Latest Forum Posts:


If I Badmouth My Ex In The Forest but Nobody Hears…?


Many years ago an acquaintance asked me, “Do you hate your ex-wife?”

“Of course not!” I replied as we strolled about the grounds. “Why would you think that?”

“Well,” he responded, “she deserted you for a younger man, but still got alimony, child support, the house, car, kids, and dog in the divorce settlement. As I recall, your wages were garnished. And if you ever do retire, she will get half of your annuity. Don’t you feel bitter about all that?”

I smiled as I responded. “Bitterness is not productive, my friend. Sometimes people just grow apart. When they do, it is better that they separate, and that each find their own unique path to happiness. We all must accept our reality, we all must embrace who we truly are, and we all must keep moving forward in life. We must never be a prisoner of the past.”

As my acquaintance disappeared down the walking path, I said aloud, “I wonder why he chose now to talk about that rancid cow-pie?” But then I quickly looked around to make sure no one had overheard me! For I have a rule. I never say anything bad about my ex-wife in front of others. I only bad-mouth and curse her when I am alone, and I do that often.

Why do I sit for hours berating and insulting my Ex? Because posting her laminated picture in toilet bowls grew unsatisfying, as did putting her name, photo, address, and phone number on the bathroom walls at the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. But I can always invent new curses and insults. This keeps things fresh.

So I posed this question to two respected friends: When I verbally degrade and disparage my ex-wife but no one hears what I say, am I doing anything wrong? One friend said, “No!” But another said, “Absolutely!”

The Professor, a brilliant chap who is admired by all in our community, said “No.” He taught both ethics and logic at the local University. He was greatly esteemed not just for his academic achievements, but for his integrity, perspicacity, and classiness as well. He had met my ex-wife on several visits.

Said he, “Here is what is cogent. Your ex-wife is indeed a slimy garden slug that should be squashed and left to be consumed by maggots and flesh-eating bacteria. Thus you are not lying when you say horrible things about the buffalo-chip. And since only you hear what you say, no one is adversely affected. Therefore, you are doing nothing wrong. So enjoy.” (I point out that it is he who said these bad things about my Ex, not me. Thus I remain true to my privacy principles.).

But a dear friend Barbara, who shall remain nameless, always criticized my aforementioned behavior. She said that not only was it was wrong, but that I would be punished for it one day! I remember our discourse as if it were yesterday. I had posed the question of my behavior to her via a simple postulated scenario:

“Barbara,” I said, “consider, let’s say, a hypothetical ex-wife. Let’s call her Rachel. Let’s say, just for fun, that she is about five-eight with black hair and hazel eyes, and that she talks with a slight lisp. Let’s imagine that she has a chipped front tooth, a cackly laugh, loves pasta, and has a small purple birthmark on her left labia that resembles a thumbtack. And maybe she lives in a big white two-story house on the top of a hill overlooking Gilbert Park, and she gardens every Tuesday and Thursday.”

(Barbara did point out that the example sounded remarkably like my ex-wife Rachel! But I explained that writers often base characters upon real-life people. In this case, for example, my real ex-wife gardens on Tuesday and Friday, not Tuesday and Thursday. So clearly my hypothetical was not her.)

“What difference,” I continued “should it make what Rachel’s wronged saintly ex-husband might call the hypothetical whiney whore if no one else ever hears what he says? Surely any undetected, unheard, privately uttered denigrations of the postulated putrid puke-face would be of no concern to anyone else, including the fat fictional fart herself!”

“You are one hundred percent wrong!” Barbara said. “Karma. Your hateful rants, though well alliterated, still perturb the energy that binds and flows through all living things. They cause dark, poisonous ripples that affect us all. One day, when all the cycles of cause and effect come to completion, you will pay a price.”

“But Barbara,” I interjected. “there is strong evidence that my Ex is not even human! Have you not heard the animal shrieks she emits if an alimony payment is one day late? Or watched her eat?”

“Irrelevant,” Barbara replied. “All life is bound together. The mighty redwood, the tiniest ant, your ex-wife, me, you…..the life force is in all of us.”

Since I subscribe to a similar Eastern view, the beauty, power, and poignancy of the argument shook me to the core! It threw me into a state of depression that lasted for three decades! I spent day after agonizing day trying to poke holes in Barbara’s logic. For if I could no longer guiltlessly pop open a brewski and spend solitary hours screaming horrible things about my ex-wife, then life would not be worth living.

Then one day the epiphany came! The fallacy in my friend’s argument struck me! I was overcome with joy, and awash in a sense of relief rivaled only by how one feels just after having successfully made it to the lavatory after having consumed a case of beer!

If any reader has gotten this far, I ask them to consider the following question:

Is Satan alive?

This is critical! For my ex-wife, though most likely not Satan himself (but that is possible), is indisputably some manifestation from Hell! She is at the very least the most evil of all succubi, one who takes a living human form only for the purposes of tormenting and torturing the souls of decent, honest men!

Now surely the precious life-force energy that flows through all living things does not flow through Satan, or his followers, or his creations! They are not of the mortal plane, they are creatures of the underworld, and are therefore not alive! Ergo, my ex-wife is not alive, and my friend’s argument which applies to only living things is refuted! I was overjoyed when I made this discovery! I immediately called my friend, and articulately and calmly pointed out her fallacious reasoning. Then I told her to go piss-off.

So after many decades of calm, careful reflection, analysis, and logical deduction, I have concluded the following: There is nothing unethical or improper about me badmouthing my ex-succubus in private. No one ever hears what I say. The simple, objective truth is that she is a horribly evil demonic incarnation that should at best be exorcised from the fabric of space-time, or at least be partially devoured and raped by rabid wolves, after which, like Prometheus, she should be bound to a rock while still conscious and have her liver partially eaten each day by a giant eagle!

I have written these calm deliberations and reflections in the hope that those with a similar life experience might benefit from them. I see that it is now four p.m. Though dinner is not served until five, my restraints are removed at four so that I can loosen up my arms and legs. This lets me sit and feed myself at dinner. (If I behave well, I am allowed to stroll about the grounds a bit afterwards.)
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Lee Goldberg 2011, 2012, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Contact info:

To link to this story from your site - please use the following code:

<a href="">If I Badmouth My Ex In The Forest but Nobody Hears…?</a>

Comments (7)

Tell us why

Please tell us why you think this story should be removed.