Tag Archives: marriage

1708. The Oxford Comma

Even though Aneliese was American and Quentin was British they managed to forge a relationship that spanned across the great Atlantic Ocean, and they married. The marriage was made in heaven, although heaven had omitted one important factor: Analiese used the Oxford Comma and Quentin didn’t.

For those who don’t give much of a hoot about what the Oxford Comma is, it is the comma that precedes the final “and” in a list. For example: The flag is red, white, and blue. That’s what Aneliese would write. Quentin would write: The flag is red, white and blue (without the second comma).

For each academic tome that Aneliese produced to prove her point, Quentin would provide another. The discussion thundered throughout their marriage, throughout the births of their six children, throughout retirement and venerable age. Eventually they both died. Their grown children planned the tombstone inscription:

Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.

The tombstone awaits. Discussion rages.

Repeat of Story 386: Marietta plans a murder

(This is the sixth story in a week or so of repeats. “Marietta plans a murder” first appeared on this blog on 31 October 2014.)

Don’t get me wrong. Marietta wasn’t an evil person. When she decided to murder her husband it was out of the purest of intentions. He had been unfaithful.

Marietta had always vouched for the sanctity of marriage. She couldn’t understand why all these participants in broken marriages insisted on divorce. Hadn’t they vowed to remain faithful unto death?

Now that her husband had committed infidelity after infidelity she knew exactly how these other people felt. Divorce was not good enough. She had promised unto death and that’s what she was going to do.

But how best to go about it and not get caught? Poison? The autopsy would discover it. Gunshot? It would have to be in self-defence, and that would be too difficult to set up.

She would simply (after searching it online) “undo the brakes” of his car. And that’s what she did! He drove to the pub every Thursday evening over a wild and winding road. Thursday was perfect. That was the evening she attended her prayer meeting. She could feign distress, with a touch of hysteria, when the sad news was phoned through.

She drove off in her car for the prayer meeting. It was with a certain amount of nervous excitement.

“Goodbye, darling,” she waved. “Goodbye!”

All that can be said is that great minds think alike. Marietta and her husband were suited to each other down to the ground.

May she rest in peace.

1704. Snip! Snip!

Cornelius was in a good mind to ask for a divorce. He was an avid gardener and had told Constantia again and again, DO NOT CUT THE FLOWERS.

“What’s the point,” Constantia would say, “of growing flowers if they’re not for cutting and putting in a vase to brighten the day?”

“It might brighten the inside of the house,” said Cornelius, “but what about the outside?”

Cornelius did all the gardening. Constantia could have helped, but she didn’t. All she did was gather the secateurs, or sometimes the kitchen scissors, and go snip, snip, as if she didn’t have a care in the world.

Cornelius talked to his plants. They were his friends. He was convinced that talking to his plants increased their vigour, their beauty, their desire to please. Besides, they were much better company than Constantia. All she did was go out and kill the blooms.

Cornelius conceived a plan. It wasn’t one that Constantia was expecting. It came out of the blue; like a blue hydrangea or a blue larkspur. He filed for divorce.

It came as a massive shock to Constantia.

“That’ll teach you,” said Cornelius. “At least Suzie-Lou appreciates everything I do and won’t annihilate my flora.”

1693. Huberta and Hubert

As if having the name of Huberta wasn’t bad enough… She’d gone and fallen in love with a man whose name was Hubert. “Huberta and Hubert” sounded doubly bad. “You are cordially invited to the wedding of Huberta and Hubert”. And so on.

Huberta practiced writing out the combination in all sorts of situations. Mind you, she simply scribbled it in the back of a notebook. “Huberta and Hubert announce the birth of their first child”; “Huberta and Hubert are booked on a Mediterranean cruise”; “Huberta and Hubert celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.”

Huberta suddenly snapped out of her reverie when the bell rang. That was the end of Mathematics class.

Oh if only Hubert would notice her and ask her out!

1683. Seventieth birthday toast

“Well,” said Ferdinand, “a toast to my dear wife on her seventieth birthday. She has always faithfully stood by my side. When I went into politics nearly forty years ago she bore the brunt of raising a large family on her own. Such were the calls of politics.”

“We were indeed saved by the fabulous commission we received when she published her first collection of poetry. Normally poetry books don’t sell particularly well, but in this case I was able to buy a largish property in Mount Hollydell and a yacht.”

“These days we are both retired and lead quiet and peaceful lives. To be honest, I can’t remember when we last argued. Rowena has always been compliant, considerate, and the epitome of what a spouse should be.”

“A toast therefore to Rowena on her seventieth birthday.”

Ferdinand raised his glass, finishing off in one glug half of the glass’s contents.

“Yuk!” said Ferdinand. “This wine tastes awful.”

Rowena smiled coyly. This, over the years, was her sixteenth and final attempt.

1667. The worst of rats

The thing that irked Iris wasn’t so much Harvey’s little eccentricities, but the fact that the poison hadn’t worked. They had been married for thirty-two years and for the last twenty-seven Harvey had driven Iris nuts. He’d squeeze the toothpaste tube, for example, at the top. It should be squeezed at the bottom. That way the paste would work its way up to the top. If you squeezed it at the top all you’re doing is driving half of the toothpaste downwards.

Then there was the way he’d spin the teapot before pouring. He’d turn the teapot three times to the left, then three times to the right, then once to the left; to aid the tea drawing process. Iris had been brought up the proper way, and she turned the teapot first to the right, then to the left, then to the right. Harvey was not going to compromise. He was stuck in the mud. He was what Iris called “a social embarrassment”.

Iris didn’t know how many times she told him, on a daily basis, when putting things into the dishwasher he should RINSE THEM FIRST. The dishes should be rinsed first; that’s what the instruction booklet said. RINSE THE DISHES FIRST. But no! In they went; straight into the dishwasher.

These were just a few of the things that riled Iris every day, all day, for twenty-seven out of the thirty-two years of wedded bliss. The solution to the problem lay in rat poison. If ever there was a rat, it was Harvey. Iris no longer cared about the consequences. Iris loved the irony of the possibility: rat poison for a rat. She put it in his food, in his coffee, even in the snuff he grotesquely sniffed about four times a day before sneezing loudly into a snuff-stained handkerchief.

It was all for nothing. Harvey seemed to have developed an immunity to rat poison. The worst rats sometimes do that.

Things came to an end when Iris, not Harvey, took ill and died. It was a slow, drawn out, painful death, in which she convulsed and writhed on the bedroom floor for a good half hour while Harvey meticulously filled the dishwasher in the kitchen, and poured himself a single cup of tea.

1635. A terrible fire

What a mess! Thank goodness for insurance. The whole house burned to the ground. All the contents have gone up in smoke. At least that saves trying to resurrect smoke-damaged furniture and the like. I’m going to get a hefty sum; and I mean hefty. It pays to insure everything carefully and right. It’s all in the planning.

It happened just over three weeks ago. Thank goodness no one was hurt. My wife had gone for the weekend to visit her mother. The three kids were staying with my parents. And I’d put the dog in the kennels for the weekend (goodness are those kennels expensive!) because I intended going on a weekend hike with other members of the Mountain and Stream Club that I belong to. When I came home the fire-fighters were still quenching the occasional ember that flared up. I’m pretty sure I went into shock.

Of course, the three kids continue to stay with my parents, and the wife with her mother. I’ve been booked into a motel with Mary-Sue. We hope to spend part of the insurance money getting married and building a new place and starting a new life. It was such a relief when the past was destroyed by fire. No more harrowing memories. And the soon-to-be-ex-wife should hopefully be locked up for quite some time for arson. She denies it of course.