Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Mar. 20, 2015 - 5:16 p.m.

The Cost of Turnips

Where the hell has the time gone? I wasn't too drunk to update for weeks on end (again), was I? Well, no. Not this time. It was just...it was just....ah, hell. I think I'm just going to embrace my inner sloth and accept the fact that I really suck at keeping resolutions.

Quick recap of recent events:

Faith the Prodigal Forrester has returned home. Everyone rejoiced (except the fatted calf). The new engine was installed in her, 32-hundred was un-installed from us, and so far it has not stranded me on the side of Rt. 23 in 6-degree weather again. So it was blood well spent.

NewWifey(tm) is still battling - or at least complaining about - diverticu-liiiiiiiiiiii-tis, annoying catch in her voice and all. At least her symptoms have abated to the point where I'm no longer preparing vats of Jello day and night. She's eating more semi-solids now, things like mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs. Even white bread, if the crust is cut off. That's a relief for me - and my innards. Breathing in that mix of artificial flavors, colors, and powdered cow hoofs three times a day was making my lungs bleed.

Speaking of diverticu-liiiiiiiiiiii-tis, it turns out that there is a silver lining to the disease. A silver, gold, twinkly, pine scented lining. You guessed it: it's still Christmas at DangerHouse! The tree, fully ornamented and lit, remains up in the living room. As do the trees in the bedroom, computer room, dining room, kitchen, both bathrooms, and the basement. (Yes, we have a tree in every room of the house, every year.) The magnificently oversized paper mache nativity scene that my Sicilian grandmother gave me still occupies the entire top shelf of our wall unit, and all 8 (no Rudolf) ridiculously gigantic "tiny" reindeer line the tops of our kitchen cabinets. Along with garland strung everywhere, wreaths on the front and back door, and wall clocks that chime with snippets of carols.

Why haven't I taken the Christmas decorations down, since my wife is too sick to do it herself? Two reasons:

1. I'm a Christmas whore. I would leave them up year round if I could, and will if NewWifey(tm)'s liver gives out before mine.

2. Remember I had that reconstructive elbow surgery last year? Yeah, I'm telling her that.

Let's see, what else....

Ah. I grew a beard.

I've never grown a beard before. Well, that's not entirely true. Being half Sicilian, I wake up every morning with 2/3 of a Grizzly Adams on my face. But up til now I've never let it bloom any further. However when NewWifey(tm) was away at her Stitch-o-Rama for a week and I was stuck at home without a car, I said "Fuck it. Why am I bothering?"

Lemme tell you, was NewWifey(tm) surprised when she got back. A week of not exfoliating left Dangerspouse looking full-on Sunni jihadist. Her initial reaction was laughter and appreciation of the new look, but later when she was walking around with a limp, she wasn't so sure. (Clits! Am I right, guys?) Still, trooper that she is, she told me to keep it. The beard would soften as it got longer. And she was right. She's not limping any more.

Not sure if I'm gonna keep it, though. A beard on top of everything else makes me look just a tad too manly. I need to dial that back before women literally explode from looking at me.

One more thing. I almost got divorced last week.

Have I ever mentioned how NewWifey(tm) came to be known as "NewWifey(tm)"? No? Well, first of all, NewWifey(tm) is also my FIRST wifey. She's not "New" because she's replacing an older model. I wasn't married to anyone else before her. But when we got engaged we were - don't judge us - constantly listening to the soundtrack from this old Broadway play called "Once Upon a Mattress", and in one of the songs Our Hero introduces his fiance as his "incipient wife".

We both thought that was hilarious (I guess you had to be there), so when we got engaged that's what I began referring to her as, rather than "my fiance". Once we were married though I couldn't use "incipient" any more, right? So I changed it on our wedding night to "New Wifey", even if that implied - incorrectly - that there was a previous wife. Shows you how much I drank at the reception. Shows how much she drank too, since she didn't object. (BTW, I actually do call her that in RL. She loves it. I think.)

Now you know.

What does this have to do with us almost getting divorced last week? Nothing. I just have time to kill at work, and that filled a gap. Sorry.

Here's what went down:

For the past seven and a half years - SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS - I have been playing the game "Animal Crossing" on my little Nintendo DS. (Er...I should add here that this is technically NewWifey(tm)'s game. I gave it to her for Christmas 7 1/2 years ago, and while she threw it back in my face she didn't actually disown it. But I'm the only one who plays it.)

One of the many, many thrilling, engaging, immersive, delightful and utterly addictive objectives of the game is to make a killing in the turnip market. Every Sunday morning Joan, an elderly warthog with a rucksack full of turnips on her back, shows up in town. When you talk to her she tells you how much she's selling her turnips for that week.

If you think you can then sell them for more than that to Tom Nook - the racoon shop owner who buys them during the week for a different price each day - you can purchase as many turnips from her as you like. And by "as many", I mean millions. That is, if you've got the Bells (their unit of currency).

I've got the Bells.

Baby, have I got the bells. After 7 1/2 years of playing Animal Crossing, my main character has amassed hundreds of millions of them. If this were real life, I would be Bill Gates times the Sultan of Brunei plus Michael Jackson's portfolio.

But I want more. I'm an American.

See, one of my game characters is fairly new. As such, he only has a few thousand Bells in the bank. (The bank where Pelly and Phyllis, twin sister pelicans, work. Pelly is in love with Pete, the pelican postman who flies over the city twice a day - you can shoot him down with your slingshot if you're so inclined, but be aware that Pelly might get upset with you and confiscate all your Bells in retaliation. Don't say I didn't warn you. Pete, though, only has beak for Phyllis. Phyllis, in turn, can't stand Pete and badmouths him to Pelly every chance she gets, breaking Pelly's heart.)

In order to hasten my new character's accumulation of wealth, I - get this - bought another Nintendo DS and Animal Crossing game card! It turns out that if you have a friend with a DS, you can link your games wirelessly. And THAT unlocks all sorts of new options, characters, and...dum dum dummmmmm...chances for Tom Nook to offer even higher prices for your turnips! Since I don't have any friends (or rather, "friends who would ever play a game made for 8 year old girls") I bought a whole new system and play both sides myself.

Pretty clever, huh?

NewWifey(tm) didn't think so.

When NewWifey(tm) saw me in the Fucking Recliner last week firing away on two Nintendo DS systems simultaneously she said, "What's with the second Nintendo? Did you finally buy your own so I can have mine back?"

"Nope" I said. "I got the second one so I could link up my first game and skin Tom Nook alive in the turnip market. I'm gonna be rolling in root veggies before you know it."

NewWifey(tm) gasped when I said that. I mean, she literally gasped.

"That's cheating!" she said.

"It's not cheating" I said. "If it was cheating, the game wouldn't let me do it. I'm merely hastening the inevitable."

NewWifey(tm) just kept staring at me, mouth open, color drained from her face. A good 10 seconds went by before she could manage another sentence.

"In all the years we've been together you've never cheated at anything. You're the most ethical man I've ever met. I feel like I don't know you any more!"

This was ridiculous. I was playing a game, for chrissake, not bringing another dead mouse into Burger King to get a free order of fries. How the hell was this anything other than something to laugh at? (Clits! Am I right, guys?)

You know how sometimes you'll say something to try and smooth over a situation, but it somehow comes out wrong and things escalate instead? That's what happened here. I wanted to say something on the order of, "Gee pookie, I didn't realize what I was doing was wrong. I'm sorry." But instead it came out, "Well, fuck you too."

The next thing I heard was our Ford Escape starting up and pulling out of the driveway. I didn't see NewWifey(tm) again for three days.

Three days later when she walked back in the door her hair was a mess and her lipstick smeared.

"I cheated on you" was all she said, announcing it in a flat voice like she was telling me she just got her nails done.

I sat there stunned. I couldn't believe what I just heard. My wife went out and slept with other men because I hacked a video game?

"You WHAT?" I said. "That's it. I'm sorry, but this marriage is -"

"That's right" she said. "I ate at MCDONALD'S."

"You fucking bi...wait, what?"

"I ate at McDonald's" she said. "I stayed at your sister's house for three days and we ate at McDonald's and Waffle House and Friendly's, and when we weren't eating out we had popcorn and ice cream and Reese's Peanut Butter cups while we watched Netflix. Cartoons! WITHOUT YOU!"

"But what about your diverticulitis?"

"It's horrendous!" she said, glaring straight at me. "I just spent the last 9 hours in your sister's bathroom doubled over in pain. I hope you're proud of yourself."

"So...you cheated on your diet to get back at me for cheating at 'Animal Crossing'?"

"That's right" she said. "And now you're gonna have to start making nothing but Jello again for the next 2 months. So there!"

"Um...ok. Yeah. That'll teach me. I'm absolutely gutted here."

She shot me a final withering look, then stomped off. To the bathroom.

I turned back to my game. Tom Nook was offering 420 Bells per turnip, and I only paid 92. I was gonna make a killing in the turnip market! Woot!

I could hear the sound of low moaning and gasps of pain coming from down the hall.

Clits! Am I right, guys?



Ciao, kids. And remember, "cheaters never win, and winners never cheat".




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