Dear Chuck Long,
I was on a nice date with a guy I thought was lovely a few weeks back when he made an inappropriate joke about abortion. When I told him my friend had found out she was pregnant at six months along, he commented "man, it would have been too late for that poor guy to even push her down the stairs or punch her in the stomach by that stage". My stunned expression prompted him to say he was joking. But I'm not so sure. I'm yet to go back for seconds. Am I being too harsh to judge him on a one-off off-colour joke? Or is it an unforgivable slip?
Dateless in Sydney
Dear Dateless in Sydney,
Look, sometimes a well timed abortion joke can bring the house down, however in my experience, its best to know your audience a little better before busting one out.
This dude has one of the following problems:
Zero self awareness
Serious issues with comedic timing
If it's problem number 1 you may as well pull up stumps now. This guy will forever be dropping clangers around you, your friends and loved ones - leaving you more often than not having to dig yourself out of holes.
Imagine exchanges like these with friends / family:
YOU: “please don't take offence, he was only joking”
FRIEND / FAMILY: “Im not sure Granny's wake was the most appropriate time to mention that he could see her minge through her funeral dress”
Problem number 2 is a little tougher to measure..
We've all been on plenty of dates where we're shitting fishing line trying to keep the mojo rising, looking for any shaft of light to cling to. In our desperation to appear witty and confident the comedy radar can become askew and before you know it you are turning the most innocuous topics into what you think is sheer hilarity, more often than not, completely misjudging your target audience:
Mentioning that you think cats are the spawn of Satan to a cat lover = yeah slight uncomfortableness, but relatively easy to dig yourself out of that one when you mention that your aunty is a cat lover and has appeared on shows like 'Today Tonight' showcasing all 97 of hers.
Suggesting that your friend's partner should toss her down a flight of stairs in order to do away with a foetus = a little tougher to dig yourself out of that one.
Issue number 3 is a complex beast..
if a bloke is lacking a little in the confidence department or is in some way, shape or form insecure, then sometimes, an outlandish statement or joke is a means to show a little bravado, a technique to blow you out of the water before he is.
This first date inappropriateness grenade has clearly rattled your cage (not necessarily in the most positive way Chuck Long may add), but it has served to create the smoke screen that the insecure bloke so desperately craves. He has come across as a little brash, a little cocky and a little dangerous on the first date. It may or may not break him, but it has got you wondering and asking for second opinions.
If this guy has low grade insecurity, the inappropriate and bombastic gags should subside as he becomes more confident in your company. On the other hand, if your date has a full blown confidence issue, he will forever be lobbing explosives as a means to jack himself up. If this is the case, suggest that he reminds you of a bloke you used to know with a really small dick and end it.
The problem that you have is that all of the aforementioned character faults are often hard to pick on a first date.
Chuck Long advises that you give this joker a second crack at the title, BUT make sure you throw on the lab coat, slide him under the microscope and thoroughly dissect his comedic DNA makeup..
A couple of tests:
Zero self awareness – wear some combination of the following on your second date
black jeans, black shoes, white socks
tight leggings with grannie knickers so that you have a full VPL (visible panty line)
if he mentions anything about your outfit or appearance the minute he lays eyes on you, he has zero self awareness (although he scores points for a solid sense of fashion).
Full blown insecurity - ask if he's put on weight. If he starts patting down his shirt and puffing out his chest or immediately switches from beer to water, spin on your heel and get the hell out of there.
Chuck Long waits in anticipation of your findings.