If my column isn’t particularly funny this week, I have no one to blame but my wife. I have always depended on Mary Ellen to in some way annoy, befuddle, confound or mock me, thus leading me to my inevitable outburst: “That’s my next column.”
Mary Ellen has been a trooper. She has complained about my napping, my sense of direction and my messiness. She’s told me how scatter-brained I am, and how sloppy. Every week I depend on her. She is my rock. She is the well I go to when I need an idea.
But this week, the well dried up.
I thought there was potential the other day when we were deciding on a movie to watch on Netflix later in the evening. “Oh, this will be rich,” I said to myself. She’s going to pick out a chick flick and she’ll make me sit through it with her. Just think of the possibilities. The column was half written in my head when she said “How about this one, Dick? Caddyshack.”
“What are you talking about? That’s a horrible selection. How about a movie with all character and no plot? Or subtitles? Maybe a documentary on where they film Downton Abbey? Or a film that has exquisite cinematography and absolutely nothing happens for the first two hours?”
“No, let’s go with 'Caddyshack.' We’ll both enjoy that one.”
“No, no we won’t. It will ruin everything. I’ve got a deadline.”
I panicked at first, but the evening was young. We still hadn’t made a decision about where to have dinner. My wife usually steers clear of fast food, but I like it, because I’m pretty tight with a buck. Then she calls me cheap. Great columns are made from this very conflict.