Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cardinal Fang's Generic Marital Argument

Why go to the trouble of making up a new argument every time you and the wife have a disagreement? Use this handy-dandy generic marital argument!

Let A be the subject of the argument.

Husband knows A=true. A has been true all of his life. It is commonly known by all sentient beings that A=true. It is one of the bedrock strictures of his life.

In a conversation with Wife, Wife mentions that A=false. Husband questions this. No, she says. A is false, has always been false, and only a complete idiot (like Husband) would think otherwise.

OK, thinks Husband. She is the light of my life and I must support her. Let A be false forever.

Soon afterwards, Husband comes across a situation where he must act on A. His first instinct, nurtured by years of life experiences, is to assume A=true. But wait, he thinks. Wife said A is false. I don't want to get in trouble with Wife, so I will act as if A is false. He proceeds to do so, and feels good about it.

A while later, Wife comes along and observes that Husband has acted as if A=false. Husband proudly beams as he awaits his well-deserved praise.

Wife flies off the handle. How could you possibly think A is false?, she hisses in her best third-grade teacher sneer. Any idiot knows A is true.

But you said A is false, Husband replies.

I never, ever said that
, says Wife.

Yes, you did, answers Husband, as the room begins to spin. You stood right there and told me A is false.

Not only did I never, ever say A is false, Wife opines, but I've never stood right there, either.

Husband rubs his temples and heads off, mentally, to a happy place (like his old bachelor apartment) and hunkers down for the obligatory 45-minute oratory on his failures as a husband, a human being and a carbon-based life form.

No comments: