May 25, 2011

Dear Foot in Mouth in Fort Lauderdale,

A little tip for the future: No matter how obvious their plastic surgery is, don”€™t ask people about it unless they bring it up first! Another rule to keep in mind”€”considering your daughter and her friends are going to start getting pregnant”€”is to avoid asking her fat friends when they are due. Foot-in-mouth disease can be terminal; your only hope is to try to anticipate possible situations and have a planned response. I would also strongly suggest just smiling, laughing, nodding, and yes-or-no answers when you have to interact with the plastic wife at the wedding.

The future mother-in-law is obviously interested in how she looks, so maybe give her a spa day that includes a special cutting-edge massage that will rid her of all free radicals. I would avoid giving clothing, because if you buy the wrong size that could cause even more undue strife. Maybe she is into the Dalai Lama or Buddha and you could offer her a trip to a temple to meditate for a week. Whatever you think up, ask your daughter first. Do not do anything”€”and I mean anything, not even flowers and a note”€”without reading the note to your daughter and making sure the plastic wife is not allergic to flowers first. And don”€™t even think about giving her plastic flowers”€”that’s a bad move no matter how you look at it.


Dear Delphi,

Without going into too many complicated details, my brother managed to steal money from me by tricking my father into all sorts of shady business deals. What he did was illegal and he is risking jail time if I bring charges against him. I have slight”€”very slight”€”pains of brother guilt because it will ruin him if I take action. He will not even admit what he did was wrong or that what he offered me as a peace treaty was paltry. I have a wife and two children, ages 12 and 15, and this would mean a different life for us if I went through with it. What should I do?

“€”Burgling Brother in Bologna

Dear Burgling Brother in Bologna,

Your brother is a grown man. You are not his keeper. You are in no way responsible for him or his criminal behavior. You are, on the other hand, responsible for your wife and your children, and if you can make their lives better, by all means do it. Why should your children have to pay for a mistake your brother made? You may be a good brother if you don”€™t bring the charges against him, but it would make you a terrible father. Which is more important to you? Your brother broke the law! Would you harbor a known murderer or a rapist in your home? Would you want to have them over for Christmas lunch? Do you want your kids 10 years down the road”€”when they are old enough to care and understand the problem”€”to turn and ask you, “€œWhy, oh why, did you let Uncle Criminal bulldoze you?”€

Your brother made a conscious decision to steal from you! Your brother went so far as to break the law in the interest of hurting you. I consider that an attack and would consider you stupid not to defend yourself. I imagine it is not the first time he has wronged you. Don”€™t let Jewish guilt or Protestant shame get to you”€”defend yourself and send that SOB to jail!



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