I am probably the most relationship-dysfunctional person on the planet. My tendencies to stay too long with the bad ones and screw up the good ones prematurely is borderline legendary. My crowning achievement was the eight years I spent with Brittany, who, as crazy people go, was their queen.

My friends have spent countless hours rehashing my old war stories with Brittany, telling tales of juice machines thrown through plate glass windows at Dunkin Donuts, or recounting the time I was pushed off a balcony. Nevertheless, Mark Twain said it best, “Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” I made it out, but sometimes I feel like a Holocaust survivor. That may be an extreme comparison, but if you’ve never found yourself on the run from another human being that is intent on killing you, then you really don’t know just how insane things can get.

I never used to tell these stories. In all honesty they were a bit embarrassing although anyone anywhere close to our relationship knew that it was anything but tame. Sometimes though, especially years later, it’s nice to clear out the closet. It’s therapy. Pulling out all the skeletons would be akin to unearthing the Killing Fields of Cambodia but there are a few stand-out moments that deserve to be dragged out into the sunlight. Every time I overhear some poor schmuck in a bar complaining about how crazy his current girlfriend is, I reflexively call him on it.

“All in!” I say. “What do you have?”

“She threw a glass at me last night.”

“Pussy,” I’d say, and then I would display one of my own scars. We might as well have been Quint and Hooper on the Orca.

One particular night, Brittany came home drunk at 3:00 in the morning. I had fallen asleep on the couch and was awakened by the sound of a key attempting to find a keyhole. After a few minutes she outsmarted the lock and came stumbling into the living room. Crazy is hard to deal with by itself; crazy and drunk is impossible. It was like her emotions were being driven by an Asian.

“Get out!” she growled.

We’d been together for years at this point and I knew that this wasn’t an argument I wanted to have. I slipped on my shoes and attempted to avoid the fight. “Fine,” I said.

“Where are you going?”

“What?!? You just said -”

“I fucking hate you!”

Anyone that has ever truly been with a crazy person will tell you that there is a definitive checklist of items that have to grab in the off chance that you are forced to leave suddenly. It’s a little survival kit that we keep handy. Many times, especially if I knew things were on the verge of getting out of hand, I would simply leave these items in my blue jeans: wallet, lighter, cigarettes, keys. I would then set my jeans on the floor in the ready position like a fireman. I wasn’t prepared that night, however.

“I said GET OUT!” she screamed as she pushed me.

I immediately started scrambling through the list and trying to locate what I needed. “Wallet, lighter, cigarettes, where are my cigarettes? They must be – Oh shit. She has a knife.”

To this day I cannot explain where the knife came from. She never went near the kitchen and I never took my eyes off of her. It appeared the way a dove appears in a magician’s hands. It just materialized. For all I know it popped out of the back of her hand like a bipolar X-Man. “Hi, my name is Wolverine and I’m an alcoholic.” SNIKT!

She was standing at the door with a steak knife in one hand and my fate in the other.

There are moments in our lives where we know that we have passed the point of no return; that we are committed to the insanity. There is no more negotiation. The switch has been flipped and the hostages aren’t going to make it out alive. Crazy people generally decide for us just exactly when that moment is going to be. There are signs: the glazed eyes, the vein popping out in the side of her neck, the backwards Latin. And when a man is confronted with such a situation, sometimes he decides that he is bigger than it is; that he can just “man up”. This was one of those situations.

Rather than run away or shoot straight for the door, I made the decision to disarm her. If this was a horror movie then I was the black guy running into the woods. I was the blonde scrambling up the stairs. I was going to die, and anyone watching would have seen it coming from a mile away. “Why would he do that?” they would ask. The only answer I could give them would be that at that particular second, I was a man.

A stupid man, but a man nonetheless.

It should be simple, really. All I had to do was get my right hand up, block the swinging arm with the knife, get to the deadbolt, unlock it, open the door with the other hand, continue to restrain her arm, pivot, shift my weight, and slip through into the night. It shouldn’t take more than a second or two if I’d done the calculations correctly. I was pretty confident that she wouldn’t follow through anyway. She wasn’t actually going to stab me.

Well write this down in a notebook somewhere. Crazy doesn’t bluff.

I lunged, and it was exactly how they say it is when you’re about to die. Everything slows down and scenes from your past flash before your eyes. A birthday cake, a bicycle, someone is pushing me on a swing set. Grandpa?

And then SLASH!

I felt the impact on my arm but no immediate pain. I remember thinking to myself that I should probably do something. I started to run, because somewhere I remember reading that that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’ve been stabbed and the person that stabbed you is trying to stab you again, but it was like running in a dream; the dream where you’re being chased and you have to get down a flight of stairs and your legs are all rubbery and God is laughing at you like Jason and the Argonauts.

My checklist had long since gone out the window. The only thought in my head was to get to my car at all costs. I would be safe there. I rounded the bottom of the staircase and stumble-stepped towards the parking lot, almost losing my footing several times in the loose gravel. The halogen glow of a street light illuminated my plight to anyone that wanted to watch, but no one did. I was alone. I turned the corner and slammed into my car. Thank God. I reached in my pockets looking for my keys – the keys I never managed to grab before I escaped. That’s why you have the checklist, Slade.

In the distance I heard our apartment door slam. She was coming to finish the job. I was wounded and she knew it. Water buffalo are supposed to die this way, not me. This isn’t the Serengeti and I’m not an antelope waiting for some predator to come and finish me. I’ll escape on foot if I have to. The dilemma I had was that I had expended every ounce of stamina I possessed getting this far. I was smoking almost three packs of Marlboros a day at the time and was pretty sure sprinting was out of the question. The best I was going to muster was going to be a “brisk walk”.

It was 3:30 am. There was no one to call, and even if there had been I didn’t have a cell phone. I kept moving, looking ahead at the longest, darkest, emptiest road I had ever seen in my life. I heard a truck engine rev in the distance and I knew that she was coming. A few seconds later I saw her headlights make the turn at the intersection. I knew they were hers because they smoldered with an evil red glow and one of them was dim and cracked from where she slammed into my car a few weeks earlier.

And then the realization started to sink in that this was how I was going to die. My life was being directed by John Woo.

She was screaming down the street by this point. My only hopes lay a block or two up the road. I remembered that there was a Catholic church and I convinced myself that if I could just make it there I would be safe. There obviously wouldn’t be anyone there to let me in, but if I could manage to get on the property then maybe the demons couldn’t follow me. It would be like Spiritual Base.

My legs were aching as I burst through the boundaries of the church’s courtyard. I stopped underneath a statue of Jesus. I lit up a cigarette and huddled there panting and bleeding from the arm. There was a small moment of relief when I heard her truck tires screeching in the parking lot and circling, but not stopping.

I’ve never been the most religious person in the world but I was acutely aware that I was standing there beneath Jesus. Maybe I should talk to him. I wasn’t faring so well on my own, so what did I have to lose? This was unfamiliar territory however. I knew I was only talking to him because I needed something and that seemed a little unfair. I was uncomfortable, like I was approaching a girl in a bar for the first time.

“Look, I know you don’t know me, but… Geez, I’m no good at this. Can I buy you a drink? Never mind, you’re Jesus. You make your own.

Anyway, I don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a really crazy person out there in the parking lot and I’m pretty sure she wants to hurt me really bad. And please don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to point the finger or anything, but… you made her, you fix her. I’m really starting to understand why you hung out with twelve other guys. You have to do something. Can you kill her?

No? Why not?

Because the Antichrist doesn’t die until halfway through the Tribulation. That’s clever. Jesus is a comedian.

Well, can’t you throw a lightning bolt or something? I mean, you don’t even have to hit her; just come close. She’s drunk, she’ll walk into it. It wouldn’t even be your fault technically.

Whatever, I don’t care. Just give me a way out.”

And I swear Jesus winked at me.

Two weeks later I returned from a week at a comedy club in Boise, Idaho. She and I went to lunch, where she calmly informed me that she wanted to end things so that she could go out with a guy she had recently reconnected with from high school. I did want out, but I didn’t want out like that.

“I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth here, but really God? You created the entire world in six days, and this is the best you can come with?”

Still, it got the job done. It’s funny how life works sometimes. Eight years of my life over and done with because she decided to cheat. And after all the things I had tolerated, too. The more I thought about it though, the more I started to laugh. A few of my friends that knew the story were the first to want to round up a Wild West style posse and hunt the guy down.

“Let’s kick his ass!”

“No,” I would always reply.

“Oh, you mean no as in ‘wink wink’? Like you want us to take him out but you don’t want to know anything about it just in case the cops come asking?”

“No, I mean don’t do anything.”

“Well what are you going to do him then?”

“Nothing at all. I’m serious. I mean, I appreciate the gesture, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing you can do to him that compares with what he’s in for. I almost want to finance the relationship. I want to buy them a bottle of wine and a hotel room at the casino, and a notebook and a pen. ‘Keep a journal motherfucker. You’re writing my career.’ I have no desire to beat him up. I want him to have complete control of all his senses when he goes out with her, so he misses nothing.”

In hindsight I really am shocked that I stayed as long as I did. I certainly don’t regret any of it and I recognize how vital that time spent was in developing who I am today. Almost the same way prison time turns some people into brand new people, I know that I needed to let my own story run its course. There’s no moral to this, except maybe that some churches do keep the demons out for a little while, but whether you can run from them or face them down, in the end some demons just have to exorcise themselves.

She and I haven’t talked in years and in the rare moments we have it has honestly been more than pleasant. Still, I know the potential explosion that lies just below the surface. Someone somewhere is dealing with it, probably even as I write this. I remember getting a call on my cell a few months ago from a number I didn’t recognize, and when I answered the phone a strange male voice was on the other end.

“Is this Slade?” he asked.

“It is.”

He immediately followed up, “Did you used to date Brittany?”

I paused for a moment, and then asked my own question. “I knew this was coming. Who’d she kill?”

“Nothing like that, “he said. “I’m calling because I’m the guy that’s dating her now.”

There was a long pause while I digested that fact, and I fought back the urge to laugh out loud. Through my inner chuckles I managed to force out the question, “So how’s that working out for you?”

It was his turn to awkwardly pause. Finally he said, “Look, your name has come up a couple of times in conversation between me and her, and every time it does she refers to you as the one that got away, and I -.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! What did you just say?” I interrupted. “That’s not cool at all, man. You mean to tell me that after all our drama and history she still thinks of me like that?”

“No, no, no,” he said. “You actually got away. How’d you do it? I need help.”

And then his voice faded from my ear as I dropped the phone in uncontrollable peals of laughter.

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SLADE HAM is a stand up comedian. He has performed in 52 countries on six continents, a journey that can be followed in his book, Until All the Dragons Are Dead. One day he hopes to host a travel show and continue to trick the world into paying him to do the things he loves to do. Slade is also an Editor for The Nervous Breakdown's Arts and Culture section. He keeps a very expensive storage unit in Houston, TX.

62 responses to “What You’re Supposed to Do When You Get Stabbed”

  1. Anon says:

    Good Lord, man! That’s like those awful bumper stickers: “I keep missing my ex… but my aim is improving.” And, speaking of which, the next time you choose to disarm a knife-wielding crazy chick, I would humbly suggest doing so from a range of no less than fifty feet. While backing up. And you may want to consider using silver bullets, blessed with a liberal sprinkling of Thorazine. I suspect Jesus would be cool with it.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Yes, in hindsight I must admit it wasn’t the most brilliant of decisions.

      And Thorazine bullets… we could make a fortune.

      • Anon says:

        I can envision the marketing now: “Dating a whack-job and wondering which personality is coming home tonight? Why take chances? New and improved ‘whack-a-whack’ ammo – now with 40% less crazy!”

  2. Simon Smithson says:

    Slade, I’m sorry. On the one hand, I want to commiserate. On the other, this is just too fucking funny for me to be anything but glad I’m reading it. Every time I read a line and thought ‘That’s it! That’s the one I’m going to isolate as the funniest!’, you topped it a second later.

    I look forward to eating your lifeless carcass after the Apocalypse has come.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I have toyed with this story on and off for a while now. Originally I wrote a much shorter version for my website and then it made its way to the stage in yet another version. I had forgotten about it until today. I hammered my through it, recalling as many of the punches as I could from its earlier incarnations. This, I believe, is how this story is supposed to be told.

      Thanks for the confirmation that some of them still work.

  3. My God! I think you were dating my Aunt Betty? Is “Brittany” now 63-years-old?

    • Slade Ham says:

      No, she appears to be around 30, but she may in fact be much, much older indeed. I’m pretty sure she’s immortal if you believe the myths, hahaha.

      • I’m pretty sure we are talking about the same person. My Aunt Betty did have hymenoplasty which may have, in turn, reduced her age by 30 years. Yes, you are thinking of the correct hymen. She was revirginized. I know this because my Aunt Betty is schizophrenic and called everyone in our family to let us know about three years ago. We were eating dinner when the phone rang. If Aunt Betty is not really “Brittany,” (it’s okay Slade to admit you were sleeping with a 60-year-old. I mean, shit, who hasn’t?) then by 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, they may somehow be kin. Crazy runs in the family.

  4. Zara Potts says:

    Oh my god. I know it’s wrong, but this had me in hysterics. So fucking funny and so fucking awful.
    I’m pretty sure I may have been one of those crazy ex’s at some points in my life, which makes me deeply ashamed and embarassed.
    But you know, sometimes it’s just bad chemistry. You can go for twenty years without doing anything crazy and then you meet someone and bam! suddenly there’s something in the relationship that hits the crazy switch. Not that I am justifying or excusing her actions one little bit.. it just is fascinating to me, why ‘Good People Go Bad’ in certain relationships. Although it sounds like this girl may have just been genuinely crazy, relationship or no.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I could go around and around with this one all day, hahaha. I think it is funny how the explosions do seem to be set off by a particular person sometimes. That pisses me off even more though, because that means that she is more than capable of controlling it the other 90% of the time and probably could have with me as well but chose not to. I’m a firm believer that we are always really in control and always accountable.

      There is a lot to be said for the chemistry though, and I would be a total liar if I said I wasn’t pushing a lot of those buttons on purpose by the end. Walking on eggshells sucks, and I chose not to.

      And if you were the “crazy ex” in the past, just know that you left whoever he was with some really great stories to tell at the bar. It all evens out in the end.

  5. Richard Cox says:

    I always wonder, with women like that, if you could extract the neurotransmitters from their brains somehow and build a biological explosive that would be undetectable with conventional surveillance equipment. Think of the money you could make on the black market.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Hahaha. The mind swirls with possibilities doesn’t it? In their raw form I’m sure they’re a thousand times more unstable than any theoretical weapon or particle we’ve dreamed up to date.

      The minute they found a way to do isolate those neurotransmitters though, someone would invent a way of detecting their presence… and THAT technology is something that interests me far more. I’d never get caught off guard again.

  6. Sarah says:

    I now realize I am much further down on the Crazy Scale than I thought I was. So, on top of this being a wonderfully written, highly entertaining read, I’m taking some positive affirmation away from this piece.

    If you ever get asked escape advise from her current boyfriend again, just remember that a magician never reveals his secrets.

  7. Matt says:

    Crazy doesn’t bluff.

    No. No, sir, it does not. Not at all. *shudders*

    Since no one else has brought it up, I have to ask: how did she respond, once she sobered up, to the knowledge that she’d stabbed you?

    • Slade Ham says:

      The same way she responded the next day to every crazy thing she did… She apologized. The thing about her was that she really was incredibly sincere when she apologized. She was also incredibly sincere when she was trying to attack me as well though, and that part was the problem.

      “Nothing like that will never happen again. I promise.”

      That phrase still echoes in my head sometimes…

  8. Simone says:

    Great post, Slade.

    Satchel Paige said “Don’t pray when it rains of you don’t pray when the sun shines.”

    That quote came to mind when I read this line: “Look, I know you don’t know me, but… Geez, I’m no good at this. Can I buy you a drink? Never mind, you’re Jesus. You make your own.”

    Funny, I do that myself sometimes (pray when it rains) when I’m in a rut and don’t know what to do or how to get out of it. Selective religiousness seems to get us by when we need it. Although we know it shouldn’t have to be that way.

    Did you spend the night in th Church yard? Did you need to get stitches?
    I’m glad, for your sake, that she’s not around anymore.

    This line had me in hysterics:
    “No, no, no,” he said. “You actually got away. How’d you do it? I need help.”

    • Slade Ham says:

      I didn’t need stitches. in the end it proved to be a shallow wound, and only the faintest remnant of a scar remains.

      I remember hanging out at the church for a while longer, until her truck had left. I went walking for a few hours after that until I was convinced that she had fallen asleep. Then, like too many nights before it, I went home and fell asleep myself. I mentioned it in the comment to Matt above, the apology was almost certain to come in the morning.

      And thanks. I’ve used that last line on stage more than once and it never seems to fails me. I don’t normally write a lot of bait & switch comedy, so I’m pretty proud of it 🙂

  9. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    “Hi, my name is Wolverine and I’m an alcoholic” might make for a good bumper sticker or at least a useful warning label. Thanks for all these hilarious lines and the great moment talking to the Jesus statue.

    • Slade Ham says:

      A warning indeed. They should make little “Don’t mix with alcohol” stickers to put on crazy people’s foreheads.

      And you’re quite welcome.

  10. Amanda says:

    Last January, my friend Emma came to my apartment mid-afternoon, carrying a small cardboard box tied with a ribbon. Inside was a silver tiara, carefully snuggled in pink tissue paper. Its glitter was chipped, and one point was bent.

    “This is the break-up tiara,” she informed me, “and at last I get to pass it on to you!” She then described its trajectory, the long journey the tiara made en route to me. One of her friends had been awarded it years before, and then passed it on to someone who passed it on, eventually giving it to Emma. Who then gave it to me.

    The criteria for receiving the tiara were simple–an insane break-up, far worse than anything the current holder had ever heard/ experienced. Emma’s story was spectacular but in her opinion, mine was far, far worse.

    And now, long-distance, I pass that tiara to you.

    • Slade Ham says:

      *accepts tiara*

      Hahaha, I enjoy telling the stories now simply because of how much perspective it does give other people regarding their own experiences. I’ve entertained writing more of them and just haven’t found the willpower to dig in and revisit them on paper. Perhaps I should.

  11. Alison Aucoin says:

    Took a break from editing cluster fucked 80-something page grant to read this. Just the deeply dark laugh I needed. Thanks!

  12. Karma says:

    Hilarious. Just one question though. You say:

    “Two weeks later I returned from a week at a comedy club in Boise, Idaho. She and I went to lunch, where she calmly informed me that she wanted to end things…”

    Why did you not break up the very next day? A stab is what may make you want to break up with your sibling. But then, as you said:

    “My tendencies to stay too long with the bad ones and screw up the good ones prematurely is borderline legendary.”

    Thank you for making my day look lighter.

    • Slade Ham says:

      There were a million reasons to break up prior to that, believe me. One would think that “stabbing” would be the clincher, but it’s not always that simple. Anyone that has truly been entrenched in a brutal, insane relationship will attest that leaving is much harder in practice than it is in theory.

      Sometimes it is less dramatic to just stay.

      Being with a crazy person is like being in a gang. You have to get jumped out.

      • Anon says:

        “Being with a crazy person is like being in a gang. You have to get jumped out.” This line is getting saved for posterity. Somewhere. A t-shirt. A bumper sticker. My GoogleTalk status, my office whiteboard or just… just… somewhere.

  13. OH MY GOD!

    I will refrain from making a pussy joke on here as well. You’re just setting me up right and left today.

    Great story, I’m once again sorry for laughing hysterically at your pain.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I have a notebook full of unfinished premises I should send you. Clearly I have become the straight man in our interactions, hahaha.

      And it’s interesting how I have started to gravitate towards turning pain into funny. I attribute a lot of it to spending time a lot of time over the last few years with my friend Titus and being influenced by his tendency to take the darkest moments in his life to the stage. Ex:
      Norman Rockwell is Bleeding

      Now, back to the pussy jokes…

  14. Erika Rae says:

    Oh man. She threw a JUICE MACHINE at you? I’m sorry I’m laughing, but you’re good at funny. Glad you escaped the evil headlights!

  15. Slade Ham says:

    Technically she just shoved it off a shelf and into the window. She had thrown pretty much everything small and throwable at me already – napkin dispensers, sugar caddies, etc. The big machine was just something close and breakable and she did destroyed in glorious fashion.

    Took out a 4×10 window… It was more than a bit stressful to watch.

  16. Greg Olear says:

    Is Brittany not also the name of the French province we invaded on D-Day? If not, it should be.

    For a piece about getting stabbed, this was really funny. My favorite line was “backward Latin”. But man there were a ton. Well done. And the end was brill.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Many thanks, Greg. This was a fun piece to play with. An abbreviated version of it made it’s way to my MySpace page a few years ago (see the reply to Lorna below). I had much more fun with it this time around though.

      I’m certainly not the same writer as I was then, and I have a much better grasp of “funny”. I appreciate the nod on the “backwards Latin”. I’m very proud of it, though it is a more subtle punch. Thanks for noticing.

  17. Lorna says:

    I went searching your myspace blog today to find your original post on this story but I couldn’t find it (I also realized that I have been reading your blog for few years now…wow). This version is good, more enhanced and detailed…..but I wanted to re-read the older version because I thought there was something about the church portion of the stroy that I preferred in the earlier version. But it is your story…I guess it’s your prerogative to tell it as your way. 🙂

    • Slade Ham says:

      Apparently MySpace is the only place that the original appears. I thought it was on my website but I was mistaken. Here’s the link, though I am less than excited about posting a link here to any of my earlier stuff, hahaha. Regardless…

      It was called “The Art of War”: http://tinyurl.com/yhb7och

      **For some reason it is flagging my reply as spam when I try to make a clickable link. Cut and paste I suppose.

  18. Lorna says:

    Well crap, I need to edit my typos and grammar. When will I learn to proof read my comments before posting?

    “I thought there was something about the church portion of the story that I preferred in the earlier version. But it is your story…I guess it’s your prerogative to tell it your way.”

    Okay, that’s better. Thanks for the link Slade.

  19. Irene Zion says:

    Slade,

    This is really funny, but only because I know it ends up with your surviving.
    You were right. You were not a water buffalo. That was not the Serengeti.
    What possessed you to stay so long with a person so violent?
    You are a funny person, but you are also puzzling to me.
    Very puzzling.

    • Slade Ham says:

      It is impossible to explain why someone would stay in such a situation… If you haven’t been there, it seems ridiculous. Even having been there, in hindsight, it appears absurd. There is a psychological aspect of it that is incredibly complicated. I am acutely aware of it now, but at the time made very little sense.

      Not that I am defending my choices, but it is an incredibly easy decision from where we sit now, as normal people. When you’re in the middle of it though, it’s a much, much different animal.

      I should post more on the subject, considering I’ve written quite a bit. Since being out of it, and especially after talking about it on stage, I have found that it is less rare and unique than I thought it to be… and that fact both validates me as well as saddens me.

      It’s a far longer story than 2500 words will allow.

      wouldn’t puzzle you now though. I’m firmly back in the real world 🙂

      • Irene Zion says:

        Slade,

        It’s not that I can’t understand people who get into and stay in such situations. Unfortunately, I know all too many people who have been in and are still in involvements like this. I guess what I didn’t make clear is that it is difficult for me to meld that person that you were with the person that you (appear) to me to be now. It seems to be a stunning change.
        Glad you are who you are now though, sorry that path to getting here was so filled with brambles.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Ah, I agree with you completely. I can say quite solidly that the person that got into that relationship at 22 years old is unrecognizable compared to the “me” today. It has been an interesting, albeit not always fun, journey.

          Thanks Irene 🙂

  20. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    I am horrified that I laughed—and laughed because I was horrified. Great work, Slade. You rock. P.S. Stay safe, will you? Who’ll make us crack up if you’re offed by some disturbed person or rabid animal?

    • Slade Ham says:

      I make no promises of “safe”, but I do promise to remain “interesting” for as long as I can 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the read.

  21. Dan says:

    I stood there calling a crazy bitch’s bluff one night. I jumped back when I realized it wasn’t a bluff. You can barely see the scar on my chest. I hope for my sake I wouldn’t just stand there grinning sober, but sometimes the balls are just bigger than the brains.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I did it sober, though I can probably get away with temporary insanity. “You were still with her? Yeah, he’s insane. He’s been through enough. Let him go.”

  22. Simon Smithson says:

    “Well, can’t you throw a lightning bolt or something? I mean, you don’t even have to hit her; just come close. She’s drunk, she’ll walk into it. It wouldn’t even be your fault technically.”

    Re-reading this, I think this is my absolute favourite line.

  23. meghan says:

    That read like the first scene of CSI. It actually makes me wonder if my crack-smoking/cheating boyfriend wasn’t so bad after all. Nahhh, he was awful. I wouldn’t say I learned a lesson, aside from don’t continue to date someone for a month after you find out they started smoking crack… After he broke up with me (for the 8th time) because I didn’t answer my phone while at Dave and Busters, he was convinced I had set up a hit on him and his family. Sure, I went along with it, those were some hilarious phone calls… But I never managed to convince I wasn’t part of the Irish mafia or whatever his fried brain was imagining.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Hahaha, I just got the CSI visual… My body lying there underneath that statue, David Caruso cracking off a cheesy one liner, looking up at Jesus and saying, “Well, I guess not everyone can be saved.”

      Then the Who plays us into a commercial break.

  24. D.R. Haney says:

    I started to read this the other day, but my break ended before I could finish and comment.

    Beyond the many laughs it provided (“emotions […] being driven by an Asian,” indeed), the piece made me think of people I know who’ve been stabbed, and, in one case, did the stabbing. I didn’t know the latter well, thank God, but he said that when the knife struck, it felt like “nothing.” Another friend, on the other side of another knife, interestingly said it felt like “nothing” also. He didn’t realize he’d been stabbed till later, when the police showed up and they asked why he was so bloody. He’d been stabbed in the back of the head, and it did hurt a little, he said, but he thought he’d just been punched or something.

    I hope your caller got away too.

    • Slade Ham says:

      You really don’t feel it. It’s bizarre. Of course mine was shallow and trivial in comparison to taking a shot to the back of the head. THAT, I think I might feel.

      I don’t know what became of the caller, though I do believe she’s single now. He just might have made it.

      Thanks for swinging back through to finish it. I’m glad it elicited laughter. It was definitely a fun story to write.

  25. Jordan Ancel says:

    I had to move to LA from New York to escape one. And then she stalked my parents for a while. Crazy doesn’t quit.

  26. Carl D'Agostino says:

    You could have averted this with a clever ruse: “Darling, stabbing with a dull knife is very ineffective. So as a sign of my commitment to your happiness why don’t you let me sharpen the knife first.” Having disarmed her you could have evacuated with all checklist items in hand. Of course in moments of particularly intense stress I do concede that conflict resolution strategies often evade us at the moment of intersection of the fight or flee instinct.

  27. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Hey how did I miss this the first time? Had me laughing my head off. Benefits of Slade week. But you have left me very troubled about one thing. As many times as we practiced knife defense techniques in Kenpo(and Jujutsu) I never once heard about the defense from lunatic girlfriend attack.

    Nor did we ever learn the defense from evil headlight. I guess it just goes to show once again that the only sure-fire way to learn proper self-defense is to watch The Matrix until you memorize all the moves.

    “Crazy doesn’t bluff.”

    Now there’s a life motto, right there!

  28. Gloria Harrison says:

    Eight years?

    I can’t get one to stick around and all I do is cry and yell sometimes. And talk through my teeth when I’m angry.

    EIGHT years?

    The ending anecdote is fucking brilliant.

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