A Dictionary For These Times

Dear Mr. Martian,

I understand you may be somewhat confused by the topsy-turvy, science- fictive ways you encounter here on our alien planet. I'm hoping this may help you find your way around them.

Affirmation means denial. (Thus, for example, Magic Johnson approaches his life-threatening disease with optimism and good nature. This means he is "in denial." An optimist is only a pessimist who hasn't yet come out. Yes, in short, means no. This is different, however, from the fact that no means yes. That is what men say when women don't say yes to them.)

Challenge means loss. (A "physically...

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