What Do You Say to a Woman With Two Black Eyes?

Domestic battery is no joking matter. I mean, every three minutes a woman is beaten. You'd think she'd either shut up for once, or just leave the house. (lackluster rim shot/cymbal crash)

I remember twenty years ago or so, seeing the now classic Nolte/Murphy comedy 48 Hours. In one early scene, Nolte greets a couple of fellow cops, asking one of them, "How's the wife?"

"Mean as a snake," he replies.

As a thirteen year-old, this kind of humor escapes you, but seeing the film again years later, I found this remark not only hilarious, but at times I might even relate to it.

Like virtually every couple, Mrs. P and I have our occasional spats (this blog entry, for instance, might start another one). To even things up around the household, I gave Mrs. P, among other things, cutlery for Christmas. Recently, my friends Brother James, Skip and I discussed the pros and pons of such a gift:

Brother James I'll never give my wife knives. She actually pulled a knife on me once when she was pissed.
Prego Sh*t. I had no idea she had such a temper.
Brother James
Dude, you have no idea.
Prego The worse I've been assaulted with was a flying loaf of French bread.

Skip Actually, if you're going to get stabbed with a kitchen knife, you're better off getting stabbed by a good one. It'd give you a clean cut, which is easier to close up.
Prego That's true. That would be easier to suture. Or if things turn out for the worse, it might make for a quicker death.

Seriously, despite being struck in the forehead with the aforementioned crusty projectile, I have never once considered striking the missus, regardless of how psychotic she might get. We also have the murder-suicide pact in place (if she considers it, she does the suicide part first).

We pretty much have our routine:
  1. She flips out for something I deem insignificant and begins a tirarde.
  2. I calmly tell her I don't want to talk about it.
  3. This gets her angrier and more irrational.
  4. I start twirling my finger around my right ear in the Internationally recognized "Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs" sign, leaving the room.
  5. Mrs. P goes off the deep end and follows me from room to room.
  6. I begin to seethe a bit and a couple "Will you shut-the-f*ck-up?" begin to emerge.
  7. Mrs. P storms off to cry it out.
  8. I go walk the dog or something.
  9. One of us apologizes, we may or may not have "make-up" sex... and
  10. Rinse and repeat every three or four months.
Mrs. P is very lucky I've got the "On/Off" switch permanently set to "Off." You know the one. The one that gets switched "on" right before the police arrive to cart off the 38 year old male, wearing a tank top and a surly yet embarrassed expression on his mug. One of her relatives, however, found herself to be not as fortunate.

I can picture the scene this past Christmas Eve (a useless "holiday" that seems to matter more to the ladies than the gents, regardless of religious denomination). The National Football League must have hired the world's biggest misogynist sh*thead to do the schedule this year, because I'm sure as ferret sh*t that this wasn't an isolated incident.

The Buffalo Bills get handed yet another loss this season, as the stadium empties out 80,000 + inebriated and annoyed fans into households in the Greater Buffalo region... Among them, my wife's relative's husband.

Our protagonist Frank arrives home in the Hamlet of Ebenezer:

Frank hic. hic. hic.... (opens door)
Judy (Voice of Dino Flintstone) Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....
Frank Groan.... hic. hic. hic....
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... Christmas... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... My parents... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... F*cking Bills game... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... the presents... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....

Frank Gesnarfff... hic. hic. hic.... God dammnit... grishmasss tomorrow with the hic. hic. hic....
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....

Frank Shut the f*ck up...
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....!
Frank SHUT THE (hic) UP!
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....!!!!
Frank GwaaaaaaHHHH!

(Flurry of slaps, punches and kicks ensue)
Outro: Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man"

From what I know about the aftermath, it resulted in handcuffs, restraining orders and a probable parting of ways. It's sad, really. I can picture the cops arriving at the scene.

Officer Smith: Hey Jack. How's the wife?
Officer Jones: Mean as a snake.

Of course, Mrs. P wants to know how I feel about the whole scenario, to which I've resorted to giving a stock response - courtesy of comedian Chris Rock:

"I ain't sayin' I agree... but I understand....

(Crusty loaf of Italian bread sails over my head).

Seriously, I realize alcohol is an anti-inhibitor - those of you who've bedded a 300 lb. member of the opposite sex can attest to that (cough... my brother). We've all made some dubiouos choices. I was sober when I met Mrs. P, but was three hockey beers to the wind when I proposed. Let's hope somebody gave Frank an "On/Off" switch for Christmas and taught him how to set it permanently to "off"...

You'll have bad times And he'll have good times
Doing things that you don't understand

But if you love him you'll forgive him

Even though he's hard to understand...


T said...

I like how you state "permanently set to OFF" acknowledging that there's an ON in all men, but I also think the same applies for women, especially now a days!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Christmas is supposed to be a time for arguments.

Michele sent me here.

Prego said...

You would think, eh?

Mr. Althouse said...

Good stuff, but I know of cases where the switch was and still is set to off... and he went to jail anyway.

via Michele,


barbie2be said...

oh h*ll no. if any man ever hit me it would be the last thing he ever did.

michele sent me over to give you my $0.02 worth.

Prego said...

You should set aside those $0.02 towards a set of Henckels, babs... I hear you, sister.

christina said...

Knowing someone who got hit badly, I still find it to be such a last resort that its better to know ways to leave the situation.

Hello, Michele sent me.

Meghan said...

In my marriage, I would be you, and mr. harriet would be mrs. p.

I am really good at singing that song, but people don't always get the intention of irony.

Veda said...

Here from Michele's and getting kicked back to cleaning. Bummer...will have to come back to read the whole post.

Carrie said...

I've been in an abusive relationship which really sucked because I couldn't begin to defend myself. Yes, I was stupid and kept going back to him.

(I would get in so much trouble for saying this, but...) A few months ago my sister-in-law scratched my brother on his bare severely sunburned skin. Well he hit her. I was of course made because all I heard was that my brother hit a woman. When I was telling a friend about recently, I said (gulp) "he finally knocked the shit out of her."

Yeah he is in court ordered anger manangement now.

sage said...

French toast would only be considered a letal weapon if your wife is a really really bad cook.

I can't believe you let you're wife read this! If you don't post for a while, we'll know why!

I too like the walk thing (or running), keeping my hands to myself (something one should learn to do when angry) and getting out of the house

Biff Spiffy said...

Holy crap, that was an awesome story! I've had a few utensils flung my way. None stuck.

I'm a baby blogger, and let Mrs. Spiffy read only selected posts. She doesn't get online much, and keeps asking for me to 'print my blog.' I'm not sure that's a good idea.

Here via Kenju.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

I'm with barbie2be...my husband ever lays a hand on me he'll be lucky to be carried off in handcuffs and not a body bag.

Two Sirius said...

The emotional and verbal abuse can often be worse, and yet women (and men) who would never stand for being hit will sometimes put up with that. I turned out to be one of them for several years.

Michele sent me!

Terri said...

I must say....you're one brave man giving wifey those knives. (smile)
Here from Michele's.....

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Deja vu! Michele sent me here,

Carmi said...

Every day, I count my blessings. You've once again reminded me why I must do so.

As a not-so-closet news junkie, I must compliment you on your bang-on description of the aftermath. If I had a buck for every time the local news covered the scene exactly as you describe it here...

Mr. Althouse said...

No shortage of comments on this topic, uh?

Back from Michele's

Suzanne said...

It's a very good thing you know how to set your switch permanently to "Off," and I agree with t that there's a switch in women, too.

My father's wife AKA Crazy Bitch has physically attacked him several times, spit in his faced more than once and destroyed furniture, art work and belongings of his. He has called the cops a few times, and even had her arrested once.

Their interactions start off much like you & Mrs. P, but instead of allowing him to retreat and crying it off, she flies into a psychotic rage and physically attacks, hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, scratching.

If he tries to defend himself, she accuses him of abusing her. And because he's a man and she's a woman, he's afraid people will side with her, and he'll be portrayed as the monster.

I live in fear of the day she flips out and ends up putting him in the hospital. Or worse.

Kevin J. Hosey said...

So, is that what you were doing when we walked our dogs together two weeks ago?

panthergirl said...

Your description of your fights is EXACTLY the oppostie of what I had with my last husband. That's why I've never subscribed to the woman/man Mars/Venus thing. He was the ranter, I was the ignorer and it made him KEEEEE-RAAAAA-ZZZZZY.

Unfortunately, his switch was not turned to "off" and the police did have to come. My son has never forgiven me for calling them (he was four and his dad had pushed over a 200-pound dresser in anger), or for divorcing him, and now that he's dead apparently that's my fault too. Smoker dies of lung cancer, but me divorcing him is what *really* caused his death. Sigh. Kids.

Anyway... love reading your stuff. And I'm jealous if your $4K invisalign. I think it's because I had more trays on the bottom.

ribbiticus said...

i could practically see that scene playing out in my head! just dropped by to wish you and the mrs. a happy new year! all the best in 2007! ;)

surcie said...

I'm really curious about Mrs. P. Any chance she writes a blog and you just haven't mentioned it?

Happy New Year, Prego!

Pickalish said...

Happy New Year!! My ex husband once threw me into the refrigerator because he was 'in a bad mood'. Steak knives do have their benefits: After holding one fairly close to his face and CALMLY explaining that he would not touch me again, he got the picture. We divorced 6 years later, and I got the set of knives. Hey, you never know, right? =)

sage said...

Prego, May you have a wonderful 2007!