Once there was an undivorced Couple that would get up every G. M. and put on the five-ounce Mitts and wait for the Sound of the Gong.
Each was working for the Championship of the Flat and proved to be a Glutton for Punishment.
Every time he landed a crushing Hay-Maker on her Family History she countered with a short-arm Jolt on his Personal Appearance.
Both would retire to the Corners breathing heavily, but still full of Combat.
He loved to start out the Day by finding in the Paper what a Professor connected with the University of Chicago had said about the American Woman being a vain and shallow Parasite with a Cerebrum about the size of an English Walnut.
She would retaliate by reading aloud a Special in regard to a Husband going after Wife with Axe, while under the Influence of Liquor.
After which, for 15 or 20 minutes, the Dining Room would be just as peaceful and quiet as a Camorra Trial.
Sometimes he would get First Blood, but just as often she would fiddle around for an Opening and then Zowie!–right on the Conk and him Stalling to escape further Punishment.
When Nightfall came they would still be edging around the Ring, whanging away, for each was too Game to be a Quitter.
Their Married Life, which started out with American Beauty Roses in every Vase and a long Piece in the Paper, now settled down to a Thirty Years’ War.
The only time when the Dove of Peace really Lit was when they had Company.
Then they would Dear each other until the Premises became Sticky and she would even coax up a Ripple of Fake Laughter when he pulled some Wheeze that used to go Great the Year they were engaged. But the Moment the last Guest closed the Front Door, the Dove of Peace would beat it and another domestic Gettysburg would drive the Servants to Cover.
After this had been going on for several Seasons he happened to get hold of a Powerful Work, written by a Popular Novelist (Unmarried), who made a psychological Dissection of a Woman’s Soul and then preached a Funeral Sermon over the Dead Love that once blossomed in the Heart of the Heroine.
After he read this Tragedy of flickered Romance, he felt like a Pup.
He perceived that he had been in the Wrong.
The Novelist taught him that his Cue was to bear with the Weaker Vessel and to keep the Honeysuckle of True Affection pruned and watered by Devotion and Sacrifice.
Therefore, he made one large Vow to cut out the Rough Stuff.
Next Morning when the Queen of the Amazons put on her Paint and Feathers and began to beat the big War Drum there was Nothing Doing.
He refused to enter the blood-stained Arena, and when she came after him he fell over and took the Count before a Punch had been delivered.
Before starting for the Office he Kissed her a couple of times and gave her some Massage Treatment around the Shoulder Blades and called her “Toots”–a Term of Endearment which had been rusting on the Shelf ever since they used it at Niagara Falls.
She was so dazed by this Reversal of Form that she peeked from the Front Window and watched him clear to the Corner, convinced that he was on his way to meet Another Woman.
He came home that Evening with a Jar of Candied Nuts, and when Mrs. Simon Legree demanded the Name of the Hussy he simply pulled a Yearning Smile and invited her to go ahead and use him as a Punching-Bag.
Next day she put a Newspaper around the Bird Cage and tied up the Geraniums and took the unfinished Tatting and Blew.
When she walked in on her Own People, with the Declaration that all Bets were off, they wanted to know all about it, and she said a Spirited Woman couldn’t keep on rooming with a Guinea-Pig.
MORAL: Contempt breeds Familiarity.