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After a couple of decades in Seattle, I am not accustomed to being the tactful party in a social setting. I am the one whose remarks make others blanch.

In Pittsburgh, I am the blanchee.

My circle here falls over one another to be the first to say the outrageous thing. More often than not, they whiff at air pathetically.

"I need to stop and get some rebar," a contractor said.

"DID YOU SAY YOU'RE STOPPING AT A GAY BAR?" Sean asked loudly, beaming at his own witty turn of phrase. "HEY EVERYONE, HE SAYS HE'S STOPPING AT A GAY BAR!"

This quality of repartee is sadly commonplace in my life now. "Jesus H," I groan. It's taken as a compliment.