This year, my wife is dragging me to the home of some friends of hers to celebrate the new year. The problem is that they are total teetotalers, and to me, a day (much less New Year's Eve) without a drink is no day at all! Would it be rude if I took a nice bottle of French wine (OK, maybe two)?? And would a corkscrew and proper glasses be pushing it????
It would indeed be rude, unless you called first and asked whether it would be OK. It is their house, their party, and their rules. If they say no, which would be quite within the bounds of propriety, you should either restrain yourself at the party or not go to it.
I see that every editor these days is trying to copy the tone of the wonderful advice given by the sainted Mary Killen in the Spectator. Tell me, why do you think this is? It can't be because they have no brilliant ideas of their own, can it?
--Yours expectantly,Michael ElliottWashington, D.C.
In recent years, one of my favorite newspaper columnists has become less and less interesting. "Eppie" (not her real name) used to write an advice column. Readers would write her with their questions on life, love, and (usually) microeconomics, and she would give them really great advice, e.g., "Wake up and smell the coffee, honey!"
Lately, however, her readers seem to have decided to become America's Nannies, mailing in all sorts of precatory silliness--"Eppie, tell your readers never to leave a dead fish alone in a car on a hot day with the windows rolled up!" Or, "Eppie, please, please tell your readers not to make fun of fat people, such as Tipper Gore! They're human too, you know!" And Prudence, she prints that stuff in her column! Every &@#^ day! Advice? Fahgeddaboutit, Buster! Prudence, will they ever put "Eppie" out of her misery? Do you represent the next evolutionary step in journalism? Or are you nothing more than this year's Jeffrey Zaslow ...