' it with the Flemish ladies. Of course, you'll probably want to upgrade that hand-me-down stack to complete the illusion. While you're at it, get a shark tank.

Speaking of ass, our next letter is... uh... well... Just read.

A few years ago, my cellphone battery exploded while it was in my pocket, seriously burning my backside. I'm OK, but I do have a scar on my right buttcheek. I want to get a tattoo to cover it up—what should I get inked on my ass?

Please help,


First off, we hope that you sued the pants off of whatever company's phone blew up your ass. (*cough* *cough* LG *cough*) And, with that in mind—and your lawsuit dough in hand—don't you think that a tat is thinking a little small? Go for something cooler. Have a bottle opener implanted in your cheek, or maybe a slot for an RFID credit card so you can just butt-bump the register to pay for the whisky you need every night to ward off the demon dreams of exploding telecommunications.


But OK, it's been a couple years. If you've already spent your settlement cash on narcotics and therapy, you could turn to ink. To address the psycological issues, you should have something permanently etched on your ass that could never explode and cause you harm: So mothers and love interests are out. And a dolphin would just make you look like a stripper. There's only one choice, really: the Zune logo. No Zune has ever exploded—probably because no Zune has ever been turned on more than once or twice.


Finally, we turn to perhaps our saddest reader in need. This poor girl's love life has been twisted into a perverted vortex of consumer electronics. Read on, if you can:

My boyfriend sleeps with his phone. Not just by the bedside, but in the bed. It's kind of understandable because he works on Wall Street and sometimes has to react very quickly to foreign markets, but it gets kind of weird when we're making love. Not only will he not just ignore the phone, but he grabs it and seems to get even more turned on—he makes this face. It's really creepy.

What can I do?
Sleeping with Silicon Valley

Hey Sleeping,

What the hell are you complaining about? Erectile dysfunction is a $2.9-Billion market, and your man's soldier salutes on call for $69.99 a month. Plus you get unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling! You shouldn't just humor him, you should call him. Repeatedly. Does *66 still work? If not, outsource. There are call centers all around the world you can contract to dial his phone repeatedly between the hours of 11:00 and 11:15PM. And remember, that phone vibrates too—get in on the action!


If you're still having trouble accepting the phone as a bedroom buddy, you might think about changing the ringtone. Marvin Gaye is calling; he says to shut up and get busy!

If you have a question that only Gizmodo can answer, well, that sucks. But at least you can email us: We'll address three questions every Wednesday.

Illustration by Gizmodo illustrator Sam Spratt. Check out Sam's portfolio and become a fan of his Facebook Artist's Page.




Professor Gizmodo bashed Zune AND dissed good old records? Giz, I am disappoint.