Yesterday Paul Schrader wrote about admiring a waitress with “radiant” cafe au lait skin, and so he said “you have beautiful skin.” Paul’s wife and son were with him, and Paul’s not exactly a young buck on the prowl so he figured “I’m harmless so where’s the harm in sharing a discreet compliment?”

I’ll tell him where the harm is. The harm is in the fact that he’s an older white guy, and a decent percentage of urban progressive women (teens to mid 30s and perhaps beyond) would just as soon explode his life into smithereens as look at him. I’m not kidding. Guys like Paul Schrader are deer, and it’s deer hunting season everywhere right now, and if the Schraders of the world want to be dead all they have to do is give the “hunters” a reason to get out their high-powered social media rifles and fire at them.

There are only two options in your potential dealings with younger attractive women in any professional environment (including restaurants or bars), and that’s to (a) treat them with the utmost politeness and respect, and (b) think of them as overweight male Armenian garbage collectors who haven’t bathed in a couple of days.

Get this into your stupid thick head and keep it there: There are no attractive women out there — they don’t exist — and if you ignore this rule there’s a good chance you’ll be bruised, wounded or killed sooner or later. For if you convey the slightest appreciation of some aspect of their physical allure you are asking for trouble, and I mean potentially big trouble.

Tatiana says that complimenting a woman on her skin is too intimate if you’ve only just met her. Saying she has lovely skin isn’t quite like saying she has a great ass or nice breasts, but it’s in that vicinity. You can compliment a waitress on what she’s wearing — ring, bracelet, necklace, perfume — but no comments about her physicality. You can compliment a female relative or the wife of a friend on having nice skin, but not a waitress.

There’s only one safe way to tell a waitress that you approve of her, and that’s to leave her a large tip. Any other expression of approval will leave you open for Twitter assassination, Facebook sniping, TikTok takedowns, lawsuits, screaming fights in the parking lot and whatnot. Just shut up and order the food and that’s all. Remember — she’s an Armenian garbage collector, she’s wearing stained work overalls and lace-up work boots, and she weighs 285 pounds. Oh, wait…sorry!

True Story: In the spring of ’81 I was sitting with two friends (including an ex-girlfriend) at an Elephant & Castle restaurant on Greenwich Avenue, and I struck up a flirtation with the waitress and managed to get her phone number and everything. I called her later that day and we arranged to meet and we got along, etc. This was what it was like in the early ’80s. This kind of thing could actually happen.