The Unethicist: Dude Looks/Acts Like a Lady

"The Ethicist" is Randy Cohen's long-running advice column in the New York Times. Each week, Gabriel Delahaye's "The Unethicist" will answer the same questions as "The Ethicist," with obvious differences.

In this week's edition, a woman in Texas is disappointed in her friends, an assistant physical therapist tries to kill a patient for her own good, and a letter from a poor person!

I organized a trip to a pro basketball game for 20 friends, purchasing tickets up front, then collecting the cash from each person. On game night, several did not show up, only some of whom alerted me in advance. I sold those tickets at face value at the arena. Who should get that money? Should it be refunded to the no-shows? Spread evenly among all? — P. J., Texas

Aww, you make me sick.

What does P.J. stand for anyway, Female Genitalia Juice?

Seriously though, are all of your friends shrews and are you married to all of them? Because I could imagine that being married to 20 shrews would sap your manhood entirely. But if you're not married to them, then...I'm trying to find a witty, tactful way of saying this...WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

I haven't actually seen The Vagina Monologues, but now that I've read your letter, it feels like I have. You know, what I mean, The-Human-Incarnation-of-a-Georgia-O'Keefe-Painting? You should take the money you got from the tickets and buy yourself a penis.

I am an assistant physical therapist. A patient phoned to say that she was sick and might be late. My staff told her to stay home, get well and not expose others to her flulike symptoms. She insisted on coming in. I put her on a bicycle and without telling her set it at a higher level than previously, hoping she'd tire quickly and go home. In 10 minutes, she felt horrible and quit. Was it ethical to "deceive" her to safeguard others and herself? — Jon Wingate, Reading, PA.

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHA. I have whatever is the opposite of "a problem" with this.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on curing AIDS. I feel like it would probably involve some heavyweight boxing, internment camps, and a lot of shame.

Our nonprofit agency provides monthly, unlimited-use Metro cards to certain staff members. Administrators want staff to use these cards for business trips only. Would it be ethical to use the cards for personal travel too? — name withheld, Bronx

What is a nonprofit agency? It sounds poor. And that is gross. Please feel free to write me back when you have some money.

Previously: Those Who Can, Kill Themselves, Those Who Can't, Teach