Dear Wise Guy,
I’ve been with Douglas, my fiancée, going on five years. Our wedding is two months away, and last night Doug made what I consider to be an unusual request.
Recently, he ran into his ex-girlfriend, Angela. She looked really hot, he said. Doug asked me for “permission” to have sex with Angela, one last time, before we tie the knot.
After that, he said, he would never mention it, or bring her name up again. Doug is a great guy. What should I do? I would hate to make a mistake.
Signed, Lost In Orlando
Just this once, hunh? Don’t you believe it, Sugar. Men are dogs, every last one of us, and Dougie there will have a different floozie every week if you let him pull this crap. Believe that, and tell Mr. Wonderful “no dice”.
Or better yet, tell him he can just go fuck himself.
Dear Wise Guy,
My wife and I are newlyweds, and everything is going great except for one thing. Ralph, my father-in-law, comes over for dinner every other week, and without a doubt he is the most bigoted person I’ve ever met.
Connie—my wife—Connie just ignores him, she’s heard it all her life. But I grew up in a very liberal, left-leaning household. Almost every other thing that comes out of Ralph’s mouth is a racial slur, and it is my home, after all—am I not within my rights to speak up, W.G.?
Signed, Out With The In-law
Werner Herzog once interviewed a man on death row—a guy in Texas, killed his four kids then set ‘em on fire—and Herzog’s there talking to him like he’s not the biggest piece of crap that ever walked the face of the earth.
At the end, the guy says, when I die, you think I’m going to hell? Without missing a beat, Herzog replies, I don’t believe in hell. But I believe people like you are the reason it was invented.
Seriously, Out, if it was me, that’s the kind of cool, the kind of poise, I’d aim for with Archie Bunker there. Sure you’re within your rights. But nothing you say will change his mind, so eat your chicken and mashed potatoes, and pretend you’re Werner Herzog. Pretend you're there making a documentary about bigotry, and hatin’ haters like Ralph. It’ll give you a little distance.
Or if that doesn’t work, you can always tell your father-in-law to go fuck himself.
Dear Wise Guy,
I’ve been reading your column for a long time. You seem to be an intelligent man, and you give some good advice. But you spoil it by ending every reply with a “tell so-and-so to go fuck themselves.”
That doesn’t seem very “wise”, to me. In fact, it just seems bitter. Couldn’t you try being a kinder, gentler Wise Guy?
Signed, Worried In Wichita
I’ve read your letter several times, and I want you to know I thought about it long and hard before I answered.
True enough, I can be a little harsh. A little abrasive, at times. I wasn’t always this way. Sickly as a child, I was delicate and fragile as if my heart was made of crystal. Consequently, I was picked on by the other boys, ridiculed and mocked. Their schoolyard taunts swept through my soul like desert winds, left it hard and brittle.
Still, deep down, I suppose there lurks a kinder, gentler Wise Guy; a spider’s web is delicate, too, but also enduring and strong.
Maybe that ol’ crystal heart of mine can shine, like sun on the morning dew. Maybe you’re right, Wichita.
Or maybe, you should just go fuck yourself.