Friday, January 08, 2010

Hoisted By Their Own Petards

The genesis of the ongoing Tiger Woods scandal was an apparent, somewhat ironic use of a golf club by his wife Elin Nordegren to inflict damage on Tiger’s Cadillac Escalade. But some recent shallow scholarship has revealed that this is not the first time that a celebrity has been attacked with the tools of his own trade.

Legend has it that the short-lived marriage between Marilyn Monroe and the Yankee Clipper was a tempestuous affair. Although difficult to confirm, it is believed that one major blowup culminated with Ms. Monroe swinging for the Yankee’s head with a 34-ounce Lou Gehrig model Louisville Slugger lightly tarred near the handle. Luckily for Joltin’ Joe, the only damage was a broken coffee carafe and a slightly bruised ego.

Some unreliable sources report that when hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky confronted his wife about her alleged gambling infractions a few years ago, she went ballistic. If seldom reliable reports are true, Ms. Jones’s weapon of choice was an Easton aluminum hockey stick with a slightly curved blade and an unusually low lie. The only reported victims were some glassware and an autographed Edmonton Oilers souvenir plate from the team’s 1984 Stanley Cup-winning season.

Five years ago, rumors of marital infidelity swirled around British soccer star David Beckham. Although Mr. Beckham dismissed the rumors as "ludicrous", his wife Victoria Beckham was not so easily mollified. The former Spice Girl apparently flew into a blind rage and started pummelling her fleet-footed footballer husband with a trio of Adidas +Teamgeist model soccer balls. Despite his advancing years, Mr. Beckham was reportedly still agile enough to dodge two shots and head the third one harmlessly away.

Perhaps the most notorious literary marriage of the late 20th century, the Roth-Bloom coupling was awash in deceit, lies and infidelity. The details of that ill-fated romance are set out in Claire Bloom’s memoir "Leaving a Doll’s House." What the actress didn’t reveal, however, was that she, too, used Philip Roth’s own tools against him. Insiders report that Mr. Roth more than once showed up at a local hospital with superficial wounds inflicted by everything from an HB pencil to an IBM Selectric. Some say that his medical records also reveal psychological injuries no doubt caused by his enraged spouse’s excessive use of double entendres, mixed metaphors and dangling participles.

The storied love between the Emperor Napoléon and his Empress Joséphine lives on in legend even today. But what is not so well known is how Joséphine reacted to her husband’s frequent dalliances with other women. Given his small stature, it has been reported that the empress’s favorite method of revenge was to push the tiny emperor over, hold him down with his right hand lodged inside his vest and inflict a painful series of noogies, wedgies and Indian burns.

Known as a jealous and spiteful wife, Hera took many actions to thwart Zeus’s extramarital activities. What isn’t so widely known, however, is the manner in which she took revenge on her wayward hubby in the privacy of their own digs atop Mount Olympus. In ancient Greek times, the rumblings emanating from that fabled mountaintop were thought to be Hera’s use of Zeus’s own lightning and thunderbolts to keep him in line. Indeed, a closer examination of statues of the former Hellenic deity reveal light burn and singe marks throughout his ample beard.

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