Quasi-Intellectual Humor: Take My Wife
The old axiom is true; men can make a competition out of anything. Next week in Maine is the national Wife Carrying Championships, a ribald event in which men carry their wives around an obstacle course. The prizes - beer equal in weight to your wife and five times her weight in cash. One GED certificate holder I spoke with said, "Dude, she should ask for light beer because it has less calories and she can get more." Plus, the winner gets entry into the World Wife Carrying Championships held in Finland each year. "Honey, we get to go to Finland in January. Isn't that great!?"
Based on Finnish research, the origin of this sport is derived from a legend that a robber named Ronkainen would sneak into people's houses and take their wives in the dead of night, then carried these women on his back to his village. Imagine the outrage. Henny Youngman must have gotten his start after hearing about the robberies. "Take my wife…please." I wonder just how many times of being told to take out the garbage it took Ronkainen to say, "I think I'm carrying you back today."
The race is officially 253.5 meters, has three obstacles, including a water pit at least one meter deep and the wife needs to weigh at least 49kg (108lbs). There are several ways in which you can carry your wife including over-the-shoulder, on your hip, or the preferred Estonian carry. The Estonian carry has the wife upside down with her legs locked across the man's neck. Typically, the wife would be facing the man's rear end, but some convincing husbands can get her to face the other direction. There is a race directed penalty for dropping your wife it's called couples therapy.
I told Mrs. Quasi of my plan to enter the wife carrying competition. Her laughter included several snorts. She wasn't buying the argument that it would be a great way to bond and maybe squeeze in trip to northern (very northern) Europe. Undeterred, I told her that the best strategy would be if she lost 30 pounds for the event. Now the laughter contained a violent coughing spasm. Alternatively, I suggested that I could lose the 30 pounds and she could carry me. Thankfully, my Boy Scoutmasters trained me sufficiently in dressing field wounds as I applied direct pressure to my swelling lip. It quickly became evident that this was an event Mrs. Quasi was not willing to participate in and my dreams of traveling to Finland were dashed. Until I read the bylaws. "The wife to be carried may be your own, your neighbor's or you may have found her afield." I was back in business. I just needed to find a new wife.
I started looking around the neighborhood. There's a lithe triathlete a few doors down from me, but her God fearing husband may consider my proposition a violation of the tenth commandment. I needed to look afield. Where could a middle-aged man find a wife who would be willing to be carried through mud and muck for beer? Then it hit me. Mail order Russian bride. No, no, wait…mail order Russian gymnast bride. My plan was coming together. I'd convince Mrs. Quasi that we were going to host a foreign exchange student for a short while; I'd win the event, go to Finland, compete there, meet the in-laws from neighboring Russia, arrange a quickie divorce and head home. Perfect plan.
There are over two thousand websites dedicated to finding a Russian bride, but some looked dubious to me. After two hours of web surfing and a $300 deposit I found the perfect race companion. Unfortunately, my handheld Russian translator must have malfunctioned unless "gymnast" translates to "competitor in GNC's World's Strongest Man competition." Olga was built like Shrek, with dirty blond hair.
I confess that I didn't feel emasculated at all as Olga carried me across the finish line in the winning time. And, there was no embarrassment visible on my face as they weighed me for the beer prize. However, I did sneer as I paid Olga the cash prize. We both knew that our relationship was over and this was the alimony. I paid the cash without an argument. I thought that was big of me. (Mrs. Quasi didn't like that joke.)
Trent Theroux is a director of finance, a graduate school professor, a father, an athlete and according to Mrs. Quasi, a passionate lover. He failed grammar both times he went through the fifth grade because of his complete ignorance in the uses of commas. You can contact Trent to provide comments, essay suggestions and grammatical corrections at firstname.lastname@example.org.