Dear Ann: A few years ago, you printed two columns about a condom that whistles "Dixie." I clipped them out to share with friends, and everyone who read them howled. I kept those columns on my refrigerator. Several days ago, I noticed they were missing. The columns were a real loss to me. Will you please run them again? Ardent Fan of 40-Plus Years in Tennessee
Dear Ardent Fan: Here are excerpts from the columns you requested. They originally ran in 1997, and in my opinion, are among the most hilarious I've ever printed:
Dear Ann: I'll bet you think you've heard everything. Well, you haven't. This item from Psychology and Health Update was taped to the bulletin board at the hospital where I work: "U.S. Patent No. 5,163,447 was recently issued for a 'force-sensitive sound-playing condom.' Yup, it's a prophylactic that whistles 'Dixie.' During intercourse, a sound unit is supposed to sense movement and reward your efforts with a melody." Dottie Oberdorfer, R.N., in Jacksonville, Fla.
Dear Dottie: Thanks for a most unusual item. Since nothing surprises me anymore, I have only two questions: How are sales north of the Mason-Dixon line, and how the heck does that thing work?
Well, dear readers, I received the answers to both questions in a column I printed a few weeks later:
Dear Ann: I read with great interest the letter about the prophylactic that plays "Dixie" when in use. You wondered how that thing worked.
As an intellectual property lawyer, I took it upon myself to learn more about this intriguing invention. Enclosed you will find a copy of the patent issued in November 1992 to an inventor from Massachusetts. I will not attempt to get into the mechanics involved, but "Dixie" isn't the only thing it can play. The inventor has stated that the message or music "may warn, compliment, stimulate, entertain or surprise the couple."
Several specific examples of voiced messages included a warning about safe sex and a compliment to the couple for using a condom. Suitable melodies that can be heard emanating from the condom are Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," "Happy Birthday to You" and "The Anniversary Waltz."
In answer to your question about the sales north of the Mason-Dixon line, Ann, I suspect that they are selling like hot cakes if the product can play "Yankee Doodle." Jeffrey A. Wolfson, Washington, D.C.
Dear Jeffrey Wolfson: Thanks for the update. And now, dear readers, please, no more letters asking me to sell you the musical condoms. I am not in the condom business. Sexually transmitted diseases are a serious problem, however, and condoms can be a great help.
Dear Ann: "Jethro" and I have been married 14 years, and we are very happy together. Lately, we have been discussing plans for our funerals. I have told Jethro I want to be cremated when I die. He refuses to do this and insists that I be buried in a cemetery, next to him, so we can be together for eternity.
I am upset that Jethro has no intention of honoring my wishes. Is there any way I can make sure he does what I want? Not Dead Yet in New York
Dear Not Dead Yet: No way unless Jethro dies first. You can state your wishes in your will, with instructions given to your close relatives, your lawyer and the funeral home. It will not guarantee that Jethro will follow through, but it increases your chances. Good luck.