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Apr 26, 2021

44 Questions Better Left Unasked (or Unanswered)

If silence is golden, today’s column may make you rich

By Ed Goldman

As we travel along life’s highway, we learn there are some questions better left unasked, such as, “Why is life called a highway? Is there a sudden metaphor shortage?”  

Some of the following questions may also be better left unanswered. Here are 44 of them—some of which have actually been asked of me, some of which I foolishly asked. 

  1. Are you pregnant, or what?
  2. What’s Jell-o made of?
  3. What are tennis racket strings made of?
  4. Are sweet breads really sweet breads?
Edgy Cartoon

Will there be pep rallies?

  1. How does the Electoral College work exactly?
  2. Does it look as though I’m losing my hair?
  3. Did you mean to lose all that weight?
  4. Is it me or have you put on a few pounds since I last saw you?
  5. Don’t you think “W” will be remembered as one of our greatest presidents?
  6. What movie star do you think I most resemble?
  7. I know you’re firing me but can I get a letter of recommendation?
  8. I know you’re breaking up with me but can I get a letter of recommendation?
  1. Would you like to hear the other verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner”?  
  2. Has anyone ever noted the facial resemblance between you and Mitch McConnell?
  3. Do you consider yourself to be “woke”?
  4. Why hasn’t anyone ever produced an all-white version of “Porgy and Bess”?
  5. Why hasn’t anyone ever produced an all-white version of “Flower Drum Song”?
  6. When you watch “Citizen Kane” tonight for the first time, will you let me know when you figure out that Rosebud’s the sled?
  7. Did you know your spouse finds Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz sexy?
  8. What kind of AIDS do you have, the good kind?
  1. Seriously, when did you start wearing the toupee, which looks very natural?
  2. Does this outfit make me look even fatter?
  3. Do you like living in a place this small or was it a budget issue?
  4. How many “sick days” a year come with this job?
  5. If I quit this job, can I give you a check and take the computer or would you rather, you know, just give it to me?
  6. Seriously? This is your company’s executive suite?
  7. What’d you pay for your facelift, and do you feel you got a good deal?
  8. These are your parents? Didn’t you say, “My parents are dead to me”?
  1. Have you always been this washed-out looking in photos?
  2. Have you ever had one of those Rudy Giuliani moments when your hair dye kind of runs down your face?
  3. Do you have a larger TV in another part of the house?
  4. So, is this the first time you’ve cooked for a large group of people?
  5. Are you related to the guy who went on a killing spree in Ann Arbor a few years ago or do you spell your name differently?
  6. Is this what they consider medium-rare where you grew up?
  7. Is it annoying to live with some of these paintings?
  8. How much money do you make these days? You can adjust for inflation if you’d like.
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  1. When someone calls you a Jew, is that the word your people prefer?
  2. When did you realize you’d never be a professional pianist?
  3. Are you sure you’re pronouncing your cousin’s name right?
  4. Were you surprised you could afford a home this expensive on your salary?
  5. Is your cat as stupid as most of them are supposed to be?
  6. Did you get a discount for choosing this color for your car?
  7. Isn’t traveling first-class on Air France kind of ostentatious?
  8. Where did you learn to make love like that?

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).