The Marital Dialogues, Act II by Doug Hawley

Read Act I here.

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Duke: singing “When the deep purple falls over sleepy”

Sally: interrupts “Duke, you’ve been warned about singing.  Stop it now.”


Sally: “Do have any idea what we should do when we can’t cut the mustard anymore?”

Duke: “When it happens to me, I assume that you will still be OK, because I’m halfway around the bend now.  Take me into the woods, and if I find my way back you have to keep me.  Otherwise I’ll try to survive by mugging squirrels and eating berries.”

Sally: “If it does happen to me first, put me in a comfy chair and bring me chocolates and brandy.


Duke: “Your mother hates me.”

Sally: “That is just not true.  How can you say that?”

Duke: “She refers to me the drain clog.”

Sally: “OK, she may not like you much.”

Duke: “Why?”

Sally: “I married you.  She hates in-laws and isn’t that crazy about family.”


Sally: “Why do you take your shirt off before going to the toilet?”

Duke: “Shittee on shirttail 5 cents extra.”


Duke repeatedly clicking Info on the remote “Hmm.  Why doesn’t this work.  Could it be that the last person to use this didn’t hit the cable button?”

Sally: “I usually hit the cable button.  Why can’t you just hit the cable button?”

Duke: “The person who starts the remote should just hit all three buttons.”

Sally: “Can we just move on, PLEASE?”


Duke: “How do I turn on the laundry?”

Sally: “How did you ever survive as a bachelor?”

Duke: “It wasn’t pretty.  I used to use plates until they were so dirty the food rolled off.  I learned how to use a coin op laundry.  I don’t think I ever washed sheets or blankets.  My mother checked in from time to time to see if I was surviving.  I can’t remember where my clothes came from.”


Duke: “Wasn’t the deal that I would buy the car and you would plan for Backyard Certification?”

Sally: “Yes.”

Duke: “Didn’t we get a car over a year ago?”

Sally: “I’m planning on the garden.”


Sally: “Whose turn is it to fill up the pill containers?”

Duke: “I don’t even know what I had for breakfast and that was fifteen minutes ago.”


Sally: “What color do you want to paint the house?”

Duke: “Purple with orange racing stripes.”

Sally: “Sigh.  Why do I even bother?”


Duke: “Do you remember our first date?”

Sally: “I vividly remember. We went to see 'Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid' and then went to the ‘The Midnight Sun’ for dinner.  It was a great evening.”

Duke: “Apparently your memory is no better than mine.  I invited you over to my apartment for popcorn and sex.  You are right about it being a great evening.  The movie and dinner wasn’t until later in Atlanta.”

Sally: “You lie.  I have a mind like a steel trap.”

Duke: “Right.  Rusty and filled with dead furry things.”


Duke “How about an evening of dining and dancing.”

Sally “Great idea.  It’s been a long time since we have gone out to do anything.”

Duke “Uhh … I was thinking of bringing some MacDonald’s home and playing some Rolling Stones or Little Richard.”

Sally “Ever the romantic.”


Sally: “Were you intending to leave the house wearing that?”

Duke: “I was until you just asked if I was leaving the house wearing that.  Why don’t you just tell me what to wear?  Did you know that people can always tell when I foolishly dressed myself? ”


Sally: “Mother is coming to visit for a month.”

Duke: “I’ll be at the cabin.”




Editor's Note: This work has also appeared on Short Humour.



Doug Hawley is the author of thirty some short bios and an equal number of sci-fi, general fiction,crime, humor, essays and memoirs. He might still be able to turn cartwheels at his advanced age and definitely still hikes and snowshoes with editor Sharon.