Wednesday, May 8, 2013

NEWS ITEM: SINCE OUR VIEW OF MARRIAGES MAY BE ALTERED THERE HAS BEEN TALK OF DRAFTING A BILL TO CHANGE OUR VOWS FROM “TILL DEATH DO US PART” TO A THREE-YEAR LOVE CONTRACT, WITH AN OPTION TO RENEW.



ETHEL: Harold, I’d like to talk to you.

HAROLD: Ethel, I’m watching the rerun of the highlights of Monday night’s game. Can’t it wait?

ETHEL: No, dear. We have to talk right now.


HAROLD: OK. What do you want?


ETHEL: Well, as you may know, we are due for a renewal.


HAROLD: What renewal?  Do you mean our renewal for Colliers magazine?  I told you I want to cancel our subscription because they’re slow on delivery.


ETHEL: No! I’m talking about our marriage contract.  It’s up in three days.


HAROLD: So?


ETHEL: So I want your answer now.  Do you intend to renew with me?


HAROLD [brusquely]: Do you expect me to make a major decision like that in a few seconds?  Let’s talk about it tonight.


ETHEL: I can’t wait, Harold.


HAROLD: Why not, for heaven’s sake?


ETHEL: Because I’m ordering stationery with my initials on it, and I have to know if I’m keeping the same ones.


HAROLD [getting angrier]: Ethel! Will you leave me alone and lemme watch this little league game?


ETHEL: Well, we could negotiate that, Dearie.


HAROLD: What do you mean, ne-go-ti-ate?


ETHEL [smoothly]: Look.  It’s very simple.  If you renew with me, for an example, I won’t bug you when you sit around all day doing absolutely nothing around the house besides watching TV.


HAROLD: Hey, that sounds terrific.  It’s a deal.


ETHEL [archly]: Just one minute, Sweetheart.  In return, we don’t see your mother so frequently, OK?


HAROLD: My mother?  I thought she was your cleaning lady.  I mean, I’ve never seen the house look so clean.  Just kidding.  OK, that sounds reasonable.  How about promising you’ll never starch my button-down collars?


ETHEL: If you never leave the gas tank empty, Harold.


HAROLD: Gee! This is getting exciting.  Will you vow never to make that lousy liver casserole again?


ETHEL: Sure, if you pledge to take me to first-run movies and not gripe about the crowds or the cost, for that matter.


HAROLD: And you will learn to modulate your sweet little voice.


ETHEL: You won’t whistle in the morning before I’ve had my coffee.


HAROLD: You’ll keep your icy feet off my backside at night.


ETHEL: That’s going a little too far, Harold.

HAROLD: Well, at least approach me slowly, OK?


ETHEL: OK.


HAROLD: And Ethel, no more yawning when I tell a joke you may have heard once before.


ETHEL: You mean 200 times before.  Which reminds me.  Promise to learn a new one.


HAROLD: If you won’t interrupt when I tell it.


ETHEL: OK.  And remember to let me drive home if you’ve had too much to drink.


HAROLD: Are you implying that I drink too much?


ETHEL: No, I just said if.


HAROLD: Hmm.  Fair enough.  Well, I guess that takes care of everything.  Here, I’ll sign the paper after you.  Let’s shake hands.


ETHEL [with airy sweetness]:  You are wonderful, darling.


HAROLD: I know.  I know.  Now, please let me watch the rest of the game in peace.


ETHEL:   Certainly, darling.

       [A little later]
ETHEL: Harold.

HAROLD: What is it now, Ethel?

ETHEL [defensively]:  How come you never talk to me?  It’s always football, baseball, soccer, basketball then football re-runs again.


HAROLD [aghast]:  I can’t believe it.  I just cannot believe it.  We just signed a contract, didn’t we?


ETHEL:   Yes.

HAROLD: I made all those concessions so you would let me watch all my games without interruptions, right?


ETHEL: Right.


HAROLD: So why are you bugging me now?

ETHEL: Because, my Darling, all those agreements were for our new contract.  We still have three days to go on the old one, and it seems such a pity to waste it.  Gee, they had a special on liver today.  I think I’ll make a casserole … Harold.  Stop it.  That’s enough.  Oh, geez. You know how I hate to see you cry. I should have mentioned that when we were making a deal. Harold, are you aware that it is a federal crime to rip up and spit on a legal contract? Harold ...



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