The Non-Expert

Photograph by W. J. Sawchuck

Rhymes With Riches

Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. When a reader runs into a dilemma involving bitches, we take the high road, at least for a few paragraphs.

Have a question? Need some questionably expert advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: What do I do with these bitches? Sincerely, Rolyat

Answer: Ah, one of life’s eternal questions. Right up there with, “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, and, of course, “Can I wear black shoes with a brown belt?” But that one’s not for me, as I solve the problem by wearing pants that actually fit.

In the name of utter transparency (and perhaps even laziness), Rolyat, I don’t know whether you’re male or female or what country you hail from. While searching Google for “Rolyat,” I got more than 27,000 hits, and I don’t have that kind of time on my hands for research. So, for the sake of argument, you’re male.

The best way to attack a problem such as yours—these bitches and what to do about them—is to start on the high ground and work our way down that precipitous slippery slope. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition states that a “bitch” is:

1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals

2a: a lewd or immoral woman, b: a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman—sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse

3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

First, let’s assume you’re a veterinarian, or a member of any of the noble professions that work with animals—dog-catchers, K-9 police, or circus clowns. “What do I do with all these bitches?” is a proper and legitimate question to ask your colleagues. Perhaps the female dogs have cornered you in the kennel because you’ve got some irresistible kibble, or they’re herded some pups away from the male dogs. Either way, I can’t tell you what to do with the bitches, but I can tell you that you use proper English. Bravo.

Sliding down the slope a bit, we come to our lewd or immoral women. Now, there are innumerable scenarios you could find yourself in, my dear Rolyat, in which you’re looking at immoral and lewd women and wondering, “What do I do with these bitches?” And I can assure in almost all of them, my advice is to run. Fast. Because even in six-inch stilettos, a pissed-off women can overtake Usain Bolt, trust me. Not that I’ve been chased by an irate woman or have worn six-inch heels.

Supposing you are a male, how you ever survived beyond puberty with your genitals intact is becoming increasingly confounding to me as I write this.Then there’s the “generalized term of abuse” meaning of the word, and it’s here that we really start losing traction on the slope of righteousness. I was at lunch yesterday and thought of you, Rolyat, and so I asked my female companion, a genteel, wisp-of-a-thing who fastidiously read Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers while growing up, what would she think if she overheard a man saying, “What do I do with all these bitches?” She immediately struck her best Beyoncé “Ring On It” pose and said, “Oh, no, he di-int.” See, Rolyat, that, too, is a sign of a woman enraged. (Supposing you are a male, how you ever survived beyond puberty with your genitals intact is becoming increasingly confounding to me as I write this.) Unless you’re a pimp, and the phrase is a term of endearment, I’d stay clear of it in mixed-gender company.

So, sinking deeper into the moral underbelly of possibilities, if you’re 275 pounds of solid tatted muscles writing this from a prison’s computer lab, first let me say, I’ve always been against the death penalty. Always. And any address of mine you find on the Internet is outdated. I live in a small nondescript shack in an unidentifiable track of woods, and I had to drive 32 miles to the nearest wi-fi-equipped Starbucks to write this column. That being said, if you’re looking at a crop of new young inmates with blond hair, blue eyes, and smooth skin, and you whisper conspiratorially to a fellow lifer, “What am I going to do with these bitches?”, I think you know what you want to do with them. And since you may get paroled someday, who am I to judge?

And just to flip the equation, Rolyat, if you happen to be one of those young, blond-haired, blue-eyed new inmates being paraded in front of the lifers, and you say about them, “What am I going to do with these bitches?”, you must have cojones the size of cantaloupes. If not, and it just slipped out, I suggest taking sponge baths in your cell during lights out. Of course, if you’re referring to all the other young, new inmates in line with you as you say loudly, “What are we going to do with these bitches?”, then clearly, you see them as competition for protection and affection. All I can say is, “drop the Lifebuoy as often as you wish.”

Isn’t language fun, Rolyat? (And did you really think you could fool me by creating a nom de plume by spelling “Taylor” backwards? Come on, Roly.) One little word like “bitch” can have so many subtle and, in some cases, downright unsavory meanings. In closing, my best advice is to choose your words carefully—especially the B-word. Depending on the situation you use it in, you may not get another chance to utter it.


TMN Contributing Writer David Leite has stated a little too emphatically that he is not a food snob. (But we have it on good authority that while other people have moldering hot dog buns and withering mesclun in their fridge, he has been know to harbor lobes of foie gras, exotic mushrooms, and bottles of champagne.) He’s quick to note that he loves plain ole mac and cheese, but he was overseen recently pish-toshing at the waitress until the chef agreed to drizzle it with truffle oil. He’s not above a McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish, though. He’s also the publisher of the James Beard Award-winning website, Leite’s Culinaria, and the author of the upcoming cookbook The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors From Europe’s Western Coast. More by David Leite