My very first question as a bona fide advice columnist! (Does having this blog qualify me as "bona fide"?) This came to me from the same person who named this column. (Thank you!) Now, this is a fun question. No one's life hangs in the balance. It's a good place to start. I wouldn't want a life-in-the-balance question right out of the gate.
Although--please excuse the quick side bar--I used to volunteer on a crisis hotline. After 40 hours of training, I'm sitting there with sweaty palms, staring at the phone and waiting for my first call. Ten minutes into my shift, the phone rang. My first live call...my FIRST call...was from a guy who was threatening to commit suicide. Then and there. In the three years that followed, I never got another suicide emergency call. What are the chances? (Oh, things turned out fine, fortunately. But that's another story.)
Point being, a light, witty question is a great way to start.
Dear Here's the Thing ...,
You know how an artifical limb is called a "prosthesis," right? Well,
have you ever seen the movie Radio with Cuba Gooding, Jr.? He wears that
awful set of fake teeth in that movie. That got me thinking -- would a
set of artificial teeth, by this logic, then be called a "prosteethis?"
Your first reader,
Just Curious, Brier Creek, NC
Dear Just Curious,
On principle, I avoid movies featuring Cuba Gooding, Jr. But I suppose taste in movies is not the issue here.
I’m all for the use of clever neologisms. After all, where would we be without “blog” and “truthiness”? So, go ahead and use "prosteethis” with abandon, but be forewarned: until it catches on, most people will just think you don’t know how to spell.
Thanks for being my first reader.