Flasher Fiction

19 Nov

By Dr. Doug Ford, Associate Professor of English

It wasn’t because of you, wife. The police asked about our home situation, and I insisted that my bad behavior did not start with the marital friction—that it had nothing to do with the fact that you sleep on the side of the bed farthest from me; that it had nothing to do with the comments about my weakening sexual stamina; that it had nothing to do with the hungry looks you give the stock boys at the grocery store, or the fact that you French-kissed Archie Smee at the Christmas party or the vibrator I found in the drawer by the bed. The police say that men who dangle their body parts in public often have these problems, but I said that it wasn’t because of you, wife.

I also said it wasn’t because of the children. The police asked about them, too. But I insisted that it had nothing to do with Betheny and the time I walked in on her with what’s-his-name and what’s-his-name’s pants around his ankles and actually found myself apologizing to them for invading their privacy. Nor would I accept that it had anything to do with Steven’s newly shaved head, nor the Nazi paraphernalia he’s started collecting, nor what I swear is a snuff film in his DVD player. Nor does it have anything to do with the facts behind Steven’s assault and battery record and the bus-boy at the restaurant he tried to stab or the obvious awkwardness when we found out that the bus-boy he stabbed was the very same what’s-his-name I found with Betheny. The police say that inadequate men often feel further disempowered when their children take the kind of action they fear to take themselves. And I told Steven it was wrong to try to stab that boy, just as I will tell him that it’s wrong to dangle your privates in public.

And it wasn’t because of Archie Smee. The police caught that name when I first mentioned it, and they looked it up. They seem to want to look up everything. But I insisted that it had nothing to do with Archie Smee, despite the fact that I caught my wife French-kissing Archie Smee at the Christmas party, the very same Archie Smee who helped found Roy, McKay, and Smee, the law firm now defending my son who arguably did what his father should have done. I said that it had nothing to do with the pretty silver car Archie Smee drives and the fact that it drove past me one day, going, I don’t know, about 80, but not so fast that I didn’t notice my wife in the passenger seat, laughing, her hand God-knows-where. That it had nothing to do with the fact that I actually found myself waving as you went by, even though you didn’t notice. The police say that men who wave at their cheating wives often dangle their body parts in public.

No, I don’t accept that.

I say it had everything to do with the food in that restaurant, the terrible dry food and the horrible pictures of Quakers all over the walls. It had everything to do with the terrible service and the fact that the waitress wore clogs I didn’t like, not to mention her funny paper hat and the funny look she gave me when I brought both of them to her attention. I don’t even need to mention the obvious rudeness behind sending the bus-boy to escort me out, the very same what’s-his-name I caught with Betheny who doesn’t seem to be aware at all that Betheny is late and who therefore deserved to have genitals waved in his face.

The police wrote that all down. No, it had nothing to do with you, wife.

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