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Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

You recently published a letter from a college student ("Sneak Attacked," May 15) whose girlfriend was deceiving him about her contraceptive practices. Your response was offensively casual. What this woman was doing was worse than fraud, worse than the quarter of a million dollars in child-raising expenses her boyfriend stood to lose from her reckless and exploitative behavior. What she did is way beyond "shady."

Not only should "Sneak Attacked" dump this crook like a dead rat, every man at that college should be warned of her sex-related abusive behavior and the risk she poses to their futures, and she should be legally culpable for attempted fraud. The courts are becoming more and more receptive to assault charges against people who deceive their partners about STDs, and contraceptive fraud is a crime of the same sort. Who cares how the "gears turn" in this woman's mind? The manifest truth is that she's an abusive and exploitative liar, and she ought to be on a watch list, not in anyone's bed.

-- Looking Out For Real Karma

Wearing Spandex to work on Friday might be "offensively casual," but our response was, at best, a tad flip -- which if you've ever read the column, is our default setting around here. (For alarmist posturing, read Ann Landers.) Perhaps we should have come down harder on the pill-skipping student, but as we said, the woman's karmic consequences are already playing out. Mea culpa if our Spandex retort got your panties in a wad, and thanks for reading, For Real.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

After I turned 40, I've found myself getting more and more prescriptions every time I go to the doctor. Some of these I certainly do need; others are more of a "lifestyle" category.

I always go to the same pharmacy. I know the people who work there because I've been giving them my business for 10 years. My problem is with the pharmacist, with whom I used to have a pleasant rapport. Now, I feel like he is judging me for my new prescriptions.

His actions caused me to phone the store and complain that I felt like he was getting too personal when he filled my prescriptions. I like this pharmacy and I don't want to switch. But I'm now afraid that he might slip something poisonous into one of my drugs.

-- No More Refills

Not to be offensively casual, but do you think the new drugs are making you paranoid? Seriously, we've seen those terrifying commercials for some of the brand name pharmaceuticals, and sometimes the side effects are brutal. But shopping, like life, is always changing; a visit to the druggist shouldn't be cause for panic. Maybe it's time to take your 40-year-old dollars elsewhere.

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.

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