Although there were no real lessons (not intended ones, anyway) to be had from Seinfeld, the sitcom did offer an ersatz etiquette class, showing viewers how to navigate sticky social situations, such as establishing the acceptable number of times you can dip the same chip, or setting ground rules in a new friendship. That last scenario was part of the two-episode “The Boyfriend” arc, which featured former New York Met Keith Hernandez as the new man in Jerry and Elaine’s lives (and Kramer’s old foe). And some fan, perhaps still uncertain of where to draw the line in a friendship with a celebrity, recently posed the plot as a question to an advice columnist, who answered in earnest.
The Seinfeld-inspired query was featured in Amy Dickinson’s syndicated advice column, Ask Amy, and included just the broad strokes (though we wonder what Dickinson would have had to say about that whole spitting incident). The submitter claimed to have met and befriended a sports hero who grew too familiar too quickly, asking to date his ex-girlfriend and later, for help moving furniture. The prankster ended the letter with a “What’s the deal?”, but the references were lost on Dickinson (and whomever reads the letters first), who had no idea how right she was when she responded that there was no real friendship to end.
The letter has been pulled from some publications, but Sam Farmer, a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, preserved the question and advice for posterity.
For her part, Dickinson is prepared to grin and bear it, telling her readers in a blog post that this kind of thing just happens, though she omitted any reference to the last time this happened to her. She also implied her Seinfeld knowledge was extensive enough to write a column dedicated to other heated debates from the show, even though it sounds like she might still be under the impression that the former Major Leaguer was the second spitter.