Marital Madness

Looking up at the deaf widow’s permanently ringing burglar alarm, I went through the gate, found the front and back doors bolted on the inside and wondered if it was indeed the right gate after all. But the rear fortifications were eventually dismantled by my indignant spouse who would probably have greeted me with well- practised indifference, if she’d bothered to open the door as well as unbolt it. I went upstairs to get changed, said a silent “goodnight” to the children in bed, and wondered what they’d been doing all week. On my return to the lounge I was castigated at great length for working too much, and then reminded that we needed more money.

Minor Annoyance Disorder (M.A.D.)

I read somewhere in a glossy magazine that experts have now identified a marital problem called Minor Annoyance Disorder (MAD). A series of repeated irritating behaviours such as leaving the toilet seat up or putting wet towels on the bed may, over a period of years, propel the marriage towards the rocks. Although at first sight divorce would appear to be totally out of proportion to the trivial causes, these minor conflicts often disguise major underlying difficulties which the partners won’t face (e.g. financial or sexual problems). It was the serious unacknowledged problems which led to surface strife.
At least Carol and I didn’t suffer from this disorder.
Our big problems disguised the little ones.

One famous T.V. character always had the vision of a rhinoceros’s backside whenever he thought about his mother-in-law, and it was the same with me whenever I thought of Carol. Except in my case I also imagined peppering the offending posterior with birdseed discharged from a large antique elephant gun. On my last birthday she had given me a second hand copy of ‘Das Capital’ with the top right hand corner gnawed off by a family pet and a faint stamp on the inside cover saying ‘N—– Library –withdrawn/30p’. When her birthday came around I was tempted to retaliate with a gift-wrapped nit comb, but conscience got the better of me and I shoved a £10 pound note in the kids’ handmade card instead.
“You need a haircut” she would snipe in the morning.
“You need a better barber” she would point out in the evening.


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