As happens in many crumbling marriages, a factor in the divorce of Madonna and her husband, Mr. Madonna (she’s the one with the killer abs and fishnet hose, he’s the one planning a peaceful existence of solitude in an ivy-covered 250 room cottage in the English countryside) is their 500 million dollar net worth. I can’t help but compare their battle to the one Bill Dear and I would have if we ever called it quits. Contentious points in our settlement would include:
Custody of the dictionaries. We’re word people. This makes for a tough battle. The air will be thick with nouns, and adjectives will cover the walls.
Responsibility for cleaning the kitty box corner of the marital duplex before the security deposit can be recovered. I’d rather take out fire insurance and torch the place.
Subscription to Mental Floss magazine. This one is in Bill’s name. It doesn’t look good for Albert Einstein finding a place in my new pad.
Access to the recipe for Apple Bread. Bill makes bread Sunbeam would open a new division for, so I wouldn’t demand physical possession of the recipe. I just want visitation of the results.
Responsibility of the marital computer tech to repair and update all estranged computers for free. Because the blue screen of death makes me sad.
Ownership of the Disney videos. I brought 101 Dalmatians into the marriage and I’m not leaving with less.
Continued relationship with the extended marital family. Bill has fixed my family’s computers, arranged for repairs on everything from telephone lines to plumbing, and, initiated emergency garbage runs to the dump during the great fruit fly outbreak of 2001. My sisters would pack my belongings in a steamer trunk and set me adrift off the coast of Charleston with a bucket of shark bait before they would let him get away.
Proprietorship of the family fortune--a three liter plastic jar once bursting with cheese popcorn, now awash in pennies collected painstakingly over an eighteen month period. There would be more, but we keep digging into the stash for important life-enhancing substances like candy corn and Easter peeps.
Three McDonald’s Monopoly game pieces, two of which were good for a free order of medium fries in 1998.
The cast iron frying pan. Seasoned by years of campfire cooking and bacon grease massages, it makes the best gravy in the continental United States, outlying territories, and Arctic ice floes. In the Southern United States, the family’s cast iron frying pan is passed from generation to generation with the same care as the family Tupperware. I’d sooner part with the children than the frying pan. The frying pan requires less maintenance and never asks for allowance.
Unlike Madonna’s breakup, media coverage might not whip the ordeal into a frenzy of transatlantic proportions. But the SugarTit News and World Report might give us a call to see if somebody’s going to extend the subscription when we split. In our tiny, kudzu-covered corner of the world, our cancellation could put that paper to bed for good. For the future of freedom of the press and media in America, I guess we’d better stay together.
Besides, neither one of us is willing to take custody of the cats.