Slip of the Tongue

weekly advice from Pepper Mackay



Dear Pepper,

What happen when you're dating your boss's son, who's 17 years old and a junior in high school?

-Dating Son of Who's the Boss


Dear Who's,

What happens is you're skirting illegality twice simultaneously. The legal minimum is 16 for what you're doing to that kid when no one else is around, and, although there might be sexual harassment laws about dating your boss, I don't think there's really anything on the record about dating his son. You're managing to stay just on the legit side of the thin blue line that separates the likes of us from the sort of people who smuggle mammoth tusks out of Siberia to sell on the black market.

Furthermore, the only way you could probably turn this against the law is to either date his younger brother, or his dad, or both, in which case you might as well go on Springer before they toss you in the Ladies' Prison.

Still, even though I don't think what you're actually doing is against the law (and I could be wrong), it's still pretty distasteful. Not only are you dating someone younger (presumably) than you, but you're also dating your boss's son! I mean, what happens if you ditch work and then call up your boy-toy to go hang out in the community college parking lot? You'd have to sneak him out the window, so your boss doesn't realize you're a slacker. And what happens if you're doing it in a park, and you both get arrested for public lewdness? That's going to be even more embarrassing than usual in work the next day.

No, you definitely shouldn't date your boss's son. So, to aid you in kicking this habit, I now present the 8 ways to say no to dating your boss's 17-year-old son.

1. Say "No Thanks" ­ "I'm flattered, R.J., but not until Hell freezes over."

2. Give an Excuse or Reason ­ "I would go out with you, but you look like a creepy miniature version of the balding 52-year-old man who ogles me at work every day."

3. Broken Record ­ Repeat daily ten times, "I will not do the guy who's younger than me and the spawn of the person who controls whether I get fired, I will not do the guy who's younger than me and the spawn of the person who controls whether I get fired..."

4. Walk Away ­ Quit your job

5. Change the Subject ­ Ask out your boss's son's best friend

6. Avoid the Situation ­ Start hanging out at the high school that your boss's son doesn't attend

7. Cold Shoulder ­ Ignore those hot family photos on your boss's desk

8. Strength in Numbers ­ How many other people at your work are not dating this kid?

It's hard to do, but with some perseverance and any class at all, you can avoid dating your boss's son. Just say no to dating your boss's 17-year-old son!



Dear Pepper,

During the past eight month, someone's been stealing everything that's not nailed down at my workplace. Everyone there are my friends, and they're the only ones who could've gotten in to do it, so I don't know who could be doing it?

-Stolen Dreams


Dear Dreams,

Well, if the only suspects are your co-workers and you, and none of your co-workers could have done it, then the only remaining suspect is you.

"But Pepper," you say, "I couldn't have done it, because I don't remember it!"

A likely story. Assuming you're not lying, though, if you're the only one who could have stolen these things, and you don't remember it, you must be doing it subconsciously.

Sorry to say it, but you're a kleptomaniac.

It's a tough habit to kick, kleptomania. Especially when you're so good at it that no one's caught you for eight month, not even yourself. You must have the rare kind of kleptomania where you not only steal these things subconsciously, but sell them on the black market and then spend the money on booze and guys, subconsciously also. Have you noticed yourself waking up in the morning with a hangover and a strange man in the bed next to you, and then noticed Post-Its missing from work that same day? That's one of the classic signs.

Here, then, for your benefit, is the 8 ways to say no to kleptomania:

1. Say "No Thanks" ­ "Thanks for the offering of pocketing that case of Wite-Out, my subconscious self, but I'd rather not."

2. Give an Excuse or Reason ­ Get in charge of selecting the supplies for your office, and then choose sucky ones so that there won't be as much reason for you to subconsciously desire to steal them

3. Broken Record ­ Just keep not stealing stuff over and over

4. Walk Away ­ Quit your job

5. Change the Subject ­ Start stealing stuff from stores instead

6. Avoid the Situation ­ Chop your hands off

7. Cold Shoulder ­ Get rid of your desk, your chair, your computer, and just sit in an empty cubicle

8. Strength in Numbers ­ Make sure no one else in your office is a klepto too. If they are, squeal on them, so that there won't be any other kleptos around to pressure you into it.

Just say no to kleptomania, and don't date your boss's 17-year-old son either.