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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane


Do you and your spouse argue about how to spend your spare time? Togetherness can be tough to achieve when a couple's interests just don't jibe. But this contract may be just the cure for your spare time blues.

AGREEMENT entered into on _____, 20__ between opera-buff Wife and sports-fan Husband.

WHEREAS, Husband has been badgering Wife to attend a ball game for as long as they've been married, and he has never managed to reach first base;

WHEREAS, Wife has been pressuring Husband to go to the opera for years, and Husband is running out of excuses; and

WHEREAS, Husband and Wife know that if they don't resolve this soon, each will be attending all functions solo.

NOW, THEREFORE, the parties hereby agree to the following spare time terms:

    1. Wife will attend one ball-type game, the selection of which shall be in Husband's sole discretion, and Husband will attend one opera performance, the selection of which shall be in Wife's sole discretion. In exercising such discretion, both spouses will keep in mind that divorce lawyers are really expensive.

    2. The parties agree to dress appropriately for each event.

       a. Husband shall attend the opera wearing a suit and tie, but shall not be required to dress like a waiter.
       b. Wife acknowledges that stiletto heels and bleachers don't mix, and promises to don mustard-friendly clothing.

    3. If the opera is performed in a foreign tongue, Wife promises not to explain it. Additionally, Wife agrees that Husband need not study the libretto or attend pre-performance lectures, it being the Husband's contention that all opera singers ever do is:

       a. Bellow "Hello. How are you?"
       b. Shriek "I hate you, I'll kill you."
       c. Moan "I love you. I need you." and
       d. Sob "Goodbye. I'm dying. I must leave you."

    4. Husband agrees not to conduct a pre-game lecture or to furnish play-by-play explanations. He shall, however, nudge Wife gently when cheering is about to occur, so she may properly protect her eardrums.

    5. Wife shall not be required to ingest franks, fries, or beer during the game, and won't keep track of those eaten by Husband.

    6. Husband shall not ingest franks, fries, or beer at the opera, and promises not to snore during the arias.

    7. Each party must stay for the entire length of his/her respective ordeal. However, excessive beer spillage shall entitle Wife to spend the entire game in the bathroom.

    8. If the game goes into overtime, Wife shall refrain from complaining, pouting, and/or dirty looks.

    9. If the opera goes into encores, Husband shall refrain from griping, sulking, and/or singing along.

    10. Husband promises not to use opera glasses to stare at shapely sopranos.

    11. Wife promises not to use binoculars to stare at shapely buns.

    12. The following shall not be uttered during the game:

       a. "What's going on?"
       b. "Is it almost over?"
       c. Cheering type sounds when the wrong team scores.

    13. The following shall not be uttered during the opera:

       a. "What's going on?"
       b. "Is it almost over?"
       c. Bravo type sounds when a sour note sounds.

    14. This is a one time deal, and Husband and Wife will never, ever do it again. Unless, of course, they enjoy it.

    SIGNATURES: ________________________     _________________________


© 1993 Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
1st Pub. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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