“It hurts to be in love, day and night,
“Night and day,
“It hurts to be in love this way.” —Gene Pitney.
“Love” a whole bunch of folks used to croon, stemming from the 1955 movie by the same name, “is a Many Splendored Thing.”
What follows, as I think you will rather quickly see, doesn’t have a thing in the world to do with that.
But what it does is offer yet more proof that if a fellow manages to live long enough and demonstrates the remarkably bad judgment to spend much of his time plying this trade in as, uh, “different” a spot as is Mississippi, there is just not a whole lot of human behavior—elevated, depraved and a lot in between that he is not going to stumble across.
Which is not to say that fellow can’t still be surprised, as I was about 20 years ago. Let me tell you a story. (The names have been changed to protect the anything but innocent.)
First, a question for all the married men: What would you do if your wife shot you four times with a .38 and once with a .44 magnum?
Die? A good answer, but wrong in this case.
Use your last remaining strength to either call one hell of a lawyer or crank up the chainsaw?
How about dropping all charges and maintaining to the authorities that the whole thing was an accident?
No. Really. That’s what happened. It was in all the papers.
You see, there was this well-to-do couple, she a physician and he the owner of a monument and marble works company. For the purpose of this, let’s just call them Mr. and Mrs. Oddcouple.
And as is wont to happen to even the most devoted of couples from time to time, it seems that upon one cold winter’s evening lo, these many years ago, the Oddcouples became a tad miffed at one another in what the now late Michael Nesmith might have termed their “status symbol land” mansion, a tiff which escalated into Mrs. Oddcouple’s having plugged hubby with the five shells from the above-mentioned large caliber revolvers.
(She was either a very bad or an extremely good shot, I have never quite decided which.)
Regardless, the paramedics toted the lead-laden Mr. Oddcouple to a hospital other than the one at which his bride practiced (a smooth move on someone’s part), where the doctors obviously did a pretty good job of counteracting the evidence of Mrs. Oddcouple’s spousal affection.
He was later transferred to a bigger city hospital, where a newspaper account was to list him in “good” condition,” which I took at the time to be “good” as opposed to “dead as a grunt.”
Meanwhile, the authorities back home had taken the reasonably predictable step of having arrested Mrs. Oddcouple for having stretched her marital vows a tad thin and violating an entry or two in the Mississippi Code, only to find themselves more than a bit flummoxed and bewildered when from his hospital bed came the voice of Mr. Oddcouple, decrying such an injustice and proclaiming to the world that he was in no way upset with his loving wife and what had taken place in his shooting gallery home was an “accident.” Hardly anything more than a misunderstanding, really.
I remembered writing a memo to my mental file: When you’ve emptied one gun and started shooting with another, you have also about ruled out the accident angle as a defense.
But, after some considerable ado, dang if it didn’t work this time as the constabulary mulled its options and concluded with victim-turned-witness for defense, they might as well allow the two love birds to continue their luxuriation in what was so clearly marital bliss.
I, on the other hand, and from afar, had no difficulty whatsoever determining what I am pretty sure was motive for the fateful night’s events.
Although I had never met either of these folks, it appeared obvious to me that Mrs. Oddcouple had shot Mr. Oddcouple because he simply had to be the single most stupid man to ever walk the face of the Earth and she was just plumb tired of living with him.
And besides, look at the money she would save on his tombstone.
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.