The latest Ross in Range column (Advice to Women About Men, or JR Uses Your Wristwatch to Tell You the Time) contains this utterly hopeless conversation. Men, you might want to start banging your heads on your keyboards now:

Here is a true exchange that occurred between people I know. See if you can learn something from it. It’s bedtime and the couple is undressing for bed:

Wife, a former beauty pageant winner who had gained 80 pounds in the three years since marriage: “I’m sooo fat.”

Husband, who had been hoping to get laid and is dismayed by this development: “You are terribly sexy. You’ve got great curves.”

Wife, not letting it go: “Tell me: Am I the fattest woman you’ve ever fucked?” [Question for readers: What is the proper response to this? I can’t imagine.]

Husband, wishing she would think about something else: “No, not even close.”

Wife, who knows his two previous girlfriends had good figures: “WHO has been a lot fatter than me? Tell me the truth! Who?”

Husband, thinking the truth will be the best policy: “Well, there was this girl named Mary. I forget her last name. It was maybe ten years ago. She worked in the same office as my girlfriend at that time. My girlfriend said Mary hadn’t had sex in several years because she was so fat no man wanted to. She asked if I’d have sex with Mary, you know, as a favor. Something nice you’d do for someone who needs cheering up.”

Wife: “So, you had a date with her and then had sex?”

Husband: “No, she came over with my girlfriend, and the three of us had some wine and listened to music. Then my girlfriend said ‘Why don’t you two go into the bedroom?’ So we did.”

Wife: “And you had sex with her?”

Husband: “Yes.”

Wife: “Did you like it?”

Husband: “I liked the fact that I was making her feel good.”

Wife: “But you were repulsed by her weight?”

Husband, thinking back to that night and how it had made three people feel good about themselves: “Well, I tried not to think about what she looked like. The lights were low. My girlfriend looked kind of like Renee Russo, and I imagined I was with her, but with some big pillows squooshed around her.”

Wife: “So you WERE disgusted by her weight!”

Husband: “Not the weight itself, exactly, but what it did to her. I mean, she had trouble walking, and that was painful to watch. And no way could she support herself on her hands and knees.”

Wife: “Trouble WALKING? How fat WAS she?”

Husband: “According to my girlfriend, she stopped weighing herself when she got over five hundred pounds.”

Wife, appalled: “So what other fat women have you had sex with?”

Husband, now utterly fed up and seeing no point in being tactful: “She got the gold. You get the silver.”

In my opinion this man made a mistake by answering his wife’s questions, but I’m not sure how I would have handled it differently. Refuse to speak? Pretend to have diarrhea and run to the bathroom? Feign an epileptic seizure?