Be careful what you ask for


Have you ever said something to someone, and the moment it came out your mouth you just wished you could press “Rewind” and stop those words from ever hitting their intended target? You know, those regrettable utterances that just fill your heart with dread and cause you to involuntarily shake as the person you’re talking with just smirks or makes an odd face?

Yeah, I go through that about 793 times a day.

Let me give you a recent example of this unfortunate behavior. I went to a fast-food restaurant and ordered one of their value meals. Before you start, I know, it’s not good for me. And, before you finish, I don’t care. Anyway, the lady behind the register asked me if I wanted fries.

“Don’t they come with the value meal,” I asked.

“Yes. But I didn’t know if you wanted more.”

“How do you know it wasn’t more pickles I wanted? Or sesame seeds on my bun? Or more hair? Or a giant pet squid?”

I knew it was a stupid thing to say. But there it was. Just floating out there. Like Harry Steele trying to wow the crowd with one of his patented knock-knock jokes, it just hung out there in perpetuity. She wasn’t a fan, and I never quite trusted that sandwich when it did come my way.

One of my favorite people for firing out inappropriate comments is my close friend and former Point reporter Sam Harvey. For those of you who don’t know Sam, I’ll preface this by saying he is one of the kindest, classiest and most polite human beings I’ve ever encountered.

But there’s another side to this mild-mannered (former) reporter.

See, for all the positives in character that Sam brings to the table, there’s this one little trait that he has neglected to pick up over time — one small ingredient in the recipe that makes most of us go through the world in as safe and conservative a manner as possible.

Sam Harvey has no filter between his brain and his mouth. Once it enters Sam’s mind, it enters the conversation. And you can sometimes see his face turn gray and hollow as soon as the words begin firing from his mouth.

But I’ll leave Sam alone today. God knows I’ve picked on him enough on this page over the years, and he’s earned the right to get off pretty easy today. In fact, I also will refrain from picking on Bob Bertram’s Hawaiian shirts and man purses, Shaun Lambert’s propensity for digesting more food than the entire population of Kenya, Susan Lyons and her ability to hit 392 yard sales each Saturday and still be home by 7 a.m. and Mark Hardt’s fascination with all things ... nah, I’ll still pick on Mark at some point this week.

See, Mark opened himself up to this some time ago when he asked me why I never mentioned him in my column. I always get amazed at that. If anybody actually reads this thing, they know that being mentioned in here is not exactly a great thing in the grand scheme of things. It’s dangerous for others here, yet there are still some who appear to be suckers for punishment.

Which brings me to Kristen Wehde.

Kristen, Kristen, Kristen.

When one of your dearest friends in the world asks you to mention her in your column, you just have to oblige, right? I mean, it would be rude not to give Kristen her time in the sun, right? Well, Kristen, it is your time to shine.

For starters, I’ll avoid the obvious. I mean, for me to compare you to a duck right here in a newspaper that is read by so many would just be wrong, wouldn’t it? Yes, it would. Therefore, I will not make any fowl jokes at your expense, nor will I stoop to the level of quacking myself up with sophomoric jokes that tackle either your wingspan or the notion that you can’t wear flip-flops because of your webbed feet.

No, Kristen. I will not go there.

There will be no jokes about how you nearly dented your daughter’s head accidentally at an Ocean City restaurant, and nothing at all about how you make your partner of the last 10 years — the innocent and perfect Joe, of all people — quake when you enter the room.

And I will not use this space to tease you about ... Sorry, I couldn’t stop chuckling about the “innocent and perfect Joe” line — I just know that got under your skin.

But I digress.

And that’s all, Kristen. No more. I promise. I mean, it’s not like you’re Mark Hardt or something, and just begging anybody to pick on you at any given time. It was just your turn.

Duck of the draw. I mean, um, luck of the draw.