From Divorce Court to Banking

You know, the Internet is a wonderful thing. I was looking at the internet version of the Oklahoman, scanning the obits and society pages for familiar names, and I came across a story about a modern divorce.

Reading between the lines, this gal was suin’ her well connected husband for mental cruelty. And the judge in the case was an old college buddy of the defendant.

“And besides giving her a clear title to the house and the cars, you will pay your wife a thousand dollars a week in alimony,” the Judge told his friend.

“But Judge,” pleaded the now ex-husband, “have a heart.”

Then he goes in this long speech about how he had pulled strings to help the Judge attain his seat on the bench. He reminded him how he had loaned him assignments in high school and helped him with his homework. And how paying out a thousand a week to his ex would make it impossible for him to live in the style he had accustomed himself.

“Well,” sez the Judge, “I guess we can lower it to five hundred a week.”

“And remember how I helped you with Latin and your pre-law course,” the ex-husband continued.

“Make it three fifty,” declared the Judge. But the ex-husband still wasn’t satisfied.

“And even after you graduated I was the one who fixed you up with a date for the homecoming dance, with the girl who became your wife.”

“So it was you,” roared the Judge, glaring at the man. “Case closed at fifteen hundred a week.”

Which goes to show you that there are times when you are better off keepin’ yer cake hole shut. Of course, that problem is far from unique. I knew a pretty enough gal one time, up in Decatur, who was a one subject conversationalist. Herself.

I was in a place in Newton one time and this gal came in looking for a job. After she talked to the boss a while he asked her when she could go to work. She told him two weeks, and he said he needed somebody sooner than that, but if the job was still open then he’d call her.

“Where can I get ahold of you?” the boss asked.

“I don’t know,” she says. “I’m awful ticklish.”

This gal was good looking enough to have a man, but she had been through about every eligible man in Newton County, and a few from Kemper and Scott, and they had all found an excuse to make it a one date romance. Or two at the most.

I was in Phillips Cafe one time and I heard her talking to
the gal who helped out at rush hour.

“Oh Barbara, I have met the most wonderful man” she gushes. “He’s coming tonight to pick me up and take me to dinner. And he’s absolutely perfect in every way.”

“Debbie,” sez Babs, “Let me give you some advice. Men don’t like to hear about you, they like to talk about themselves. If you talk about yourself all night he will be bored and you will never see him again.”

Well, the advice must have sunk in. Because the way the gossip went, the feller picked Debbie up all right. And she chattered about herself all the way there. And all through dinner.

As they were leaving the restaurant Deb was heard to say “And that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about you for a change. What do you think of this dress I’m wearing?”

And yes – that was another first, last, and only. Women do tend to be talkable. At the most inopportune times. A friend of mine goes to a lady dentist because it makes him so happy to hear a woman tell him to open his mouth instead of shut up.

Jimmy, Jimmy Burke’s his name, does have a talkable wife. Alma has one tone of voice. Accusatory! He got his income tax refund check in the mail yesterday and she has him convinced it’s all his fault.

Jimmy’s the one who wanted to know if a man said something out loud out in the middle of the woods where there was no woman to hear him if he was still wrong.

Jimmy had one of those embarrassing moments a cupple years ago. Jim’s ears were about to melt one day when his brother in law came by with a brand new Christmas boat. And suggested Jimmy go with him to try it out. And do a little fishing!

So Jimmy and Greg had been out on the lake for a cupple hours, and they look up in a little bay and there’s a half a dozen ducks bobbin’ around and one great big old Canada goose. So Greg turns the boat toward the bay and puts the trolling motor on slow, slow.

And there they are sneaking up on the waterfowl!

“Jimmy,” whispers Greg, “My sixteen gauge is in the locker. Get it out and get ready. When they see us they will jump, so let ’em have it just as they clear the water.”

“That goose would sure taste good between bowl games,” Jimmy whispers back.

“Yeah, man, he sure would,” sez Greg, speeding up just a skosh. “Stay down, man, stay hid, and he’s ours.”

They get about fifty yards from the ducks, and they don’t get noticed none at all. Greg slows down a little, but they are still sneaking up on ’em. A few minutes later they are only twenty yards away.

“Take ’em, Jimmy, take ’em,” hollers Greg, standing up and waving his arms.

Jimmy can’t stand it no more. Bam, bam, bam, he proceeds to ground sluice that goose. He emptied the shotgun at him! Before the bird can even spread his wings to take off. And not a feather stirs. Except the doggone goose spreads out flat on the water and sinks!

Dead geese are not supposed to sink. Jimmy and Greg are standing there with their mouths open, drawing flies, when a couple of guys jump up out of the brush lining the shore yelling “Don’t shoot our decoys, don’t shoot our decoys.”

Yep, Jimmy and Greg had bagged an inflated rubber goose. And took plenty of kidding about it, too. Alma had heard about all it before Jimmy came draggin’ in. All she wanted to know was whether he wanted his goose roasted or retreaded.

The guys down at the Cookhouse Cafe kidded Jimmy about it for a week or so, but Alma kept it going about six weeks straight and off and on ever since. One of these days that woman is going to run Jimmy plumb out of patience.

Considering Jimmy’s mama it’s a wonder Jimmy has as much patience as he has. His mama was one of my schoolteachers, and Miz Burke was the only one armed teacher I ever had. A tractor accident took her arm off at the elbow. But that didn’t slow her down none getting problems on the blackboard, now.

She kept an eraser under he crippled wing, and a spare piece of chalk behind her ear, and she was faster than most by a long shot. A good teacher but a little short tempered.

One of those ten year olds start acting up in her class and she would grab him, sometimes it was a her, prop up against a desk, park that kid bent over between her knees, and whale away. OUCH! I guarantee, Miz Burke kept her whole class in order, all the time.

But anyhoo, talking too much about too little seems to be a pretty common problem. ‘Course, folks make plenty of problems for themselves besides talkability. Or the lack of it.

One time I was in a Rexall up in North Dakota, reading Arthur Clarke’s Earthlight in Thrilling Wonder Stories and nursing a nickel coke, when a couple of pretty gals walk in. And one of the gals was showing off a ring and telling t’other all about her fiance.

“Oh, he’s the most wonderful man,” she gushed. “He’s so polite and so attentive, and he always gets me every little thing I want.”

“Maybe so,” sez her friend. “But when you are thirty he’ll be seventy.”

“That’s all right. I will always love Roger for what he is no matter how old he gets.”

“What is he, besides old?” asks the pal.

“I thought you knew! He’s the president of the First National Bank of Fargo.”

Actually, I have heard worse reasons than money for acrimony, alimony, matrimony, or whatever it turns out to be. The good reasons begin with affection and only end with money! And you would be surprised at the number of gals who have their eye on his bottom line.

A British poll found the number one ambition of single European women aged 18 to 26 is to be a young widow. The women polled said the best way to achieve that ambition is to marry an old man. Which reminds me of that famous firm of shysters in Topeka. You have heard of Plantem and Spend?

Of course, young girls have been told mature men have less desire and more money. The popular myth about mature men is like the old story of the salesman who had been to more than 70 conventions in three months. He gets to Atlantic City, eats dinner, and heads right to his room.

As soon as he gets upstairs he undresses and crawls slowly into bed. No sooner than he turns off the light than a key rattles in the door and in slinks a drop dead gorgeous model!

Puzzled, the weary salesman switches on the light and surveys the dazzling damsel.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” says the girl, “It looks like I’m in the wrong room.”

“You are in the right room, Honey,” sez the salesman. “You are just 40 years too late.”

But many a cuddlesome lass has found that to be less than true. As witness that whiteheaded fellow that’s been so much in the news lately. If the news could be believed he’s one of those who believe they are cheaper by the dozens. Or maybe by the gross. But we all know the news can’t be trusted. Which is a good thing because I hate to think a conservative fellow Democrat would act like a Liberal. Until I have credible proof, anyhoo.

Looking at all the women baring all about Condit reminds me of the story of the three old guys sitting in the park discussing how they would like to be buried.

“I’d like to be buried with John McGraw. He was the best manager and the greatest strategist baseball ever had,” said the baseball fan.

“I’d like to be buried with Teddy Roosevelt. He was a great man, built the Panama Canal, made our Navy the best in the world, and carried a big stick,” said the old Navy man.

“I’d like to be buried with Gina Lollabrigida,” said the third.

“But Gina Lollabrigida ain’t dead yet,” protested the Navy man.

“Neither am I, Harry, neither am I.”

Obviously, neither is Condit. But money is not the most important thing in the world. It’s just mighty tough to be entirely without it. And it’s amazing what folks will do to get some.

Sort of like the piece in the Trib, back when I was using around Chicago, about a reporter overhearing a couple of youngish matrons complaining about how many hours their husbands worked and how little they made.

“If only I had married a millionaire,” moaned one.

“You mean, if you were only a millionaire’s widow,” corrected the other.

Speaking of Chicago, one time a story went around about a shirt maker who was in deep trouble. He’d run up big bills with two of his suppliers and he owed his bookie a ton. And all three of his creditors were out for blood. His!

Talking it over with his wife, they figure the only thing for him to do would be to die! So between them they get up a mock funeral, and invite all his creditors and kin to the funeral.

And a fine funeral it was, too, with flowers all over the place, dozens of mourners, and the whole nine yards. Naturally his two suppliers and his bookie are there, chatting about what a natural lookin’ corpse Goldberg is, when it became time to bid the departed his final goodbye. Everybody parades by the coffin, and the bookie brings up the rear.

When the oddsmaker gets to the coffin he whips out a 45 and screams “You dirty SOB, even though you are dead I’m going to get personal satisfaction. Nobody gets away with owing me money. I’m going to fill you full of holes, you dirty bastid!”

Goldberg sits up in the box, throws up his hands, and sez “Not so fast, Louie. You, I’ll pay.”

Joking aside, this really is a woman’s world. When a man is born the first thing they ask is “How’s the mother.” When a man marries they always say “She was a lovely bride.” And when he dies they always ask “How much did he leave her?”

Speaking of Goldberg, his buddy Ginsberg was in the womens panty business. He sold Montgomery Ward 500,000 pairs of panties on 90 day billing. So he was long on recievables and short on cash. He goes to a bank to ask for a loan.

The banker gives Ginsberg all kinds of papers to fill out, and finally one of the bank executives inverviewed him.

“How much money do you want to borrow?”

“I need $25,000 for ninety days.

“How much do you have in recievables and how much inventory do you have?”

“I have one hundred thousand dollars in recievables and one million pairs of panties.

“In that case, we can give you the loan.

A week later Ginsberg returns to the bank and hands the banker the money he had borrowed, along with the interest. “I sold all my panties for cash and made a big profit,” he says.

“That sounds wonderful,” enthused the banker. “Now that you have all that extra money, why don’t you deposit it here?”

“I’d like to,” says Ginsberg, “But first I have to ask you one question.”

“Well, yes, ask anything you like.”

“Tell me, how many panties you got in stock?”


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