1817. A close shave

It was a total give-away when Garth, while setting the table for dinner, nonchalantly said, “It depends on the brand, Ida.”

Garth’s statement was in response to his wife’s question of “Do you want some tomato sauce with dinner?” The problem was, Garth’s wife’s name was Sylvia, not Ida. Sylvia, who was suspicious at the best of times, cottoned on to it immediately. The Ida referred to would inevitably be Ida Brocklehurst who was a teacher’s assistant at the school where Garth taught Biology. Clearly they were having an affair. Why else would he so matter-a-factly trot out the name of Ida if they weren’t carrying on a rampant and sweaty undercover plot of fornication?

“Why did you call me Ida?” asked Sylvia in a voice that both quaked with fear and yet had all the vehemence of someone who already intended to sue for divorce.

“I have no idea,” said Garth. “It just came out.”

Garth came up with an immediate plan. “I think we should both have our ears tested,” he said. “They provide a free hearing test at the pharmacy.”

“Why do we need a hearing test?” demanded Sylvia.

“Because I didn’t call you Ida. I said It depends on the brand, my dear. ”

“Oh, how silly of me,” said Sylvia now slightly embarrassed and in recovery mode.

Garth was relieved. He couldn’t wait to tell Ida in the morning. And somehow he had to stop Sylvia from getting her hearing tested.

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