Originally created 03/12/06

Even husbands like me have our canny moments

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.

- Groucho Marx

A common gripe among husbands, I am told, is that we make bad domestic criminals. We're not very devious.

"Honey, I'm going to the, uhh ... hardware store for some wings. I mean, wing nuts."

We're not very clever.

"Yes. dear. It's that new hardware store on Washington Road near, uhh ... Books-A-Million."

We're not very good liars.

"Hooters? Why, I've never even been inside the place. But some of my friends have. They go there for the wing nuts."

Still, we have our moments. A couple of months ago, I was backing up my wife's car when I bumped into one of those parking lot barrier polls.

After noticing the air-bags had not deployed, I figured it was one of those harmless altercations of everyday life. You know, a tree falling in the forest when no one was around.

For alibi's sake, I got out and checked the back and saw a nasty welt across the bumper. Not a dent, really, more like a rough, dull gash.

Using my vast experience in the auto mechanics realm, I figured it would do nothing to lower the resale value of the car and would probably not be noticed. But, you know. I might be wrong.

That's why I decided to leave the noticeability level up to fate.

For the sake of a true test, I decided then and there not to say a word about the bumper's unfortunate, barely visible scratch. Little more than a scuff mark.

But if my wife did happen to see it, I would honorably and righteously step forward and take full responsibility for her car's poor sightline and difficult steering system, which no doubt contributed to the aforementioned scuff.

A month passed and I was feeling somewhat vindicated. Until last week.

I got home from work and my wife was in one of those blue moods at the kitchen table.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"It's the bumper," she said.

"Ohhhh?" I asked.

"Yeah, I was backing out in the drugstore parking lot and the car behind me was backing out, and we sort of bumped into each other. We didn't hit very hard. There wasn't even a scratch on their car, but it looks like they hit us a little harder."

"Did you call the insurance company?" I asked vaguely.

"No," she said. "It was a nice older couple, and I couldn't honestly say who was at fault."

I made a big show about going out to the garage to survey the damage, and returned to assure her it wasn't so bad.

"Looks like a gash, doesn't it?" she said glumly.

"No," I said, smiling, "just a scuff mark."

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