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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

It’s the Little Things That Kill

If my wife ever divorces me, it’ll be because of soap. Or more precisely, the lack thereof.

And just to get it out of the way now, I don’t mean that in a ‘he doesn’t use soap; I’m trapped in a smelly marriage!‘ kind of way.

Any filthiness I have is all in my head. Otherwise, I’m squeaky clean. Honest. I even floss my toes.

“Frankly, I’m surprised she hasn’t stuffed a pillowcase full of Ivory Spring and beaten me with it by now.”

Besides, not bathing would be a Big Thing. Nobody ever gets divorced over Big Things, because you can’t hide Big Things coming into a relationship. By the time the nuptials roll around, both parties know all about the Big Things — he has a gambling problem, maybe, or she’s a compulsive shopper. Maybe he’s homeless and sings ‘Oklahoma‘ during sex, and she’s an ex-con turned Jehovah’s Witness. She’s got three nipples and a vestigial tail, and the phrase, ‘can you hear me now?’ sends him into an uncontrollable murderous rage. Now there’s a lovely couple. I always wondered when those crazy kids would get together.

The point is, all the Big Thing baggage gets handled early on. Or it doesn’t, and ‘early on’ is all there is before the messy breakup. But once you’ve been married for a while, you’ve been coping with Big Things for so long, it’s become second nature.

(For the record, my wife doesn’t have any Big Things for me to deal with. Trust me, I looked.

Unless you count not letting me wear jeans to weddings and fancy restaurants. But somehow, I think that’s another one of my Big Things, rather than hers.

Or so she tells me.)

So, all that’s left are the Little Things, those daily annoyances and quirks and borderline personality disorders that drive your partner to consider renting a wood chipper and going all Fargo on your ass. That’s where my Little Thing with the soap comes in.

I have a mental block involving soap in the shower. When I use the last of the soap, I fail — consistently, predictably, and infallibly — to replace said soap. In the shower, I make a mental note: ‘Replace the soap’. Three minutes later, it’s gone. Completely. Shut the water off — nothing. Towel myself down — still forgotten. Shave, dress, brush my teeth — ‘I have no recollection of that mental note, Senator.’ It’s simply gone.

Which leaves my wife — my poor, long-suffering wife — to hop into the shower the next morning, soak under the water for a bit… and then climb back out, drippy and annoyed, to find a bar of damned soap. Frankly, I’m surprised she hasn’t stuffed a pillowcase full of Ivory Spring and beaten me with it by now. It’s a hell of a way to die, but at least I’d be fragrant at the funeral.

For some reason, I can’t shake this soapy monkey off my back. The missus and I have had other Little Things, and they’ve all been fixed. We’ve both been guilty of not replacing an empty toilet paper roll. For a while, she refused to follow proper ice tray filling protocol. And once — once! — I left the toilet seat up. That was many years ao. I still have the flashbacks.

Probably, there are other Little Things I’m forgetting. I’m sure forgetting the soap can’t be my only annoying habit. But it’s the one that’s lasted the longest, with no sign of abating. So if I’m ever served ‘the papers’, that’ll be near the top of the ‘Reasons for Divorce’ list, I’m sure.

Right after the third nipple and the ‘Oklahoma‘ thing. Can you hear me now?

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