July 06, 2011
Dear Dumb, Doomed Daughter in Dallas,
Treat your little girl as if she were an innocent, doe-eyed four-year-old and explain to her, step-by-step, the dangers of her naiveté. Try to draw comparisons that her little pea-size brain will be able to grasp. Does she put her seatbelt on in a car or use condoms? Is she educated enough to understand the concept of insurance? You buy insurance for your car and your house. Actors even insure body parts. So why on God’s green Earth would you not buy marriage insurance? Nobody plans on driving into a Mack Truck or wrapping their car around a tree, but it happens, and when it does it will be a damn bloody mess if you were too arrogant and stupid to make a Plan B and buckle up. If your love-stupid daughter wants to risk it all for the guy behind Door #2, your only hope is to scare her to death. Failing that, take the money back while you still can!
FAILING TO MOURN MY MOM
My mother died and I have been elected as the child that will speak at the funeral. I have been told I am the best public speaker in the family. That’s total bollocks—I’m just the biggest pushover. The truth is that my mother was a horrible person, and not one of the four of us has a nice word to say about her. But one of us, lucky me, needs to stand up and say something, and I have no idea what to say in my speech. As The Beatles said, “HELP!”
—Speechless in Somerset
Dear Speechless in Somerset,
I don’t see why you have to be an insincere liar just so an obviously undeserving person can have a nice eulogy. Unfortunately in this PC-sick world, you risk offending the ninny-nannies by telling the truth. We are all told as children never to tell a lie, and as an adult few things are more offensive than someone looking in your eyes and lying to you. If you want to take on the PC ninny-nannies, tell the truth but try to avoid obviously offensive phrases such as “mean bitch” and opt for a more subtle “strong-willed.” Instead of saying, “I’m glad she’s dead,” say, “We’re all happy she’s in a better place.” You could always not write a speech at all but read a passage from a book or a poem instead. I am sure you can find a passage about good versus evil, the meaning of life and death, or what it means to be a good mother. If you play it right, you can get in some subtle digs against your mother while still making everyone happy. A final option would be to say your mother made it very clear that nobody except the priest was to speak at her funeral. Keep in mind that your potential speech has no real meaning, so try not to get too wrapped up about it. It is a simple formality. Whether or not you give a speech, her soul will still be trapped in a fiery abyss for the next trillion years.