"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.
This week, it's all New York all the time up in these letters, with questions about sexual prostitution, and shoes that cost more than writing for the internet pays in a month.
I recently discovered that my ex-roommate had been working as a prostitute and sometimes paid me the rent with money earned that way. I want to return her money because I don't think anyone should have to do such work. She refuses to take it, saying her work is none of my business. Must I accept (and keep) rent money regardless of its source? — Mike, New York
Aw. It's so cute/scary that you live in New York and don't understand how rent works. See, your ex-roommate wasn't giving you money, she was giving the landlord money. That being said, if she wants to engage in a little suck and fuck to git 'er done, I have no problem with that.
Unless, of course, you own the apartment and were renting out a room of it to Destiny (obviously she was named Destiny.) If that's the case, I would feel pretty confident...like, Spencer Pratt confident...that you charged her more than the actual room was worth. That's just business, and I have no problem with that, either. But it makes the part with you and the high horse and the riding in on it a little tougher to swallow (nullus), you know what I mean, Louie Kritski?
As the legendary poet Curtis Jackson once said, "I get money, I-I get money. I run New York." Put that in your mezuzah.
My fiancée took three pairs of shoes to the valet service in our building to be sent out to be resoled. The service lost the shoes, took responsibility and reimbursed us for the original cost, $2,020. My fiancée immediately bought three new pairs of shoes to wear to job interviews. Later, the shoes were miraculously found, and the valet service asked us to refund their $2,020. Must we? — A. Mehta, New York
Let me guess, the A. stands for "Asshole Who Is Engaged to a Woman Who Spends $675 on a Pair of Shoes, Which Is Bad Enough, But Then Is So Out of Touch With Reality That When Writing a Letter About Shoes to an Advice Column, He Doesn't Realize That the Fundamental Problem Remains the Same Even if He Feigned Modesty About the Cost of the Shoes and Said That They Were $90 a Pair, But Probably Realized That He Couldn't Pull Off Such a Lie When His Letter Smelled So Heavily of Cuban Cigars and Dry Martinis."
Whoops, Kill yourself. For a modest fee, let's say two pairs of shoes worth, I'll do it for you.
The real question, of course, is if she can afford $675 shoes, what does she need a job for? Or is she applying for the position of "Unbearable Super Cow"? She's hired!
Just kidding. I don't know why I'm even giving you guys such a hard time about this when I'm all to familiar with the embarrassment one feels when kicking homeless people in the face with shoes costing less than what the person who made them makes in five years.