County Lines by Bob
I try my best to get along with my ex-wives. But it's not easy
when they continually call, begging me to come back.
Linda phoned this morning while I was waking up, a process that
requires at least six cups of thick, black coffee.
Although I don't growl as loudly, my actions first thing in the
morning have been compared to those of a bear. Maybe I was one in
a previous life. I don't know. But when I look in a mirror, the
possibility is evident.
Linda was my second wife or maybe my third. Keeping track of such
things when you've been married as many times as I have is difficult.
Plus I married one woman twice. I don't know if I should count
her as one ex-wife or two. Someone should write a rule book explaining
those things. Maybe I will if I ever figure out how to keep score.
When Linda called this morning, she said, "Come back, Bob,
please. You can keep the air conditioner on 55. You can put blackout
shades over all the windows. If you want to live like a vampire,
I won't complain. You can even order pizzas with anchovies."
"No use trying to entice me with anchovies," I said.
"You had your chance and you blew it." Between sobs Linda
said, "Please come back, Bob. Every other man I know is less
than nothing when compared to you." "You didn't appreciate
the best thing that ever happened in your life," I said. "Now
it's too late. I'm gone and I'm never coming back. I'm hanging up
now. Bye." As soon as I hung up, Angela called. I'm fairly
certain Angela was one of my first six wives.
I've never met an Angela or an Angelica who came anywhere close
to being an angel. They've all been on a downhill trip to prove
they weren't what the name implied.
I knew the truth about women with Angel in their names long before
I met Angela. I probably wouldn't have married her if I hadn't been
in a thick tequila fog.
I remember the preacher at our wedding saying, "Well, do you?"
"Huh," I said.
"You need to keep your eyes open while I'm talking to you,"
the preacher said. "Okay," I said. "What was the
question again?" "Do you take this woman to be your lawfully
"Yeah, sure," I said. "Might as well. What day
"Saturday," the preacher said.
"Good," I said. "Bars don't close 'til late."
Angela could match me drink for drink until she passed out. Then
I'd lift her off the barstool, carry her to my truck, and toss her
into the bed. Then I'd go back inside and drink until closing time.
One night I tossed her into the wrong truck. She didn't return
home for two weeks. When I asked where she'd been, all she said
Angela and I split up shortly after I hit bottom and quit being
a drunk. Seeing imaginary snakes and rats wasn't my idea of enjoyable
entertainment. Detoxing in a mental ward wasn't that much fun either.
When Angela called this morning, she said, "You have to come
back, Bob. You can lie on the couch in your underwear and watch
the Three Stooges 24 hours a day. You don't even have to talk to
me. Just grunt or burp occasionally so I'll know you're there. I'll
buy you a new Mercedes. Wax it for you. Shine your shoes too."
Trying to be as gentle as possible, I said, "I wear tennis
shoes and I like my old Ford. I know going back to Spam after you're
used to filet mignon must be hard. But you need to get over me,
Angela, for your own good."
"Please come back," she said. "I miss your handsome
face. Seeing you smile is like watching the sun rise over a field
"I'm sure it is," I said. "But you and I will never
be a we again. I'm hanging up now. Bye."
In less than a minute after I hung up, Noralee called. I'm not
exactly sure what number ex-wife she is either. But I know our divorce
Instead of paying $750 for a lawyer's secretary to fill out the
papers, I completed the forms and paid an $84 filing fee at the
courthouse. I saved $666 by doing just a few minutes of simple paperwork.
You don't need a law degree to know how to file for a divorce when
children aren't involved. A moderately intelligent 12-year-old could
do it with no problem.
Less than a month after our divorce, I married Noralee again. Suspecting
my thinking process might be somewhat twisted, I went to a psychiatrist.
After I explained my situation, he said, "Why do you think
you act compulsively against your own best interest?"
"I didn't come here to diagnose myself," I said. "You're
the shrink. That's your job."
"You have a lot of inner hostility," he said.
I jumped to my feet and said, "I'm not hostile." Then
I walked out of his office and slammed the door.
When Noralee called this morning, she went into the same jag as
Linda and Angela, making promises, pleading with me to come back,
crying when I said no.
I'm sure before I crawl into bed tonight many more of my ex-wives
will call, begging me to come back.
I don't know if being irresistible to women is a blessing or a
curse. Maybe it's some of each.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570