Carpet-bombed, Napalmed and Bayoneted


In an embarrassingly public row between a husband and a wife (what’s new?) I overheard the man – obviously battle-scarred and shell-shocked from years of hen-pecking – say (or was it plead?), “It’s not that I have no control over my money; it’s the unexpected things that come up and take it all away that I have no control over!”

Whoa! This guy probably summed-up my life’s story in one mad-scramble-for-the-life-raft of a sentence. My heart bled for him.

With high-energy death rays pouring out of her eyes, she shot out a gavel-pounding, “Then you should have been smart enough to plan for the unexpected!”

Hmmm! But how exactly does one plan for the unexpected? Isn’t the unexpected something we never anticipated, and therefore, never had the chance to plan for in the first place? I guess it’s easy, in retrospect, to say you should have thought of this or you should have thought of that; things are always clearer with the benefit of hindsight. But before-the-fact, just how much foresight can one be reasonably be expected to have? Come on! We all know crystal balls don’t work.

What’s worse, the money we have at our disposal at any given time is finite. Unfortunately, the number of things that can go wrong isn’t! Sometimes the cost of the unexpected is within the limits of the budget item we term ‘contingencies’. Sometimes they are not. After all, life is not obliged to comply with the plans we have made – no matter how painstakingly these plans have been formulated.

Then it grabbed me by the short and curlies. The poor sod that was having the embarrassing public row with his wife was NOT being carpet-bombed, napalmed and then bayoneted for his lack of planning ability. Think about it: no one can be reasonably expected to be able to plan for every contingency. Instead, the assault was as a result of his inability to earn enough money. It is as simple as this.

As she grabbed him by the ear and led him to their car for failing in one of his husbandly duties, I wondered if she – in her sanctimonious righteousness – has never failed in her duties as a wife. Life must be wonderful for her. I mean, isn’t it great to have someone to blame – someone who morphs into a punching bag – for when things go wrong?

Really? Did she lead him off into the sunset by his ear? Not really. That was what I imagined she would do if she thought there were no policemen around.

Note to men: Money is a great equaliser i.e. the mother of all ‘shut-up’ tools. Unfortunately, for some, it is not so easy to come by.


11 thoughts on “Carpet-bombed, Napalmed and Bayoneted

  1. Mat-san,

    This episode really happened? How sad.

    It baffles me endlessly why couples like this should even continue being married.And believe me, I know of more than a handful who will fit this description to a “T”.

    Why can`t those who are married accept the fact that there really is no compulsion to stay being married, when living everyday is but a series of endless quarrelling and “put-me-downs”?

    In my book, Mat-san, the moment your spouse totally loses his/her respect for the other , that`s it, time to say “Sayonara!”To me, marriage means 2-friends sharing a roof together.How they want to conduct their own individual lives is really up to them.I mean, since when are married couples supposed to be siamese twins?Aren`t we all highly intelligent, self-respecting individuals with our own idiosyncracies, values and beliefs and our own network of acquaintances & friends?Plus, we have totally different ways of having a good time.Why must we give up, or even share, these with another person, when we get married or expect that they gleefully will like all the things we like, or all the friends etc that we have?And vice versa.

    And heaven forbid, marriage is NEVER,NEVER a license to claim ownership over another.That will be the most gross insult to the the human race, and the individuality of we homo sapiens !

    Enough said, Mat-san.I`m married, which means I`m sharing a house with someone these last 30-years or so, we have wonderful kids who are pretty big now,who love us very, very much and we, in return,adore them to death, and the girls are abroad;my spouse has not touched the avant-garde and straight-from-the designer sketchbook kitchen from the first day we were together until now(and neither has anyone else in this house..the Malays call it..”dapur tak pernah berasap” except to make that cup of coffee or to grab a soda etc from the referigerator, and there is narry a complaint ever about missing out on all those trivialities like cooking, washing, ironing etc that happens so often in other people`s homes..C`mon..I didn`t marry a cook, a housemaid, an ironing lady or a Girl Friday.I married a good friend, a professional in her own right, who has every right to lead her life the way she sees fit, and the same goes for me too.Well, we`re still here!



    I, too, don’t quite get why these couple continue to stay together. Maybe its that ‘a bad relationship is better than no relationship’ thinggy. Or perhaps its just plain old inertia. But I have a sneaky suspicion that its all about the different levels of tolerance that each person has where having more isn’t necessarily something better. At some point, one (or both) partner will come realise that divorce is better than murder. That is probably when they will part ways.

    I envy you, Higashi-san. Looks as if both of you have got it sussed. Good for you.

  2. Mat-san,

    Don`t roll-out the red carpet for me yet.As they say, when it comes to relationships, we can never be too sure ,can we?(despite the years logged-in).My attitude to all these?Que Sera!Sera!I will be the last person standing to go against where my heart beckons.



    I think no one – absolutely no one – can write you off so easily.

  3. Hmmm, glad that I stumble upon this site written so obviously by a guy (no woman will call herself bangkai).

    Quite refreshing to see things from the male point of view. Was just thinking that you guys had it easy, I mean, the license to marry more than one etc. (’cause was just reading those blogs written by women lamenting about husbands taking second wives, some with and some without their knowledge).

    Money, the mother of all ‘shut-up’ tools – a good one!


    Men have it easy?! This is a popular myth that needs to be dispelled immediately – and with extreme prejudice.

    And the licence to marry more than one? That’s not having it easy – not by a long-shot! Exercised by the wrong sod, its a death sentence! A common lament is, “Your problems don’t double when when you have 2 wives – they QUADRUPLE! In other words, the relationship between the number of wives and the gut-wrenching, pride besieging problems one will have to face is not proportional – it is EXPONENTIAL.

    Perhaps the moment women realise that we have it as bad as they do, the sooner well have peace at home – and who knows? – maybe even in the Middle East 🙂

    Good to have you visit, Elsie

  4. Oh Matt oh Matt, I can understand where u r coming from…heheh ‘grab u by the short & curly’ ouch that must be awful!

    Hey I heard this one good story for a sustainable marriage;

    The reporter wanted to know how this old sod marriage had lasted for 50 years.

    ‘Simple,’ he said. ‘We decided right from the start that she would make all the minor decisions while I decide the major issues.’

    ‘So she decide where we would live, what school the kids would attend, what investments we would make, & I made the major decisions like what to do about greenhouse warming, the Middle East, War on Terror and lifting sanctions on Zimbabwe.’

    Stay cool, Matt!



    What about this one from one of my all time great heroes – Rodney Dangerfield:

    “My wife and I were happy for 30 years – then we met!”

  5. Salam AbgB,
    Its me again…got this to share..

    B4 Marriage :
    John – Ah..At last. I can hardly wait
    Jane – Do you want me to leave?
    John – NO! Dont even think abt it.
    Jane – Do you love me?
    John – Of Course! Always have and always will!
    Jane – Have you ever cheated on me?
    John – NO! Why are you even asking?
    Jane – Will you kiss me?
    John – Ever chance I get!
    Jane – Will you hit me?
    John – Hell no! Are you crazy?!
    Jane – Can I trust you?
    John – Yes
    Jane – Darling!

    After marriage :
    Read from the bottom back to the top

    Anak Umie


    Clever! Very clever, this one! I enjoyed this immensely.

    Thanks, Anak Umie

  6. I stand corrected. You guys do have it as tough as some of us…but not me though, I made decisions on all the ‘small’ issues. Your commentators (except me of course) are very funny. Will visit you more often.

    PS. I have watched the whole series of marriage seminar by Mark Gungor – very entertaining and I now understand why most men can’t multi-task.


    I’m so glad you get to make the ‘small’ decisions: left to us men, 9 out of 10 times we’ll bungle it royally.

    No, being funny is not a pre-requisite of leaving a comment here. Feel free to drop a few words whenever you feel like it, Elsie

  7. you know mat, whenever people talk of spousal abuse, the usual assumption is that the victims are women.

    it’s probably true that more women suffer physically at the hands of their husbands. but i suspect there are also many husbands who are abused, not unlike that man you overheard.

    too bad the deck is too socially stacked against men for them to speak out when abused by their wives. either they’ll not be believed or worse, they’ll be pitied and/or laughed at.

    the abuses that they endure [whether in the form of incessant naggings or unreasonable demands or crushing putdowns or emotional blackmails] usually do not leave any apparent evidence, physical or otherwise, until the poor dumb brutes eventually have it up to his brows and retaliate — usually stupidly — either by getting rough or getting out or getting another wife; or by doing all three or a combination thereof.

    then the evidence, of course, points to the wrong spouse as having been abused since the wife is obviously the one “wronged”. abused husbands, poor sods, just cannot win. 😀


    In recognition of your understanding and insight into this issue I shall, with immediate effect, visit you every fortnight and polish all your shoes for you until such time that the plight of abused husbands everywhere is taken seriously by all and sundry 🙂

    This, as you put it, is the distillation of the plight of the abused husband: (the) poor sods just cannot win.

  8. “grabbed by the ear and led to the car”… janganlaaa exaggerate MrB! Kita pompuan tak buat cam tu in public…setakat jerit-jerit tu may be laaa…:-)


    Ah, betul! Orang pompuan (kebanyakannya) tak sejahat macam tu lah – not the ones I know, at least. But I wouldn’t want to meet one who is, tho. Kalau dia takat tarik telinga tak apalah juga lagi, tapi kalau dia tarik… 🙂

    BTW, I will be doing another negotiations seminar at the same place in early November. This time I will not offer any ‘spot’ questions 😉

  9. Now you know why some people murder their spouse.

    I like Dr House’s take on this sort of thing –

    People are idiots.

    Sir Cipan

    Absolutely, sir! People are idiots (I wish I was the first to say that)

  10. Isy, berdosa besar buat laki lagu tu. Then again, dalam dunia serba moden ni, if I as much as venture into giving comments that begin with ‘from Islamic perspective’, mampuih I kena hentam sat lagi.

    Be that as it may, I subscribe to the old-fashioned notion of ‘suami sebagai khalifah’ and fully believe kita kena taat kat suami (unless kalau he has a proven track record of being an ars****e to his wife and family). Then you can tell him to go fly kite. Better still, take him to the cleaners; hit him where it hurts the most – his pocket.

    Puteri Kamaliah

    I know what u mean, ma’am. The phrase “from the lslamic perspective” tends to beget outright dismissal from the get go. Of course, this is a shame. But perhaps someday things will change.

    Along the same lines, ‘kita kena taat kat laki’ seems to be losing favour, too. Nowadays, there is a distinct paradigm shift toward “kita mesti taat kat ANAK lelaki”. In this environment – usually appears in matriarchal families – the boy is treated like the man and the man is treated like the boy.

    This is an even bigger crying shame.

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