Media Musings: Too doggone attractive covers up the truth

Editor’s note: This is another in my series of monthly musings on the news, published on the Sunday following the last Saturday of each month, except when it’s not.


© 2012 Tom Pfeifer

Current as of December 29, 2012


Melissa Nelson is just too doggone attractive for her own good. Sure, she was a competent and loyal assistant to Iowa dentist James Knight for 10 years. Certainly she never flirted with or acted inappropriately toward her boss. But when Knight’s wife discovered that her husband had sent Nelson text messages, including one in which he asked Nelson how many times she had an orgasm, Mrs. Knight demanded Nelson be gone.

The answer to the text, by the way, was never. Or at least one can infer that by Nelson’s non-answer, the same answer she gave to each of the good doctor’s suggestive texts. Nevertheless, Mrs. Knight decided Nelson’s non-responsiveness was a threat to their marriage and the threesome parted ways. Nelson sued. Her suit went all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court, which ruled that Nelson was rightfully fired because she’s just too doggone attractive for her own good.

I don’t buy it. I think it was an easily concocted story, one that the Knights knew the courts would buy. Marriage is still sacrosanct in this country and no harmless floozy is going to stand in the way of that, no matter how blameless, competent, and loyal she may be.

No. I think the Knights got a glimpse of Nelson’s credit scores. Credit scores are the new measure of a relationship’s long-term viability.

“Credit scores are like the dating equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease test,” Manisha Thakor, founder and chief executive of the financial advisory firm MoneyZen Wealth Management, told the New York Times. “It’s a shorthand way to get a sense of someone’s financial past the same way an S.T.D. test gives some information about a person’s sexual past.”

After 10 years of working days for the Knights, Nelson should have had a pretty healthy credit score. If not, just what kind of unsavory character was she? Just what disease was this slut bringing into a medical office? Obviously, she had a seriously hidden case of AIDS – Ain’t Interested in Dental Services.

The Knights couldn’t guarantee the courts would sink their teeth into that, however.

I could be wrong. Perhaps Nelson was fired for strictly political reasons. The Knights were standing up for the rights of women to not be so doggone attractive. They were standing with thousands of Mormon women who had the audacity to wear pants to church to protest women’s unequal status in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After all, look what wearing pants to church has done for Catholic women.

To be fair, Nelson said she never dressed provocatively. She wore scrubs to work every day, which includes two-legged bottoms, normally referred to as pants. And, as every male can attest, scrubs on a well-crafted female nurse never provokes a doctor-nurse fantasy, even when she’s standing by a bed or a reclining chair that adjusts position and height, or height and position, separately and together. Just. Doesn’t. Happen.

Or perhaps Nelson was just the victim of being too doggone attractive in a politically incorrect world. What is more provocative than kissing a woman who is too doggone attractive under a sprig of mistletoe? But is that kiss worth destroying the world for? Did the Knights dismiss Nelson as a protest against the harvesting of mistletoe and its devastating effect on the world’s forests?

Surely they couldn’t come right out and say it, because, well it hadn’t been discovered yet when they fired Nelson. But a recent study found that mistletoe is not the parasite it was thought to be – like Nelson – but actually is beneficial to the trees it attaches itself to. Harvesting mistletoe in a selfish attempt to grab a kiss from a doggone attractive woman who normally wouldn’t give you the time of day is so politically wrong.

Melissa Nelson, I know it was hard on you not to have Dr. Knight be hard on you. But take solace in the knowledge that your sacrifice will be noted in the history books. You have stood up for good credit scores and a strong U.S. economy. You have stood for the rights of Mormon women. You may have single-handedly saved the world’s forests.

You just haven’t saved marriage. That’s still in decline. The courts haven’t fathomed why.



Kelleher, James B. Reuters. “Employers can fire workers they find too sexy, Iowa court rules.” Chicago Tribune. 21 December 2012.

Mitchell, Alanna. “Beyond the Kiss, Mistletoe Helps Feed Forests, Study Suggests.” New York Times. 17 December 2012.

Pratt. Timothy. “Mormon Women Set Out to Take a Stand, in Pants.” New York Times. 19 December 2012.

Silver-Greenberg, Jessica. “Perfect 10? Never Mind That. Ask Her for Her Credit Score.” New York Times. 25 December 2012.

Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at


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