Back in November, “Snide Remarks” reported on the then-current trend of men attempting to kill their wives. They were doing a sloppy job of it, though, as befitting a gender that has many times demonstrated its inability to plan ahead even in simple things like buying anniversary presents on time, let alone planning complex murder scenarios.
Now, however, the pendulum has shifted to the other foot. Women are killing their husbands, and doing it much more efficiently, as befitting a gender that has been known to pick apart a conversation before it even occurs, sometimes even before they’ve met the person it will occur with.
The New York Post (motto: “We Don’t Make up Our News Stories; We Just Do a Poor Job Writing Them”) reported in May that Jackson Thomas of Brooklyn was stabbed to death by his wife, Judy, after he 1) berated her for spending too much time on the computer, and 2) made disparaging remarks about the size of her rear end. His comments led to an argument, during which he pushed her around a bit, leading her to pick up a kitchen knife. He then continued to approach her, saying, “What are you going to do, stab me?,” whereupon she stabbed him.
Judy was charged with second-degree murder and weapons possession, but the whole thing seems pretty cut-and-dried to me, pardon the pun. (Or don’t. Either way.) First of all, weapons possession? It was a kitchen knife. If that constitutes possessing a weapon, then I possess several weapons in my house, and that’s in addition to the stockpile of grenades I keep in the shed for when the United Nations takes over and I have to defend my own God-given liberty.
But more to the point, the jerk made fun of her, then practically dared her to stab him. He only had himself to blame. If you’d have seen it — if you’d have been there — I bet you, you would have done the same.
At any rate, it’s all remarkably similar to the story reported by Reuters in which Pearl Lynne Smith killed her husband during a dispute over who should feed the goats. (Correct answer: No one. You shouldn’t have goats.) The argument became heated, and Pearl pointed a pistol at her husband, ordering him to feed the goats. He refused and further exacerbated the situation by saying — you guessed it — “I dare you to shoot me,” which she did, once, in the chest. This occurred in Oklahoma, which makes it hard for people like me not to go on making jokes about Oklahoma.
Being unmarried, I have no way of knowing firsthand exactly what would drive a woman to mariticide. (I’m going to pretend I already knew what the term was for killing one’s husband, and that I didn’t spend 10 minutes on the Internet looking for it.) I don’t recall ever making a woman angry enough to murder me. The closest would be when I was a Mormon missionary and I enraged my companion so much that he punched a telephone pole and broke his hand. But that was a missionary companion, not a spouse, and he punched the telephone pole, not me.
So I called my mom. She and my dad have an excellent marriage, particularly when measured in terms of not killing one another; so far, the incidence of murder within that partnership has been zero (0). I told her about the Brooklyn woman and the Oklahoma woman and asked her what, if anything, would drive her to kill Dad. She said, “Well, he shouldn’t be daring me to do it, that’s for sure.”
She makes a good point. If you dare someone, that person is more or less obligated to do whatever you’ve dared them to do. The news story did not indicate whether Smith had followed up his dare with a double-dog-dare, but if he did, then I suspect a jury trial will not even be necessary and Pearl will be released on her own recognizance, back into the loving arms of her goats.
One of my favorite musicals is "Chicago" (I loved the movie version, too). I was delighted to have an opportunity to quote a song from that show in the fifth paragraph.
One of my favorite groups to make fun of is people who are afraid of the United Nations. I was delighted to have an opportunity to make fun of those people once again. Surely we are due for another entire column about them sometime.