Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999

Dear Mr. Wonderful,

Recently, this last Christmas morning, I was in a car accident. My car was totaled, but fortunately I found myself unhurt. What happened next though, is what I have been toiling with these past weeks. The other driver and I stepped out of the car simultaneously, our eyes met, and I immediately fell in love. The next few minutes were a bit awkward, I couldn't use the usual line of 'do you come here often?', and it's hard to make small talk while worrying if one of the twisted hunks of metal next to you is going to explode. Also, because I'm trying to bleed her dry with the insurance and am thinking of suing her, I would feel awkward asking her out on a date. What should I do?

Uninsured for Love


Dear Herbie the Love Bug,

Sounds like you're in quite a pickle. Or a jam. Why do pickle and jam mean the same thing when you're in them? Maybe because they both come in jars. But then why don't we just say, "You're in quite a jar there, Hercules?" Aside from the fact that if you literally were trapped in a giant jar itwouldn't do you any good to have your friends point out how ironic it was. The pickle-jam thing could have to do with them both being processes: you can pickle anything, you can make a jam from anything. Unless you make a preserve instead of a jam. You never get into a preserve. Maybe because it sounds so safe. Preserve. Nothing awkward about that.

So, what you do is this: show up at her door with a big bunch of flowers. When she cocks back her fist to knock your lame, sue-crazy head off, quickly explain that you're not who she thinks you are. You are actually your twin brother, and you've come over to apologize for your brother (you) being such a big jerk. Shake your head ruefully. Explain that it's always been this way. You and your brother (you) are very similar, except that he's so darn thoughtless. Continue to woo.

If the deception gets to be too much after the third year of marriage, you could arrange to fake your death. Then when your twin brother (you) who has been in the Congo all this time shows up at the funeral, he (you) can comfort the widow and start all over again. Good Luck!