Emergency Numbers for Spouses

By Gregory Mazurek

(Part I of II)

The implementation of the 911 emergency telephone number has saved many lives and has allowed many families to remain intact. But too few people know that there is a number to assist husbands with spousal emergencies so that their families, too, will remain intact. For example, here are some transcripts of emergencies that were addressed recently.

Damp Laundry

Dispatch: What’s your emergency?

Husband: I put the laundry in the dryer sixty-seven minutes ago. The buzzer just buzzed. I pulled it out. And it’s damp!

Dispatch: It’s damp?

Husband: It’s damp! All of it is damp! 

Dispatch: Don’t worry. Run the dryer again. It’ll be fine. Stay calm.

Husband: It’s nearly ten at night. Her pajamas are damp! 

Dispatch: Her pajamas were in there?

Husband: Yes! I thought they’d be dry by now!

Dispatch: Sweet mother! How much time do you have before she comes home?

Husband: Fifteen minutes!

Dispatch: Don’t panic.

Husband: How can I not panic? She’s at yoga! She’s going to shower and then change into her pajamas. Her pajamas are damp!

Dispatch: You need to keep her away from her pajamas.

Husband: What should I do?

Dispatch: Go meet her at the yoga class and ask her to teach you everything she just learned.

Husband: Oh, no–not yoga!

Dispatch: You need time before her pajamas dry. I’m afraid you have no other choice but yoga. 

Husband: OK. Thank you. Thank you so much.


Overcooked Meal

Dispatch: What’s your emergency?

Husband: I overcooked the steak!

Dispatch: Calm down. Where are you?

Husband: I’m at the grill. I’m outside.

Dispatch: Does she know yet?

Husband: No. No she doesn’t know. I’ve really messed up.

Dispatch: It’s all right. Pull yourself together! Do you have any other steaks?

Husband: I don’t! I overcooked both of them!

Dispatch: Oh my. What do you have planned for dinner?

Husband: Steak. Potatoes.

Dispatch: This is your meal choice?

Husband: Of course! She wanted a salad but I insisted on steak. I was already in trouble, and now this!

Dispatch: OK. You’re going to need to change your meal plan.

Husband: To what? To what?

Dispatch: A salad.

Husband: A salad! No! There must be another way.

Dispatch: There isn’t. Slice the steak and potatoes. Mix them into the salad and then tell her you decided to compromise.

Husband: OK. Thank you. Thank you so much.


To-Do List

Dispatch: What’s your emergency?
Husband: I forgot to do the dishes.
Dispatch: Why can’t you do them now?
Husband: She just started doing them!

Dispatch: What’s her demeanor?

Husband: Icy silence!

Dispatch: We’ve dealt with this before. You have to get hold of yourself!

Husband: I can tell her I’ll do them now.

Dispatch: Don’t do that! Do not–I repeat–do not do that!

Husband: What should I do?

Dispatch: Did you finish the rest of your to-do list?

Husband: Yes. I forgot the dishes. It was on the other side of the list!

Dispatch: OK. You need to do her entire to-do list. Now.

Husband: She never writes it down.

Dispatch: So, just do everything she did last night.

Husband: Vacuum? The children’s homework? Tomorrow’s lunch? Pay the bills?

Dispatch: Yes, all of it. And once you’re done, run a bath for her. Tell her it’s for her by asking her which bath soap she prefers.   

Husband: I can handle this.

Dispatch: Before she finishes the dishes.
Husband: OK. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Mother-In-Law

Dispatch: What’s your emergency?
Husband: I told her she acts like her mother.
Husband: Hello?
Husband: Hello?!
Dispatch: Sorry. We can’t help. You’re on your own.       

Gregory Mazurek has been published in McSweeney’s and Science Creative Quarterly.  His website is gregorymazurek. com.

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