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Dear Miss Manners,

     I have this acquaintance--let's call him "Mr. J."-and due to some unpleasantness in our past, I find it very uncomfortable being polite to him, on those rare occasions when we do meet socially. You see, first, he shot and paralyzed my daughter, and then he shot my second wife in the head. Naturally, I was very upset with Mr. J., and told him so in no uncertain terms. Our relationship has remained frosty ever since. Some of the officers at the police station I work at feel I'm being rude.

     Am I wrong to feel that it's up to Mr. J to apologize first?

Dear Commissioner,

     Miss Manners finds herself a bit perplexed by your question. Does one suppose that, even in this time of loud talk show hosts, rudeness is acceptable under ANY circumstances? If so, one is severely mistaken. One should be ashamed. Then one should be flogged.

     Were Miss Manners in your no-doubt ill-fitting and improperly-laced shoes, one might well assume that she would be building bridges, not burning them. Miss Manners might invite this Mr. J to tea, or perhaps to a small dinner with friends. If, and only if, such a gesture is rewarded with continued hostility, then it is quite acceptable to fire a solitary round into Mr. J's kneecap. Some unruly guests respond quite nicely to this gentle remonstration, while others insist on making a scene. It's best to have a nice rum pudding on hand, in any event.

      Sir, it is high time you rectified your previous boorish behavior. The past is past. Were your beloved second wife's brains not splattered about upon the floor, we're certain she'd be cross with you over this grave etiquette faux pas.

Dear Miss Manners,

     I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do is sometimes lacking in the proper social graces. I'd like to sponsor a small hero/villain mixer at the School for Gifted Children where I live. However, since some of the school's underage students will be invited, I'm loathe to serve alcohol. Am I wrong to insist that my guests refrain from imbibing while attending the festivities, bub?

Dear Gauche,

     After receiving your letter, Miss Manners must admit that we had a brief moment of panic. However, upon double-checking our lovely Hints From Heloise desk calendar, Miss Manners was relieved to find that the world had not, in fact, reverted to the days of the Neanderthal.

     No refreshing wine spritzers, no sassy gin and tonics? Perhaps you might also ask your guests to hunt down and kill their own luncheon buffet? Mayhap they might also enjoy parking their own vehicle at your soon-to-be-legendary fete? And we're certain that none of your guests will mind the traditional salad fork being replaced with a plastic Spork from your nearest KFC.

     Let me please assure you that while you may indeed be a wonderfully aromatic berserker superhero, you are in all ways a failure as a host in Miss Manners' eyes.

     Finally, allow us to assure you that Miss Manners is, by all accounts, not a "bub," anymore than you, sir, are a gentleman.

Dear Miss Manners,

     I run a comics store, and sometimes I like to belch and I often forget my pants, and I sometimes bring mud in off the streets intentionally to make the floor slippery and I often mock my customers' tastes in comics and it's not uncommon for me to ignore customers while I'm playing Magic: The Gathering and I also enjoy stacking porno mags right next to the comics, and I sometimes read my customers' comics from their subscription boxes and I like to quote comments from "Futurama" to people who complain and I haven't washed in ages. My question is this, am I a cruel stereotype or do I actually exist?

Dear Wizard,

     Miss Manners doesn't answer philosophical questions. Look into your heart, you odiferous vermin. Please forgive Miss Manners, she's been ill. Since picturing you from your letter, in fact.

Dear Miss Manners,

     Oh, I do hope you can help me with my costuming quandary. I'm a superheroine who has not yet made her official debut. Like all superheroines, I am of course an ex-stripper/prostitute with a twelve inch waist and truly monstrous silicone-enhanced breasts. When I decided that being a superheroine was exactly what was needed to perk up my marriage, I ordered your pamphlet, "Miss Manners' How To Kick Ass (And Still Remain A Lady)." From the many costume ideas provided, I selected the one made out of a series of red bootlaces.

     Here's my problem. While the outfit looks simply stunning (passersby often slip dollar bills into the lacing), I worry if it's considered appropriate for the more somber appointments. For example, I'm particularly concerned about all the funerals I'll no doubt be asked to attend. Is an outfit made entirely of red bootlaces appropriate for, say, Hawkman's inevitable memorial service?

     Signed, Puzzled With No Panties

Dear "Panties,"

     May Miss Manners ask what it was like to be born in a barn and raised by wild hogs? Clearly, no other explanation is possible, as no hospital-birthed, human-raised child should ponder such a question for a moment. However, Miss Manners allows that some backwards nations, such as England, may not yet have been blessed with any real sense of nobility. Thus such a question may well be moot there, as we hear that they eat their own dead, without the formality of proper attire.

     Young lady, have they no black bootlaces in whatever backwards kudzu topiary it is you live in? Surely you realize that red is wildly inappropriate for such an occasion. If not, Miss Manners humbly hopes that the next funeral you attend will be your own.

Dear Miss Manners,

     I'm of Irish descent, and my mother raised me to be chivalrous in the presence of a lady. I have a part-time job as a member of the Justice League, and I work with Princess Diana, more commonly known to the world as Wonder Woman. The problem is this; I insist upon opening doors for her when she enters or exits a room. Each time I perform this small courtesy, she hits me somewhere. Sometimes she draws blood. Last week, she kicked me in the groin. Just this past Thursday, she shattered my instep. Am I doing something wrong?

     Signed, the Limping Lantern

Dear Lantern,

     Miss Manners was actually prepared to answer this letter, until her proofreader pointed out that you were Irish.

Dear Miss Manners,

     I have a questions specifically regarding proper etiquette over the Internet. I give you this example. I enjoy speaking with other "fans" at a certain comic-related forum. Occasionally, someone will offer an opinion contrary to my own. In such case, is it polite to call said individual a ****head?

     Signed, At A Loss

Dear Loss,

     Seeing as how this is the internet we're talking about, Miss Manners would indeed be disappointed if you did NOT. However, might we suggest "**********" as a more aesthetically-pleasing and imagery-inducing alternative?

Dear Miss Manners,

     I have a problem and I believe only you can help me. As the premiere super-hero in my universe, I often find that I'm forced into social obligations that are a bit absurd, on the face of it. These are called "team-ups" or "crossovers." The point of most of these "team-ups" seems to be to make me seem incompetent and foolish. I'm often teamed up with the likes of Green Arrow, Plastic Man, and the Atom. Since their alleged "fans" would be upset if I were to solve the case in ten seconds WITHOUT their heroes' practically useless powers, I find that I'm often forced to act like a moron, with lines like, "Thank Rao you were able to hit that Green Kryptonite with your punching bag arrow!" or "Atom, only you can shrink small enough to fit through that keyhole and open the lock on the other side!"

     My question is, don't you think the new artists make me look fat?

     Signed, Kryptonian Sap

Dear Sap,

     Your letter, before it drifts off into pointlessness, reminds us of the cardinal rule of the Useless-Appendage Crossover: Always let them feel that they have a purpose. One never knows when they might become popular. And yes, dear… Miss Manners hates to point it out, but you're become the man of the expanding mid-section. Miss Manners finds it offensive to the eye. Slow down on the grubsack, Porky.

Dear Miss Manners,

      My name is ***** Smith. I make esoteric films, and I wrote Daredevil for six issues over the course of roughly eight years. My question is, am I a genius, or a charlatan? Even I don't know anymore.

     Snootchie Bootchies, ***** Smith

Dear Kevin,

     Surely you don't believe for a moment that Miss Manners would be caught dead seeing one of your over-rated home movies? Never let it be said that Miss Manners would turn away one of our faithful readers empty-handed. Below, please find the plot for your next twelve films. This is of course a service provided at no charge to you, but even in this day and age, a thank you note is looked upon by Miss Manners with great fondness.

     1) Two losers talk about being losers.

     2) One loser acts even more like a loser, thus breaking the loser code.

     3) A woman enters, but is unappreciated by one of the losers.

     4) The losers become bigger losers, and the loser status quo is upheld.

     Miss Manners hopes this is helpful to you…?

     Thanks ever so much to all of you for your queries. Next week, we'll be answering some questions from super-villains who are still incarcerated. Suprisingly, most of these letters seem to revolve around lubricants and cartons of cigarettes.

     Until next week, darlings…


The views of Miss Manners are not necessarily the views of Gail, CBR, or any rational person. You'll All Be Sorry! is a satire published by Comic Book Resources, and is not intended maliciously. CBR has invented all names and situations in its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental, or used as a fictional depiction or personality parody (permitted under Hustler Magazine v. Fallwell, 485 US 46, 108 S.Ct 876, 99 L.Ed.2d 41 (1988)). CBR makes no representation as to the truth or accuracy of the preceeding information.

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