Foster Freiss, the Rick Santorum’s designated“millionaire” really stuck his foot in his mouth yesterday with his decades old joke about aspirin as a contraceptive. Later, Santorum tried to cover for him, dismissing him as a jokester whose jokes are sometimes not funny. He continued, “He told a bad, off-color joke and he shouldn’t have done it, but that’s his business.”
Well, first of all the “off-color’ note reflects Santorum’s prudery. When I first heard the joke 40 years ago, I too was quite the prude and was taken aback when I heard it—-my late-teens sister had been told the joke by her dentist. But Santorum does not grasp the issue here. The issue is horrible judgment on Freiss’s part as he trotted out a lame, ages-old joke in the midst of a very intense debate about a very personal matter for females. One would think that Freiss would have had the presence of mind, or to allude to a recent blog posting, an “observing ego”, and would have not trotted that inanity out there.
It is kind of relevant to Gingrich’s recent proposal of a moon colony “by the end of my second administration.” At that time he was being hit hard by critics about his narcissism and grandiosity. His “observing ego” should have given him pause and let him know, “Oh, wow, I can’t say that. It sounds very grandiose.” But he is “meta-cognitively challenged.”
(Oh, back to the Freiss joke. Here is how I heard it. And, it was designed to be told by an older male to a virginal young lady for maximal shock value. Question from the dentist to my sister, “Hey, did you know that aspirin can prevent pregnancy?” Taken aback and curious, my sister responded, “Well, no. How can that be.? Answer, “When you go on a date, put an aspirin between your knees and don’t open your legs.”)