By Dick Wolfsie
I was at home working late one afternoon on my column when the phone rang. My wife’s cell number popped up on my caller ID. “Hi, Mary Ellen.”
“I adore you,” came the reply.
How odd. My wife is a loving person, but she is not given to romantic declarations on her way home from work. And yet, she added, “Sometimes I can’t get through a minute without thinking about those romantic times we had in Rio, Fernando.”
Ahhh … what could be more romantic than Rio? But there was a problem: I’ve never been to Rio. Of course, I don’t have the best memory in the world. I once slept through France on a bus tour, so I still swear I’ve never been to Paris. Also, this Fernando reference was going to be a pesky distraction for me the rest of the day.
I kept listening: “While my husband is still alive, we will never find happiness. We have to get rid of him. Soon.”
The Postman Always Rings Twice. However, I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions. My wife has a delicious sense of humor. Maybe she was just having some fun — you know, pretending she had a boyfriend and that they were going to ice me.
Then I heard a man’s voice: “You are the brightest star in my galaxy, the cherry on my cake, the rose in my garden.”
Now I was really getting annoyed. It was bad enough my wife wanted me eliminated, but being killed with clichés was not how I wanted my life to end.
I hung up the phone, torn about what to do. Should I confront her with what I had overheard or ignore it, hoping that maybe a movie and dinner at Cracker Barrel one night would make her realize I was worth keeping around.
That night when Mary Ellen got home, I let her know I was aware of her desire to have me whacked. But I had to be subtle. “Mary Ellen, you are the brightest star in my galaxy, the cherry on my cake, the rose in my bouquet.”
“I’m so embarrassed. How did you hear that?”
“You must have accidentally hit redial on your cell phone and when I picked up, I overheard the conversation in your car. How long has this been going on?”
Since Aug. 5. I was trying to end it, but you know how hard that can be. Once you start something, you feel like you have to finish it. I’ll pay the penalty.”
“You’re certainly cavalier about the whole thing. How much longer do you see this continuing?”
“Not much longer. My book on tape was supposed to be returned to the library last week. It is such a trashy novel, but I have enjoyed it.”
That’s pretty much the end of the story. I’m glad Mary Ellen doesn’t want to liquidate me, but she is hurt that I was so suspicious of her behavior. So far, I haven’t been man enough to say I’m sorry.
As of today, the apology and the tapes are a week overdue.
Television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.