(Editor’s Note: Chris A. decided he wanted his last name shown after all!)
People often say to me, “Chris, how did a slack-jawed knuckle-dragger like you manage to marry a Heaven-sent angel like Lily?” Meanwhile, people say to Lily, “Lost a bet, huh?”
I’m sometimes asked for the name of the voodoo priestess whose potions allowed me to fool Lily into believing that I have something to offer other than irritable bowels and thick, lustrous ear hair. Lily is sometimes asked how long it took to teach me to walk upright.
To you skeptics I open wide my slack jaws and say, “Ha! You’re just jealous that I found a soul-mate who can see through to my deeply-buried charms and who has no resistance to ‘Madame Trudy’s Lizard-Tail Love Potion’” (buy three bottles and Madame Trudy throws in a complimentary bag of “Zombie Chow”.)
Lily and I met in our college chemistry class and developed a mutual friendship based on my respect for her ability to recite the periodic table backwards, and on her amusement at my ability to inhale gas from a Bunsen burner and exhale fire. Our professor, however, did not find me amusing, but he did find me flammable. As he applied salve to my scorched face, he advised me to avoid a career as a chemist and to go for the girl. Truly, a wise man.
Lily was a serious student who occasionally allowed herself to be distracted by a party or a road trip. I was a serious partier and road tripper who was sometimes distracted by midnight commando missions to shave the dean’s cat or by the occasional weekend in jail. Although Lily’s attitude toward college and life in general was slightly different from mine (as different as, say, the attitudes of Stephen Hawking and Ozzy Osbourne), there was definitely a spark in our relationship. Unfortunately that spark was provided by Lily’s stun gun and it left me prone with no control of my bodily functions (note the further similarities between me and Ozzy Osbourne.)
Before you get the idea that I was some kind of masher whom Lily needed to stun in self defense, allow me to clarify. As a friend I was concerned for Lily’s safety and had doubts as to the effectiveness of the dainty “weapon” that she carried in her purse. Being a teenager (read “stupid”) and sensing an opportunity to demonstrate my manly lack of fear (read “stupidity”), I held the stun gun to my left nipple and pushed the button. Why the left nipple, you might ask? I don’t know. Males don’t think these things through when trying to impress females. The left one has always been my favorite and was called to duty that day.
Later that afternoon, when I was able to use verbs again and no longer smelled like fresh-baked cookies, Lily gave me a little kiss on the forehead in appreciation for my concern about her safety, then took two dollars out of my wallet to buy new batteries for the stun gun. After that, we were inseparable.
Ours was a mutually-beneficial relationship in which Lily taught me the self discipline needed to settle down and focus on my studies (it turned out that books have words in them!) In return, I taught her how to have more fun in her free time. She quickly mastered poker in games with me and my buddies (who told me never to bring her back). I broadened her exposure to American cinema with midnight showings of classics like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Shaft”. We shared evening strolls that ended with me pouring laundry soap into the campus fountain, and then we would meet again the next morning to savor the pleasures of popcorn-and-jerky breakfasts (Well, I savored and Lily made “icky” faces.)
Eventually, we grew so accustomed to each other’s company that we stopped thinking of being apart, much as one does with a loyal dog or an intestinal parasite. Over the years, Lily has grown fond of my eccentricities (like my inability to use urinals without whistling the Star Spangled Banner), and she tells me that I have grown fond of being told what to do.
Now, as we smile at each other over our breakfast table every morning (alas, no more popcorn-and-jerky breakfasts except on my birthday), I realize that I’m the luckiest one-nippled guy in the world. Lily just wonders why the coffee I make for her always tastes like lizard tail.