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Thanks for the Eulogies

I swear to God I don't know how John Derek does it. He married and divorced Ursula Andress, who, let's face it, was and is a goddess. Then he married the rather splendid Linda Evans and dumped her for a teen-ager. It wasn't just any teen-ager, mind you--it was the Bo-ster--but still, you had to figure Ursula and Linda wanted to hang the guy up by his thumbs and do mean things to his groin. No dice. They love him and they're all the greatest of friends. Every once in a while there the four of them are in People having yet another love reunion. It's too sick.

There are three women in my life, also. I think of them as the Unholy Trinity or, for you baseball scholars, the female equivalent of Murderers' Row. Leading off and always a threat is my ex-wife, a lovely woman who hates me like the plague. Batting second is my ex-girlfriend, an extremely dangerous hitter. We lived together for five long years after my divorce. As I recall, her parting remark was that death was too good for me. This was an interesting variation on a theme previously introduced by my ex-wife, who once was quoted widely as saying nothing would please her more than to see me crushed under the wheels of a bus. Stepping up to the plate in the number-three position is my second (and I'm on my knees begging please that she be my last) wife--the luscious, pouting Tracey Paul. She's potentially a human powder keg and there is absolutely no doubt that if our marriage goes sour, she will assassinate me.

I am dredging all of this up for a very important reason. It has finally dawned on my tiny pea brain that a conspiracy is brewing. A very reliable source has informed me that the two exes have gotten chummy to the point where they are now exchanging festive holiday cards and cheery phone calls. I am further informed that my ex-wife is actually contemplating a move which would entail her relocating 800 miles from her snowy home in Colorado to none other than my ex-girlfriend's apartment. Coincidence? Fat chance. Such a move would bring the likes of me well within shooting range. I'm a walking dead man.

What's particularly interesting about this revolting development is that these two hellcats used to despise each other even though they'd never met. My ex-wife has dedicated her life to torturing me emotionally and financially. My ex-girlfriend found such behavior totally irrational and disruptive. She once even went so far as to refer to the former Mrs. Friedman as a she-devil, which was a term I had read in bad novels but never had actually heard in conversation until that very instant. She continued to vocalize her evil thoughts about my ex until that magical day when we, too, were through. Whereupon she underwent a truly astonishing metamorphosis. One moment she was a rational woman who had made an agonizing and painful decision. She explained it was obvious our relationship was no longer working for either of us. Rather than making each other miserable, perhaps we should part.

Then I agreed and by doing so signed my death warrant.
"You son of a bitch. What do you mean, you agree?"
"That's what I mean. I agree. You're unhappy. I'm unhappy. Let's end it."

"Just like that after five years? You don't think we should talk about it? You don't think I'm worth fighting for?"

"Hey, it's just like you said. We don't work. You know it and I know it. We've been living a lie. It's over."

Well, that's when the startling change in her took place. Snakes sprang out of her head. Her teeth became fangs. Her arms became bat wings. I scrammed right about the time the rhino horn appeared.

I guess it was shortly after that she and my ex-wife actually met and began to plan their ultimate revenge. I promise you I'm not suffering from unfounded paranoia. Trust me, these two have absolutely nothing in common except me. You couldn't find two more different women, although I sure wouldn't blame you for looking.

One is dark, one is fair. One is very energetic, while the other is mostly catatonic. One's from a very wealthy family--the other from the only white family ever to be slaves in this country. I could go on and on but why bother? You're smart people. You get the point.

There is absolutely no reason in the world for such absurdly opposite individuals to become friends and live together except one. They want to pool their ammo and kill me.

I can just imagine the conversations they have. I'm sure they start by casually discussing my faults. By the time they've reached the point where they're sharing how I've ruined their lives and now I've got to pay, they're gyrating wildly with their bodies all spastic in some kind of Barry-inspired voodoo rite.

I'm telling you, I'm a goner. Which is a real shame because I'll be dead as dead can be, and the luscious, pouting Tracey Paul will be a widow. Fortunately, she's got a giant brain and it won't be long at all until she realizes she's much better off without me and the circle will be complete.

The three ex-Friedman women will become best of friends and they'll all hang out at John Derek's house. A good time, I assure you, will be had by all. I understand Ursula makes a great banana nut bread.

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Barry Friedman