And so with little Torak fully unleashed upon the world we set about our daily lives. For me, that meant another month and another surgery. At least you bastards saw the funny side of it...

Happy Thursday, chums!

In two weeks, you guys are in for a real treat, as we will be welcoming a special guest columnist while I recover from yet another operation. That's right, gang... Nigh Perfect will be taking the stage as I recover from Knee Surgery Number Six.

I can only hope it is as much fun as Knee Surgery Number Three. Boy, we laughed hard that day.

Anyway, while I am filled with painkillers and anesthetic--and am otherwise unable to defend myself--that turncoat Nigh Perfect has been threatening to tell the "truth" about what it is really like to live with a comic book writer. I feel threatened by this, so this week's column is a kind of pre-emptive strike.

Just for the record, I would like to point out that you cannot believe everything you read. Unless it was me that said it. In that case, I stand firmly behind my one hundred-percent track record of telling the truth and never exaggerating.

Like you're going to believe a schoolteacher's word over the guy who controls the Sentry. Right, chums?

This week, we're going to discuss the touchy yet socially relevant question, "What should I do if I am married to/dating an insane person?" For the past four years I have been victimized on many occasions by my Better Half's erratic behavior. I cannot describe the torment of having to keep a straight face as your life partner proves that with the notable exception of Congressional pugilist Cynthia McKinney, she is the least predictable person on the planet. (Note to Ms. McKinney: for future reference, the correct response to a police officer asking for your identification is to show your badge and/or say, "Do you know who I am? I'm a Congresswoman." Slugging a cop in the face has been statistically proven to undermine your position, as strange as that may seem. In addition, playing the Race Card only works when the aforementioned card is higher than a ten--you cannot win any argument of substance with a metaphorical seven-two "off suit.").

Frankly, I only have myself to blame. The warning signs were there. I should have especially taken note when Nigh Perfect and I were first dating, as more often than not her family members would ask me if I happened to work in the field of mental health. On our wedding day, Brother-in-law Brent Perfect's entire speech was, in fact, a reading of an American Scientist article he had written entitled Surviving Goofiness.

There are too many separate incidents to list here. Instead, I thought I would boil it down to a few of my favorites so that when Nigh Perfect rants at you in a couple of weeks, you may legitimately question her credibility and stare wistfully at the rain on your window, longing for my return.

Here, then, is a little section that I like to call...

Five Moments of Spousal Madness

Number Five: Showering for Dummies

Water--or "H2O" as it is colloquially referred to in our nation's colleges and universities--is the essential building block for all life. It is the most important requirement for the formation of complex molecules such as amino acids, which then graduate to become DNA, kangaroos, and Lemon Tang. It is also Nigh Perfect's weapon of choice.

I have never understood why, but for some reason my wife will occasionally succumb to an overwhelming desire to splash me with cups of water at the most arbitrary moments and then run, giggling, around the house. My practical jokes tend to be quite inventive (I once stapled one of those anti-shoplifting strips to the inside of an ex-girlfriend's jacket, so that she set off alarms in every store in the mall. Oh, how I chuckled when she broke up with me).

For Nigh Perfect it is usually about timing. And when I say "timing," I mean "bad timing." For example:

Me: "Wow... I just finished the tax return. All I have to do now is wait for the ink to dry."

NP: "Hey... look up!"

Me: "Hmm? What-?"



Me: "Well, here I am: happily typing away on my Electronic computer in my studio filled with Electronic items such as recording equipment and my water-intolerant compact disc player."

NP: "Hey... look up!"

Me: "Hmm? What-?"


Or even

Me: "Oh, no... my entire family has been killed in a car crash!"

NP: "Hey... look up!"

Me: "Hmm? What-?"


The funniest part of it all is that she knows--with absolute certainty--that there can be only one conclusion to these shenanigans: each and every time, I pick her up by the waist, carry her upstairs like a fireman, and throw her in the shower, fully clothed. I then proceed to soak her to the skin as she screams and yells and threatens to cut off my allowance.

So far, I have had zero success with stopping her from performing her favorite practical joke on a monthly basis. In fact, the fully clothed shower response seems to encourage her. I would be happy to hear your advice on the matter.

And someone please send a mop.

Number Four: Disturbing Song Lyrics

Now it's no secret that Nigh Perfect is pretty hot... nay, even beautiful. I am a very lucky guy indeed. She has the face and body of a catwalk model. And she has the singing voice of a syphilis-ridden janitor from the Bronx.

Listening to my wife singing is like listening to someone scraping dirty steel wool over an open wound. It's like watching Martha Stewart, Tom DeLay, and Jim Bakker on a TV panel about ethics: even if you plug your ears you still feel unclean. She understands musical timing in the same way an amoeba understands the nuances of Kazakhstan's geo-political climate. And worst of all, she mishears lyrics.

This is what would have happened if she had been the radio operator of the Titanic:

"Hello, is this the coastguard?"

"Yes. What can I do for you?"

"Our captain wanted me to give you a message: he says we have collided with an ice bucket."

"An ice bucket?"

"I'm pretty sure that's what he said."

"Do you require assistance?"

"No, I already have one."

Recently, I caught her singing the Matthew Wilder song, "Break My Stride." The lyrics to this song are:

Nobody's gonna break my stride... nobody's gonna slow me down, oh no...

Nigh Perfect, on the other hand, was singing:

Nobody's gonna break my spine... nobody's gonna slow me down, oh no...

I asked her if she'd given any consideration to the lyrics. She looked at me with a straight face and said:

"You know... I always thought that was kind of a weird song."

Number Three: Adolf Hitler, Whacky Funster

One day a few months ago our cat, Mister Quimby, was taking a little catnap on the sofa. Quimby happens to be an expert on the subject of Being Comfortable and unlike most cats he prefers to sleep on his back with his little paws extended. In his dreams, he plays outfield for the Kittyville Dodgers and spends many an hour catching fly balls in the sun... hence the "one arm extended" pose. (That's me being wistful: in actual fact, he dreams of eviscerating geckos on the back porch and leaving the half eaten remains of his murder victims in places where we won't find them so that they stink up the house).

Now when Quimby lies with one arm up like this, it has the unfortunate effect of making him seem as though he is doing a Nazi Party salute. The other day, my wife noticed this.

"Oh, look!" she said. "He's doing a High Hitler."

I wasn't sure I had heard her right the first time.

"He's doing a what?"

"A High Hitler. He's doing a High Hitler."

"Do you mean Heil Hitler?"

"Don't be stupid. You know what it is. It's when they put their hands up like that and say High Hitler. High Hitler."

Maybe it's just me but I can't help wondering how different world history would have been if those guys were going around greeting each other with "High Hitlers." People would have been a lot more laid back and tolerant, for one thing. Instead of invading Poland, Hitler would have run a skateboard park. The Nuremberg Rallies would have been the Nuremberg Raves, and since everything was so much more fun we British wouldn't have had to wait around for three years for you Yanks to make your minds up and join in. Americans are always on time for a party. Hell, you've even invented a few holidays of your own just for the excuse to spend more money on booze and greeting cards.

I truly wish the real world could be as simple as my wife's imaginary one.

Number Two: Cold Call

I am not even going to try to explain this one.

When we first started dating, Nigh Perfect used to visit my house regularly. Back in those days, she was merely Almost Perfect. But she was just as mental.

For two weeks I had been unable to find my telephone. I had searched high and low. I had searched the yard and the trashcans and the basement. Eventually, I found the phone.

In the freezer.

Naturally curious, I asked her why she had put the phone in the freezer behind a container of peas. She looked at me like I was insane.

"Because it wouldn't fit behind the ice cream," she said.

Number One: I think I tore my Hermes

One day, as we were walking the dogs, she suddenly looked up in the sky and asked:

"Who's that guy?"

I followed her gaze. There was no one in the sky.

"No, no..." she said. "That guy. Who's that guy?"

Now there are six and a half billion people on this planet. Roughly half of them are guys. I didn't like my odds. I also recognized that faraway look in her eye: it is the look that says, "You are in danger: tread carefully."

"Which guy?" I asked.

"You know... that guy. The one from history."

I was narrowing down the candidates. Perhaps I could yet win this game of Twenty Million Questions. Still, I was mystified.

"You know which guy," she said. "The one from Greek Mythology. The one with the bad Achilles."

I informed her that would in fact be the Greek hero, Achilles. Now it was her turn to look mystified.

"Did they call him that," she asked innocently, "because he had a bad Achilles?"

Honorable Mention

While Nigh Perfect is almost certain to reach the Goofball Hall of Fame on batting average alone, the greatest home run hitter of all time was an ex of mine.

Now at this juncture I should point out that Nigh Perfect is actually just a Very Intelligent Person with a goofy streak. She actually helped create the Pre-K curriculum for DeKalb County here in Georgia, and as a result of gaining her Masters degree is qualified to be a school principal, should she so desire.

The ex girlfriend I am referring to, on the other hand, was dumber than a mudflap. She liked British accents and her hobbies included throwing knives and taking her clothes off in public. I had three reasons for dating her:

  1. She was pretty.
  2. She had boobs.
  3. She had boobs.

One day, as we were walking through a park in Western Massachusetts, she looked up in the sky with that dangerous, faraway look I have come to be so terrified of.

"Do they have clouds in England?" she asked.

I tried to look away. I looked at the sky. I looked at a tree. But it was no good. I could never date this woman again. I took one last look at her boobs and made my escape across heavy traffic.

Do they have clouds in England? Honestly.

How the hell would we know if we had clouds? You can't see anything for the rain.


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