Dear Mister Answer Man

Dear Mister Answer Man,
Should I tell a cute girl that her big ears remind me of a cartoon character?  I mean it as a compliment. 
Pierre T.

Dear Pierre, 
I don’t recommend it. In four out of seven cases it results in the girl crying, in my experience. 

Dear Mister Answer Man, 
I heard that Taylor Swift is giving up her career to become a ventriloquist. She’s going to have a ventriloquist dummy who’s a sassy girl named Lil’ T. Why would she do that?
Katie Z.

Dear Katie, 
I think anyone in show business would welcome the chance to work with Taylor Swift; she’s very popular. 

Dear Mister Answer Man,
I was walking south, carrying groceries home on a Sunday morning. The street was empty and it was quiet. Ahead of me a man in a black leather coat was also walking south. When he got alongside the auto dealership he hopped over a little divider and walked between two cars where he came up to a guy in shirtsleeves standing there. You could only see them from the shoulders up. They faced each other for just a second and then separated. 

The guy in shirtsleeves crossed the street, got into a car, and drove off. The man in the black leather jacket went back to the sidewalk and continued south. At the next building there were bushes planted out front and the man walked over, grabbed a little shrub, yanked it out of the dirt and dropped it on the sidewalk. Then he kept walking south. 

I stood there until the distance between us increased and then I went home. What should I have done?
Bill McC.

Dear Bill, 
Anything else would have been much better: (1) Yell, “Hey man, you scared those other shrubs pretty good!” (2) Yell “Freeze! Landscaping Police!” and watch him jump. (3) Yell “Hey mister, put that back!” and stand over him while he shamefully repairs the damage he caused. 

Dear Mister Answer Man, 
My mother, in her advanced age, tends to worry about everything. To counteract this, I exaggerate how good things are when I write to her. I recently had a physical exam and everything was fine. To describe this event to my mother, I said that I was found to be so healthy that the doctor’s staff was inspired to carry me on their shoulders around the waiting room singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Is there any downside to shading the truth in this way?

Dear Reggie,
It’s possible that your mother will require ever-increasing levels of wonderfulness in your stories to prevent her worrying. The next time you mention finding a good parking space you may need to add that the parking lot contained the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, led by Sir Georg Solti who rose from the dead just to honor your good fortune. As long as she believes you, no harm done.