By LARRY WOODY
Stock car racing legend Richard Petty got in hot water earlier this year when he made the mistake of not swerving around the truth and cutting through the infield.
He was asked when he thought struggling NASCAR diva Danica Patrick might win a race.
“When she’s the only driver on the track,” Richard quipped.
Right answer: “Danica is a dedicated and determined driver who’s working hard to improve her performance, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until it starts paying off on the track.”
King Richard could have saved himself a lot of grief and guff if he’d just finessed the throttle of truth a tad.
So could a lot of us. Some examples:
+ Does this dress make my butt look big?
Right answer: “Don’t be silly, it’s just the lighting.”
Wrong answer: “I can’t see it. Something’s blocking out the sun.”
+ Isn’t this the cutest baby you’ve ever seen?
Right answer: “It’s an angel sent straight from heaven.”
Wrong answer: “Yeah, compared to a Mongolian mole rat.”
+ Do you think I’ve had too much to drink?
Right answer: “Of course not; you’re amusing when you’re tipsy.”
Wrong answer: “Uh, you’re taking to a urinal.”
+ Can I count on your vote?
Right answer: “Certainly Congressman, and keep up the good work.”
Wrong answer: “Yeah, if we’re voting to run your worthless rear-end out of town on a rail.”
+ How’d you like my new book?
Right answer: “It’s a real page-flipper!”
Wrong answer: “I’ve seen better writing on truck-stop bathroom walls.”
+ What do you think about my mother moving in with us?
Right answer: “She’ll be a welcome addition to the family unit.”
Wrong answer: “I’ll set up a cot in the tool shed.”
+ How do you like my lima bean casserole?
Right answer: “Delicious! I’ll have a second helping!”
Wrong answer: “Medic!”
+ Isn’t Snowball a friendly kitty?
Right answer: “Oh my yes, she’s certainly a frisky little thing.”
Wrong answer: “If that stinking cat scratches me one more time I’m going to drop-kick it out the back door.”
+ Did you see where my ball landed?
Right answer: “Slightly in the rough, but you’re still in good shape, Boss.”
Wrong answer: “Peru.”
+ Is this rock music too loud?
Right answer: “Of course not -- I’m a big fan of Metallica.”
Wrong answer: “Perhaps a tad, but I was going to have these fillings removed anyway.”
+ Do you know how fast you were going?
Right answer: “Jeepers, officer, I thought I was exactly on the speed limit, but this darned speedometer must be stuck again.”
Wrong answer: “Obviously not fast enough to get through this two-bit burg and its speed traps.”
Sometimes the truth hurts. Use Novocain.