(Written January 2012) Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good solid collection of “husband antic” tales. We all have them, even without a husband, you can substitute boyfriend, brother, father, co-worker, uncle, creepy male neighbor, pretty much anyone of the male persuasion. Here are just a handful of mine from the last few months.
One night about a month ago, I was sitting on the couch and glanced up to see my husband shaking and quivering with tears rolling down his face. Knowing this was his typical reaction to something he finds terribly funny (he first goes silent, then starts convulsing, his mouth freezes in a Joker-like smile, and the tears begin to roll -- it’s only when he suddenly gasps for air that I look up and realize what’s going on), I leaned over to see the cause of this hilarity. In this case, he had just discovered his friend’s website, http://englishactorsswallowingpotatoes.tumblr.com. It’s a collection of photographs of British actors consuming photo-shopped potato goodies (Yukon gold, mashed, tots, fries, etc.). I can hear the gender divide even now – half the room is immediately following the link, the other half is re-reading the sentence thinking they misunderstood.
Like any good online find, from this he immediately dove in and found more similar such hilarities. The Bea Arthur with mountains and pizza collages sent him into more silent fits with periodic bursts for air intake (beaarthurmountainspizza.tumblr.com, if you’re so inclined). And just now, as I deigned to look for the link, because I’d hate to get it wrong, I found that there are even more celeb-food collage collections that I had been blissfully unaware of. I mean, how horrible would it be not to give a shout-out to the artistic renderings of Tom Selleck with waterfalls and sandwiches (selleckwaterfallsandwich.tumblr.com). Heaven forbid.
Over the last four years of our marriage, my husband has become quite adept, and with lightening-speed I may add, at his justifications for his behavior or lack thereof. I barely even have to utter, “Why did you…?” or “How did you…?”, before he offers up his latest excuse. They often revolve around lack of consumption or over-consumption of caffeine, carbs, or sandwiches. His latest, and one of my current favorites, was his incredulous claim one morning that, “It’s BC!”. When I offered a blank stare in response, he smiled and said, “Before coffee”.
On our recent trip back to Kuwait from our Christmas vacation, he leaned over and asked me, “Do you think Darth Vader ever has to pee?” This was the question plaguing my dear husband at 30,000 feet. What? Continuing on, he said, “Would you wear all the Darth Vader gear, the mask, the armor, the boots and cape, if you got to give up the need to pee?” I’ve found that it’s often best not to verbally respond, makes it easier to record the lines for future writing needs, so I just stared. “I would,” he said. Then he unbuckled and headed back to the lavatory while I envisioned kissing Darth Vader’s mask each night. Yeah, not doing it for me.
When grocery shopping the other day, I was heading to the magazine area to gather him up and as I came around the corner he turned to me with his arms out, holding a torn paper bag as if it had spontaneously exploded while he stood there. I didn’t even have time to get out What happened? before he uttered, “The halloumi sandwiches fell out while I was distracted by the Hitler book.” Of course they did, dear. The fact that I didn’t even blink tells me that we’re settling in to this marriage thing quite nicely. Give me the exploding cheese sandwiches, and go find a washroom.
Periodically, either before or immediately following an antic-worthy act or statement, my husband loudly proclaims, “Not bloggable!” We have come to accept this as a protected shield around said act or statement. Now sometimes his antics are so delightfully fantastic that I beg and beg and once in a while he relents, though claims first re-writes. Sometimes he refuses and even makes me pinky-swear. If I hesitate, he tries to counter with the threat that he won’t do anything remotely amusing anymore, and I will therefore have nothing fun to write about. At this point I either relent (if I’m feeling particularly tired at the moment and just want to get back to “Dr. Who”), or I laugh out loud with great glee because I know that he has about as much control over his antics as I do. Which merely means, we’ll both be dealing with them for decades to come and therefore I better keep the first-aid kit and our cleaning supplies well-stocked, and find more synonyms for antics.