co-nun-drum [kuh-nuhn-druh m]

1. a riddle, the answer to which involves a pun or play on words.
2. anything that puzzles.

I prefer the second definition myself and offer a few recent examples.

Caymus Vineyards in the Napa Valley produces a blended white vintage each year call Conundrum. Back in '96 or '97 it was a brilliant wine. But it changes year to year. I have tried it several times since and never found the sterling richness of that first taste. Much like love and artichokes; nothing ever lives up to your first unblemished memory.

Next, a dilemma in the conundrum sense. You are visiting a friend, who has a new girlfriend, but it is a long-distance relationship. They speak by phone every night by appointment. Now on one particular night, after a long day of household chores, my friend falls asleep around ten. He is curled up on his bed with two cats and a sci-fi book and as peaceful as a well nursed tiger cub.

Question: Do you wake him to make his nightly call to the new woman?

My answer is no. Sleep is nature's way of telling you that you need to, well, sleep. On the other hand, that would be his hand, there is the new babe who might misinterpret his lack of phoneage to be.. what? cheating? change of heart? coronary? This is actually only a conundrum if my friend is a whack job or OCD.

p.s. the girlfriend agreed with my decision, she is my new best friend, he remains an love-sick idiot.

Part Three: My favorite niece. OK, not really my favorite. My niece, OK actually my cousin's sister's kid, but it plays better if I actually know the her; so... My favorite niece, is back with her boyfriend. He got another girl prego, she had the kid, he is not supporting in any way (Yep, she kept it) but he has promised not to do that again.

Now is the correct way to introduce some gentle advice:

A. Jasmine, your mom asked me to speak with you about your present situation...
B. What?! Are you f***ing nuts!!!

Questions and comments can be mailed to:
Dr. Laura
c/o Talk Out of The Righteous Side of Your Mouth Radio