RICKTER SCALE: Somewhere in Eire she laughs

Columnist offers up a ‘Husband’s Prayer’

The bride is reaping the rewards of an unexpected inheritance of modest proportions, enjoying a well-deserved holiday from me with her sister in Ireland.

While I couldn’t be happier for her good fortune and appreciate the opportunity to return to the bad habits that are a welcome part of being a bachelor, there is still a heavy price to pay.

Today marks the first time in a quarter century or more where I am doing a load of laundry. Before ye judge me too harshly or get your ginch in a knot, it’s important to point out that our marital contract, hammered out during a year of living in sin, clearly stipulates that I will handle the housework and garbage disposal in return for clean clothes, and freedom from anything to do with finances, banking or the payment of bills.

It’s a great comfort to know that I will be in the cleanest of garb if I ever have to appear in divorce court because she wakes up one day from the tangled web I have woven and decides to take me to the cleaners.

Irregular readers may recall that this illogical fear of machinery and anything technological is steeped in horror stories I’m too ashamed to share. Suffice it to say that any device that has a plug attached or requires recharging is cause for major personal trauma, a condition underlined by the fact I still don’t own a cellphone. That could change, however, after watching how easily Joan sent a text message verbally to my son the night before she left.

It still slightly staggers me how much technology has progressed since the first time I tried to call someone 10 years ago with a work-required Blackberry and took a picture of my shoe instead. Despite that awkward introduction to the Iphone, the older this dog gets, the more he leans toward learning new tasks that can add precious minutes to his nap time.

With apologies to readers offended by the rewrite that follows of biblical proportions, this is for you, Joan, the bride of my screams. May it bring a smile to your lips in a faraway county, like a leprechaun’s kiss.

PSALM 23/A HUSBAND’S PRAYER

The bride is my shepherd, I shall not want.

She maketh me to lie down in agreeing postures,

She leadeth me to distilled waters,

She revises me whole, she leadeth me in the paths of recovery for her sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of guilt, I will fear only thee

For thou art always with me, thy tone and thy command, they contort me.

Thou preparest a table of rules that underlines my failings,

thou annointest my head with toil,

my faults runneth over.

Surely fear and doubt shall shadow me

all the days of my marital missteps,

and may I not dwell in your doghouse forever.

•••

Rick Stiebel is a veteran journalist, who lives in Sooke.

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