I read somewhere that dolphins are the only animals (besides humans) who engage in gang rape. Is that true? And if it is, should I remove the dolphin posters from my daughter’s bedroom walls?
I am facing a similar situation. My teenage son fancies himself an artist. To that end, he has hung up a very unsettling print by M. C. Escher on his wall. There’s just something about a hand drawing itself that I find unsavory. But you have given me a great idea. I am going to tell my son that M.C. Escher was a rapist.
I recently discovered that my fiancé is a cat burglar.
I have no problem dating a criminal, but does he have to use such ridiculous 1950s terminology? I imagine him going to work dressed in a black turtleneck and an eye mask and a bag with a big dollar sign written on the side flung over his shoulders. How should I tell him that I’m losing all respect for him?
Grand Rapids, Mich.
I’m sorry, but I stopped reading after I read the word fiancé. Lady, what are you trying to prove? Does the word fiancé need to be used, ever? Boyfriend or serious boyfriend suffices just fine. People who drop French words like fiancé or joie de vivre are the real criminals, not your interesting-sounding boyfriend.
My husband is a terrible author. He’s been working on the same novel for almost a decade, and I’m so tired of reading his “latest revision.” I just can’t fake it anymore, and he gets suspicious when I claim to have a headache or eye cramps. How can I avoid his sloppy prose while also sparing his feelings?
Guilty Wife in Baton Rouge
Dear Guilty Wife,
You think the fact that he’s bad is the reason you hate reading his stuff, but it’s not. When I carried on my decades-long affair with Tom Wolfe—you should’ve seen the two of us, nattily dressed in matching white suits—he always asked me to read his work. It was dreadful. It got to the point where I had to put down Chapter Two of The Right Stuff and say: “They go to space, they don’t go to space, I don’t care anymore!” And he’s a good writer. It’s torture. I would check in to a women’s shelter.
I’ve been living with my boyfriend for eight years and my family still thinks he’s my roommate. I don’t know how to be any more obvious. We sleep in the same bed, for god’s sake. Do I have to give him oral sex in front of them before they get it?
Sioux Falls, S. Dak.
Are you acting recognizably gay? Are you a flamboyant, emotional wreck like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage? Or petulant and muy caliente like Hank Azaria in The Birdcage? Or are you basically a swarthy straight man, but gay, like Robin Williams in The Birdcage? Emulate these iconic gay fixtures. “Gayge” (wordplay) your gayness, and then just kick it up a notch (Emeril). Everyone loves this movie and your parents will soon get the picture.
My bass player wants to break up the band because we’re all turning forty next month and he thinks it’s not awesome to be playing Cheap Trick covers when you’re forty. How can I tell him he’s wrong, so wrong?
Still Awesome in Cleveland, Ohio
Dear Still Awesome,
In Donald Justice’s famous poem “Men at 40,” he talks about this very phenomenon. I don’t remember it word for word but I believe what he says is that your friend closes doors softly now, and also that he probably wants to stop playing with your band because he’s bent on killing himself, and he wants to be alienated from as many people as possible prior to the act. If it sounds like a kick-ass poem, that’s cuz it totally is.
I’ve told my mistress that I intend to leave my wife eventually and run away with her. But she has to understand that I have no intention of doing anything of the kind, right? I mean, anybody who has been on this planet for longer than a month knows that cheaters don’t mean anything they say. If we did, we wouldn’t be cheaters. But somehow I don’t think she gets the implied and unspoken agreement of an extramarital affair. What should I do?
Dude, you totally have to kill her. I only have a cursory understanding of this type of situation but I’ve seen movies like Match Point and I Am Legend and I know how hard it can be to be in an adulterous relationship, but I also know a man can live alone for, like, years and years, if you store food and only go out during daylight. Kill her!