August 17, 2011


Dear Delphi,

I was at dinner the other night when my best friend’s new Texan love decided to share some appalling jokes. For example: “What do you call a queer dinosaur? A mega-sore-ass.” I was horrified and it is pretty safe to say everyone at the table was as well. There was a very awkward moment of deadly silence with a lot of quick glances and a round of eye-popping staring. I am worried about my friend’s taste in men, but more to the point, the dinner conversation never recovered. Nobody knew what to do and I am worried about ever having to dine with him again. Not that I found the joke that bad, but I don’t want his tasteless jokes to ruin my evening by putting everyone in a bad mood, which it did!

—Offensive Jokester in Cape Cod

Dear Offensive Jokester in Cape Cod,

“The number-one reason women refuse to sleep with men is because they are not attracted to them.”

It is a sad state of affairs when you can’t make a tasteless joke. In the 80s they had books dedicated to the topic. When did we forget that things can be simultaneously offensive and funny? At the end of the day the dinosaur joke is harmless. Are you upset because it is insulting to the dinosaur, the gay community, or because it’s too descriptive and crass? Or do you feel guilty because you want to laugh but don’t think you should? When you are ten, maybe you get peer-pressured into tasting a revolting concoction made by your friend; when you are older you can feel the peer pressure to behave in a PC, conformist way. Don’t let it happen to you; stand up for your rights! The best policy would be to do exactly as you please. If you want to laugh, then laugh. If you want to tell the Texan it is offensive and unacceptable, then tell him so. That would make for an interesting and fiery dinner conversation. Either address it or move on. Whom are you trying to impress by burning a tasteless joke-teller at the stake? Don’t take everything so seriously. If you don’t want to be bothered by the tension he creates, then don’t go out to dinner with him again.



Dear Delphi,

I simply do not know what to do. I have a yellow Labrador named “China” who is 14 years old, and I have always adored her. But ever since my first child came along, I am day by day less and less and less enamored of China. Now she is blind in one eye, is 100% incontinent, is developing arthritis, and is obviously losing it because she recently wandered into the road and got hit by a car. She needs to go to the vet at least once every two weeks. Sometimes I wish she would run away and/or die. I feel really guilty about the whole situation, but enough already, right?

—Dog Guilt in Denver


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