By Gerald Kolpan

I admit it: I love my Weiner.

Not that it's been easy.

My Weiner teaches high school. Every time she introduces herself to the new ninth graders, there are peals of adolescent laughter. But my Weiner joins in the mirth, even drawing a little, steaming hot dog on the blackboard.

When you're a Weiner, it's laugh or die.

When my Weiner orders a frankfurter, some foolish friend of ours invariably jokes, "A wiener for a Weiner!" And when my Weiner is reluctant to try a new dish at a restaurant, a dining companion might snicker, "Don't be such a wiener!"- as if she hadn't heard this witticism 500 times before.

It's been a rough life. But the past week has brought fresh ridicule for Weiners everywhere.

This isn't the first time a congressman has made a fool of himself, and, funny name or not, it won't be the last.

But those of us who have one know that a Weiner can be worthy and beautiful. Many people love their Weiners - though not the way I love mine.

My Weiner makes spaghetti and clam sauce better than a real Italian. My Weiner fills an evening gown like Audrey Hepburn. My Weiner can create a sour-cream coffee cake in the morning and summarize the last novel she read at night.

My Weiner has held the same job for 35 years. My Weiner is a great mother to my children. My Weiner is brave, having kept the surname Weiner when she could have taken mine. My Weiner is gorgeous, sexy, and free of nitrites.

Can you say that about your Weiner?

During this unfortunate time for the world's Weiners, I beg some consideration for them. Please give them a break. They have put up with enough dumb jokes and ignorant chortles as it is.

If you must mock someone, go find yourself a Lipschitz.