Cutting remarks

January 18, 1994|By Art Buchwald

AFTER the prayers of thanks at dinner, the agenda turned to the Bobbitts. Our group was equally divided along gender lines. The women felt that Mrs. Bobbitt's actions were politically correct. The men thought that she might have found a less painful solution.

Mary Patterson declared, "Mrs. Bobbitt was sending her husband a message, and that's essential in a relationship. But unfortunately, John was watching football."

It wasn't what Mary said that bothered the men at the table, it was the way she was cutting her steak as she said it.

Chuck McDermott laughed nervously, "Mary, the beef is already dead. You don't have to slice it with such vengeance."

Sylvia Lipshitz, a marriage counselor, said that only once did she have a client threaten to do what Mrs. Bobbitt did -- but the client had said it when her husband wasn't in the room.

Ed Grabner asked, "What would you advise the women to do if you suspect that they might act out one of their dreams?"

"I would tell them that it's not a good idea unless they want their photos plastered over every tabloid in the supermarket."

I said, "I don't know why women would take such pleasure in Mrs. Bobbitt's surgery."

Susan Gloria replied, "We don't take pleasure in it, but there seems to be some joy in making a husband cry 'uncle' if he doesn't treat a woman with respect."

Harry Gloria looked up from his plate and asked Ellen Brandburg, "Did you ever think of doing what Mrs. Bobbitt did?"

"Many times, but I could never afford those beautiful stainless steel German knives."

Rina Blake joined in the conversation, "We're all assuming that Mrs. Bobbitt's crime was premeditated. Suppose it was just an accident and she was playing mumbletypeg with her knife?"

"What's mumbletypeg?"

"It's a game that kids play."

Rick Davis said, "Why would she play it in bed?"

"She didn't realize that John was there," Rina explained. "That was the trouble with the marriage. She never knew if John was in bed or not."

Sandra Ross said, "We're all barking up the wrong tree. It's not a question of whether Mrs. Bobbitt was right or wrong, but rather, what have we learned from this?"

Mary Patterson was still furiously cutting her steak into tiny pieces.

I said, "I think that Mary has learned something from it."

Irving Blatz spoke up, "I believe that John should be compensated as his reputation is now in ruins."

Sylvia didn't understand why.

"For being held up to ridicule in public."

"But you would start a precedent," Sylvia said.

"If you compensate every man with a groin injury, our health insurance rates will go through the ceiling."

All the women nodded their heads, but the men looked at the napkins on their laps and said nothing.

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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