Tag Archives: husband

1601. A flick of the switch

It would be so easy, as the saying goes, to get the doctor to simply “flick the switch” and Myrna would be freed from the burdensome duty of visiting her husband in hospital. He had been in a vegetative state for over a week now, and really it was easy to perceive that there was little hope. Even if he did come out of it, Myrna knew she could be burdened for many years to come with a person who needed care. Who wants to spend their life feeding an incapacitated person by hand who slobbers and dribbles? Who wants to spend some of the most productive years of ones life wiping a bottom? Yes, a flick of the switch was definitely the answer. It was the humane thing to do – sort of like putting ones cat down so it didn’t have to endure desolation while one went on an overseas trip of a lifetime.

It was not an easy decision of course. It was an onerous responsibility. Only last week Ainsley had said to Myrna that should anything happen to him she was not to feel hidebound into living a life alone. “Try to find a new way! A new life! You live only the once!” That positive attitude was so typical of Ainsley. Myrna knew that living out Ainsley’s prophetic observation was only “a flick of the switch” away.

The kindly doctor (he was marvellous! such a caring man!) had explained to Myrna that things were not as easy and straightforward as many thought. There was a good possibility that Ainsley would recover. And recover he did! Myrna was devastated. She had to phone Neville and say that her foray into matrimonial liberation had to be put on hold. “Next time, Neville darling,” she said, “you had better do a better job.”

1589. Manageable portions

I’m sorely tempted to write about something horrible – just for a change. Yet, as a theatre reviewer once said of one of my plays, “There’s enough trouble in the world already without this play.” I shall therefore avoid the temptation to indulge in horribility and keep to the usual niceties grounded in a tender reality. So here goes…

When Anastasia murdered her husband she had little idea of the wonderful repercussions it would have. She had chopped him up into manageable portions, put each into a plastic bag, and stacked them in the freezer. Each week she put a bag of a piece of her husband out at the gate to be picked up by the trash collection truck. She had only the one plastic bag left. She had overlooked it because it had been covered (in the freezer next to the chicken drumsticks) with a flannel for the sake of modesty.

Anastasia had thought that last week’s trash collection had ended her saga of weeks of removal, and now, with the discovery of what lay hidden beneath the flannel there was yet another week to go. But that is not what matters. What matters is what else she saw. Beneath the flannel-covered remains there was a key. She knew instantaneously what the key unlocked.

For weeks she had searched the house for the key to the safe. How it fallen into the freezer was anyone’s guess. Immediately she went and unlocked the safe. There was nothing inside but a piece of paper and a bank card. On the paper was written a pin number. Anastasia dashed straight down the street and inserted the card into the bank’s hole-in-the-wall ATM. What a discovery! What a huge amount of money! What a fortune! Anastasia did a little dance in the street there and then.

By now the once-flannel-covered portion of husband, which she had inadvertently been holding when she dashed out of the house, was starting to defrost. A kindly neighbour saw it and asked, “Anastasia! What on earth is that you’re holding?”

“Oh!” said Anastasia, “it’s a leg of mutton for my dinner. Perhaps you’d like to come for dinner and we’ll share it.”

Of course, the neighbour came to dinner. And of course, of course, Anastasia put the trash out at the gate to be picked up early next morning, before serving her guest chicken drumsticks.

1574. Steffie’s fabulous oven

(Notes: A North Carolina dumpster is what we in New Zealand call a skip. I don’t know what the things are called anywhere else. The long-named oven is taken from a junk email I received. China was trying to sell me one!)

Butch Carson loved his meat. Every night he’d expect a roast dinner. None of this namby-pamby vegetarian nonsense that the wives of others foistered on their husbands. Steffie had learnt early in the marriage that roast beef was almost a minimum requirement. Not even chicken fitted the bill.

“Chicken is for sissies, just like vegies are for dorks.”

Honestly! If Steffie didn’t have a plasmon-induced-photoelectrochemical-biosensor-for-in-situ-real-time-measurement-of-biotin-streptavidin-binding-kinetics-under-visible-light-irradiation oven, then there was no way she could hold down a full-time job and raise six kids at the same time. The plasmon-induced-photoelectrochemical-biosensor-for-in-situ-real-time-measurement-of-biotin-streptavidin-binding-kinetics-under-visible-light-irradiation oven was a godsend. She had saved up for it over two years, secretly putting aside every week a few dollars from her meagre wages until she was able to go into a shop and say:

“Could I have one plasmon-induced-photoelectrochemical-biosensor-for-in-situ-real-time-measurement-of-biotin-streptavidin-binding-kinetics-under-visible-light-irradiation oven please.”

Butch wasn’t too happy about it. He reckoned the oven affected his television reception during the day when she had set the oven to slow cook the roast while she was at work. When the plumber came to fix the shower Butch got the plumber to throw the oven into the dumpster.

The next day, Steffie took the six kids and buggered off.

1545. Wheat allergy

Rosemary felt ill most of the time.

Eventually she got a doctor who knew what she was talking about. After tests, the doctor pronounced that Rosemary had a wheat allergy.

“Avoid bread and other food made from wheat,” said the doctor.

“But doctor,” said Rosemary, “my husband bakes bread every day. He always has. He’s so proud of his bread-making skills. And he does make lovely bread. That’s how we met.”

Rosemary went home. She never told her husband.

Rosemary felt ill most of the time.

1527: A visit to the butcher

And it had been only three weeks since Amelia had buried her husband, George. Admittedly, the marriage had long shrivelled up, but Amelia had never had a fling. She hadn’t as much as glanced at a passing man. But now, now (and it had been only three weeks, as I said, since Amelia had buried her husband, George) Amelia had become infatuated with her local butcher, Erwin.

She was forever popping into the butcher’s shop to get meat – a leg of lamb, a porterhouse steak, a few chicken drumsticks, even the occasional pork rib. And, of course, Erwin always gave it to her for nix. Getting her meat for nothing was a sign, surely, that he liked her. One day she went into the butcher’s shop and only the apprentice was there. Nigel looked after the sales counter on Wednesdays and Fridays. Amelia learnt not to go shopping for meat on those days. The first time Amelia encountered Nigel he asked what she wanted, and she said “tripe” because that was the first thing that came into her head. She hated tripe and when she got home she discovered that not even the cat would eat it.

Anyway, it was now winter and things had progressed rather quickly. Twice Amelia had gone out the back to watch Erwin chop up a carcass so dexterously. Amelia was in awe – it showed strength, precision, skill and (dare I say it?) masculinity. Even with his blood-drenched apron still on, Amelia couldn’t refrain from giving Erwin a casual cuddle. He flung his chopper around with such legerdemain.

And then the worst happened. Erwin, unbeknown to Amelia, got the flu. When Amelia went in to get a beef brisket for Sunday a strange woman was behind the counter.

“Who are you?” asked Amelia.

“I’m Erwin’s wife,” she said. “How may I help?”

1515: A rocky patch

Leonie and Lyall’s marriage was going through “a rocky patch”. Leonie was taking a few days off “to clear the air” and had gone to stay with her sister for the weekend. It would give Lyall the opportunity, said Leonie, “to think things through”.

It was Sunday morning and Lyall had thought he’d heard something during the night. He never registered because it simply sounded like Leonie. In his half-dazed sleep he never considered that she shouldn’t be there, and it wasn’t until the morning that he thought “what the heck?” Not to worry! There was nothing missing as far as he could see, so it wasn’t a burglar. Leonie must have forgotten something, although why she would drive for half an hour in the middle of the night to retrieve a forgotten item was anyone’s guess.

Lyall made a cup of coffee and settled in his favourite armchair with the Sunday paper. That was when he noticed the lottery numbers. Goodness! They looked like the numbers he took every week!

The thing was he couldn’t find his ticket.

1512: Two blocks of cheese

For almost two years Eileen Harrison had poisoned the cheese in her refrigerator. She herself only occasionally ate cheese but her husband, Archie, adored it: Edam, mild and creamy with 28% less fat. Archie would eat no other. He always had a big hunk of it at lunch time between two slices of bread.

It was almost a conjugal duty for Eileen to make sure there was fresh cheese (and a block to spare) in the refrigerator. It was part of the reason she was attempting to poison her husband – apart from the fact she had a secret lover who was excessively rich and she pined for that long-promised vacation in Bali. Archie was obsessed with everything, not just cheese. It was driving Eileen nuts. And yet, no matter how much poison she injected into the block of cheese, it had not the slightest effect on Archie.

Archie’s obsessive, meticulous behaviour was the reason the poison had failed to work; it was the reason why Eileen’s dalliance with her lover had failed thus far to produce a trip to a Balinese resort. The two smallish blocks of cheese sat in the refrigerator on top of one another. Archie figured that Eileen would place the more recent purchased cheese on top; but she didn’t put it on top, she always put it on the bottom because the top one was the poisoned bit. But Archie would take the bottom block because that was the oldest. He was neurotic about that. That is why the top block was sodden with poison and the bottom block was mild and creamy with 28% less fat and fresh and delightful.

So the poisoned cheese sat on the top untouched for almost two years; untouched that is until the lover paid a visit one lunch time.

1505: Wedding anniversary

When Callista’s husband forgot their anniversary for a third year in a row, enough was enough. Callista planned a murder.

She read every book and article on “How to” that she could find. She even read Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. This was to be a murder that was fool proof. What is more, she would do it on their anniversary – the fourth he would have forgotten.

In the end Callista thought shooting with a gun was the safest bet. She thoroughly researched the angle of entry a suicide victim’s bullet would enter the head. It was a question of getting into the right position and pulling the trigger before the victim realized what was going on.

The anniversary day dawned. The gun was loaded. Callista waited.

Before long, Peggy-Sue wandered up the garden path. Peggie-Sue came once a week to clean the house. As she entered the door, Callista pulled the trigger.

“You!” shouted Callista. “Your conniving sensuality is the cause of my husband’s infidelity.”

The coroner ruled “Suicide”. And although Callista and her husband didn’t really live happily ever after, Callista was well-pleased.

1428. Grumpy Earl

When Earl went out to his shed to get his set of screwdrivers to do a job there was a screwdriver missing. That put him in a grumpy mood.

“Where did you put my screwdriver?” he asked his wife.

“I didn’t touch them,” she said.

That was typical. She always claimed she never touched his stuff and she always had. She never returned things back to their right place.

“I’m off to the pub for a while,” he grumbled.

As he got in his car he sat on the missing screw driver. Then he remembered.

It put him in a worse mood than before.

1424. Dialogue

Wife: You haven’t heard a word I’ve been saying, have you? You never listen to what I say. It’s plain rude. I spent the last twenty minutes trying to explain to you why Katie isn’t doing so well at school and you haven’t heard a word. Not a word.

Husband: What a funny way to start a conversation.