They say the secret to a happy marriage is communication.
Well, tonight I am communicating with my husband through a note I have taped to the medicine chest in our bathroom. It reads:
Take your lunch or I will gut you like a fish.
Now, you saps out there might assume I left this note as secret code for, “Meet me tonight in our bedroom. I’ll be wrapped in cellophane dipped in honey.”
But you’d be wrong.
For when I wrote, “Take your lunch or I will gut you like a fish,” I meant exactly that. “Take your lunch or I will gut you like a fish.”
My only regret is not placing a comma in between the words “lunch” and “or.” Such a sloppy grammatical error will undoubtedly incline my alma mater to rescind my degree. But other than that, this note reads precisely as I intended.
Why would I leave such a note for my sweet husband?
Because in the hour Tommy spends preparing for his day — burdened by no responsibilities other than getting himself clean and dressed — this otherwise brilliant man demonstrates the mental capacity of a turnip.
You see, in an effort to help him eat better, and reduce our expenses, I’ve kindly agreed to prepare homemade lunches for Tommy. Mind you, with no children of our own (at least none that I know of) I’m not much of a domestic. So, such a task is challenging for me. And yet, I do it.
These lunches are tasty. Carefully engineered to meet Tommy’s finicky needs, containing at least one half of one third of one of the six major food groups. They are prepared with love, despite my own exhaustion from working night and day writing the next Mediocre American Novel. Through fogged contact lenses and intermittent yawns, I stumble around our kitchen each night like a crystal meth addict who’s used up her last stash, banging into countertops and fumbling over the stove — all so I can make my husband lunch. I even include real silverware with the meals, so Tommy’s tender mouth doesn’t have to chew on plastic, and hand-drawn maps so he can locate the special treats I’ve hidden at the bottom of his favorite R2-D2 lunch box.
How does my husband repay me for my efforts?
By forgetting to take his lunch. Every friggin’ day.
“Are you cheating on my lunches with Wok ‘n Roll?” I text him after going into the fridge the next morning only to see R2-D2 staring back at me.
“It’s not you, it’s me,” Tommy assures me, launching into some concocted defense about how he gets ‘confused’ in the morning, and ‘can’t find’ the kitchen.
“But you had no trouble finding the computer to go on e-Bay and purchase a replica of Princess Leia in her slave bikini…” I argue back.
It is usually at this point in the conversation that Tommy claims he’s suddenly caught on fire and has to shut off his phone.
But tonight? The madness stops.
Dear Husband: I may have sworn, under oath, to love you. But nowhere in my vows did I swear not to eviscerate you. Read the fine print, pal. It’s “until death do us part.” So, when you head out tomorrow morning, ready to take on the world, do yourself a favor and remember to take the lunch I made for you with such love.
… Or I will gut you like a fish.
— Alison Grambs
Alison Grambs is the author of The Man Translator: Your Essential Guide To Manland; The Smart Girl’s Guide To Getting Even (Citadel Press) and four children’s joke books (Sterling Publishing). A former staff comedy writer and event producer at the Friars Club in New York, her writing has appeared in MAD Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, www.OneForTheTable.com, and The Daily News. Her humor blog is www.NapoleonWasQuiteTall.com. She is presently working on a long novel that uses the word ‘the’ in it frequently, and a short one-woman show that doesn’t use the word ‘the’ once.